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Bachelorette Party - What's reasonable?

This is my first time being in a wedding party in the US. I'm the MOH and have taken on planning the bachelorette and bridal showers with help from some of the other BMs. 

My bride has an unlimited budget for the wedding, but unfortunately her BMs/friends do not. She has requested a bachelorette weekend in Vegas. She has also given me a guest list of 20+ girls. There is airfare, hotel, food, drinks, shows, nights out to consider for all the attendees, plus some of the bride's expenses to be split. Most of the girls will only be an hour flight away, but some are coming from across country. Regardless the weekend will cost a bit of money for everyone involved.

As the hosts of the bachelorette weekend, am I and the other BMs within our right to ask the bride to either scale down her expectations (ie, not Vegas, and keep it 'local' withing California), or if we do go to Vegas, can we reduced her guest list (at least one of the bachelorette invitees is not invited to the ceremony, which seems tacky to me)? 20+ people attempting to coordinate anything in Vegas just seems like a huge mess. 

Re: Bachelorette Party - What's reasonable?

  • Wow. That seems super unresonable to me. As a bride-to-be in June, not "putting out" my bridesmaids has been a big concern of mine... I even managed to find their dresses on sale at JCrew b/c I didn't want them to have to spend more than $100, esentially for me. I would never in a million years expect them to splurge on such an expensive and time-consuming affair!

    That said, I am coming from a place where money has always been tight for me and I am easily able to put myself in their shoes. Unfortunately it is easy for some brides to get caught up in the whole 'everything's all about me" aspect of a wedding. 

    I think you should have an honest heart-to-heart with her (in person, or if not possible at least on the phone) and explain your concerns. Tell her that of course you want everything about her big day to be special, yourself and some of the other bridesmaids don't really have the funds neccessary to fly to Vegas. Let her know that the most important part of the b-ette party is to celebrate your friendship and let loose—and that can be done in a multitude of ways. Have some back-up plans. Suggest a night out in a central location where maybe you all get hotel rooms and party it up "Vegas-style." If she doesn't budge, well first she's a b*tch and second, I would have a serious problem wanting to cater to her every need for the rest of her reign. 

    Oh. and YES, serious faux pas inviting someone to the party and not the wedding! Same goes for engagement parties, showers, etc. TACKY!  Good luck, girl!!
  • I agree that it is a pretty huge request. I can MAYBE see asking those within an hour's drive since they could skip the airfare, but asking someone to fly cross country for a b-party is absurd. Even those without the airfare have hotel, drinks, food, etc.

    I would talk to the other WP members and see what they think. Ask what their budget for this shindig is. Like you said, coordinating hotel rooms for 20+ people would be a nightmare, and I wouldn't want to get stuck holding all those rooms on my credit card, for fear everyone else wouldn't end up paying.

    Bottom line: If you are uncomfortable with/can't afford this and the other WP members can't either, you need to tell the bride. That is a lot to ask, and unless you ASKED her for party suggestions, it was rude of her to tell you what she wanted anyhow. It should be up to you to plan and maybe run ideas past her. If she won't budge, then maybe she doesn't get a party at all. Just tell her "I'm sorry. I'd love to throw you a lovely party close to home, but this is just not in our budget."

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  • Yeah it was impolite of her to request this Vegas trip, unless someone asked her what she was thinking in terms of a b-party. Don't feel bad if you have to say this is beyond your budget. Chances are, you are not the only one who feels this way, so I would just be honest with her and tell her this is not reasonable for you. 

    Also, if you manage to get something nailed down, remember that not everyone may be able to come anyway. Sometimes you just can't find something that works for every single person's schedule, especially with 20ish people! My MOH is having a hard enough time with FOUR! haha 

    And yes, everyone invited to pre-wedding parties needs to be invited to the wedding. 
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  • If the bride is just demanding a Vegas trip, then that is really rude. The bride isn't supposed to just request a party-- those things are gifts that people choose to give because they want to. I also think that you should have a talk with her and explain that the BMs/guests cannot afford the trip she wants. I'd suggest having a local party with more girls-- it will probably be easier on everyone's pocket books since you don't have to travel and there will be more people to cover the cost of the bride.
  • The bride has exactly zero say in the planning of her own b-party.  Plan what you and the other BMs can afford.  She'll either get over it and appreciate what you're able to do for her like a gracious friend, or she'll be a jerk (in which case, she's a jerk, and that's not on you).
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  • I have to admit we went to Nashville for our friend's bachelorette party (we're from Kansas City) she paid for the hotel and surprised us with a show at the grand ole opry but we all split taxi rides, her food, drinks, etc. If you think about it splitting the bride's expensives by 20 will be a whole lot cheaper than splitting it between 5 girls or however many you want there ...
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