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SMP Blogger Bride: City Tonic’s Palm Springs Bachelorette Party

Jessye of City Tonic here, and when my best friend first asked me what I wanted to do for my bachelorette party, the streets of my neighborhood in South Boston were covered in about six feet of snow. I told her I didn’t care, as long as it was somewhere warm. Since many of my closest girlfriends have migrated to the West Coast in recent years, we decided on a relaxing weekend in Palm Springs!

As a designer, I’ve always wanted to visit Palm Springs for its midcentury-modern architecture and chic hotels (ones I often find myself longingly stalking via Instagram during the winter months) and the opportunity to check it out AND celebrate with my best friends was seriously magical. While staying at the Avalon Hotel in Palm Springs, we met San Franscisco-based photographer Liza Gershman, who captured some bachelorette fun during the weekend.

After experiencing such a perfect getaway, I put together a few tips for making the most of your party. Now, as a disclaimer: I’m a pretty low-key person – and, while I do like to have fun, I’ve never been much of a club-going/out-all-night kinda gal. So I understand that a relaxing weekend full of good food, bike rides and poolside hangouts might not be everyone’s idea of a good time. But to anyone who’s planning a bachelorette (or having one planned for them), here are a few things to think about:

Keep it Intimate

Big groups are fun, but there’s definitely something to be said for a smaller celebration with your closest friends. If you’re planning to go on a “destination” bachelorette, everything from cab rides to dinners is easier with an intimate group of girls (we were a group of seven). I saw my bachelorette party as an opportunity to reunite with some of my best friends who live all over the country. We don’t get to see each other often, so a small group also meant that I had a chance to really catch up with everyone individually. My favorite thing was seeing how easily my different friend groups got along when we were all together (many of them were meeting for the first time). We’re all in our mid-to-late-twenties — dealing with busy work schedules and not a ton of expendable income — so it felt like an extra special treat to spend the weekend with everyone.

Talk to the Bride

Everyone loves a good surprise now and then, but if you’re planning a bachelorette party (especially one that spans a full weekend), it doesn’t hurt to at least find out what the bride feels like doing. You might love the idea of going out on the town with the whole group in matching t-shirts, but does the bride feel comfortable drawing that much attention in public? (Trust me, I have been to plenty of bachelorette parties with matching t-shirts, and loved it – I’m just using this as an example). And if the party is close to the wedding date, make sure you don’t go too crazy. Sky diving, white water rafting – even dance-offs in five inch heels – can be recipes for disaster! (I mean, no bride wants to hobble down the aisle with crutches, right?)

To Plan or Not to Plan

Extensive planning might be necessary with larger parties, but there’s definitely no harm in going with the flow and gauging the collective vibe of the group when it comes to activities. Not everyone will want to go to the yoga/salsa dancing/pole dancing/SoulCycle class that you have on the itinerary. Alternatively, not everyone will want to lounge by the pool for hours drinking cocktails. You don’t have to do everything as a group – it’s totally fine if a few people go check out the vintage market down the street one morning while the rest of the gang hangs back at the hotel. As long as you’re all together for celebratory dinners and meaningful moments, the little departures here and there are no big deal. Plus, isn’t it better if everyone’s enjoying the weekend, rather than feigning excitement for the bride’s sake?

Get the Guy Involved

This is no revolutionary concept for bachelorette parties, but one of my favorite moments of the weekend was when my MOH surprised me with a really cute “newlywed game” when we were all hanging out (and eating Trader Joes snacks) after the pool one afternoon. She had asked my fiancé, Kevin, a list of questions ahead of time – and I had to guess his answers. With prompts like “What’s the cutest thing Jessye does?” and “What one thing of yours would Jessye most like to throw away?” it ended up being a hilarious and sweet little activity that somehow made me feel even closer to Kevin.

And, for the bride-to-be: let your friends know how much you appreciate them for celebrating with you. Bachelorette parties can be pricey – especially with travel and hotel costs involved – so think of it as an amazing pre-wedding gift and thank everyone appropriately!

