From cooking classes to a day of pampering, there are plenty of ways you and your bridesmaids can make everlasting memories.
by Danielle Bouchat-Friedman
We all love a wild weekend in Vegas, but remember what happened in the movie “Bridesmaids?” (Kristen Wiig’s character has an outburst mid-flight, leading to the plane landing in Wyoming, not Sin City.) That being said, there’s nothing wrong with suggesting your bridesmaids plan a bachelorette party closer to home—everyone can save some coin, leading to less drama and more bonding. Need some inspiration? Here are some fun alternatives to the traditional bachelorette party.
Sample local beer and wine
The Delaware Beer, Wine and Spirits Trail is an adventure for your palate. It’s a tasty way to sample local breweries, wineries and distilleries across the state. Similarly, both Chester County and Delaware County are home to a number of award-winning wineries. Plan a day trip traveling through southeastern Pennsylvania sipping on Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and sparkling wines. Note, however, that these destinations are not within walking distance of each other, so booking reliable transportation, like a party bus, is a necessary and added cost.
Another awesome spot is Pinot Boutique, a wine shop in Old City that offers tastings, classes and private parties. The most unique thing about Pinot Boutique is that it serves wine from four local vineyards—Paradocx Vineyard, Pinnacle Ridge Winery, Auburn Road Winery and Harvest Ridge Winery. Bachelorette parties include a room rental fee of $175 plus a per person charge (the room can hold between six and 20 people).
Visit pinotboutique.com/bachelorette-parties-philadelphia for more information.
Have a makeup party or lesson
Cosmetics are a painless way to feel beautiful, so why not plan a makeup party? Houppette, a luxury cosmetics boutique with locations in Greenville and Kennett Square, hosts makeup parties for $65 per person. This includes a full face of makeup, says Elizabeth Johnson, owner of Houppette in Greenville. “We have also done parties where the attendees did not necessarily want a full makeup application, but more of a consultation. “In that scenario, we’ve charged a $50 per person attendance fee redeemable in product,” says Johnson.
3842 Kennett Pike, Greenville, Del., (302) 421-9036; 101 W. State St., Kennett Square, Pa., (484) 732-8451, houppette.com.
Ooh la la! The Makeup Studio hosts makeup parties and makeup lessons for up to six people. The parties are extremely customizable—owner Tonia Marisa can accommodate everyone, even if they all have assorted beauty preferences. The makeup lessons—or group tutorials—allow Marisa to demonstrate and instruct her beauty prowess, from creating the perfect smoky eye to mastering an everyday, polished look. Brow-shaping and mini-facials are also available. Before the party, the bride may pick out a lipstick or eye shadow for each of her maids and have the items gift-wrapped and ready to use at the party. “It’s like painting with a twist but it’s painting for your face,” says front desk manager Nadia Lamberson. The parties last two hours and run $85 and up.
5800 Kennett Pike, Centreville, Del., (302) 622-9425.
Get blown away
Getting pampered is always a good idea, so book a private party at Blo Blow Dry Bar in Greenville, Del. The franchise opened its first location in Delaware in February, 2017 and there’s plenty of room for private parties, including bachelorette, bridal showers, birthdays and girls’ nights, says owner Kerry Welsh. Parties can be booked during regular salon hours or the entire bar can be rented out. For $600, a group of eight can rent out the entire bar for 90 minutes, which includes styling, wine and champagne and 20 percent off all styling products.
3801 Kennett Pike, Suite E-123, Greenville, Del., (302) 652-1268, blowmedry.com.
Try your hand at flower arranging
Is your group of friends crafty? Then check out Longwood Gardens, which hosts a number of flower arranging classes. Its Floral Fun series is quick, fun and designed for everyone, regardless of experience. Each month, participants create a themed design with a focus on seasonal flowers that you may have growing in your garden or are readily available from local sources. Longwood provides the containers, flowers and foliage and you and your friends will get to take home a beautiful arrangement and the knowledge of how to make other designs. The class is two hours and only $49 per person.
Visit longwoodgardens.org/events-and-performances/classes-and-lectures for more information.
Take a cooking class
The Kitchen Workshop—a hands-on cooking studio—has been in business for 16 years, and owner Art Roman will tailor the perfect menu for any group. Classes last three hours and usually include a full meal. “But if the bride really likes chocolate, we can come up with a menu for that,” says Roman. The Kitchen Workshop requires a minimum of eight participants and a maximum of 14 and all the ingredients are provided along with complimentary wine (you can also bring your own). Cost per participant is $64.
21 Plank Ave., Suite 204, Paoli, Pa., (610) 993-2664, kitchen-workshop.com.
Make beautiful jewelry together
Head to Rehoboth Beach and book a jewelry-making class at Heidi Lowe Gallery. The adorable beach cottage can host up to 10 of your most creative (or least creative) friends for a two-hour class. “Everyone walks away with a sterling silver ring with a message, date or word on the inside that reminds them of the special weekend,” says owner and instructor Heidi Lowe. The class is $100 per person and includes the studio fee, tools and a champagne toast.
328 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, Del., (302) 841-0908, heidilowejewelry.com.