Author Topic: Bachelorettes....who pays for weekend long events?  (Read 4279 times)

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Mikayla

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Bachelorettes....who pays for weekend long events?
« on: January 25, 2014, 05:30:07 PM »
I told my stepsister I'd ask about this.  She's a BM in a wedding where the MOH wants to throw a weekend event in a city about 100 miles away.  This will be 2 nights hotel, dinner, a spa day etc. 

She really wants to go, but is concerned about cost.  She came up with an estimate and then called me to ask what other costs she's forgetting.   I asked her if there had been a discussion on what portion of bride's cost would be covered.  She had no idea and hadn't thought of that.  I told her that my guess was they wouldn't be expected to cover all bride's costs, but she needed to get that cleared up.  I also said when the MOH sent the email this should have been explained.

Then I realized I had no clue if anything I'd said was true, so I told her I'd check.

Questions (pick any you want!).

1.  Is there an etiquette rule on these longer bachelorette parties?  If not, is there a common practice?  The only one I've been to was camping.

2.  Was I correct that this should have been part of the email that was sent?  There was nothing about cost, other than sharing hotel rooms and that she'd make the reservations.

3.  Was any of this rude?  I don't know that it's a requirement that the MOH consult others, as long as she's understanding if they can't do it.  Also, the bride is aware of the plan and likes it.

VorFemme

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Re: Bachelorettes....who pays for weekend long events?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2014, 05:57:08 PM »
I got married back in the 1970s.  Back in the Dark Ages, this sort of party was held at the brides' house or somewhere with absolutely minimal costs if they were going to do a weekend (kind of like a more grown up slumber party) and they might go out for dinner - but only the "rich" or "wannabees" types on the television & movies did much of anything like this. 

How it was paid for was never addressed on the screen (TV, movie, or in printed fiction). 

When did the "average" wedding get turned into a nouveau riche (thankfully, I know how to use Google.com when Spell Check doesn't work) event whether or not anyone in the family had that kind of money? 

But I digress - I'd suggest that if there is no one paying the expenses and there is going to be more money spent on this than any one member of the wedding party can afford to spend, that maybe a smaller get together with a smaller price tag might be a good idea....

Good grief, I'm turning into my mother....
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Bachelorettes....who pays for weekend long events?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2014, 06:15:10 PM »
I think it's ridiculous.  That would be as much as I would be willing to spend to attend the wedding.  No way would I go to a weekend bachelorette extravaganza like this.  A camping weekend would be OK.

I think it is rude of the MOH/Bride/rest of the wedding party to plan an event like this due to the expense.  Even if they know everyone can afford it.  Just because I can afford to spend $500 on a weekend away doesn't mean I want to.

There definitely should have been a better breakdown of costs in the email, as well as information on what expenses of the bride they would be expected to cover.  If I were willing to go, I'd kick in for the bride's mani/pedi but I wouldn't be kicking in for her hotel room and meals, for example.

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LadyR

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Re: Bachelorettes....who pays for weekend long events?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2014, 06:24:48 PM »
Mine was an overnighter in another city (well another city for me and a few of the girls, about half of them lived there). My MoH drove the out-of-towners and covered all of my costs, she also covered the cost of the hotel suite (it was a slumber party), the girls just had to buy their own dinner and the girls in the bridal party all contributed a bottle of alcohol and some snacks for the slumber party portion. The other girls offered to contribute, but my MOH had no issues doing it herself and figured she didn't have to be as conscious of costs if she didn't expect anyone else to contribute. When I was a BM this summer, the bachelorette was much simpler, but the MoH had the same attitude, everyone paid for their own dinner, she covered everything else. That's pretty much the norm in my social circle, but I know from other friends that that's not always the case and sometimes the bridal party is expected to contribute equally.


Hmmmmm

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Re: Bachelorettes....who pays for weekend long events?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2014, 06:36:12 PM »
I believe the custom for bachelorette parties, no matter the activity, is each BM pays their own costs and a percentage of the brides.

So if it's dinner out and a play, then your cost of dinner, your ticket to the play, and a portion of the brides dinner and ticket cost.

If I were your sister and I had a budget, I'd reply back to the MOH that she has a budget of $X so when deciding on hotels, food, and entertainment activities she would appreciate she take that into account. And if the cost would be over that budget then she would not be able to attend.

Deetee

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Re: Bachelorettes....who pays for weekend long events?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2014, 08:29:21 PM »
And I think it's ridiculous to call other people's idea of a fun time ridiculous.

If the people involved want to spend a weekend away or travel on private jets to Paris or spend the weekend watching movies in their PJ's that is great for them.

Some people really like the idea of spending a girls weekend away and are Ok spending money on that.

That said, no-one should be pressured to ever spend more money than they are comfortable spending. And bachorelette parties are generally pay your own way. But there is nothing rude about inquiring on costs/plans and whether people plan to cover the bride. (If I wasn't covering the bride, I would still buy her a couple drinks or pay for nails or a dinner or something)

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Bachelorettes....who pays for weekend long events?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2014, 09:42:55 PM »
OP, is this the first your sister has heard of this shindig?  As in, she had no say in what was decided?  As one of the bridesmaids, I think this was very unfair to her.  If she'd been involved in the planning and agreed to the weekend plans but then is having second thoughts about the amount of money, it would be one thing.  But to have this presented as fait accompli?  I stand by my ridiculous comment.

