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Party ideas: Sophisticated Bachelorette Parties
It's not often that the word "sophisticated" precedes the phrase "bachelorette party." In fact,
More and more, however, brides and their closest friends are looking for ways to enjoy this special time together without the need for hangover remedies.
To suggest ways for brides-to-be and their attendants to enjoy wonderful (if decidedly high end!) pre-vow celebrations, we enlisted the advice of two top wedding planners.
Based in Beverly Hills, Mindy Weiss is the owner and principal planner/designer of Mindy Weiss Party Consultants. She has created weddings and events for such high-profile celebrity clients as Shaquille O'Neal, Jessica Simpson, Gwen Stefani, Adam Sandler, Kate Beckinsale, and, most recently, Heidi Klum and Seal.
On the opposite coast, New York City planner Kate Edmonds, owner of Kate Edmonds Corporate and Private Events Ltd., has appeared on multiple television shows, including The Apprentice, and has designed fashion shoots for both magazines and movies.
Following are their suggestions for women who seek sophisticated, memorable, and very upscale bachelorette parties.
"For girls who want to be rejuvenated, Calistoga Ranch is the place," says Weiss. "They're famous for their thermal waters and mud baths. A picture of the wedding party sitting in mud should definitely be released at the rehearsal dinner," Weiss suggests, with a laugh.
The 46-room lavish resort, nestled in a canyon in the Upper Napa Valley, is "breathtakingly beautiful. But it's not for partying," says Weiss. "The area is ideal for long hikes, enjoying wine, and eating delicious food." For the ultimate gastronomic experiences, Weiss suggests, "have lunch at Bouchon and dinner at The French Laundry," both of which are owned by famed restaurateur Thomas Keller. For reservations at these chic eateries, she advises, be sure to call far in advance.
On the other hand, for bridal parties that are on a budget, Weiss says, "You can find fabulous pizza all over town." There's also great shopping in St. Helina. And if you enjoy cooking, you can arrange a class with one of the area's numerous chefs.
For those who want to add a night on the town, she advises, "Dancing is a must! San...
Party Planning: Progressive Dinner Parties for Fun with Friends
As an award-winning "event architect," in Austin, Texas, Hope Lawrence knows it's the details that count when it comes to pulling off a spectacular party. But when she wants to entertain at home, this busy wedding planner's idea of a good time is much more relaxed.
Several times a year, Lawrence and her husband Brad get together with close friends for a progressive dinner. Rather than one person taking on all the chores, each couple prepares and serves a course in their home, whether it's cocktails, appetizers, salad, the main meal, or dessert.
The journey from house to house is part of the evening's fun. "If you're friendly with your neighbors you can do the progressive neighborhood walk," she says with a laugh. "If you would rather do it with friends who live some distance apart, you can go the luxury route and hire a driver for the evening."
GREAT WAY TO MAKE NEW FRIENDS
Lawrence started the tradition of progressive dinners after moving to her neighborhood three years ago. "We figured it was a good way to introduce ourselves." Since Austin is famous for its warm, pleasant evenings, and many families have beautiful outdoor rooms complete with amazing views from their decks, Lawrence says it's a great way to spend an evening. "It doesn't require anybody to be in the kitchen for very long.
"Often you walk from place to place with your glass of wine in your hand. It can be super casual, which is the absolute opposite of many of the events I plan. That's why I love...
Top destinations for celebrations
David Tutera is one of the titans of the event planning world. His name is synonymous with style, elegance, creativity—and star-studded fêtes.
Tutera has fashioned events for such boldface names as Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Elton John, Barbara Walters, the Rolling Stones, Vice President Al Gore, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Star Jones, and Susan Lucci. He has his own one-hour TV series on the Discovery Home Channel and is an author of four books, among which is the book shown below, Big Birthdays: The Party Planner Celebrates Life's Milestones .
Here, Tutera offers Celebrate with Style his recommendations for five great places at which to commemorate such wonderful occasions as milestone birthdays or anniversaries.
Beach Party in New England
"During the summer months, there is no place better to have a party then on the beach," says Tutera. "The New England coastline is quaint and provides the perfect backdrop to start celebrating before a wedding, or just enjoying a gorgeous setting for any affair. And one of my favorite places is The Whalewalk Inn & Spa at the Cape Cod National Seashore. It's an old whaling master's home."
For a relatively small affair, it's possible to rent out all 16 spacious rooms, which are spread throughout six buildings on the 3-1/4-acre property. Activities such as hiking, golf, kayaking, fishing, and boating will keep guests busy. Or, the attendees can walk the beach, relax in the spa, or dine on gourmet fare, such as their famous Granola Breakfast Pizza-a generous slice of pancake pizza topped with homemade granola and finished with bananas, strawberries, blueberries, and a dollop of sour cream. Reason enough for a visit!
For more information: www.whalewalkinn.com
Vineyard in Virginia
According to Tutera, "Virginia is the perfect place if you want a party with southern hospitality. You can sit amongst the sprawling vines at Barboursville Vineyards. It's a wonderful setting to serve rustic foods and enjoy great bottles of wine."
The 1,000-acre estate, with 125 acres of vineyards and overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains is home to a classic Georgian villa with three balconied suites and a cottage with two more. The winery was even commanded to furnish wines to entertain Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during her recent visit to Virginia! Join in one of their wine festivals/special events or just delight in food and drink with family and friends.
For more information: www.the1804inn.com
A Castle in Rhode Island
"What better spot for an upscale bridal shower or celebration of any wonderful event than a scenic Rhode Island castle," declares Tutera. "This 60-room mansion, originally designed for a wealthy bachelor, is furnished with art and antiques from 37 Newport manors and 33 countries. For larger events, consider a castle for one of these totally fun, themed affairs: A Mystery Whodunnit, Medieval Banquet, Victorian Dinner, or Roaring 20's & Gatsby affair.