Nowadays, it seems like we only hear the bride’s perspective on wedding planning because, let’s be real, in most cases, it’s the bride who is calling the shots. But I’ve also seen my soon-to-be-wifey’s friends write off their future husbands’ opinions due to their immediate lack of interest in color schemes and calligraphy options. The majority of grooms know better than to question their future wives about all things wedding related and will do anything to avoid getting their head bitten off. However, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have opinions and preferences. Marriage is about compromise, and it’s important to consider how your future husband feels. So, from all the silent grooms out there, here are some common (and important) things they want you to know while you’re planning your wedding.
1. They Don’t Need To Be Reminded On A Daily Basis Of Everything They Have To Do For The Wedding.
Yes, there are a million and one things to do leading up to your wedding day. Yes, your groom is highly aware of this. Trust that he will show up to every appointment or tasting (and if you can’t, you have a bigger problem than just wedding planning). He will also handle picking out tuxes or suits for himself and his groomsmen. Don’t assume the wedding isn’t a priority to him just because he hasn’t made a Pinterest board for it. Cut your future husband some slack—he bought a ring and proposed without your help. He will show up for the important stuff.
2. They Don’t Want To Argue About The Details, Especially The Guest List.
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One of the hardest parts of planning a wedding is coming up with a guest list you both think is fair. Your groom doesn’t want to argue over which guests get a plus-one or who has more family members on the invite list. Don’t give your fiancé the silent treatment when he says hell no to inviting your entire sorority pledge class (think about it this way: the fewer people you invite, the less thank you notes to write).
3. If They Disagree With You, It Doesn’t Mean They Don’t Respect Your Opinion.
Similar to arguing about the guest list, there will be things you don’t see eye-to-eye on. Your groom might take a firm stance on having a band vs. a DJ, and it might not be exactly what you envisioned for your big day. But, like we said in the intro, compromise is key. One of my best friend’s grooms wanted the band to play the Eagles Fight Song during the reception, and this almost gave her a heart attack. She couldn’t even begin to see how this would be a good idea, but agreed to it anyway. It ended up being hilarious and everyone had fun singing along. Point is, it’s impossible to agree on everything, and he still respects the hell out of your taste even when you disagree, so give him the same courtesy.
4. It’s Only One Day And No Matter What Happens, The Rest Of Your Lives Together Will Be Even Better.
it’s cool that if planning a wedding doesn’t kill u then u get to be married
— Taylor Hatmaker (@tayhatmaker) August 29, 2019
The average bride can spend one to two years planning for their wedding day. During that time, it gets hard to remember that it’s only one day and not the rest of their lives/marriages. It’s also one day that will go by very quickly. Your groom needs you to know that this is only a tiny piece of your story together and you will have so many more important and bigger moments to experience in the years to come.
5. They Fell In Love With You Long Before The Wedding Day And Will Still Love You Even If Everything Isn’t “Perfect”.
This goes back to the “it’s only one day” point above. Your groom already thinks the world of you. I mean, hey, he’s even given up his bachelor lifestyle to commit to you. Being with you is way better than playing hours of Fortnite on dual TVs with their roommates. So don’t sweat the small stuff. They will still love you if your florist accidentally uses the wrong color peonies in the bouquet or if your hair and make up team isn’t on schedule (even though they do wish you would spend less time getting ready). Their love for you is bigger than this day!
Images: Alvin Mahmudov / Unsplash, Giphy (3)
Whether you hate the wedding-industrial complex, are a bride planning a wedding and want to feel better about your own demands, or just need something to read, we’re doing a new series where we share the craziest, most out-of-touch wedding story we found on the internet that week. Submit your own crazy wedding stories to [email protected] with the subject line Crazy Wedding Story, and we just might feature yours. And make sure to follow @BetchesBrides on Instagram and subscribe to our podcast, Betches Brides.
Because I have been single for about a hundred years, I’m not proud of how much I know about weddings. I don’t even know where I learned all this sh*t, maybe from planning my brother’s wedding in full, or maybe just from reading bridezilla stories from across the internet. Probably a little bit of both, tbh. Either way, I know enough about wedding etiquette to know when people are completely f*cking it up. Even though every bride with whom I’ve ever come into contact was absolutely a micromanager, that doesn’t mean all brides are super Type A and want every detail of their wedding to be just so. Some, in fact, are pretty chill and just want to push all the responsibilities on other people, like their planners, maids of honor or, in some f*cked up cases, their very own guests! That brings me to an email submission we received from the sister of a groom whose wedding was a true and utter sh*tshow. The first line of said submission is, “My brother’s wedding was a grade-A disaster and, to be frank, it was trash.” I knew I was in for a good time because this girl is as petty as she is honest, and I’m here for it. Grab the popcorn.
All you need to know at this point is that the newlyweds-to-be are violently high-maintenance, cheap af, and assholes. I mean, lethal combo. Also, the wedding is taking place in a very small town that has no hotels. Luckily, the bride’s family lives in/near said small town, so they’re set. Great!
My brother invited me, my fiancé, my sister, and parents to come from across the country and my aunt, uncle, and grandma to come from Europe. Neither bride nor groom thought about where people would stay, though, and imagined that our foreign family (who speaks little to no English) would just figure something out. In this small town that doesn’t even have a motel.
I mean, I can’t even trust my English-speaking relatives to do anything at all, so I can’t imagine how confused and frustrated these foreigners must be trying to figure out Airbnb or whatever else is available in this hick town. I get that the bride and groom are probably overwhelmed with sh*t they have to do before the wedding, but providing a few options for family and friends to sleep is a pretty big one to forget about.
The family decided not to come and they eventually agreed to give my parents a spare room in their house. My fiancé, sister, and I got to sleep in tents in their yard.
Understandable that the family would decline the invite, but what is not understandable is sleeping in a tent, like, ever, but especially the day before your brother’s wedding! WTF? I’d really like to know whose idea this was.
My brother asked me to make a wedding cake and cupcakes for them and I agreed that that would be my gift. Unfortunately, they insisted on a large-ish cake and enough cupcakes for each guest to have three. When I explained this was unnecessary, they insisted on the amount. Because they have such a small kitchen in their house I had to do all the baking and decorating the night before the wedding at a local bakery once they closed for the day. So I was up all night baking up a storm.
Okay, the groom sounds like he also kind of sucks. I am usually more excited about the prospect of a cupcake than I am sex, but three sounds like a little much. Like, yep, let’s eat an entire meal, cake and three smaller cakes, and then dance? No thanks! Also, the fact that the groom’s sister spent the night before her brother’s wedding baking 700 cupcakes in a random kitchen and then calling it a night in a f*cking tent on the bride’s front lawn is insane. I used to think I deserved sister of the decade award for simply existing in the same house as my idiot brothers, but this girl definitely earned the medal. She is a saint.
