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Bridal parties are increasingly choosing wellness retreats over boozy benders

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A new trend points to bridal parties increasingly choosing wellness retreats over boozy benders.

More and more brides are foregoing the rowdy Bachelorette parties of yore, and instead, they’re opting for healthy, calming wellness retreats. According to one bride, a physician’s assistant named Margaret Wilson who spoke to The New York Times, she and her bridal party were drawn to the idea of “a unique experience that wasn’t solely dependent on partying”.

“I had been through a lot of life changes the year leading up to my wedding, and I was looking for a low-stress, meaningful experience with my dearest friends,” Wilson explained of her bridal party’s 2023 trip to a wellness spa in Sedona, Arizona. “This trip was meant to enrich my relationship with my loved ones and myself, and it did exactly that.”

Intimate, low-stress weekends like these have seen an uptick in interest in recent years, with wellness travel in particular becoming especially trendy in 2024. Many brides are choosing experiences that soothe their mind, body, and soul before their big day as opposed to a trip guaranteed to end with a terrible hangover.

“This bachelorette trend may track a broader shift in how we celebrate milestones,” Sara Margulis, the chief executive of the honeymoon registry site Honeyfund, explained to the outlet. “There is a strong desire to go beyond the boozy party and get out and connect with nature and enjoy each other.”

For those who aren’t down for a wild night on the town, a wellness retreat is the perfect lowkey alternative.

“There’s definitely still that group of girls who want to go to Nashville and wild out,” wedding planner Jesse Reing told the New York Post. “But I think the stereotypical bachelor or bachelorette party is maybe like a myth, or a bit antiquated at this point.”

The wedding planner added to the outlet that the majority of her clients over 25 are opting for calmer, healthier retreats or a day at their local spa. Whether it’s budget-friendly or a bougie affair, Reing noted that what’s out is hard partying.

“My clients want to go somewhere remote, quiet, and beautiful that takes care of every single thing for you. Somewhere where you can focus on your wellness and connect with your friends. They want it to be special and meaningful,” Reing said. “That’s common. I’ll tell you what is less common: partying and binge drinking.”

Wellness retreats are considered the grown-up alternative to reveling in a nightclub crawl across the Las Vegas Strip. Angela Adto Tepper, the founder of luxury brand AZA Travel, noted that during the pandemic, many people shifted their priorities to more intimate gatherings.

“We have been slammed, in a good way, with girls’ getaways,” she told Brides. “People just really want to bring focus to friendships. While it’s still [fun] to do something lively, like in the Bridesmaids movie, in Vegas, New York City, or Miami, you can have that and also a balance to feel like you’re connected with each other and come back feeling rejuvenated and like you had bonding moments.”

This trend indicates that more brides are prioritising spending quality time with their pals rather than attempting to live up to an ideal popularised by Hollywood movies.

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