As far as being upset about not being in the wedding party, well, it really says a lot that your "friend" of 16 years did not ask you. I would say she doesn't hold your friendship on as high a pedestal as you may. The reason for having a Maid of Honor and Bride's Maids is an understanding that the bride will always have those women in her life to lean on and support her. They are the women she should be able to turn to, to help keep her on track. I don't mean to gossip about her husband to. I mean they are the people who can sense when something is wrong and hug her, or give her help in fixing whatever is wrong. It also sounds like she cares more of what her wedding will "look" like than what a wedding really means. I personally, would not even consider being a part of the bachelorette party for several reasons. The first being that as a wife and mother, I believe it is pretty disgusting to gawk at a stripper with a bunch of other women. I don't think you would appreciate your husband going to a strip club either. That's just my moral opinion. As far as the money goes, I would be in the same shoes as you, so I think I would call up my girlfriend and in the nicest way possible tell her that I really can't afford the cost of the party, and think it is rude to ask people to come to a party that they all have to pay for. Maybe then suggest hosting a fun night of finger foods, drinks, and games at your home, and send your husband and kids out for a few hours for some fun. Myself, I never understood the idea of getting drunk, looking at half naked men, and acting like immature, out of control girls the night before your wedding. If your suggestion doesn't sound appealing to your "friend", you may want to think about how good a friend she really is, and if you are just someone she is using. After all, your kids are in the wedding, but not you. Does she not know any other people with kids? Just a thought. I don't have one friend that would even think of putting me in the position you are in, and definitely none that would tell me what color my hair should be for the wedding. I might have even said at that point, "you are being a little obsessive about how your wedding guests will look, is something on your mind that you need to talk about." Sometimes these "bridezillas" need a slap in the face, figuratively speaking of course, even though you may have the urge to really smack her. Good luck.