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The Budget Bachelorette Party (and Giveaway)!

Summer is wedding season!  As those of us who have been bridesmaids or brides already know, weddings are expensive, and the list of expenses goes on and on. If you’re responsible for throwing the bride a bachelorette party, you can reluctantly add another “cha-ching” to your list, OR you can have a fabulous bachelorette party without going into debt. We thought you’d prefer the latter, so we asked some of our girlfriends for their best tips on budget bachelorette parties. And if you add a tip of your own, you can enter our giveaway for a great little bachelorette gift at the end of this post. Photo via flickr.

Skip the bar-hopping

This post from MSN Money estimates that a typical bridesmaid spends $75 – $100 on the bachelorette party. That’s just too much for many girlfriends right now. Most of the cost of traditional bachelorette parties comes from spending the night out on the town at pricey restaurants, bars and clubs, drinking expensive drinks, hiring limos, and seeing tacky shows. The obvious way to cut your costs? Host part or all of the evening at home. 

There’s no need to drink expensive cocktails out when you can recreate specialty drinks at home for a fraction of the cost! Burst Bar Shots are a great way to offer your guests a delicious shot to get the party started without having to fuss with multiple mixers and alcohols. The newest flavors include Sex on the Beach (our favorite), Lemon Drop and Alabama Slammer. Priced at only $10.99 a bottle, they are a great value, and a fun, festive and easy way to start your evening. We brought these to a party last weekend and they were quite a hit!

Our girlfriend Jennifer Luby, home entertaining blogger at Second City Soiree, suggests starting the party with your own ginger martinis (find the recipe at and then visiting just one favorite watering hole. Or, she suggests, “skip the bars and hit the late-night fast food stands” if you crave some people-watching. If you must go to the hottest club, Jen suggests going early to avoid the cover charge.  ”Also, some clubs have restaurants attached, and if you eat there, they’ll often let you in the club for free.”


Get Cooking

And speaking of dinner, you don’t have to blow out your budget with a spendy restaurant dinner. You can have just as much fun, Jen says, if you potluck at home. “Everyone but the bride brings something; just be sure to have a balance of food types.” Or why not take this thinking a step further and have a more creative type of bachelorette party? We asked our girlfriends at Gracious Bridal to put on their thinking veils for us, (they are in touch with brides-to-be and their wedding parties every day, after all!) and they suggested a cooking party. We think this is a fabulous idea for girlfriends who have had their fill of clubbing. Some of the best girlfriend bonding times come from hands-on activities. Here’s how to do it:

Have the Maid of Honor pick a couple of her favorite recipes (the bride-to-be needs a break from decision making). You can all pitch in on providing the ingredients. Then, proceed to make a feast together! Show off your culinary skills, have fun with the girls, and of course, enjoy a glass of wine while doing so. Have each bridesmaid walk away with a decorative recipe card (and of course a belly full of fabulous food). Gift the bride-to-be with a Jessie Steele Vintage Apron for all of her future culinary endeavors. 

Make a Splash

How about a pool party for your bachelorette bash? Everyone needs a touch of bronze before walking down the aisle, and this is a fun way to get sun-kissed together. Gracious Bridal suggests mixing a batch of Bachelorette Barbie Cocktails (Coconut Rum, Vodka, Orange Juice, and Cranberry Juice) for this poolside celebration. If the bride is giving gifts to each of the bridesmaids, their Monogrammed Beach Towels fit the party theme, will be reused again and again, and make an excellent photo op! (NOTE: Don’t have a pool? How about a patio party? You can even set up a mister or sprinkler to keep cool.)

Hunt Down Some Fun

Here’s an easy and FREE way to create a memorable evening: Have a scavenger hunt! has some free printables for bachelorette party planners including these bachelorette scavenger hunt instructions. All the work is done for you! If this scavenger hunt is a little too “adventurous” for you and your gal pals, you can easily adjust for your own taste. (Please note: This site contains some risque items, putting it mildly. You’ve been warned!) This is a great way to get the girls out and about and guarantee some laughs the bride-to-be and her friends.

Share Your Tips and Win!

Now for the giveaway, girlfriends! We want your budget bachelorette party ideas, tips and stories. Leave them in the comments and you’ll be entered to win our giveaway, which includes:

A copy of The Daughter-in-Law Rules: 101 Surefire Ways to Manage (and Make Friends with) Your Mother-In-Law! by Sally Shields: great gift for the bride-to-be or recent bride!

Set of six high-heel wine charms – a colorful way to keep track of your drink at the bachelorette bash

Gonzo WineOut Red Wine Stain Remover 1 oz. - the perfect addition to a bride’s emergency kit (no wine stains on the wedding dress, please!)

Three ways to enter:

  • Leave a comment with a tip, suggestion or story about money-saving bachelorette party ideas
  • Blog or tweet about this contest AND leave a comment saying you did so
  • Subscribe to our weekly email (new subscribers only) AND leave a comment saying you did so

This contest will remain open until 11:59 PM CST on Friday, June 5, 2009. Winner will be chosen at random from qualifying entries. Winner will be notified by email and must respond with a U.S. shipping address within 48 hours of notification or another winner will be selected. Good luck, girlfriends!




  1. In order to cut down on costs for my sister’s bachelorette party, we had a sleepover (yes, with sleeping bags) after we hit the bar for a few hours. We ended up dancing the majority of the time, which kept the bar tab low. For breakfast we had banana bread and hung out in our sleeping bags (like in Jr. High) instead of going to an expensive brunch.

    We ended up having a great time and spending a lot of quality time together.

    Comment by SavingDiva — May 23, 2009 @ 10:49 am

  2. this is a great giveaway for a bride to be as myself, yes I am getting married Nov 28th whoo hoo!!!
    my Maid of Honor bought a bachalorette game its actually a roulete game i have looked it over and it looks so fun and kinda naughty there will be some scavenger hunting going on in the town we both live in so my whole little town will be in on the fun, she is having my friends come to her place for a girls night in, music, food and games shouldnt cost too much but the fun and memories should be awesome, I am sooo excited!!! thanks for all your tips

    Comment by Pamela — May 26, 2009 @ 7:11 pm

  3. I tweeded this pami22

    Comment by Pamela — May 26, 2009 @ 7:13 pm

  4. At my friends bachelorette party, we went around telling all the guys at the bar that the bride-to-be was not having fun at her own bachelorette party. Many guys came to the rescue with rounds of shots for the whole party! Soon, the bride-to-be was having a great time! : ) We all had a great time for free!

    Comment by Robin — June 3, 2009 @ 1:00 pm

  5. I’m subscribed! =)

    Comment by Nina — June 5, 2009 @ 2:42 pm

  6. [...] offers this pool party plan. Pool parties are a great way to cool off! See also our bachelorette pool party ideas, which you can certainly adapt to non-bachelorette occasions. Won’t it be fun to make a [...]

    Pingback by Hot Summer Girlfriend Get-Togethers | Girlfriend Celebrations — June 25, 2009 @ 9:59 am

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  8. my tip for you ladies is BORROW BORROW BORROW! I have been to quite a few bachelorette parties and now it’s my turn to throw one for my sister. I plan on borrowing all that fine silly stuff that most girls have at their parties and then stuff in a closet and never use again. I am talking about the bride to be’s sash and veil, the silly pins and stickers, plastic necklaces and rings, as well as bachelorette bingo and other games. what better way to save money, then to ont spend any at all! enjoy your parties ladies!!!

    Comment by Lizzie — August 30, 2009 @ 4:08 am

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