Post # 17
This stuck out at me: "the bachelorette trip was sort of a "mandate". she had a heart set on going and that was basically that."
I tend to be old-fashioned about this stuff, but I don’t think the bride gets to decide what kind of bachelorette party she has! I thought this was something the bridesmaids planned and hosted. At least, that’s how we’ve done it the times I’ve been a bridesmaid. The bride has some veto power (i.e. if the bride hates bar-hopping, we’re not going bar-hopping), but she doesn’t get to dictate where we go and how much we spend. Are my friends and I behind the curve here? Is it usual for brides to plan their own bachelorette parties?
I agree with everyone else — level with your friend about the hit your pocketbook is taking and how worried you are about spending that kind of money right now. She’s probably just caught up in the excitement and not really thinking about what she’s asking from you financially. If she’s a good friend, she’ll understand your worries.
Post # 18
I’m echoing a lot of what’s already been said, but….
Humarock Bride, I feel you: all but two of my girlfriends live scattered across the country, so if I’m going to have a bachelorette party, everyone will be flying in from somewhere. We’re going to San Diego (because if you’re gonna fly somewhere, it may as well be the beach) and we’ve rented a house on Mission Beach. It will average out to about $30 a night per person.
My point is that I don’t think it’s totally crazy for a bride to ask her gals to fly in for a bachelorette party. For me, I know that I’ll be so busy on the wedding weekend that this will be a chance for me to spend quality time with gals I don’t get to see that often – all under the same roof.
That said, southernbelll, you should definitely talk to your bride. It’s hard to plan a trip/party that suits everyone’s schedule and budget, but if I had a friend who couldn’t come to my bachelorette weekend due to money, I would change my plans to enable her to come. And if changing the plans wasn’t an option, I certainly wouldn’t feel grumpy toward her.
Post # 19
Wow – $1K is steep, especially in these economic times. Even if you can scrimp and save to make it work, it’s terribly rude of the bride to insist on an expensive party that someone else has to host. Bachelorette parties should be about being with your closest pals. It’s tough when the wedding party is scattered across the country, but there are ways to work around it.
If you were to go, you’ll probably have fun, but if you’re already uneasy, that speaks volumes. Go with your gut – tell the bride that you would love to be there for her, but just can’t swing the trip in such a shaky economy. If she gives a lot of pushback, her priorities are out of whack. You mentioned that the trip may not happen if you back out – if it does fall apart, get together with the other people and see what you can work out to have an alternate plan.
Post # 20
Out of my bridal party, who’s also scattered throughout the country, the only one who will likely make it to any sort of bachelorette party is my Maid/Matron of Honor since she only lives four hours from me (in my hometown). I’ll likely go home and have a party with my local friends and female family members. I would never expect my maids to fly halfway across the country to go to a party. One maid is living off her daycare worker wage while her husband is deployed in Iraq. That being said, for some crowds bachelorette parties are a bigger deal and they turn them into mini-vacations. I’m not planning something like that, or asking my girls to plan something like that, because I know it’s not in the budget for any of us. I think if a bride wants to plan an extravagent bachelorette party she should be talking to the girls about the plans well in advance to see if it will even be feasible financially for everyone involved. If your bride wasn’t courteous enough to ask if this pricey getaway was feasible for you, you need to say something and be honest with her.
Post # 21
I don’t think any bride would want to see her bridesmaid choose the bachelorette over possible serious financial matters. That would be awfully selfish if they do. If we all had the means to afford everything lavish, we’d all have nice weddings, exotic bachelorettes, grand honeymoons and everything …but since most of us are the average every day population …we have to work with what we have and just make it work.
I’ve been to 2 out of country bachelorettes both equalling about $1000 each trip including the bride’s trip fare and expenses. It isn’t too bad but all the bms worked together to create a budget and destination everyone was okay with and it helped a lot. The key is – you have to work together to make it work. We planned out activities/excursions in advance and went over the itinerary together so that we knew exactly what to expect to be spending. The bride(s) were completely appreciative of how considerate we were to eachother and how hard we tried to make the best of it, even if it wasn’t in hawaii/greece/paris ….we all came back so happy and we still talk abt all the great times we had.
So like others have said, be honest about your concerns ….she’ll appreciate that!
Post # 22
For my bachelorette party, I’m the only one doing any significant traveling. It just makes sense – I moved to Denver, but my bridesmaids live in the New Orleans area, so I would never dream of asking them to fly here to throw me a party. It just seems cheeky.
Post # 23
That is INCREDIBLY steep IMO. Even for family or a best friend, if it is already a destination wedding and with all the other expenses of being a bridesmaid, I would never EVER allow any of my bridesmaids, friends, or family members put this much money into something for me.
Post # 24
I think this is too much. The bride is just out of control if she thinks she can ask her friends to spend $1,000 for bachelorette party plus the cost of attending and being in the wedding.
