When travel is your passion, you tend to be the point person for all sorts of occasions: destination weddings, honeymoons, vacations, girlfriend getaways (much as I loathe the term) and, yes, especially bachelorette weekends. I remember the days when all my friends got married in our hometown and I was flying back to Tennessee for nine weddings in a single calendar year, but in modern times (i.e. 2014), it seems everyone wants to throw a wedding and a bachelorette party in different locales than which they live. Not complaining—this has allowed me to revisit some of my most favorite spots and show others just why I love them so. Case in point: Savannah, Georgia.
In April, my very best friend Lemon is getting married, so in honor of this monumental milestone, 12 of us convened in Savannah this past weekend to celebrate the bride. And because she never does anything half-assed herself, we figured of all occasions, we needed to go all out with these bachelorette festivities. Savannah was a destination that only three of us had visited before, and while it may not seem like a very “bachelorette-y” place, when you’re all in your 30s, would rather sit at home in a house playing games and drinking wine than painting the town red on Bourbon Street, and are all more or less based along the East Coast, it’s actually the perfect locale.
Truth be told, I was primarily in charge of the weekend’s logistics: finding a house (which I did on HomeAway when Airbnb didn’t turn up any houses big enough for our crew), scouting the restaurants, helping others with transportation. Which is why it was clutch that she had not one but two maids of honor—well, technically I’m the “matron” and Lauren is the “maid” (though she’s getting hitched three weeks after Lemon)—who balance each other out well. For every bit of a crafter I’m not, Lauren made up for it with her Pinterest-y decor and all the other perfect touches she provided.
Lauren, Katy and I arrived in Savannah early and went to work preparing the house, which was absolutely massive. Six bedrooms, four bathrooms, three stories and a whole lot of dead space to fill!
We had decided early on the theme was going to be stripes/chevron/nautical—a nod to Lemon being the preppiest person we collectively know—and every last bit of decor fell into that theme, right down to the straws and napkins and people.
Lauren had pre-ordered cupcakes from Gigi’s and an anchor cake from Savannah Rum Runners. She also brought containers and filled them with candy—did I mention Lemon has a sweet tooth?—and Katy and I did a little baking to complete our sugary spread.
As if that weren’t enough, Lauren made anchor door markers for each of the attendees, as well as hand-painted wine glasses. (Seriously, what did she not think of?)
Since I was making the seven-hour trip down by car, Lemon had shipped me all sorts of fun items and accessories—chevron hair bands, anchor earrings, striped makeup bags, monogrammed tumblers, sushi socks, luggage tags—for us to assemble as attendee gifts once we arrived at the house. And Lauren had ordered chevron scarves off of Etsy to top it all of it. (Uh, I did none of this for my own bachelorette in New Orleans four years ago!)
When the bags were ready and rooms assigned, it was time to set up the photobooth and props. We also did a “drop your drawers” game where each of us bought a pair of underwear for Lemon that best represented ourselves and she had to guest which belonged to whom, a bridal Mad Libs (legitimately my favorite part of the whole weekend), a product shower, bachelorette Bingo, a game where you had to guess if each status update or Facebook comment Lauren read aloud was from the bride or the groom’s profile, and a game where you weren’t allowed to say certain words like “wedding,” “Austin” or “love” all weekend long. (I’ll toot my own horn here and say the editor in me owned this one!)
In terms of daytime activities, we kept modifying the schedule as the weekend progressed, spending more time in the rental house than initially planned (see: tired, flight delays and cancellations, hangovers, too full of sugar). We did go for afternoon tea at Gryphon Tea Room. We shopped in Savannah’s Downtown Design District. We brunched at B. Matthew’s. And we did have one big night out on the town that started with fancy dinner at Olde Pink House, drinks at Rocks on the Roof and concluded at 4am after we were kicked out of Savannah Smiles (for closing time, not rowdy behavior) and Elton the cab driver almost abandoned us downtown for our cat-calling ways.
Naturally, there was a recurring dress code for the weekend, and that was stripes/polka dots/chevron/nautical. I’d say we nailed that part at the very least.
All in all, the final cost was $260 a person for three nights in the house, a fancy meal out, a dinner in, breakfasts, too much snack food, and a whole lot of beer and liquor that we didn’t drink (being only one of three who drove down, I wound up with a lot of the leftovers). Such a reasonable price for everything the weekend entailed, and I’d go as far to so it was the most fun I’d ever had on a girls’ trip.