Wedding Etiquette Forum

Is it ever okay to combine a bridal shower with a bachelorette party?

A friend of mine is having a very nontraditional wedding, and it will be three States away from where we all live (we live in Northeast WI; the wedding is going to be a very small ceremony at Graceland in Memphis, TN).

Anyway, the bride-to-be's originally-appointed Maid of Honor backed out a week ago; and, since my spouse and I are amongst five other guests attending the ceremony; I was asked -- and accepted -- the Maid of Honor "privilege". There are no bridesmaids or grooms; just a Maid of Honor (me) and a Best Man (the groom's brother).

My friend is very much NOT "girlie" or Bridezilla-ish about her wedding; she and the groom just want to have a big ol' casual party with the seven or so of us that will be attending (for instance, I asked her what kind of dress she would like me to wear to the ceremony; and her response was, "You don't have to wear a dress at all--- just wear whatever you have in your closet that's comfortable").

I have a couple of questions in this type of scenario, as far as my Maid of Honor duties go........ 1) I have started planning a bachelorette party. The bride has expressed she does NOT want a stripper - she just wants a low-key dinner-and-drinks shindig at one of her favorite restaurants. Is it expected I throw a bridal shower separately, or would it be appropriate to combine this party as a shower/bachelorette party all-in-one?
2) If it would, in fact, be considered tacky to throw just one "combined" shower/bachelorette party, I know I would then be responsible for ponying up the entire cost of the bridal shower....... Would it then be appropriate to ask for everyone to pay for their own dinners and drinks at the bachelorette party? (*Note: the bride-to-be's mother has long since been deceased; the bride does not have any secondary relatives like aunts or cousins; and does not want her long-estranged sister involved at all in anything. Since our entire circle of friends are all part of "the childless crowd", keeping things age-appropriate wouldn't be an issue, either--- and so the audience for each of the separate shindigs, would be the same).
I'm trying to do the best I can within a major time-crunch, too (the wedding is in six weeks). Also, money is a huge concern (As in, anything I'm spending other than on our trip that is already paid for, has to go on plastic because my own financial situation isn't the best right now).
Any advisement on what I should do, would be wonderful--- Thanks!
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