Other people's weddings

(155 Posts)
johnthepong Wed 20-Feb-13 11:05:36

Gone are the days when I could look forward to a wedding and enjoy the day out. Everyone seems so wrapped up in their own weddings they forget the rest of us have a life, or might have other shock weddings to go to. yes I should be grateful I have been invited but I am fed up with the things costing me a fortune.
Nobody has a hen night now, everybody has a hen weekend. Everybody has to do some "unique" activity which costs the rest of us a fortune. of course, the hen can't be expected to pay for her own fucking hen weekend so we all have to foot the bill. then, after said weekend, we all had to contribute to buy the bridesmaids a present to thank them for organising the weekend. When the duck did this start? surely that is the bride' s job?!
All anybody wants for their wedding these days is cash. Guess what- I don't have any left, I spent it all on your hen do. You can't just give someone £10 or £20, it's their WEDDING! So you feel obliged to give them more than you can afford. sad
Of course, my children aren't invited to any of their special days, so they get shipped off for another weekend without mummy, having only just returned after the hen weekend.
And then we all have to think of a "special" memory of me and the bride, and a special song that can be played at the special wedding.
I've got 3 like this in 2 months. I'm going to turn down the next hen invite I get. No family holiday for us this year.

EuroShagmore Wed 20-Feb-13 11:10:18

Get new friends. None of mine did any of the things you complain about.

atthewelles Wed 20-Feb-13 11:10:18

YANBU except in your comment about children being invited to weddings. I really think its up to the B&G to decide if they want/can afford to have a load of kids running around.

But yes, weddings have got waaay OTT and expensive, particularly the ones that are held in the middle of nowhere involving costly overnight stays and forking out a fortune for petrol/train tickets.

EstherRancid Wed 20-Feb-13 11:11:04

where are all these weddings i keep hearing about on MN?

i've never once encountered the turmoil and pressure that is giving everyone so much grief

the last wedding i went to (last year) was a very good friend of DHs, we went, had some lovely food, a guest turned up with a spare wedding cake as a gift so they raffled that one off for a charity and we all got drunk and had a whale of a time

<baffled>

HollyBerryBush Wed 20-Feb-13 11:15:20

Simple! Don't go! I don't. grin

johnthepong Wed 20-Feb-13 11:19:35

I really dont mind child free weddings, in fact I prefer to attend a wedding without my children as it is less to worry about, but I just feel a little sad for my kids who have been shipped off to grandma's so many weekends in a row.

IneedAgoldenNickname Wed 20-Feb-13 11:20:37

I organised my sils hen weekend, I didn't gets present sad

Other than that I've never been to a wedding like that, all the ones I've been to have had children invited, and no pressure to buy gifts/give money unfree you can afford it. I can't so I don't.

TheElephantIsADaintyBird Wed 20-Feb-13 11:21:02

Yanbu, every stag do DP has been invited to recently have been weekends away at a different city or country, one was even a week away to magaluf! I think it's ridiculous, what's wrong with a night out at the pub?!

EstherRancid Wed 20-Feb-13 11:23:04

what Holly said

Pendipidy Wed 20-Feb-13 11:24:37

Nobody is forcing you to go or ship off your children.

Peevish Wed 20-Feb-13 11:25:01

Make friend with me. No hen do, no bridesmaids, no presents, no frock, special songs or photos - no wedding, really, just a registry office lunchtime quickie with two witnesses. We didn't even get round to telling anyone about it for weeks. It was great.

Nancy66 Wed 20-Feb-13 11:27:12

I am very strict about this sort of thing.

I won't go to an entire hen weekend - I'll go for a few drinks in the evening.

I buy the couple a wedding gift and that's it. No engagement pressie, no baby shower one either.

I'll only fork out for babysitters and hotel stays for very close friends and family.

I'm buggered if I'm going to spend the best part of a grand because someone is getting married.

YouOldSlag Wed 20-Feb-13 11:27:29

I totally agree with you OP.

It's snowballed into a ridiculous circus that makes the B and G into entitled power crazed nutjobs in many cases.

I went on a hen weekend that cost me £600. I was herded around and told what to do and given a schedule and not allowed to rest for three days.