The night before the wedding is traditionally the rehearsal dinner, is it not? Well, none of my family was allowed to come to the rehearsal (there was no dinner) and when my mom and I came by the location to see where we would need to set up, the bride was pissed that we dared show up and that we weren’t cooking and baking for the next day.
Correct me if I’m wrong, which I’m not, but the rehearsal dinner is for family and out-of-towners, so it’s very weird and rude that the groom’s sister and parents were not only not invited, but expected to spend the night before their son’s/brother’s wedding cooking for it. That’s not all, though! The family wasn’t the only crew expected to bring some nosh to this wedding because IT WAS A POTLUCK WEDDING. I could spend paragraphs going off on how tacky that is, so to spare you all, I’ll just move on.
So we get to ceremony day and the bride is pissed at me and my sister, who are grooms women, for “not doing our jobs,” which were apparently to show the guests where to go, where to bring food, etc. We would have done it had anyone told us. Maybe she mentioned it during the rehearsal we weren’t invited to? Then everyone gets in their places and it’s ceremony time, but for whatever reason, there’s no music.
As a frequent wedding-goer, it is definitely not the job of anyone in the groom/bridal party to serve as ushers during the ceremony. That’s why they have, you know, specific ushers. Of course, the Bride from Hell blamed the sisters for the mess of guests and I bet she also blamed them for the lack of music. I can imagine her being like, “You were supposed to learn how to play violin for this, God! How did you not know??” She made sure everyone knew she was mad, but saved her most aggressive moments for the reception, where the guests were apparently supposed to drag their ceremony chairs themselves. Uh, k.
Then we get to the potluck cash bar reception. People are eating and drinking and things are normal until the bride gets drunk. She was wearing a short dress that she kept lifting up to flash everyone. Most of the guests were her family, so I’m sure they loved that! She doesn’t stop drinking and starts going up to female guests undoing our hair and trying to undress us. Then, the couple disappeared. No goodbyes or anything. They just left. People kept looking for them, but when we realized the couple was gone, all of the guests left. This was 9pm at the latest, real wild party.
I wish I was making this up because there is so much to address here. Before I get into it, I just want to ask why there is a cash bar. The only reason people go to weddings is for the open bar…right? Also, why is Bridezilla flashing everyone? Bigger issue: why would her family love it?? Satan’s Bride obviously loves attention, so why is she ripping off the female guests’ clothes, too? I mean, obviously, like, don’t take off someone’s clothes if they want to keep their clothes on, but also this seems a little off-brand for someone who wants everyone’s eyes on her at all times. Just saying.
Lastly, I’ve been to a wedding or two during where the bride and groom disappear for a little, but I’ve always assumed they’re just, like banging in the bathroom or something because they always come back and pretend they’ve been here the whole time. This couple just straight up left. Qué?? And at 9pm? Jesus! I’ve had dinner reservations later than this sh*tshow of a wedding!
So we cleaned the hall, packed up the food, and threw out a bunch of stuff (including the insane amount of cupcakes the bride made me bake) and got out of there. Then the couple proceeded to drunkenly fight with my mom when she got to the house and asked why they left without saying goodbye. Apparently they were done with the party and were mad that the DJ wouldn’t play the songs they requested.
Wow, the guests are way better people than the couple. That’s for damn sure. I would have left that nightmare couple with that mess to clean up—not my circus, not my monkeys.
The next morning the bride started freaking out because she couldn’t find her tiara. Apparently she had one. Eventually we figured out that while she was drunk she threw it off (trying to be sexy, I think) and it landed behind the bar. The bartenders were super nice about the whole thing and kept it safe. This tiara was the most expensive part of this wedding it seemed.
It seemed? This tiara, which, knowing the bride, was probably from Claire’s, was easily the most expensive part of this
trash wedding. I’m sure she’ll wear it everyday until the day she dies, too.
A juicy tidbit that the bride doesn’t know: their first dance song was the song my brother was supposed to use for first dance to when he was going to marry someone else. Someone the bride hates.
*Slow clap* Wow, ya truly love to see it. The sister really came full circle with that all-star pettiness and I’m so here for it. What do we think, fam? Is this a one-of-a-kind bridezilla or what?
Can you top that? Submit your crazy wedding story to [email protected] with the subject line “Crazy Wedding Story”!
Image: The Creative Exchange / Unsplash
As if being a twentysomething in 2019 wasn’t hard enough already, about halfway through a decade full of major changes, financial independence, and student loan repayment, life offers yet another thing for you to go into debt for: wedding season. Whether you are the bride, the bridesmaid, or just a lowly guest, your priorities after 25 start to look a lot less like student loans and happy hours, and a lot more like wedding gifts, destination flights, and ugly dresses. Before you swear off having any friends (and therefore, nuptial obligations), we have some good news on the pre-wedding front. You can breathe a sigh of relief, because it might not be expensive as you think—at least for the bachelorette party.
WeddingWire just dropped a new study* on bachelor and bachelorette parties (because people study those, apparently) and, unlike most new information on wedding festivities, this one isn’t a total bummer for your finances! As it turns out, Instagram tends to exaggerate the extravagance of the pre-nuptial parties (shocker!), and everyone your age isn’t emptying out their life savings to fly to the Caribbean for all their friends’ bachelorette parties (though the same cannot be said for the heinous bridesmaid gowns they have to shell out their cash for). What’s more, women are actually likely to spend less on the bachelorette than men are on the bachelor party (to which I reiterate: bridesmaid dresses, we’ve earned this). Rest assured that you can have your Chippendales stripper, and throw money at him too (though I recommend sticking to throwing singles. You’re not a millionaire).
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Whether the festivities be the always-popular club scene or the more laid back spa day, women on average are only dishing out around $708 to celebrate their girlfriends’ last days of singledom (men spend $1,044 on average). That’s a lot of money, but somehow, not as much as I would expect when you consider airfare, hotels, entertainment, etc. This is, in part, a result of most parties remaining local. 92% of bachelor and bachelorettes remain in the U.S. and don’t last longer than 2 to 3 days. Again, contrary to what Instagram would have you believe, most bachelorette parties aren’t whipping out their passport. Sure, some women splurge a bit more and bathe in the sun with their betches on the coasts of the Caribbean or Mexico, but most stick to the following U.S. bachelorette party destinations. In order, these are WeddingWire’s most popular bachelorette party spots:
- Las Vegas, NV (Because, duh.)
- Los Angeles, CA (Maybe it’s not tropical, but it’s still pretty glamorous. Plus, clubs. Sooo many clubs.)
- New York, NY (As someone who lives here, I can assure you this is a destination that is only economical for its residents. Especially if your festivities include shopping.)
- Miami (More clubbing. Also South Beach.)
