Who Plans and Pays for Bridal Shower and Bacherlorette Party?

Updated on January 20, 2013
J.D. asks from Charleston, WV
16 answers

Hello Moms~

My neice and her boyfriend are planning a wedding for next year, and she has asked me to be her Maid of honor. Each will have 10 people standing up for them, all much closer in age to them than I am.

Am I responsible for planning and paying for both the bachelorette party and bridal shower?

I love my neice dearly,and want to believe that she is asking me to do this out of love. But a part of me suspects that she may be having me be the Maid of Honor because she feels I am in a position to pay for the events. On a side note, I live 3 hours away from her while the rest of the wedding party lives in the same city as she does.

Thanks for your thoughts on this~

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answers from St. Louis on

The shower and bachelorette party are supposed to be planned and paid for by the wedding party. Usually the maid of honor organizes it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

There's no rule saying she MUST have a bachelorette party. Her best friend will probably step up and do it, sometimes the night before the wedding and sometimes the same night as the bridal shower.

You and the rest of the bridal party can pay for the bridal shower together if that's what you want. If her mother or someone else steps up and chooses to plan and pay for the bridal shower, that could happen too.

If you don't want to contribute to cost or you can't afford to contribute, then you need to have a conversation with the rest of the bridal party to see what everyone else is thinking. Talk to the mother and sisters and best friend of the bride. Talk to the mother and sister of the groom. There are so many options here that you're not bound to be the only one paying for things.

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answers from San Francisco on

I was my BFF's maid of honor years ago. Since she had no family/money to speak of, and since she and her hubby paid for the whole wedding themselves, the other bridesmaids and I split the cost of the shower evenly, and the bachelorette party was nothing more than a rented limo and dinner and drinks in the city, which we again, split equally.
I was "in charge" of the planning, and a big part of that was working within a budget up front. Let your niece know how much you can spend towards these events and ask her how she would like to fund the rest. Either she can pitch in herself, or she can ask the bridal party to pitch in.
Be very clear about what you can do and offer up front so there are no misunderstandings or unreasonable expectations going forward.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Bachelorette party is generally thrown by the bridesmaids, not just the maid of honor. However, depending on the party itself, all guests may be expected to chip in some. For example, if you're staying at a hotel, it's ok to ask guests to pay, as long as you're up front from the beginning about what the expense will be. It is nice if the bridal party pays for at least one whole meal (for everyone) and usually for any extras, like alcohol or snacks for the hotel room, silly things for the bride to wear (if you're into that), decorations, etc.

As for showers, the culture of that has changed some. It used to be commonplace for family members, such as aunts or cousins, or close family friends to host the shower. Lately, it has become more common for the bridesmaids to do it.

No matter what, it is NOT the exclusive responsibility of the maid of honor. The entire bridal party should pay equally for these events.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

No. You need to sit down with her and iron this out. Tell her that you want to talk about what she would like you, as maid of honor, to do for her. Tell her that you want specifics.

Listen to what she says. Then tell her that you are happy to do the legwork of making reservations, etc. However, she needs to understand that you cannot and will not pay for these parties.

If you REALLY think she is using you for your money, you need to bow out of this. You live pretty far away and it will be hard for you to do anything other than place reservations. You won't be able to even give her a shower. Someone in her city will need to do that.

Please, work on this NOW. Don't wait. She needs a reality check if she thinks that you are going to pay for two big parties, a dress, a shower gift and a wedding gift. Ugh!!


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

Neither a shower nor a bachelorette party is required in order for a couple to marry. I've been married three times and never had either one, nor did I expect them.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Where we live usually the maid of honor plans these events, but the attendants all pitch in..

Condider. basic shower, mid priced shower and super fancy shower.. get some numbers together and see how much each attendant can pitch in.. Since I do not have much money, Usually I offered my house and offered to cook the food.. and had attendants, split the cost of the food.

Then one attendant was in charge of the invites and RSVP.. Another for games and prizes and another decorations.. etc..

Then same thing with Bachelorette party..

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

The whole wedding party should help plan the parties, so just ask the bride for the email addresses of the other gals and reach out for ideas of where to have the shower and bachelorette party and how much they want to spend per person. Ask for volunteers for who can send out the invitations and who can help with food, drinks, etc. If you all decide to have the shower at a residence, someone will have to volunteer to host near the bride. OR you will all have to agree to split the cost for a different venue. I think the first step would be to ask your niece if anyone has volunteered to be in charge of the shower yet..and if not you can take it from there and ask for emails, phone numbers, etc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I was told to ask my older sister to be my matron of honor by my mom. She said it was the right thing to do. So I did it. I also invited my friends to be my maids of honor.

I seriously didn't want my sister to do anything for me. I wanted to do stuff with my friends. So if you and she aren't that close and she may have had someone tell her she should do this then I wouldn't expect to pay for anything extra or to throw any big parties.

You can ask her what she expects you to do. As 1st time bride I thought the one person you put above everyone else was basically "your" own person to help you get dressed and ready on your wedding day, you know, like zip my zipper, hand me my veil so I didn't have to get up and go get it while holding my hair just right, hold my train up so I could go pee, this sort of stuff. I didn't get a shower or anything else like that from any bridesmaids or attendants at all.

Ask her what she wants you to do. Be specific. She may not want you to do anything. She may have just picked someone that could afford a cute dress too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

Usually the bridal party and mother of the bride will plan the bridal party and all chip in to pay for it. Same for a bacherlorette party. I dont think any one person can (or should) pay for the entire party. I would talk to her mom and friends and start from there.

Good Luck!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Girl, you got SCREWED! Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

Usually the maid of honor handles the bachelorette party. Then the mom of the bride to be, and sometimes the groom will host the bridal shower.

Anymore there doesn't seem to be an definitive answer as to who pays for what. When I got married I was 30, was already living w/ my fiance so we payed for our wedding. I didn't ask for or expect anything from anyone.
My maid of honor and sister paid for my bachlorette party, and my mom and mil did our wedding shower.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Wedding party all chips in!!!



answers from Kansas City on

I just hosted a bridal shower today. There are 4 bridesmaids...me, future SIL, and two sisters. The two sisters are hosting her "family" shower--4 hours away. The SIL and I hosted her "friends" shower in town. The SIL and I split it 50/50.

Ten bridesmaids seems excessive! Maybe you can host the "family" shower and the friends can host a "friends" shower. If you did one shower, just ask each girl to chip in $40-$50. Then, you can plan it!

Also, everyone chips in on the bachelorette party. We are doing a limo and dinner. The 4 of us are splitting the limo and we're all paying for our own dinner.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I was MOH for my best friend and I covered the bridal shower 100%.
We didn't have a bachelorette party ( bride was in the middle of job change and cross country move) but when I have been in other wedding parties, the bridesmaids & MOH split the cost.



answers from Columbus on

First of all I'm surprised she asked you to be the Maid of Honor. I understand you love her but do you fit the description of best friend, sister, etc.? Something sounds a little off here.

As for paying for everything, NO!!! It actually used to be in bad taste for a family member to throw the shower, etc. but times have changed in that aspect. I think you need to talk to your niece and just ask what she expects as to showers and parties. Then have some of her bridesmaids help with everything including the planning, paying for stuff, etc. It's not fair for you to pay for everything. But remember if you are not paying for everything, then you will also relinquish total control. lol!! Just a thought!!

I also think it odd that living so far away she has asked you to be the Maid of Honor.

Good luck!!!

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