Last month, I got to join a group of girls at “The Barn” and celebrate my new little sister (in law) joining the McKinney family.  It was the perfect kind of weekend – slow, surrounded by girl friends and lots of yummy snacks. This was my first party partnering with my new sisters in crime and we had a blast getting everything together to celebrate Emily, my soon-to-be sister in law.

I thought I’d use our super successful weekend to offer a little guide and outline for the perfect casual celebration for your Bachlorette. Our Emily shines bright, so our theme for the weekend was Shine Like a Diamond and we used the colors of the wedding to make all our decoration decisions.

We kept the decorations as simple as the menu.

  • “kiss the MISS goodbye” sign in sheet – We just made a simple design on Microsoft Publisher, but you could use any design software you have on your computer or online. I snagged a pack of pearlized cardstock for all our projects for the weekend and just printed it off on my home computer. Snag a couple colors of cheap bright pink or red lipstick (brighter the better!) and you are ready to go. (we do suggest a matte or regular finish, no gloss because it will be too sticky to frame) Set out a fine point sharpie or pen with the paper and all the attendees can autograph their lip print and leave a message. We did learn there was a technique to making the lip print, but there were too many laughs in the process to tell you the trick!
  • monogram sign – I snagged a navy (wedding color) chalkboard cutout in the dollar section by the front door of Target.  My sis in law already had chalk markers that she uses at home so she free-handed the couple’s monogram on the sign. We are saving this to share with mom for the rehearsal dinner, then I’m sure there will be some way to use it to decorate their new home!
  • Last Name banner – again playing in the party section at Target, my sis-in-law found a blank white pennant banner. We counted out the letters in the last name and centered them, one on each triangle. Since she is used to doodling her maiden name, I let her handle all the letter drawing! White let us add any color and hang it among our garlands without having to worry about coordinating. Again, we will reuse it in our decorations at the rehearsal dinner and let them hang it in their apartment after the wedding.
  • Party Store paper pom poms and garland – some were from Walmart on the party aisle and I added to them from a local party store. Paper tassel garland and a fan out circle or pom poms.  We just selected one color for each type of decoration and just mixed and matched in each of our vignettes.
  • inspirational quotes  – we just printed these off of google images and used a couple from Holley Gerth’s freebie images. Use frames you already have in your home and replace the pictures for the weekend. Leave the bride the print offs and put your frames back in your house when the weekend is over. They needed to be dusted off anyway!
  • paper diamonds for muffins – I’m just going to let these speak for themselves.  Print these off

    on that same pearlized cardstock you bought for other projects.  I even used a little glitter glue and drew over each of the lines. (do this part 3-4 days before the event)  Put them on a flat and safe place to dry. Cut out the outlines and stick them in the top of muffins, or powdered donuts on your breakfast buffet. (Evite: Inspiration)

  • Bride to Be sash and tiara – sash from party store and dollar tiaras are good enough to do the trick. We even had our bride wear hers out for the evening activities. I mean you can only milk the “bride tribe” when you’re well, a BRIDE!
  • personalized pictures printed on cardstock – if you have the time and printing capabilities. I made a collage using one of the templates on Canva. A little Facebook stalking of her bride and all the maids and we had the perfect little collage for the weekend. I used the pearlized cardstock for this too…it was hard to see the pictures, but its the thought that counts, right?
  • Date Night Ideas on popsicle sticks – I used mason jars for my wedding, so I have a few extras stashed in the garage, but its as easy getting one at a dollar or thrift store. A cheap package of blank, regular, Popsicle sticks or tongue depressors from a dollar store or Walmart is all you need and a set of markers that you already have on hand. We just kept the jar out all weekend and as inspiration came, we added ideas. Let activities be the decor too!

Simple, not over thinking it, and making a menu we knew people would love was the key to the weekend. We had other ideas ready in reserve, but found that just hanging out and laughing was the best medicine for any of us. Shower games can be awkward so don’t feel pressure to play them if that’s just not your “thing”.

Oh and they wanted to watch movies from when they were young, and giggle, and reminisce.  I quickly found out the movie that they spent the day quoting, that they watched at their 4th grade slumber parties, came out the year I graduated from college. I felt old really quick. I’ll always be the oldest sibling, but my favorite title next to being Mrs. McKinney is being a big sister, so I just owned it and made jokes of myself so they didn’t have to!

Extra Ideas:

  • Telephone Pictionary or Charades with titles of Romantic Comedies 
  • toilet paper wedding dresses are always fun and cheap to make an easy competition between teams of attendees.  
  • Bridal Mad Libs – google search or support the Etsy artists!
  • prayer of blessing over bride before breakfast brunch – just a moment to pause together and gather around the bride.

So much more fun to be had this month and a lifetime of memories to be made as we celebrate the new McKinneys!!


Inspiration for the weekend came from a little Google and Pinterest searching.  (I mean really how did people plan parties andn special events when they had to do their own thinking?