Skip the bars and boas; modern brides are choosing creative parties to celebrate their sendoff from singledom.
The Bachelorette Bash: Bachelorette Party Ideas for Wisconsin Brides
The typical bachelorette party seems to be more synonymous with tacky than tasteful. For options that don’t focus on shot glasses and scantily clad men, bridal parties simply need to think outside the box. “Now that bachelorette parties have become so common, women want their events to be unique,” says Joanne Barken, founder and CEO of The Bach website, which provides bachelorette party ideas. “While there is nothing wrong with a girls’ night out, people are finding that it’s fun to mix things up a bit.” No matter how brides dare to be different, Wisconsin offers ample opportunities to kiss single life goodbye in style.
Sugar and Spas
For the bride in need of pampering
An indulging day of sweets and spa time is a must for the girly-girl group. Start with a tour that puts a sugary twist on the “pub crawl” via the many cupcakeries throughout the Brew City.
“Cupcakes are the ideal treat for a bachelorette party,” says Paula Hienz, owner of Miss Julia’s Bake Shop in Brookfield. “The many different flavor combinations of cake and frosting allow guests to enjoy, share and celebrate.” On your crawl, grab a ganache-drizzled Tuxedo cupcake at Miss Julia’s or a 24 Karat carrot cake cupcake at Aggie’s Cakes & Pastries. Both bakeries are small cafes, so large groups should call ahead.
If you take your sweets to go, add a bottle of wine for some tasty treats while relaxing at the spa. Milwaukee’s Polished Nail Bar (with a second Brookfield location) and Gloss Nail Salon can accommodate group services, while the Dollhouse Nail & Beauty Boutique in nearby Hales Corners can accommodate private parties. “Some bridal groups wait until the wedding day to get their nails done, but that can be very stressful with all the other events of the day,” says Dani Bradley, owner of the Dollhouse. “Now, with shellac and no-chip polish options, man- icures and pedicures can last up to two weeks, so there’s no need to wait.”
Escape to the Great Outdoors
For the bride with a wild side
The natural beauty of Wisconsin offers great in-state getaways for the bridal party that wants to get some fresh air. For a site not too far from home, head to Devil’s Lake State Park in Baraboo, just outside of Wisconsin Dells. When there’s snow, trails are perfect for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. If the weather is warm, hike the bluffs, bike the trails, canoe the lake, take a swim or even scale a rock wall. Madison’s Devil’s Lake Climbing Guides offers group classes for varying experience levels. “We tailor each class to the needs and skills of the group,” says owner Nick Wilkes. While large groups are welcome, Wilkes recommends no more than 15 to 20 people if you want to have everyone climbing in the same location at the same time.
For something a bit more laid-back, visit Wollersheim Winery in nearby Prairie Du Sac for tours and tastings. Tours are $5 per person, and include a small selection of local wines for sampling. Before leaving, purchase a bottle for a picnic dinner before seeing a show under the stars at American Players Theatre in nearby Spring Green. The 1,100-seat amphitheater hosts performances of work by classic playwrights such as Shaw, Wilde and Shakespeare. Matinee and evening shows are held June through October, weather permitting.
For the bride who doesn’t blush
Forget the trashy teddies and toys; bridal parties have better choices for sexy and sophisticated, starting with the lingerie. With locations in Brookfield and Mequon, Allure Intimate Apparel offers private after-hours parties for groups. Each guest receives a personal fitting for both her foundation pieces and lingerie needs. Pick out lingerie to pair with the dress for the big day, a special night or even a naughty-but-nice photo session.
Bikes and Brews
For the bride who deserves to raise a glass
If the bride is looking to wet her whistle but wants to bar-hop in style, take a tour of Madison’s many craft beer breweries. “The Badger State is quickly becoming the Napa Valley of microbrews,” says Filipe Moreira, co-owner of Hop Head Beer Tour Co., which offers five-hour bus tours and beer sampling of Madison’s brews. For a unique outdoor experience, try Hop Head’s Bikes and Brews. “This tour combines the cool scenery of Madison bike paths with professionally guided beer sampling, local culture and VIP back-room brewery tours,” says Moreira.
Rather pedal as one? Put the party on wheels with the Capitol Pedaler. Up to 14 guests can travel on “the big red bike,” which has 10 seats for guests to pedal and four for enjoying the ride. Take a two-hour tour of State Street, Capitol Square and the university area, where the ladies can get discount drinks at partner bars, sample local fare and even stop to shop.
Bridal Party Bonding
No matter what the activity, a bachelorette party is all about what’s fun for the bride and her entourage. “Bachelorette parties should focus on what really counts—spending quality time with friends and family,” says Barken. “Whether you are relaxing at a spa, taking a group cooking class, or having a dance party at a club, it’s all about making time to celebrate with the bride-to-be.”