- Nashville, TN (Multi-story bars, live music, fried chicken, what’s not to love? Though be forewarned, this destination is becoming a bit of a cliche for wedding parties)
- Dallas, TX (Can someone please explain why Dallas is on this list, but not Austin?)
- Orlando, FL (I sincerely hope this is not on the list because of Disney World. Just think of the children, people.)
- New Orleans, LA (Okay, I guess ghosts and witchcraft aren’t everyone’s thing, but the fact that Dallas somehow topped NOLA truly offends me)
- Philadelphia, PA (Someone once described Philly to me as an arts and crafts version of NYC. Take that as you will)
- Atlanta, GA (Another destination with great nightlife, and great Southern food. Dieting brides beware!)
Bachelorette party gifts tend to remain on the cheap side as well. In order to celebrate their bestie’s commitment to sleeping with one man for the rest of her life, most women go with the tried and true gifts of lingerie and sex toys. But honestly, can we just pause for a moment and contemplate the thought of your friends picking out lingerie for you? I don’t want them picking out my outfits, let alone my underwear. That said, underwear looks like a dream next to the typical bachelor gift of… drumroll please… outdoor gear. I guess it’s better than strippers, but unless your man is like, a bear hunter or something, please take the time to reevaluate this union if his boys gift him a fishing rod or a tent or something.
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⭐️ GIVEAWAY ⭐️ Because weddings are expensive AF and the clothing that goes along with it is even more expensive, we are giving away 3 free months of @FashionPass for one bride to be and one free month for each of her bridesmaids. If you aren’t getting married, enter anyway & we will treat you and 4 of your girls. Winner will be able to activate the month whenever best suits them (think bachelorette party, bridal shower, etc). Steps 👉🏼 1. Follow @betchesbrides & @fashionpass 2. Like this post 3. Tag your bridal party or 4 friends in the comments Winner will be announced on Wednesday, August 14 at 6pm EST.
No matter what you end up doing or gifting for the party to end all (single) parties, try to kick back and enjoy one of the best aspects of getting hitched. And if you find yourself in a financial stress spiral thinking about all of the student and wedding debt you have to pay down after the fact, take another shot and stuff another bill in that stripper’s jock strap.
*The WeddingWire 2019 Bachelor & Bachelorette Study is based on data collected from more than 1,000 respondents who attended a bachelor or bachelorette party in the last 24 months.
Images: Shutterstock.com; betchesbrides / Instagram (2)
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.
If your only associations with Atlanta are the Super Bowl and any of Coca Cola’s millions of diabetes-inducing drinks, allow a former ATL resident to open your eyes to all of the legit things the A has to offer. You’re welcome. Look, I’ll admit, Atlanta is not famous for being a travel destination, but that needs to change because it’s the fourth largest city in the f*cking world (land mass-wise, obv), which means there’s a lot of space for fun sh*t to go down. Let’s go!
How To Get There
One thing not enough Atlantans talked about is how f*cking huge the airport is, which is great because basically every airline flies into/out of Hartsfield-Jackson, so getting a flight could not be more easy. It’s also the Delta hub, so there’s also that. Unless you’re coming from, like, Nashville, I highly recommend flying from wherever you live to get to Atlanta. Please note, before you land: absolutely nobody down here calls it “Hotlanta”, so don’t embarrass yourself.
Where To Stay
So this part is tricky because where you stay will be completely dependent on what your personal vibe is and what you want to do. Because ice forms in a freezer faster than ATL traffic moves, you probably won’t venture too far out of whatever neighborhood you’re staying in a million times throughout the day. So, choose wisely. There are so many awesome neighborhoods here, so you really can’t go wrong, but the best three, IMHO, for a bach weekend are Buckhead, Virginia Highland, and Midtown. Read on for a brief breakdown on the neighborhoods so that, unlike that time you actually responded to that suspicious “hey stranger” text, you can now make a well-informed decision.
Virginia-Highland will make you want to drop what you’re doing and move there immediately. It kind of reminds me of Stars Hollow (if you don’t know that reference, you’re too young to be going on a bachelorette weekend). If you stay here, you’ll want to opt for an Airbnb, not a hotel. Make sure to get a baby biscuit from Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, which is literally the cutest cafe ever, if you ask me. If you’re thinking that Stars Hollow is not where you’d want to rage for your bach weekend, think again because this place is unrecognizable at night. Another great option here is Ponce City Market, which used to be Atlanta’s City Hall, but now it’s a giant and delicious food hall with amaze shopping (think like Chelsea market, but cheaper because it’s Atlanta). Cha-ching.
Buckhead is where you go if you want to party all day and night (and you’re a little on the preppy side). It’s by far the bougiest neighborhood and kind of looks like Midtown Manhattan/Murray Hill if you tilt your head and squint your eyes. For young people who enjoy life’s simple pleasures, like a proper cocktail that’s an unnatural shade of orange, you’ll like the Buckhead Strip, which is chock-full of every style of bar, from two-story clubs to tiny dives that play “Wagon Wheel” and have popcorn machines in the back. Buckhead is also a good place to be if you like being surrounded by five-star restaurants. Just saying.
Midtown is exactly what you’d expect: high-rises, dudes in suits, and a whole lot of taco joints. Midtown Atlanta honestly kind of resembles any other city’s midtown, but one thing that separates this midtown apart from the rest is Piedmont Park, which is 185 acres of yas. There is literally always something happening in this park and 99% of the time, the events involve drinking. I’ve been to beer fests, jazz fests…etc. here and I’ve always left drunker than I intended to. Whatever. It’s also the opposite of Central Park in that it’s not crawling with hot dog vendors and tourists, which, in my opinion, have ruined Central Park.
However, there are other cute neighborhoods. If you’re a little more artsy, get an Airbrb in Inman Park. If you like to be off the beaten path, stay near Old Fourth Ward, since you’ll likely be going out there anyway. If you’re looking for a yuppie hipster vibe, stay in West Midtown since it’s all completely new but still draws a young crowd.
If you want to stay at a hotel, you can’t go wrong with the W Midtown. It’s nice, convenient, and the bar is a pretty good time.
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How To Get Around
Atlanta technically has a public transportation system called MARTA, but it’s only useful if you’re going to or from the airport, since it stops legit in the airport. Otherwise, don’t f*cking bother. Once you’re in a neighborhood, you can obviously walk around, but to get from pocket to pocket, walking is a complete no-go. To illustrate how you will navigate Atlanta, allow me to direct you to this song, by Atlanta resident MadeinTYO.
But don’t worry! Uber, and life, in Atlanta is super cheap. You can legit Uber from midtown to a suburb outside the city limits for under $25. You’ll be fine.
