If your friends are getting married in Virginia and want to keep the bachelorette party local, you are in luck. Virginia is an incredibly diverse state and you can do everything from renting a cabin in a national park to having a beach weekend to exploring vineyards to skiing.
For simplicity purposes, I’m going to use the term “bachelorette” throughout this article. But these tips could work for any gathering of members of the wedding party prior to the wedding. This party could be for all men, all women, coed or anything in between.
Planning a bachelorette party can be a lot of work – especially if it’s a multi-day thing. But I did the research for you so you don’t have to! Simply grab one of these ideas and run with it!
A few tips for planning an epic bachelorette weekend:
So now for your burning questions:
Table of Contents
This is typically done by the maid of honor or best man with help from the other members of the wedding party.
The wedding party does – it’s typically split equally, but doesn’t have to be, so make sure the budget is agreed upon by everyone in the group. The bride(s) or groom(s) typically do not foot the bill (or contribute) unless they insist!
Typically the bachelorette party is for the bride’s people and groom’s people, but sometimes that circle is expanded to include parents or siblings. If you have a large budget, occasionally the party is much larger – in that case just check with the people getting married about who they want there!
Yes! If you have a shared group of friends or simply want to choose something that both groups will enjoy, then do it! There are no “rules” as long as everyone is having a good time and it’s what the bride(s) and groom(s) want.
Typically this party is planned one to four months before the wedding. Most wedding planners recommend not planning it too close to the wedding day if possible (i.e. a week in advance). If you plan too close to the wedding day, the couple may not be able to relax and fully enjoy it.
If you book a place like this you could go for hikes in Shenandoah National Park, relax in the hot tub, visit vineyards and take a dip in the pool. Sounds like a pretty incredible friends weekend to me!
Looking for a daytrip for your bachelor or bachelorette party? Consider a tubing trip! Drink beer, float down the river, relax and then catch a shuttle and do it all over again. You can rent with this company in southwestern Virginia or this one closer to Charlottesville.
Southwestern Virginia has two lakes that are well worth exploring on a pontoon boat: Claytor Lake State Park and Smith Mountain Lake State Park. Both have numerous boat rental companies you can choose from. If you’re farther north, Lake Anna State Park is also a great choice.
Rent a boat and jet skis, float around the lake, go swimming, race each other, drink beer, enjoy a day on the water.
If going to the beach is your style, then rent a big beach house right off of the ocean and spend two or three days putting your toes in the sand and getting your tan on. Just don’t forget the sunblock! Peeling is not a good look for anyone’s wedding. When you need a break from the sand, rent bikes and explore the boardwalk or head over to the best Aquarium in Virginia for a look under the ocean surface.
If you want to bring out your inner child, consider spending the day at one of Virginia’s many waterparks! Massanutten Water Park near Harrisonburg and Watercountry USA in Williamsburg are two of the most popular. If you pop over the border to West Virginia, Ace Adventure Resort in Lewisburg boasts an outdoor lake waterpark with enough features for everyone.
If getting together in the winter is easiest for everyone, plan a snow getaway! If you all like to ski or snowboard then do that. Looking for something a little easier? Just go snow tubing and end the night with spiked hot chocolate and a hot tub back at your cabin.
Three words: luxury spa weekend. If that sounds like you and your friends, then Primland Resort is definitely where you want to be.
Get a massage, do a private yoga class, swim in the pool, go paddle boarding or enjoy fine dining. This really is a place to relax and be in the mountains with your besties.
Spend the weekend in Charlottesville and book a vineyard or brewery tour. There are a ton of companies who do this, but you can book a private car or bus (depending on group size) who will take you to 3-5 spots over the course of a day.
Pro-tip: schedule a visit to a place that offers food or pack your own lunch to enjoy as a picnic.
If ziplining with your besties or doing a high ropes course sounds like your idea of fun then you are in luck. Try the Adventure Park at the Virginia Aquarium (located in Virginia Beach) or Treetop Adventures in Pembroke (southwestern Virginia).
There are several hot air balloon companies in central and northern Virginia. Most have baskets that can accommodate 4 riders. So book a balloon (or two) for your group and enjoy a truly unique experience flying over the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Head over to Hot Springs, Virginia, and enjoy a natural crystal spring pool with your besties. When you’re done relaxing, you can golf at the resort, sit on the porch and take in the mountain views. Or book an experience like a horseback riding tour or a fly fishing excursion.
If spending the day in nature is more your speed, then head to Shenandoah National Park. There you can hike up to a natural water slide at White Oak Canyon. On the way, you’ll pass several natural swimming holes. This is a very popular hike in the summertime so get started early and consider visiting on a weekday.
If you love the outdoors, but aren’t quite interested in truly roughing it then glamping might be the way to go! You can rent rustic yurts at Fairy Stone State Park in southwestern Virginia. There are also glamping tents in Elkton near Shenandoah National Park. If you want the look of glamping, but still want power and wifi, then this yurt near Lexington is a good choice.
If you love roller coasters and theme parks, but want a more local experience than flying everyone to Disney, you are in luck! Virginia has several amusement parks to pick from.
The most “traditional” and popular theme parks are Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion. And they happen to only be about an hour and 15 minutes away from each other! Kings Dominion is north of Richmond and Busch Gardens is southeast of Richmond in Williamsburg. So theoretically, you could stay in Richmond for the weekend and go to one on Saturday and the other one on Sunday for a truly amusing weekend. See what I did there? Amusement Park, amusing? Ok, I’m done.
The Ultimate Small Wedding Planning Guide and Checklist