Relaxing Bachelorette Weekend

Simmi & Girlfriends

Snapshot

With the engagement and pre-wedding shoot ticked off the list, our Founder, Simmi lets her hair down and indulges in some fun and frivolity with her favorite girlfriends before the D-Day! Staying true to her personality, Simmi accompanied by her close friends, went away for a super relaxed bachelorette weekend in Bali. The girls enjoyed a perfect getaway being pampered with spas, facials, amazing food and cocktails by the pool. In this third installment of the four-part series, Simmi shares why Bali was the ideal choice for her getaway, the planning process behind organizing a group trip and tips on where to go and what to do!

About The Couple

Not so relevant here, but if you’re interested I talked about Chika and my story in more detail in my engagement post.

The Details

Planning & Theme

THEME: Although bachelorette parties are traditionally about spending your final days as a single woman with a big night out, it just didn’t feel like ‘me’. My perfect idea of a bachelorette party, instead, was bonding with my favorite girls over a relaxing getaway with lots of sunshine, cocktails by the pool and of course plenty of massages and facials.

PLANNING: Organising a group trip requires a fair bit of coordination so I knew the planning had to start early to organize all the details as well as give people plenty of notice of the plans. Since our wedding was at the end of November and bachelorette parties are usually held a month or so before, planning discussions for us started around June (4-5 months in advance).

Bridemaids are usually responsible for organizing bachelorette parties and so I enlisted their (there were four of them) help when it was time. Although each of the girls was keen to help out, I found it was best to give two of them the responsibility to lead the planning. They were super organized and delegated various aspects of the planning details among themselves. Given I knew this wasn’t a straightforward bachelorette party, I also offered to pitch in with researching accommodation and flights for the trip. I created a ‘Bridesmaids Help’ WhatsApp group to discuss and coordinate all the planning details which were helpful as we were all living in different cities.

Overall, organizing the getaway ended up being a really smooth process, thanks to my organized and very generous bridesmaids who made it a getaway to remember. Even though I knew most of the general details about the trip, the girls still managed to plan other little surprises without my knowledge which was a lovely touch. The planning process also ended up being a really great way for all of them to get to know each other in the lead up to the wedding.

Where & When

WHERE: We debated the options based on ease of getting there (flight time could not be more than 7-8 hours) and the flights and accommodation would need to be reasonably priced per person. The shortlist of options included hiring a holiday-house or something similar somewhere in Australia or a resort/villa somewhere in South East Asia such as Fiji, Bali or Thailand. We went away and researched flight and accommodation pricing to get a general idea of the costs associated with each option and after weighing up all up, we decided on Bali. It fit the brief perfectly – we could get really great flights on sale from Jetstar, accommodation, and food were relatively cheap, vibrant nightlife and more importantly, there were lots of options for indulging in spa treatments and massages that weren’t going to hurt the bank.

WHEN: Once the location was decided, we agreed on dates at the end of October that worked for all the bridesmaids at the very least. We all agreed that taking the Friday off work would be best to make the most of the getaway. I along with another bridesmaid was also keen to take Monday off and make a four day weekend out of it and left this option open to the other girls who were coming as well.

Getting Organised

ACCOMMODATION: Nishi, one of my other bridesmaids took responsibility for researching and booking the accommodation. We estimated about 8-10 people would be likely to attend and searched for options accordingly. A friend suggested an amazing private villa, Villa Seroja in Seminyak, Bali where we could stay for about $100-$200 per person for 3-4 nights depending on how many people could attend. This included our own cook for breakfast and a driver available for pickups and drop-offs during our stay. The place looked amazing and was great value for money! When the numbers were final, Nishi locked in the villa for our dates. All the girls were kind enough to

FLIGHTS: In the meantime, Priya (my maid of honor) and I researched flights. We found direct flights to Bali were usually on sale for $400-$500 on Jetstar. Closer to the date when the numbers were final, we kept an eye out for a good deal and informed everyone via our WhatsApp group. We all booked our own flights (including myself) to keep things simple.

