There’s one event every little girl dreams of from the moment she waltzes out of the womb. Her dress, her friends by her side, and all eyes in the vicinity on her. She pictures the photo ops, the food, and the painfully tacky matching outfits that she’ll force her girls to wear.
I’m talking, of course, about her bachelorette party.
Let’s be clear, whether it’s a weekend full of wine and whining about exes or a week-long drug fest in the middle of the desert, there’s no right or wrong way to say goodbye to your single life. And while the party is ultimately about what *you* want (and how much you can afford to spend), the destination you choose might say a little more about who you are than you (or your carefully curated Instagram) would have thought.
The only thing worse than a bachelorette party in Florida is a bachelorette party in Florida that doesn’t involve going to the beach. Enter: The Disney-obsessed bride. Whether you make the trek to Orlando or Anaheim (at least it’s Cali), having your *gag* last fling at a place designed for CHILDREN is the epitome of a nightmare for most. Not, however, to your friend who will INSIST that everyone gets matching ears and Mickey ice cream bars for a picture that screams more “sober sorority sisterhood retreat” and less “this is my last chance to get truly ratchet that’s all about me.”
Sure, the bride who grew up with princess syndrome and a thirst for waiting in longgggg lines for infant rides will be in heaven. Her friends, however, will be in an overpriced hell that doesn’t serve nearly enough vodka. But come on, what else would you expect from a bride who plans to enter her wedding venue on a horse and carriage and calls her fiancé Prince Charming?
Bridal Personality: What personality? KIDDING! When she’s not wishing upon stars and singing with woodland creatures, she’s having missionary sex with her high school sweetheart-turned-fiancé.
Charleston’s more exciting southern cousin, Savannah, has recently become a go-to destination for the less-ballsy of brides. Don’t get me wrong—thanks to the lack of open-container laws, there is still plenty of drinking to be done here, but the girl who chooses Savannah for her party is more of a “bless your heart” and less of a “let’s do f*cking lines in the bathroom” kind of bride. She tends to turn her nose up at shots, specifically stated that strippers were a no-go, and wanted either a day of exercise or sight-seeing to be a part of the itinerary. Fun!
Savannah, like the bride, is cute. Safe. Fun, but not overly so. A big fan of brunch, cocktails, and getting some solid sleep and sober bonding time, the girl who chooses this Georgia town is the epitome of normal. Not cliché, not lame, but not wild. Just your standard, in the middle, could-be-anyone kind of bride.
Bridal Personality: Her bridesmaids will be in blush, she’ll be in an A-line, and her first dance will be something sung by either Ed Sheeran or John Legend.
It takes a special kind of bride to forgo the traditional weekend of debauchery and sleazeball flirting for free drinks in exchange for a quiet weekend of memory making and merlot. Whether this bride is officially over her crazy streak or she never had one at all, the fact that she’s choosing to rock maxi dresses instead of bikinis and wine glasses instead of shot glasses says it all—for better or for worse.
While no, you might not feel like the grand or so you dished out (more if you’re flying from the East Coast) to sit around a cheese-filled table, drink wine, and talk sh*t is worth it, the bride, while generally a nice-enough girl, doesn’t really care. A true bitch on the inside, she’s not going to go to a party destination just because it’s expected of her. She’s happy to force her friends to travel far and wide to do the same thing they could do literally anywhere else in the country, but this time in sun hats.
Bridal Personality: After getting married at her parents’ country club and honeymooning in either Paris or going on a week-long cruise, the bride and her run-of-the-mill hubby will immediately get working on popping out their 2.5 babies before she opens up her Etsy shop and spends afternoons at the local barre class.
A Cruise (Most Likely To The Bahamas Or Equivalent)
For the bride who doesn’t actually want to go somewhere, but still expects her party to shell out way more money than anyone can afford, I give you: The Cruise Bride-to-be. With her captain’s hat, mouthwash bottles full of green-colored vodka, and matching shirts for her group that say either “last sail before the veil” or “let’s get ship faced,” she’s hoping a weekend boat ride to f*cking Cancun will give her enough Insta content to last until her wedding photos come in.
