Q: I am attending a bachelorette party soon and it just occurred to me that this may be the type of event where I’m expected to bring a bachelorette gift. Is that a thing? Or not? I was not invited to a shower, which I think was just her mom and closer friends. I am very happy with my role to show up, buy drinks, and help show the bride a good time. But… is everyone else going to arrive with cute packages of lingerie for the bride? And does that mean empty-handed me will be ordering another margarita?
Do I Need to Bring That Thong Thong Thong Thong Thong??
A: I think you’ve mostly got this bachelorette party puzzle solved! When you accept an invite to a bachelorette party a few things are required: 1) You must come ready for a good time. If you hate the bride, hate the party idea, are feuding with the maid of honor, or just simply don’t have fun in the way this party is going to require, just say no. There is no room for sulking at a bachelorette party. 2) Buy drinks! You’re right on track here. When attending a bachelorette party you should anticipate paying your own way and offering to treat the bride to a drink/portion of the affair, especially if this is just a night out in the town you all live in and not a weekend in Amsterdam. 3) Bachelorette gifts are a solid… maybe.
I know that’s not particularly helpful, but here’s the deal with bachelorette gifts. They are absolutely not required. In fact, I think bachelorette gifts should be avoided. At the end of the day, they are just another cost, and everything adds up. But I can’t promise that you won’t be the only person to not bring one. They’re more common in some groups of friends than others, and if you’re not super close you won’t know which kind you’re in until the thongs start flying. It sounds like you’d rather not buy a gift, but you would also rather not be the only one without one.
Fortunately for you, underwear is a perfectly appropriate bachelorette gift, and it’s small enough to tuck into a purse and deploy if needed. Personally I’m team bright and cheerful when buying lingerie for someone you don’t know well. Think cute and fun, not scandalous. Maybe this? Or perhaps this. Get a gift receipt, and if it isn’t a bachelorette gift kind of night, just return them. Or keep them. I’m not judging.
While we are talking about stuff you absolutely do not need to buy for a bachelorette party, allow me to add a few other suggestions: favors, goody bags, snack packs, and decorations for the bride’s hotel room for pictures. All this stuff sounds fun and cute and cheap individually. But the costs add up, and too often the person saying, “OMG we must all have matching beer mugs,” then allocates that cost to everyone equally, including “OMG must we all have matching beer mugs? What about my rent money” girl who is already stretching her pennies to attend. If you’re thinking of suggesting something along these lines, ask yourself if you’d be comfortable paying the entire cost if no one else wanted to contribute, and if the answer is no, ask whether the party really needs this thing.
Worst-case scenario, you end the night with an extra thong in your purse, and let’s not pretend it won’t come in handy sometime. Enjoy!