INVITATION: When we had a better estimation of approximate costs involved, it was time to let the other girls know so they had enough information and ample notice to make a decision on whether they could make it. I sent a list of people I wanted to invite to Arani, another bridesmaid who took responsibility for creating and sending out the invitation. She made a hilarious Ryan Gosling-themed invite on MS Paint and sent it out three months before the planned getaway. The email included general details on the plan and approximate cost per person that would be involved. The invitees were asked to RSVP within 4 to 6 weeks so we had enough time to book inappropriate accommodation and reasonably priced flights.

Getaway Overview & Itinerary

Understandably not everyone who was invited could make the getaway due to prior commitments. In the end, though, there were 8 of us who were who could attend which was the perfect amount of people for an intimate trip in the end. We created a separate WhatsApp group to finalize the details.

The getaway itself was better than I could have asked for. It was perfect and everything that I wanted! The three-four day getaway was plenty of time, especially in a place like Bali which is pretty laid back. We spent most of our time lounging around in our beautiful villa, enjoying amazing food and drinks at cool restaurants and beach clubs, bathing in the sun drinking awesome cocktails by the pool and of course checking ourselves into plenty of spa and massage sessions. We all had a ‘go with the flow’ kind of attitude and by the end of the weekend, everyone felt relaxed, rejuvenated and closer together as a group.

I think it’s kudos to Arani in planning the getaway that allowed for flexibility. While she had researched various bars, restaurants and day spas we could go to in Seminyak, she didn’t book anything in until we all arrived in our villa. We all discussed what we felt like doing over the weekend and she suggested places accordingly. People felt included in the plans and were happy to go along the plans once they were finalized.

The best part was seeing all my friends from various aspects of my life (childhood, uni, work) getting along so well with each other. Some of them were meeting for the first time and despite slightly different personalities, we were all mature and shared a similar sense of humor, taste in food and idea of fun and relaxation!

Below is a general itinerary of our fun and super relaxed long weekend:

Thursday – the Late afternoon flight from Sydney, arriving in Bali around 9 pm. Late-night check-in at Villa Seroja.
Friday – Shopping in Seminyak, spa session at Espace Spa Bali and Prana Spa Bali, jacuzzi party at our villa in the evening.
Saturday – Spa session at Prana Spa Bali, lunch at Potato Head Beach Club, dinner at Sarong, drinks at Ku De Ta.
Sunday – Drink at Potato Head Beach Club, drinks and dinner at WOOBAR and Fire Restaurant at W Hotel Bali.
Monday – Spa session at AWAY Spa at W Hotel Bali, drinks at Ice Bar at W Hotel Bali, 10 pm flight back to Sydney.

Getting There

The hens getaway kicked off on Thursday afternoon with our flight to Bali. 6 out of the 8 of us were flying from Sydney so we all booked the same flight to Bali via Jetstar. On the day, we all met at the airport and made sure at check-in we requested to sit together on the plane (as we had all booked our flights separately). The other two girls flew into Bali the next day.

We made sure we purchased some liquor at duty-free and started the celebrations at the airport bar with some champagne and were feeling quite ‘happy’ as we boarded the plane for a six and a half hour flight. We were on the new Jetstar Dreamliner flight, so we had a super comfortable flight. We continued with our drinks which led to plenty of hilarious banter and some friendly dares which included strutting down the aisles and taking a selfie with someone in the business class cabin. I can safely say, I was up for the challenge and didn’t let anyone down!

We arrived in Bali around 8:45 pm and were picked up by the villa driver. We picked up some fast-food takeaway on the way to the villa and settled into our new home for the next few days. The villa was beautiful – spacious, modern with a lovely backyard and pool. There were 4 large bedrooms with their own ensuite so we paired up to share each. It was just the perfect size for our group!

