The bachelorette party is one of the most fun parts of the wedding process. It’s a chance for the bride to get together with her bridesmaids—some of whom may live far away—and have a great time before the wedding. Unfortunately, bachelorette parties can also be quite expensive, depending on the venue and type of activity. Wondering who pays for the bachelorette party can be confusing—but it doesn’t need to be.
Ideally, the only person who shouldn’t pay is the bride, but that doesn’t always work out. All of the bridesmaids and maid of honor can pitch in if it’s a local event, such as a night on the town. For a destination event, however– such as a weekend in Vegas with all of the girls– the answer of who pays for the bachelorette party changes slightly. Each participant should obviously pay their own way—and pitches in to pay for the bride wherever possible, but it’s standard for the bride to cover her own travel expenses, and possibly the hotel price as well. If you’re the maid of honor, the largest expense will probably fall on you; even if you’re not expected to foot the bill, you’re responsible for making sure the whole event goes over smoothly, and most likely picking up spare expenses.
To avoid overspending (or sticking one person with an unfair bill), it’s important to communicate early and often on who will be responsible for what. You can use a tool like Guestboard to keep everyone in your bachelorette party updated, get people’s opinions on what to do, and more.
How Should I Save and/or Budget for a Bachelorette Party?
In most cases, you’ll have a fair amount of notice before the wedding, and you’ll know your presence is requested. When you know the date and activity, set a budget of what is reasonable or expected to spend for that particular event, and divide it up by pay periods or weeks, depending on how your finances are already structured. That will help you set aside the amount you need each week to ensure that you have the money for the event by the time it comes around.
If you see that a bride or maid of honor is planning something that’s going to be highly cost prohibitive for you—such as a weekend in Atlantic City when all you can afford is maybe a night at the local club—you can also gently offer other alternatives that are more wallet-friendly. After all, being a bridesmaid comes with far more expenses than just who pays for the bachelorette party. There are dresses, accessories, shoes, gifts, and often travel expenses as well. It’s okay to talk to whoever is planning the event and see if there are other ideas you can do. Keep in mind, however, that ultimately, it’s the bride and maid of honor’s decision.
If you are the maid of honor, don’t be afraid to be sensitive to money issues amongst the bridesmaids. You can always set up a Google survey to ask the bridesmaids what they can realistically afford—and do it anonymously so people can be honest without feeling like they’re ruining anything. The further ahead you plan the event, the better chance that everyone can budget for it, and afford to show up.
If I Am Short on Cash, How Else Can I Fund a Bachelorette Party?
If a weekend away simply isn’t in the financial cards but you’re trying to plan the ultimate bash for your bride, do some research in your local area. You might be surprised at the well-kept secrets, fun spots, and awesome activities that are available right where you are. Pick a theme, and talk to the other bridesmaids about what they can do to help out. Not everything needs to be purchased; you might be able to make decorations for a lot cheaper, or get some super-cheap but hilarious party favors instead of expensive personalized bling that no one will ever wear or use again.
Don’t be afraid to ask for input from the others in the group; you might find that someone has connections that can get you things at a discount, or someone else might be able to make or get things for the party for free. Besides, brainstorming can be fun!
Important Things to Remember When Getting Ready for a Bachelorette Party
Once you’ve gotten the “who pays for the bachelorette party” question out of the way and decided what you’re doing, it’s time to plan smart. Make sure that you’ve given people as much notice as possible; be detailed and complete when letting them know what they’re expected to pay for and when they’re expected to fork over the cash. If you need deposits for lodging or activities, make sure that you work that out in plenty of time.
The more you plan early, the less stress you’ll have during the bachelorette party. If you’ve budgeted, chosen a great but not necessarily expensive event, and made sure that everyone is financially on board, then you can rest, relax, and enjoy the festivities right along with the bride!