Sometimes the nicest things can happen even during the craziest of times.
Broadway actor, DeAnne Stewart, had just finished attending a virtual memorial service to honor her uncle. Two weeks earlier, he had sadly passed away from complications due to a COVID-19 infection. Because of the restrictions of social distancing and group gatherings, most of his family and friends had to join and pay their respects remotely, including DeAnne.
DeAnne logged off the virtual ceremony. Feeling sad and a bit drained, she walked around her New York City apartment—
—when something completely unexpected happened.
DeAnne heard it first: footsteps running up behind her.
Next, she felt something drape over her right shoulder. She looked down, confused, and saw it: a pink sash. In elegant, gold script, it said: Bride to Be.
Everything happened fast after that. Her fiancé , Emily, quickly lassoed and tied the sash around her. DeAnne was then rushed into the kitchen and whisked to the counter. A laptop was waiting there, opened and glowing, with the first activity of DeAnne’s virtual bachelorette party: a tequila/mezcal themed cocktail-making class.
“I needed a pick me up,” says DeAnne. “And this was definitely beyond what I expected for my weekend!”
For the rest of the weekend, DeAnne celebrated with friends and family across the country, partying to the rhythm of a beautifully and thoughtfully crafted itinerary (compliments of her loving fiancé, Emily).
Among other things, the weekend festivities featured: a boxing workout class, a virtual escape the room, a bottomless brunch, a 3-course Mexican cooking class, and a beach-themed dance party.
(Please refer to the ridiculously cute flyer for DeAnne’e virtual bachelorette party below ❤️).
The original plan for DeAnne’s bachelorette party was a 4-day trip to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. She’d wrangled all her friends together, booked a beautiful villa, and packed the days full with fun, beachy adventures. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, putting the world and its bachelorette parties on hold.
Alongside countless other bride-to-bes, DeAnne postponed her bachelorette party. While she hoped (and still hopes), in a perfect world, her crew might be able to join for this trip once things become safer and more predictable, she knows the world is far from perfect right now.
That being said, her virtual bachelorette party was pretty darn close to perfect. And we wanted to pick her brain and learn exactly what made it feel so special and amazing.
So, a few days ago the BACH Team chatted with DeAnne and asked her some questions. From DeAnne’s answers, we gleaned a few big takeaways for throwing a virtual bachelorette party—takeaways we’re now passing along to you.
1. Make sure your party has a fun-packed schedule and a rock solid structure
One thing that stood out as vital to DeAnne -- especially if you’re like her and have a big group of friends from all different locations -- was having a solid structure to the party. An online gathering can quickly become awkward and hard to manage if the schedule is loose and there isn’t a clear leader for each activity.
“The structure and use of a leader or instructor for each ‘event’ kept everyone engaged and lively,” DeAnne said.
2. Don’t be basic
When crafting the itinerary, Emily absolutely nailed it by thinking about the small things DeAnne enjoys the most in the world. The extra details that made it super specific to DeAnne made a huge difference.
This thoughtful personalization, by definition, differs from person-to-person, but the deeply satisfying feeling of being truly seen—with all of your subtleties and tastes and quirks—is universal. This personal touch should be reflected throughout the virtual bachelorette party.
“Going out of her way to add special touches with the limited resources of the current situation was so special,” DeAnne told us. “As much as I was excited to have my bachelorette experience in a more traditional sense (and hopefully still will), it was SO FUN getting to share the activities of this weekend with her.”
3. Allow for downtime in between activities
Just like an in-person bachelorette party, not every activity during DeAnne’s BACH was back-to-back. Small breaks in between gave people a chance to relax and tend to their quarantine life needs. In DeAnne’s party, there was about an hour or more from the end of any event until the start of the next.
“The virtual setup allowed people to carry on a bit with their lives for the weekend and easily opt out of events they weren’t available for or interested in,” DeAnne said. “Each event had a slightly different group which always kept it interesting.”
4. Cherish these happy moments with the people you love most in the world
It’s a crazy time right now. And it’s easy to feel stressed out and overwhelmed and, occasionally, borderline distraught. Your virtual bachelorette party should be a safe-haven. An absolutely no-stress zone. A pure, joyful release from all of your quarantine worries.
“It was so fun and brought me so much joy to see so many of my favorite faces all together,” DeAnne said. “It kept feeling surreal, kind of in the way I imagine our wedding will feel.”
Isn’t that beautiful?
5. Definitely have a dance party 💃
When’s the last time you danced the night away? Was it before the quarantine? Ugh, same.
As a swing in the Broadway show Little Jagged Pill, DeAnne was clearly going to want to strut her stuff during the weekend, Emily knew. So Emily made it mission critical that there be a DJ dance party.
The dance party was beach-themed and—strictly based on DeAnne’s outfit—it looks like it was absolute fire.
When life throws you a rainy day...
Look, we know you don’t need another rose-colored quote from someone. Truth is, things are still highly uncertain and stressful these days.
That’s the unfortunate reality. And while our bachelorette party and wedding postponements definitely feel frustrating and unfair at times, in the grand scheme of life, these setbacks are super benign.
Our biggest takeaway from Emily and DeAnne’s story? Don’t wait around for someone to tell you that you can throw a party! It’s time to get creative and break with tradition to celebrate your special somebody—thoughtfully, lovingly, and virtually—like Emily did for DeAnne. Joyful, memorable events like this shouldn’t be delayed another week!
Thanks so much for sharing your bachelorette party story with us, DeAnne. And Emily, in addition to stealing our hearts and securing your spot in the BACH hall of fame, you’ve set the bar ridiculously high for other fiancés planning a virtual bachelorette party. You’re amazing 👏