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My friend Lisa is getting married in November of this year, and marks my 8th and final wedding of 2008.  Because many of her friends live out of town, she opted to have both her shower and bachelorette party the same weekend, therefore cutting back on travel for her friends, and the expenses that come with traveling far distances multiple times. (Which, by the way is awesome.)

 

 

In lieu of the paparazzi of peen, feather boas and bar games, Lisa opted for a party bus field trip to the Finger Lakes vineyards with 28 of her closest friends and family.

 

Lisa and the girls heading to the Wineries

Lisa and the girls heading to the Wineries

 

May I reiterate…this is such a great bachelorette party alternative. It’s so much fun, and it’s a great way for the bride and her girls to have one last hurrah before married life intervenes.  I’m told that’s when you’re not allowed to hang out with the girls anymore. (Although, I’ll go out on a limb here and say that actually hasn’t happened since 1954).

 

Getting a party bus is really the best way to do this.  Having a driver is absolutely worth it when you’ve tasted your way through half of Cayuga Lake.  If everyone chips in you can have quite the day trip underway.

 

Lisa and the girls tasting award winning Red Cat Wine at Hazlit Vineyards  

 

Lisa and the girls tasting award winning Red Cat Wine at Hazlit Vineyards

 

 

Lisa and some of her friends

Lisa and some of her friends

 

We kicked off the day with mimosas and a variety of food was on hand for later in the day.  We made our way through Cayuga and Seneca Lakes to four of the Finger Lakes wineries.  

 

Thirsty Owl Winery

Thirsty Owl Winery

 

 

Tasting at Thirsty Owl Winery

Tasting at Thirsty Owl Winery

 

 

Her shower was the next day, in the afternoon, which gave everyone substantial time to recuperate from the previous days “tastings”.  Paving a modern day bridal trail, Lisa opted for the display shower, and guests brought unwrapped gifts to her outdoor shower. I will reiterate again, how I love display showers. There is no watching the opening of gifts for hours upon hours as you sit, stuck to your seat, golf clapping along to every blender, ice cream maker and serving tray that pops out of a box.

 Guests could walk in and see EXACTLY which gifts Lisa received and move along to mix and mingle with other guests.  Some of Lisa’s more “risqué” gifts were left wrapped, which was wonderful, because Lisa was still able to open some gifts, and it added an extra element to the shower. IMPORTANT: Hand guests an envelope to fill out as they’re arriving at the shower, to address to themselves.  Then tape the envelope with their gift so it doesn’t get lost among the others.  You can also leave a pile of envelopes with pens at the door with instructions on fun paper as well.  

 

 

Yay for Display Showers!

Yay for Display Showers!

Lisa’s sister filled luggage for the honeymoon with super cute gifts like Mr. & Mrs. coozies, lingerie, flip flops and champagne. Such a cute idea! 

 

Decorating without wrapping!

Decorating without wrapping!

You can still decorate your gift without wrapping paper! Here Lisa’s wine glasses, a bottle of red and white wine tied together with matching bows let the bride know that the gift goes together.  Plus it’s decorate with these FABULOUS poofs– They’re Martha’s brilliant idea, and I’ll have a whole post dedicated to all the wonderful things you can do with them soon. But you can click the link and get the directions on how to make these wonderful decorations.

The thing with display showers is you really need to fill the time with other things to keep guests engaged in the shower. Lisa’s bridal party led a few games, which kept everyone involved.  One I had never played before was writing captions for 6 randomly selected photos of the bride.  Lisa then had to judge the captions and then give the winning table a point for each picture. It yielded some pretty funny captions and we managed to embarrass the bride a bit, which lets face it…is always one of the days objectives.

 

Other things to keep in mind when you throw a display shower is to make sure there is music somewhere flowing, add a personal touch somewhere in shower, whether it is in the menu, the cocktails or the décor.  Make it personal, keep it simple.

