The season of dabbing at your mascara, giving big congratulatory side hugs and toasting to sappy speeches is just around the bend.
While wedding season gives us an excuse to dress up, connect with friends and family, share food and lots of drinks, it also signals the beginning of bachelorette party season. For the last couple of years there’s been a marriage epidemic amongst my friends. There have been so many great stagettes, I often look forward to the wedding prequel as much as the wedding itself.
“A stagette is basically an excuse for all the girls to get together one last time. They’re often an opportunity to spend some intimate, quality time together,” explains Sandy Pandher, a Vancouver-based wedding and event planner. “It’s all very Sex in the City these days.”
Thanks to my super creative social circle, I’ve been privileged enough to attend all kinds of bachelorette parties over the years. If you’ve been tasked with organizing a bachelorette, don’t panic. I’ve gathered a few ‘best of’ hen party ideas below.
The private party
Pandher has observed a interesting stagette trend in the last couple of years: private, pampering events. Often groups of women will rent a couple of hotel rooms, a studio or an apartment and bring the girly fun to them. The mantra is, “let’s enjoy some really good food, some really good drinks and spend some really good times together,” says Pandher.
Pandher recommends hiring a hair stylist to come by to give the girl gang a new look, hire a catering company or personal chef to whip up dinner and drinks while the group relaxes and enjoys each other’s company.
“A bachelorette party is also a good time to connect before the wedding so that the bride can appreciate her friends and they can appreciate her,” says Pandher.
You go girl
One of most active stagettes I ever attended involved mimosas and brunch then bikes, bike decorations and a pedal to Playland. If the bride-to-be is a bit of a thrill seeker perhaps a morning a bike trek to Playland to embrace the groups’ collective inner child is the way to go. Local bike rental company eZeeRiders can hook ladies up with cruiser bikes, tandems and/or road bikes to zoom out to the land of wooden roller coasters and mini-donuts. Afterward, finish the afternoon off with a costume change out of your cycling attire and into a party dress and hat to bet on the ponies at Hastings Racecourse & Casino.
The Deluxe combination
So what if your friend is a little bit city and a little bit country? A combo-style bridal shower that involves the outdoors, some shopping and drinks could be the answer. A ride along the seawall, a gourmet cheese, fruit and charcuterie picnic supplied by Granville Island Market is a great way to fuel up for this type of stagette. While a picnic and bike ride in Stanley Park would satisfy the nature-lover in the lady of the day, a shopping trip will likely satisfy her inner-urbanista. A trip to Holt Renfrew après Stanley Park for some personalized shopping and a makeover could do the trick.
Speaking from experience, I would recommend heading to Holt Renfrew to hunt for the latest Manolo Blahniks or suit up in the latest, slinkiest Agent Provocateur lingerie. After your shoe and skivvy mission, visit the beauty experts at the Holt’s Chanel, Burberry or Laura Mercier counters. All done up and ready to go, your flock of chicks will be gorgeous and prepped for their foray into the night. Finish off in Gastown for some inventive cocktails at Pourhouse and maybe cut a rug at the Lamplighter, Charles Bar or the newest Mark Brand venture, The Portside Pub. While your friend may be tuckered out from her long day of girly-fun, she’ll have a head and heart full of girly-fun memories.
Have you attended a great stagette in Vancouver recently? Do you have any hen party planning tips? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.