Half of the 478390789543 emails I sent my bridesmaids the other day were about the bachelorette party.
The bachelorette party has always been kind of problematic because no one I know lives in the same area. My lady friends are spread out all across California and beyond, and none of them live near me (closest friend invited to the wedding is an hour away).
I wanted to do something that would be doable for everyone (at least everyone in California). That meant doing the bachelorette party in Southern California but ideally north of LA so that I and the other NorCal residents wouldn't have to drive as far. Once I started thinking about it that way, the "where" was easy to decide: Santa Barbara.
I freaking love Santa Barbara. If I was going to pick anywhere to settle down, it would be there. It's the perfect compromise between NorCal and SoCal, both for our lives and for this party.
It would have been a whirlwind weekend of wine tastings, beach lounging, and the requisite karaoke bar (karaoke bar = love) with a kind of "Sideways but less depressing" theme.
However, finding a time to go became problematic very quickly. My work schedule is extremely unpredictable, and I had to wait to figure it out until I got my summer schedule. That left only one weekend when I could go with all of the other crap that's going on this summer, and my MOH couldn't do it that weekend.
Saying I was disappointed would be a pretty intense understatement. I didn't want to have my bachelorette party without my MOH, but I couldn't see another way to even HAVE a bachelorette party.
So I sent out a tester email, trying to get an idea of how many people would go the one weekend I could do it. The results were staggeringly disappointing. Despite my assurances that we would do this as cheaply as possible, very few people were willing to go, and money was the main deterrent.
I get that this is my big day and not theirs, and I get that a lot of my friends don't have a lot of money right now. I'm in the same boat finance-wise, so I really do understand their situation. But I was heartbroken to see the overwhelming lack of enthusiasm. I tried SO HARD to find something that would cause as little inconvenience as possible to everyone, and still my "friends" couldn't be bothered to even try to work it out for the most part.
All of the bloggers I read seem to have such awesome friends. They expound on the amazingly thoughtful parties their friends and families throw for them, tell us how impressed and touched they are by the effort they put into their bridal showers and bachelorette parties. Seeing that and having my friends not even bother to show up. Or even try to show up. Or even say they're really sorry that they won't be able to make it. That stings. And makes me wonder what I did wrong in my life to not have the amazing thoughtful and devoted friends that other bloggers seem to have.
This happened the same week that my not bridesmaid told me she was not coming to the wedding, that I called my MOH 3 times and left urgent messages that she decided not to return before leaving for the Cayman Islands, and that I was reminded that I have been in San Jose almost 4 months without making any real friends. I really was not feeling the love last week.
There were a few exceptions. A couple of people were actually excited, and a couple of people said they would try their very best to be there for me no matter what. That was reassuring. But on the whole, the response was so underwhelming that I gave up on my dream bachelorette party. Definitely not worth excluding my MOH, taking off work, driving down there, and spending money when no one wants to go anyway.
So I was back to square one. Square one was not teeming with options. For a week, I went over every possibility until it finally hit me.
You see, the only other time I could have a bachelorette party in SoCal was when I went down to visit my family at the end of July. I would be at home for one day during which I already had to have my bridal shower and hair trial, and I had to be at the airport at 4pm. I figured the only real option was to combine the bridal shower and bachelorette party and have 2 hours for each.
Obviously, this was not a fantastic option. After my epic bachelorette weekend plan, having only 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon really sounded lame. Plus, none of the NorCal people would be able/willing to come down for that (which I definitely cannot blame them for).
But that's when I realized there was only one option that could actually work: I would have 2 bachelorette parties! The short one for the SoCal people, and one for the NorCal people whenever I wanted!
At least this way, I'll be able to have my friends and a real bachelorette party. True, I won't have both at once for the most part, and I'll probably have to plan the NorCal one myself (L.A.M.E.), but it's better than just having a SoCal or NorCal one.
And so I have passed off responsibility for my party to my bridesmaids and other willing helpers. I am relieved not to have to worry about setting a date or planning (much) anymore. And while I still wish I could do something bigger, the current plan is at least a decent one.
Please tell me I am not the only one. Please tell me your peeps disappointed you too at some point during the wedding process. Please share your stories, so I don't feel so alone.