That was 5 years ago and I haven't been on one since. What is wrong with people? and this crazy business that the bride doesn't pay for her own hen weekend?

Big fat hairy bollocks to that.

TheElephantIsADaintyBird Wed 20-Feb-13 11:27:30

I think the OP is aware she doesn't have to go to these hen nights/weddings, she's just having a moan about them.

YouOldSlag Wed 20-Feb-13 11:28:26

It's all got mad and greedy and crazy.

GreenLeafTea Wed 20-Feb-13 11:31:21

But then people get offended if you don't go so you can't win either way.

ChocolateCakePlease Wed 20-Feb-13 11:32:14

My sister did this last year for her wedding/hen do. The hen was an all weekend affair 50 miles away so we had to fork out for a 14 seater coach to take us all, an overnight stay plus the night out. The hen do alone cost well over £100 each! I did try to suggest alternatives to no avail and i could hardly say i wasn't going to go to my own sisters hen do.

The wedding was no children which i didn't mind because it is nice to have the break but i know alot of his family were very upset because they are very family minded and see weddings as a family affair.

Plus they asked for money instead of a present.

THEN - they split up 6 months later!

eggso Wed 20-Feb-13 11:32:15

My dad's view of life:
25-35 You go to your friends weddings
45-55 You go to your friends parents funerals
55 65 You go to your friends childrens weddings
65+ You go to your friends funerals.

I'm sure it was better said than that, but my point is. Don't worry, within a few years it will be over and you'll have loads of funerals to look forward too... hmm

Branleuse Wed 20-Feb-13 11:35:03
EyesCrossedLegsAkimbo Wed 20-Feb-13 11:35:07

£600? shock Bloody hell You!

The world has really changed and not for the good, stag/hen weekends, proms, baby showers, it'll be sodding gender reveal parties next.

<Old and grumpy>

eggso Wed 20-Feb-13 11:36:37

eyescrossed have you never seen them? They have a cake covered in icing and when you cut it the sponge is either blue or pink!

HollyBerryBush Wed 20-Feb-13 11:37:12

Can I hi-jack this for a general party rant?

Special Birthdays.

DH and all his mates are 50 this year. Tell me WHY I am going to party after party with the same bloody people every weekend? just why? Why didn't one of them have the brains to think "ah, lets get one big venue and have one massive party" ???

What has really pissed me off is the party planning - Dh is the one who keeps in touch with absolutely everybody - the constant phonecalls and texts to see if DH is still in touch with so-snd-so from school. No fecker has seen so-snd-so for 30 years. Just why the overwhelming need to recreate an old school reunion every bloody weekend???? Have you seen so-and-so we used to play football with in 1979? What happened to Doo-Dah?

And another bloody round of them coming up at Easter.

Then I get the "Holly, see if you can track down Fred on FB" - WTF do I want to be stalking Fred for? If he wanted to be found he'd send Christmas cards! "Holly, do you remember what Stans wife was called?" - erm, no, and the likelihood is they are divorced by now. "Holly, look at this bloke, do you think it could be Joes son?" arrrgh? last time I saw Joes son he was wearing a rompersuit and had a dummy in his gob - how am I supposed to know if this Joe with the very common surname is the same one?

There is generally a good reason you don't see people from 30 years ago.

>breathe, breathe, breathe<

YouOldSlag Wed 20-Feb-13 11:38:08

Totally agree EyesCrossed. It just got stupid and I suddenly realised I don't actually have to go!

It was all cocktails at this bar, and champagne at this place, and dinner here etc. pure greed and consumerism and nonsense. I mean it's a marriage, it's not Death Row.

YouOldSlag Wed 20-Feb-13 11:39:13

But then people get offended if you don't go so you can't win either way.

That's their problem. you just say "It's not in our budget, but have a good time!"

fairylightsinthesnow Wed 20-Feb-13 11:40:05

I think you are generalising. My 2 hen dos were very small, one day affairs, mostly in the house. When I get invited to weekends or even day ones which involve things that I don't enjoy or can't afford, I don't go, regardless of how close a friend they are. Most of them aren't that though, at most they are an afternoon / evening thing. As for the weddings, people want cash because they have usually lived together and don't need the usual / traditional household things. Its pretty common these days to say no gifts also. Someone gave me a tenner on our wedding. I wasn't angry, I know they are skint, I appreciated it and they didn't have to get me anything. Perhaps you are thinking that YOU would expect more so you think you have to give more? A wedding is as big a deal as you want to make it, and that goes for if you are a guest or the host. As for kids not being invited, totally up to the B&G - provided they don;t get pissy if you say you can't go, its totally reasonable to prefer not to have under 12s (ish) at a formal occasion which involves lots of sitting quietly.

