Friday, April 3, 2009

Jackie's Wedding Planning Journey - Charleston Bachelorette Party

Although Ainsley introduced me last week, I wanted to take a second to tell everyone a little more about myself. I was born and raised in Bradenton, FL, approximately 1 hour south of Tampa. I graduated from the University of Florida, GO GATORS, in the fall of 2005 and immediately moved to Savannah. Matt and I met in college and have been in Savannah since – we have truly fallen in love with this town!

Now on to something that I hope all of you will experience as a bride or bridesmaid - the infamous Bachelorette party! The Bachelorette party is probably the most fun, as well as the most stressful, thing your Maid of Honor (MOH) will have to plan. Some brides choose to be involved in the planning, but not me. My bridesmaids are not only old friends from college and high school, but also new friends from Savannah. I wanted this to be a chance for all of them to bond before the wedding, so I let my MOH, Jessica, take charge and the entire weekend became a huge surprise for me!

So this past weekend I was wisked away to Charleston, SC with no clue what was in store for me – a little scary, but a lot of fun. We arrived in Charleston on Friday afternoon and settled into the amazing condo that the girls rented. It was fully decorated with dozens of x-rated balloons and inappropriate decorations, and I loved it! I, myself, was soon decorated with a Bachelorette sash that had twinkling lights and a giant twinkle ring, which gave almost everyone a headache. This was my “nice” night.

April, the best tour guide in Charleston, took us on a private ghost tour. Though I think I scared the ghosts off with my bachelorette flair, it was a fantastic way to see the city – walking all through downtown Charleston, and hearing fantastic spooky stories.

Apparently there are ghosts in the Spanish Moss..oooo..spooky

All the ladies on the ghost, that is not a ghostly orb over my shoulder, it's my bachelorette sash.

Next up was a big fancy dinner – my favorite! We ate at Magnolias, where I had the most excellent shrimp and sausage grits – a true Southern delicacy. And later we strolled around the town scoping out some bars and just enjoying each others’ company. I had not seen my Bridesmaid Kristin for over a year, so it was just nice to be with my best friends!

Saturday was shopping day! After an amazing brunch at Sweetwater CafĂ© the girls and I checked out King Street, and “Bridey,” the nickname that I was given for the weekend, spent way too much money! There is an amazing store downtown called, simply and appropriately, Cupcake, where we bought a few cupcakes each and I now wish I had bought a lot more.

On Saturday night the girls threw me a lingerie shower so that I would be well prepared for the honeymoon. Then, to top it off, there was a champagne toast where each girl told her fondest memory of me. There were a few tears on my end - I am a crier! - and they took advantage of the warm feelings I was having for them by instructing me to close my eyes while they dressed me up and prepared me for my “last night out.”

We had planned on bar-hopping around the Market Street area, but found our home at Mad River. We had such a great time there that we didn’t make it anywhere else, and I even got a Mad River Bride t-shirt! We spent the night dancing, singing and creating memories that will last forever. I would write more about Saturday night but you know what they say (or should say), “What happens in Charleston for your Bachelorette party, stays in Charleston.”

All in all it was a great weekend spent celebrating and bringing friends together. I learned that it doesn’t matter where you go or what you do on the road to the wedding, as long as you have friends and family around you to share in the journey.

Now that I have shared one of the crazier aspects of my wedding planning, I hope that you will continue to check in every Friday as I explore some of the tamer parts of my bride-to-be experience.