HIGHLIGHTS: Definitely the dares on the plane.

OOTD: Comfortable pants and a t-shirt with a cardigan to make sure I was warm on the plane.

Day 1

Day 2 started with a delicious spread of champagne breakfast prepared by the villa cook. After swooning the villa in its full glory in daylight, we lazily arranged for the driver to take us to the main street in Seminyak. First thing first, it was time to relax and unwind. We checked ourselves into an Espace Spa Balia recommended mini spa for a relaxing massage, facial and manicure. Feeling fresh, we strolled down the main street perusing lovely clothes and accessories Seminyak has to offer.

After a tough day of shopping and lunch, we had time left for another spa session before we headed home. Arani, who had done her research suggested a popular Indian and Middle Eastern spa called Prana Spa Bali. The spa was like no other we had been to! With an interesting mix of Indian palatial grandness with a touch of Moroccan, we instantly felt like we were on the sets of Aladin. Unfortunately, full spa treatments were booked out for the day, so I highly recommend booking the place in advance as it’s definitely worth checking out during your visit. We opted for smaller treatments and managed to get bookings for all of us the following day.

Needless to say, after 1.5 hours of spa treatments, everyone was glowing and feeling fresh. It was time to head home to catch up with Nishi and Gowri who had flown in during the day. Nishi surprised us with some cute decorations from Typo and ‘survival packs’ for each of us – lovely and fun touch!

By the time we had finished catching up, it was late afternoon. Time for some cocktails by our villa pool! As we loosened up, we settled into our jacuzzi and played some typical ‘bachelorette’ party games that led to some hilarious stories and memories that we still laugh about today. It was so great to see all the girls have a great time and get along so well with each other. We turned up the music and soon we found ourselves happily dancing away and being generally silly for the rest of the night.

HIGHLIGHTS: Jacuzzi session with the girls.

OTTD: Levis denim shorts and Sandro shirt.

Day 2 Morning

The only way to cure a hangover, however, was to spend the day at the spa. After some delicious Indonesian breakfast, we headed to our booking at Prana Spa Bali and each chose our own treatments of various combinations and lengths. I chose the 2.5 hour Divine Unity treatment which included an interesting exfoliating body scrub under a rain shower, followed by a soothing aromatherapy oil massage and facial. The highlight was the Turkish style hot and cold plunge pool where we moved between cold and hot pools intermittently which apparently helps increase your blood circulation and tone your skin. The experience was a weirdly satisfying one even though I hate cold things! We finished up at Prana with some fresh juice at their courtyard restaurant. Everyone was glowing, feeling rejuvenated, fresh and totally relaxed!

After a “tough” day at the spa, we were famished and looked forward to a big lunch at Potato Head Beach Club. And we weren’t disappointed! We started with some sangria and shared a delicious mix of dishes. The girls awarded me my ‘bride-to-be’ badge and glittery fairy wand along with a flower necklace and crown (to keep things classy) as we cheered to the getaway and getting married! The fun continued back at the villa with some games the girls had prepared; for instance, a series of questions to see how well Chika and I knew each other. For every question I answer wrong, I had to have a swig of my drink. The girls went easy on me though, given we had a big night the day before.

Day 2 Dinner

For dinner, Arani had reserved us a table at Sarong restaurant – a glamorous and buzzing restaurant in Seminyak. A perfect spot for drinks and dinner with the girls. The food and drink menu was incredible – modern Asian and so delicious! After a few sips of our cocktails, things started to get unexpectedly deep as I asked each of the girls for one piece of marriage advice (as many of them were already married). This was one of my favorite parts of the trip – people really opened up and provided some really honest and helpful advice for not just me but for each other as well. I love deep and meaningful conversations like these so it great to everyone feel comfortable talking and bonding over some real stuff, especially as quite a few of the girls had only met each other during this trip.

