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You've been invited to be a bridesmaid in your friend's wedding, and you know what that means: bachelorette party! It is by far the most fun of the bridal party's duties, but it can also be one of the priciest. Even if you're not heading out of town (and thereby skipping flights, hotels, and car restaurants), the cost of planning can still add up when you throw in dinner, drinks, transportation, and decor. Who foots the growing bill? We turned to the experts to help break down who pays for the bridal party.
Traditionally, the only person who doesn't pay for the bachelorette party is the bride. Especially for an in-town party that's a single night out instead of a weekend away, the bridesmaids and other guests will often chip in to cover the bride's share, as well as cover their own costs. That's one upside to heading out on the town with a bigger group!
For a destination bachelorette bash, however, that rule doesn't usually apply. Since there's travel and lodging involved, plus multiple meals out, the bride will also contribute to help cover the expenses. You may all decide to treat the bride to one night on the town, but she'll have to take out her wallet to cover that hangover brunch the next day.
While you're still in the planning process, keep the bride in the loop so she (and all of the attendees!) have an idea of how much they'll be expected to spend. Consider Airbnb over a pricey hotel suite, and look at options in a few price ranges to find something that works for everyone. As you're planning activities and meals, be sure to share pricing information so the guests can start budgeting. Make pricier activities (like a massage at a high-end spa) optional, and fill in-between time with low-cost or free choices (like a local hike or an afternoon window shopping that everyone can participate in.
See More: Broke Bridesmaid? What to Do When You Just Can't Afford Your BFF's Bachelorette Party Weekend
If the bride is strapped for cash (hey, weddings are expensive!), scrap that weekend in Vegas in favor of something she'll be more comfortable with. A slumber party with teen movies, popcorn, and junk food (plus the bride's favorite wine or cocktail) is just as fun and will be much easier on everyone's wallets.