Destination Bachelorette Party

posted 2 months ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 16
632 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Bri2 :  I’m not trying to be snarky but no one can “give a budget” to a BM… You ask what is doable in their life. Even for someone well off, I wouldn’t be too happy with someone assigning my money to someone else’s event. 

The bride has every right to celebrate her bachelorette party where ever she wants. But she does not have the right to expect her BP to want to do spend their time and money on a location she selected. 

I know it is still months out, but try communicating with the BP. Me spending over 1k on the wedding I was in may not be a big deal to another person or it may have put other people in the poor house. We all have different priorities, plans, and disposable income. 

Just be fair to the BMs who are honest about not being able to afford the bachelorette party.

Post # 18
632 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Bri2 :  Oh… I see…  Maybe the BP should revisit the budget discussion if it is becoming an issue.

I am going to assume I am a little older than you :-)… I have seen and experienced this many times in life. Plans sound fun and doable, but the closer you get to the event or a deadline, things happen and priorities change. All of a sudden more than half of the group can’t attend for one reason or another. It sucks, but it is a part of life.

Just a side note, destination bridal parties are fun! But they are not feasible in every friend group. 

I hope this works out for you all, you sound like a very supportive BM!!!

Post # 19
560 posts
Busy bee

Bri2 :  I just wanted to add, I think what is “reasonable” is relative to each individual person. You NEVER know the financial position of someone else, and just because they appear to have the money does not mean they should have to spend it on a bachelorette party, that is a personal choice. And some of them probably do not have any extra cash. Bachelorettes tend to be one of those things that sounds like a great idea, but actually isnt possible for some when reality sets in, ESPECIALLY if these ladies have never planned or been in a wedding and did not acticipate how exspensive it really is. $600 for a bachelorette seems like a breeze, until you realize you need a flight for the wedding, a $300 dress, $150 in alterations, a manicure/pedicure, a spray tan, hair cut/color, a hotel room, a wedding present, host a bridal shower, etc. I agreed to go to a destination bachelorette party…. and by the end of the wedding, I had spent $3,500, and that WAS NOT the only wedding I was in that year. 

So yes… sometimes girls agree because on a stand alone basis, yes the cost seems reasonable, but in reality, they cannot actually afford it. 

(I should add, I had a destination bachelorette, but I didnt expect anyone to attend and I did not pick the location) 

Post # 20
9857 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

If the girls can’t afford it, they can’t afford it. Giving a budget almost a year in advance sounds like an expectation that they budget for this trip, even with some already balking. 

No one is obligated to attend a bachelorette, esp not a destination Bach party. 

It’s irrelevant what the bees would spend because they are not these girls, who are saying they can’t. I don’t see the point of asking other women, because it doesn’t matter if everyone in the world thinks it’s doable if these girls don’t. That said, the bee skews toward people who can afford such a trip (from what I’ve read), so asking the bees is even more unrealistic imo. 

Plan a NOLA trip for the girls who can easily afford it or make new plans to accommodate everyone. Def don’t push girls to pay for a destination party if they can’t- this is how friendships are strained. 

Post # 22
122 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

Bri2 :  Dont let it get to you! People on this site are extremely quick to judge and if you dont word something perfectly…watch out! 😀 I do agree with most that what one group of friends might think is a reasonable price to spend on a bachforelorette is likely quite different from the next… When my best friend got married, they did a spa day, pole dancing and then bottle service/food at a club.. was close enough to drive, but most of us booked rooms…i was tight financially then, so I opted out of the spa day, and went to the rest of it…probably cost me close to $200 and for me it was worth it and i was grateful that there were options to stay within budget….if my friend was to get married now; i would probably be able to afford a 400 or 500 trip away because im in a different financial situation… For my wedding, my dream was to do a Nashville bachelorette, was always my plan. However, i have 3 bridesmaids with babies, two with new mortgages (on their own)…It wouldnt have been “mandatory” but i know most would have done it for me, but would have been a pinch. And i just cant do that. So im asking for low key, cottage or B&B getaway, close enough that they can come for one night or two or just the day and spend what they can afford. 

