The weekend of my bridal shower, my fiance and I made reservations at a local restaurant (fun, not upscale) for the entire bridal party and their significant others to get to know one another. Just a fun, casual night out. The original impetus was for my out-of-town bridesmaid to meet everyone, although she won't be able to make it now
I was wondering what (if any) etiquette there was on this kind of a gathering. Since it's technically a "bridal party event," are we supposed to foot the bill? Of course, coming is not "mandatory" - just a fun night out. Naturally, they're all close friends, and some of them have even gone out with us to this same restaurant before for birthdays, etc, and everyone paid their own way. Will they be expecting us to pay, because it's a "wedding event"? My fiance says no, but I wanted other opinions just in case.
At the very least, I suggested to him that it might be appropriate or appreciated to get everyone's first round of drinks or something, just as a "thanks" for being there.