While it might not seem like it, the bride who chooses a cruise is possibly the most attention-seeking one of them all. Not only will the bach organizer (most likely the bride in this case because, hello? Not much planning goes into a cruise other than, you know, getting ON the cruise, and this bride probs didn’t trust her MOH to do even that) avoid any chance of last-minute cancelations that leave her with the bill, but she’ll feel like a little celebrity on the ship until she realizes just how small a giant boat can feel, especially if there’s a competing bride onboard.
While sure, sharing an inside cabin for 72+ hours with four other people who tend to be insufferable when drunk is the definition of hell, the bride honestly couldn’t care less. She just wanted to avoid arguments over splitting dinners and Ubers, work on her tan, and ensure no one can tune out her drunken ramblings while scrolling through Instagram because the odds of your wifi working are slim to none. Sneaky bitch.
Bridal Personality: Slightly insufferable. Chill—I said slightly! Sure, she loves a good daiquiri and beach day, but instead of keeping it low-key and going to Florida or some sh*t, she’s literally holding you and your frenemies hostage for a weekend that will involve hula hoop competitions and *shudders* cruise-planned group activities.
The Luke Bryan-loving, boot-wearing, cowboy-hat-with-a-veil-rocking friend of yours is INSISTING that all of her best bitches meet her in the land of hot chicken and honky-tonk: Nashville. While sure, it’s not the most original place to visit, let’s be real, the bride has never been a “think outside the box” kind of gal. She’s more of a “chug a whiskey, ride a mechanical bull, and almost cheat on her fiancé the first night out” sort of bride.
Still, what she lacks in originality (and sobriety), she at least makes up for in the fact that you’ll be visiting a city where getting sh*tfaced and wearing Daisy Dukes is a requirement. If you’re not a fan of country music (unlike your bridal bestie, of course), you’ll be in a twang-talking hell, but this bride? She DGAF. She’s here for three reasons only: flirting with Southern boys, blacking out on Lower Broadway, and coming back completely bloated on fried food.
Bridal Personality: She has at least one item of non-ironic camo clothing hanging in her closet.
Honestly, from the moment we learned what Las Vegas even was, almost all of us have dreamt of throwing our last hurrahs (ugh, hate that term) there. Still, as bills, life, and other bachelorette parties ensued, the idea of making everyone we know travel to the middle of f*cking nowhere, Nevada to party in the desert seemed like a little too much. But not, of course, for the bride who still insists on a Vegas bachelorette.
The epitome of a “no sh*ts given” bitch, the Vegas bachelorette bride isn’t looking for a low-key weekend of yoga and bonding. She’s looking for an “all eyes on me, drinking ’round the clock, soul-crushing hangover” kind of party. She doesn’t care that a Vegas bachelorette is the epitome of cliché. She’s throwing on her biggest pair of hoops and flipping off anyone who has a problem with her party destination of choice. Whether it’s because she’s the hottest, the loudest, the richest, or all of the above, in your group, she’s used to being the center of attention. So, naturally, a place where bars literally BEG you to come drink for free and take thirst-trap Instagram pics and where pool parties are meant to put your relationships in question, is the definition of a good time for her. Enjoy throwing your money away at the slots and pulling the bride away from the hot bartender before she crosses a line she can’t uncross.
Bridal Personality: “Jenny, I don’t give a F*CK if you’re tired. It’s only 4-f*cking-am. Did we come to party or did we come to be a little bitch?”
As someone who lived in Austin for five years post-grad, it’s easy to see why this is quickly becoming one of the best bach party destinations. With lots of bar areas, tons of painted murals for validation-hungry gals to take pictures in front of, and an absurd amount of tacos, it truly has something for everyone, and the bride who chose this spot knew that 100%. A people-pleaser, she chose the destination that will make all of the bridesmaids happy (or at least not totally pissed off for having to shell out money on Disney apparel).
Between the non-stop food trucks, the nature-friendly activities, and the debauchery that takes place on Dirty 6th street, this one is a smart political choice for the girl who isn’t looking to ruffle any feathers. Sure, the girl picking this is a little weirder and more out there (as goes along with Austin’s motto) than your average Vegas bitch, but at the end of the day, she wants a party that’s well-rounded, liked by all, and juuust wild-enough. Yes, she’s playing the popularity game, but at the end of the trip, she’ll be the least likely to lose friends over a bachelorette-induced fight.
