Do I Have To Get A Gift For A Bachelorette Party?
Bachelorette parties come in all shapes and sizes — they can be wild parties with buffoonery and mayhem, or they can just be a nice, quiet little evening out with friends. Since the term "bachelorette party" has many different definitions, you might be wondering whether or not you have to get a gift for a bachelorette party, which is a reasonable question. Does the bride-to-be expect presents? Or, does she just want an excuse to hang out with her closest girlfriends before tying the knot?
The truth is, it's not required to buy a gift for a bachelorette party, especially if you're already getting gifts for other events. A bride who expects more gifts during the party is, perhaps, a little too present-grabby. But, it's very common for money to be spent in some way during the event. Typically, if you're a bridesmaid, you might be asked to chip in if the event is being held at a specific venue. If it's just a bar crawl, it's unlikely for the bride to fork over money for her own drinks and transportation. Obviously, cost all depends on the bride in question, and the itinerary for the evening.
Cost Helper tried to break down specific bachelorette party costs a bit on its website, stating that a casual night would likely cost between $15 and $30 per guest, a mid-ranged bachelorette (like, a dinner out and an activity after) could go between $35 and $150, and an all-out celebration could set you back up to $300. So, there's a lot of gap room, and having a good idea of what kind of party the bridesmaids will be throwing is kind of essential with knowing how much cash to bring. If you know the party is going to be pretty costly, that takes out any other additional need for a present. For the record, anything that requires additional travel, like a trip to Vegas, falls into the category of "pretty costly."
These days, bachelorette parties are often seen as big events — it could include a day of pampering at the spa, or attending a fun aerobics class together that the bride might not have wanted to try alone. So, any cost going towards these events are for the experience, not to set the bride up with housewares and home items. The gift is getting to have some fun with your friends before signing the marriage certificate.
There are a few loopholes, however. Sometimes the bachelorette coordinators might want to play a game or two during the event, which may require a purchase. (I can almost hear a collective sigh from those of you who were forced to buy lingerie for a friend before, since yes, opening up a bunch of lacy panties in front of others is something coordinators might think is fun.) Remember that these "gifts" are more about playing along, and less about value and meaning.
Oddly enough, the one time when it's totally appropriate to give a bachelorette gift is if you don't plan on attending the event. "Sending a card saying how you wish you could be there and a bottle of champagne to get the party started is definitely a thoughtful touch," Simone Hill from The Knot suggests. It's a nice little gesture that shows you care, and can't wait to catch up on pictures of her fun bachelorette party on Instagram.
If you're in a situation where you feel absolutely forced to give a gift, or simply can't afford a gift, it's totally OK to opt out of these festivities. Sometimes brides are so into the tradition that they fail to realize how much of a financial stress they're putting you through. You have the right to put your foot down when your money is involved, and you won't look stingy or cheap for standing your ground. True friends know how to celebrate with you without raising your credit card bill to an abnormal level, and if you're already a bridesmaid, and have put down money for your dress and the bridal shower, your bachelorette gift should be as simple as showing up and giving her your full support.
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