Who pays for a bachelor party?
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Groom or groomsmen. Who pays for what?
Like anything money-related, it can be a tricky (and let’s be honest, awkward) conversation to navigate during the wedding planning process.
From accommodation, activities, and travel to food and drinks, bachelor party expenses can quickly add up.
We've all seen the Hollywood blockbusters. We know how crazy bachelor parties can get.
But while these crazy shindigs look like an absolute blast on the big screen,
In reality, they can be pretty expensive.
And how to split the bachelor party expenses is something that has become a huge question mark for groups everywhere.
So while there’s no strict “ universal rulebook” - we’d say there’s a fair amount of etiquette involved when it comes to divvying up the costs for your big bash.
But don’t fret! We’re here to clear up the confusion about who pays for what. And when… And what happens if you’re left with the tab at the end of the night?
So, how do you manage your expenses for the bachelor party?
Establish the main planner
Let’s face it, you have enough on your plate, to plan the actual wedding right?
The last thing on your mind is celebrating your final days of freedom before the big day.
And that’s why we appoint a best man.
Yes, that’s right, the buddy that you’ll sit next to on the bridal table.
He also gets the honor and responsibility of throwing you a bachelor party your friends will be talking about for years to come.
So we hope you’ve chosen well.
Now, traditionally the groom doesn’t always know the full details of the event.
Heck, some bachelor parties are a complete surprise to the groom from start to finish!
But if potentially falling out of a plane from 15,000 feet, just isn't your jam.
Make sure you consult your best man before he pops his adventurous planning hat on!
Put together a cohesive budget
First things first, you’ll need to choose your guest list. That way you can determine your group's budget.
House, hotel, transport, activities, travel… the list goes on.
You’ll need prices for everything. Try not to leave a stone unturned here, so you can be as accurate as possible when providing an approximate cost to guests.
Again, this is another job for your best man, or brother, or whoever is taking the reins on this one. So one less thing for you to worry about. Phew!
They can then come up with a plan and let the groomsmen and attendees know the date and time, location, activities, and most importantly, how much it’s going to cost.
So that’s the boring stuff out of the way.
After that, is where it gets fun…
Now they can start booking the big ticket items!
We’ll discuss all these things in detail below.
But for now, let’s just say that it's typical for groomsmen to split the costs, (and cover the cost of the groom) for the duration of the bachelor party.
That’s right if you’re lucky, you won’t be spending a penny!
At this point, the best man can decide to collect payment before booking, after booking, or after the whole trip.
But that’s really up to his bank balance, and his relationship with the other guests.
Best to let him decide this one.
Ensure everyone can afford the expenses
Now this is unfortunately not the time to carry people (cash-wise, not literally - we can’t guarantee that won’t happen!)
If someone can't afford to pitch into the bachelor party, it might be best to suggest they hang up their metaphorical groomsman tux.
No one wants to spend a night out stuck dragging that one guy around from bar to bar, right?
The one who expects everyone else to cover their share of the expenses.
But times that feeling by ten, when you’re stuck with him for an extended period of time.
And alcohol is involved.
There should be no fights at the bachelor party, let’s try to stick to this one rule.
You want to make it a night to remember (for the right reasons!)
Pre-book transport and accommodation
Remember, the more you save on flights and accommodation, the more cash you can splash having a good time.
But please, please, take our word for it. Book ahead of time.
Not only will it save you $$$,
But imagine turning up in a new place, venue, or city and not being able to find somewhere to stay?
What a nightmare!
And if you do find somewhere, it can be pricey! Which may eat into your budget.
Trust us, it just isn’t worth the risk.
Make reservations ASAP!
To avoid a ‘Hangover’ type situation where someone disappears on a night out…
Or wakes up with a facial tattoo…
It’s probably best, for everyone involved, to make a plan of attack and stick to it.
Going for a fancy dinner? Or to the local dive bar?
It doesn’t matter.
Set out meeting points and times, before the group even leaves the hotel.
And, have a way of communicating with each other if you get separated. (Hello, group chat!)
Getting lost can not only be frightening, but it can also be expensive.
Not only that, you don’t want to bethat guy. Do you?
So let’s get to it. Who pays for what at a bachelor party?
The politics of paying your way at your own bachelor party can be a tough one to navigate.
But don’t worry, we’re here to help you get it right.
