Maid of Honor Advice
Extravagant Bachelorette Parties: How to Fund Them
Perhaps you want to make the bachelorette party just a little more memorable by renting a limo or a private party room. Or maybe you envision grabbing the bride, bridesmaids, and heading for Vegas? Either way, how's a non-millionaire maid of honor to pay for an extravagant bachelorette party without breaking the bank? The answer is that you'll need to be organized, willing to ask other people to chip in, and not try to pay for it all yourself.
If you want to plan a slightly glitzier but still local bachelorette party, the best thing is for the maid of honor to scope out the costs of her proposed night out, being sure to include everything from big items like a limo rental to small ones like a boa (for the bridal costuming!), drinks for the bride, decorations, the bride's meal, and so forth. Then divide the total cost by the estimated number of bachelorette party attendees, figuring that at least one third of the people invited will not attend.
At this point, before committing to anything, the maid of honor should informally ask a handful of people who will be invited to the bachelorette party if they would be willing to pay that amount to you (and still be responsible for paying for their own drinks/dinner, etc.). If more than one person says no, it might be better to cut something out of the budget to lower the total bachelorette party cost.
Assuming the response is positive, the next step is to send out some fun bachelorette party invitations. Once everyone has RSVPed, an email (or letter if necessary) should be sent to the guests who said they would be attending the bachelorette party asking guests to donate a set amount of money to the maid of honor, by check through the mail or cash brought on the evening of the event itself. You will receive a much more helpful response by detailing exactly what the total costs are, including as much information as possible (thereby justifying the cost).
Keep in mind that not everyone will pay and that you will inevitably need to cover more than your share. I would recommend asking the other bridesmaids to help defer this extra financial burden. Also know that some people simply may not be able to pay what you're asking for. Be conscientious.
If the bachelorette party you've got in mind is a bit larger, like running off to Vegas, Cancun, ...or Paris, your approach will need to be different. If it will require paying for hotel rooms or plane tickets, the guests will need to pay for all this themselves (unless the maid of honor happens to be wealthy and generous!). And of course this will probably mean that significantly fewer people will be able to attend the bachelorette party.
In terms of the bride's own expenses, if she expressed interest in a fairly costly bachelorette party, like Vegas, the bride may need to pay for her own travel expenses and hotel room. It's not really fair for the maid of honor to ask that people fly across the country and then finance the bride too. The party attendees should still pay for the bride's drinks, food, and so on, as usual.
However extravagant of a bachelorette party you wish to plan, the key is to be as upfront and honest as possible with the guests so that no one is surprised, offended, or upset. If you follow this rule everything should go off without a hitch!