Feminist Bachelorette Party Ideas

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Hopefully you all saw my post on Magic Mike Live, what I consider to be the ultimate feminist bachelorette party experience of all time. If not, get thee over there and read it, pronto.

But for those who can’t afford Vegas or who want to avoid travel all together (there is ZERO reason bachelorette parties need to cost an arm and a leg), I wanted to put together a round-up of some other ideas to consider, for those feminists in your life who are getting married and still want to celebrate, but sans penis straws.

  1. The most important part is that the celebration celebrate the person themselves. Ask what they want (and more importantly, don’t want) and tailor it to THEM

  2. Rent Magic Mike XXL, have a slumber party and drink boat loads of champagne. If you can’t go to Vegas, bring Magic Mike to you

  3. Speaking of movie rentals, a Wonder Woman themed bachelorette would also be effing amazing. Costumes optional.

  4. Head to a karaoke bar - or organize your own lip sync battle

  5. For those who aren’t night owls and don’t want a party atmosphere, spa it up, followed by brunch, boozy or not

  6. Co-ed party - Baby showers are going co-ed (I had one) and so should bachelor/bachelorette parties

  7. Wine tasting at a local winery. But hire transport - safety first

  8. Organize an afternoon of volunteering for your favorite local organization - or use the party as an opportunity to raise money and donate to Planned Parenthood or other worthy, feminist causes

A couple of other suggestions:

Don’t call it a “last hurrah” or other awful references to marriage being the end of fun or independence or freedom. Marriage is neither the beginning nor the end - it’s a moment to celebrate. Period.

not cool

not cool

I generally recommend staying away from gay bars and drag shows as a straight, cisgendered woman. As Skylar Baker-Jordan wrote, “true allies understand that they are not entitled to a marginalized group’s space or time or companionship.” But if you are cisgendered and want to go, please keep these tips in mind (more details here):

  • As Miz Cracker wrote in Slate, gay bars “provide a haven from the heterosexual gaze. In small towns and big cities alike, these spaces allow queers to talk, flirt, and unwind without drawing sneers, slurs, curious stares, or even unwanted support—My son is gay, too!”  So if you’re determined to go, just remember to be respectful that you’re entering someone’s safe space and the LGBTQ community do not exist to entertain you.  

  • Help offset the decline of queer spaces by putting your money where your mouth is and tip well.

  • If you meet someone new, use gender neutral terms unless they’ve told you how they identify

  • Don’t act like a tourist. Don’t gawk and always ask permission before taking a photo of someone

  • Don't get up on a stage uninvited

  • Don't expect the music to have been selected for you

The Ultimate Feminist Bachelorette Party

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This is the first of two posts I’m planning about feminist bachelorette parties. A round-up is forthcoming (with lots of other ideas), but this one focuses on one special option that blew my freaking mind. I do want to briefly mention that I am a cisgendered woman - and though feminist, this perspective is certainly a cisgendered one.

I’ve been meaning to write this blog post since last May, when I took a trip to Vegas with my sisters to celebrate their 40th birthday. My sisters and I stumbled upon what I truly believe to be an excellent feminist bachelorette party option. In a sea of penis straws and strange, bedazzled “Bride to Be” sashes, this experience was empowering, super fantastic fun (my face hurt from smiling), and jaw-droppingly feminist.

Our trip was centered around going to the newly opened Magic Mike Live show which opened in Vegas in March. And no, I’m not joking. For those of you who may not be aware, the second Magic Mike movie (Magic Mike XXL) was - truly - one of the most feminist, revolutionary films I’d seen in a while. Please take a moment to read these articles to learn more (here and here) - but suffice it to say, though the plot was ridiculous and somewhat non-existent (I didn’t say it was a GOOD movie), the film at its core was about men’s earnest desire to please ALL women, or as Andrea Grimes writes, “Magic Mike XXL is about a whole LOAD of dudes who have two main priorities: think up new ways to make women happy, and dance.” I’ve never seen so many different women - black, white, large, small, old, young - in a movie, not to mention being PLEASURED in a movie. If you haven’t watched the movie, do so now. No seriously, now, and then come back and read the rest of this post.

So. Fast forward to Vegas. Despite our love of Magic Mike, we really didn’t have high expectations for this show. Our main hope was that the men would actually DANCE and it would be a slightly less sleazy version of a strip club.