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Now, traditionally, the best man and the groomsmen both plan the groom’s bachelor party and foot the bill. (It’s a tough gig, right?)
That means they’ll usually pay for the entertainment, food, drinks, and accommodation for themselves and split your share, then other attendees cover their own share of the costs.
But with such a wide and varying range of activities, this can quickly get pricey for your ride-or-die groom crew.
So, let’s break it down and take a look at who should really cough up for these individual event expenses and just how expensive it’s really going to get.
From golf days, go-karting, and overseas trips to the classic guys’ nights out, the world is truly your oyster on this one.
But before you (or your best man) book the brewery tours, bar crawls, and crack that expensive vintage bottle of whiskey, best to make sure you know who is covering what.
Splitting the fees for entertainment and events isn’t always expected, but it’s nice to be treated right?
But don’t make your groomsmen feel obligated to pay for events that exceed what is doable for the whole group.
This means that depending on the activities that have been chosen, you might want to contribute something…
But how do you know?
Let’s just say, if your bachelor party is one night out, just kick back and let your groom's crew pay for you…
After all, what’s the cost of several shots of Maker’s Mark between friends?
If your ‘last night of freedom’ has somehow morphed into a destination trip, embrace it!
But be warned, the expenses can add up.
So despite the groomsmen's protests, it might be time to put your foot down and your hand in your pocket if things are starting to add up.
Carpooling on a long trip? Offer to split the gas.
Lucky enough to be going away on a bachelor party vacay? Offer to pay your contribution towards the big ticket items like your flights…
And save their contributions for the entertainment, a lap dance or two and a round, or 10, of drinks!
Speaking of going away, if your bachelor party is going to be more than a one-day affair, then you’re going to need somewhere to sleep!
Now, unless your best man has hired out a mega-mansion in the Maldives, you really shouldn’t be paying to stay.
This weekend is really all about celebrating you, after all!
However, if, as mentioned previously, costs are adding up. We suggest you (at least offer to) chip in for accommodation.
Whether it be a motel, hotel, or holiday inn…
It’s best to keep things simple - whether you’re paying or not.
We recommend having one person (here’s looking at you again, best man) book the lodging in advance and have each guest pay him back for their share.
Bear in mind that everyone has their own ideas about types of accommodation, and different budgets, so best to not go overboard.
After all, the fun will be had away from the hotel the majority of the time, it's just a place to rest your head.
Though like any good rule, there’s always an exception…
If your best man is planning the bachelor party to end all bachelor parties, and your groomsmen all have wallets packed with cash.
Then you’ll want to make sure your lodging has all the bells and whistles. Because why not?
And don’t forget the champagne on ice!
Food and Drinks
Eating out at a fancy restaurant or placing the biggest order the local Domino's has ever seen with their own eyes?
It’s typically a nice gesture for guests to cover the groom's meals. (Lucky you!)
Groomsmen and guests are responsible for their own food and beverages, so they’ll probably just order as they normally would, and take turns adding your drink to each of their tabs. Win!
If you’re feeling fresh and you and the guys decide to hit the club or kick back for cocktails, after dinner, you’d probably expect they’ll also take it in turns to go to the bar.
However, don’t make a big deal if you have to put your hand in your pocket at this point.
Or if someone forgets to pay their tab. It’s easy to forget who’s round it is after a few drinks have been consumed. And they are your best friends, after all!
Cheers to that!
Costumes and Decorations
Accessorizing is so much fun at a bachelor party.
It helps get everyone in the party spirit and of course, brings the group together.
Plus, it makes the pictures super Instagram-able.
But it doesn’t have to be all Borat mankinis and Hawaiian shirts.
Let’s keep it classy.
But who buys the outfits?
The best man is usually in charge of the party swag but since everyone will be wearing (or using) them, often it’s a good idea to split the total end cost.
That way no one ends up footing the whole bill,
Or the only one without a costume. Awks.
You’ve booked your flights,
made the plane,
and dropped your bags at the hotel.
The plan is all in place.
It’s time to kick back, relax, bust out those disco moves and enjoy your night (or weekend)...
Armed with all the knowledge you now need to ensure your party goes off without a hitch!
And there’s no ambiguity over the financials.
Thanks, best man.
So we’ll leave you with one last thought for the road…
He who controls the purse controls the party.
So make sure you have the right man for the job, in charge…