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Party Foul: Coming Empty Handed

Recently I attended a friend's destination bachelorette party. I was having a lovely time until one of the organizers asked everyone to get their present. I looked around panic stricken and wondered how I didn't know about this special surprise. Apparently, a group of the girls decided to get flashy presents — lingerie, boas, sunglasses — for the bride to wear on our big night out. I loved the idea, but wondered why we weren't all included?

Giving out details to select guests or informing only a group of guests that gifts are expected is not cool. Not only does it make the hostess look bad — why have a party if you're not going to include everyone in the fun? — but it's rude and will leave guests feeling uncomfortable and out of place.

Has anyone been in a similar situation? Please share your bachelorette horror stories below!

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Join The Conversation
sundrops sundrops 8 years
Frika, you said it!! Just having someone go all out and throw a party for me is gift enough. Anything on top of that is icing on the cake.
mommysugar mommysugar 8 years
My wonderful bridesmaids planned a weekend bachelorette party for me in Santa Barbara. To say thanks, I bought victoria secrets lingerie, foot petals, and a party cd for each and everyone of my guests. I got nothing which was fine b/c it was a bachelorette party not a bridal shower, but it gets worse. One of my BM's BF made her a cd and sent a teddy bear with her for the trip. (very thoughtful and sweet) My other "attention loving" MOH called her boyfriend to complain that he didn't live up to her expectations b/c he didn't do anything thoughtful. That BF ended up sending her a bouquet of roses sent to our room the next morning. I opened the door, thinking it was for me (the Bride to be), but nope, it was for the MOH! WTF!!! Who does that? It was so inconsiderate of the moh and the bf. I felt embarassed, let down, and it totally ruined my mood for the whole trip. Needless to say, I'm not that close to the "upstaging" friend anymore.
crystalvillage06 crystalvillage06 9 years
I don't think gifts are required at a bachelorette party but most people have a shower/party combination now in which case you would bring gifts. I just hosted a lingerie shower/ bachelorette party and was surprised at the people that didn't bring gifts. It's not as though they were paying for anything else. I paid for and hosted the shower and I still brought a gift. I guess everyone has different opinions on it.
emalove emalove 9 years
VERY uncool. I would have been totally annoyed.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
I think it's a regional thing -- All the bachelorette parties I've attended, there was gift-giving. Also, personally, whenever I'm invited to a social event, I never come empty-handed, even if it's just a hostess gift. That's my personal etiquette. A small complaint I have is when the hostess forgets to check with guests for food allergies (if food will be served). I can't tell you how many times I've been left out of eating (and remained starving) because the hostess included something I was allergic to. In my opinion, that's a rude oversight. I've considered retrieving my hostess gift, and going home (just kidding, just kidding!).
ash_marisa ash_marisa 9 years
Every b-party I've been to all the girls have always gotten the bride a gag gift or a small piece of lingerie....it would seem odd to me to show up w/o anything....maybe its a regional thing?
amandalynnmc amandalynnmc 9 years
Gah. I've totally been there. I went to a party once where there was no formal invite, just word of mouth. I show up and we all start hanging out and then pretty much everyone has a gift of some lingerie or something to give to the bride. I looked like a total a**hole.
Frika Frika 9 years
I don't think gifts are required AT ALL for a bachelorette. The invitation should have said something like, "bring something funny/embarrassing for the bride to be to wear all night out". I just had my bachelorette this weekend, and never wanted anything, their gift was being there, and all chipping in to cover expenses, my drinks and food. Which I already felt silly enough about. Just because you're invited to something DOES NOT mean you have to bring a gift. As a host, when you throw a party, you don't do it to get presents, wine or whatever do you? If someone likes to bring a gift that's fine. When I have guests over it's because I like to, and want to treat them, I expect nothing but their company and a good time! Now you have me worried about throwing a bachelorette for my best friend in August...though I'm sure I'll be the one to go over the top, and hope that none of the guests feel like they NEEDED to bring/buy/make something. I think I'm done ranting now....
bonnie0914 bonnie0914 9 years
I just had my bachelorette party a few weekends ago and was entirely surprised to get gifts! A few of my friends brought a gift or something silly, and the others didn't. Didn't matter to me either way, especially since they paid for my drinks all night which was a very nice gift in itself. This is definitely an awkward and unnecessary situation, but I bet the bride didn't mind.
asjs5 asjs5 9 years
I have had that happen to me at a bridal shower. All the bridesmaids (I was one) said that since we were paying for the shower we weren't going to get gifts. Then the day of everyone showed up with a gift saying they felt bad not getting something. Um, okay but you could WARN ME. So I looked like the jac--ss. Ugh.
Marci Marci 9 years
I've never been to a bachelorette party where gifts were included, either. I would've been mortified if I were in your shoes too, Party. Not to mention annoyed. I think the gift thing with the brides goes too far sometimes, and the bachelorette party gift idea tips the scales for me. I give a really nice shower gift, and I give a great wedding gift. But I won't give above and beyond that. It's just too much, IMHO.
Fashion Fashion 9 years
Shoneyjoe, I say do what your fashionable heart pleases. If you'll be more comfortable in a suit, wear a suit. But if you're one who doesn't mind standing out and looking dapper, I say go with the tux! You know what I would have done if I were in your shoes? I'd choose the tux because there's nothing better than looking, and feeling, sharp :) xo.
