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A bachelorette party can be an incredible and unforgettable experience, but at what cost? Everything from decorations to travel expenses factors into the party’s price tag, so it’s challenging to say the exact amount everyone will pay. Still, the average cost of a bachelorette party can give you a pretty good idea of what to expect.
How Much Does a Bachelorette Party Cost?
Although there are no strict price expectations, the average cost of a bachelorette party can be anywhere from $400 to $1,000 for each bridesmaid. Considering bridesmaids usually have to pay for separate wedding expenses, high prices aren’t always welcome.
Depending on the group size, the destination and the experiences, things can get expensive. An app for planning bachelorette parties studied around 100,000 planned trips and found that the overall cost is $10,800 on average. If that number seems surprisingly high, that’s because it increased by 40% from 2021 to 2023.
What Factors Into the Cost?
Bachelorette parties are super varied because every group tailors their experience. That being said, there are a few common costs that can factor into the overall amount everyone will pay for the party.
Here are some of the most typical factors that add to the cost:
- Travel: Destination parties significantly add to the cost because every bridesmaid has to buy a plane ticket or gas to drive there. This is especially significant in 2023 since airfare ticket prices raised 33% in 2022. There’s also the cost of using rideshare services or taxis after you get there.
- Food and drinks: The bill for food and drink won’t be as high if the bachelorette party is just a night out, but multi-day trips require multiple meals. The price for grabbing a few drinks or heading out to brunch adds up after a few days.
- Amount of bridesmaids: The bridesmaids are the ones who pick up the bill in most situations, so brides often like to get big groups so everyone pays less. Even though it’s a good idea in theory, larger groups require more transportation and larger accommodations.
- Experiences: A classic bachelorette party is typically just a night out, but more brides want unique parties. Experiences — like a winery tour or a yoga retreat — can be fun and memorable but also expensive.
- Outfits: Many brides like to match with their bridesmaids so everyone can identify them as a group when they’re out together. Custom shirts or matching dresses are cute but can add to the cost.
- Decor: Decor is a large part of many bachelorette parties. The bridesmaids typically get together to decorate the space before the bride shows up. Decor doesn’t have to be expensive, but it can be.
- Duration: Many groups opt for trips where they spend a few days together instead of one night. Duration might be the most significant cost factor since the price of everything else raises along with it.
The bachelorette party might only include some of these costs. Still, it’s wise to consider everything since it’s better to over-plan and know what to expect.
Who Pays for the Party?
Typically, it’s customary for the bridesmaids to pay for the entire trip and cover the bride’s expenses. Most are aware of the expectation, but seeing how much everything costs can still be surprising.
It’s nice to give the bride some relief since she’s likely paying for plenty of wedding expenses.
Still, many bridesmaids often feel obligated to pay for things out of their budget.
Even though most bridesmaids are comfortable with the expectation, it’s not always feasible for them to keep up with rising costs. Some might choose to skip group experiences or sit out during fun nights to save money. It’s wise to plan ahead for all costs so everyone knows exactly what to expect going in.
How to Budget for Your Bachelorette Party
Having a great time while saving money is possible if everyone plans ahead. Think about the costs you anticipate for your bachelorette party and consider affordable alternatives to help out the bridesmaids.
- Keep the Party Balanced
The average size of a bridal party differs, but having up to 10 bridesmaids is common. Larger parties can cost more because they require more rooms, food, outfits, drinks and transportation. Still, while a smaller bridal party can help keep overall costs down, the cost per person rises.
The solution depends on the type of bachelorette party. For example, a smaller group can work better for a destination party, while a larger group can work better for a local hotel getaway. Balancing the number of bridesmaids with the activities and travel plans can help you find a sweet spot in the overall and individual costs.
- Thrift for Matching Outfits
Matching outfits aren’t essential to the success of a bachelorette party, but it’s fun to dress for the occasion. To keep things affordable, everyone can thrift for matching or similar outfits. Shopping together can even be a fun bonding experience that gets everyone excited for the upcoming party.
If you want more high-end styles, head to an affluent area. People who live there don’t want to travel far to drop off their donations, so you might be able to find new or designer clothes at their local thrift stores.
If you’re not fond of thrifting, consider raiding each other’s closets to find similar styles. It doesn’t have to exactly match — everyone can dress up in the color of the wedding theme or wear the same material. The bride can wear a sash or a tiara to differentiate herself. It can be another fun activity to do together, and it has the bonus of being much more affordable.
- Stay Local
Traveling to some faraway place can be exciting, but staying local is more affordable. Sure, New York, Las Vegas and Nashville are some of the top destinations for bachelorette parties, but plane tickets and accommodation for multiple days are among the biggest factors in the overall cost.
Booking a local hotel or a temporary vacation rental spot can be much more affordable. Plus, it’s a lot easier to coordinate travel and time off work for activities close to home. It’s not as elaborate as a destination event, but everyone will likely appreciate the money they save.
- Meal Prep
Meal prepping might make you think of fitness influencers or athletes, but you have plenty of options besides steamed broccoli and rice if you want to meal prep. The cost of multiple meals and snacks can add up, especially if the bachelorette party goes on for multiple days.
To keep things affordable, bridesmaids can make food in bulk. Snacks like jalapenos poppers or cookies keep for a while and make great snacks. Overnight oats, burrito bowls, frittata muffins and sandwiches can make tasty and quick meals for busy brides and bridesmaids. Relaxed, inside brunches and dinners can be more affordable and much easier because there’s no need to coordinate transportation or tips.
- Have a Night In
A night out can be memorable and exciting, but it’s easy to overspend on drinks once you’re having fun. If the group wants to drink, jello shots can be a great idea because they’re easy to make and last a long time.
The cost depends on your location, but typically a night out costs $74 per person on average. If you’re traveling and can’t take alcohol on a plane, you can buy supplies once you land. Instead of going out and spending money on drinks, everyone can drink before going out to save money.
You can even turn it into a fun experience. For example, everyone could come up with their own special cocktail and take turns serving them to the group. A night in can be just as fun as going out and it has the advantage of being much more affordable. There’s no need to pay a cover charge or spend money on overpriced cocktails when you already have everything you need.
- Keep Decorations Simple
Going all out for the bride is fun, but simple alternatives are more budget-friendly. Instead of decorating the entire space, keeping everything in one place might be a good idea. For example, you could set up a balloon arch, tinsel curtain or a large sign on a single wall.
Having a photo wall reduces the amount of decorations you need and can be a fun activity for everyone. Plus, it can make setting up and cleaning up easier.
Budget for Your Bachelorette Party
A bachelorette party is a fun bonding experience for brides and bridesmaids. The average cost has risen significantly since 2021, and bridesmaids are still expected to cover the cost. To keep things simple and carefree, consider budgeting and planning alternative activities for everyone. A night in with your closest girls can be just as meaningful and exciting as a night out.
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