AUSTIN (KXAN) — Springtime isn’t the only season just around the corner, with bachelorette parties about to come into full effect.
Alongside Austin’s explosive population growth in recent years comes its regard as one of the top bachelorette destination cities nationally, with one resident partnering with local businesses to help curate a quintessentially Austin experience.
Mallory Strange was living in Nashville in 2020 when a friend visiting for a bachelorette party asked her to help make an itinerary of top places to visit. At the time, Strange said she didn’t see many other businesses designed specifically for bachelorette party planning.
Fast forward three years, Strange has lived in Austin for the past year and a half and brought her business, Bach Babes, to the Lone Star State. Aided in part by the TikTok algorithm, Bach Babes began picking up traction, with enough inquiries that she was able to quit her job and launch a full-time business.
“It takes the stress off the weekend, so [the bridal party] can focus on actually celebrating their bride, which I love,” she said.
Here in Austin, Strange said bachelorette season typically peaks from March to June and again in September and October. With many engagements happening over the holiday months, she said now’s the time that many parties will begin booking trips and planning out a host of things to do.
As part of her services, Strange said she wanted to support local businesses so these bridal parties benefit the local economy, while in turn giving guests a more authentic Austin experience.
“We also partner with a lot of local businesses to make sure that the local economy is touched by all of these big groups that are coming in — from restaurants to bars to Airbnbs, hotels,” she said. “We kind of make sure that when we’re planning those itineraries, we’re touching that local economy that we love and that I personally go to when I’m just out on a Friday night.”
Nationally, Austin is ranked one of the top bachelorette destinations, noted for its live music, food scene and outdoor recreation. A Timeout ranking from July 2022 listed it sixth on its Top 15 roundup, trailing behind Miami, Santa Barbara, Nantucket, Nashville and Los Angeles.
“Austin can kind of cater to anyone,” Strange said. “It’s kind of like the best of all the worlds here in Austin: We have great food, we have great restaurants, we have great scenery. Pretty much anything that you could want, Austin has.”
A look back at Google Trends for the term “bachelorette” within the Austin area over the past year saw search peaks in mid-September, commonly paired with phrases like “disco,” “brunch” and “bachelorette party games.” Some of those key searches highlight growing theme trends for bachelorette parties this year, Strange said.
“Disco cowgirl is obviously huge, but I think the biggest theme for the year is going to be ‘Dazed and Engaged,'” she said. “Disco is going to be big this year. We’ve also been seeing a lot of people saying ‘Reckless in Texas,’ which I’ve never heard before, but that’s a cute one.”
For local businesses, Strange said now is a great time to make sure all of their specials, contact information and amenities are up to date on their website so visitors can best prepare for a trip. As for area residents, she said a bump in traffic isn’t unusual, whether on Austin roads or at downtown restaurants and entertainment.
“These girls are bringing so much money to this local tourism economy–that same economy that struggled so hard during COVID when there was nobody visiting and restaurants, hotels weren’t getting much money,” she said, adding: “Just learn to laugh at the girls that come in with their hats on because they’re having a great time.”