Without giving too much away, feminism in the show abounds to an insane degree. First, there are men of all types, shades and styles - as well as dancing of all kinds, so everyone who attends will find someone or something that they love (aka all women will be pleased and find someone to crush on). The show opens with a deliberate attempt to thwart the typical Village People male stripper experience, in a twist so lovely that even I, the person who always figures out the end of movies, didn’t see coming. The MC is female, so she is in a position of power and control, and represents the every-woman and what she (ie “we”) wants. They discuss how consent is sexy (!). They literally use the word “misogyny” as crappy guys threaten to take over the show. They provide you with fake money so that the exchange of money isn’t an issue. And that money has “You’re Welcome” on it, which is basically the theme of the show. As my sister so brilliantly put it, “instead of “You’re Welcome” implying that we should be grateful for something, it meant all women are welcome in this space. That women are safe in this space. That women for once don’t have to worry that admitting or expressing their sexual desire means they’re asking to be harassed or assaulted or raped.” Revolutionary. Truly. Get thee to Vegas.

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So if you’re looking to celebrate your or your friend’s marriage, but are tired of the old cliched activities and ideas, head to Magic Mike Live and have your feminist mind blown. And BTW, I saw the show stone cold sober (and a little queasy cause I was pregnant) so just imagine what a cocktail or two would do ;)

**I will state for the record here that this is not in any way a sponsored post (though hot-damn, I wish it were - send me back to see the show again, Channing Tatum!). I just want to spread the revolutionary, feminist stripper love

Stay tuned next week for a larger round up of other feminist bachelorette ideas!

The Plannery's make over

Trying to keep on trucking - so today I'm celebrating The Plannery's new look. This fall, The Plannery is going to be 5 years old! So I felt it was time for a bit of a website overhaul (and who doesn't love a makeover?). Thrilled to welcome you to our new look - hopefully we've maintained the down-to-earthdom our last site had, while making it a bit more modern, and easy to navigate and read.

Huge, huge thanks to Kim Lofgren - our event designer AND graphic designer extraordinaire - for the new logo and the new look. We've been working on this for quite a while and I'm so glad it's finally up and running - couldn't have done it without your vision and help!

Hope you all enjoy poking around and checking out all that's new - but don't worry, our favorite tagline is still the same ;)

new website, same world

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Well - today was supposed to be the launch of The Plannery's new site. And it still is. Cause it's up and running and I've just got to keep on keeping on.

But after this weekend's events in Charlottesville, I really feel odd just going on business as usual without addressing it. Cause it's deeply effecting me and I'm sure many of you.

I'm not gonna lie - I feel really stuck. And really, really angry. And really, really privileged.

I read somewhere that love and fury can coexist - that's sort of where I am right now. Cause while I'd like to focus on "love trumps hate" and remind you all that the good in this world (love, weddings, marriages, families, friends) will overcome all the bad... I don't really have faith in that at the moment. I'm grateful that my job will force me to remember. I'm grateful that my child and husband will force me to remember. But I also have to be honest that I'm not quite sure where to go from here.

Part of my problem is that I'm pregnant. With another baby girl. And while my problems are nothing compared to so many, I'm really struggling being pregnant during this truly effed up time. Struggling with the racism, sexism, misogyny, hatred and ignorance I see every. damn. day. Trying so bleeping hard to focus on the fact that if I work hard, and do everything in my being to raise good, proactive, anti-racist women, that IS something. But...right now it doesn't feel like enough. I'm struggling with self care vs. action and feel like I'm failing on all fronts.

So just keeping it real here. I'm going to do the small things I can - donate, educate, make proactive choices to raise my daughters with more knowledge and empathy, awareness of their white privilege and the inherent racism all around us. And hopefully faith that when my pregnancy is over and my girls are older I can do more and be more and do better.

More on the new website tomorrow. Much love to everyone.

Event Design in Action

AS-BeforeAfter
AS-BeforeAfter

As many of you know we launched an event design branch at The Plannery recently. Ann and Stephen were one of our first test subjects (!), so I thought it would be fun to take a look at how their moodboard from Kim came to life. Ann and Stephen wanted a colorful, modern wedding to fit in with their somewhat unique venue, Clarendon Ballroom. Kim came back to them with some beautiful bold colors in various shades of pink along with a deep blue, and accented by gold and green. As you'll see, Ann's bridesmaids dresses played into the darker pink tone, while her florist brought out the brighter pinks and green accents. We went with the dark blue linens which perfectly matched Kim's design board - as did Stephen's suit! The gold chairs, and gold table numbers were great gold accents - and though we didn't get photos of it, they served sparkling rose to their guests pre ceremony!