Bridal Personality: A night out for her college friends, mural posing for her blogger friends, a hike for her outdoorsy friends, and a bomb-ass brunch for the foodies, this bride is the epitome of a “make everyone else happy even if I hate my own event” kind of girl.
Between the lack of an open container law, the plethora of strip clubs, and the abundance of absinthe, the bride who chooses NOLA for her bach is not. here. to. mess. around. Most likely she was the party girl in college and despite toning it down a bit post-grad, she’s still usually the first to suggest doing shots on a casual night out. While it’s not exactly original and you’ll see at least three other bachelorette parties as you parade (literally) down Bourbon, it makes up for it in the sense that you can stock up on cheap alcohol and carry it in the street as you go from bar to bar (or po’ boy place to po’ boy place).
And this bride? She’s not looking to be completely original. She’s looking to have a Vegas-caliber party in an Austin-type town, with Charleston-esque food, and Nashville-level hospitality. Plus, you know, with some voodoo sh*t thrown in. There’s a 0% chance the bride will leave until she’s flashed a stranger, been face-first in some titties, gotten tangled up in some voodoo sh*t, and gone up two sizes due to her constant diet of beignets. It’s not for everyone, but this is a bride who knows exactly what she wants.
Bridal Personality: If it’s not fried, flirting, or freaking her tf out, it’s not for this bride.
Rich? Extra? Has had at least one major plastic surgery? Say hello to your Miami bachelorette bride, the friend who has no idea what the concept of money or packing light is. As soon as she rolls up to the overpriced Airbnb or sketchy hotel where you sleep four to a room with her four suitcases in tow, you’ll know you’re in for one of the most exhausting bachelorette parties in wedding history.
Sure, every bach party is expensive, but the Miami party girl brings it to a whole other level. From the pool parties that come with $1,000 food and drink minimums to single dinners that cost more than your weekly grocery budget, it’s easy to rack up a hefty bill, even with all of the spots on South Beach bribing you to come into their bars so they can fill them up. So, why did she pick this place for her pain-inducing party? Three words: She’s a babe. And the best place to show off her meticulously toned muscles, expensively highlighted hair, and “paid for by her fiancé” boob job? You guessed it. Mi-f*cking-ami. Pro tip: if your group isn’t up for Miami, go the chiller (and cheaper) route of Fort Lauderdale.
Bridal Personality: Is she rich? Yup. Is she hot? Yup. Do you kinda hate her? Yup! Still, it’s better to be miserable and be friends with her than to not be friends with her at all.
You all tried to talk your friend out of having her bach party abroad the same way you tried to talk her out of getting bangs in college. But now, like then, it fell upon deaf ears. Too good for what everyone else does, the bride who makes a whole bunch of her friends fly across the world in order to get some IGs is not only to be feared, she’s not to be messed with.
As soon as you get the “make sure your passports are up-to-date, ladies” text, take a few deep breaths and accept the fact that you’re already in too deep. This friendship is in charge of your life now, and you’re just along for the ride. Anyone who would willingly make her friends get drunk abroad instead of at any of the zillion locales they could do the same thing at in the U.S. is officially the bridezilla we’ve all been warned about. From insisting you all get matching passport-holders, luggage tags, and side-by-side first-class tickets, to getting pissed when someone dares to suggest she’s being a little too extra, this bride is officially too far gone to be reckoned with. Hold on for dear life and report your credit card stolen for fraud when you get back t0 the states—this one’s going to be a doozie.
Bridal Personality: Have a problem? She doesn’t want to hear it because she’s the f*cking bride and by God, she’s going to get EXACTLY what she wants.
Images: Andrew R Simoneaux; Sogol Salehi, Ashley Knedler, Trevor Gerzen, Fernando Jorge, Drew Hays, Nicola Tolin, Clark Van Der Beken, mana5280, mprage, Jealous Weekends / Unsplash
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Planning sucks, and bachelorette parties are a ton of work. So we’re taking all the guesswork out of planning a bachelorette party by breaking down top bachelorette destinations. Our guides will tell you where to stay, eat, party, how to get around, and give you a sample itinerary that you can follow. You’re welcome.
