Who Pays for Bachelorette Party and Bachelor Party Expenses? Here's How to Split the Costs

Venmo requests coming in hot.
Who Pays for What at the Bach Party?
Photo: DavideAngelini / Shutterstock
Samantha Iacia - The Knot wedding style expert
Samantha Iacia
  • Samantha writes articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a speciality in wedding decor, trends, and fashion
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Samantha was a features and weddings contributor for The Baltimore Sun
  • She is based in Washington, D.C. and holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism
Updated Sep 11, 2023

When it comes to prewedding events, like the engagement party or wedding shower, each designated host usually covers the bill for their own party. But who pays for bachelorette party expenses and bachelor party costs? The short answer: everyone—although it's a little more complicated than that. Whether you're the bach host, the guest of honor or an attendee, you'll be expected to pitch in financially, but exactly how much will depend on a few things. We're answering all your important questions, including who pays for bachelor and bachelorette party favors, how expenses are typically divvied up among the group and whether or not the to-be wed should pay their own way. Here's what to know about managing your group's finances before you start planning the bachelor party or bachelorette weekend getaway.

In this article:

Who Pays for a Bachelorette Party?

Exactly who pays for the bachelorette party will depend on the specific situation, but most commonly, the cost is split evenly between the attendants. Everyone is responsible for covering their own expenses, such as meals and accommodation, while also splitting the cost to cover most—or all—of the bride's expenses.

If you're traveling out of town for the bachelorette party, you'll be responsible for your own transportation, whether it's booking a flight, buying a train ticket or paying for gas mileage. Each attendee is also responsible for their own accommodation cost when it comes to who pays for the bachelorette party, such as paying for your half of a hotel room or chipping in to cover your portion of an Airbnb. And whether you're traveling for a destination bachelorette or staying local, you can expect to pay for all of your own food and drink, along with the cost of any group activities (like event tickets or boat charters).

What does the maid of honor pay for?

The maid of honor pays for all of her own expenses, including transportation costs, accommodations, food, drinks and her portion of the group activities.The maid of honor traditionally chips in to pay for the bride's expenses too (split evenly with the rest of the bridesmaids), but it all depends on what the bride-to-be feels comfortable with—she may lovingly insist that she pays her own way. As the MOH, you can also expect to front some of the costs for group meals and activities while you wait for the other attendees to pay you back.

If you want to surprise the bride with a special treat or gift, that's another expense (albeit an optional one) to consider when deciding who pays for the bachelorette party. It could be something as simple as treating her to a mani-pedi before the party kicks off, or something more elaborate, like a basket of lingerie for the wedding night. You'll also need to pay for the cost of bachelorette party decorations, favors and miscellaneous party supplies or food, especially if you're stocking the kitchen of a rental home. Keep in mind that you can ask the bridesmaids to chip in for the cost of the bride's gift and any items that will be supplied for the whole group.

What do the bridesmaids pay for?

Each bridesmaid pays for their own individual expenses, such as transportation costs, accommodation, food, drinks and their portion of the group activities. They're also responsible for pitching in to cover the bride's expenses, as well as splitting the cost of shared party supplies (like snacks, pool floats, alcohol, decorations or matching T-shirts).

Find your kind of venue

From barns to ballrooms, discover reception venues that feel like you.

Who Pays for a Bachelor Party?

The cost of the bachelor party is usually split evenly between the attendants. In general, each guest should foot the bill for their own expenses, including transportation costs, food, drinks and accommodations. When discussing who pays for the bachelor party, your group might also decide to equally pitch in and cover the groom's expenses (either all or some of the cost).

For destination bachelor parties, each guest is responsible for paying their own way, including flights, hotel costs or their portion of the rental home total. If you're staying local for the bachelor party, you won't need to worry about travel expenses, but you'll still be responsible for covering the cost of your own meals, drinks and activities (like tickets for a sporting event or a round of golf).

What does the best man pay for?

For starters, the best man pays for his own expenses, including transportation, accommodations, meals, drinks and group activities. You'll also probably pitch in to pay for some—if not all—of the groom's expenses, splitting the cost evenly between the rest of the groomsmen. If the groom wants to cover the majority of his own expenses, your group can still treat him to one nice meal or pick up the tab for drinks. Finally, as the best man, you might have to front the cost for some meals or activities until you can get reimbursed by the rest of the groomsmen.

What do the groomsmen pay for?

The groomsmen pay for all of their personal expenses, including travel and transportation, their share of the hotel or rental home, food, drinks and group activities. If your group decides to cover the groom's expenses, each groomsman will be responsible for pitching in to split those costs equally. The groomsmen are also expected to pay for bachelor party decorations, shared party expenses and supplies, like snacks or alcohol for the house.

What Does the To-Be-Wed Pay For?

The to-be-wed's expenses are oftentimes covered, though this all depends on the type of party and how comfortable they feel with the rest of the group paying. While it's a nice gesture for the group to cover the to-be-wed's expenses, it shouldn't be an expectation or a demand—think of it as a bonus. Need to compromise? The to-be-wed can pay for their own travel and accommodation fees, while the group treats them to meals, drinks and other activities.

