A Fall Put-In-Bay Bachelorette Party – For 20 Ladies

Last weekend Hannah and I went to our friend Kelly’s 20-person bachelorette party on Put-In-Bay and it was excellent. And since there were a lot of ways this could have gone wrong, we thought we’d put together a little recap/list of tips for throwing your own 20-person fall Put-In-Bay bachelorette party.

  1. Pick 20 great ladies

    • Can’t emphasize this step enough. Everyone at Kelly’s bachelorette was chill, fun, and down to celebrate Kelly by doing whatever she wanted. By having a huge group, we brought the party wherever we went and ultimately ended up in my perfect club scenario: the club was empty except for us.
  2. Pick a fall weekend

    • There are fewer people (especially drunk people in swimming pools) in October so we weren’t fighting for space at the bars. We also scored some great beer deals because the season was closing on Sunday so the bars were clearing out their beer.
  3. Find a house big enough to fit everyone
    put in bay dodge house bachelorette party

    • You don’t want to have people spread out in multiple Airbnbs or across several hotel rooms because then the bachelorette has to pick a spot to post up or get ready. We rented out the Dodge House and fit all 20 people no prob. There were 2.5 kitchens which were perfect for cooking up mass quantities of mozzarella sticks in the early morning/late night hours. We pushed some furniture around and strategically filled one fridge with booze to try to keep everyone hanging out on one side of the house Friday night.
  4. Over-communicate (JK Maggie, you communicated the perfect amount)

    • Maggie is a professional event planner so she really had everything squared away for this whole event. But if you aren’t a pro-planner here are a few things to make sure everyone knows:
      • Deadlines to RSVP
      • How much the Airbnb costs per person and a deadline to pay that
      • How much shirts cost, and a deadline for that
      • How much to contribute to food and what will be provided at the house vs. BYOB
      • A rough schedule for the weekend
    • People will probably still have questions even with the emails, but its good to have stuff written down to refer to.
    • Collecting the money up front (all hail Venmo) keeps things real easy on the bachelorette weekend.
  5. Limit the cars

    • There are a couple of ferries to Put-In-Bay but cars have to take the Miller Ferry and it costs more. Encourage your guests to hop on the Jet Express and walk or get a ride from kind strangers to the Dodge House. We brought two cars packed full of food, booze, and decorating supplies and brought those over early on Friday to get set up. Driving onto the Miller Ferry to scoot across to Put-In-Bay was no problem, but there was a long line on Sunday waiting to get cars back on, so if you can get most people to avoid this by leaving their cars on the mainland, their hungover bods will thank you.
  6. Bring food and booze with you

    • We asked everyone to arrive anytime after 5 pm on Friday and had dinner and snacks ready for that night. By grabbing all of the food we’d need ahead of time and packing it into the two cars, the rest of the guests were able to just bring whatever booze they wanted to drink and not have to carry bags of food with them onto the ferry. Our food plan was to provide:
      • Friday Dinner: frozen pizzas, chips+dips
      • Saturday Breakfast: mimosa bar, bagels+cream cheese
      • Saturday Lunch: deli tray sandwiches, veggies, chips+dip
      • Saturday late night: Costco drunk food: mozzarella sticks, taquitos, chicken nuggets
      • Sunday Breakfast: granola bars, bananas, water bottles, leftovers
    • We stopped at a restaurant for dinner Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed the late night snacks when we got back to the house. We overbought on chips and dips but the rest of the stuff was alright. We grabbed pretty much all the food at Costco and a few things from BJ’s.
  7. Get matching shirts
    put in bay bachelorette matching shirts

    • Come on, you know you want matching shirts. Kelly didn’t want anything too wedding-themed, penis-themed, peanut-themed (she’s allergic and it’s our favorite ongoing joke), or her name specific, so we made shirts with Bridesmaids quotes. I designed the type and had them printed at CustomInk. We went with baseball tees since in October we figured it would be chilly, but we happened to have a 75-degree day anyways. Double check when you’re ordering that you can get your group shirts and single shirt (for the bride) in different colors if you want them to match. Some shirt places don’t offer minimum QTY of 1, so keep that in mind when ordering custom shirts. Or, you can get shirts through a ton of Etsy sellers, but we wanted some specific phrases and colors.
    • If you don’t want to do matching shirts for everyone, we also had fanny packs prepared for the group with a few bachelorette temporary tattoos and critical party supplies like Purell, gum, and Advil.
  8. Make a group Snapchat story

    put in bay bachelorette party
    Photo cred: coulda been anyone
    • Kelly set this up and we all just threw our snaps into it. This was hilarious to watch the next day, but I wish there was a way we could have downloaded the full group story to cherish forever. We also attempted a custom Snapchat filter, but since we were wandering around the island all day and the filters tend to be location-specific, it wasn’t super successful. We had it at the house though and people were able to use it there!
  9. Bring baby hands or any weird prop for everyone
    put in bay baby hands

    • Alright, this one is pretty Kelly specific, but having these baby hands to rally around was a true highlight of the weekend. We grabbed a bunch from Amazon and everyone wore them around Put-In-Bay all day Saturday. (See this SNL skit for baby hands reference)
  10. Find Toby/Girl Fieri
    put in bay bachelorette party live band

    • Our first stop Saturday afternoon was at the long bar where the bartender told us we HAD to come back that night at 9:30 pm to see their very popular band. We all laughed because that was 7.5 hours from then and there was NO WAY we were making it. Well, we made it and this band was INSANE. The singer, backed by approximately eight people, started real country and then broke out into the most amazing rendition of Thunderstruck that I have ever seen. There was a fire stick and a drum and I lost my voice yelling along. Best observed after 7.5 hours of drinking.

Kelly’s bachelorette weekend was so much fun, and a lot of that had to do with Maggie’s pre-planning. With everyone under one roof, most of the food taken care of, and no money exchanges to worry about, everyone was able to just show up, hang out, and spend time with Kelly.

Have you ever planned a big bachelorette party? Any other tips you would suggest? We’d love to hear them!

put in bay fall bachelorette party


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