Where To Eat
Ok this is another tough one, because the A is so f*cking delicious! Because each neighborhood has about a thousand amazing restaurants, I’m going to throw out the best of each. These are go-tos, so if you plan a trip to Atlanta and don’t make resies here, you’re fired. The Southern Gentleman (is there such a thing?) is, you guessed it, a southern restaurant in Buckhead. It’s classic southern food, but better because you won’t need a nap or an enema afterwards, so eat your heart out when you order the rainbow trout. Also, on weekends they have live music after 10pm and, let me just say, sh*t gets rowdy.
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Happy Friday! You made it. Celebrate with lunch outside the office today. We're cooking up southern small plates, salads, and sandwiches that'll have you back for more on Monday!⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #thesoutherngentleman #thesoutherngentleman #theshopsbuckhead #theshopsatbuckhead #theshopsatbuckhead #atlanta #buckhead #buckheadatlanta #atlantabestburger #chefsofatlanta #atlantabourbonbar #atleats #atlantaeats #lunch #buckheadlunchspots #lunchbuckhead #porkcutletsandwich #atlantasandwiches #friday #lunchbreak #atlantalunchspots ⠀ ⠀
Next on the list is South City Kitchen, which, despite its name, is very different from TSG. If you want a quiet and intimate dinner during which your girls can toast you and you can actually hear said toasts, book a res for upstairs, otherwise, the screened-in patio is the move. It’s loud, but not too loud, and you get good street views for people-watching while you deep-throat the cornbread that puts all other breads to shame. South City Kitchen offers upscale Southern fare.
Also in Midtown, but on the west end, JCT. Kitchen is a good alternative if you want to take a break from the South for a sec. It’s swanky, like, Paris circa the 1930s swanky. No, it’s not a French restaurant, but the decor is v chic. Think dimmed globe lamps, plush white leather, round cabaret-like tables…you get the picture. Show up to your res a few minutes early here so you can down a few cocktails on the outdoor deck and sway to some sweet, sweet Maroon 5 covers on the guitar.
If you’re staying in Virginia Highlands, you have to hit up Murphy’s, which, in my opinion, has the best mac and cheese in the world. Full disclosure, Murphy’s kind of looks like any other decently swanky restaurant, but the food is truly incredible. Like, no matter what you order, you’ll be happy. If your group is big enough, book a table in the private room where you’ll be doted on as if you’ve just solved all the world’s problems.
If you’re looking for legit Southern Comfort food, go to Mary Mac’s in midtown. It’s f*cking huge and you won’t need a reservation, and the food is amazing while remaining unpretentious.
For a classier dinner, make a reservation (seriously, do not try to walk in there unannounced, you will be waiting for 67 years because it’s so popular) at Barcelona for tapas. It’s perfect for people who like to order a few things and split them all, rather than everyone getting their own thing. Everything is amazing and surprisingly filling, so you won’t need to get fast food on the way home (but Atlanta has amazing drunk fast food, too).
For brunch, you absolutely must try to make it to Flying Biscuit. Anyone in your party who thinks grits are gross will become a believer once they have a bite of their creamy, dreamy heaven-in-a-bowl. There’s usually a wait, but there are multiple locations throughout the city. Little pro tip: the Flying Biscuit in Terminus (on Piedmont and Peachtree) is small, but nobody really knows about it, so it’s usually got less of a wait time. Flying Biscuit does not serve alcohol, so save this for your last day when you physically can’t look at alcohol anymore.
What To Do
Ugh, what isn’t there to do in Atlanta during the day? First of all, you’ll want to get brunch. Then, there are a bunch of fun neighborhoods to just walk around in. The Krog Street Tunnel is low-key famous for its graffiti (and therefore, Instagram opps), and once you’ve taken all the candids you need, head over to Krog Street Market for a hipster-y bite to eat. (Atlanta is big on markets, if you couldn’t tell.) You should also walk the Beltline—a trail that connects Cabbagetown to Piedmont Park. There are tons of cute restaurants, shops, and stuff along the way, including Ponce City Market, which you’ll need to spend a few hours in. If you’re feeling super lazy, just grab a bottle of $3 Trader Joe’s wine and sit in Piedmont Park and drink….out of Solo cups, obviously. Don’t think anyone wants to spend their bachelorette in the Fulton County jail.
Atlanta also has a ton of breweries, like the famed Sweetwater (makers of the Sweetwater IPA and Sweetwater 420 that you see at every bar everywhere), Orpheus (which overlooks Piedmont Park), and Red Brick that are fun af to go to during the day. You can go, drink, and take home a souvenir pint glass, all for less than what you’d pay for a few hours at the bar. Also, people often bring their dogs.
Where To Party
Arguably the most important. Sorry, but there are so many options that I can’t narrow them down by neighborhood. The good thing is that most of the bars within a neighborhood have a v similar feel, so you aren’t missing out if you go to different ones than the ones listed here. Let’s get into it, shall we?
Now, the thing about Park Bench, one of Buckhead’s best dives, is that it can have v college bar vibes, but only if you go at like 2am on a Thursday night. This is just like your typical bar, except there’s a pretty huge stage and there’s live music every damn night. It’s a good time. Big Sky is another great Buckhead classic for dancing and it’s slightly bougier than Park Bench. There are two levels, both of which have a massive bar, but the upper level has an outdoor patio and the lower level has the DJ. Take your pick, y’all! I mean, just think, this could be you!
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Who’s ready for Buckhead Music Fest?! 🎶 This Friday + Saturday night, the bars in Buckhead’s west village are partnering up to give you tons of live music + drink specials! For only $10, you get a wristband that’s good for entrance into all participating bars + a drink ticket for either @fridakahlo or @estrella.jalisco ! 💃 . Tickets can be purchased at any participating bar (tagged in photo) + drink ticket can be used at the bar you buy wristband at! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 #buckheadatlanta @buckheadentertainment
Ok, one of my fave bars is called Ormsby’s, which is in the same hood as JCT. Kitchen (West Midtown). Ormsby’s is a bar with games, but not in a boring or tacky way. Ormsby’s has old-school carnival games like skeeball and board games. It’s dark, it’s smoky, it’s loud. If you’re trying to dance and discover new Ariana Grande music, Ormsby’s is not the place for you, but if you want to pound whiskey, play a heated game of Uno and make new friends in the bathroom, Ormsby’s is the place for you.
Little Trouble is also in West Midtown, but it deserves a shout-out because this place was developed in the age of Instagram for a reason. They also have decent Asian-fusion food (like a sushi burrito), which is served on one side of the bar and cocktails on the other. It’s a tiny place, so make sure you don’t get there too late if standing in stilettos for hours on end isn’t your vibe. Same, girl.
