So many wedding invites and events, so little time—and, ahem, so little money. If you've reached a point in your life where many of your friends are getting married at the same time, it can be difficult to attend each and every celebratory event. One of the more expensive parts of being in a wedding is figuring out how to swing a destination bachelorette party, especially if you're expected to pitch in for the bride's trip in addition to picking up your portion of the bill.
Though your best friends will understand your dilemma, it somehow feels awkward to express your situation in a thoughtful way. Instead of putting off the conversation until a week before takeoff, consider these tactics to put your best foot forward and keep your friendship strong, all while standing up for your finances.
Talk in person.
Get on the bride's calendar and calmly explain that while you'd love to, you simply can't swing the bachelorette party. You don't need to make tons of excuses for yourself, but do be empathetic that she might be disappointed and may try to guilt you into coming. The purpose of having this important conversation in person is that you can fully explain yourself, face-to-face, relieving the risk of misunderstandings and unneeded texting tiffs.
Send a care package to the hotel.
If the whole squad is heading to Miami or Las Vegas and staying at a fancy hotel, you could easily spend upwards of $1,000 a person. That might be out of your budget, but a $100 care package? That's probably something you can afford. Inside, you can put together a collection of bachelorette-party must-haves that'll make the experience one-of-a-kind, and remind her that, even if you're not there in person, you're always there in spirit.
Consider helping the other guests split the bride's cost.
Tradition states that a bride never pays her own way for the bachelorette party, but most modern women will want to pay for their own airfare and hotel room for a destination bash. Even so, the group will likely want to treat her to dinner and drinks during their stay. If the bridal party is super-small, consider offering to chip in to help cover the cost of the bride's expenses. It's a gesture that won't go unnoticed.
Buy a round at a restaurant.
If your financial situation won't allow you to help out in other way, you can always spend just $50 to grab a bottle of champagne or a round of cocktails at one of the restaurants the group has a reservation at. This could be the ultimate surprise, since the bride definitely won't see it coming. Most establishments allow people to call ahead and put their credit card down.