Covid-19 has thrown us curveballs in every aspect of life, including affecting your wedding and the beloved tradition of a bachelorette party. With all of the public venue closures and strict regulations on bars and the like, the "traditional" girl’s night out is not what it used to be.
My twin sister was getting married in 2020, as a planner and as one of her matrons of honor, I knew that I had to come up with a way to give her the best bachelorette party while abiding by the new rules of a Covid World. The bachelorette party was slated for August 2020 in Denver, Colorado. Denver was almost completely shut down with little to no night life. She did not want to postpone the wedding or the bachelorette party, so we forged on. I along with her bridesmaid tribe put on our thinking caps and devised an amazing way to give her a safe but fun night "out".
The Grand idea- Bar Hopping...inside the safety of my older sister’s house. She had the perfect layout to set up a different style bar in each room of her house that we would "bar hop" to. Each bar had a unique theme, decor, and music.
We recalled our favorite spots to go in Denver and created these bars to reflect where we would have gone on an actual bachelorette party. We hopped to a: Winery, Cowboy Bar, Speakeasy, College Party, and Da Club.
*The key to pulling this off- a creative bartender/helper. He was a huge help in creating the ambience for each bar. As we would hop to the next bar aka walk through the house to the next room, he set up the finishing touches to transform the space into the designated theme and change personas for each new bar we attended. His personas were beyond perfect for creating the magic of downtown while still staying safe in a pandemic.*
Want more details about each space? Read below to see how we set up each scene!
1st stop- The Winery
We started in The Front Yard Winery. Picture this: little bistro tables, corks, and trays everywhere, Charcuterie & heavy apps for our bachelorettes to begin their night out! (We wanted to make sure that the ladies got some food in their stomachs before drinking!)
We had a sommelier (aka wine expert- he actually is one in real life, so we didn’t have to google any fun facts about the wines) to go through 4 different wines for tasting. Our gift to the ladies was a travel wine tumbler so this Winery was the perfect place to begin our night.
2nd stop- The Cowboy Bar
As it got darker, we headed to the backyard, to dance at the outside country bar under the bistro lights. We pulled in a wooden bar,
some neon signs, boots, and hats, and turned up the country music. We walked from the front yard to the back entering through a large wooden fence as we were carded, and wrist banded. As we’re in our late 20s and 30s, mixing drinks is not as easy as it used to be. It is also more affordable to only purchase one or two other types of alcohol and different mixers. We chose to stick with vodka and rum as the choices. After the cowboy bartender fixed the Bride a dirty Shirley, the line dancing began!
3rd stop- The Speakeasy
After about an hour of dancing, we moved to the next location, The Speakeasy which on any other night is known by my brother in law as the Man Cave. Luckily this space already had industrial touches, a two door entrance and a countertop to mix drinks. Walking up to the space there was a single light in the garage shining on the door handle. There was a secret knock and a code word that we had to give to the bartender. He looked like he popped out of a magazine in the 20’s, hat, suspenders, and all. We entered this jazzy haven and sipped on our Moscow mules. Although this location was quite sophisticated, the girls were ready to get to the naughtier part of the evening, this is a bachelorette party after all…
4th stop- The College Party
What else says raunchy other than a throwback to a college garage party. And that is exactly where it was, in the garage. Our bartender had set up some white tables for beer pong and trashed the floor with crushed beer cans. Let me tell you, this took me back! The top twenty hip hop songs played in the background and the bride got iced, played pong and flip cup. We added in some fun bachelorette games during this time. It seemed like the appropriate place for naughty straws and posters.
5th stop- Da Club
Needless to say, after 4 bars, we were feeling pretty good. We had one stop left, the club. We added a purple light bulb, some sheer curtains, and a fake chandelier to the living room. To enter this bar, we came in through the back door and down the hall, with the music growing louder as we went. Stationed at the dark front door was a bouncer in a black t-shirt with a flashlight checking IDs. Once we arrived at the booth (the couch), we got bottle service! Ice bucket and all. The tunes were bumping, we were all dancing and our bartender with his deep V shirt and greased back hair made sure our cups were full. This was the perfect “dancing with your girls” memory that every bride wants.
6th and final stop- Marquee Pizza
You can’t go out in downtown Denver and close down the bars without grabbing a greasy and delicious slice of Marquee pizza before heading home. Just because we weren’t “out” didn’t mean we had to skip this tradition. We exited the club back down the hall and came in the front door into the Pizzeria (kitchen/dining room). It was so fun to eat some delicious pizza, soak up some booze, and recap the night. Our bartender joined us after serving us with a fake Italian accent and checkered apron. We laughed at all his personas and recapped the best parts of each bar.
My sister was thrilled with this idea, and many of the girls said it was even more than going out would have been. Plus, there was no uber ride home or cover charges! All bridesmaids can appreciate saving a little money here and there. I am proud of the way that it went. Nobody had in mind what 2020 had in store for us, and the bride most certainly hadn’t thought that she would be trying to enjoy a bachelorette party in the middle of a pandemic, but our efforts gave her a night to remember of fun, booze, and a wild night...IN!
Pro Tips to Pull it Off:
Stick to 2-3 alcohols- saves money, less drinks for the bartender to have to make, minimizes clean up and waste
DIY decor or borrow from friends- everything we had came from someone’s basement and we had to purchase very little- just the light bulb (Walmart-grow light worked perfectly!)
Ask a friend to be the bartender- bonus if they actually know something about it. It helps sell the vision. Don’t have someone who is on the “bachelorette” invite list to fill this role. We want the bride to celebrate with her whole gang of ladies like she would have otherwise!
Make sure to have different playlists for each space built ahead of time, it really helps set the tone
Plan some snacks along the way, you want to make sure you make it to all of your stops!
If you had a theme before your plans were cancelled, keep it. Ours was supposed to be A WILD NIGHT OUT where we all wore animal print. We kept that the same just like we would have if we went out-out.
Only drawback to doing it at home- there is no hired cleaning crew for those bars.... it was my sister and I the next day. Messy (especially the garage) but absolutely worth it!!