Charleston, South Carolina, is a hotbed of old money, history, amazing food, and ritzy shopping. If you aren’t into the blackout scene and want to take things a bit slower than you would in, say, Vegas, Charleston is your new bachelorette party destination. This gorgeous old city is warm and perfect for sundresses, like, 80% of the year; plus you can wear a big hat and feel classy while you’re day drinking. By evening, you can wander the award-winning wine bars before popping in for a James Beard Award-winning meal.
Just a note: We suggest heading to Charleston before hurricane season, since that can be, well, occasionally an issue. The best times to go are November-May, and if you’re into being very sweaty, June and part of July can work, too.
Situate yourself around King Street and “under” Marion Square on a map; this is where you’ll find of tons of shopping, bars, and restaurants right in the old part of the city. Everything is completely walkable, and you definitely won’t run out of things to do.
How To Get There
There are plenty of direct flights from all over the country feeding into Charleston’s airport, so no need to hop through multiple layovers or deal with tiny planes on the way to this destination. Nonstop flights from the New York and Chicago areas range from about $200-400, which is pretty damn reasonable if you ask me. You’ll fly directly into Charleston International Airport, about 20 minutes away from the heart of downtown. Driving is also a decent option if you’re living anywhere near Atlanta, Richmond, or Charlotte, since it’s a pretty straight shot and anywhere from 3-6 hours total. Not bad, if you ask me; plus, you can listen to music and bond with the other girls on your drive.
Where To Stay
Obviously, the number of people are at your bachelorette party will determine where you’ll stay. Luckily, there are tons of Airbnbs and hotels all around downtown Charleston that range in price and room size. Personally, I suggest an Airbnb. The restaurants (especially those with amazing brunch and breakfast cocktails) are all incredible, so paying for a hotel breakfast seems like a waste. On my trip, we rented a huge loft and only paid about $100/night for three nights. We doubled up in queen and king size beds and had two full bathrooms, which worked perfectly for six girls. Plus, our spot was situated on upper King Street—within walking distance of literally everything.
If you feel like you need a hotel, I’d suggest the Renaissance Charleston Historic District, The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel, or the Hyatt Place Charleston/Historic District. All of them are in downtown, albeit in slightly different areas, but are within walking distance of everything you’ll want to be doing. Plus, they all have pools, a gym, restaurants, and amazing views of the city. The biggest downside is having to find adjoining rooms so you can all cuddle once you’re blackout.
How To Get Around
Whether you’re staying at a downtown Airbnb or one of the hotels above, getting around will be a breeze. Everything within downtown is walkable and, of course, there are plenty of Ubers if your feet get tired. If you decide to stay out further from the city—say, near Sullivan’s Island because you wanna beach bum it—you’ll need to Uber into downtown, but even then it shouldn’t be more than a couple bucks for a ride. Most of where you want to eat, visit, and drink is within the downtown/old area of Charleston, so making that your base will make getting around later much easier.
Where To Eat
You’ve got your transport (hot tip: it’s your feet) and you’ve got a bed to pass out on. Let’s move on to eating until we can’t feel feelings anymore! Charleston has some really, really, amazing restaurants, several of which have been nationally (and internationally) recognized for being f*cking delicious. For brunch, I’d suggest Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit or The Daily for a more casual meal (and if you need to keep your sunglasses on for the next few hours. A “nicer” brunch experience can be had at Eli’s Table or Pogan’s Porch.
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Talking up our Fried Green Tomatoes, featuring crumbled goat cheese, candied pecans and a seasonal chutney. We think it’s a perfect summer dish, but want to hear what dishes you’re craving this summer?! . . . . #pooganshospitality #poogansporch #charleston #charlestonsc #visitcharleston #lowcountry #lowcountryliving #southernliving #chseats #explorecharleston #charlestondaily #charlestonliving #visitsouthcarolina #chs #eatlocal #lowcountrylocal #southerncooking #southernfood
For dinners, I would like to take this opportunity to heavily advocate for FIG, Husk, The Ordinary (an amazing raw bar and eatery), and SNOB. All of these options specialize in low-country fare (think the best shrimp and grits you’ve ever had) as well as amazing seafood and just general farm-fresh seasonal eating. If you’re looking for a wilder bite of things a little outside of downtown, I recommend Xiao Bao Biscuit—especially if you’re a little hungover and hunting for upscale Asian fusion for lunch. As a note, most places will require a business casual or at least “put together” look for dinner. You aren’t going to get kicked out for wearing shorts and flip-flops, but I wouldn’t recommend it. These are spots that Bill Murray has eaten in, okay? Show some respect.
