There’s a lot that goes into planning a bachelorette and a lot that goes into managing the opinions of the bride, the bridesmaids and any friends invited. Everyone wants the ultimate bachelorette party but few want to pay that much for the experience. Whether you want to plan a budget bachelorette or save money on the ultimate bachelorette there are plenty of ways to save money planning a bachelorette without sacrificing the fun.
How much should you spend on a bachelorette party?
The average amount spent at a bachelorette party is $537 per person but that number can be much higher or much lower depending on whether the bachelorette party is a destination or not. According to the Weddingwire when looking at people who flew on an airplane to attend a destination bachelorette 40% reported spending $1,000 or more and 1 in 10 reported spending over $4,000!
The cost of bachelorettes vary widely, which is why it’s so important to set an estimated budget for each person before anything is booked. Some friends may not be able to afford attending a destination bachelorette so if the people are the most important part of the bachelorette to the bride look to do something local.
There is no set amount for how much money to spend throwing a bachelorette party. But, there is guidance on how to set the right budget for the bachelorette you’re throwing. First, understand who is paying for what on the bachelorette. And, understand what people are willing to spend. It’s best to ask each bridesmaid and bride individually so that no one is embarrassed if they cannot afford a lot. Even if a destination location is decided there are plenty of ways to travel hack your way to cheaper hotels, transportation and flights.
See Also: 5 Ways to Save Money on Travel
Who Pays for the Bachelorette Party?
Wondering how to split the cost of a bachelorette party? Who pays for the bachelorette varies. In some cases the bridesmaids split it evenly. In other cases the maid of honor pays for more. Sometimes, the bridesmaids pay for part and then charge each guest a certain amount. Sometimes the bride insists on paying her share, other times the bridemaids insist the bride pays for nothing. As bridesmaids buy items for the bachelorette track expenses in excel or Splitwise. This will help split the cost of the bachelorette and keep track of who owes who money. Then, to collect payment for the bachelorette party each person can transfer the money on Venmo or another payment app. To best identify who should pay for what at the bachelorette you’re throwing ask these questions:
Who is attending the bachelorette?
If the bride has decided to invite people that aren’t bridesmaids it’s fine to expect that they will help pay for their part of the bachelorette. The bridesmaids should cover more of the bachelorette (for example decorations, perhaps group food and drinks) but they should not be expected to pay for the guests dinner, bar drinks and hotel / transportation.
Will it be a destination bachelorette party or local?
Often, when the bachelorette is local the bride won’t pay for anything. When the bachelorette is a destination the bride will usually pay for her flight and hotel. At destination bachelorette parties it varies what the bride pays for at the actual location. Sometimes the guests insist on paying for everything. Other times the bride will pay for some of the activities. It really depends on the dynamics of the group.
At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong answer as to who pays for what. The most important thing is to set the expectations up front as to who will pay for what before anything is booked so that there are no surprises. You don’t want to arrive at the bachelorette party and have the bride upset she has to pay for things or the guests upset they have to pay for a bunch of activities and everything for the bride.
See Also: How to Plan a Bridal Shower on a Budget
Start Planning The Bachelorette Party Early
One way to save money on a bachelorette party is to start the planning early. You’ll be able to get better deals on airfare and the hotel / Airbnb. You’ll also get better deals on any decorations you buy and activities you decide to do as you’ll have the runway to shop around for better deals.
There will be more selection on hotels and Airbnb if you’re staying overnight. Especially if you need a large house, there is only so much inventory that will accommodate a large bachelorette party. Work with the bride to understand when and how she wants to reach out – if she would like you to reach out or if she would like to reach out. Sometimes the early planning may happen before the guests even receive save the dates! So, it’s important to coordinate with the bride.
There are two main answers you need early on in the planning process: who the bride wants to attend, and what location the bride wants.
Who Does The Bride Want to Attend the Bachelorette Party?
