Attending a bachelorette party is expensive. The average amount spent at a bachelorette party is $537 per person. And, if you have to fly to the to the bachelorette party Weddingwire found that 40% reported spending $1,000 or more and 1 in 10 reported spending over $4,000! So, how can you figure out how much to spend on a bachelorette party? Below are tips to save money on transportation, housing, clothing and food when attending a bachelorette party.
Create a Budget for Wedding Season
If you’ve been invited to a bachelorette, you’ve likely been invited to a bridal shower and wedding for that same friend. Instead of looking at how to save money only at the bachelorette, look how much you’re spending on weddings the entire year. This includes all weddings, bridal showers, bachelorettes and engagement showers.
How much can you afford to spend attending weddings this year? How much are you willing to spend? This includes the weddings, the bachelorette parties, the engagement parties and the bridal showers. If you’re traveling to a wedding, include all costs you’ll incur that weekend. Don’t forget to estimate the outfit costs.
Use the table below and add the number of wedding events you’ve been invited to for this year. Now, sum it up. Is this below or above how much you can afford? If it far exceeds what you’re willing to spend you’ll need to determine what you’re skipping. There are opportunities within each to spend less but the biggest savings will come from skipping something entirely.
See Also: How to Save Money as a Wedding Guest
With this estimate, we’ll start looking at how to spend less money when you attend bachelorettes.
Enter The Bachelorette Weekend With The Right Expectation
Attending the bachelorette party will be different than attending the wedding. When you’re attending the wedding you can decide where to stay, the transportation, the meals the rest of the weekend, etc. When you’re attending a bachelorette often the entire schedule is set by the maid of honor or another bridesmaid. Sometimes there are activities planned that you can skip. More often, you go along with whatever has been planned.
Know Who is Paying for the Bachelorette Party
Since everything is a group activity at a bachelorette party costs are usually evenly divided. Does the bride help pay for the bachelorette party? The only exception to splitting costs equally is the bride’s expenses. When there is a destination bachelorette the bride usually pays for her flight and lodging but then the rest of the expenses are usually paid for by the guests. Apps like Splitwise come in handy because everyone can log how much they spent and it tells the rest of the group how much they owe each other at the end. However, if you have fewer drinks or you have a cheaper meal you pay the same amount.
Every group handles the bachelorette costs differently. Perhaps at the bachelorette you attend you are only responsible for what you buy. How the group handles the brides expenses is different as well. Sometimes the group pays for everything for the bride, other times the bride insists on paying and other times it’s somewhere in the middle.
No matter the group dynamic, it’s best to go in assuming it’ll be split evenly and you’ll be paying for the brides expenses that weekend. To get the best idea of how much the bachelorette will cost, if you’re paying for the bride and other money related questions reach out to the maid of honor.
Talk to the Maid of Honor About Any Money Concerns
If you’re worried about the cost of the bachelorette, be upfront with the maid of honor. She can bring up any cost concerns without mentioning any names to the bride.
Use Credit Card or Airline Points for the Flight
One way to reduce the cost of attending a bachelorette is to use credit card, or airline for bachelorette party travel. Could you use these airline or credit card points for another trip too? Yes. However, mentally, it will make you feel better about spending less money attending the bachelorette party.
If you have hotel points for the hotel you’re staying at it’s best to save those for another trip. The other guests expectations on whether or not they owe you for the hotel if you use your own points or how much they owe you may differ from your expectation. Often it’s easier to just save these points for another trip.
Book Your Bachelorette Party Flight Early
If you will need to fly to the bachelorette party, book your flight early! The flight is one of the largest costs for a destination bachelorette party. And, this expense is mostly in your control as you can always fly in a little earlier or later to get the better price. Use Hopper to track flight prices as soon as you get the invite and buy when tickets are low. If you wait too long, ticket prices are guaranteed to go up.
