Post # 1
It seems like over the last number of years, bachelor and bachelorette parties have gotten more and more extravagant (read: expensive!). What ever happened to getting together with your girls or boys, knocking back a few too many drinks and playing some silly scavenger hunt or games at a bar? That was pretty standard 10-15 years ago when several of my family members got married and while it was silly (penis straws, anyone?), it was fun, easy and affordable for everyone. No taking time off work, no spending hundreds of dollars, just a bunch of girls getting together and getting silly for a night. Good times.
In recent years, I have declined every bachelorette party I have been invited to because they’re all full weekend getaways requiring hundreds of dollars spent on accommodations, plus food, drinks and countless add-ons. I’ve been fortunate that no one has held it against me when I’ve said no to these things, but at the same time I would have loved to participte in a fun evening for most of these brides. It seems like the issue isone of bridal parties feeling like they have to outdo each other… each Maid of Honour or Bridesmaid HAS to throw the BEST party EVER for their friend, so every party gets bigger and more extravagant than the last. So where does it stop???
What really sucks about it is that these types of affairs put a lot of people in an awkward position where their choice is to either be left out or stretched too thin. Then you have bridesmaids who may feel like they are obligated to go along with the plan, even if they can’t really afford it. That’s really not a fair burden to place on the people who care about you. Again, it’s usually not the bride pushing for these things, but a member of the bridal party, and it must feel really shitty to be the lone bridal party member saying you don’t want to or can’t spend that money.
I’ve seen groups do everything from a 3 day chalet in the mountains complete with theme nights requiring costumes or outfits, to 4 days in Vegas, to a week long houseboat rental. Isn’t that all a bit much for a PRE wedding party? Let’s tone it down, guys.
Post # 2
- Wedding: August 2018 - Location
100% agree, it’s ridiculous.
Post # 3
I couldn’t agree more! Last year was really bad for my crew. Not only was every bachelorette party a weekend getaway, but also all the weddings were out of town as well! So I was spending $100’s to $1000’s just to attend someone’s wedding activities!
My SO and I have already said “absolutely not” we will be doing super toned down versions. My SO wants to go camping with like 3 people and I just want a night out on the town. That is it!
Post # 4
Re: your question, “What ever happened to getting together with your girls or boys, knocking back a few too many drinks and playing some silly scavenger hunt or games at a bar?”
People move for school, jobs, etc. so it’s not a guarantee that the bridesmaids live in the same place as the bride. If no one is local, it’s not as simple as just showing up at a bar and hanging out.
Post # 5
My friends planned a two night get away for mine, we only had to drive two hours away, and it was awesome and affordable.
My fiances brother is planning a surprise 4 day trip for him, I know some of the details and unfortunately several of his closest friends cant make it because the brother is going over the top with first class flights and an expensive condo which I think is completely ridiculous. My fiance would rather spend time with his friends even if it’s just a night out in our city.
Post # 6
Yeah – well let’s not make this JUST about the girls’ parties. The bachelor parties are just as bad, if not worse, in our friend group.
The most recent bachelor party Darling Husband went to was 5 nights in BELIZE.
And his best man (who will marry in a few months) was trying to talk Darling Husband into doing a shared bachelor party in South America, fishing for some rare fish, and it was going to cost thousands of dollars!
Thankfully, they came to their senses, but now there’s talk of a bunch of the guys (seems like everyone in our group is getting married) getting together and doing “something small and casual,” but their idea of small and casual is usually anything but, so we’ll see…
Post # 7
I agree some parties are getting extravagent but I can see why most parties are stretched to 2-3 days. I have quite a few GOOD friends that I don’t necessarily live near. If I’m going to travel for a party I’m happy to have it be for 2 or 3 days of fun. Of the 8 ladies coming to my bachelorette only 3 live within 30mins of me, the rest are a 2 hour drive and 1 a flight away.
I think that the world is changing, more people move away from home but stay in touch with social media, skype, texting, etc. It’s a lot easier these days to stay close with people that don’t live near you.
I also think that people are also getting married later in life so in many circles people have the money and want to go away for a girls trip to celebrate. I’ve been to 6 bachelorettes in the last few years and they were all weekends away but we are all in our late 20’s with no kids so we all have the money to spend on things like this. I had 2 ladies decline my bachelorette party and I’m not upset at all so if people need to decline to.