Ya can’t be in the heart of the South without hitting up a church, right?! Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping-Pong Emporium, or Church, is a bar in Edgewood that pretty much sums up what Edgewood is: unpretentious, loud and a good f*cking time. The drinks are strong af because the bartenders don’t believe in stealing your money while keeping you sober, a simple concept most bars don’t abide by. And, as the name implies, it’s church themed. As in, there’s a Jesus statue upon entry, kitschy church memorabilia covers the walls, and they even have a nun habit and priest’s robe that you can try on if you ask the bartender nicely.
MJQ looks like a shed in the middle of a random parking lot across from the Belt Line Kroger, but once you go inside and downstairs, it’s actually a really fun club/dancing spot. Trust me on this.
Other fun places are Graveyard (East Atlanta), Dark Horse (Virginia Highland—they have karaoke downstairs), and Noni’s and Mother (if you’re already in Edgewood).
Friday, Day 1
- Arrive at Hartsfield-Jackson and age 10 years while you try to figure out how to somehow get outside. Pro tip: just take the Marta to the stop closest to where you’re staying, and Uber from there. It’s direct, no traffic, and costs like $2.50.
- Arrive at the hotel/Airbnb and unpack, decorate, chill for a few minutes before walking the BeltLine to Ponce City Market for a light pre-dinner snack and some shopping.
- Dinner and drinks at JCT. Kitchen.
- Walk across the street to Little Trouble for rounds on rounds of cocktails before finishing the night at Ormsby’s.
- Sleep in preparation for tomorrow.
Saturday, Day 2
- Good morning, world!
- Brunch at South City Kitchen. Do yourself a favor and order the malted buttermilk waffle.
- Walk the meal off at Piedmont Park, which is a v short walk away (for once!) and check out any mini festivals or cute dogs that are also in the park, before heading to…
- Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall for afternoon drinks. You’ll only want to go here if the weather is decent, which it usually is. If you follow anyone on Instagram who lives in Atlanta, chances are, you’ve already seen Ladybird. Big yellow umbrellas and gigantic cups of boozy lemonade ring a bell?
- Head back to the hotel/Airbnb to get ready for a nice dinner at Murphy’s. Make sure to order the Bonzo, which is basically a fudge brownie in pie-form.
- Get an Uber to the Buckhead bars, but make sure to start somewhere chill like The Ivy before making your way to Park Bench, Big Sky, and Dive Bar. If you want to dance, which, like, you should on a bach weekend, get in an Uber and head to Johnny’s Hideaway, which literally looks like the 70s in every way, shape and form. They play serious oldies and want everyone to go insane on the dance floor here. I concur.
- Good night, y’all.
Sunday, Day 3
- Brunch at The Flying Biscuit, a place I’m convinced was invented to soothe hungover bridal parties. My go-to here is a piping hot cup of coffee and the biscuit, eggs and gravy, a true Southern brunch. The biscuits are fluffy af and kind of sweet, so it really hits the spot. Ugh, I’m hungry!
- Head back to the hotel/Airbnb to pack and head back to Hartsfield-Jackson.
- Scream “ATL HO!” as your plane takes off the runway.
Images: watlmidtown, thesoutherngentlemanatl, jctkitchenandbar, bigskybuckhead, littletroubleatl / Instagram
Let me start off by saying that you can do it. You can be a bridesmaid and still have your sanity and money in the bank by the end of it. It might seem overwhelming to be in multiple weddings in a short period of time, and you might think you’ll go broke and lose all of your free time, but I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t have to be like that. I would know. Last year, I was asked to be in three weddings in September, October, and November. I traveled to Virginia, Chicago, and Cleveland, respectively, within six weeks of each other, to stand beside my best friends as they said “I do” to some pretty amazing men.
Don’t get me wrong—I was both honored and thrilled to be a major part of the kick-off to their amazing journeys, but I was a 27-year-old editor living in one of the most expensive cities in the country. So clearly I’m far from being the “Rich Girl” Gwen Stefani sings about. I won’t lie, I dedicated a good amount of my time off to drunken weekends in various southern cities (in the heat of the summer, no less) and a good chunk of change to flights, gifts, and penis straws, but I wasn’t about to let anything keep me from standing by my friends’ sides, so I devised a plan to be three-time bridesmaid without going broke, and I’m here to share my saving secrets with you.
Start A Wedding Fund
has anyone ever created a "wedding budget" that they stuck to??
— betchesbrides (@betchesbrides) April 9, 2019
As soon as I got asked to be a bridesmaid, and then got asked again, and then again, I made a mental list of everything I knew I’d have to get for the occasion, times three. Just thinking of the dresses, hotels, and flights made me feel poor af, and I made a very adult move and decided I needed a financial plan to stay afloat (I’m really not the financial planning type, so this might be a bit of a shocker for those who know me). I opened a savings account and set up an automatic monthly transfer from my checking account. I know, soooo adult. The paychecks for my second job at a local bridal salon went right into my wedding fund, and if I got an extra buck here and there from freelance work, I would deposit it right into that account. I wasn’t necessarily rolling in dough, but it added up quicker than I expected. Whenever I booked a flight or bought something wedding-related, I specifically used that money. Even if you don’t add a ton to your account every month, every little bit helps!
Use Price Alerts And Frequent Flyer Miles
another day, another engagement
— Ashley Fern (@disco_infern0) March 15, 2019
Unless you’re like Lala from Vanderpump Rules and you have a hookup with a private jet—in which case, cheers to you—chances are you’ll have to buy a flight to at least one wedding you’re in. I am not engaged to a hotshot movie producer, so I flew commercial like most normal twentysomethings to two of the three weddings I was in, and their respective bachelorette parties in Miami, New Orleans, and Savannah. Not gonna lie, after the third one I swore to God I would never drink again (clearly that didn’t work because I’m drinking as I write this). Websites such as Hopper and Airfarewatchdog allow you to put in the dates of your trip and they’ll notify you when prices drop and advise you whether or not to buy them at any given time. Have some points or frequent flyer miles stored up? This is a good time to cash them in. And, of course, if your destination is in driving distance, that should always be option number one, but I wasn’t about to drive 24 hours to Miami. Can you imagine doing that hungover? F*ck no.
Rent Or Buy Secondhand Bridesmaid Dresses
Bridesmaids dresses are not cheap. Before you buy a gown on a designer’s website, check out Vow to Be Chic. It’s like Rent the Runway for bridesmaid dresses. Rent the Runway itself also carries bridesmaid dresses. The one issue with renting is that you can’t get the dress altered; however, if you know your exact measurements, you might be able to find one that fits you perfectly. Another option is to visit the website, Forever the Bridesmaid, and buy a dress from a fellow bridesmaid who doesn’t need hers anymore (and you should probably sell any dresses you have hiding in the back of your closet). Be sure to check with the bride if this is OK, because she may have a very specific style or color she wants you in that’s exclusive to a certain store or designer. You can also ask friends if they have any bridesmaid dresses hanging in their closets. Chances are they’ve been in a few weddings and have some gowns collecting dust in their closets. Ask around, you might be surprised how many people you know have a dress they’re dying to get rid of. One bridesmaid’s trash is another bridesmaid’s treasure, right?