YouOldSlag Wed 20-Feb-13 11:42:42

This thread is sort of generalising fairy, but it really is the case these days that a wedding invite landing on the floor fills people with dread rather than excitement.

TheRivieraKid Wed 20-Feb-13 11:43:20

I couldn't agree more OP. I have 3 weddings to go to this year and 2 hen dos so far. One hen do I've heard nothing about, the wedding is in August.

The other hen do is an 'activity weekend' which will cost me about £300 in train fare, hotel, various activities so far, not including money for food and drink. Now one of the hens has had the bright idea that we chip in towards a Pandora bracelet for the bride! Erm, no. hmm. The bride is a good friend and I can't back out but I simply can't afford it. sad

EyesCrossedLegsAkimbo Wed 20-Feb-13 11:44:59

OFFS eggso! <rolls eyes> Luckily I have managed to avoid such things, but I have family living in the US and the things I hear <Grumble, grumble>

DontmindifIdo Wed 20-Feb-13 11:45:10

It's probably because you're getting older, so the brides and grooms getting married have more money. Their childfree friends have more money and so things can be more lavish if they are hitting the average disposable income from the group. When I got married, my hen weekend was at a spa, but then all the female friends I invited could easily afford that and none of my friends had DCs yet (although one of DH's did) so childcare wasn't even considered.

That you've got other weddings to go to suggests your at the stage in your life when most of your friends are getting married, you might be unusual that you did it earlier than the rest of your peer group, but for most people there's a period of 2-3 summers when you spend a lot of time going to weddings and hen dos, but then it abruptly stops.

After several years of weddings, some being 3 weekends on the run, I haven't been to one for over a year now. Realistically, I've got 1 engaged gay couple who ae waiting to see if they have a civil partnership or wedding so no date set and one single friend, and that's it, all others are done and dusted. Until it's DC's generation getting married I can't see myself getting another wedding or hen invite after that last two. (assuming they ever do get married)

Perhaps when you did it you were one of the first in your friendship group so your friends had the time to fuss, if not the money. However just because there are a lot of people in your life getting married right now, doesn't make that day any less special for them.

But also remember, these brides haven't arranged their hen or wedding deliberately to annoy you, it's supposed to be a nice thing, if you don't want to go then don't. But don't get an arse on because you put pressure on yourself to go to everything and spend a lot of money on gifts (not all our guests bought us gifts or spent a lot of money). Not all the woman I invited on my hen do made it. Not all weddings we've been invited too we've gone to. Not everyone we invited to our wedding accepted.

It's ok to say no to some of these invites, but it's not ok to accept then grumble that it's not been arranged in a way that's best suited to you and your lifestyle rather than the bride/groom and the bulk of the other guests.

GroupieGirl Wed 20-Feb-13 11:47:48

This is exactly why, whenever my sister raises the subject of my Hen, I repeat the mantra "gig and a curry. Gig. And. A. Curry," until she huffs and walks away! A weekend? Ugh!

ChessieFL Wed 20-Feb-13 11:57:09

Come to my wedding! Children will be welcome, not having any special songs or special memories, I don't expect any presents. I will be having a hen do but don't yet know what - however it will be something that everyone can afford and I certainly don't expect everyone else to pay my share of it! I'm actually quite surprised that people do this. If the bride wants a hen do she can pay for it herself!

gordyslovesheep Wed 20-Feb-13 12:00:15

I love hen weekends - I am off on one in June to Spain and I like spoiling my mates and their babies - I love buying baby gifts

maybe I am odd but I only go to close friends hen does, weddings, baby showers etc and as such I don't mind treating them.

