Being a part of your friend’s wedding is an honor, but it can be a costly one. Between the wedding costs (travel, dress, hair, makeup) and the cost of attending the bridal shower and bachelorette party, you can easily spend $1,000 or more. One way to help trim some of the cost for the bridesmaids is to plan a budget-friendly bachelorette party.
Don’t assume everyone can afford to hop on a plane and head to Vegas for the weekend. Before you start planning, determine the budget. Create an anonymous survey to ask the bachelorette party guests what they’re comfortable spending, and ask for suggestions for budget-friendly ideas.
Talk to the bride beforehand too. Ask her what she definitely wants out of the bachelorette party and what she would like to enjoy but could live without. Add up the costs of necessary items and experiences, and then you can work from the group’s budget to add in the additional wants from the bride’s list.
Staying in town eliminates traveling costs like airfare and hotels. Research your city to find popular attractions and to see if anything special is happening, such as a concert. For some inspiration and savings, check sites like Living Social. You can enjoy dinner and drinks at a new restaurant, relax with a spa day, or have fun with a bar crawl.
If you want to do a little more, limit it to one night. Spending a weekend out of town costs a lot more than enjoying what your own city has to offer. Book a hotel room in the middle of your city that’s within walking distance of activities. Head to a hip bar for appetizers and drinks, then attend a salsa dance class, and end the evening with a quick bite to eat. Make the most of your hotel room by heading there to enjoy cocktails and games for the remainder of the night.
While staying close by will keep costs lower, you can plan a trip on a budget. Try to choose a location that doesn’t require a plane ride. Perhaps a beach is a manageable four-hour drive, and everyone can carpool. Hotels can be pricey, but splitting the costs of a house or large apartment on Airbnb can save everyone money. Ensure all of the bachelorette party guests take care of home security before leaving and utilize sites like TripAdvisor to find restaurants and attractions that work with your budget and have good reviews.
If the bride is more adventurous, consider a camping trip. Enjoy the great outdoors through hiking, kayaking, and swimming. The bride may appreciate some downtime spent away from worrying about hair, makeup, and dresses. Decorate the tent with string lights and streamers to keep it festive.
Simplicity is Key
While personalizing the bachelorette party with matching t-shirts and travel mugs seems to be all the rage, it’s not going to make or break the night, and it can be an unnecessary cost. Unless your bride includes it on her must-have list, consider skipping it. Also, instead of asking each guest to gift the bride with lingerie, consider having everyone chip in to get a big gift from the wedding registry.
If all of the bachelorette party guests can afford to spend a lavish weekend in a big city, then that’s great. But if guests are paying off student loans or starting their own families, they may be more financially cautious. Bachelorette parties are about the bride celebrating with her closest friends while reminiscing and letting loose. You can easily accomplish that goal while staying on a budget that everyone can feel comfortable about.
Ms. Lyons runs DIYDarlin, which provides DIY project resources and tutorials.
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