Spread Out Your Spending
*gets married* *spends as much on clothes and shoes for the bachelorette/shower/rehearsal dinner/wedding/after party as the wedding costs*
— betchesbrides (@betchesbrides) May 2, 2019
I separated my bigger purchases (airfare, bridesmaid dresses, penis straws) so I didn’t drop a ton of money at once. Make a list of everything you know you’ll need, and make a payment schedule for yourself. I know that sounds like an annoying amount of extra work, but if you know you’re getting a big bonus at work in a certain month, buy your bachelorette party flights that month. Think about your cash flow and the cost of all the things you need to buy, and devise a plan. If you spread out your spending you won’t find yourself dropping a thousand bucks at a time.
Share Hotel Rooms
Whether you’re part of a couple or riding solo to these events, make plans with fellow bridesmaids and their dates to share rooms. I did that at a few of my wedding events as a way to save cash, and it worked! You need to stay somewhere, and so do the other members of the wedding party, so why not team up and lower the cost of the hotel? What’s better than a slumber party with your besties you don’t get to see very often? You can also opt for an Airbnb in the area and get the whole wedding party under one roof! The more the merrier—and the more money you’ll save.
For those of you singles about to embark on wedding season, stay safe out there, but more importantly—and I cannot stress this enough—stay drunk.
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) May 2, 2019
Remember to keep your financial issues to yourself. You definitely don’t want to be the Debbie Downer of the group, always bitching and complaining. At the end of the day, being a bridesmaid is a huge honor, so be happy you’ve got friends who want you by their side on such a big day. If you really, really can’t afford something, try to be up front about it, so you don’t end up causing problems down the line. You’ll get through this, I promise.
Images: Shutterstock; @betchesbrides (2), @disco_infern0, @betchesluvthis / Twitter; @betchesbrides (2) / Instagram
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.
If the last time you went to Mexico was spring break senior year, you’re in serious need of a below-the-border refreshment. I mean refresher…whatever. Any bride who loves a white sand beach, relatively affordable accommodations, and truly killer quesadillas needs to take her girls to Tulum, like, yesterday. This dream of a city may be a slight bitch to get to from anywhere that isn’t another Mexican city, but once you’re there, you will likely never want to leave.
Look, Tulum is famous for being Mexico’s chicest beach town where you can chill as hard as you party. The best part? Heels are basically forbidden here, so you can stop worrying about coming home from a weekend of raging with a broken ankle. If you’re already sold on Tulum, read on for specifics on where to get your bachelorette equivalent of GTL on.
How To Get There
Obv, if you live on the West Coast, you’ve basically already made it! The only thing that truly sucks about bach-ing in Tulum (or any other Mexican city) is that you can’t fly directly there because there are only four international airports in the entire country of Mexico. Qué??? The closest one to Tulum is Cancún International Airport, which is still a solid two-hour drive away. Speaking of which, do not attempt to drive in Mexico because you will die. Hire a driver who knows the roads and wants to deliver you and your party safely, soundly, and still breathing to your hotel. There’s also a shuttle you can take from the airport, but like, no. The shuttle drops you off in the center of the city and then you have to figure out your hotel, so, like, hablas español? Unless your only baggage is a Ziploc of snacks from the plane, navigating the streets of Tulum will stress you the f*ck out, so just spring for a driver and call it a day.
If you’re coming from the East Coast, all of the above still applies to you, but give yourself a day of travel on either end since getting to Tulum will take even longer. Four hours on a plane may not be so bad, but when you factor in waiting around in the mosh pit TSA calls “security” in addition to the drive from the Cancún airport, nearly an entire
century day has passed. If you are in the mood to save a little cash, plan your bach party during off-season, which will guarantee you the cheapest flights/hotel. The only downside to going during Tulum’s off-season is that you may have to cancel your Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza plans because October through December is the best time to go. Awkward. Lastly, and this may be the most important sentence of this story, do not drink the tap water.
Where To Stay
If your party is relatively small (I’ll let you decide what small is), staying in a hotel is your safest bet, and we highly recommend La Zebra. It’s technically a boutique hotel, but it has a private beach with chaises that more comfortable than most people’s beds, restaurants, a pool, bars and a spa that will take away all traces of a stressful life in the real world. The only meh thing about this place is that the pool was def for swimming and not for, like, lounging on chaises to tan and take pics. In other words, it’s in the shade, which, like no. Who goes to Mexico for the shade?
Anyway, the pool sitch aside, La Zebra is definitely where you’ll spend most of your time because the food is good and the beach is huge. One more thing about the hotel before moving onto more important things, like where to party, whether you have a beach view or a garden view from your guest room, you can’t lose because all of the rooms have huge windows with breathtaking vistas outside.
How To Get Around
Unless the restaurant/bar/excursion is exceedingly far, you’ll want to walk everywhere, which is great because #steps, but also because the main area of Tulum is one long narrow street that’s lined with charming and Instagrammable shops, hotels, and cafes. If adorable painted ceramic bowls are everything your dreams are made of, you will absolutely die on Tulum Beach Road. And if you want to shop for other things like espadrille wedges and crochet bikinis, be prepared to spend more than $100. But, like it’s worth it because you get to respond to “I love your shoes! Where are they from?” with a casual “This little shop in Tulum. You can’t get them in the States.” Is there anything more satisfying than that?
Where To Eat
As is with any weekend getaway, good food is paramount and can make or break a trip. Full disclosure, La Zebra has delicious food (get the shrimp tacos), but if you don’t want to be a hermit the whole trip, there are so many amazing holes in the wall and fine dining locales in Tulum, but for the sake of space and keeping your attention, I’m only going to talk about our tried-and-true faves in no particular order. Hartwood is famous for its food, and with most famous places, you need to book your reservation way ahead of time, but unless you’re a man, that seems pretty doable. It’s a tiny place that cooks and grills all of the food via open fire inside their hand-made wood-burning oven. I mean, can we get a Hartwood in New York please?
Next on the list is Rosa Negra, which means Black Rose in Spanish. If you don’t love this place already, what is wrong with you? Anyway, the second you sit down at your table here, it becomes immediately clear that Rosa Negra knows what they are doing. The servers and the vibe make it feel like your table is the party. You order apps and drinks first, but the because the apps are exceptionally good, you’ll most likely order, like, all of them and not be hungry by the time the mains arrive.Not to worry, though! They clear the table at the speed of light and then the music starts blasting. They play songs you’ll want to scream to, like “Mama Mia” and “Sweet Caroline.” The only caveat, which isn’t really a caveat, is that you must be drunk. Otherwise you feel kind of weird living out your drunk truth while other people are just trying to enjoy their dinners.