Save Money on Bachelorette Ground Transportation
The cheapest way to save money on transportation for a bachelorette party is to go somewhere that is in driving distance and carpool. But if you have a destination bachelorette look for opportunities to carpool with the other girls. If you don’t live in the same city, can you take public transportation to get to the airport or have another friend or family member drive you?
Once you get to the bachelorette destination, does anyone land around the same time as you? Can you plan your flights so you land or takeoff at similar times if the flight price doesn’t differ much? Is there public transportation available at the destination? Any way to share an Uber or Lyft or jointly rent a car will help reduce ground transportation expenses.
Know how much transportation will cost where you are going – and, does it make sense to spend a little more on housing so that you can spend less on ubers or renting a car? Understand how often you’ll use the car and do the math to determine if it’s worth renting a car.
Save Money on the Bachelorette Party Housing
If you’re attending a destination bachelorette party there are ways to save money on the housing. Likely, your housing will be picked for you but if it hasn’t been picked yet reach out to the maid of honor. Make sure the maid of honor doesn’t assume everyone will want their own bedroom or hotel room which will drive up the cost.
If you’ll be staying at an Airbnb, volunteer to share a room or sleep on a couch / air mattress to save money. Most people are reasonable and are ok paying more if they’ll have the better accommodation.
If you’ll be staying at a hotel, can you recommend hotels that are cheaper? You can also save money on the hotel cost by splitting the room with 3 other people. That way, you’ll only pay 25% of the hotel room bill.
Spend Less Money On Bachelorette Outfits
You’re going to spend a night or nights with a bunch of other ladies – this is the perfect time to shop each others closets. Text your friends that are similar sizes and coordinate. A dress, accessory or shoes that may feel “old” to you will be brand new to one of your friends and vice versa. This way, you can wear something new that’s been borrowed from a friend for free.
Often there is one night where the bride wears a white dress and the bachelorette party wears a black dress. Add a black dress for bachelorette parties to your staple wardrobe and bring that outfit to all of the bachelorette parties you’re invited to. Save money on the black dress by buying it second hand through Poshmark.
Save Money on Food and Drinks at the Bachelorette Party
Money spent on food and drinks can add up quickly at a bachelorette party, especially if you spend most of the time out and about. If you’re concerned about costs going into the bachelorette party, ask the maid of honor what the plan is for food and drinks ahead of time. If the plan is to have one or two nice dinners out volunteer to help the maid of honor find a reasonable place to have dinner. Even a nice dinner can vary from $60 per person to $200 per person.
Eating breakfast in the hotel or at the Airbnb will also help reduce the amount you spend on food. Unless you have a planned brunch this is also the most likely meal where everyone is doing their own thing.
Lastly, to limit drinks out at dinner and the bar buy alcohol to drink at the hotel or at the Airbnb. You can buy a bottle of wine for less than a glass of wine at dinner. If the bachelorette party has decided to split all expenses evenly the best way to save money on food and drink are these options above. Ordering a cheaper entree won’t amount to much as the savings will get split by everyone.
Say No To Attending The Bachelorette Party
Attending every bachelorette party you’re invited to will cost you thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars. Are you a bridesmaid? If not, consider skipping the bachelorette party. It’s not fun for you or the bride if you attend and then are stressed the entire time about spending money while there. If there is a group dinner and you want to sit it out because you’re stressed about the cost it may hurt the brides feelings.
If you still want to do something for the bride at the bachelorette party and can’t afford to attend ask a friend to buy a bottle of wine or champagne on your behalf and reimburse your friend. It’ll show the bride you are thinking about them and you don’t have to worry about spending too much money.
It is much easier to say no to a bachelorette party upfront than to be that person backing out of a bachelorette party later on. Once you’ve said yes to attending, the maid of honor has factored you in to the shared expenses such as the housing. They’ve found accommodations that fit a certain amount of people. If they knew you weren’t going to come, they could have found a cheaper housing alternative. If you have to back out of a bachelorette party, it’s best to pay for your share of what has already been booked that can’t be refunded.
What are ways you’ve found to save money attending a bachelorette?