Please be sure to ask us about our design services whether you're a coordination or planning client!

Photo by Shandi Wallace
Photo by Shandi Wallace
Photo by Shandi Wallace
Photo by Shandi Wallace

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There are some things you just can't plan...

Photo by This Rad Love 2017 is turning out to be quite an odd year for The Plannery. It's actually a wonderful lesson in what you can and can't plan. Tarra and I are, if I do say so myself, great planners and coordinators. We'll organize the heck out of your wedding. But sometimes in life, there are things that - try as you might - you just can't plan perfectly. And so it's with great excitement that I share that BOTH Tarra and I are expecting babies this Fall!

Tarra is due in mid October, and I am due in early November. While I'm super thrilled for everyone involved (especially Tarra and her wife cause this is their first - and that is just so darned special), it does mean The Plannery is taking a bit of an unplanned sabbatical this fall! We've had to transfer some of our wedding jobs over to other coordinators in the area (and thank goodness for the wonderful community of DC wedding vendors, you guys), and it means that much like the year I had my first baby, I'll be cutting back a bit on the amount of work and the number of jobs I take on. In addition to the new baby, Tarra is taking on another adventure and moving to the Baltimore area this summer (so reach out to us, you Baltimore couples!).

We'll be ready and eager to get back to work in 2018 for all you in the DMV area - so please don't hesitate to contact us about 2018 weddings!

Big congrats again to Tarra and her wife - and wish me luck as I attempt to wrangle a headstrong toddler and a newborn baby :)

ForBabyMorgan-CMYK

 

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Ann and Stephen // Clarendon Ballroom, Arlington, VA Wedding // VA Wedding Planner

Photo by Shandi Wallace Ann and Stephen were partial planning clients of mine - I helped them nail down their major vendors, and then returned later in the process to assist with month-of coordination. They were also some of the early test clients for our design services with Kim, and we'll be doing a separate post on that later to highlight how her mood board was brought to life!

Ann and Stephen got married at Clarendon Ballroom, yet another venue I somehow hadn't yet worked with - and was so excited to finally get to do so. They did some first-look photos with one of my favorite photogs, Shandi Wallace, prior to the ceremony (and Ann SLAYED in that lace dress, y'all. Seriously). After their ketubah signing they had their ceremony in the ballroom, and then due to the unfortunately fairly cold and windy day, the cocktail reception in the bar and lobby (rather than the rooftop) while we flipped the ballroom for the reception. The Clarendon staff was awesome to work with, and included some delicious food and a gorgeous wedding cake! Their DJ, Greg Sanchez, rocked the dance floor and their guests were really ready to party! It was a great night celebrating a wonderful couple and working with some fab vendors. Congrats again to Ann and Stephen!

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Ann and Stephen's Vendors:

Wedding Planner and Coordinator: Katie Wannen, The Plannery

Venue, Food and Cake: Clarendon Ballroom

Florist: Blooming Spaces

DJ: Greg Sanchez

Photographer: Shandi Wallace

Officiant: Annie Bornstein

 

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Madeline and Phillip // The Lakehouse, Reston, VA Wedding // VA Wedding Coordinator

Photo by Olivia Jacob We're trying to get back to blogging, so I'm happy to bring you a lovely wedding that Tarra coordinated recently out in Reston, VA. I love small, intimate weddings and this one was truly special. Take it away, Tarra:

I had the pleasure of first meeting Madeline and Phillip along with Madeline's mother, father, and sister. What a beautiful, caring, and diligent family. Everyone was really involved, though nobody more than the bride herself!  They each played their own special role in making the fantastic wedding become reality.  Overall, their wedding was intended to be a warm, intimate gathering with their closest friends and family - a small gathering where Madeline and Phillip could share and absorb love and laughter with each and every one of their guests.  I am happy to say that we accomplished just that!!

Madeline and Phillip included many fun details in their reception that I just loved! Fountain pen ink bottles with flowers were used as small, but mighty centerpieces. The cutest cake toppers ever! The coolest MC ever! And handmade ribbon wands that they created, that totally made a super unique and beautiful (and mess free!) exit to their fancy getaway car. I also very much enjoyed their addition of yummy donuts from Sugar Shack on the dessert station. 

The stage was set at a simply beautiful lake view venue in Reston.  Though the sun decided not to shine, there was plenty of brightness on this day.  I will never forget Madeline’s infectious smile and laugh. I must say that Phillip is quite a lucky man to get to experience that for a lifetime.  And I think Phillip is a huge source of that smile, so that makes Madeline quite the lucky one herself.  These two were a joy to work with and I am so honored that I was asked to be part of their special day.

