Post # 1
My good friend recently asked me and another friend of hers to plan her bachelorette party this summer. She isn’t having bridesmaids for her wedding, so it seems like it’s up to the two of us she asked to plan her bachelorette party to host it.
The ideas that she’s shared about what she would like is a weekend event here where we all live – for about 10-15 girls – that includes Dinner/drinks on Friday, staying over at her house (or somewhere else), breakfast, a daytime activity, and then the ‘going out’ typical of a bachelorette party.
Sounds great! My biggest concern as I begin the planning process is that I start a heavy graduate school program (the school estimates ~70 hr/wk commitment) on May 27th. To where the school heavily recommends that you do not work at all during the 3 year program. So by the end of June (when she would like the bachelorette party to take place) I will be completely immersed in the middle of the summer semester. Plus, over the next three years I will be living off of student loans and savings. My husband is also in school after finishing his enlistment in the Marine Corps, so our only income is from the GI bill and his part time job. By nature, I’m pretty budget savvy and hate being in debt, so I don’t want to start taking out student loans until absolutely necessary since the new student loan laws mean that they will start accumulating interest at 5% while I’m still in school!
We’re in Kansas City, so there is a reasonable metropolis at our disposal.
How can I give my friend the bachelorette weekend that she wants with the limited time I will have to plan and even be present that entire weekend as well as the monetary component? Also – would we as the hosts be expected to pay for ALL of the meals for everybody? I don’t want to be tacky, but I definitely can’t afford 10 meals out, a breakfast, a lunch, another dinner, etc.!
We’re starting to plan now, but I work six 12 hour shifts in the next 7 days, and then I’m leaving town before coming back and starting graduate school.
Thank you all for your help!
Post # 2
sweetpea3363: Firstly, there is no obligation to give your friend the bachelorette she wants. Some brides just need to learn to tone down their expectations.
The two of you planning the event do not pay for everyone. Anyone attending pays their own way plus a contribution for the bride’s expenses.
I would start with a heart to heart with the bride making it clear that you can afford neither the time nor the money for her current plan and propose an alternative that would be within your means.
Post # 3
I’d be open and honest about what she is expecting. ASKING you to plan it seems crazy when she clearly already has a plan in her mind of what she wants (IMO, it seemed more like telling you, but that could just be me).
I dont get why she cant arrange it all herself? I dont think anyone would think poorly of her inviting them to come along with her plan.
I just finished my last class of graduate school this week. All I can say is good luck! It will be over before you know it 🙂 and yes adding anything extra while in graduate school is crazy, but possible— I was one of 7 to get engaged & plan a wedding during the course of our program.
Post # 4
sweetpea3363: I don’t have bridesmaids or an MOH and planned my own bachelorette. I made a list of things that needed to be done and just did them over time. A couple of my friends offered (without me asking) to help with things like making brunch reservations (we’re doing a weekend in NYC) and I am grateful. My only expectation from my friends is that they show up if they are able/willing. We are all paying our own way, including me – the bride.
I’d have a talk with your friend and tell her you are happy to help make the plans but have to be aware of your budget and schedule. She should help with planning if she wants certain things. I don’t see why she gets to sit back while you do all the planning just because she’s the bride.
Post # 5
sweetpea3363: In my circle it’s typical for everyone to pay their own way during the bachelorette, except for the bride. Typically I’ve seen the bride’s portion be absorbed by the bridesmaids. The bridesmaids will usually absorb some of the extra cost as well such as decorations and props, but those items are optional and can be scaled way back easily without having much impact on the party.
Post # 6
There is no etiquette associated with bachelor or bachelorette parties, because they are not an official part of a wedding. There is also no obligation on your part to host, plan or even attend if you are unable. If you do decide to organize and plan something, just be sure you discuss the plans with everyone and make it clear that it is meant to be a cooperatively hosted event. Get input from others, including budget. Don’t send invitations that make it seem as if it’s a hosted event if it’s not.
Post # 7
@Julies1949 and @SparkleBee11 Thank you for your quick responses and great advice! And congratulations SparkleBee11 – I cannot wait until I’m standing on the other side like you! And brava with planning your wedding in the midst of course work – impressive for sure.<br />
<br />To be fair, she’s a very laid back type of person/planner. The quality time spent with people is what is meaningful to her. My husband and I had our Destination Wedding earlier this year where we cruised to Cozumel with everyone and then got married in port – and my friend was there with me 100%.<br />
<br />I did tell her right off the bat that I would be happy to help plan her party, but I wasn’t sure if I would be able to attend the entire weekend. She was totally fine with that, but now I worry how I will be able to host without being there – and not leaving too much on my co-planner!<br />
<br />What’s the difference between inviting people to a wedding shower and it’s tacky (a previous board I saw) to have people pay for their own means and inviting people to a bachelorette party and doing the same thing? I get it instinctually, I just don’t want anyone to be offended at the time.<br />
<br />The rough layout of the weekend she mentioned was because I asked her what kind of vision she had in mind. I think she would be open to other options, but you all are right, I need to talk to her. I appreciate your willingness to give your 2 cents and give me other perspectives. My sister was my Maid/Matron of Honor and an amazing planner – she is always very thoughtful and I wanted to live up to that for my friend.
Post # 8
@Weddingmaven – how do you make an invitation that doesn’t come across as a hosted event?
Thanks everyone! Very helpful.
Post # 9
sweetpea3363: Showers normally involve gifts but bachelorettes don’t – you can’t expect people to pay for themselves AND bring a gift, but it’s ok with bachelorettes because they’re not a gift giving event. When I’ve planned them for people, I’ve said outright what the expected cost is (including everyone contributing for the bride). You definitely don’t need to pay for any other attendees!
I think you’ll definitely be able to keep it inexpensive and not place a huge burden on the other organiser if you’re not there. After all, everyone’s an adult so I’m sure they’ll manage! On the friday you could do a pizza/movie/cocktail night at someone’s place, have the sleepover there and then get some bagels/muffins/coffee in for breakfast the next day (super cost effective). The daytime activites I’ve seen are dance classes, make up classes and spa days, and an amusement park but there are loads of options (wine tasting, zip lining adventures etc) so I’m sure something cost effective is out there. Make a dinner reservation at somewhere fun and a club booking and you’re done!
Post # 10
I would send around emails or discussing the plans by word of mouth and making it clear that this is a cooperative venture. I would phrase any final mailing or email as a reminder of time, date, place, and amount that will need to be contributed. Do not use phrases like “you are invited” or even “please join us in celebrating.”
Post # 11
Yes I agree with previous bees in that you just tell people outright how much it’ll be per person. Work out the costs ahead of time and be up front and honest about how much it’ll be.
For what it’s worth, every bachelorette party I’ve gone to has been set up like this AND we’ve all been expected to bring gifts. So leaving gifts out is just a plus to me!
Post # 12
You would not need to host! I’ve never heard of a hosted bachelorette party – in my group we all pay our own way, throw in for group stuff and the bride. She probably just wants you guys to plan. I would send out an email to all of the gir
ls invited, see who can make it, and what ideas/budget restrictions they have. The brides idea sounds pretty easy – so I would just say hey we want to do x, have dinner here, etc. Everyone should just pay their own way when you go out stuff, and then divide evenly for the bride. If theirs 10 girls total at dinner or lunch just have the waittress divide by 9 to leave out the bride.