I’ve only been to two bachelorette parties, and both were something the Maid/Matron of Honor threw together for the week of the wedding. She asked close friends and attendents to fly into town one day early and go out that night. Then we had one day to recover before the wedding. It was tons of fun and relatively low cost (one extra night of hotel plus drinks).
Post # 25
This is where my bachelorette is heading too. It’s being planned by two of my girls, and all I know is that I’m getting on a plane and bringing all my backcountry ski/snowboard gear. (which will not be cheap no matter where we end up!)
I’m making sure to tell anyone who is invited that they should not feel compelled to attend. I’d be happy to just hang out at home with them, though I think it’s cool that they are doing this. Still, I’m making sure that everyone who is invited knows that they can and should opt out if they are being burdened.
A good friend will understand, no matter what you decide…
Post # 26
I was in the same situation last year. I spent $900 on a bachelorette party that was six hours out of town.
I felt that it was unfair of the bride to request her bridesmaids to spend more money on top of the shower that we had to throw for her, the dress that we had to pay for and the wedding gift we were going to get her.
Still, I bit the bullet and went along with it anyway, just to avoid rocking the boat. I regretted it big time, since I ended up so broke afterwards.
My advice is to be completely honest with the bride about your financial situation. Since she chose you to be one of her maids, she must have a lot of love and respect for you, therefore she will probably understand. She may even change her bachelorette plans just to make sure you’d be there.
But don’t force yourself to do something thats out of your means just to make her happy, in the end you will end up miserable and resent her for it.
Post # 27
The answer is very simple: Either you can afford it or you can’t. And if you can’t, then simply tell the bride (or the MOH) the situation. Whether the bride "should have" asked for such an expensive trip is really irrelevant. If you can’t afford it, then there’s nothing wrong with that. I, too, would probably feel bad if there were only three bridesmaids and my not going would eliminate 25% of the guest list. But sometimes, that’s the way it is and your situation doesn’t change. Good luck. I’m sure that no matter what, the bride will understand.
Post # 28
If the Bride decided on the Bach Party details without asking for input from her wedding party first, then she should understand that some people will not be able to afford it. I had a friend who asked around – I told her I couldn’t swing the very $$ destination back party – and she still went ahead with it. Only a few people went in the end. But that was ok with me if she would preferred the fancy party to having us all there! For mine, my Maid/Matron of Honor polled the BMs and enough ppl weren’t up for flying, so we stayed local because I told her I cared a lot more about spending the time with everyone, then where we were.
My only suggestion is to let her know why you aren’t coming.
Post # 29
- Wedding: September 2007 - Lake Union Cafe, Seattle
I can see both sides of this. All of my bridesmaids bitched about every single expense in the wedding. Although, I found cheap dresses, had the bachelorette party locally, paid for a lot of their expenses and didn’t make anything mandatory. People bitched about everything. I was a little hurt over the effort that some of them made. I think with the right amount of planning and nothing totally out of control money wise, people can SAVE and afford to go. To be honest, it’s just a matter of wanting to or not. I know, because I’ve been in situtation where I just didn’t want to spend the money. Not because I didn’t have it.
Post # 30
I think that if you can simply eliminate your leisure spending for a few months and find that you can suddenly afford a $1000+ bachelorette party, plus everything that is required to be a bridesmaid, you’re pretty lucky. Or maybe just single and without kids? For me (married, two stepkids, both in college) I honestly find that all my money is already spoken for. If I had to find an extra $1000 in the next 3 – 4 months, I could – let me see… tell everyone there would be no Christmas presents; tell the kids they can figure out how to buy their own books for winter quarter; turn the furnace off for a couple of months (it’s 37F outside today). We do have some savings that’s not in cds or our 401Ks, but that’s money that we have agreed is being saved for specific things. So in fact, I can’t just take it and blow it on a girls’ weekend – any more than my husband can take it and buy new golf clubs. Now, maybe all of that is really what you would call "Not Wanting To." But honestly, telling somebody that because YOU can save $1000 in 3 – 4 months that THEY should be able to, if they just "Wanted To", is pretty naive. And we consider ourselves lucky – look at how many people have been laid off recently. But seriously, I hope to know you when you have a mortgage and a car payment and a couple of kids, just to see how things work out for you…
Post # 31
I think a bride can ask for whatever she wants, but to "mandate" attendance is a bit much. I was a Bridesmaid or Best Man and the bride wanted an international bachelorette…I told her up front (before it was planned) that I personally wouldn’t be able to go, but if that’s what she wanted, she should go for it. She did, and then had another one in her city of residence as well. Everyone’s situation is different and hopefully she will be understanding. Don’t feel guilty, your most important role is standing up there to support their wedding and marriage. The pre-parties are just extra, in my opinion.