Whether you’re a maid of honor, a bridesmaid, or the bride-to-be, you’re probably asking yourself who pays for the bachelorette party?
The simple answer: Everyone is expected to contribute to the costs.
The complicated answer: Not all costs should be split equally.
While some expenses are pretty straightforward, others are a bit more complex.
That’s why we’re here to help you figure out who pays for what, how each expense should be split, and when the bride is expected to contribute. We’re even breaking down the best cost-splitting and payment-sharing apps to make the process as seamless as possible.
Who pays for what at the bachelorette party?
Traditionally, the maid of honor and bridesmaids pay for their own travel expenses while splitting all accommodation costs equally. Additional expenses such as decorations, favors, and accessories should also be split evenly among the bridal party.
When it comes to food and drinks for the house, you may choose to split these costs equally, or request that everyone BYO (bring your own). As far as dining out and bar hopping go, everyone is expected to cover their own tabs.
Lastly, any special experiences or group activities should always be considered optional in case they do not fit into someone’s budget.
What should the bride pay for at her bachelorette party?
Tradition says that most, if not all, of the bride’s expenses should be covered by the bridal party. That being said, a traditional bachelorette party consisted of only one night out, not a weekend-long extravaganza.
So depending on the location of the bachelorette party (i.e. destination vs local) and the size of the group, it may be unrealistic to expect the maid of honor and bridesmaids to cover the bride’s cost of travel and accommodations. If this ends up being the case, consider splitting the lesser of the two.
Other than contributing to her travel and accommodations, the bride should only pay for what she wants to. In other words, if she wants to treat her girls to a round of drinks or even the entire bar tab, let her!
Bachelorette Party Expenses Breakdown
Here’s a breakdown of all the expenses you can expect to pay for when attending a bachelorette party:
If you’re staying local for the bachelorette party, this expense will include costs like gas, tolls, or any rideshares/public transportation necessary to get to and from your accommodations.
If your destination requires a roundtrip flight, you’ll have to cover the cost of tickets plus any rental car or rideshare fees (Uber, Lyft, etc.)
This expense consists of all hotel or Airbnb/VRBO fees including the security deposit. If you’ll be driving to your destination, you’ll also have to cover any parking expenses.
When booking a rental home, double-check that the owner provides bed sheets and bath towels, or else you’ll be stuck paying extra rental fees.
Decorations, Favors & Accessories
We’ve lumped this entire expense together as it always varies depending on the group. While some bridal parties go all out by buying tons of bachelorette swag, others may opt to keep it a little more lowkey.
It’s totally up to your group to decide where on the spectrum you want to fall based on your bride’s personality and overall budget.
Food & Drinks
If you plan on spending your downtime at the hotel/rental house, you’ll need to stock up on some light food and drinks for your stay.
Depending on your budget, you may opt to have a full meal in, in which case you’ll need to coordinate a larger grocery shop. Having an alcohol-free bachelorette party is a great way to save some money while still having a blast.
Dining Out & Bar Hopping
Most bachelorette parties consist of at least one meal out plus a night on the town, so prepare to budget this into your expenses.
Another cost under this expense includes cover charges to enter certain bars and any Ubers/Lyfts you’ll need to take there and back.
*Special Experiences & Group Activities
As we mentioned, any extracurricular bachelorette party activities for the weekend should be made optional, not mandatory. These include pricey excursions like a boat ride, spa day, concert/show, etc.
The exception to this would only be if the bride chooses to cover these costs herself.
Best Cost-Splitting & Payment-Sharing Apps
Figuring out who owes who what can be awkward, not to mention exhausting. So make sure everyone attending the bachelorette party has these two apps downloaded on their phones for a quick and easy payment process.
Splitwise is our go-to app for splitting expenses without having to do all the tricky math. With Splitwise you can share costs equally, by a percentage, or based on a specific amount. Once all expenses are accounted for, everyone in the group can settle up with a click of a button!
Venmo is hands down the top app for fast and safe payment sharing. To use Venmo, you just need to link your bank account or any debit/credit card to your account to send and receive money instantly. *And even better- you can link your Venmo directly to Splitwise for a seamless splitting and payment process!