Follow Jessye’s Journey:

Meet the Bride | Bridal Accessories

Photography: Liza Gershman | Venue: Parker Palm Springs | Venue: Avalon Hotel Palm Springs | Rentals: Avalon Hotel Palm Springs

Jessye Aibel

Blogger Bride
Romantic + Elegant Palm Springs Wedding

Is it possible to fall in love with a place you have yet to visit? I vote yes, because I’m completed crazy about Palm Springs after perusing this gallery. It’s the type of celebration that carries sweet moments that are sure to send your heart aflutter. Because not only do we get to share in some good ol’ California sunshine, but Rad + In Love captured every sweet in love moment to share in THE VAULT!


From The Bride…My husband and I have been to our fair share of weddings, so we had the chance to figure out exactly what we wanted and what we didn’t want. We knew we wanted to have an intimate, beautiful, relaxed and above all fun wedding.

Finding a venue is the most difficult part, but when we found Korakia Pensione we knew immediately we found our spot. It’s romantic, quaint, unique and absolutely charming. Korakia has a Mediterranean/Moroccan motif and a rustic elegance we just fell in love with.

Korakia doesn’t need much décor, it can stand alone, but we wanted to make sure the décor we did bring in complemented the venue. We brought in hand crafted wooden tables with simple burlap runners. The chairs were all different styles and colors, nothing uniformed, following the theme of Korakia. There is nothing uniformed at Korakia, which is part of its charm. Since our reception was outdoors in the summer we didn’t want elaborate flowers that would wilt in the heat. So we chose to go with lovely wild flowers, with a hint of peach roses, for our center pieces, along with numbered (table numbers) burlap wine bags and tea candles. We wanted the table settings to be clean and elegant, so we went with ivory settings. It looked great against the rustic tables.

Any way we could turn a normal wedding tradition into something unique we did. For example, Instead of having a regular sign in book for our guests we had a cool tree painted on a canvass for our guests to sign. It’s hanging on our wall now and it’s a great reminder of all the people we care about. We also wanted our guests to go home with something they would actually use and a reminder of the special day. So we did a DIY project for the Thank You gifts. Each guest went home with a 4 pack of coasters, each coaster having a picture inspired by love on them. When I visit my friends and see they have our coasters out, it just puts a big smile on my face. Thinking out of the box works!

There were so many memorable moments of the day but one of the highlights was our first dance. My husband is NOT a dancer, like not at all. But he was up for the challenge, so we took lessons and did a whole choreographed routine. We started off with a slow two step and then busted out into the Dirty Dancing routine. No one saw it coming, it was all kinds of awesome.

Photography: Rad + In Love | Cinematography: Peter Fenty | Coordination: Personal Touch Events | Catering: Lulu California Bistro | Venue: Korakia Pensione

The Kitchen for Exploring Foods

Let’s talk about wedding planning for a moment, shall we?  Or, more specifically, let’s talk about wedding planning with The Kitchen for Exploring Foods, the fabulous catering and event planning company that is about to take your wedding to the next level.  Think yummy food meets top-notch service meets that Southern California vibe you know and love.  THE perfect wedding?  You know it.

With The Kitchen for Exploring Foods, putting together your dream day has never been easier… or more amazing.  That’s because The Kitchen for Exploring Foods is 100% committed to delivering you the day you’ve always envisioned, from start to finish.  I’m talking everything from customized menus to impeccable service a one-of-a-kind look that will leave all of your guests talking.  Not to mention that you’ll be working with a team of experts that is as dedicated as they are talented, which means a no-stress planning process for you – from that initial meeting to the handwritten thank you note.

Whether you envision a wedding that is classically simple or a day that is seriously complex (it’s your big day, after all), The Kitchen for Exploring Foods’ team of top chefs, designers and food stylists will happily make each and every one of your dreams come true… and all with that extra dash of quality they are known for.

So what are you waiting for, loves?  Start your journey towards a magical wedding day by contacting The Kitchen for Exploring Foods today.  You’ll be working with some of the friendliest and most amazing people in the biz… AND an Event Manager who will work with you step by step throughout the entire process.  We love that.

Photographer: Braedon Photography | Event Planner: Mindy Weiss Party Consultants | Florals: Mark's Garden | Catering: Kitchen for Exploring Foods | Decor: Revelry Event Designers

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