If the bride wants to have only the bridesmaids attend the bachelorette party most locations can be discussed. But, if the bride wants to invite a ton of people the location should be local. The attendee list will really gear the conversations around location and price. If it’s just the bridesmaids, they have all agreed to stand by the bride on her special day and accepted knowing that they will pay money for all of these events. Friends that aren’t bridemaids will be reluctant to spend a ton of money on the bachelorette and cost will be a high factor in their decision as to whether or not they will attend. The cheaper and more convenient the bachelorette is, the more people that will be interested in attending.
Throwing a bachelorette party within driving distance will maximize the amount of people that will be able to come. On the opposite side, if the bachelorette requires a flight people are less likely to say yes to attending.
Having more people attend a bachelorette party doesn’t necessarily mean the price per person will get cheaper. It’s great to have more people to split costs with. However, if it’s a large group you’ll find only certain restaurants will be able to accommodate your group size and that restaurant may not be the cheapest. If it’s a destination bachelorette party, you’ll have to get more hotel rooms or a larger house.
Does the Bride Want A Destination Bachelorette Party or Local?
The bachelorette location is the biggest driver of cost. The cheapest location for a bachelorette is whatever location is local. You don’t have to spend money on a hotel or transportation and it will likely be only one night. Limiting the number of days for the bachelorette will always help save money. On the flip side, the most expensive bachelorette is a destination bachelorette. Destination bachelorettes are usually at least two nights, if not longer, and require spending money on a flight and lodging as well as money on food and activities.
Save Money on Bachelorette Party Housing
As the person planning the bachelorette, housing is the biggest opportunity you have drive costs down for the rest of the group, second to the location. You’ll be the person deciding where everyone is staying for the bachelorette.
Consider a few things: will an Airbnb or hotel be cheaper? What area is best to stay in? Don’t forget to ask all attendees if they have a connection to save money here. If someone works at a hotel chain for example they may get an employee or a friends and family discount as part of their employee perks. And, sometimes the cheaper housing option mean spending more on transportation to and from bars and restaurants so that is something to factor in.
If you know there are a few people that may be struggling to afford the bachelorette but really want to come there are a few ways for you to help them save more money on the lodging. It’ll be much more expensive if everyone wants their own room or own bed. If anyone wants that, ask them to pay more. Those that are OK sharing a bed and/or sharing a bedroom or sleeping on a couch can pay less. Splitting a hotel room four ways will be much cheaper than each person getting their own hotel room. The same is true for splitting bedrooms and having people sleep on an air mattress or couch in an AirBnB. Most people are reasonable and are ok paying more if they’ll have the better accommodation.
Save Money On Bachelorette Party Transportation
The cheapest way to save money on transportation at 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? As the person planning the bachelorette, it’s always helpful to collect all the flight information as people book their flights so the rest of the ladies can coordinate. Also, identify if there are public transportation options 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.
See Also: How to Save Money as a Wedding Guest
Save Money on Bachelorette Party Food
There are a few ways to decrease the food costs at a bachelorette. The biggest ways to save money is to limit the alcohol consumption and not go out to eat. Alcohol is expensive and it adds up quickly on a bachelorette. If you don’t want to sacrifice alcohol or quality, better plan how much you’ll need. It’s easy to overbuy and then have leftover alcohol you can’t bring back with you.
If you’re going away for a weekend, buy coffee and stuff for breakfast so you don’t have to go out for every meal. You can also buy groceries to make other meals at the place if you get an Airbnb.
Lastly, plan ahead where you’ll eat. Decide to have one “fancy” meal, and even then find a restaurant that will meet your price point.
Bachelorette Party Decorations That are Fun and Affordable
If you’re staying local, bachelorette decorations will make the night feel more special. If you’re going away for the bachelorette, decorations aren’t needed to make the weekend feel special. Plus, you’ve spent more money on getting to the bachelorette so it’s ok to go easy on the decor. The bachelorette is always more about the time spent with each other. If you do buy bachelorette decorations there are ways to save money.