Does the bride pay for the bachelorette party? Yes. She's usually responsible for her own travel arrangements and accommodations, along with her bachelorette party outfits and any non-negotiables (for example, if she absolutely must have a private yoga class for the group one morning). And if you're wondering who pays for bachelorette party gift bags and goodies, the cost is often covered by the bride herself, since these items are technically gifts for the attendees. Another option is for the bride and maid of honor to split the cost, or have guests pitch in for their own larger-ticket items, like matching embroidered hoodies and outfits.

How to Discuss Expenses Before the Trip

Talking about money is never the most exciting thing—especially if you're potentially dealing with other bach party guests who you don't know very well—but it's important to kick things off with a conversation to set realistic expectations.

"If you're the [bride or groom], have that conversation with the people planning your wedding party and get an honest idea of what people are willing to—or can, or cannot afford," says Kathleen Entwistle, managing director at ‎Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management. "It's a matter of understanding your priorities and what's important to you, and balance that with the people you want to be surrounded with."

Before anything is finalized, the bach point person (usually the maid of honor or best man) should float around a few options, including possible destinations, themes and dates to get a sense of everyone's reactions. Make it clear that everyone will be responsible for covering the cost of their own expenses and travel. If most of your group says that they can't swing an elaborate trip, that's probably your sign to stay local and stick with a party that's a little more low-key. Be sure to share as much info as possible leading up to the party, like a ballpark cost per person for restaurants, activities and more.

How to Manage Bachelor and Bachelorette Party Expenses

According to a study by The Knot, the average cost of bachelor and bachelorette parties is over $1,000 per person. In other words, it's a pretty penny on top of all the other wedding expenses, which means that managing expectations and being clear about who pays for what is super important from the start. Here's how to take everyone's financial situation into account and stay on track when you're racking up those Venmo requests.

Designate one person to be the bach party planner.

This individual should be organized, responsible and financially literate, since he or she will be managing all of the expenses per person for the group. The best man or maid of honor isn't expected to cover the cost for everyone, but they will be responsible for requesting payments or putting down their card to secure reservations.

"From a responsibility standpoint, I would absolutely recommend one person to be the keeper of the budget; it's usually the maid of honor or somebody in the wedding party," Entwistle explains. "This is somebody who's organized and who has some understanding of budgeting and finances. Pick that one person to take care of all the arrangements and the different services that you are booking."

Remember that the guest list can affect the budget.

For the most part, costs are split evenly among the bachelor and bachelorette guests, but the overall spend will depend on the number of attendees. One example: If you're renting an Airbnb for an entire weekend, the cost per person will be lower for a total of 10 attendees, versus just four or five partygoers. Depending on how many people are in your group, this could work to your advantage—but don't invite people to the bachelorette party just to minimize the cost for everyone else.

Try to be considerate of everyone's financial situation.

Remember that everyone in your group is working with different incomes, personal finances and levels of comfortability when it comes to money. Planning a lavish destination bach sounds great in theory, but it might be out of reach for some or most of your attendees—so you'll need to decide what's the biggest priority.

"If the bride or groom has friends who cannot afford to participate in the bach party because they're flying or staying in hotels, the to-be-wed has to make a decision," says Entwistle. "Either they change their vision or accept that others can't attend. Or, they offer to support some of the costs of the bach party if it is above and beyond what the wedding party is able to afford. Give people those options. It's figuring out what's important to the bride or groom and aligning that to the pocketbook."

In the event that some people can't attend the bach party because of financial reasons, don't hold it against them. Instead, do your best to make sure they feel included from afar, whether that means a simple group video call or sending them a surprise gift to say 'wish you were here,' like their own T-shirt or swag to match the rest of the group.

Reserve tickets and accommodations in advance.

As soon as you have your party dates and itinerary finalized, you'll want to get a head start on booking travel arrangements, making reservations for meals and activities, and shopping for any party supplies. Doing this in advance gives you more time to shop around for the best deals—not to mention you'll avoid last-minute surge pricing, rush shipping and other fees. It also gives your group time to spread payments out over a few weeks or months, instead of expecting everyone to have spare cash all at once.

Purchase decorations, gifts and party supplies.

Often, the entire group will chip in and the party planner will take the lead on selecting fun decor options and other swag. Party favors, welcome bags and matching outfits are optional, but they're a fun way to personalize and elevate the experience.

In addition, bach party gifts from the group are also factored into the overall spend, including gag gifts or group wedding gifts. Finally, alcohol and other supplies are more expenses to consider, especially if you're stocking the kitchen at a rental home for a night or weekend.

Keep track of all the expenses.

To streamline additional expenses for the guests, designate one or two wedding party members (often the best man or MOH) to keep track of all party costs from start to finish. This means putting down credit cards in rotation or having the "bach party accountant" handle some initial costs, including cocktails, Ubers and beyond. After the party, don't wait too long to follow up with everyone about what they personally owe you. We recommend giving each person a heads up with the final payment total (a quick text before you send the Venmo request is courteous) no more than a week or two following the party.

Esther Lee contributed to the reporting of this article.

Up Next
  • two women clicking glasses with beach backdrop and orange flowers
    The Hottest Bachelorette Party Trends to Recreate