Right before we left NYC, I was at Lake Winnipesaukee celebrating my best friend Kelley for her bachelorette! We have been friends since we were in 4th grade dance class together (back in Sudbury MA), and she is getting married in October 2022.
Kelley and I have similar personalities, but different interest (she loves brewery hopping and sports.....I love shopping and am a wimpy drinker). We joke that opposites attract, and we are proof of it with our friendship 18 years later! I am so excited to be her maid of honor (MOH) for her wedding, and loved planning + designing the vision of her bachelorette!
Location & Itinerary
Lake Winnipesaukee is located in New Hampshire - it's about a 1.5 hour drive from Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, or a 2 hour drive from both Boston Logan Airport and Portland International Airport. It's a large lake surrounded with summer homes, scenic towns and dramatic hikes showcasing New Englands gorgeous landscape.
Kelley picked Lake Winnipesaukee because she thought it would be fun to go boating, hang out at Braun Bay, drink beer and go out to some of her favorite restaurants around the lake. Also, her parents have a house there and they let us use it (thanks again Beth + Tim!!). Here are details from our weekend itinerary:
+ Arrival at the Lake House
+ Beer Taste-Testing Challenge
+ Dinner & More Beer at Twin Barns Brewing Company
+ Lingerie Party
+ Breakfast at the Lake House; Make Sandwiches for Lunch
+ Boat Over to Braun Bay for a Day at the Lake
+ Enjoy Home-made Sandwiches on the Boat for Lunch
+ Boat Back to House & Get Ready for the Night
+ Dinner at Bar Salida
+ Scavenger Hunt around Weirs Beach
+ End the Night at Tower Hill Tavern for Karaoke
+ Breakfast at the Lake House
+ Clean & Pack Up for Departure
Bachelorette Theme + Decor
With all the different activities we were planning to do over the weekend, it reminded me a lot of summer camp activities. I decided to name it CAMP KELLEY because it was a weekend full of fun summer activities Kelley loves to do. Also, it made for a great bachelorette hashtag #CAMPKELLEY.
For inspiration for what to decorate, I utilized Pinterest a lot! I had a hard time finding camp-theme ideas, so some ideas we came up with from scratch. My three (3) favorite things we did for bachelorette decor were: the balloon arch, "lake water" juice pouches and the bunk assignments.
Tip: If you are worried about over-spending on decorations, this is what I did - I received photos of the place we were staying, and put each photo in a PowerPoint slide. As I was shopping for decoration, I took a screenshot of the decor I wanted, saved the link and added it to the slide based on the room I would use the decorations in. Once all the rooms were completed, I went ahead and purchased.
+ I focused on areas I knew people would hang out and take pictures in.
+ When it was time to set up the decoration, I knew exactly where each thing was suppose to go. This helped reduce stress and focus on decorating before the bride arrived!
+ If you want to save more, skip buying "goodie bags" for the ladies. They are a nice gesture, but not needed for hosting a great weekend.
Here are some decor photos from the bachelorette weekend:
FLOWERS (style: baby-breaths + can be picked up at local florist or grocery store)
THE BRIDE'S BEDROOM DECOR
A Weekend of Camp Activities
Camp Activity (1/4): Beer Taste-Testing Challenge
Kelley has the NICEST cousins who generously planned this activity! Each person wore a hanging name tag with a description of a beer, and then they had to taste the different beers. The goal was to match the person's name tag to the beer. The cousins put a fun twist to it, and added a memory of Kelley relating to the beer. It made it more personal and helped guess which beer if you weren't as educated on different beers (like me lol).
Tip: This was a great ice-breaker game to kick off the bachelorette + helped the ladies meet each other.
Camp Activity (2/4): Lingerie Party
This is a really funny activity played at bachelorettes! If you have never done this before, I'll explain: As a sexy (or funny) gift to the bride, each person attending the bachelorette brings undies in a gift bag or box. The bride opens each one up in front of all the ladies, and she guesses who gifted it. Sometimes gifts get crazy! At Kelley's, she was gifted all different kinds of underwear...ex. ranging from high-end lingerie to underwear with a cow on it. We didn't take photos during this part of the night, so instead I will share some recommendations below:
Camp Activity (3/4): Braun Bay
This was our big activity for Saturday! Kelley had a friend, of a friend, who had a boat on the lake. He hosted all 13 of us and brought us to Braun Bay to day-drink and hang out with other boaters. Braun Bay is very rowdy with all different types of people. We played flip cup, sat in floats, drank hard seltzers and chilled on the boat. It was a VERY hot day, and the lake was the perfect activity to keep everyone cool.
Tip: To keep ladies hydrated in the hot sun, we packed fruit and extra waters (bring more than you think). For the fruit, I picked up a fruit platter from the grocery store. Also, a couple ladies and I made grape kabobs, froze them overnight and brought them in a container with us.
BRIDE + BABE FANNY PACKS (comes in bulk)
+ Group Shirts: If you want to do matching shirts, plan to have the ladies wear them while in the sun! They make great cover-ups for photos and help for protection against the sun.
+ Matching Swim Suits: Matching bathing suits look so cute in group photos! I asked the ladies ahead of time to bring a black suit, and told Kelley to wear a white one. It's a great cost saver $$ for matching outfits in photos.
+ Wear water-shoes at Braun Bay. It's fun to walk in between the boats, but you have to be careful of sharp objects, like anchors or broken glass, in the water.
Camp Activity (4/4): Scavenger Hunt
On Saturday night, we went out to dinner in Laconia NH and planned to go to the bars afterwards! To make the night more interesting, I had one of the friends print a scavenger hunt for the ladies to complete. They had funny little tasks to do, like take a picture in the men's bathroom, find a guy with the same name as the groom, get someone to buy the bride a drink, etc. Once a task was completed, they had to take a photo to show proof. Afterwards, we uploaded the photos into our iPhone shared album, and they were so funny to look back at in the morning.
+ Have the ladies pick teams of 2-3 people to complete the tasks on the scavenger hunt.
+ Don't forget to print ahead of time, and bring pencils or pens!
Camp Activities we didn't get to
In case we had extra time, I had tie dye kits + clothing items to dye. It was a good back up in case we had any rain forcing us to cancel an activity.
Tip: Don't over-plan activities. Some of the people attending haven't seen each other since college, and it's nice having some downtime to chat.
It was so much fun spending time with Kelley and her closest friends, and I love looking back on these memories! Before we left Lake Winnipesaukee to travel home, we had Kelley write her parents a letter from Camp Kelley (her parent's kept her old camp letters, so now they have a new one to add). It was a really cute way to end the weekend.
Special shout out to Kelley's friends + family who helped me pull off #CAMPKELLEY and celebrate our bride to be!