Sounds like you have been more than fair and accommodating with the group and gone about everything the right way and just have some difficult personalities to deal with. Have you committed to numbers now, or is their the option for those that are wishy washy to forgo the event? If the option is  there, than perhaps give a deadline to commit and let them know it is understandable if they cant? Just a thought… Good luck, i dont envy you, but you have a lucky friend!

Post # 23
443 posts
Helper bee

With people being spread all over the country these days, I think destination bachelorettes are ok, as long as the bride has an understanding that not everyone, including members of the bridal party, might be able to make it due to whatever reason (cost, PTO, etc.) Most of the ones I have been invited to have involved a flight, which alone can be expensive (my one friend is having one in Vegas and the flight is 600 alone). I honestly would say I spent 1000-1500 on each bachelorettes I fly to and around 500-600 on the ones I just stay overnight. I will swing this for a really good friend or family member, especially if they atteded mine, but I will use this as a fator in how much I gift at the wedding (meaning I will give them a gift but my budget might be lower).

In terms of what I feel is reasonble (upper 20s professional with a stable career), this is what I think (costs should always be agreed upon by everyone, and this may not be reasonable to someone starting out, or paying an exorbant amount of travel for the wedding): 1. If a flight or hotel involved the bride should pay (if she doesnt want to or cant, then something local should be organized) 2. If its a multi day affair, designate 1-2 days to have everyone chip in for the brides food/drink. Any of the other days she is on her own. If this is not ok, then a local party should be coordinated instead. 3. For activities, I think its a nice gesture for the bridal party to pay for one reaonable activity, but I dont think they should be on the hook for 4-5 shows in vegas

I also think anything other than a long weekend (1 day of PTO) is asking a lot. I actually just declined 2 bachelorette parties as they both were a week long, and I much rather use my PTO with my husband. If someone wants a week long bachelorette, they need to expect people will decline on that factor alone.

Post # 24
623 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect bridesmaids to have to attend or pay for a ‘destination bachelorette’. The bride may choose to celebrate in any way she wants – that is her right. But she needs to understand that not everyone is financally able to attend and/or finance these lavish, expensive and time consuming affairs. Everyone should just try to be honest and accepting of one another. Giving a budget in advance does not change someone’s financial situation and it is unreasonable to ask that a bachelorette party takes number one priority in anyone’s life. Good luck with everything and hope it goes well.

Post # 25
118 posts
Blushing bee

Asking here what is reasonable will not help you. Reasonable is so subjective, it all depends on what else I need to spend money on for the wedding, what my relationship is to the bride, what other expenses I have that year, how many other weddings I have that year, how much I actually want to go to the event and am I saving for something else (own wedding, house, personal holiday)? And all this can suddenly change between the day people agreed on a budget and when it needs to be payed. Also if my car needs expensive repairs you can be sure I will use that saved money for that if I have nothing else. 

You all agreed on a budget, stick to that and accept that people might change there minds and not go. This will always be a risk when planning holidays with a group of people. 

Post # 26
101 posts
Blushing bee

I think it depends on how close you all are to the bride and what sort of financial position you’re in. I have two best friends and we have been best friends since we were 14. We’ve done everything together and for each other. For our besties Bach party we spent about $2000 each on a trip to Singapore and we were happy to pay that. However,if it was for someone I wasn’t that close to, no way would I be happy to fork out as much money. I’d probably want to stay below the $250 mark for anyone else. 

Post # 27
8125 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Bri2 :  I guess I’m confused because you said all they had to pay for was their flight, 3 meals and drinks out, activities and a gift for the bride (wtf?)/mother. So why does a budget matter? 

First if you are preplanning activities then just say xyz is going to be $$ or abc will be $$ which do you guys prefer. Then you will have the budget for the activity.

Food and drinks don’t need a budget. They can choose what to spend at that time but I woukd think it was common sense to pick places to eat that aren’t expensive (so no fancy restaurants) and have a variety of options on the menu to meet everyone’s budget.

I have never attended a destination bachelorette but at a hometown hen’s night sometimes I buy a $30 meal and sometimes I buy a $15 meal, depends on a lot of factors (like how hungry I am, what I am in the mood for) and the same for drinks, if the chosen bar has high drink prices then I won’t have more than 1 or 2, cheap drinks and I will have more. It is not really something you can ask them to budget for as a group. Each individual can decide what they are comfortable paying on the day/night.

