And neither is the bacherolette party.
I recently got a call from a friend who’s about to get married. She excitedly started telling me about her bachelorette party, and my heart sank.
Over time, I’ve come to expect one thing from being in a wedding party — expensive dresses and even more expensive bachelorette parties.
Thankfully, this friend explained that we’d be spending a modest $70 a night for accommodations in Vegas, and the only major expense — a Backstreet Boys concert — was completely optional. Why can’t all bachelorette parties be like that?
The fact is, wedding party costs are out of control. From the special events to the dresses and tuxedos, young people are spending way outside their budget and refusing to speak up about it.
If you’re tired of flirting with bankruptcy just to be a bridesmaid or groomsmen, here’s my advice…
Why a wedding budget matters
Research from The Knot shows both men and women will spend more than $1,000 on destination bachelor and bachelorette parties this year. That number isn’t very surprising to me. Almost every bachelorette party I’ve attended has been out of state — and super expensive.
The difficult part of a destination party is not just the cost, but the obligation to say yes. It’s hard to say no to a bachelorette fling when you’re in the bridal party and don’t want to be the odd woman out.
It’s also uncomfortable and awkward to ask for substitutions or changes, like a cheaper hotel or a less glamorous destination. No one wants to tell the bride or groom what to do when it’s his or her big weekend, even if it means running up a balance on your credit card.
What to do
When my friend called a few months ago to ask if I’d be able to attend a bachelorette party in Las Vegas, I agreed — “unless it’s like $1,000,” I told her. I didn’t want to be pushy, but I knew I’d be uncomfortable spending that much for one weekend trip.
I’m typically more willing than other folks to bring up issues like cost, even to a close friend. I don’t mind being the party pooper, because I know other people are probably thinking the same thing.
A few years ago, a coworker of mine was asked to be a maid of honor in her best friend’s wedding. She immediately said yes, but over time, I’d listen to her talk about the wedding preparations and how expensive it was for her.
The bridesmaid dress was $250 alone, not including alterations or accessories. Then there was the engagement party, rehearsal dinner and bachelorette party. All total, she spent more than $1,000 as the maid of honor, for a wedding held only an hour from where she lived. Saddled with credit card debt, student loans and car payments, having to spend $1,000 on a wedding was just cruel.
The only way to fix this problem is for bridesmaids and groomsmen to become more assertive. If it seems too expensive, say something. The bride might not realize what kind of financial situation you’re in. If she’s a true friend, she’ll understand that making some concessions for her bridal party is better than a strained relationship.
If you can’t afford a bachelorette party, mention it as soon as possible so the bride can decide if she wants to change plans. She might surprise you and decide to make the party more affordable, but at the very least you should be absolved of any guilt.
Article last modified on August 30, 2017. Published by Debt.com, LLC .