At the end of April, we are going to Las Vegas for a Bachelorette Party for my dear friend Emma. I have been to Vegas two times prior, but already I knew it was a big undertaking, since I have very little knowledge on the types of things that you do a Bachelorette Parties: Like clubs (VIP tickets? Hosted entry, no wait times?), spa time (last time we went outside of Vegas and the driver didn’t know where he was going), revues (I snuck that in there), and other planned activities.
[EMMA: STOP HERE if you don’t want to spoil your invite. Invites go out next week so have a little patience]
How do you manage other people’s time and budgets when we are all living away from each other? We can’t just up and get together in a room to make decisions.
1) Narrow down your list of guests to realistic proportions
To start, in the late fall I sent out an email to everyone Emma had suggested and asked them for a tentative yes/maybe, or a straight up no. It was best that early in the game to weed out the people who already knew they wouldn’t be able to go. That narrowed our list from 14 to 8 (including myself and Emma)
2) Give timelines, deadlines, and whatever details you have to help people budget and plan
My first email to everyone (all 14) included the following:
- A DEADLINE to respond by with the following information: Their tentative yes/maybe or no response, and if yes, the best weekend in April for them
- Flight Information: I recommended visiting Kayak.com for flight details and suggested they check whether Thursday or Friday works better and what weekends might be cheaper for them
- Hotel Details: We hadn’t selected a hotel yet, so I mapped out an example cost of a potential room with 4 people to a room to help people budget
- Other: Do they have recommendations or preferences for things to do, places to stay, etc.
- Next Steps: Reiterated the deadline
3) Get a few details from the Bride and Guests
We wanted the best weekend for them, if they thought they’d arrive Thursday or Friday (though that could change), if they wanted to share a bed or room. These things are important to help book the hotel for more nights or rooms.
4) Book your Hotel
As it turns out, Emma had a pretty definite idea of where she wanted to stay (which made selecting a hotel pretty easy). We also got some additional details from the yeses with who they might like to share a room with. We booked rooms pretty early, before discounts were starting for our time period, but if something good pops up and rooms are still available, you can just cancel these rooms and re-book.
I did actually find the rooms cheaper through a package deal with another company called LightGroup which we are doing other activities with and got us 15% off the regular room rate.
However, for anyone still trying to figure out which hotel they should book with, I have enjoyed Caesar’s Palace (and know they offer some package deals themselves) and MGM was nice–even though it’s not in the center it’s right on the monorail.
5) Research & Plan Activities
Before looking at costs, ask the bride what she wants to do. Then go look for those things as cheaply as possible.
6) Look for Package Deals
I found out that some of the clubs in Vegas are owned by one company which also offers other Bachelorette Package deals.
With this, we can pay for one dinner, ranging from $30 to $55 depending on the place and menu you select, and you can get into all their clubs for your entire stay for free with no waiting. This includes a couple pools and lounges too. And on top of that, they offer discounts to revue shows and spa time. BAM! Weekend planned!
7) Create an open/flexible itinerary with space for everyone to do the planned and unplanned activities
The itinerary I’ve created for Emma’s party includes planned activities in the evening, and leaves most of the days free.
But we don’t want to stand around and wonder what to do during the day, so I will be putting together a list of recommendations and things to do that I will bring with me, so that we can refer to it during our open times if we want to.
8) Finalize reservations
Not everyone may want to do every activity, so I’ve created a “checklist” of sorts for people to tell me what activities they want included in, with approximate costs to be transparent. Once I have final counts, I can make reservations and be confident that I won’t be out a lot of money with anyone backing out.
*Costs here are what we were quoted or are estimates and may be different depending on season, etc…
BONUS: All this planning and money talk may leave some people with a sour taste in their mouth. Even though you are doing this for the bride and what she wants to do, the guests matter too. A nice official invite on paper through good old snail mail might sweeten their outlook. Plus, something to hold on to and take with them with details about the reservation numbers is good too.
9) Buy plane tickets, and remind everyone else to as well
Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 2-3 months in advance is the sweet spot to purchase plane tickets. Remind everyone else to as well.
10) And GO, and have fun!