All that said if you are think bottle service etc then yeah I don’t really agree with that kind of party unless everyone drinks the exact same alcohol and everyone drinks the exact same amount. Otherwise those that drink less (or not at all) get screwed. So my advice would be to not do that.

If you want to buy the brides drinks as a group, well then just get everyone to pitch in $20 or whatever you all agree is a fair amount. When the money runs out then the bride can pay for her own drinks.

A gift for the bride doesn’t seem right. Sorry but if it wasn’t her wedding and her wanting a destination bachelorette then no one would be needing the accommodation that she is providing. I think it is a pretty sly move on her behalf because she is basically throwing a party for herself which isn’t appropriate for a bachelorette. She is also backing everyone into a corner because she is paying. It just feels off to me.

A gift for her mother seems appropriate if she is paying for the accommodation. 

Post # 28
12635 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

My reasonable budget is whatever I can afford.  If the costs are getting out of control, it’s up to you to stay something to the bride.

Post # 29
1 posts

I think it depends, depends on the people involved and the destination chosen. I am a MOH and we recently held the bachelorette in another city that was central to all of the attendees. It consisted of 10 of us (bridesmaids, close friends and the bride. All of the bridesmaids (5 of us) planned it together and we all worked really hard to keep in mind that everyone would have a budget. Obviously we’re all at different points in our lives.

From the very beginning, I made it a point to let each guest know that while the bridesmaids had planned the itinerary that everything was optional. Everyone flew in as their schedule allowed. Everyone also knew how much they could or could not spend. 

We were there for 3 days, ended up sharing an Airbnb (we got a great deal) and everyone was responsible for their flight and food/drinks. We shared Ubers everywhere we went and as a unified group, the bridesmaids split the cost of the bride’s food/drink/stay. We gave a tentative itinerary of activities and plans to all of the guests beforehand and we tried to save money as we got groceries for the house and had homemade brunch one of the days we were there. Obviously we made it a point to do 1 fancy dinner where we all dressed up and we went out places at night but everyone pitched in their share. One option you could try is separate checks at the restaurants or using Venmo to share the costs. As far as I know, everyone had a great time and no one complained as far as I know.

If it becomes a major issue, I would recommend involving the bride as she knows her friends the best or if there’s a bridesmaid that’s closest to the “troublemaker”, ask her to help. Bachelorette activities should be fun. It’s a great time to celebrate the bride for her last hurrah and leave the drama at home.

Post # 30
177 posts
Blushing bee


Bri2 :  I have only been to 4 bachelorette parties in my whole life and I think only two of them are relevant because 1 was years ago for my cousin and I was so young that no one expected me to pay anything (maybe my mom chipped in, I dont even remember). The other that is not relevant was my FI’s best friend’s FI – it was a whole weekend thing about an hour away but since I’m not that close to her and wanted to save money, I only went to the first night dinner in town.

One of my BMs got married 2 years ago and we went to Vegas (note: we are Canadian so its even more expensive for us). I really did not mind because I had wanted to go and it was a mni vacation for me too. Yes, the weekend was centered around her but I really did not mind (neither did anyone else) and I knew that eventually, it would be my turn. I think we ended up spending $C 1150 approx and used one vacation day. It was planned well in advance so I was able to work my vacation days around that.

Lastly, my bachelorette was last weekend (!!). We also went to Vegas. I was open to other destinations, but ultimately, my group really wanted to do Vegas again. Again, it required one day off (only for 2 of them though cuz one was already on vacation time from work for two weeks and another doesn’t work in the summer) and we were able to do it for slightly cheaper this time (maybe C$ 1050). 

It’s really about what the bride’s friends are okay with. It’s common in my area to do big destination bachelorettes, so that is what is done (I’d say only 50% of the time all costs are covered for the bride). To be honest, I didn’t need to go to Vegas, but I did want something out of my city. I should note though that I paid for the majority of my bachelorette (like we each paid our own way). They got me small gifts, bought me a drink by the pool and paid for my taxis, but I paid for my hotel/flight/food. I am okay with this as I know it’s very expensive for them to pay for me too and would not expect it.

If the BMs can no longer swing NOLA financially, then the bride will either have to be okay with a much smaller group going or choose something in their budget.

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