Bachelorette weekend getaways: the phrase can instill fear & financial terror in the hearts of bridesmaids. These sometimes-lavish weekend getaways can mean expensive flights, swanky hotel suites with marble jacuzzi tubs, pricey dinners out and the inevitable cost of buying “going out” outfits for multiple nights on the town. Having come back from a weekend away at a bachelorette party in Newport, Rhode Island, I can say with confidence that budget-friendly bachelorette weekends do exist and they don’t have to feel like a drag or that you’ve somehow deprived the bride of the weekend of her dReAmSz. Here are six tips to implement, whether you are the bride or the bridesmaids doing the heavy lifting of planning the perfect weekend for a group of girls to enjoy!
1. Select a location you can drive to. You should consider going someplace that you can rOaD tRip to! If one or all of you has access to a car, this is a huge financial burden taken off of your wallet, and simultaneously provides ample time for everyone to bond in the car, swap stories, munch on ungodly amounts of Trader Joe’s snacks and get pumped for the weekend ahead without having to stress about the pangs of airport travel.
2. Consider a hotel with reasonable rates. The hotel we stayed at was modest, comfortable, and reasonably-priced, and was perfect for what we needed it for, i.e. pre-gaming and sleeping. We didn’t delude ourselves into thinking that we could live like sultans for two days in some palatial complex with glittering fountains, marble floors and five-star restaurants inside. Yikes. Who needs all that, anyway? Now that I’ve got a couple of bachelorette weekends under my belt, I know from experience that if bridesmaids are taking a hit with paying for an expensive room they’ll be much grumpier when it comes time to splurge on drinks out or paying for dinners for the bride.
3. Plan activities that are low cost and more “active.” The key to keeping the price of any bachelorette weekend down is to plan out activities that take up a good chunk of time and are active and cheap. For example, one morning we all went out on a 2.5 hour walk along the ocean cliff walk, took pictures and strolled around the surrounding town. After a night of drinking the evening before the fresh air and light exercise was a welcome change. We also planned an afternoon of wine tasting which is an inexpensive way to savor nice weather while only spending a few dollars on a tasting flight. Although we had eaten lunch by the time we arrived at the winery, we could have easily rolled this activity out into a pack-your-own picnic and enjoyed it on a blanket on the lawn of the vineyard.
4. Skip the club scene. Club scenes are to be avoided if you can manage it. Why pay ridiculous cover charges and inflated prices for cocktails to be stomped on by a bunch of misplaced platform heels and hit with sticky, swinging purses? You can easily plan to take it easy one night and head to a (slightly) quieter bar to enjoy live music and one another’s company while still get your #drink on.
5. Stock up on alcohol for the room. Although this is most definitely already a consideration for any bachelorette weekend festivities, buying things like champagne, juice, seltzer and hard liquid for the hotel room is one of the easiest ways for the group to save money. Having a champagne toast in the room along with a shot or two before grabbing a cab means that your bar tab will be significantly lighter. Everyone will already have a little buzz going and you won’t need to drop $12 on vodka seltzers when you’ve already been sipping on ones you made back at the hotel room for $2.
6. Hop on the BYOB train for one dinner out. Weekend long getaways mean that every meal you consume will be out at a restaurant which will most often be slightly more expensive than the ones you usually visit because c’mon, you’re high on the 72 hour celebration train. One night we chose a BYOB restaurant where we could bring our own liquor and it made the bill much easier to swallow at the end of the evening.
I get that no one wants to be the frugal little troll in the corner of the bachelorette weekend party but being realistic about what everyone is comfortable with spending isn’t unreasonable. You should be able to let loose and have a great time without arriving back home on Sunday night to the crippling realization you’ve spent close to a months rent in three short days. Bachelorette weekends offer quality girl time and can be done on the cheap without sacrificing a bit of the fun!