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The ultimate guide to planning a bachelorette bash

Catherine Conelly is a graduate from Arizona State where she earned a degree in creative writing and now works as Senior Editor at SheKnows. She helps oversee the beauty, love and health family of sites. Follow her on Twitter to keep up ...

Tips and tricks for an unforgettable night

Though we commonly hear about infamous bachelor parties these days, especially with blockbusters like The Hangover hitting the big screen, bachelorette bashes should not be underestimated. We girls may not wind up in mysterious parts of Bangkok but we know how to have our fun and with wedding season here, it's time to gear up for some serious fun with your best girlfriends this summer. Whether you travel to a major city destination or you stick close to home, here's the 411 on planning the ultimate girls night out... or in.

group of girl celebrating at a bachelorette party

Simple Steps to spice up a bachelorette party

How are you ever going to make this night one for the books? Wherever you go, start by intergrating these games and activites into you bachelorette bash. These party planning baby steps will easily elevate your night from an average girls night out to a unique experience for the bride-to-be and her best girlfriends.

How to make your bachelorette bash the ultimate girls night out

Get crafty with glitter and tool and put together a veil for her to wear all night long. If she takes it off, make it an automatic drink pentalty (which means someone's buying her a shot).

Create a list of tasks the bride has to complete with the bridal party. For example, Bride Jessica and Bridesmaid Melissa must talk the bartender into a free round for the group.

Come up with a theme for the night and make it a requirement that every attendee has to dress the part. For example, a "Red-dress affair" would require that everyone dresses in red, rocks red lipstick, and can only drink red drinks for the night. Take it a step further and make a rule that every girl has to kiss a stranger on the cheek, leaving red lip marks. Bring along a poloroid camera for proof that each girl makes the mark.

Make a list of random activities and tasks (try 3 different shots you've never had before, convince a stranger to buy you a drink, dance with a 3 strangers by the end of the night, get 3 guys' phone numbers, etc.) and throw them in a hat. Make each girl draw from the hat prior to going out and choose their fate for the night. Not completing the task they draw results in having to buy every girl who did, late night burgers.

destination, bachelorette party: a girls getaway

If you and the girls are all in for a weekend away, these are the cities you should consider getting away to. They all hold promises of top rated spas, stellar nightlife and shopping adventures that will make you feel as if were just elevated to cloud 9. To sum it up, a weekend spent in any of these five cities garuntees you and the girls an opportunity to let loose, de-stress and spawn some secret memories that you'll remember forever.

Manhatten, New YorkManhatten bachelorette party destination

If its in the budget, rent a limo for one of the nights the bridal party comes to town. Contact a few party planning companies and get their advice for the best nightlife hot spots around the city and plan a pub crawl. If your without limo, remember that cabs in NYC are plentiful and a cost effective way to get back to your hotel after a night out on the town. Make sure to have your spa treatments booked the day before so when and if you wake up with a post champagne headache, your day of pampering is already in the books. Rehydrate by the resort's pool -- just make sure to avoid developing tan lines that clash with your bridemaids dress. Also, don't miss out on a day spent shopping in the cutesy shops that populate SoHo, Chelsea and Greenwich Village.

Budget friendly idea:

If your having trouble finding a good deal on a hotel smack dab in the middle of Manhatten, try finding a hotel in New Jersey on the other side of the Hudson River. When you book your room, make sure to ask if they are close to a ferry port (about a 15 minute ride into the city).

South Beach Miami bacheloratte party destinationSouth Beach, Miami

Think beach, booze and boys. Okay, this sounds more like spring break when your sixteen but what better way to have fun with the gals than by getting in touch with your younger side, relaxing on the beach with a couple of margheritas and sneaking an innocent peak at the boys playing beach volleyball. If you're really feeling gutsy, tell them you and your girlfriends are on a bachelorette party weekend escape and that you'd love to join in the fun.

For a temporary keepsake, have everyone get a henna tattoo somewhere that it wont show on the wedding day. If your girl group is of the more adventerous type, plan on getting real tatoos to remind you of your getaway.

 Spa and shop talk on South Beach:

Lincoln Road is the ideal strip for shopping the unique, vintage boutiques and big corporate stores alike. If your hotel isn't home to a spa worthy of your time, you'll find a number of day spas on this 10 block radius.

Las Vegas bachelorette party cityLas Vegas, Nevada

So, this is stating the obvious but a girls weekend round up wouldn't be complete without mentioning the infamous Vegas strip. It's the best location for a bachelorette bash if your looking for a fair balance of nightlife (and lots of it) and relaxing by the pool. The best part is, you don't have to attend one of the city's wild pool parties with girls flaunting their teeny bikinis. Opt to splurge on one of Vegas' classy hotels and lounge by a five star pool inbetween spa treatments with the gals. However, since it's Vegas you have to make it interesting. Make sure you and the gals allocate a certain amount of money to gambling and see who comes out on top.

If you're not into the idea of experiencing the Vegas club scene but still want to explore Vegas and come home with stories to tell again and again over the years, here's an idea: Rent a limo and plan a city scavenger hunt for the bride-to-be. Bring a few bottles in the limo and ride around town with a camera making sure you snap pictures of the bride kissing a stranger on the cheek or stealing a towel from Caesars Palace, etc. For every task she doesn't accomplish, she has to take a drink. For every task she does complete, the rest of the bridal party has to take a drink while the bride is home-free.

When in Las Vegas:

Make sure you're taking pictures throughout the night and the trip to document your fun. Put together a photo album (with a lock of course) for the bride as a bachelorette keepsake. Consider showing a few teaser images at the rehersal dinner as a part of a photo collage for the bride and groom -- recruit a few pictures from the groomsmen of the bachelor party as well.

New Orleans bachelorette party destinationNew Orleans, Louisina

For equal doses culture, music and nightlife, New Orleans has a lot ot offer. As a one-of-a-kind city in the United States, you'll come across all sorts of activities unique to New Orleans. That makes this a destination that garuntees everyone on board will experience something new. See what kind of unique music festivals or shows you could attend on your visist and make a list of restaurants you're dying to try. Definitley do some shopping on this adventure because you're sure to find something distinctive to your experience. Even though this trip is about you and your best friends, don't be afraid to bring home keepsakes for your family and friends. As such a culutral place, it will provide you with plenty of special things to bring home.

Making memories last:

As a keepsake for the bride, keep your eyes open for a unique frame and purchase secretly. Fill it with your favorite picture of the group on your getaway and give it to the bride once you return home.

Napa Valley, CaliforniaNapa Valley bachelorette party getaway

It just might be the most low-key destination on this list, but that's not say it wont make for an unforgettable weekend getaway. Spend your time taking a tour of wine country, tasting wine and eating delectable dishes. You wont find any kind of nightlife comparable to Manhatten or Las Vegas, but for a girls night out San Fransisco is only an hour's drive away. As one of today's most vibrant cities, its a great day trip to take on your weekend getaway. You can hire a driver to haul you and your girls back to Napa after your dancing feet give in -- OR you can choose to stay in a San Fran hotel your first night and spend the rest of your weekend relaxing and recovering in the hills (and spas) of Napa.

Reaching new heights in Napa:

In order to experience Napa Valley right, you can't leave without booking a hot air balloon ride. It will give you a whole new view of the valley and make for some great photo ops of the bridal party.

Up Next: Staying local? Tips for planning a 'stay-cation' bachelorette getaway in any city

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