who pays for the bachelorette party

by | Jul 1, 2024 | planning tips

Did you know that the bachelorette party concept originated in the 1960s? What began as intimate gatherings of close friends has evolved into elaborate, memorable celebrations.

As these parties become more extravagant, a burning question often arises: Who pays for the bachelorette party?

Rising costs and personalized touches can make the financial burden a thorny issue. Is it the responsibility of the maid of honor, the entire bridal party, or the bride herself?

In this article, we’ll explore the evolving etiquette of bachelorette party finances, historical customs, and modern practices. Join us as we uncover the secrets to a joyful, stress-free bachelorette party that everyone will cherish.

On this page:

Navigating the costs: who contributes what?

The shared financial model predominates in modern bachelorette parties. Attendees cover personal expenses, such as meals and accommodations, and contribute to the bride’s share. This communal approach ensures the festivities remain joyful and inclusive for all.

Transparency is key. Early, open discussions about budget expectations help align everyone’s vision and prevent anyone from being surprised by costs.

The numbers, respect, inclusivity, and collective desire to celebrate the bride’s next chapter should be the heart of the discussion while planning.

who pays for what at bachelorette party

For more inspiration and ideas that fit various budgets, exploring creative bachelorette party ideas can spark concepts that blend innovation with affordability, making the event uniquely memorable.

Additionally, the bachelorette party questions are a great ice-breaking way to get the conversation going.

Bachelorette attendees’ responsibilities

The way roles evolve in bachelorette party planning reflects a broader shift toward more flexible financial responsibilities. Let`s look at each participant`s role and responsibility in detail.

The bride

The bride’s financial involvement varies from case to case. In the past, she hasn’t usually paid for group events or meals. However, nowadays, the bride may cover her own expenses and pay for her own transportation, especially for destination events. Sometimes, she helps with her lodging, especially for long trips.

The bride usually contributes between 0 and 20% of her expenses, mostly personal and travel costs.


Typically, bridesmaids and other guests cover their expenses, including travel, accommodation, and meals outside of group events. They also help to cover shared costs like:

  • group activities
  • decorations
  • communal meals

Additionally, the bridesmaids might also contribute to small gifts or surprises. Typically, they each split the total shared costs plus their expenses.

maid of honor

Tip: If you’re looking for unique and meaningful ideas for your party, why not check out bachelorette beach party ideas? Idea #1 is a great way to reflect the bride’s personality and interests with a luxury bachelorette picnic.

Maid of honor

She often takes on extra financial responsibilities. While she contributes to shared expenses like other attendees, she may cover initial deposits or booking fees during the planning phase, which are usually reimbursed later.

The maid of honor might have to pay for more things, like planning materials or special arrangements, but she usually contributes more to the bride’s expenses.

Her overall contribution is often about 10-20% more than other attendees because of these additional responsibilities.

Mother of the bride

If the Mother of the Bride or future Mother-in-Law is coming, they usually pay for themselves and contribute to shared costs like other guests.

They might even offer to cover a special meal or activity as a gift. While sisters or close family members usually contribute similarly to general guests but might add a bit extra for the bride’s expenses or special surprises.

Occasionally, the bride’s dad or the groom, might give money for a special activity or surprise. But they’re not responsible for regular shared costs or personal expenses of attendees.

The guests

Non-bridal party attendees are typically expected to cover expenses and contribute to the bride’s share of group activities.

  • Modern adaptation: Guests outside the bridal party are more frequently involved in planning and cost-sharing, especially in activities they participate in.
  • Cost division suggestion: If the event involves travel, guests should expect to pay for transportation and accommodations. A transparent discussion about costs can help determine how expenses like meals, activities, and shared transportation are split for group activities.

Bachelorette cost breakdown

– Attendee: 60-80% of their own expenses + share of the bride’s costs
– Maid of Honor/Bridesmaids: May cover 10-20% more than other guests
– Bride: 0-20% of total costs, usually just for personal or travel expenses
– Mother of the Bride: Often contributes similarly to other attendees but may offer to cover an additional special event or meal

The exact distribution of costs can vary depending on the group’s dynamics, financial situations, and specific plans. It’s important to discuss cost-sharing expectations early on to ensure everyone is comfortable with their contribution.

