Bachelorette party at a restaurant, who pays?

I am the Brides Best Woman and sending evites (some guests are from London or traveling the world!, wedding & party is in Seattle) out for a “Girls Night Out” (the Bride asked not to call it a bachelorette or hen party to deter embarrassing gifts/actions) at a kitchy Mexican restaurant. The other wedding attendants are her best man: her brother, the grooms best woman: his sister, and best man: a friend from London. So the cost falls on me for the shower, the spa day for the two of us, the brides night before the wedding, the bachelorette/girls night out party and my out of state travel and lodging for a week. What I am wondering is: is it O.K. to ask the 12 invitees to the girls night out to pay for their own dinner and drinks except the bride? If so, how should I word it on the invitations and not sound tacky? The restaurant has also asked that we are all on one check since we reserved a room and they will automatically add the 15% gratuity, how do I tell people to bring a check or cash? Also when should I send the invitations? The girls night out is on March 31st.


Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Typically the invitees know that all of you are taking the bride out for the night. It might be best to ‘talk’ to each about the cost ahead of time. If that is not possible, try to arrange for a set choice of meals at this restaurant so you may include these with the cost of each to include in the invitation. This way your guests know that they need to choose their dinner and pay for it now. This is done for retirement parties all of the time and it works very well.

Also, you may wish to include an RSVP with a phone number so you can talk to each of them. This way you can slyly let them know that there are other costs involved. People usually realize this, but you never know.

Best wishes,


Thank you. I ended up putting, “Click on the website to view the yummy menu. Bride recommends the lime margaritas. Appetizers are on me.” Hopefully that will be clear that they are expected to pay for dinner and their drinks. How far ahead should I send out the invitations?

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Great ideas! I would send out the invitations at least six weeks ahead of the date. You will need that much time for the RSVPs and working with the restaurant.