DontmindifIdo Wed 20-Feb-13 12:02:27

GroupieGirl - you'll get people bitching that they've got to go see this band they don't like and spend lots of money on a ticket for the privillage, and your out of town friends will have to book a B&B and pay for travel.... wink from a logistics point of view for a bridesmaid arranging a hen that's quite a tricky one. Getting a large number of tickets means everyone has to confirm in advance, the bridesmaid will probably have to buy the tickets to ensure everyone who wants to go gets one, so she'll have to take the risk they will pay (rather than say, a spa weekend where you settle your own bill - remember these are your friends, she might not know many of them to be certain she'll get her money back). then make sure everyone can get to said gig, meet beforehand to hand out tickets, (will bridemaid have to stand outside waiting for stragglers and miss the start/risk losing you in there?). Get everyone to meet up again afterwards to go for said curry - collecting up stragglers again. Make sure people can get home or those who are from out of town have somewhere to stay. In my experience, hen and stag dos like this usually end up with the best man/bridesmaid being quite a lot out of pocket as they make up the shortfall/cover the tickets for someone who wasn't sure then cancelled going after tickets were purchased/throw in extra for settling the meal bill if there's a difference between what everyone's paid and the bill.

A weekend away suddenly looks like the easy option... grin

OP - another thing as you get older, your friends who are getting married have been to a lot of other weddings and hen dos, they do tend to get more complex as you get older as people pick up tips from things done at other people's weddings/hens.

YouOldSlag Wed 20-Feb-13 12:03:29

What I don't understand is why hen dos have become some sort of bizarre exercise in doing activities you would never normally dream of doing. It's as if once you're married you won't be allowed to go orienteering/Make your own box of chocolates/go to Barcelona.

In the olden times, when people were normal, it would be a night out locally with your friends, or some wine at someone's house. It was a way of putting the past to bed before embarking on a bright future.

Now it seems that it has to be abroad or overnight and loads of hen dos make you do stuff you wouldn't dream of doing in normal life.

PS Groupie Girl- I am so coming on your hen do!

simplesusan Wed 20-Feb-13 12:09:22

I agree with everything you ahve said op.

I am in this position. After agreeing to go on a hen weekend to Scotland, oh good I've never been and we can get cheap train tickets and it won't cost the earth, I am now told it has turned into a weekend abroard!
Didn't feel like I could decline as I had already confirmed availabilty for the dates and the bride had said I could take a friend and would be great for me to go ...
Now we have the message about extra transport costs, themed clothing, special printed tops...
Stag do is also several nights abroard! Dh broached the idea of it being expensive but again as we are invited to the whole shebang felt obliged to go.

Today I have received 2 texts both for special birthdays. One won't be expensive the other again involves a night away.

DontmindifIdo Wed 20-Feb-13 12:17:33

Simplesusan - I don't understand why if the bride is someone you are close enough to go to her hen do, she's not someone you are close enough to to feel you can send her a message saying "Bride, I'm really sorry but while I'd love to come on your hen do, I just can't afford the more expensive trip. If I'd known it was going to be overseas and costing X amount I wouldn't have accepted in the first place."

Again, why are people embarrased to say "I can't afford that" when it's something that's goign to cost hundreds?? These are invites, not orders. I've not stopped talking to people who couldn't make my hen do for various reasons, or people who couldn't make it to my wedding. A close friend would understand, a non-close friend is not someone you should be getting yourself in debt for.

penelopepissstop Wed 20-Feb-13 12:18:58

Drives me insane. I've stopped going unless it's someone really close and if foreign travel is involved, it's a no show from me. My DP goes on his own to his mates weddings if the event is abroad. The no kids always leaves me in the lurch too as there are no willing family members ready to babysit for a weekend! YANBU. The whole thing is beyond belief. I would never expect my family and friends to fly to Thailand for 10 days, but it's not unheard of. My friends have clearly spent too many years admiring Liz Hurley!

atthewelles Wed 20-Feb-13 12:25:22

That sounds reasonable Dontmind but a lot of people would take offence if a very close friend didn't come to their hen do. I know its not fair and if people insist on organising hen dos in Prague or Madrid or dragging everyone off to a luxury spa for two nights they should be aware that not everyone can afford it.
But weddings seem to be a minefield these days. What happened to the days when the bride put on a bit of lippy, slipped into a dress her mum or aunt made her, and walked to the church on her dad's arm with a few excited neighbours cheering her on her way smile.

