The best bachelorette parties don’t have to break the bank.
Everyone knows that being a bridesmaid can be expensive—from the dress to the bridal shower to the gift to the bachelorette party, the costs add up. And, over the years, the bachelorette party has evolved from a night out celebration to include the possibility of international trips.
But nobody should feel pressured to spend more than they can afford on a bachelorette party. Luckily, bachelorette parties don’t need to cost a lot of money to be meaningful, fun, and awesome.
Below are a few of our favorite bachelorette party ideas—at home, out of the house, and otherwise—that won't break the bank. Plus, some more tips on how to save money and be budget-friendly all-around.
While film and television would have you believe that all bachelorette parties are blowout affairs, that isn't always the case. In fact, many engaged individuals prefer to have a gathering in their home or the home of a loved-one. This might initially come off as limiting, but there's actually a lot that can be done to celebrate at home. (Especially with the potential money you'll save on venues, hotel rooms, airfare, and the like.) For the bridal party that's planning on a fun night in, consider the following for a bachelorette bash.
Making things with your best friends is a classic bonding experience. Even better if you're making food that you can eat together after the fact. Leaning to cook a new cuisine or perfect a new dish is a fun activity that everyone can enjoy and benefit from. If the bride, or her partner, comes from a particular ethnic background with hard to master cuisine, you can even tailor the cooking class to a special family recipe. No better way to impress a future mother-in-law (as well as the rest of the family) than showing up with a home-cooked curry! Often, you can even request your instructor add an at-home wine tasting and pairing portion to enhance the fun.
Perhaps cooking isn't exactly your forte, or you don't have the kitchen space to host a cooking class. In the same vein, you could instead hire a professional mixologist to come to your home (or the home of a friend or family member) and teach a drink-making course. Typically, you'll learn to make from one to three separate drinks tailored to the bride's taste or the tastes of the group. As a bonus, if the bride likes the drinks enough, they may choose to have them as specialty cocktails at the wedding. Pro tip: Plan a group at-home dinner or to get takeout beforehand, so that you aren't drinking on empty stomachs. Sip, sip hooray!
You can bring even the liveliest bachelorette party activities home to you. This includes the dancing half of drinking-and-dancing. Now, the classic move, here, would be to hire a pole-dancing instructor (which can be tremendous fun). However, you can deviate from the norm and look into a variety of dance genres. Consider swing, tango, belly dancing, hip-hop, and heels dance when seeking instructors. Remind your party guests to dress comfortably, bring any necessary clothing items, and prepare for an evening of great fun.
Skip the crowded, expensive restaurants and keep things low-key by hiring a private chef for the evening. All the benefits of having a phenomenal meal, without having to drop a pretty penny or make all of that food yourself (assuming that's not ideal). Plus, watching a professional prepare a meal right in front of your eyes can be thrilling and plenty informative. From a boozy brunch to a three-course dinner, you can't go wrong with an expertly prepared meal to enjoy with your wedding party. Pro tip: Ask the bride what her favorite meal is—or a meal she'd love to try—and build from there.
Whatever plans you have throughout the day or evening, see if you can arrange a slumber party overnight. A girl's night in—complete with a theme, movie, some games, a few drinks, or whatever else sounds fun—is a really nice bonding experience for bridesmaids. It's also the best opportunity to pull out some specific bachelorette party games (like a personalized scavenger hunt).
Sometimes, there isn't a suitable living space among the wedding party to serve as a home-base for the bachelorette party. No problem. There are plenty of opportunities outside of the house (or apartment, or otherwise) for you to host an exciting and memorable party. Going out and about might sound expensive, but there's tons you can do with a small budget.
To inspire some ideas, we've including some of our favorites below.
Who said you can your best friends can only drink and dance in a club? Karaoke bars are just as fun for celebrating, oftentimes without the packed-in crowds and very expensive drinks. Plus, unlike your standard bar, karaoke bars give your entire group an activity to participate in. Encourage each member of the bridal party to sing a solo, duo, or group performance. You can even try to get the entire bachelorette party on stage at once, with a special song dedicated to the bride.
