Jenny Block on why separate bachelorette parties were the best pre-wedding gifts to give each other

My nuptials are less than a month away, which can only mean one thing – both my fiancée and I are about to run away and get married at city hall because we cannot make one more napkin color or flower stem choice. It also means that it was time for our bachelorette parties.

Lots of friends asked if we would be having a joint bachelorette party seeing as we’re both, well, bachelorettes. But it didn’t take long to decide that we wanted separate ones instead. And the reason why was simple — we’re separate people and neither the fact that we’re both women nor the fact that we’re getting married changes that.

We both decided on the same genre for our parties: Long weekends in Puerto Vallarta with seven of our nearest and dearest at our sides. We both rented massive villas complete with a chef, houseman and housekeeping staff. (Note: It’s cheaper than eight hotel rooms, and you get more posh and more service for your buck.)

It bears noting that six of the seven guys who came with me I met through Robin. I couldn’t help but feel particularly touched by the fact that they would do this for me, such a new member of their gang as it were.

So, if the trips were the same, then why go separately, especially since the overwhelming majority of our travel companions were couples? The thing was, as similar as the set-ups were, the trips ended up being vastly different, because, again, we may each be one half of a couple, but we are also one whole of a person.

Her trip included one night at a cabaret followed by some bar hopping and one dinner out, as well as an all-day snorkel trip and a day at the pool at Mantamar. My trip included three nights out to dinner, two nights of bar hopping, one day at a packed Beef Dip Pool Party (yup, I was in PV during Bear Week in Mexico). And although I managed to get to bed by 1:00, some of my companions danced until “you don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here” was finally called.

At our house, we spent a good deal of time drinking far too many cocktails and shooting tequila far too good for shooting in our infinity pool overlooking the ocean in various states of undress. Come on, nobody likes tan lines. In the pool, our Ken and Barbie Doppelgangers floated naked in miniature versions of our enormous unicorn floats. At her house, lingering meals and swapping old stories was de rigueur, and my bride to be tells me that she couldn’t help but get teary eyed as she toasted “her crew.”

In other words, there is a distinct partying differential between Team Robin and Team Jenny, and with separate trips, no one had to compromise. For me, our bachelorette parties were a metaphor for our relationship thus far and the promise of our married life yet to come. We are getting married to cement our commitment as a couple, not to erase ourselves as individuals.

To my mind, the downfall of most couples is when two people come together in an effort to complete themselves instead of to complement one another. Robin and I are very much alike and also very different. We build each up, support one another, grow and change together both as whole, separate human beings, as well as a couple. Humans love to be loved and accepted. We are pack animals. But at our heart of hearts, humans are also individuals who want to not only be loved and accepted but also to be loved and accepted for who we truly are at our most authentic, at our core.

Separate bachelorette parties may seem like just a silly extravagance at first blush. But, in reality, they are signs of mutual respect of who each bride is now and a promise to respect and honor those differences from this day forward. I love that Robin loves to go to piano bars and cabarets. I love that she loves Frank Sinatra and black-and-white classic films. I may prefer dance clubs and listening to Beyonce and watching Black Mirror. But those are just personal preferences. The surface stuff is just that, surface. For better and for worse, my love for her is far deeper than any of that.

What I love is that she loves what she loves no matter what and that she feels the same about me. You’ll never catch her in a unicorn onesie, and you’ll never catch me with a brooch on my lapel. Heck, you’ll hardly ever catch me with a lapel. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. With a nod to the immortal lyric of Billy Joel, I love her just the way she is.             

Have a question about sex, relationships or life you want Jenny to address? Email it to