Photo by Olivia Jacob

Photo by Olivia Jacob

Photo by Olivia Jacob

Photo by Olivia Jacob

Photo by Olivia Jacob

Photo by Olivia Jacob

Photo by Olivia Jacob

Photo by Olivia Jacob

Photo by Olivia Jacob

Photo by Olivia Jacob

Photo by Olivia Jacob

Photo by Olivia Jacob

Photo by Olivia Jacob

Photo by Olivia Jacob

Photo by Olivia Jacob

Photo by Olivia Jacob

Photo by Olivia Jacob

Photo by Olivia Jacob

Madeline and Philip's Vendors:

Coordinator: The Plannery, Tarra Morgan

Venue: The Lake House Reston

Catering: To Your Taste Catering

Rentals: Paisley and Jade

Photographer: Olivia Jacob

Sound Equipment: JG Entertainment

Get Away Car: Regal Limousine

Dessert: Sugar Shack and Whole Foods

Flowers: DIY!!

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Huma and Sayeed // Meadowlark Botanical Garden Wedding, Vienna, VA // VA Wedding Coordinator

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography In case you missed it, earlier this week we took a look at Huma and Sayeed's colorful henna party. Today is their beautiful wedding at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. As many south asian weddings are, this was a big wedding - and because it was December (!) using the outdoor area of Meadowlark's beautiful gardens for ceremony and cocktails just wasn't an option. So Huma opted to have people sit at their reception tables for the ceremony, thus eliminating any need to "flip" the space and keeping things simple and fun for her many guests!

After getting ready, Huma and Sayeed did a first look and some portraits around the grounds (please be sure to not miss Huma's ROCKING sneakers, folks), and then walked each other down the aisle, which I adored (and always adore). The ceremony was beautiful (especially in front of the stunning floral arch Sarah Khan Events created!) and we then merged right into cocktails, followed by dinner. I have to give a huge shout-out to Carmen and her staff at C&G Catering. They were amazing to work with and helped run a difficult event (considering the caterer who shall not be named showed up incredibly late with all of the food!). After dinner, Huma and Sayeed kicked off dancing with their first dance - "You're Just Too Good To Be True" into Michael Jackson's "BAD"! LOVED IT. They ended the night by sneaking some shots in at Meadowlark's Winter Walk of Lights.

Once again, big thanks to Mary Sandoval for these absolutely gorgeous photos. And huge congrats again to the loveliest of couples, Huma and Sayeed!!

 

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Huma and Sayeed's Vendors:

Coordinator: Katie Wannen, The Plannery

Venue: Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA

Staffing: C&G Catering

Decor/Flowers: Sarah Khan Events

Photographer: Mary Sandoval

DJ: Dynasty AV

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Huma and Sayeed // Henna Party // VA Wedding Coordinator

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography I've decided to break Huma and Sayeed's wedding into two parts - namely, because I helped them with two events and their are just too many beautiful photos to share! I assisted with both their informal henna party the night before, and their actual wedding ceremony and reception the following day. Huma and Sayeed were such a beautiful couple to work with. Huma is a self-professed Type A - the social organizer of the pair, bustling with energy and silliness. While Sayeed is super relaxed, chill and down to earth. The way they balanced each other throughout the planning and their days of celebration was a lovely thing to behold - a wonderful match that speaks volumes as to how their marriage will be for years to come.

This was a fun one for me because it was "off season" - in mid December which is rare for us wedding planners. The henna party took place at the Crown Plaza at Crystal City and was a mix of traditional vs. non traditional because this really was a fusion of Pakistani and Bangladeshi families and cultures. It was co-ed rather than all-female, but they did partake in several traditional moments (including the tradition of stealing the groom's shoes and him having to pay to get them back!) - and provided delicious south asian food! Sarah Khan Events did the decor for both the henna party and the wedding - it was so colorful and fun! The Mehndi artist was there all night (I even got to sneak in a quick one myself right before she left) and did such a beautiful job.

So enjoy these beautiful shots by Mary Sandoval (who was fabulous to work with) - and tune in next week for Huma and Sayeed's wedding at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens!

 

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Photo by Mary Sandoval Photography

Huma and Sayeed's Vendors:

Coordinator: Katie Wannen, The Plannery

Venue: Crown Plaza National Airport

Photographer: Mary Sandoval Photography

Decor/Floral: Sarah Khan Events

Henna: Henna Harmony

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