My Best Friend’s Wedding

'Tis the season for weddings and bachelorette extravaganzas

Shannon Asher
All the girls dressed in black, with the bride in white.
Courtesy photo

Calling all brides-to-be, or better yet, calling all maids of honor! With the wedding season upon us, the bachelorette party season is inevitably upon us, as well. A woman’s bachelorette party marks her final moments as a single lady, the last fling before the ring, the final fiesta, the last disco — you get the picture. It’s a chance for the bride to be surrounded by her closest girlfriends and have one last hurrah before she walks down the aisle and says, “I do.”

As the maid of honor for my best friend’s wedding, I was recently tasked with planning a bachelorette weekend trip for 20 women. That’s right, 20 lady friends of the bride-to-be. I’m not going to lie; I was super nervous and anxious about planning this bachelorette rendezvous. I wanted everything to be perfect for Kenzie, and I wanted everyone to have THE best time. After all, she only gets one bachelorette party, so I wanted it to be fabulous.

Luckily, we have some pretty loyal friends in the group, and the weekend would not have been possible without everyone’s help. It was truly a team effort. To start, I think it’s crucial to communicate with the bride and get an idea for what she envisions for her bachelorette trip. The weekend should essentially be all about the bride: Does she want a simple weekend at the spa, a mega-chill beach vacation or a luxurious nightlife scene in a big city? After determining the dates of our little shindig and the ladies who would be invited, I was able to really start planning.

When it came time for the bride-to-be to choose a destination, she knew she wanted something low key and relaxing. She also knew that she wanted to be on a beach somewhere, so we eventually settled on Tampa, Florida for the weekend getaway. After perusing some great ’70’s disco inspiration on Pinterest, the bride had settled on a groovy disco theme. A specific theme is vital to a bachelorette party’s success, as that determines the aesthetic of the invitations, decorations and weekend attire. After spending a few days jamming to some great disco playlists on Spotify, I landed on the themed phrase: “Kenzie’s Last Disco.” After that, everything else just kind of fell into place.

Kenzie and the bride squad had the perfect, low-key agenda for the weekend celebrations. The group kicked the trip off with a tacos-and-margaritas dinner at an Airbnb, followed by games to get everyone better acquainted. After introductions and funny stories on how everyone met the bride, we moved on to the infamous lingerie shower and a trivia game to see how well everyone knew Kenzie and her favorite things.

The next day, the girls fueled up with breakfast from Another Broken Egg before heading out to enjoy a day on the boat. Our group was split up into two double-decker pontoon boats (both of which had a slide). We spent the day dolphin watching, island hopping, sightseeing, shelling on sandbars, swimming, drinking, dancing and just enjoying each other’s company. The bride wore a white swimsuit, while the rest of her crew wore black. This made for super fun pictures, as well as easy recognition of who the bride was.

The disco-themed party.
Courtesy photo

On Saturday, the girls slept in before a casual brunch at home and then went on to exploring the dazzling Madeira Beach. We rented from a charming and well-organized company called The Cabana Club, which set us up with chairs, towels, umbrellas, coolers, waters, floaties and even a speaker that we could sync up with Bluetooth. We ended the day with dinner at Paul’s Landing in St. Petersburg. This adorable seafood restaurant was able to accommodate our entire group at one table, and it even had a floor-to-ceiling wall decorated with a funky, retro design that worked perfectly with our themed outfits. We held up the peace sign and posed in our disco outfits for the ideal Instagram pictures. Talk about the perfect, relaxing beach bachelorette party.

They say that some people come into your life for a lifetime, and some people come into your life for a season. It’s up to us to determine which is which. Having been best friends with Kenzie for a little over 15 years, I can say without a doubt that this particular friendship is for a lifetime. The time I spent preparing and planning was well worth it — especially since it meant getting to spoil a friend who means so much to me. Now, let the wedding countdown begin!

The bride, Kenzie, and maid-of-honor Shannon Asher.
Courtesy photo
Hanging out on the beach.
Courtesy photo
Aspen Times Weekly

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