Going All Out: Real Party Itineraries
Bachelorette in New York City
Gloria and Max met in the lobby of his apartment building when she there was visiting a friend. They both live in New York, and for Gloria’s bachelorette, eight of her girl friends celebrated with her in New York City. This is a simple but event-filled, wallet-friendly itinerary that can accommodate a lot of flexibility. With girls traveling in for the weekend, some by bus and others by plane, the venues in this itinerary are able to accommodate last-minute changes in numbers or cancellations without penalty. The itinerary is roughly one full day composed of brunch, games, dinner and dancing, followed by brunch the next morning. The party was held during the third week of spring in New York, when it was finally sunny enough to get by with a light jacket, and daylight was stretching past 7pm. I spoke to Amelie, one of Gloria’s bridesmaids, who was in New York for the weekend to attend the bachelorette party. This is Gloria’s itinerary for her bachelorette in New York City.
Day 1: Saturday, April 13th, 2014
Nineteen-fifties themed brunch (12:00-1:30pm) at Hotel Chantelle at 92 Ludlow Street in the Lower East Side. Hotel Chantelle serves New American cuisine, and their main attraction is their rooftop bar and lounge. They host a lot of bachelorette parties, and the live band can give shout outs to dining brides-to-be. According to Amelie, their party was seated before all the girls arrived, and the later members were able to trickle in. The prix fixe is an affordable $28/person served family style. Amelie said that there were generous portions of breakfast food including, French toast, quiche, waffles, scrambled eggs, yogurt with fruit and granola, kale salad and sliders. They ordered a big punch bowl of white sangria.
The 1950s theme was spearheaded by the two maids of honor, and was a brilliant touch to a fun, outdoor brunch. I saw a glimpse of their email notification about the 1950s theme to the rest of the party, and they provided links to Pinterest boards on how to replicate 1950’s fashion, hairstyle and makeup. Adding a theme to a brunch is a great way to make your group stand out, but it asks a lot of your party, particularly if people are traveling and need to prepare their outfits and accessories in advance. Providing useful references to assist in the costume-design process is an easy way for organizers to help out and to show that they appreciate your effort. The maids of honor came prepared with a tiara and bridal sash for Gloria.
Games at the bride-to-be’s apartment (2:00-6:00pm) composed of: Gloria trying on her wedding dress for everyone, gift giving, cards against humanity, plenty of snacks and cocktails, and getting dolled-up together for dinner. Girls were asked to contribute $15-20 for food and alcohol. The maids-of-honor had, once more, made everyone’s job easier by emailing out gift ideas complete with the bride-to-be’s measurements for clothing or lingerie gifts.
Dinner with unlimited wine & Prosecco (8:00-11:00pm) at Asellina at 420 Park Ave South in Midtown East. The prix fixe at this fairly large, dimly-lit Italian restaurant is three courses over two hours of unlimited wine and Prosecco for $65/person. After dinner, the party moved to Asellina’s enclosed rooftop lounge for music and drinks. For Amelie, dinner here was one of the highlights of the weekend.
After dinner drink (11:00pm-12:00am) at Amor y Amargo, an intimate bar with tin ceiling tiles and a wooden interior at 443 East 6th Street in Alphabet City. It was a little early to head directly to the club after dinner, and the party stopped for a post-dinner cocktail.
Clubbing (12:00am-morning) at R Bar at 218 Bowery Street in Nolita and Bowery Electric at 327 Bowery Street in the East Village. R Bar claims to be a converted strip club and is a popular venue for bachelorette parties in New York. It’s a colorful lounge with a club vibe, reasonable drink prices and reliable dance-worthy pop music. Bowery Electric is perennially crowded with locals and out-of-towners, and often hosts live alternative music.
Day 2: Sunday, April 14th, 2014
Sunday morning brunch (2:00pm-4:00pm) at Agave at 140 7th Avenue South in the West Village. This tableclothed Mexican restaurant offers a bottomless mimosa, wine or margarita with an entree for $28/person. Several of the girls including Amelie had to travel back home and couldn’t make it to brunch.
The Planning Process
The original itinerary included clubbing Friday night but this was cancelled because several girls were en route to New York. Amelie mentioned that the maids of honor did a great job in selecting food venues that have a prix fixe, which simplifies ordering, splitting the bill, and whole dining experience. They were able to negotiate additional appetizers and drinks because they booked ahead.
Amelie has several suggestions to future organizers. Several of the girls from out of town, like Amelie, were staying with friends who lived 40 minutes away from all the bachelorette activity. Amelie had to either carry an unseemly duffel bag with her the entire day on Saturday or travel 40 minutes each way to change from her 1950s brunch get-up to her club-scene dinner outfit. It might have been more efficient to book a hotel suite for all the girls to stay together, depending on hotel deals. With everyone staying in different parts of the city, Amelie suggests that the primary organizers “send out real time updates to the agenda, so people joining at various points are aware of where the group is and/or moving to.” This could mean sending out a group text updating everyone immediately on agenda changes, as opposed to answering individual “where are you guys?” text messages. Everyone will then rely on automatic group updates, and act accordingly. “Make sure,” Amelie warns, “to double check that everyone who should be invited is invited!”
To remember this special occasion, the maids-of-honor gave out handmade sugar scrubs in jars with personalized labels.
ABOUT GOING ALL OUT
Going All Out is a weekly column by Nicole Kwoh that investigates real party itineraries. Each week, the column features a real bachelor/ette party itinerary from a different city around the world. While other columns may provide advice, this is the first one dedicated to what actually happens.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nicole Kwoh is a travel lover and blogger.