Ask Evie: I Can’t Afford To Attend My Best Friend’s Bachelorette Party. What Do I Do?

Welcome to Ask Evie, our advice column. Readers can submit their questions, and our editors will dish out their best advice!

By Evie3 min read
Pexels/Ekaterina Mitkina

READER’S QUESTION: "Dear Evie, My childhood best friend is getting married this summer, and I am absolutely thrilled to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. I knew what the costs would be pretty much upfront, except for the cost of the bachelorette party. The bachelorette party is in another state, about a 9-hour drive or a flight away. I don’t have any issue with traveling, and I’m excited to go to a new state. However, there was no talk about budget before the maid of honor started planning, and she has only looked at Airbnbs that are way out of my price range, even with splitting all of the costs. I brought this up gently in the group chat and with the bride, and we were able to talk about budget after that. But even after I gave them a number, they sent an option that was probably $150 more than I could realistically afford. The bride mentioned that some of the other girls were talking about paying extra so I don’t have to pay as much, but I feel like it’s unfair to expect that, and more importantly, I don’t want to feel pitied. 

I’m really torn up about what to do. On one hand, I want to make this really special for my best friend. On the other hand, I simply can’t afford what they are looking at, but I also don’t want to bring down the group if they are all willing to spend on a luxury vacation when I can’t. 

I have thought about offering to the bride that I stay back and spend a different weekend with her closer to home, but I also don’t want to hurt her or complicate her life more. What should I do here?

Sincerely, Bachelorette Blues”

EVIE’S ADVICE:  This is definitely a difficult situation to be in, for both you and the bride. It’s rude that the maid of honor didn’t speak with everyone regarding a budget before beginning the planning, and even more so that she didn’t respect the price you stated that you could afford after you brought it up. It’s sweet that the other girls offered to pay a little more to cover the extra cost for you, but we understand not wanting to take them up on that and feel pitied or awkward during the trip. 

There are a few different ways you can go about this. First, you can find a few options for Airbnbs that are in your price range and send those to the maid of honor privately as suggestions. You may find something just as nice (or close enough to not really make a difference) that she didn’t see initially.  

If a compromise on lodging can't be reached, you can stick to your guns about what you can and can't afford. You can politely excuse yourself from the trip without making a scene to upset or stress out the bride, and you can offer to do something else with her instead on your own. It doesn’t need to be an entire weekend, even just a girls’ night can be a special chance to connect and celebrate with her.

Don’t get aggressive with the maid of honor and make it a larger issue than it needs to be for the bride. 

If neither of these work for you and you feel strongly about wanting to participate in the bachelorette weekend, your last option is to try your best to tighten your budget leading up to the trip so that you can save that extra $150. Sometimes, this is as simple as skipping a couple of happy hours after work or not hitting “check out” on the new dress you feel like you need for your wardrobe. In other cases, though, it is more difficult, depending on your financial situation. You can try a no-spend weekend or week where you get super creative and literally just use what you have to get by, like creating strange meals out of what is already in your pantry or freezer rather than hitting the grocery store for fresh goods. If this trip is really important to you and it’s a few months out, you can even try a side hustle to make some extra income if your schedule allows. Here is a complete list of side hustles you can start immediately to bring in some cash (some are as simple as selling old clothes hanging in your closet). That being said, we understand that for a lot of people in this economy, $150 is a lot of money, and if it isn’t possible for you to bring in the extra income with a busy schedule already or adjust your budget to save with your current expenses, that’s okay too. 

In any case, we’re sure that the bride will understand as long as you communicate your decision openly and honestly with her. Our only rule: Don’t get aggressive with the maid of honor and make it a larger issue than it needs to be for the bride. 

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