Bachelorette on a Budget

bridetobe

Bride Rachael asked for some tips for throwing a bachelorette party on a budget. But not just any bachelorette party -- one that's chic and classy. No light-up penis necklaces, strippers, or boozy vomiting.

With my first plan shot (I kid, I kid), I decided to do a variation on what her ideal party would be like: a day at the spa followed by an elegant dinner out with the girls. Let's see what we can do.

1. Instead of the full day at the spa, why not go out for just pedicures or manicures? Everyone still feels pampered without the hefty bill at the end. Be sure to pick up Essie nail color "Bachelorette Bash" to keep your toes in the spirit of the occasion.

2. Or have a home-spa day. Light scented candles and play some flute music, and stock up on girly magazines. Spending the afternoon painting your nails and hydrating in an avacado face-mask is sure to leave you all feeling girly and blissed out.

3. For a little extra cost, find a friend-of-a-friend or cousin who does hair on the side. See if she'd come do hair for the group for a low cost (say, $15 per girl) to help you all get gussied up. Buy her a sweet gift (like a gift certificate for a pedicure) to make her feel appreciated.

4. Once your hair is done,  take a trip to the MAC counter (or Clinique or Bobbi Brown) and have your makeup done by the pros. If you buy some items, the little makeover will be free, and you get to take the products home!

5. While you're at the mall, split into teams and have a budget-shopping competition. In one hour, who can find the best deal on a hot outfit or top for the evening?

6. Instead of a super-fancy dinner, try to go a little early or late and hit up happy hour. Search online ahead of time for the best food deals if you sit in the bar (yelp.com is a good resource, or ask around).

7. A fancy dinner will be cheaper if you go somewhere that lets you share dishes. Asian restaurants are great for this, and fun to try new things. Try Thai or Indian food too!

8. Or have a simple dinner at home and then splurge on yummy dessert and coffee late at night, dressed in your best duds. Chocolate fondu? Don't mind if I do.

9. Don't waste money on something like a limo. Stay close to home or stay at a friend's in the city if you want to finish the night with some dancing. Taxis are cheaper if you don't have to go too far, or if parking isn't an issue, have a friend or two stay sober to drive (maybe someone can borrow Mom's minivan). Hand out cards with the host's address and phone to everyone at the beginning on the night in case you get separated.

10. Keep the invitation cost low by calling and personally inviting everyone, then following up on facebook or email with the details. You can send a pretty card after the party thanking them for being there.

Now I know there are some married ladies in the crowd... how did you celebrate your bachelorette? Any chic cheap tips for our bride?

P.S. You can buy a light-up flashing bride-to-be tiara (or one like it) in most *ahem* adult stores. At least that's what I hear.