Undercover Bachelorette Party – The New York Times

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First, I heard the screams.

“Loo-ser, loo-ser!” I was arriving at a $5 million rental property just outside of Scottsdale, Arizona, and the screams echoed throughout the neighborhood. The voices belonged to members of a bachelorette party who were having a particularly fierce drinking game by the property’s pool. I had come to the right place.

I was in Scottsdale to report on the city’s rise as a bachelorette party destination for the Styles section of The Times. Throughout the city, groups like this had gathered to celebrate other impending nuptials. Photographer Cassidy Araiza and I visited on a weekend in mid-May, in the middle of high hen party season. Everywhere we went, women partied wearing matching T-shirts with slogans like “Scottsdale Before the Veil”. (My personal favorite t-shirt theme was worn by a group from Pittsburgh: the bride wore a t-shirt that said, “Dude, I feel like a bride,” Shania Twain-style, and her friends wore shirts matching roses with “Let’s Go Girls” emblazoned on the front.)

Marriage Bureau Editor Anthony Rotunno had the idea to send a reporter to Scottsdale when he visited a friend last fall and learned that more and more bachelor parties of young girl arrived in the city. Times writer Caity Weaver (who, by the way, was a bridesmaid at my wedding last summer – although I didn’t force her to attend a bachelorette party) said started working on the article but got sick and couldn’t go that weekend. When Caity and Anthony asked me if I wanted to take over reporting, I was excited and intrigued. My sister happened to be heading to a bachelorette party in Scottsdale – for the record, at least, the town seemed to be becoming a singles hotspot. But why?

To get started, Caity connected me with a few bachelor party planners she had spoken with: Casey Hohman, owner of Scottsdale Bachelorette, and Meghan Alfonso, owner of Girl About Town. The organizers put me in touch with parties they had booked, groups who were willing to chat with me and be photographed as they climbed pedal pubs or danced on tables in nightclubs . I received a surprisingly high number of positive responses and mapped out a four-day itinerary packed with Scottsdale’s best bachelorette party activities.

Once in town, I met even more brides at each stop on my tour, and almost all of them were willing to share their opinions and recommendations. (A bride with hiccups insisted that Cassidy and I visit the Bloody Mary bar at a local restaurant, but we didn’t have time.) the local economy. At the depot of the Arizona Party Bike pedal pub company, owner Robert Mayer told me his clientele is now 75% female, with a median age of 28, and almost all of them are celebrating funerals. girl’s life.

My favorite part of the reporting process was getting to know a group of singles that Cassidy and I followed for most of the weekend. The bride, Cameron Cooper, had planned a detailed itinerary and graciously invited us to follow us. We met her with her friends for the first time at 4:30 am for a hot air balloon ride; checked out their Airbnb, which was decorated in the popular disco-cowgirl theme; followed them into the desert on a jeep tour; and linked to Wine Girl, a local bar populated by several other bachelorette parties.

The band members told me that they became best friends in college by following the Jonas Brothers. They even showed me two different Jonas Brothers music videos in which they had appeared as fans. When my article was published in June, four party women were on a trip, this time to Las Vegas, to see the band kick off their residency at Park MGM.

I was able to establish a relationship with the Cooper Group within days. With other parties, however, I had much less time – with opportunities that presented themselves amid loud clubs or pool parties with cabanas. As an icebreaker, I asked brides and their friends what the most popular weekend drink was; the answer was almost invariably seltzer water, although everyone had a specific brand and flavor. Marissa Sklar, the bride I met at the $5 million rental property, said she and her 14 friends finished 100 cans of High Noon in 24 hours. The watermelon flavor, she added, was the best.

When I got home to Brooklyn, I was exhausted, a bit sunburned, and curious enough about the weekend drink to buy a four-pack of High Noon. Turns out the watermelon flavor isn’t for me – I’m really more of a wine girl.

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