PrincessOfChina Wed 20-Feb-13 12:26:41

My name is PrincessOfChina and I love weddings (especially child-free ones).

And hen-dos (especially ones that go on all weekend and are in interesting places).

I like my friends and I am happy to spend money (that I can afford) to spend time with them having fun. If you can't afford it then you can decline the invitation (and in the case of the wedding, save the Bride and Groom some cash too!).

I understand that not everyone can afford such luxuries but that's really not the Bride and Groom's problem.

ItsintheBag Wed 20-Feb-13 12:27:18

I agree with the OP too. Of course not everyone does this ,but its true when you get the invite on the mat its dread I feel first.

Not only must the hen be a weekend, it must be abroad a weekend in Poland/Paris etc.There must also be a second hen/spa day/day at races.
Followed by a brunch/BBQ the day after the wedding.

Money gifts are expected and a lot of friends killing themselves with having "unique" wedding themes/music/entertainment/favors etc

Some of the most reasonable people I know seem to turn into complete nutters around their wedding.

My other pet peeve, is weddings aboard-yes I know it's their choice and I can say no.
We have a wedding next year, its a very close family member who has non school age child (it's during term time), its just after christmas, four hour plane ride ,we have to go.

We can't really afford it and being "told" isn't it great that we can have a holiday.They seem to gloss over the fact that we haven't been away in years, for a reason.No money.
If we did have the money I wouldn't go this particular place --package holiday hel--l in a million years.
Rant over grin

ENormaSnob Wed 20-Feb-13 12:32:51

Yanbu

We politely decline any invitation we don't fancy.

Thankfully, all our close friends that recently got married had fab weddings that disnt cost ££££ to attend and hen/stag dos that were a night out.

atthewelles Wed 20-Feb-13 12:40:30

I like my friends too Princess China and so would not deliberately organise an event so expensive as to exclude them from an important occasion in my life.

Abra1d Wed 20-Feb-13 12:44:02

It'll be the same people as these Bs and Gs complaining in five years' time that how can they be expected to have savings and the state should pay for this and that.

You haven't got savings because you were profligate.

fluffyraggies Wed 20-Feb-13 12:44:23

YANBU.

I am still shock at the 'present for the bridesmaid who organised the hen weekend'.

What??!

I agree with the poster who said that as people are marrying later in life they are having more input in the goings on and more money available than in the past.

Plus the culture now is to indulge, indulge, indulge. Whether you or those around you can afford it or not it seems hmm

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 20-Feb-13 12:50:27

Who are all these easily offended people?confused

My best friend didn't go to my Hen Night.
I didn't go to my own sister's Hen Night.
No one was offended because perfectly good reasons were given (childcare/finances), and we are all adults who love and respect eachother.

atthewelles Wed 20-Feb-13 12:52:48

Good for you and your sister. But that doesn't mean other people don't get offended at siblings or close friends not attending their 'special' days or weekends.

simplesusan Wed 20-Feb-13 12:54:57

Dontmind-On the face of it yes that sounds reasonable. However, the bride said that Scotland was looking expensive so we may as well go abroard. I don't know if that's the case, I didn't want to take on the organising of the event and felt that as I had said I was available on those dates that I was more obliged to go.
I would have declined if we weren't invited to the full wedding, as I have many times in the past.

I also would find it srtange for someone to decline a wedding invitation if it was close by to where they live, and there were no childcare problems, as is the case with this to be fair.

However proximity doesn't make the venue any less expensive!
Dh and I are seriously considering taking a bottle of our own wine as the bar is extortionate. Just not sure how to get it into the venue!

Kat101 Wed 20-Feb-13 12:56:03

Mustnt forget the present for the hen who organised buying the present for the hen who organised the hen weekend ;)

This is a generation younger than me (38), in the late 90's we all had hen nights only. Or perhaps we were just all permanently skint!

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 20-Feb-13 12:58:04

Granted you can do nothing about your siblings atthewelles, but any friend, so selfish that she will take offense because you can't afford to spend a lot of money or time on her is no real friend.

