If you're a bride-to-be organizing your own bachelorette party or a bridesmaid planning one for your best friend, it's only natural to want to jump right into the fun stuff. But before you get too far ahead of yourself, it's important to answer this question: How much should a bachelorette party cost?
The truth is there's no definitive right or wrong answer, but it's essential to settle on a budget that your crew agrees with. Getting everyone on the same page up front will prevent problems down the line. Here's what you should know about budgeting for a bachelorette bash.
What Is the Average Cost of a Bachelorette Party?
Bachelorette celebrations come in all shapes and sizes, so it's difficult to pinpoint an exact amount that you should spend. WeddingWire conducted a 2021 study that found 75% of bachelorette parties last two or more days, and the average length is three days. With a longer event naturally comes higher costs, and if you're also flying then things can get even pricier.
Overall, the same survey showed that roughly 50% of attendees anticipate spending around $1,000 for a bachelorette party. Of course, there are several factors that can influence this amount.
Are you planning a destination bachelorette party? Cities like New York and Miami are likely going to be more expensive than Nashville or Austin. And if the majority of the wedding party is flying across the country or out of a smaller airport with fewer flight options, you should consider how that can drive up the cost.
How long you stay can also dramatically affect how much a bachelorette party should cost. A night out in the bride's hometown is more affordable than a long weekend getaway. According to the WeddingWire data, you can expect to spend $150-$300 for a one-day event.
It might be tempting to book your bachelorette party over a holiday weekend, but that typically means higher prices for airfare and increased demand for hotels and vacation rentals, which — you guessed it — drives up the cost.
Lastly, think of the size of your group. On the one hand, you'll have more people to split costs with, which can help out with lodging. But you may be charged a premium for group activities or get hit with a higher automatic gratuity when the dinner bill comes.
So whose responsibility is it to hash out the budget? Planning the bachelorette party is usually one of the maid of honor's duties, but it can also fall to other bridesmaids and guests, or the bride herself.
Whoever is in charge of the budget needs to manage expectations up front — be transparent about what costs will be involved and mindful of how these expenses fit in with other pre-wedding events like the shower. Use the free BACH app to poll the group about budget ranges and let everyone vote on what they’re comfortable spending, then you can plan accordingly.
How Much Should a Bachelorette Party Cost: What to Budget For
Now that we've walked through some of the big-picture considerations, it's time to break down what a BACH bash budget usually entails and who pays for the bachelorette party.
For a standard bachelorette weekend, you can bank on the following expenses:
- Travel: Whether it's airfare, gas, or ground transportation, you have to get to the destination. Flights will account for a decent chunk of your budget and you'll likely book those on your own. Once you arrive, the group can split the costs of a rental car, shuttle, or Uber/Lyft to get around.
- Accommodations: Unless you really need your own space, plan on sharing hotel rooms or an Airbnb with the bachelorette party guests. Smaller groups can find a swanky suite at a hotel or get multiple rooms (ask about group discounts), while a larger squad should have the spending power to book an Airbnb with sweet amenities like a pool or rooftop deck.
- Group activities: The agenda for the weekend could be jam-packed or chill — either way, leave room in the budget for experiences that everyone splits evenly, like a pedal bike tour or a yoga class.
- Food and beverage: This is one of those line items that can vary pretty wildly, depending on your style. Decide whether everyone will be dining family-style and splitting the bill equally, or if it's every BACH babe for herself (not every restaurant will provide separate checks). One way to get an idea of a meal's cost in advance is to book a private chef to come to your pad. Beyond dinners and brunches, you should budget for bar tabs, as well as snacks and drinks to have at the hotel or Airbnb.
- The bride's share: It's custom for the bridal party to chip in for at least some of the bride's expenses. Paying for her travel costs or accommodations used to be more common, but now that bachelorette parties are lasting longer, she may cover these for herself. Discuss with the group how you want to approach this, along with a plan for her activities, meals, and bevvies.
In addition to the core set of expenses, there are items that you may need to include in your budget:
- Invitations: This pertains to the MOH or whoever is organizing. An evite is usually the preferred choice these days, but you could pay extra for a special design template, RSVP tracking, or actual printed invitations.
- Decorations and swag: Whether you want to fill a hotel room with balloons, transform an Airbnb pool into a mermaid lagoon, or adorn the bride-to-be with a tiara and sash, make sure you build this into your budget. The maid of honor often takes this on herself, but if you've got elaborate plans, it might be more fair to split.
- Professional planner: Some people turn to a party planning pro to do the heavy lifting, especially if they're unfamiliar with the destination. Find out whether they charge a flat fee or a percentage on top of your bookings.
- T-shirts: The crew can coordinate in cute tees, either custom designed or bachelorette themed. Sometimes the organizer will supply them or it can be put on the group tab.
- Favors or gifts: The MOH or another bridesmaid might put together a cute little bag of favors or party essentials for the other bachelorette party guests, like cups with naughty straws or lip balm and aspirin. Gifts for the bride aren't mandatory at bachelorette parties, but lingerie is a pretty common choice; the organizer should note it on the invitation along with sizes if desired.
- Clothes: Everyone loves a reason to buy a new outfit, but weigh that temptation against the rest of your budget before you go on a shopping spree. Sometimes the bride requests that attendees wear particular colors or types of outfits, so that could guide you.
Tips to Save Money
We're not going to lie — bachelorette parties typically aren't easy on the wallet. That's why it's so important for there to be open dialogue about everyone's comfort level before major planning and booking happens. But there are some ways to rein in spending with these tips:
- Stick close to home: When you’re on a budget and evaluating how much a bachelorette party should cost, choosing not to travel will save a lot of money.
- Pick a central location: If you're going out of town, stay near the majority of your activities or nightlife options so you can walk instead of taking Uber or Lyft.
- Travel off-season: You might be able to score great deals on flights or accommodations when you adjust your timeline.
- Use credit card or airline points: Cashing in points or miles for flights can be a fantastic value if you know how to use them.
- Book early: You know what they say, the early bird gets the worm. Waiting until the last minute to book flights or hotels can mean you pay a premium.
- Combine with the bridal shower: Rather than having two separate events, a BACH/shower combo cuts down on a wide variety of expenses.
- Play party games: Make room on your itinerary for some fun and affordable games that you can play at your Airbnb or hotel.
- Plan activities during off-peak times: If you want to book group activities, you’ll often find a lower price tag for Thursday nights or Friday afternoons versus the primetime hours on Friday and Saturday nights.
- Split a gift: If you're bringing something for the bride, go in on the present with another bridesmaid, or the whole group can spring for a bigger item together.
BACH Budget Tracking
Nobody likes to be blindsided, especially when it comes to money and bills, which is why everyone attending a bachelorette party should agree on a budget at the outset. Then once you have a number to work with, it's up to the organizer to keep things on track.
You don't have to be a whiz at spreadsheets to oversee the budget though. Download the BACH app and use the ledger to easily log expenses and payments. The app can also split costs among the group, calculate who owes what, and notify your girls. By encouraging everyone in your crew to use the app, they’ll know what’s due and you won’t have the pressure of constantly reminding them.