Q: For my bachelorette party, my bridesmaids and I are thinking of planning a day cruise. Are they expected to pay for their own tickets? Do you have any other suggestions that might be less costly?
A: Bridesmaids are expected to pick up the tab for a bachelorette party, whether it’s a cruise, a dinner at a restaurant or a night on the town. If it’s an expensive ticket, don’t be surprised if some of them beg off for financial reasons. After all, they’ve had to purchase a dress and accessories, plan and pay for a bridal shower and will give you gifts for both the shower and the wedding. Add it all up and the amount might easily come to several hundred dollars!However, there are some equally fun and less pricey options for you and your friends. Weather permitting, have a pool party and barbecue and ask everyone to contribute a dish. Plan a bowling night or go to an amusement park. You can also stay home and have a spa slumber party, in which you treat yourselves to facials, manicures and pedicures, and watch movies and reminisce. Consider a wine-tasting party and let each attendant bring her favorite bottle of wine. Serve cheese and crackers, fruit and a variety of hors d’oeuvres, and finish with a chocolate fondue. Or take the party outdoors and go horseback riding, camping or hiking. Remember, just being together and having an opportunity to share this special time will make any gathering with your bridesmaids fun and memorable.