I wouldn’t describe Charleston’s daytime scene as wild, however, there are a LOT of bars (rooftop and otherwise) where you can start sippin’ early. We recommend a boozy brunch at one of the spots listed above, then wandering through Charleston’s historic houses (including the famous and adorable Rainbow Row) after a traipse down King Street—home to all the absolute best shopping where you will, without a doubt, at some point, feel VERY poor (in a fun way). You can also make your way to the Charleston City Market, a huge indoor/outdoor area with tons of artisans, farmers, and purveyors hawking everything from wine to grits. I remember going here, nearly blackout, and buying spices from an old lady, two bottles of wine from a farmer man, and a painting from someone, although things were fuzzy by that time. If that isn’t living my best life, idk what is.
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? “Be warned: it’s hard to walk through without buying something.” We agree with you, @palmetto_media_company – thanks for sharing this great pic of the Great Hall! Yes, indeed. It’s another great day to walk through the #Charleston Market. .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #charleston #charlestonlife #charlestonliving #weekend #saturday #holycity #siteseeing #historiccharleston #historiccharlestondistrict #charlestonmarket #localtourist #lowcountry #lowcountrylocal #lowcountrylocalfirst #shoplocal #shopping #charlestonshopping #photography #palmettomediacompany
There are also a few spas if you feel like really recharging before a night of heavy eating and drinking. The Spa at Belmond Charleston Place is a great option right in the middle of town, and has plenty of treatments to help prepare your body for all of the toxins you’re about to pour into it. When you’re ready to take in views of the city before dinner, head to a rooftop spot like The Rooftop at The Vendue Hotel or the rooftop bar at The Market Pavilion.
Where To Drink
After dinner and if you can move, it’s time to keep drinking and do some dancing. Head to NV Dance Lounge, part of Henry’s on the Market for live DJ’s, bottle service, and a club atmosphere on Friday and Saturday nights. Just a note: no flip-flops allowed. If that isn’t your scene, The Whiskey Lounge, located upstairs in Henry’s, has lots of cushy seating and a great bar.
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If you haven’t noticed, though, Charleston isn’t much of a club town, which you can attribute to the old school money running the joint. I’d highly recommend bar hopping between several great spots like Proof, Bin 152, Prohibition, The Gin Joint, and Blind Tiger Pub in lieu of the whole shots and clerb scene. Remember: ho, but make it Charleston classy. Plus, you can get pretty f*cked up at dinner, too, which we did and very much enjoyed. Keep those bottles of wine comin’.
Thursday, Day 1
Pro Tip: Concentrate on sunsets via rooftop bar tonight, since your days will be packed from here on out.
- Arrive at hotel or Airbnb
- Pregaming and drinks at the homestead while you get ready for dinner by 4pm
- Hit a rooftop bar like the one at The Vendue Hotel, then prepare to walk to dinner
- Dinner at SNOB
- Hit up more bars like Proof, or wander into whatever looks inviting (most everything is open until at least 2am)
Friday, Day 2
Pro Tip: Wake up and chug some water, sweetie—you’ve got a big day ahead.
- Brunch at Poogan’s Porch (after coffee and Insta scrolling, of course)
- Walk the shops on King Street and blow some money before heading to see Rainbow Row and the Charleston City Market
- Dinner at The Ordinary, where you can order oysters and champagne to show everyone how fancy you are
- Stop in at Prohibition for more drinks
Saturday, Day 3
- Chug coffee at your Airbnb, then head out for a light and casual lunch at either Xiao Bao Biscuit or The Daily
- Head to the spa to wash the toxins away
- Back to the homestead, get cleaned up
- Head out for pre-dinner drinks at Bin 152
- Dinner at HUSK
- Hit up some of the bars you didn’t make it to, or get drunk and go on a ghost tour (there are several; most will require reservations ahead of time)
Sunday, Day 4
- Brunch at any of the other places you didn’t get a chance to check out yet
- Don’t miss your flight!!
Images: Unsplash (2); Shutterstock (3)