Edited for spelling.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2014, 10:32:06 PM by Outdoor Girl »
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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lakey

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Re: Bachelorettes....who pays for weekend long events?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2014, 10:08:25 PM »
Deetee,
"And I think it's ridiculous to call other people's idea of a fun time ridiculous."

A weekend bachelorette party isn't automatically ridiculous, or unreasonable.
I think that it depends on how it is handled. A bachelorette party that costs the participants a significant amount of money needs to be handled properly. Especially if the all of the BMs and friends aren't well-to-do.
First, we need to understand that if you are a bridesmaid there can be a lot of pressure on you to participate in all events. Not attending the weekend bachelorette at the hotel could be awkward if you are a bridesmaid.

Second, the costs need to be taken into account, along with the incomes of the participants. A weekend that involves 2 nights at a hotel, 2 days worth of restaurant meals, 2 days worth of drinks, other entertainment expenses, plus a share of the bride's costs, can end up being prohibitive for a lot of people. Then take into account the other costs of being a bridesmaid, dress, shoes, hairdresser, and so on. Then the cost of wedding and shower gifts. A considerate bride, and her MOH need to consider just how much money a person should spend because a friend is getting married.

If I read the post correctly, the event was announced with almost no details about the costs, including the per night cost of the hotel. I have seen a trend in recent years where some brides and their loved ones assume that people are willing to spend pretty large amounts of money on the bride's festivities, often to the point of seriously imposing on people.

That being said, this type of thing can be done considerately. A friend of mine considered having a destination wedding in the Caribbean. She diplomatically asked people how they felt about attending something like this, and if the costs would be prohibitive. She made it clear that her potential guests needs were important to her. She ended up having a traditional wedding in her home city. I suspect that her friends were okay with the resort wedding, but the older, more traditional relatives weren't.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Bachelorettes....who pays for weekend long events?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2014, 10:17:27 PM »
OP the person she needs to be asking is the MOH who is planning this, not you.  I mean you can go away for a weekend for $50, $500, or $5000. 


I think an email to the MOH and cc'ing the rest of the bridesmaids is the way to go.  There is nothing wrong with asking for clarification in things like this.  I would send the following email.  Bear in mind, I like to be short and succint, some would say abrupt :)  I'm sure the other e-hellions can sand off the rough edges of the email  ;D


Hi MOH,

How are you?  I just wanted to get some clarification about the bachelorette party you are planning in [other city].  I'm trying to get an idea of how much this is going to cost and realized I must have missed the emails with the details of the weekend. 


From what I understand the rough agenda is:
Stay at [hotel] for 2 nights (are we sharing or do we have separate rooms?)
go out to dinner 2 nights?
Spa day on [day]

Am I missing anything agenda-wise?

Would you please send me the details about the per person costs for everything? Also, will we be expected to cover a portion of [bride's] cost as well?  If so, what is that percentage?

Thanks for all of the hard work you've put into planning this,

Sister

camlan

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Re: Bachelorettes....who pays for weekend long events?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2014, 10:31:50 PM »
I told my stepsister I'd ask about this.  She's a BM in a wedding where the MOH wants to throw a weekend event in a city about 100 miles away.  This will be 2 nights hotel, dinner, a spa day etc. 

Well, the cost to your stepsister will be more than that--there's transportation to and from the city. Even if she drivers herself, there's gas to pay for, or a train or plane ticket, etc. Then she'll be eating three meals a day for at least 2 days, and one of them, the dinner, sounds like it might be expensive. The "etc." also would concern me, if I was expected to attend.

Because bridesmaids are usually expected to attend the bachelorette, if not throw the bachelorette, I do think that the MOH should have run the plans by them before making a final decisions. At the very least, the MOH should have asked the bridesmaids about their budgets for the bachelorette. Since she didn't, the email announcing the plans should have included that information: cost of the shared rooms, the name of the restaurant where the dinner will be so that they can check the menu and see if they can afford it, the cost of the spa day, and the cost of anything else that's been planned. If the plan for one night is going out and hitting as many bars as possible, the bridesmaids need to know that.

If the bachelorette was simply a night out on the town in their local area, the bridesmaids would be able to estimate the cost a bit--they'd know the restaurant and bars they'd likely go to and what the prices would likely be.

With an out-of-town trip, the costs need to be explained in full. It would be a huge damper on the weekend if a couple of the attendees were hit with unexpectedly high costs, and had to continually back out of certain events, or were constantly ordering/doing the very cheapest thing available.

Your stepsister should email the MOH right back and ask about the costs of everything, including what the bridesmaids are expected to cover for the bride.

I do think it is rude of the MOH to plan an expensive weekend without input from the people who will be expected to be there. (By expensive bachelorette, I mean anything other than dinner out and some bar-hopping. Anything that requires hotels starts to get expensive in my book, because that usually means restaurant meals and travel expenses.)

