That was exactly how she envisioned the run-up to her big day. She plays volleyball three times a week, spends weekends with her coed flag football team and recently took up yoga, so it was important to Bonebrake to have an athletic component to the festivities. She’d been begging her friends to join her for a class at Trapeze School New York’s D.C. location for years with little success.
But when you’re the bride, you get to decide. And these days, many women are eschewing or supplementing the typical drunken revelry with something that helps them work up a little bachelorette sweat.
Pretty much all pole-dancing studios do a brisk bridal business. That was what Bonebrake’s sister, Katie Nugent, selected for her bachelorette party two years ago. “It’s fun to step outside your comfort zone before you get married and do something adventurous and crazy,” the 31-year-old says.
Although Nugent sat out on the trapeze lesson because she’s pregnant, the venue offers other circus arts, including silks and juggling, that are appropriate substitutes. Manager Beth Manning attributes the school’s popularity among bachelorettes to the fact that there’s bound to be an activity for everyone. “People want something unique, and they don’t necessarily want to go drinking,” Manning says.
There wasn’t a drop of liquor at Jessie Nicholson’s party at the Bar Method in downtown Washington three weeks prior to her November wedding. Surprised? So were a few of the 33-year-old’s friends, who didn’t realize that the name of the establishment referred to a ballet barre workout. If you walk out stumbling, it’s because your thighs are still shaking from the intense toning exercises.
“I didn’t want to feel terrible the day after my bachelorette party,” says Nicholson, an avid runner and triathlete who’s become a regular at the Bar Method. She appreciated that the group didn’t just strengthen their muscles, but also their bonds. There was no way to split into cliques, Nicholson says, when everyone was facing the same challenge.
Jessica McPoyle was also looking for an icebreaker to kick off her day of bachelorette fun. So the 27-year-old from Doylestown, Pa., arranged for a visit last summer to Go Ape, a ropes course in Rockville scattered with zip lines, wobbly bridges and very tall ladders.
“I was worried about the clashing of personalities, but the automatic human response is to be there for each other, even when it’s people who didn’t know each other before,” she says. Wearing matching tank tops (“Jessie’s taking the leap, so we’re going ape”) and cheering helped the group get comfortable together before transitioning to an evening of dinner and drinking. “This was an activity they can remember,” McPoyle says. “It’s not a spa treatment they’ll forget about.”