For instance, let`s compare two approaches to sharing costs before and nowadays to make it clear which approach to choose.

Bachelorette party approaches

Let`s compare the two main approaches and find out what the benefits of each one are.

Traditional Approach Modern Trends
Financing Costs were traditionally covered by the bridesmaids and maid of honor. More democratic, with transparent cost-sharing among all guests. Brides may contribute especially for personal highlights.
Activities Activities were simpler, such as dinners or home parties. It can include destination trips, luxury experiences, or tailored activities.
Number of Guests Typically, smaller, intimate groups are just close friends and family. It can vary widely, sometimes including larger groups with a mix of friends and acquaintances.
Cost Splitting The maid of honor and bridesmaids evenly split major costs; minor expenses were absorbed individually. Costs are often itemized and shared equally or based on participation in specific activities.
Examples Dinner at a favorite local restaurant, homemade decorations. Luxury picnic bachelorette setup in LA, private wine tasting tours, adventure sports like bungee jumping.

Questions around ‘Who pays for the bridal shower?’ add another layer to pre-wedding costs alongside the bachelorette party. Our bridal shower ideas offer more inspiration.

bachelorette finance planning

Discussing the bachelorette party budget

It’s important to start the budget conversation early. Here are some steps from our expertise as an experienced event planners:

✅ Start open discussions ASAP and set an inclusive tone for honest dialogue.
✅ Make sure everyone understands the scope and potential contributions.
✅ When planning activities, meals, and accommodations, offer options across price points.
✅ Account for all potential expenses, including transportation, decorations, and bride surprises.

Be upfront about costs from the start to avoid any confusion later on. Unexpected costs add up quickly, so it’s better to overestimate than underbudget.

How to handle unexpected costs during the bachelorette party?

Setting up a contingency fund as part of the initial budget planning is your plan B.

This fund can cover any unexpected expenses without any of the attendees having to worry about it financially. From the start, it’s important to be clear about how this fund will be used.

Final thoughts

So, who pays for the bachelorette party? It’s a shared responsibility, often determined through discussions among:

  • Bride
  • Maid of honor
  • Bridesmaids

If you focus on love, laughter, and creating cherished memories, financial concerns can easily take a back seat to the fun and festivities.

Remember that describing the atmosphere of your bachelorette party is as important as the event itself. For the perfect words to go with your cherished memories, the perfect bachelorette captions will help your shared moments shine on social media.


What if a bachelorette attendee cannot cover expenses?

It’s vital to create a space where attendees feel at ease discussing financial limitations. The planner or maid of honor can help make alternative arrangements or adjustments to ensure everyone can participate, like changing the destination or activities to fit all budgets.

Handle these situations with discretion and sensitivity to keep the mood positive and stress-free.

How can technology be used to manage bachelorette party costs?

Using mobile payment apps and budget-tracking tools can make things much easier. Apps like Splitwise or Venmo let attendees easily track shared expenses and settle debts. Another great way is to create a digital budget sheet that all attendees can view and update in real time.

What are some creative ways to reduce bachelorette costs?

You can save a lot of money If you go for:

  • DIY decorations
  • home-cooked meals
  • local adventures

Another way to save is to host a themed party at someone’s home or a public venue with no rental fee. Also, look for group discounts on activities and accommodations. That can make pricier options more accessible.

Can I discuss bachelorette budgets during the bridal shower?

It might seem handy to talk about both events together, but it’s probably best to keep them separate so we can respect each event’s unique atmosphere and importance. Bridal showers often have a different guest list, so combining financial discussions can make it harder to enjoy the celebrations.

Who pays for the bridal shower?

In the past, this task has often fallen outside the roles of bridesmaids and maid of honor. In many cases, close family members have taken on this responsibility.

If you’re in charge of planning this special event, our guide on how to plan a bridal shower will give you all the tips and tricks you need to make it a beautiful celebration that honors the bride-to-be.

Olga and Vlad Picnic Makers

Vlad and Olga

Hello, beautiful souls! 🌸 We’re Vlad and Olga, the storytellers behind each journey. Join us on this adventure as we share tales of joy, celebration, and a life well-lived. Thanks for being part of our magical story! 🌟

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