Anyone who has ever been involved in a wedding, be it as a guest or member of the bridal party, knows that attending this celebration of love is no frugal undertaking. From transportation to attire to the wedding gift, there's a lot that (unfortunately) goes into the big day financially. But, being asked to participate in the bachelorette or bachelor party is an entirely separate, expensive entity, and one study broke down exactly how much celebrants are spending on last-fling-before-the-ring weekends. Surprise, surprise—it's a lot.
Tavel rewards company Upgraded Points researched 24 popular party destinations across the country, gathering expense information for airfare, hotel fees, dining, and entertainment over the course of a three-day weekend (because no one settles for a one-night bash anymore). Ultimately, partygoers have quite a bit to budget for—the findings discovered that the national average for bachelor and bachelorette weekends fell within the $1,400 range (yikes).
Breaking down the results further, Upgraded Points discovered that New York City proved to be the most expensive bach party venue overall (averaging $1,958), as well as the priciest spot in terms of hotels, food, beer, and show tickets (no surprise here). San Fransisco came at a close second, also amassing high fees for hotel stays and beer.
As for airfare, statistics from the Bureau of Transportation cited Houston as having the most costly plane tickets—$420.57, on average. Dallas and Charleston, South Carolina, came hot on Houston's heels for not-so-budget-friendly airfare as well. And, for avid liquor drinkers, you'll end up paying a pretty penny in both Key West and Miami, spending about $260 on beverages over the course of a three-day weekend.
However, none of this means that the bride, groom, and friends are obligated to max out credit card for the sake of any pre-wedding festivities.
"Bachelor and bachelorette parties should provide lifelong memories because of the fun and celebration involved—not because of the cost," says Alex Miller, founder of Upgraded Points. "That's why we decided to look into where people were having a great time celebrating, yet managing to do so affordably. If you're going to ask party guests to join you, and pull out those credit cards, then discovering some of these lesser known, but still fun economic destinations might be a good idea."
According to Upgraded Points, more budget-friendly hotspots include Phoenix (cheapest hotels and food!), Austin, Texas (most affordable show tickets!), Milwaukee (more cost-friendly hotels!), and Memphis (even more inexpensive lodging!). Las Vegas also earned the title of least expensive bachelor or bachelorette party venue, based on the study. You can also save a buck or two by using rewards points or travel credit cards to book transportation and lodging.
At the end of the day, it's not impossible to plan an affordable, fun-filled weekend with your nearest and dearest before your wedding day, and partygoers will be thankful for it. Besides, no bride or groom wants to let any friend stressing over drink costs put a damper on their celebration (don't be that friend).