Where To Party
Start the partying at Papaya Playa Project, which is basically the Mexican version of Project X…in a good way, though. Full disclosure about PPP: it’s not fun if you are a group without a table. Tables are def expensive, but completely worth it because PPP is a gigantic rager on the beach, so if you don’t want to repeat your weekend at Oktoberfest, where you lost your friends the moment you arrived, get and stay at a table. Otherwise you’re wandering around alone in a giant crowd of drunken youths, which I can’t think of anything worse, can you?
There’s also a face-painting station, which makes you feel like you’re a kid at the best birthday party in town, but in, like, a fun alcoholic way. The only thing about PPP that I won’t rave about is the aggressively abrupt end to the party, which happens at exactly 3am. You may think the speakers accidentally got unplugged or the DJ f*cked up, but no, the party just ends and then you’re on your own. K.
Friday, Day 1:
1.Arrive and check into your hotel.
2. Unpack and take obligatory shot of mezcal.
3. Change into your bathing suit and go to the beach or chill in your room (if you’re a bad friend) before dinner.
3. Dinner at Gitano, which turns into a party as the night wears on, but it’s def not a rager.
4. Party a little harder at bars that are close by, including but not limited to Casa Jaguar, Todos Santos, and Batey.
Saturday, Day 2:
1. Wake up! If you’re an early riser (gross), head down to the pool and/or beach for some peace and quiet before the others wake up.
2. Lunch at either Ziggy’s, Taboo, or La Zebra. Prob go to one of the first two options and then come back to Le Zebra (if you’re staying there) for free chaises because #savedatmoney and chaises at other hotels are about $50 per person. No thx!
3. Visit cenotes, or underwater sinkholes, which, if you’ve seen Sisters, is nothing like what you think a sinkhole is. It looks like a beautiful underwater cave, and guess which city is famous for having the most beautiful cenotes? Tulum! Swim, snorkel or ‘Gram the day away here.
4. Head back to the hotel to shower and get ready for the night ahead.
5. Pregame and party Papaya Playa Project, which will most definitely turn into a long and alcohol-infused evening.
6. Sweet sleep
Sunday, Day 3:
1. Buenos días!
2. Chill by the beach or shaded pool if you thought you could outsmart the sun and are now an unsightly shade of pink.
3. Lunch at one of the places you didn’t eat at yesterday, then either fork of $50 or be cheap and head back to the hotel for a relatively chill afternoon because…
4. Dinner and best night of your life at Rosa Negra.
5.Sleep? At this point, it may already be the next day, in which case
Monday, Day 4:
1.For the love of God, sleep in
2. Last day by the pool/beach for a quick tan touch-up before checking out of the hotel and heading back to your lives where dinner is just dinner.
Images: Shutterstock; papayaplayaproject, hartwoodtulum, lazebratulum / Instagram
I feel like most people who saw 27 Dresses were thinking, “This poor woman!” because she was forced to wear 27 monstrosities to 27 different weddings. I was thinking it quite literally because being a bridesmaid is f*cking expensive and I would surely go bankrupt if I was enlisted to serve in more than three weddings during my lifetime. Unfortunately for my friends with pending nuptials, I’ve already been a bridesmaid twice, so only one more of y’all gets to experience the pleasure of listening to me sneeze behind you at the altar because there are too many damn flowers everywhere and I have allergies—I mean, being your bridesmaid. Anyway, as much as I’d be filled with sunshine at the prospect of being a bridesmaid only one more time in my life, I’m only 25 and I feel pretty damn confident that I will be asked to be a bridesmaid again at some point. Joy.
The older I get the more I want to know exactly how Katherine Heigl’s character could afford to be a bridesmaid in 27 weddings.
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) April 23, 2019
Like most things in life, you have to make a lot of mistakes before learning the lesson, and my first time as a bridesmaid was no exception. I literally spent a few dollars shy of my rent (!!) on this shindig, which is saying a lot because I live in Manhattan and, for anyone who has a friend living in New York, you know how much we love to complain about our rent. Anyway, what I learned too late was that I don’t have to live without running water for a month because I threw my money for bills at being a bridesmaid. Luckily, Credit Karma’s Dana Marineau, VP of Brand, Creative, and Communications is here to impart some of her wisdom on us regarding how to save money as a bridesmaid, so we don’t have to choose between being a good friend and having wifi.
1. Create A Budget
This seems obvious, but so does not responding to a “u up?” text and we all seem to ignore that. Before you spend one f*cking cent on this wedding, map out your expenses and set a budget so that you don’t walk down the aisle looking for a sugar daddy to pay for your next monthly unlimited subway card. Marineau says, “It can be easy to lose track of what you’re spending, so create a budget and stick to it. Between gifts, decor, bachelorette activities, your bridesmaid dress, and more, you don’t want to be caught surprised once the wedding is over on how much you’ve spent.” Exactly. This isn’t a drunken night at Catch, people, this is real life and we can’t go spending our entire paycheck on a pair of heels that either no one will see or we will take off as soon as “September” revs up. Some things you’ll def want to splurge on (Goose for the bachelorette weekend), which is fine as long as you cut back on other things. Get the nice Airbnb for the bachelorette weekend, but maybe skip the Swarovski hair clip, you know? You will feel so accomplished and proud of yourself at the end of the night when you still have some leftover money to shorten your bridesmaid dress and wear it again! Lol jk, literally no one does that, but every bride insists on it.
2. Be Honest With The Bride
When it comes to your spending habits on someone else’s big day, honesty really is the best policy. As
self-involved focused as the bride is on her ~special day,~ she most def doesn’t want to make any of her closest peeps feel like they have to spend their life’s savings on her or her wedding, so telling her your financial concerns is most def the move. And do it early. Saying you can’t cover the cost of the Airbnb the day before you leave is rude and not very sisterly, so make sure you voice your woes early on. Maybe like, before any of the activities even start. “The sooner you can have an honest conversation with the bride about your financial situation, the better. Costs, big and small, can add up quickly, so share what budget you’re working with to set expectations as early as possible. This way, there isn’t pressure as you get closer to the big day to overspend,” Marineau says. Your financials are the one thing people really can’t argue with because you are the only one who knows what’s happening in your bank accounts, so being honest about where you stand cash-wise is important. Odds are, if the bride loves you enough to have you share her big day with her, she will love you enough to understand that you have a smaller budget than she does for her wedding, which makes sense since you are not the bride! If she doesn’t get it or tries to guilt you into paying for things you can’t afford, quit because this job just ain’t worth it, honey!
