Bachelorette etiquette can be a tricky topic, even for the most Emily Post of your friends. Here are some bachelorette etiquette dilemmas we’ve faced — and our take on how to handle them.
Are the bride’s expenses supposed to be covered?
Although many of the groups we’ve worked with do cover some expenses for the bride, it’s really up to the group to decide if it’s appropriate — usually based on how big the financial burden would be. Covering the bride’s dinner? A lovely gesture. Shelling out for an entire bachelorette weekend in a swanky locale? Potentially a difficult financial burden on top of the expense of being a bridesmaid or wedding attendee. The most important point: Develop a budget for the bachelorette and stick to it.
I’m not sure I can attend the bachelorette — am I being a terrible friend if I can’t go?
Although obviously you were invited to the bachelorette and other wedding events because you were wanted, unavoidable work or personal conflicts could occur that would make it okay to miss the bachelorette. However, remember planning will be based on the number the maid of honor is expecting, so if you’ve RSVPed or are refusing to make up your mind by important decision points, you’re making the planning process more difficult. Basically, you don’t absolutely have to go, but you must send your regrets in a timely fashion (at least a few months out) and we recommend sending something to the group over the weekend (say, a bottle of Champagne for dinner, snacks for the hotel room or the bride’s favorite flowers). And if you’ve committed and have to back out last minute, you should cover your portion of the costs.
If I was invited to someone’s bachelorette, do I have to invite her back?
Your call — just like you’re not obligated to reciprocate if you’ve been someone’s bridesmaid. However, you should consider the feelings of anyone important to you who might think that they would be on the invitation list, and make sure to let them know your plans before invites go out.
Do I have to have all that bachelorette gear and swag? It’s really not my thing …
You’re absolutely allowed to set guidelines for your bridesmaids around what kind of bachelorette celebration you’d like to have — from the classic big night out decked out in sash and tiara to a low-key gathering of the girls. And bridesmaids — surprises are great, but if the bride has expressly asked not to have certain things at her bachelorette, respect those wishes. Embarrassing your best friend with items she doesn’t want to wear or things she doesn’t want to do are hardly the makings of a wonderful celebration.
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