Couples are now dating for longer and living together before tying the knot, which means traditional bachelor/bachelorette parties are becoming a thing of the past.
I had a discussion with a friend the other day, which inspired this post. He was in disbelief that I was planning on inviting both male and female friends to my party. This got me thinking about how I’d like my bachelorette and wedding day to play out. Nick and I are doing away with outdated traditions that don’t feel relevant to us. But, more on that another day…
Here are eight ideas that I think would suit a modern bride (or groom) to-be. Even if you’re not planning or attending a bachelorette anytime soon, this list might inspire your next birthday party or event:
Visit a few nearby wineries
Let’s start with this one because it’s basically my dream hen situation. A sunny afternoon exploring Waipara or Waiheke sounds absolutely perfect for a chill bride-to-be. If you’re based in Christchurch, why not explore North Canterbury’s collection of world-class wineries and restaurants? There’s Black Estate, Pegasus Bay and Boneline to name a few… Or, check out North Canterbury Wine & Food Festival in early March. If you’re in Auckland, an afternoon ferry ride to Waiheke would be absolutely divine. How about lunch at Man O’ War or Mudbrick Winery?
Road trip to the beach
My friend Annie had her hens weekend at another friend’s beach house in Northland, it was the most wonderful time ever. We kicked things off with a scrumptious brunch at Odettes Eatery (but Amano or Ortolana would be perfect and perfectly situated as well) before carpooling up North for three days of bliss, sunshine, platters and outdoor baths. We even escaped to a winery for lunch, which was absolutely divine.
Attend a music festival
For the modern bride who still wants to get a bit rowdy, a music festival might be just the thing. As a teenager, I always envisioned bopping away at Bonnaroo or Osheaga for my bachelorette.
Explore a new city
Potentially a more expensive option, a city break is worth considering if you’re not going on a honeymoon or live within driving distance of a city you’ve yet to visit. Another friend of mine, Kirsten had her bachelorette in New York City (I know, right?) We travelled as a group of eight for five days and it was magical. I was living in Toronto at the time, so the flight was only an hour and reasonably-priced. We did a few touristy things, but spent most of our time in Chelsea, Williamsburg and Soho. Without a set itinerary, I even managed to catch up with a few friends who live in the city. A mini holiday is a great way to bond with your friends before tying the knot.
Hit the slopes
If you’re based in Western Canada, a ski trip bachelorette would be incredible. Imagine renting a house (with a hot tub) in Golden BC and spending the weekend in the powder. Aprés ski is another excellent reason to opt for this type of bachelorette. I especially like the sound of mulled wine and cheese after a day on the slopes.
If you live in a warmer climate (or it’s summertime in Canada), a day spent sailing might suit you and your mates. I love the idea of hiring a yacht for the day and sailing along the harbour. There are charters that allow you to bring your own food and drinks, which is an effective way to save money. Otherwise, some clubs let you hire out boats if you’d like to sail yourselves. Nick would love this option!
Spa day bachelorettes appeal me to on so many levels. With the stress of planning a wedding, nothing sounds better than spending the day getting massaged and pampered. Her Majesty’s Pleasure in Toronto would be the perfect spot any time of day as they serve up delicious coffee or beautifully crafted cocktails alongside your mani/pedi or blowout. The Pamper Bar in Christchurch is another excellent option if you want to get your nails and brows looking fierce for the wedding. They also offer spray tans at their second location, The Tan Bar.
Art crawl through the city
With so many amazing local galleries scattered throughout most cities, an art crawl is a lovely idea for a creative bride-to-be. In Christchurch, you could explore CoCA and the Christchurch Art Gallery before settling in for lunch and negronis at Universo. Many city galleries host monthly parties that run well into the wee hours, so it’d be worth coordinating your bachelorette party with one of these events. My friend Mary organised her birthday party at the ROM and we spent the night on the dance floor with DJs and live music and exploring the galleries with tasty food and drinks.
Many of us live in different cities and even different countries throughout our lives. Modern day bachelor and bachelorette parties are about spending quality time with friends from different phases of our lives. There’s no better feeling than your childhood bestie connecting with your uni pals and your siblings getting to know those mates you met on exchange.
What do you think? Does a bachelorette/hen party need to be a final hurrah with your gal pals or are you a more modern bride who would prefer something a bit alternative?