Bachelor parties don’t come cheap. Bachelor party participants spend between $738, or $1,532, depending on travel and lodging requirements. But throwing a legendary party and pulling out all the stops seems fitting for the occasion. 

When it comes to settling the bill for this big blowout, there is often some disagreement, and as a groom, this can be difficult to navigate. Who pays for what is often a source of tension leading up to, during, and after the party. 

The best idea is to make sure all expenses are settled and split well before the party begins, and there is one rule that every bachelor party must follow no matter what: the groom doesn’t spend a single penny.

Who's Footing the Bill?

If there is one golden rule for a bachelor’s party, it is that the groom pays nothing. The groomsmen or party attendees usually pay for the entire party. Whatever you, the groom, wants, from drinks to food to a cab ride home, is on your buddies.

While this is usually straightforward, it doesn’t mean you have carte blanche to do whatever you want. No groomsman wants to be saddled with a massive bill because the groom decided to live like a rockstar for the weekend. Remember that the people footing the bill are your friends, don’t treat them like ATMs.

The best plan is to discuss a budget with all the groomsmen in advance, and then you can decide what sort of activities you want to do within that budget. If you go over budget, your friends might have to break the golden rule and make you cover some of your own expenses. 

Who Pays for What Exactly?

Every bachelor party group must decide what will be paid for and what won’t. This breakdown is different for every group and for every budget, but generally, the major events and activities and the groom’s accommodations are covered by the partygoers. 

Sometimes party attendees will plan on covering all the groom’s expenses, from snacks to drinks to hotel rooms. However, for other groups, they’ll only cover the big stuff, leaving the groom to purchase his own snacks and sundries. Allison Williams, author of Everlasting Occasion, says, “typically the groomsmen will cover the costs of their own travel, accommodations, drinks, food, and any other activities. They will not however, usually cover the cost of travel/accommodation for the groom, but will cover the rest.”

It is also proper bachelor party etiquette for the groom-to-be to offer to buy a round of drinks, morning coffees, dessert, or something small for the party-goers. The party may turn down your offer, but it is a respectful and kind gesture to make. 

Man Eating and Drinking at a Bachelor Party

Splitting the Bill Fairly

Splitting costs for anything can become contentious very quickly. Often, the divide and disagreements fall on how much money the person has compared to how much of the bill they are expected to cover. 

Some groups might include people from different socio-economic backgrounds, and for some, there is a notion that those with more money should pay a larger share of the party bill. While not unreasonable, this can quickly build resentment among partygoers and ruin the fun. 

The best way to split the costs is to establish a base party plan and split the costs evenly among all party goers minus the groom. But some partygoers might want to spend some extra money. They might want a nicer hotel room or fancier drinks. 

If they want to have them that’s okay, and if they want to treat the group even better, but they must understand that all extras are on them and will not come out of the group budget.

Ensure that the group planning the party gets and keeps all the receipts and invoices for all the party basics. This ensures that they calculate the total costs and split them evenly among the party-goers. 

Atypical Bachelor Party Ideas

Alternatives to a Traditional Bachelor Party Infographic

The stereotypical wild bachelor party where everyone gets hammered and can’t remember anything the next morning might make a great movie plot, but often, it’s not the type of night out the groom wants. 

If you are looking at your future bachelor party and don’t want to do something wild or crazy, that’s okay. The point of a bachelor party is to celebrate you, the groom, and your party should celebrate you in a way you like and feel comfortable with. 

Some great alternatives to the traditional bachelor party could be the perfect party for you. Here are some ideas:  

A different sort of destination party

Instead of partying at a casino in Vegas, head somewhere for the culture or the landscape. Camp in a national park like Yellowstone or Yosemite or hike a section of a long trail like the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest. 

Head to a country famous for history or food, Machu Picchu in Peru, the Louvre Museum in France, Sushi in Japan, or Whiskey in Ireland. Use this opportunity to expand everyone’s horizons and have a blast doing it. 

An extreme activity

Maybe you love a thrill, and doing something adventurous with your buddies might be the perfect bachelor’s party. Go skydiving, take a few laps in a race car, take motorcycle riding lessons, deep-sea fishing, or dive in a shipwreck. 

These high-adrenaline activities are excellent ways to bond with your mates, which is the whole reason behind a bachelor’s party. 

A “Groomshower”

Think of a baby shower or a bridal shower, but for you. Replace cakes and toys with whiskey and cigars, and you’re on the right track. For these types of parties, go to a classy location like an intimate bar or a nice Airbnb. Dress well for the occasion and drink whiskey made in one of your milestone years, a vintage from the year you graduated high school or college, the year you got your driver’s lesson or had your first legal drink. 

Each invitee can bring a gift for you in your new life, and the married men in the room can provide advice on how to be an amazing husband. 

When Should Payments Be Made

When to Make Payments?

It’s a hassle to make sure everyone has paid their fair share. It usually falls to the best man to round up all the money and make sure everything is properly accounted for. 

Rounding up money after the party can be a huge headache for your best man, especially if people from out of town have returned home and are hard to contact. There is a simple solution to avoid most issues: set a budget and ask for payment in advance. 

Setting a budget and sticking to it is always a sound plan, but setting a budget well in advance and requiring people to give you their funds before the trip helps people know what the party will cost them. It also makes sure the best man has the money in his account before cracking the first beer. 

There is no set rule on how long in advance payments should be made, but one to three months is a good ballpark. If any extra expenses come up in the final planning stage, everyone will be aware and adjust their budget accordingly. 

The Groom’s Special Night

A bachelor party is your special night; however, the normal rules of life still apply. Someone has to make the plans, and someone foots the bill. It is crucial to ensure that these parts of the party run as smoothly as possible and no one’s night ends up ruined. Plan ahead, make a complete budget, get money in advance, and make sure the groom parties for free. That way, you are all guaranteed to have a great time. 

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