Perhaps your group is made up of people who love the outdoors. Long (or short) hikes that lead to stunning summits, waterfalls, and breathtaking views can be an ideal bachelorette party move. Most often, you can find beautiful public trails that are completely free. You may come across a few parks and areas that require an entrance fee, but these are usually very affordable (especially when compared to your standard bachelorette bash). Tell the group to wear their favorite activewear and pack water, snacks, sunscreen, and other locational essentials. Share a special moment together once you reach your destination and bask in the beauty. Who said you need to plan a destination bachelorette to visit jaw-dropping sights?
Paint and sips (in which, as the name implies, you paint and sip wine) have become increasingly popular over the past few years. And while trying to paint whilst simultaneously drinking might sound a bit nerve-wracking, doing so with a low-key group of fellow bridesmaids can be very fun. If you can't find any of these kinds of classes in your area, considering searching for classes on pottery, drawing, and painting (sans wine).
A money-saving alternative to a day poolside at a resort, you ask? Without a doubt, sunbathing and lounging at the beach. If you live on a coast (or near a lake or river), simply pack up all of your sun and sand essentials and make a whole day of it. Have your towels, sunscreen, cover-ups, and a lunch in tow for the day portion, as well as blankets, warmer clothing, and the fixings for s'mores for the night portion. And, of course, don't miss out on the sunset in-between.
A trip to Napa Valley may be out of the question, but local wineries most definitely aren't. Gather the bridal party for a midday or evening trip, complete with a walk around the grounds, a fresh snack (if the winery has food pairings), and a bottle or two of bubbly.
One of the priciest aspects of any bachelorette party is the travel. That being said, you don't have to ditch your dream destination bachelorette entirely to cut costs. The following tips and tricks will keep your celebration affordable, while still allowing you to host a getaway.
Depending on your budget and location, one affordable option can be to rent a nearby cabin within driving distance for a secluded weekend getaway. If you pack up and bring your own food, the costs can be minimal beyond the price of lodging.
Likewise, swap any expensive hotel stays for an affordable AirBnB. These typically end up being far less costly, as well as having more space for your entire group.
If your heart is set on a getaway weekend, look into booking a trip during your preferred location's offseason. For example, plan on going to Napa Valley in October or Miami Beach in August.
Who says destination bachelorettes need to take place in another country, state, or even city? Your destination doesn't have to be far from home, especially if most attendees live nearby. If everyone wants the experience of a luxurious getaway without the cost of travel, look into local hotels and resorts. You'll easily save on airfare, car rentals, and Uber costs.
Speaking of Ubers (and Lyfts), avoid them as much as possible. Taking an Uber XL everywhere can add up scarily fast, so try to keep your activities within walking distance. If you're planning a staycation, for example, book your stay near any bars, restaurants, and activities you'll all want to take part in.
There are a few more ways to cut costs, no matter the type of celebration. For some final budgeting tips, read on.
Sometimes, the costs that turn an affordable bachelorette party into an expensive one are due to the items that you simply don’t need. Forget the fancy invitations, party favors, matching nightgowns, or elaborate meals and drinks in bars. Send your friends email invites and bring your food and drink to your locale, and you might realize that the perfect bachelorette party is within your budget after all.
Sure, one nice dinner with everyone won't hurt, but costs can get steep if you're eating out for every meal. Whether you're hosting a hometown bachelorette or destination party, consider stocking up on groceries and eating the bulk of your meals where you'll be staying.
Skip the bachelorette weekends that have become extremely popular and go all out for one day or night. When you keep things nice and short, everyone can avoid travel costs, accommodations, and having to ration out their spending money all weekend.
Yes, really. It may not seem realistic, but you can find tons of savings on many bachelorette-style activities (like party busses, boat rides, etc.). Before you book anything, double check with platforms like Groupon and Honey for the best deals.
Chances are, if you look hard enough you'll be able to find a slew of free activities happening throughout your city. Think yoga classes, outdoor concerts, festivals, and farmers' markets. Start by looking at your city's event calendar or doing a simple Google search (e.g. "free events in Nashville March 2022").
Whatever you do, do not spend more than you can afford. Any and all bach parties should be a fun bonding event, not stressful. What's important is that your affordable bachelorette party celebrates the bride and allows everyone to have a good time together.
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