Post # 1
I’m a bride with a bit of a dilemma that’s beyond stressing me out. I guess I always assumed that the proper etiquette for a bachelorette party was that the bride doesn’t pay for anything. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s just what I’ve read in every wedding resource I’ve found thus far.
Just a quick background – because 3 of my BMs and most of my friends are in the south and 1 Bridesmaid or Best Man & Maid/Matron of Honor are in the north, I suggested the location be somewhere where everybody had to travel so it would be fair. Once I realized I should have no say in the planning of the party, I told my Maid/Matron of Honor to do whatever she would like and to surprise me. However, she began planning it with me. Once we realized nobody was willing to travel anywhere, she fell back on her original plan of having the “party” in NYC. So she called me the other night to tell me she was booking the hotel and it was going to be $800 for 2 nights – roughly $270/person for the 3 of us. She asked me if I was ok with that. I asked her why we don’t just stay one night so it’s more affordable, and stay at her dorm another night since she goes to school in NYC, so now it’s $150/person.
I’m really stressed right now because I wasn’t expecting having to dish out money for traveling to NYC, paying for a hotel, and anything else I may be expected to possibly pay for. I didn’t budget it into my wedding budget, and my fiance and I are already struggling to try to save as much money as we can for the wedding while we’re both in school and living off of loans.
So any suggestions? I don’t want to cancel this because she put so much time and effort planning this gathering, but at this rate, the hotel and travel will cost me $200, and I’m not sure what else I’ll be expected to pay for.
So what should I do?
Post # 3
Hm, that’s a tough one. I do think it’s traditional for BMs to cover the bride’s portion, but if it were a “destination” I would probably expect to pay my travel/room, and my BMs would probably pitch in on drinks/entertainment (though they are not required to pitch in anything, of course).
Has she already booked the hotel? Could you just tell her that you have $X budget, and have her plan based on that? That way you don’t have to deal with differing opinions on who pays what, she’ll plan based on what you can afford, and the girls will cover the rest.
Post # 4
@les105: Why are BM’s not required to pitch in anything? I’m honestly asking. I’ve never heard of this being the case. Of course they don’t have to spend thousands of dollars, but it’s kind of assumed they will be splitting some kind of bill in honor of their friend, the bride, on her morning, afternoon or night of celebration.
Honestly, I think your friends are being sh***y. You shouldn’t have to tell them your budget. If they think the price is too expensive to split between themselves, they should think of something that is affordable for everyone without your consent or input. That’s part of being a Bridesmaid or Best Man, in my opinion.
I’m not entitled and if my friends could flat out not afford going out in any kind of fashion and suggested something far cheaper instead, I would understand, but I’m sorry. If you’re a grown woman who is social/ has a job/ is a Bridesmaid or Best Man, you should be able to afford something (ANYTHING) to make your girl feel special. It’s just WHAT YOU DO.
Of course, you can’t say you aren’t pitching in, but I would probably say something like, “ok, i didn’t realize you guys were on a tight budget, maybe we should scratch the NYC idea completely because I really can’t afford this right now.” And gauge the MOH’s response.
Post # 5
@LuckyJuls: My philosophy is just not to expect anything from anyone. Not that I think everyone should agree with that, but if I expect nothing, I’m rarely disappointed. Though, considering my most recent post, maybe I should make my preferences more well known
A bachelorette party is a priveledge, so I don’t think anyone’s obligated to pay anything. Maybe the BMs themselves can barely afford their own way, and paying the bride’s way would make the party impossible…?
I’m just giving my personal opinion. If I *wanted* a bachelorette, and my MOH/BM was talking to me about budget, I would just tell her what I could spend and let her figure out the rest. That way, if the girls pay my way, it’s a nice, generous surprise. And, if they don’t, they plan a party that I can afford.
Post # 6
@les105: I am usually the same way. I didn’t expect a party, but I guess since everyone seemed so excited about throwing me one and we are all working adults, I figure most BM’s are also this way.
You’re totally right, maybe the BM’s can’t afford their own way. Like I said, the event should be something everyone can afford. If they are in school, maybe a big weekend out in the city is not a great idea. But it is the MOH’s responsibility (since she appears to be planning/hosting) to figure out a way for people not to go flat broke (like my Maid/Matron of Honor is doing) and to consult with the BM’s on this. If they are commiting to going at all, I think they should have a say, and if they can’t afford it, the Maid/Matron of Honor is being pretty crazy going all out in NYC.
If you’re going to go through the bother of planning a party, of course you want everyone to be able to afford it. If this particular Maid/Matron of Honor wants to plan a party at all and is in the midst of doing so, but is also consulting the bride (which she really shouldn’t other than for preference of events) and making it known that the bride will be paying her own way, in my opinion, she is not doing a great job. MOH’s should not be adding stress to the bride’s life.
If no one could afford it, you’re totally right, it’s not mandatory. But to me, I think this particular set of girls wants to do something, but maybe they should get their mind around something more reasonable. And the bride should not be involved in this stressful realization! lol.