Do I have to pay hundreds for this bachelorette party? | Ask LFB

Dear Brianna,

A good friend of mine is getting married next year and her bachelorette party is coming up. The girls who are planning it seem disorganized but want us all to commit to chipping in a certain amount for it. It seems like a lot of money for one weekend and I’m not sure what it could possibly be going to. I do know they want to do some extravagant things like fancy dinners and spa treatments, which I would personally rather not spend money on. It’s important to me to show up and support my friend, but I feel conflicted about committing when they aren’t sure what the final budget will be yet. What if I commit and then have to pay hundreds of dollars for something I don’t want?

—Sincerely, Crystal

Hi Crystal! Welcome to the LFB fam!

First of all, let me tell you that you are not alone. I’ve talked in depth with friends who know the wedding struggle all too well. Between bachelorette parties, bridal showers, the wedding and reception, plus gifts for each occasion and airfare and hotels and dinners… it adds up real quick.

It’s all done in the name of supporting your friend and the love that she has found. Which, really, what better things could we celebrate in life?

But is spending tons of money the best way — or the only way — to support them? What if you end up going into debt to do it? Or working overtime and burning yourself out trying to afford it all? What will you sacrifice that you’d rather put that money towards?

Bachelorette parties can be tons of fun, but it sounds like some of the activities they have planned wont be much fun to you. You have to decide: if you do spend money on those things, will you likely end up having fun afterall, or will you likely resent it and just be stressed the whole time?

Two things are important to remember:

  • You always have a choice (tweet that)
  • You can set and keep your standards without limiting others (tweet that)

So here’s what I would do:

First, tell the girls in charge that you will commit to attending, but that you might not participate in all events. That might mean that everyone else goes off to the spa while you go for a walk around the city by yourself, or do another cheaper activity. Send this in a group email if you can, so that the other girls see that one person was brave enough to voice concern, and I wouldn’t be surprised if others speak up, too. If enough girls speak up, they’ll make alternative plans. If only a few, at least you wont be alone while the majority go out.

Next, tell them that you are definitely prepared to chip in, and will do so once the final budget has been established. Wording it this way, you’re setting your standard without dissing their current organization skills.

Third, ask them to have the final budget broken down by event (ex. ~$100 dinner here, ~$75 tickets here, etc) so you can see where the money will go and make your own final budget from there. Let them know that you will then pay an amount based on the activities you will participate in, so they can be assured all your expenses will be covered.

I’m sure you’ll be able to attend the party and still stay within your financial comfort. And you’ll have fun even if you skip a few events! These occasions are more about bonding together as women than they are about the activities.

And, for any readers in a similar situation who decide to skip the whole weekend altogether, remember that that is a perfectly acceptable choice and that there are many other ways to show the bride your support. You never have to spend money you can’t afford to show your love for someone. (tweet that)

Have fun and congrats to the happy couple,

Brianna

Decluttering my life has brought me peace of mind and relief from the world around me. There’s nothing like walking into the space you created and knowing you have nothing more than what you need. I write articles to help others create that same feeling for themselves.