It really doesn't matter if the bride likes the plan or not. If her friends and wedding party can't afford it, the plan never should have been made. The MOH should have consulted with the others, and come up with a plan that everyone knows they can afford. To make the plan first means that some of the bride's good friends may not be able to attend. The bride had better not be upset about that.

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wallaby

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Re: Bachelorettes....who pays for weekend long events?
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2014, 01:21:28 AM »

I think the letter wording suggested by pastrygoddess is a very good idea.

To answer the specific questions:

1. I'm not sure if special rules apply, but I think they are different situations. For a regular hen's night, the MOH and/or BMs generally cover the bride's night out here. For a whole weekend or destination event, in my (limited) experience, the bride and her close girlfriends mutually agree on a location and activities, and split the costs equally (as in, the bride would pay most of her own expenses). So, it becomes a bit more a 'friends on vacation together' situation. I would expect that the bride would pay for her own transport and accommodations, for instance. Perhaps some of the bride's 'entertainment' would be covered by the MOH and/or BMs, but I think this shouldn't be expected by the bride. If I was your step sister, I would definitely ask the MOH what she is thinking, that is the only way to know.

2. Yes I think the MOH should have raised a discussion about the anticipated costs and budget. The fact that this hasn't been raised suggests to me that perhaps the MOH is planning on covering bride's costs entirely herself. Or it could be that she thinks any amount she eventually settles on will be 'ok'. So your stepsister should contact the MOH asap.

jedikaiti

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Re: Bachelorettes....who pays for weekend long events?
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2014, 02:44:41 AM »
And I think it's ridiculous to call other people's idea of a fun time ridiculous.

If the people involved want to spend a weekend away or travel on private jets to Paris or spend the weekend watching movies in their PJ's that is great for them.

Some people really like the idea of spending a girls weekend away and are Ok spending money on that.

That said, no-one should be pressured to ever spend more money than they are comfortable spending. And bachorelette parties are generally pay your own way. But there is nothing rude about inquiring on costs/plans and whether people plan to cover the bride. (If I wasn't covering the bride, I would still buy her a couple drinks or pay for nails or a dinner or something)

POD to all the above, but especially the bolded.

I believe that the bachelorette party is pay as you go, but the bride's share is covered by the host(s) - be that the MOH or all the BMs or whoever. But before anything is decided, all those (financially) concerned MUST agree on what is reasonable. The Bride or MOH or whoever may want a Vegas weekend gala, but if the (other) hosts can only afford (or are only willing to pay for) a shared suite at a nice hotel and a spa day, then they should not be pressured to pay for a Vegas weekend.
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Zizi-K

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Re: Bachelorettes....who pays for weekend long events?
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2014, 07:46:43 AM »
Usually a weekend away would not find the BMs paying for the bride, in this case everyone pays for themselves. My sister had a Vegas weekend for her bachelorette. The genius part was that she only had one bridesmaid (me), so she could invite her friends, give them a clear idea of the costs, and the trip was open if they wanted to come but the friends weren't pressured to do so. It was a fun weekend!

English1

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Re: Bachelorettes....who pays for weekend long events?
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2014, 09:37:03 AM »
In the UK everyone pays for themselves - including the bride.

Ive only been on one expensive hen weekend - a group of 10 of us went to Barcelona for 2 nights. It was something out of the ordinary so there was no pressure on anyone to attend and
a) the trip was kept as inexpensive as possible. We hired an apartment between us so the accommodation cost was very low per head.  We took a cheap 'no frills' flight. We didn't plan expensive activities while we were there and we all chipped in our share of what we did. We had a brilliant time.
b) There was another hen night back home, just an evening out at a restaurant, again not an expensive one, that people could go to instead of the big trip (or as well as). Over 40 people went to this.

So the bride had a big weekend blow out, but no one felt obliged to go, no one resented it, those who went could afford it as we all wanted to keep costs down, and there was a normal alternative.

I think it's inconsiderate of the OPs bride to expect people to attend what sounds like a very expensive trip.

Mikayla

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Re: Bachelorettes....who pays for weekend long events?
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2014, 11:51:44 AM »
Thanks everyone.  I have a little more info.  For simplicity, my stepsister is MG. 

I saw the email and it was pretty vague.  It mentioned that "we" (bride and MOH) had decided on these plans.  It mentioned the hotel and that she'd reserve rooms for 2, spa time, and the restaurant.  The date was announced, and then she ended with "Let me know if you have questions!"   Also, the date is in May sometime.

One of the other bridesmaids (CK), and a very close friend of MGs, called MG last night and said she can't do any of this.  She also texted the MOH and said (verbatim):  I have plans that weekend, I can’t afford all this and count me out.  AFAIK, she hasn’t heard back. 

So now MG isn't quite as sure she wants to go.  A big part of it was spending time with CK.   I may go ahead and forward Pastry Goddess’ wording to her and see what happens next.

This would have been so much easier if MG reacted the way CK did, because I totally agree if you can’t afford it, just say no.  I probably would have used the same very direct words CK did!  But MG initially was pretty stoked and figured she could afford it unless the “hidden” costs were too much.

So stay tuned, I guess.  I just don’t know any more.