You’ve partied plenty during your single days, and maybe you’ll party more after you say “I do,” but swapping hangovers for a relaxing getaway with your favorite friends may seem like your ideal pre-wedding getaway. And you’re not the only bride who thinks so.
“I get calls from people for this type of thing a lot. It’s trending,” says Peggy Hall, wellness expert at PeggyHall.com. “Brides want to look their best on their wedding day. They don’t want to look puffy, tired and worn out. Unfortunately that tends to happen when brides have typical bachelorette parties.”
Wellness retreats can help diminish wedding stress, increase well-being and help brides feel more confident, relaxed, peaceful, energetic and ready to take on married life, Hall notes.
“At retreats, the bride and her friends will feel refreshed and revived. Typically the food will be healthy, exercises will bring a glow to their skin and de-stress the mind and body. Plus, there will be laughter, bonding and connection with the people you can trust most,” says Hall.
Before you begin planning your wellness getaway, consider the following.
Identify your goal
You know you don’t want a Vegas-style hardcore party, but think about what you really want, says Anne Dimon, founder of the website Travel to Wellness. In other words, Dimon says, “Do you really want a wellness retreat or just a hotel or resort with a great spa and a place to party afterwards?” Once you narrow down your intention, your search will be much easier.
Decide on duration
Options abound for a wellness-type event, from a day on the beach to a few hours in a yoga studio.
“It’s easy to do an online search for private yoga instructors who will do something for a couple of hours or longer. They may guide you through stretching and breathing exercises or guided visualization for a sense of peace and well-being,” says Hall.
Depending on your location and time of year, you can search for a yoga teacher who will hold a session by a lake, mountain or park.
For an event that will last a few days, Dimon says decide if you want a hosted retreat that offers a set schedule of activities, such as classes on yoga, meditation and cooking, or if you want a place that provides all of these options to use at your leisure.
Pick a few perfect options
Choose two or three options with different price ranges and run them past your girlfriends.
“It’s more important to have everyone together bonding, enjoying a wellness experience and celebrating the big event, than to choose a destination that, for some, might be out of reach financially or difficult to travel to,” says Dimon.
Hall suggests starting with nearby hotels and asking to speak with its yoga instructors, concierge or spa manager.
“First, tell them your budget. They should be able to tailor your stay to your group’s needs,” she says.
Pleasing everyone in your bridal party is hard, but Dimon recommends being mindful of everyone’s preferences.
“Everyone of your bachelorettes might not be up for a challenging hike or an all-day kayaking excursion. So if you wish is to keep the group together in celebration, select wellness activities that everyone might be comfortable with,” she says.
The same goes for food. As the cornerstone of any wellness travel experience, Dimon suggests asking your party-goers about food preferences, such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or allergy-friendly.
“Make sure the destination you select for the retreat can accommodate all preferences,” says Dimon.