Before my own (just this past weekend) Bachelorette party, I didn’t fully comprehend the importance of the tradition. Like probably most people, I pictured a lot of drinks, hot pinks and partying. It turns out I was right but only by around 40%.
To be fair, my Bachelorette party was pretty long, three nights and four days long in the Dominican Republic. So while we did our share of “fiesta,” we also had some down time at the beach, pool, shops and meal times. It was during this down time that the value of the Bachelorette party (or excursion) came into the clearest view. Over our all-you-can-eat piled up plates of buffet treats, we conversed and joked about our experiences with men, shared anecdotes, diverse viewpoints and bonded.
During tanning time, at one point, a bridesmaid and I were laying out on the beach watching the sky and horizon, trying to determine if a rain cloud was approaching us or drifting by. We were eager to soak rays and shop (both required sunshine!). However, during this seemingly unimportant process of figuring out the weather, we suddenly found ourselves impressed by the shapes of the clouds, watching the different types move along faster than the others. It was a great view. I told her it was like we were at the planetarium again (an elementary school field trip). Dorky? Perhaps. But when and at what other times in our lives as adults would we spend a few relaxed moments watching the sky together?
We even overcame some of our fears–a bridesmaid who was hesitant to horseback ride ended up befriending her horse and went galloping on the beach! The next time she horseback rides, I don’t think she will need any convincing. In the end, we rode back to the barn together like a crew of Calamity Janes (or–as we were in the Dominican Republic–a crew of Calamity Juanas).
There was emotional catharsis in the zen pool at dusk with my maid of honor. There were a few bouts of crying which inevitably led to growth and closer connections. We came out of our intense woman talks with newfound insight and togetherness. All of our quirks became more pronounced, as well as our weaknesses and strengths (turns out my maid of honor and I are the sensitive criers of the group…not really surprising though lol).
When you find a strong life-sharing partner like a fiancé, you feel so powerfully connected that I sometimes forget about my other powerful relationship/connections. I think the Bachelorette party tradition reasserts and reminds us that love, support and camaraderie between friends and family can also play an integral part of one’s personal development.
Marriage itself is a lifelong challenge and process, knowing that I have support from outside my marriage unit, raises the confidence and ambition within myself to take on a life long partnership with my guy.