How to Throw a Cheap (but Fun!) Bachelorette Party on a College Budget

Money can be tight when you're a student, but these tips will help you save while still making (and forgetting) memories.
September 20, 2018
8 mins read

Besides the wedding day, bachelorette parties are one of the most looked-forward-to events of an engagement. For the bride, bachelorette parties are an opportunity to celebrate with close friends and family that might have moved states apart.

However, being a college bride can place quite a few restrictions on how much money is allotted for the weekend, especially if the bridesmaids are also in college. Travel, alcohol and gifts are just a few expenses to consider, and the costs can pile up right before your eyes if you’re not careful.

If you want your bride to have a blast without setting off a bomb in your own bank account, consider these tips for a cheap, yet fun, bachelorette party.

1. Think twice about all the penis-shaped party favors.

I know what you’re thinking: “wHat’S a bAchEloreTte pArTy wItHouT pEnIseS?” Well, still a bachelorette party. Although this idea has been a running gag for god knows how long, when will the bride actually use a penis-shaped cake pan?

Instead of spending money on phallic confetti and suckers, pool it together for a nice dinner where the bride can be showered with wine-tasting and fancy dessert. She won’t be too torn up about the lack of penis decorations anyway; she’s already got her own at home that she plans to spend forever with.

2. Consider the bride’s interests.

My sister’s own bachelorette party was last weekend and if there’s anything you need to know about her, it’s that she hates everything. No, seriously. She is an introvert through and through, and any social interaction makes her want to crawl into a dark hole and never resurface.

With this in mind, it probably would’ve sent her into cardiac arrest had the bridal party forced her to get on stage at a club and perform for a ton of strangers. Even though bachelorette parties are centered around the bride, forcing them into situations they would otherwise despise is never a good idea. For my sister, buying a 5-foot-by-5-foot large pepperoni pizza and playing Cards Against Humanity was the best part of her weekend. If the bride isn’t an extravagant individual with lavish taste, don’t push it.

Instead of spending hundreds on over-the-top party favors and drinks at the club, go for sentiment instead. If your bride is a shy individual, she will appreciate the lack of spotlight, and so will your bank account.

3. Try to stick to an itinerary.

A layout of the weekend allows everyone to save up beforehand. Designate one bridesmaid to organize a schedule for each day (while consulting the bridal party of course) and put estimates by each event so that no one is bombarded with an unforeseen expense.

The bridesmaids can also prepare to cover the costs for the bride if they have the where’s and when’s planned ahead of time. The itinerary needs to be subject to change, however, if the bride finds something that doesn’t spark her interest. Find a healthy balance between what’s set in stone and what’s up to the special lady. Either way, setting up a rough draft of the weekend can bring everyone peace of mind as they begin to save the money.

4. Pick games that involve laughs, not cash.

Games are a great way to break the ice if some of the bridesmaids aren’t super close, or haven’t even met yet. Cards Against Humanity is one game that is sure to get everyone acquainted in a matter of minutes.

If no one owns this raunchy party game, however, have no fear. One game everyone can play that centers around the bride is a simple trivia contest. Prior to the party, allot one bridesmaid to type up a short quiz with questions pertaining to the bride: first job, favorite food, etc. Each bridesmaid can fill out the questionnaire and whoever answers the most correctly wins a small prize. Not only does this idea cost little to nothing, but it also allows the bride to find out who knows her best.

For a more outgoing bride, propose a photo challenge. If you plan on spending one night out on the town, a photo challenge is a sure way to ignite laughter and create some great memories. Tons of templates exist on the internet for the bride’s liking, with some including challenges like “high-five a police officer” and “take a shot with another bride.” Everyone can enjoy the unique photos the next day, and the story behind them will be worth more than any amount of money could buy.

Pro-tip: If you do plan to go out, invest in a sash for the bride. Free drinks for days.

5. Take advantage of the first free Uber ride

Yeah, you read correctly. If you’ve never used Uber before, the first ride is free. Chances are the bridal party will be consuming alcohol at some point throughout the bachelorette celebration and the question of how to get home will plague everyone’s thoughts.

If everyone is staying in a hotel for the weekend, try to find one that is within walking distance to the bars. This may not be the easiest task, and sometimes taking a car is inevitable. Hopefully, one bridesmaid hasn’t dived into the world of Uber and saves all the sisters by downloading the app and using her free trial.

Bachelorette parties don’t have to be extravagant to be memorable. The bride will find the most joy in gathering her favorite people in one place and celebrating her engagement. Whether you plan to get drunk all weekend or stay in and watch “Twilight,” the party will be memorable. Be safe, have fun, and seriously, think twice before you actively decide to spend money on penis straws.

Tori Ihnen, Fort Hays State University

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Tori Ihnen

Fort Hays State University

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