The night ended at popular beach club Ku De Ta where we enjoyed the balmy night on the beach beds with some drinks. Although the other girls were probably rearing for a big night, I was pretty tired so we left pretty soon after. All in all, though, it was one of the best days out of the trip!

OTTD: Maxi dress by Monica Dogra from a fun little India-based fashion portal called Stylista and flower crown from Lovisa. Swimwear by Shivan & Naresh from Stylista.

Day 3

Most of the girls were heading back to Australia that evening, so after breakfast, we headed to Potato Head Beach Club for one last hurrah. Luckily we arrived early enough (around 11.30 am) to get a beach bed as they usually fill up quickly. It was especially hot that day so chilling in the pool overlooking the beach was the perfect way to end the weekend with the girls.

After some lunch at a nearby Indian restaurant (we were craving some curry), we headed back to the villa to see the girls before they left for the airport. The rest of us headed out for some quiet drinks at WOOBAR and dinner at Fire Restaurant at W Hotel Bali. More deep and meaningful conversations ensued as we cheered on life, love, and friendships!

HIGHLIGHTS: Pool time at Potato Head Beach Club.

OOTD: Maxi dress by Masabafrom Stylista. Swimwear by Seafolly.

Day 4

We were on a 10 pm flight that night, so we still had the whole day in Bali. We could only pay tribute to an amazing getaway in Bali with another spa session. We checked out of the villa and checked straight into the AWAY Spa at W Hotel Bali. The spa had a more modern feel to it and had some amazing treatment packages. Since it was our final day we chose ‘Goddess Glow’, which included a herbal wrap, a body scrub and a relaxing Balinese massage.

Another advantage of having the getaway in a place like Bali was that with all the spa treatments being so reasonably priced, I ended up working as my intensive skincare treatments before the wedding. By the end of the trip, my skin was exfoliated, rejuvenated and glowing from all the treatments. It was perfect timing in the lead up to the wedding!

Feeling totally relaxed after the treatments, we had some time for final drinks at Ice Bar at W Hotel Bali before heading back to the airport. We reminisced the highlights of the trip and looked forward to the wedding ahead. A highlight was answering some pretty intense life questions from a New York Times quiz I had found. As we watched the sunset over the horizon, we bid adieu to the most perfect and unforgettable trip with my favorite women.

HIGHLIGHTS: Eating green mango with fresh chili at and deep and meaningful conversations.

Tips For Brides-To-Be

1. It’s your day – do what you want. Rather than thinking about what’s ‘tradition’ or what your girlfriends may think is fun to do, think about what your ideal bachelorette party looks like and go with that. Of course, you can’t be so prescriptive that it takes the fun out for your bridesmaids to organize, but it’s always a good idea to let them know your general thoughts in advance so they can keep your wishes in mind.

2. Designate planning responsibility to one or two girls who lead the planning details. It, of course, helps to have well-organized bridesmaids, friends or family who will take initiative and keep things moving to ensure things get done.

3. Allow flexibility in plans. Although most people are happy to go with the flow, it’s always a good idea to discuss plans at the start of the party to see what everyone thinks and if they have any other ideas. Instead of having a strict, regimented plan (especially in the case of a getaway), allow options for people e.g. the plan is to go for a 3-hour spa session, but if you want to go for a shorter period, that’s fine too. This way everyone feels included and allows for different personalities.

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About The Author

Simmi

Founder & CEO at The Crimson Bride. As I planned my own wedding not long ago, I really enjoyed the creative process of putting together a wedding that would be true to who I am and our story. I loved discovering amazing designers and wedding professionals and found myself spending countless hours being inspired by their incredible work. I began sharing my musings on a humble blog titled called The Crimson Bride, and the rest is history. Well, actually you can read more about it here. The Crimson Bride is also my creative outlet and an opportunity for me to share my love and admiration for all things Indian - art, craft, culture, film and fashion. I am also a bit of a film geek and may have a mild crush on Ryan Gosling. I love travelling, spending quality time with family and friends.