One Last Fling
Before you slip on the ring, celebrate in style with your attendants
By Denise Bates Enos
The planning is done, and you’re ready to walk down the aisle. Now it’s time to get together with your attendants before the wedding and do something fun and fabulous. Here are some ideas to get the party started.
FOR THE GIRLS
Best Face Forward
L’Occitane en Provence at The Mall at Millenia isn’t your ordinary skin care and beauty products retailer. The shop offers special events that are simply perfect for girls’ night out events and bridal showers. There’s no charge for holding an event—“that’s the beauty of it,” says Tara Anderson, store manager. Beverages and light appetizers are served as guests enjoy a “Pampering Escape Master Class,” plus 10 percent off any purchases during the event. And the bride, who serves as hostess for the evening, receives a gift basket brimming with goodies. The hostess can choose one of three classes for her party: “Seven Minutes in Hand Heaven,” a luxurious hand treatment and hand massage; “She Has a Fragrance Personality,” where a fragrance expert will find the perfect scent for each guest; and “The Flawless Skin Routine,” a personalized skin care consultation and mini facial.
There’s a five-person minimum for a two-hour party; for those who prefer a private, closed-door party, the store can hold the event when the mall is closed to the public. L’Occitane en Provence, The Mall at Millenia, 4200 Conroy Road. 407-370-2620. usa.loccitane.com
How Sweet It Is
Treat your sweetest friends with a pre-wedding party at a chocolatier. Farris & Foster’s Famous Chocolate Factory holds chocolate-making parties where you and your girlfriends can design and create a variety of treats. Options include taking melted chocolate and pouring it into your choice of the factory’s 500 different molds; dipping strawberries, raspberries, cherries and other fruits; creating chocolate cups brimming with nuts, shredded coconut or raisins; or making caramel or nut patties, truffles, cream-filled chocolates or peanut butter cups.
Each of your guests will have the opportunity to make one pound of chocolate goodies to take home. Parties with a four-person minimum are $22 per person; for 12 or more people, the cost drops to $20 per person. Call the Orlando location you choose to schedule: Dr. Phillips Marketplace, 7600 Dr. Phillips Boulevard, 407-730-9800; Baldwin Park, 4875 New Broad St., 407-770-1607; Waterford Towers, 504 North Alafaya Trail, 407-802-2947. farrisandfosters.com
Here’s an idea that does double duty: with a spa day, not only will you enjoy some bonding time with your bridesmaids, you’ll also be able to relax and indulge in some vital prenuptial beauty treatments.
The Spa in College Park has an ideal setup for a wedding party. Says manager Andy Swart: “We have three different private areas to host celebrations, including our beautiful cabana area featuring our Jacuzzi.” Bridal parties can select from a menu of pampering options, including a one-hour massage, facial, a manicure/pedicure combination or a signature mani/pedi. Unlimited beverages such as wine, champagne, coffee and fruit juices, and hors d’oeuvres including hummus and pita bread, fruits and cheeses, and wraps, are included in the party price. Costs range from $390 an hour for six guests to $800 an hour for 16 guests, plus gratuity. Each guest also receives a $15 gift certificate to use for a future visit. The Spa in College Park, 2626 Edgewater Drive, Orlando. 407-898-7737. thespallc.com
FOR THE GUYS
For Real Swingers
What better male-bonding activity than golf? The Mission Inn Resort & Club boasts two championship golf courses, and the staff is happy to help you coordinate a special golf outing for your wedding party. Or why not turn it into a full-fledged tournament? They’ll even personalize the pro shop prizes you select, with a little advance notice.
The biggest challenge will be to choose which of the two courses—El Campeón or Las Colinas—you and your groomsmen will want to play. Built in 1917 by famed golf course architect George O’Neil, the par-72 El Campeón is the third oldest resort golf course in Florida. It has more hills than most Central Florida courses, with tee-to-green elevation changes of 85 feet. Designed by former PGA Tour player Gary Koch in 1992, the par-72 Las Colinas course is longer and has more open fairways and larger greens.
Greens fees for 18 holes of golf with a shared cart range from $65 to $150 depending on the season and the course. Mission Inn Resort & Club, 10400 County Road 48, Howey-in-the-Hills. 800-874-9053. missioninnresort.com/outings-tournaments
You’ll make your bride-to-be much happier if you stay away from the proverbial gentlemen’s clubs and choose a more composed option for your bachelor’s night out—and Blue Martini at The Mall at Millenia offers the perfect compromise. The nightclub features special themed nights, and regularly schedules go-go dancers to entertain the crowd. “We are the nicest, most exclusive club in Orlando,” says the club’s VIP host Tim Yaple. “We cater to an upscale, adult clientele.”
Regardless of the night you choose to enjoy drinks with the guys, Blue Martini will set you up with a special table or seat you in the VIP section and even provide a complimentary bottle of vodka or champagne for your party; additional bottles of liquor start at $150. Blue Martini, The Mall at Millenia, 4200 Conroy Road. 407-340-4436. bluemartinilounge.com