It is a universally acknowledged fact that being a bride is expensive, but taking on the role of bridesmaid can be just as financially tricky. From the dress to all of the travel expenses, the price of being a bridesmaid can quickly add up to a sizable sum. But is the bride responsible for covering costs when a bridesmaid simply can't make ends meet? Our etiquette experts weigh in on the complex question of whether or not a bride should foot the bill for a cash-strapped bridesmaid's bachelorette party travel expenses.
Having your bridesmaids on hand for bachelorette party shenanigans is half the fun of the celebration, but travel expenses can be prohibitive when combined with other wedding-related costs. Before agreeing to finance your bridesmaid's plane, train, or automobile, you may want to make sure news of your extra help doesn't cause friction amongst other members of your bridal party. If your bridesmaid appears to be receiving special favors when other members of the group are also financially strained, you could be setting yourself up for a volatile situation. Try to find a solution that is more cost-effective for the group at large instead of simply focusing on the bridesmaid who has revealed she can't afford the expense.
First, research any travel deals or discounts you might be able to offer your bridesmaids. If the other members of your bridal party are amenable, look into group rates on travel and lodging. Group rates are often preferable to single fares, so booking en masse may be the best solution for everyone involved. Your chosen destination may also provide all-inclusive vacation packages including entertainment, food, and travel at a steeply discounted price.
You may also consider splitting the travel expenses with your bridesmaid instead of taking on the full brunt of the travel bill. If there is no other option but to pay your bridesmaid's way for the bachelorette party, by all means do so — but only after attempting to reduce overhead for the entirety of your bridal party.