CharlotteBronteSaurus Wed 20-Feb-13 12:58:14

i don't do hen dos
partly because i need to save up all my small talk for the wedding
i have a DH who works weekends sometimes, and it's the most terrible coincidence that he's always working when a hen do is planned....

a wedding, on the other hand, i generally enjoy. i prefer child free, so that I can get drunk with impunity. the DC are terrible for insisting they come if invited, and they cramp my style.

steppemum Wed 20-Feb-13 13:00:08

I am afraid I learned a long time ago to do what fits my budget not theirs.

I have no hesitation in saying to someone, thanks for the invite to your hen do, I will not be able to come as that is too expensive for me. Perhaps we could go out for a meal together at some point instead?

Also I don't do overnight weddings, we leave at 11pm and drive home. I am not bothered if the bride doesn't like it. Be thankful we were there and going in/having a nice time for the whole day until then.

I also spend my budget level on presents. Something nice but modest.

I really think that unless we stand up and do this, then it gets more ridiculous.

AgentSprout Wed 20-Feb-13 13:03:06

YANBU

We're planning our wedding. Friends and family have gone mad coming up with ideas on what to do for our stag and hen nights from going to somewhere in Europe to watch a gig, going to Berlin Beer festival, renting a mansion/party house for a weekend somewhere in the UK or spending a week abroad sunbathing on a beach!!!

We've both been shock at the ideas. I'm adamant i'm not having one. I just want to hide from it all.

The last hen night I went on was dreadful. We had to do fancy dress, pay for Burlesque (sp?) lessons (bearing in mind we are all mothers so lots of saggy tits and floor pointing nipples) then paid for a VIP booth in a club that was absolutely shit. Luckily it was only for one night but I was so bored I spent a fortune on shots as I needed to get shitfaced to pass the time.

PurpleBlossom Wed 20-Feb-13 13:04:48

I hate hen weekends! Especially ones involving nights away or even worse fancy dress shock

DP on the other hand loves them and so do all his friends. 15 of them are going on a weekend abroad (approx £150pp) One of his best friends can't afford to go, so isn't.

For some people a 'gig and a curry' would be more then they can afford. So if you don't want to go/ can't afford then you don't go surely?

Weddings abroad I agree can be a pain in the arse. Me and DP are invited to one this summer, however 9 month old DD is not invited... Erm what do you think we are going to do with her confused Why bother inviting us in the first place??

atthewelles Wed 20-Feb-13 13:05:28

I agree Dionne. But I also think organising hen nights/weekends that are so expensive that they preclude some of your closest friends from attending is a bit selfish. If people from all different income levels are invited the occasion should be pitched at an affordable level. Hen weekends in Spain or at luxury spas or hotels are fine if all of your friends have lots of disposable income. If some of them are struggling as it is to pay the mortgage and the childminder and the food bills then surely the bride could climb down a bit, remember what a hen night is supposed to be about and arrange something simple and locally based.

johnthepong Wed 20-Feb-13 13:09:23

I guess I married young and had kids young, they all had the big career in London etc so I am the only one with strings as it were. it would be ok if I could say to my friend I can't afford it but my friend isn't the one organising it, her bridesmaids are. you get the email about 6 months in advance "to make sure everyone is free and give you time to save up"

Fed up with it all. going on another one this weekend. going to a nightclub. am far too old and saggy for nightclubs.

simplesusan Wed 20-Feb-13 13:10:10

I think the point is also that I am organising a trip away for my dcs and mum.
You would not believe how cheaply I have managed to get the hotel and transport for.
I have also booked a theatre trip, again after many hours of research, both by talking to people and internet reseach for a fraction of the cost it would normally cost.
So when I got asked to go on the hen do I, perhaps foolishly, assumed it would be budgeted for along my thought lines. The actual cost is somewhat different.

simplesusan Wed 20-Feb-13 13:14:09

It's the same with wedding gifts.

A lot can be created if you are good at craftwork and have the time and patience for very little money. This changes when the peom drops through the letterbox telling you not to bother with your thoughtfilled gifts but instead get the cold hard cash out.

The last evening only wedding do we attended stated our presence would be their present. I gave a card only but was left wondering afterwards if this was ok.

Quenelle Wed 20-Feb-13 13:19:49

[Gender reveal parties]... have you never seen them? They have a cake covered in icing and when you cut it the sponge is either blue or pink!