diasin diasin 9 years
The bride wanted a dream bachelorette in Vegas so we paid for ALL her expenses for the weekend - hotel suite at The Venetian, any food or drink she consumed, taxis, show tickets, and souvenir photos with the obligatory beefcake stripper guys. I even had to pay for the snacks she ate on the drive to Vegas and gas for the car she rode in (even though I flew in!). The MOH (bride's sister) and one bridesmaid gave the bride lingerie but the other bridesmaid and I didn't bring gifts because we figured the bachelorette party weekend was our (very expensive!) gift to the bride. And here's the kicker - the weekend was a total dud. Nobody wanted to "stay out late" and go out to clubs or get smashing drunk, especially the bride!
shoneyjoe shoneyjoe 9 years
All of this talk of party foul and such has me a little nervous for wedding season, so I throw myself upon your mercy and expertise. I'm going to a wedding in DC later this month that has been requested black tie. I know that a few of the men close to the groom are choosing to wear suits rather than tuxes. Having heard this, my brother and father are also choosing to wear suits rather than tuxes. Should I follow suit (sorry!) and stick with my family for the sake of uniformity, or wear a tux as it had been requested?
Segat1 Segat1 9 years
Err, you always take a gift to a party, no matter what type.
laurelm laurelm 9 years
It would suck if you did not know theme, but I buy a gift for the bachelorette for a party, I assume it is expected unless otherwise stated.
tngirly tngirly 9 years
I have never been to a bachelorette party where gift giving is part of the program. And I have been to several!
kayla74 kayla74 9 years
I went to a bachelorette party once and the hostess/maid of honor paid for tons of food, prizes for games, the works. She told us all to bring some type of gift card so I brought a Home Depot gift card (my friend loves Home Depot) and attached it to a pretty potted plant. The hostess saves her gift for last and pulls out this HUGE gift basket full of goodies. It totally didn't fit the theme of the gifts she told us to bring plus it made us look cheap by just handing over a gift card (although mine was for quite a lot of money). It was very tacky on her part.
uaintkidin uaintkidin 9 years
I once had a small gathering of friends get together and celebrate Thanksgiving/Christmas, but unknown to me (I lived a few hours away from everyone and did not see them as much) the group had agreed to exchange gifts. So, I had to sit there while people gave me (and my husband) a few gifts and I had nothing but an excuse to give them. I felt awful. And will never forget that the "hostess" of the party "forgot" to tell us.
Happsmjc Happsmjc 9 years
That sucks Party! I just assume that every bachelorette party requires gifts (more money to spend on weddings this summer I guess). For a wedding I'm going to in August I hadn't even gotten the bachelorette party invite yet, but was in Victoria's Secret, and some cute lingerie was on sale so I scooped it up at 1/2 off! I usually give some lingerie, but people can give gag gifts, or stuff for the honeymoon. One friend got a cute beach bag filled with magazines, sun block, towels--which was cute!
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
Sorry girl, but uh, this is just coming from my "only been to two bachelorette parties" experience, but even my inexperienced dumb-ass has kind of deduced that you're ALWAYS supposed to bring a present to a bachelorette party, right? I mean I think its just the given assumption that you can either give her a funny gag gift, or get her a piece of lingerie. And actually, come to think of it, I dont EVER go over to anyone's house when invited, especially for a party-any kind of party, and show up empty handed...but that's just me. Maybe the hostess didnt only tell some of y'all to bring a gift. Maybe it was just that those girls that did are people who know that that's just what you DO. :?
sofi sofi 9 years
oh no, all these stories are stunning! I have never been in such a situation- thank goodness. I am always so obsessed with having something to bring to a party or someone's house- regardless of the occasion. That's how I was brought up. That is insane to 'selectively' tell guests about a surprise gift giving- that is just bad planning.
secretallstar secretallstar 9 years
I'm still pissed I didn't get a proper bachelorette party. When my maid of honor found out my husband's guys were taking him out two weeks before our wedding, she tried to throw something together last minute. My 2 sisters (one was just 18 at the time) and a third bridesmaid had flimsy excuses for backing out, so the two of us went to dinner and a bar, where we got bored and were back home by midnight. Lame. Now my MOH is in another friend's bridal party and planning her shower and bachelorette and every time she brings it up I get annoyed all over again.
kia kia 9 years
What happened to you is not cool. I think my worst experience was a bachelorette party I planned. I was maid of honor to a bride that also had a matron of honor. I was to plan the bachelorette party and the matron was to plan the bridal shower. The bride and bridal party planned to get a condo in Vegas, see Zumanity, and do sin city up. Well the matron went behind everyone's back and got to the bride and convinced her a Vegas party was rude and inconsiderate. Instead the bride asked me to do a local party so we did a day spa and dinner to coincide the same weekend as the bridal shower. The best part... the matron backed out, I planned both parties, and four years later the bride still wants to do Vegas with her closest friends. I am still miffed at the backstabbing matron of honor that doesn't even talk to the bride these days.
uptown_girl uptown_girl 9 years
I once threw a lingerie/bachelorrette party, where the invitation said "LINGERIE/BACHELORETTE PARTY" and then also listed her sizes. It was a small party, just 8 of us, and I only knew the bride and our friend who helped me throw it & house we had it at. The FIVE other guests didn't bring a present. I'm not kidding. I spent a crap-ton of money buying food & drinks, decorations, PLUS the gift, PLUS the fact the party was three hours away from where I lived. Yeah.....
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