From the engagement to the nuptials, the road to “I do” is paved with dollar signs. While a wedding is a special moment (and rightfully so), the expectations for a bridesmaid have become astronomical and they put a heavy burden on everyone’s bank account.

We love our brides, but has the ideal bachelorette party gotten out of hand? Is it even about the bride anymore?

Here’s the pivotal question: If you say yes to being a bridesmaid, do financial requirements come with the territory, or are we asking too much of our friends for a memorable bridal send-off?

"Do It for the Gram"

A friend of mine hosted a bachelorette party over the weekend in Newport, Rhode Island, with over a dozen other girls. I will keep her anonymous to allow her total freedom of expression when it came to the price tag. Between a place to stay, special activities for the gang, adult beverages, and food, the weekend personally cost her around $2,500.

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“I think it’s become a contest of who can have the most Instagramable or TikTok-worthy bachelorette, with no regard for cost,” she said. “It’s about who looks better on social media. No longer is it just about giving the bride a good night out, it’s a whole vacation.”

When I Was the Bridesmaid

At this point in my life, I have been a bridesmaid and a bride. When I was a bridesmaid, I wanted to give my friends a memorable experience that they would talk about for years to come, but I knew my limits. However, I felt immense guilt when it came to saying no.

I found myself saying yes to any and all ideas, even when it was out of my price range. Truthfully, I think my ego would get the better of me. I didn’t want to be the one to rain on the parade or admit I couldn’t afford it. I also didn’t want to miss out and get left behind.

When I Was the Bride

When I was the bride, I made it very clear that I didn’t want the experience to be a financial burden. My requests were simple: Drinks, dancing and good company. Still, I knew the girls went above and beyond. They succeeded in giving me a moment to remember, but arguments and stress shouldn’t have to come with the territory.

Not All Brides are Alike, But the Struggle is Real

I understand that not every bachelorette party is a burden, and not all people are in the same financial bracket, but I think the conversation needs to be had about what is expected of the bridesmaid when they say “yes” to participating in the wedding.

Let’s be real. You can’t say no to your friend’s wedding, but when the demands of matching shirts, decorations, vacations and spa days start flying around, the stress becomes all too real.

What do you think? Is it time to set more realistic standards for bachelorette weekends, or do we, as bridesmaids, bite the bullet?

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