Create One Decoration That’s Great for Photographs
Instead of trying to make the entire bachelorette location Instagram worthy, is there one decoration you can do really well for pictures? Perhaps it’s the table display during the pregame or a DIY photo backdrop. You can also look at images of selfie frame cutouts and DIY instead of spending ~$40 ordering one online.
Buy Bachelorette Decorations Well In Advance
If you’re buying decorations for the bachelorette with less than a week to go your options will be limited. You’ll have less time to shop around for the best price. More importantly, you’ll need to either shop local or shop somewhere where the decorations will get to you in time. You may even have to pay for rush shipping to get everything in time.
Matching Shirts / Accessories For The Bride and Guests
Many times you’ll see bachelorettes where everyone has a matching shirt and the bride has a bride shirt. For the party shirts you’ll wear once will cost anywhere from $12-$30 each. You can drive down these costs by buying a generic bachelorette shirt on Etsy. If you want a custom design you’ll have to pay for the design fee plus the shirts.
Alternatively, you can get matching cozies, matching hats or matching sunglasses. You can find many bride and bridesmaid sunglasses for sale for $6 each on Etsy, which is cheaper than a t-shirt. You can also make DIY flower crowns and spent even less!
For the bride, a bride sash to wear out and a bride t-shirt are more than enough. Let the group know what you are buying for the bride though otherwise someone else may bring the same thing not knowing this was already purchased.
Who pays for bachelorette party shirts? That depends. It’s perfectly reasonable to ask each person (besides the bride!) to pay for their bachelorette party shirt. Sometimes the maid of honor or the bridesmaids will buy all of the bachelorette party shirts as a gift for everyone but this is not expected.
Affordable Bachelorette Activity Ideas
Another way to save money on the bachelorette you’re planning is to plan affordable activities. Share these with the group prior to booking so you can make sure everyone is willing to spend money on this. Separately, ask the bride if she wants everyone to do the activities or if she’s ok if some people don’t participate. The more people attending the harder it is to please everyone.
If you are planning a destination bachelorette usually a few activities are planned in advance. The activities available will depend on the location. Wherever you are going, google free activities in “x” location. If you have a pool where you’re staying that will always be cheaper than paying to go to another pool or renting a boat.
When you find a paid activity you’d like to do, call the company and try to negotiate. Sometimes you can get discounted rates with enough people. Also, check Groupon and other deal sites. There may be deals going on that you can take advantage of.
If you want to do a bar crawl, plan the bar crawl yourself instead of going through a company. Pick a spot with a bunch of bars in the same area so you can walk to each. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with the bars either! Call ahead and see if they’re willing to do any drink specials or if they have any specials to be aware of.
Free Bachelorette Games
If you’re on a budget skip buying bachelorette games. Often these seem like a good idea but they only last for a few minutes during the bachelorette anyways. Plus there are plenty of printable bachelorette party games online, for free!! Check out these 25 bachelorette party games that are free, including 16 free printout games from The Spruce.
Bachelorette Party Slide Show For The Bride
Create a slide show of the couple or bride and show it during the bachelorette. It takes some time, but it’s free and a wonderful gift for the bride. Watching the bachelorette party slide show while getting ready for the night is also a great activity and sure to be appreciated by the bride and everyone there!
Ask Friends Who Have Been To The Location Before For Saving Money Tips
Are you planning a destination bachelorette party? It’s always easier to plan a bachelorette on a budget when someone you know has been to that location before. They’ll know what’s worth the money and what is worth skipping. They’ll have good food suggestions, know the best places to stay, if you should rent a car, etc. Don’t have a friend that’s been to that destination before? Check Trip Advisor and Google for more tips about the destination. There is a lot of information available online, sometimes you just have to spend a little time searching for it!
What are ways you’ve saved money when planning a bachelorette party on a budget?