I think a lot of brides have shifted their thinking due to real constraints facing women in their 20s today. Everyone has student loans; if you had $500 saved up, would it be better to drop it on a bachelorette getaway, or put it towards things you really need? Or on your loans?
Basically, young people are more broke today than they have ever been, and being in a wedding with a lot of “responsibilities” (ie real money being spent) is financially irresponsible.
I think it used to be that as a woman in your 20s, you might have disposable income. Now, with student loans, even if you do have $ to spend on a wedding… you should probably put it on your loans. One of my closes friends gave the bridal party 2 years to save up for a getaway bachelorette. But it didn’t matter how much time we had to save up, we would still not have the money.
So what are the “responsibilities”? Stand up on the wedding day, in the agreed-upon dress. That’s it. All other stuff is optional.