 

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Ask and you shall receive Katie! Here’s my post on how to throw a fantastically rockin’ Bachelorette Party without anything that looks remotely like a penis. So I’ve been to a few bachelorette parties in my day and some of them were AMAZING! So here are some suggestions to have a great time with your girls without ending up on the floor of your local dive bar in tiara and a “bride-to-be” beater. The most important thing is to HAVE FUN with your girlfriends!



Wine Tours
– I did one of these for a bachelorette party for a girlfriend a few years ago in the Finger Lakes region of New York and it’s my favorite “Non-trashy” bachelorette party idea. You can rent limos, shuttles or hire a very willing sibling to drive you all around from vineyard to vineyard to taste test your way through the day! Long Island Wineries and the Finger Lakes are my favorite on the east coast, there are plenty of other east coast wineries to try out. In California your options are unlimited.
Seneca Lake Wine Tour
Seneca Lake Wine Tour


Weekend Getaway– Long weekends away with the girls are a really great time and don’t have to be too expensive if you plan it out right. Shared hotel rooms and group dinners keep the bill down and keep the good times rollin’! There are a million great weekend getaway locales and you don’t have to do Vegas or Atlantic City either. Annapolis, MD, Boston, MA, NYC, Charleston, SC and Baltimore’s Inner Harbor are a few of my favorite East Coast host cities for bachelorette parties.


Booze Cruise– Most big cities near water host Harbor tours or Cruises at a group rate. Baltimore’s Inner Harbor does Harbor Cruises and the Water Taxi is a great way to hop from bar to bar and see the sights. Boston Harbor Cruises are always a good time in the warmer months and New York offers Harbor Cruises on the Circle Line around some of New York’s most famous landmarks.


Pamper Party– Spas can be really expensive, but a day of beauty doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Have a good old-fashioned Pamper Party at home complete with Tarot Card Readers or Fortune Tellers, if you’re not too superstitious, and Massage Therapists. Take turns doing each other’s nails and regress to your childhood with funny Old School games like Truth or Dare and maybe even a good old fashioned Dance Party.


Sports Center– Some brides aren’t into the sports scene but I for one am a self proclaimed baseball junkie. Baseball games are a fun alternative to the bar scene with pretty much the same effect. You get to watch men in tight pants running around while you enjoy a beer in the sunshine with some of your best girls. Most MLB tickets have cheap seats plus Minor League Teams are scattered all around the country. Cheap tickets and New prospects!


Coed Parties– Coed Parties, often referred to as Jack & Jill parties are becoming more and more popular. Maybe so everyone can get to know each other, or maybe so brides can keep a watchful eye on the groom and his wild friends. Whatever the reason it can be a great option for laid back couples. Planning a backyard barbecue with Bocce, Barbecue, Basketball and Bellini’s is a great way to include everyone in a celebration together before the wedding.


**Bellini’s are peach juice and champagne for those of you who have never had my most favorite party drink.


Casino Royale– Try your hand at the table with the boys at any of the lesser little Vegas joints around the country. Mohegan Sun, Turning Stone Casino and AC are cheaper versions of the Strip that offer the same odds of good times and hitting it big! You control the tacky level here, so choose accordingly.

Thrill RideSo I know this is atypical, but isn’t that the point here! Amusement Parks are really really fun! Admit it you haven’t been since your seventh grade chorus trip, but amusement parks are a great place to let your guard down and just enjoy being yourself with some of your favorite people. Scream as loud as you want…get it all out now.

New York, New York– The city that never sleeps offers a few great things for such a party. Stop by the Today Show and lobby for your shot at a free makeover for their Ambush Makeover on the plaza segment that happens every Friday morning. Take the circle line around the island of Manhattan and catch great views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty before heading to the Theater District for two of Broadway’s hottest “Chickusicals,” Legally Blonde and Mama Mia.

Jake Ivory’s Dueling Piano Bar

Other great ideas include jazz clubs, dueling piano bars- Jake Ivory’s in Boston is GREAT- karaoke, and pole dancing classes for the very brave at heart.

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