My group of friends typically takes at least one girls trip/weekend each year to all meet up and hang out with each other, making them into Bachelorette weekends on the years friends have gotten married hasn’t been a big deal.
Post # 8
I understand what you are saying, but not everyone feels that way or is in the position that they can’t attend. My BFF had her Bachelorette party in Vegas and there were 15 girls who willingly went.
We do adhere to a specific rule that the bachelorette pays for her travel and accomodations and still only gets one night for her actual celebration. Obviously, we celebrate her the entire time we are there, but the friends and bridesmaids are only responsible for paying for one night of drinks and debauchery just like any regular bachelorette party. It is not an all expenses paid trip for her.
Post # 9
I totally agree. I am attending a bachelorette party soon that’s a whole weekend shindig a couple hours away. Luckily I’m only staying for one of the nights but I still have to participate that day I get there and the next. And there’s a rented house everyone chips in for, plus we’re asked to bring drinks/snacks, also bring gifts, and there’s a whole itinerary of activities. And the Maid/Matron of Honor has lots of time and money to plan and pay for this kind of stuff, so I want to participate but it’s tough when her idea of a “normal” party isn’t quite what mine is.
Post # 10
duchessgummybunns : I did mention bachelor parties in my post, but I guess I focused on the bachelorettes because those are the ones I’ve been invited to.
The weeklong houseboat rental I mentioned was a bachelor party. Another I didn’t mention was all the guys taking a limo to a city 3 hours away to go to a hockey game and spend the night. I thought that was a bit much and probably even more ecpensive than some of the weekend getaways some of the girls have done.
Post # 11
Absolutely agree with OP
Even if people are scattered now, its possible to meet up somewhere central so the most anyone has to pay out on top of food & drink is transport and 1 night in a cheap hotel.
Post # 12
mainebride092018 : I’m in my early 30s without kids and I can certainly afford these trips, I just have other priorities. I have family across the country that I like to visit once a year, so that eats up a week of PTO plus travel budget and I have other vacations, trips and obligations that are a priority to me. But I do know that not everyone is in my position where they can afford this stuff and I think it would really suck to be that person.
Post # 13
sboom : I guess I don’t see it as a burden as you have the option to decline. I like the idea of doing a fun girls trip to Vegas or Miami. Mine was just a simple dinner, but I enjoyed attending other people’s bachelorette parties that were out of town.
I only see it as a problem if the bridal party sees the bachelorette as a financial burden.
Post # 14
dojx : I guess that’s the issue, really. What inspired this thread was having come across several threads on this site about bridesmaids feeling financially strained and one of the major sources of that stress for a lot of them is the bachelorette and bridal party expenses. It’s such a common topic here and that really bothers me. No one shoul be getting themselves into debt for someone else’s wedding or feeling overwhelmed by the financial burden.
Post # 15
Yes, they’re out of hand.
In our circle bachelor/ette parties have come to be a $200-$300 pp expense (so when we’re good friends with both the bride and groom, which is the case for most weddings we attend, my husband and I are looking at between $400-$600 just for the bachelor/ette).
For our wedding we did a combined bachelor/ette weekend. Most of our friends are from college and we always do everything as a group, not separated by gender. Our bridal party planned it and it ended up being a weekend trip at an AirBnB halfway between the two cities our friends are divided between. It did make sense to do it that way because at least half of the group was going to have to travel, so rather than one group traveling 5 hours we all traveled 2 1/2. And with that kind of drive, it did make sense to turn it into a weekend trip. We do these types of trips a couple of times a year regardless of if there’s an occasion, so it wasn’t a huge unexpected financial cost to our friends, but I still felt guilty the whole weekend that people were spending money on us like that. It was a great time but if everyone lived in the same city I would have insisted we just do a one-night thing.
There’s OTT and then there’s OTT, though. Once airfare is involved, that’s crazy to me. Our best man was originally trying to organize a trip that required airfare and I put a stop to that real quick.
ETA – All of our friends are late 20s/early 30s and most have good paying jobs with flexible vacation time. However, we have one good friend who is scraping by and it would have been a real stretch for him to afford anything more than the weekend trip that he usually budgets/saves for anyway. So yes, if you know everyone in your group can afford to fly somewhere and would like to use the bachelor/ette as a reason for a fun vacation, go for it. Sounds like lots of fun! But make sure you really know that’s the case, otherwise you’re excluding someone you care about or putting them in a really tough spot.