3. Suggest Cheaper Or Free Alternative Activities
This is a big one. Yes, the dress may be expensive. Yes, the gifts may expensive. But you know what makes all of that sh*t look cheap af? The bachelorette weekend. I mean, you def can’t put a price on a good time, but you don’t have to spend every dollar you have on a weekend during which you’ll likely only know half the people there and will be drunk 97% of the time. Unless you’re a Kardashian, you don’t have to host the most extravagant weekend of your young lives. As a matter of fact, you shouldn’t. The bach weekend is about bonding, drinking, and eating, activities that can be made cheaper if you so choose. That doesn’t mean it won’t be fun af, it just means you can have a great time and save dat money à la Lil Dicky. Marineau says, “From bridal showers to bachelorette parties, costs can add up. But, not wanting to overspend money doesn’t need to ruin the mood! If you’re afraid to kill the mood when your friends invite you to do something you can’t afford, instead of saying ‘I can’t,’ suggest a fun, affordable alternative.” Chances are, you aren’t the bride’s only friend who is, as Jonathan Van Ness says, “struggs to func,” so be the brave one and say something first. Everyone loves saving money, so they will feel #grateful that you were the one who spoke up. One easy suggestion is cooking instead of going out to eat. Even if none of you are chefs, cooking an easy meal like pasta could be a fun way to bond with the other bridesmaids and it’s like basically free. Cute!
4. Do Your Own Hair And Makeup
This goes without saying. Unless you are truly horrendous at hair and makeup (which none of us should be because YouTube exists), just do it yourself. Marineau says, “These days, hair and makeup for a wedding can be in the triple digits. If the look the bride is going for is relatively simple, consider offering to do your own hair and makeup. You can do a few trial runs before the wedding so you feel comfortable being your own glam squad on the big day.” As far as hair goes, flip your head upside down and move a dryer through it for five minutes and, boom, you have a blowout with serious volume. That’s a trick I learned at my unpaid beauty internship and it’s probably the most valuable lesson I’ve ever learned at any internship. Who needs to get paid as a struggling college student when you can get lessons like these that last a lifetime?? Anyway, you will not be the star of the photos, so there’s no need to spend all of your money on your face. Also, maybe just remember that natural beauty is in and that you are beautiful, so there’s no need to go ham on foundation and smokey eyes. And honestly, getting a f*cking blowout is like $50 and I can’t even fathom how much makeup would be, so spare your wallet and your dignity the shame and just DIY.
Images: Giphy (2); Unsplash
If you’re watching this season of Vanderpump Rules, you know engagement parties and bridal showers are a big ordeal. These types of bridal celebrations were not always so common, but nowadays, they’re a definite “to-do”. The problem? Bridal celebrations, like engagement parties and showers, can be expensive af. Jax even joked about having to bartend his own party just to afford it, lol. Fortunately, if you live in the NYC area, there are some great places for hosting your party that don’t require a $300 mashed potato bar. A lot of spaces offer the event services as part of a package deal, so you won’t be stuck figuring out all the minute details on your own. Cause like, you know you have enough stress to deal with when it comes to planning the rest of the wedding. Parties are supposed to be fun! So to help you avoid any additional stress, here are some beautiful NYC spaces to host your engagement party, bridal shower, or other bridal celebration at.
The prime advantage of this place is that, unlike a lot of others, you don’t pay per person. Instead, you pay one overall rental fee for the time needed in the space. They’ll provide the services, such as coat check, barware, serving platters, plus five staff members. Your only job? Bring the food and the alcohol. Easy enough. There are several themed rooms, all of which have a vintage speakeasy feel with original decor, aka endless great Instagram opportunities. (Don’t act like you weren’t already thinking about that.) So basically, you can utilize the already decorated space to make the party’s vibe as extravagant or as simple as you want!
2. Gramercy Terrace At The Gramercy Park Hotel
This space is LAVISH, and therefore requires you to pay per person. But the space is stunning, so it’s super worth it. The rooftop has elevated garden greenery and ivy decor, with a direct view of the Empire State building. And you can throw your bridal celebration here no matter the season—the rooftop is retractable, so you’ll be able to get an incredible rooftop vibe year-round. Oh, and if you realllly want to impress your cultured friends, the space even has artwork by Damien Hirst and Andy Warhol. Talk about fancy! The space can accommodate up to 120 guests for a seated dinner, or up to 250 for a cocktail reception.
3. Hudson Mercantile
The Hudson Mercantile has three unique clean and modern spaces: the Gallery, the Studio, and Rooftop. It’s centrally located, just walking distance from the Javits Center and near the Hudson Yards. The Gallery has a modern industrial look, with a space large enough for big events. The Studio has an elegant rustic atmosphere, with high ceilings and tons of natural light. The Rooftop space is all about the amazing #views. The Rooftop space is one of the largest in Manhattan, and can be used al fresco or fully enclosed. Essentially, the Hudson Mercantile provides incredible options for a venue space, so the majority of the party planning is up to you. So, if you’re a Type-A control freak, such as myself, they’ll provide the space and you’ll provide the party.
4. Grey Lady
The Grey Lady offers several private back rooms to accommodate any potential party size for your celebration. The restaurant has a “distinctive coastal atmosphere” to set an amazing vibe for the perfect wedding-related celebration. The food options are primarily seafood, but the specific menu can be determined between you and the restaurant. All in all, whichever room you reserve here will provide a beautiful, by-the-ocean-inspired space, plus delicious food. I mean, what more could you want?
5. The Park
With tons of different rooms that can be rented individually or combined, The Park is a great place to host your bridal celebration. They will work with you to customize the event, and all the spaces have a sultry rustic feel. The Garden, Red Room, and Penthouse can all be utilized for either a cocktail reception format or seated dinner situation, so it’s totally up to you. And if you just can’t figure out how to cut down your guest list, you can even rent out the whole restaurant.
6. Haven’s Kitchen
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An extra sweet #weddingwednesday because our venue has been featured in @martha_weddings ! Thinking about a non-traditional venue for your wedding celebration? Read up in our bio for the full scoop on all the ways to incorporate its unique qualities omg your wedding plans! ? @giseleandgeorge
Haven’s Kitchen is a cooking school, cafe, and private event space all in one. The space has a warm home-y vibe, with clean white walls and soft decor. You could even turn your engagement party or bridal shower into a cooking class, and kill two birds with one stone. You know, learn how to make something besides avocado toast, while also hosting an awesome party. Celebrate love while bettering yourself simultaneously, who can beat that?
All of these spaces provide the ideal foundation for your bridal celebration, so you can’t go wrong. And, at the end of the day, a beautiful space plus food and booze are all you really need. So now that I’ve done this favor for you, please do everyone else a favor and stop f*cking stressing about it! These suggestions should ease your bridezilla tendencies, at least for another few months until your future husband’s cousin asks for a plus one for the girl he met on Tinder.
Images: Shutterstock; @38parlor, @gramercyterrace, @hudsonmercantile, @greyladynyc, @theparknyc, @havenskitchen / Instagram