8 Unforgettable Pre-Wedding Parties
If the majority of bachelor or bachelorette parties these days seem like tired renditions of The Hangover (or are overly dependent on pink satin sashes and phallic objects), organize a classy pre-wedding, wine-focused affair instead. These wine-centric party ideas, from hotel stays to cross-country tours, are perfect for bonding over beverages before that walk down the aisle.
Situated on 1,350 prime acres off the northeastern Florida coast, this luxurious resort’s main draw is championship golf (there are three courses and a golf academy). Those who stay for a pre-wedding weekend, however, shouldn’t miss out on the resort’s wine-focused fun. The Sprouting Project is an ideal venue for an upscale bachelor or bachelorette party. Set in an aquaponic greenhouse and organic garden, future brides and grooms can enjoy wine-focused meals created from ingredients (plucked from the surrounding gardens by executive chef Daven Wardynski). Follow dinner with a private beach bonfire set under the stars, perfect for bonding over beers, cocktails, cigars or wine (the property offers 150 bottle selections, 12 wines by the glass).
If your wedding group is gourmet-minded, this wine-and-food-obsessed hotel makes the perfect destination. Featuring an in-house wine shop, rooms are fully stocked with personal, artisanal pantries stuffed with locally crafted beers and half-bottles of wine meant to pair with prosciutto, chocolate and sea-salt caramels. Sommelier-led wine tastings are also available. Don’t miss the hotel’s high-level cooking classes inside its modern, stadium-style Epicurean Theatre, or simply relax with a wine- or whiskey-themed treatment at the hotel’s Evangeline Spa.
Popular with bachelors, St. Regis offers a rugged Colorado Wine Country Tour with stops at nearby vineyards and farms, including Stone Cottage Cellars and Azura Cellars (sometimes called the Azura Yacht Club for remote-control boat races held on the property’s pond). After wine tastings, guys can grab lunch in the quaint town of Paonia, then explore scenic country byways on bicycles. Back at the resort, chef David Viviano offers an in-suite, meat-focused menu like house-baked bread with Italian meats, cheeses and local honeycomb to pair with wines purchased from the day’s adventure. Pricing starts at $225 per person for a group of four.
For wine-loving bachelorettes, the Remède Spa is the perfect place for a party designed to pamper. The ultra-luxurious spa is equipped with an oxygen lounge, steam caves, cold plunges, hot tubs, fitness center and waterfall. The resort’s entire wine list is available here, along with a $50 Champagne flight with a rotating list of bubblies that pairs perfectly with the spa’s Champagne oil-infused massages and facials.
If the prospective groom fancies himself a suave James Bond type (or the bride simply crushes on Daniel Craig), plan a bachelor or bachelorette party dinner here. The hotel hosts high-end, Bond-themed wine dinners in its private wine cellar set adjacent to Plume, named one of Wine Enthusiast’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants in 2013. Start with cocktails in the hotel’s Book Room at precisely 0:07 pm, then transition to the bottle-stocked cellar for a seven-course wine pairing meal inspired by Bond flicks. At one such dinner, For Your Eyes Only was represented by a Mediterranean-inspired lamb caponata with golden raisins, eggplant, tomato and lamb jus paired with Massolino’s 2007 Vigna Parafada Barolo from Piedmont, Italy. To top it off, brides and grooms-to-be can request full staff participation of the staff. Your sommelier just may show up in a Dr. No costume.
A haven for bachelors, Sea Island boasts three championship golf courses, a special cigar lounge and arguably the nation’s coolest clubhouse. With views of the Atlantic and the putting green, there’s an exercise space, a swank man cave with leather lounge chairs and flat-screen TVs, and a fully stocked bar that serves lunch daily. The oak-smoked brisket sandwich with Coca-Cola barbecue sauce is a favorite, and there’s plenty of wine to choose from, including a celebratory list of 11 half-bottles of sparkling wine.
But the resort isn’t just geared toward the guys. In addition to golf, bachelorettes can opt for an activity-filled day of horseback riding on the beach, salt-marsh kayaking or tennis. Follow with a relaxing spa treatment and a private wine pairing dinner in one of the resort’s two elegant wine cellars (the Cloister cellar has roughly 14,000 bottles on hand).
Groups from two to 100 people can explore the winemaking process from start to finish with the winery’s Bottle Blending Day Camp. Activities include expert-led tastings, wine education talks and hands-on sessions where guests can choose their perfect Bordeaux-inspired blend from four barrel samples. You’ll learn the process of bottling, labeling and packaging (ensuring the bride or groom will have a custom cuvée for their wedding day). Prices start at $225 for three finished bottles of wine (with a maximum of four participants). Group pricing is available at $95 per person. A 24-case, or full barrel option, is also available.
Groups from two to nine people can embark on a luxurious and unique adventure. The “Over the Moon” experience includes a thrilling 30-minute flight on a 1926 Travel Air biplane that soars high above Carneros and Moon Mountain. Follow that flight of fancy with a wine tasting flight at Poseidon Vineyard & Obsidian Ridge Winery, then fill up on lunch from Park 121 on the winery’s scenic deck. This pre-wedding party continues with more wine sipping at the unique, nine-acre Cornerstone Sonoma, a gallery-garden hybrid, and concludes with a stop at Petroni Vineyards. Tours begin at $450 per person, with a two-person minimum.
If bachelor and bachelorette parties are notorious for overdoing it with hard alcohol, buck the trend with a wellness-focused weekend in the heart of Oregon wine country. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of wine involved. The Wellness in Wine Country Spa Package includes a night in a deluxe room with a fireplace and soaking tub, two 60-minute spa treatments, a yoga or personal training session, breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant, JORY, and two glasses of Oregon Pinot Noir. There are also 200 wineries nearby, so you can tack on private tastings or just experience the hotel’s Wine-Tender, a complimentary mixer showcasing Willamette Valley wines held most Thursdays from 6:30–7:30pm.
- 1Golf & Garden Sips
- 2Gourmet Group Fun
- 3Spa Drinks & Wine Bike Rides
- 4Bond-ing Over Wine
- 5Sports & Sips
- 6Day Camp Drinks
- 7Flights & Bites
- 8Wine Country Wellness