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How to Plan an Epic Girls' Getaway

Gone are the days when bridesmaids had minimal duties and would show up just before the wedding to help with final wedding preparations and decorations. With many brides taking anywhere from 12 to 18 months to plan their long-awaited fairy-tale wedding, bridesmaids often take part in everything from finding the perfect dresses for themselves and the bride to previewing different wedding venues to attending multiple wedding and bridal showers.

Making so many important group decisions can take a toll on relationships, so here are a few things you’ll need to do to plan the perfect stress-free getaway for the bride-to-be.

Pick a location.

Some popular getaway destinations in Texas include:

- Austin - City lights and night-time entertainment beckon in the state’s capital.

- Bastrop - Small-town charm with farmers markets and the peaceful Colorado River beckon brides and their ‘maids to this peaceful gem.

- Corpus Christi - Enjoy the Texas coast, seafood, and the many tourist attractions.

- Fredericksburg - The Texas Hill Country offers wine tasting, shopping, and great bed and breakfasts.

-San Antonio - The Riverwalk, the Pearl Brewery, and shopping at La Cantera make the perfect girls’ weekend.

Prepare to cover the cost.

Get together with your fellow bridesmaids and discuss your budget in advance. Decide how to split the cost of the getaway. You don’t want the bride having to pay for her meals, travel, or lodging during your weekend. Prepare in advance who will pay for what so there is no money talk in front of the bride.

Finalize the guest list.

If the wedding party is small and the bride prefers a more intimate gathering, then keep it small. If she’s more of a social butterfly and there are others near-and-dear who aren’t part of the wedding, invite them along for the weekend.

Decide to surprise or tell.

Does the bride like surprises? Or does she need a few details about the weekend in advance in order to enjoy herself? For a surprise, plan a “bride-napping.” Tell her that her bags are already packed and whisk her away to your secured, stress-free location. If your bride is the planner-type then give a few hints, like “pack for swimming” or “prepare for wine tasting,” and then let the exact location be the surprise.

Make memories.

In advance of the trip, have each bridesmaid prepare their favorite “bride stories” to share - maybe how they first met, something embarrassing they lived through together, or how their friendship has stood the test of time.

Be sure to document your time together and share your fun memories and photos with the bride in an album made just for her on Snapfish or Shutterfly.

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