Nooo WAY! shock

YouTheCat Wed 20-Feb-13 13:24:21

My whole wedding cost £250 (19 years ago).

My divorce is going to cost more. angry And that is without any party or celebration.

My hen night involved going to the pub. Getting hacked off because there were strippers there. Then coming back to mine and drinking wine. Less than a tenner.

willesden Wed 20-Feb-13 13:29:15

Gender reveal parties have already started around here. My MIL is a baker and had to have the concept explained to her. Just another way to make money out of stupid greedy self-absorbed people.
DP has been invited to a three night weekend away to celebrate the birth of his mate's fourth child. Lads only, of course. It's just any excuse these days.

DontmindifIdo Wed 20-Feb-13 13:29:20

But OP - you can by pass the person organising and e-mail the bride saying you can't make it because you can't afford it. My bridesmaid didn't really know alot of my London friends (she was a 'home' friend!) so even though she sent the e-mails organising a lot, most contacted me about it too.

It does sound like they have arranged something that suits the lifestyles and budgets of the majority of those invited. sad

DontmindifIdo Wed 20-Feb-13 13:31:03

YouTheCat - you so should throw a "non-hen do" weekend away to celebrate being divorced!!!! Get some of the ladies together and behave inappropriately.

atthewelles Wed 20-Feb-13 13:32:08

I totally agree simplesusan. Asking for cash gifts can seriously embarass people who don't have much money but would be happy to put time, thought and imagination into making something or shopping around for something inexpensive but meaningful.

But some people are just too insensitive or materialistic to get this and think a chirpy little poem makes saying 'gimme money' okay. It doesn't!

YouOldSlag Wed 20-Feb-13 13:32:53

DP has been invited to a three night weekend away to celebrate the birth of his mate's fourth child. Lads only, of course. It's just any excuse these days.

Don't even get me started. unless the mate in question gave birth himself, this is inexcusable.

simplesusan Wed 20-Feb-13 13:34:56

Willesden- that is just ridiculous, the go away for the father weekends I mean.
The father should be at home, helping out with the baby and supporting his partner, not pissing about for the weekend.
Whatever next. I guess it won't be long before the divorce weekend celibration away. Or the my dog has had puppies weekend away jaunt.

atthewelles Wed 20-Feb-13 13:34:57

DP has been invited to a three night weekend away to celebrate the birth of his mate's fourth child. Lads only, of course. It's just any excuse these days Quote

That is beyond daft. shock

Whathaveiforgottentoday Wed 20-Feb-13 13:36:39

We didn't do this and neither have any of our friends. 3 weddings this year and none of them took the piss. Although 2 did ask for money which I find a bit sad. However I have heard many reports of weddings like you described in your OP so YANBU.

DontmindifIdo Wed 20-Feb-13 13:41:29

Willseden - DH have been invited on a fake stag do - it's a stag do for someone he's admitted doesn't exist. However as he lived in Luxembourg and now all his friends are scattered across European banking hubs, they realised once that before mentioned 2-3 year period of constant weddings/stags ended they hadn't all met up for over 2 years, so they wanted an excuse to get together again.

However, this is a group of guys who mostly all are earning significant sums, they can afford to waste a grand here or there. The problem is only really for one or two in the group (of over 25 guys) who aren't earning that sort of money and might feel pressured to join in (I think they are planning on arranging around some rugby 7s somewhere or other). The question being, in situations like the OP where there's only one person who's likely to struggle time and money wise, should plans be arranged to suit their situation or would it be normal to assume if they can't afford it/don't have the time, they'll just decline the invite...

My wedding is coming up,my bridesmaid has organised a hen weekend where everyone sleeps on airbeds at mine. So free. Friday night will cost about £20 some of the girls are just coming to that ( a wine tasting and takeaway). Saturday will cost about £60 zoo, limo, catered picnic, catered evening buffet. Then dancing in the lounge with a few drinks.
Some are coming all day, and some just for the evening buffet. I think she's researched well and got it to a reasonable price with plenty of options to suit all pockets. If people chose not to come I won't be offended, but if they come then bitch about the cost I will be. BTW I'm paying for myself.

pictish Wed 20-Feb-13 13:41:49

Oh OP YADNBU!

Jesus Christ the egotism and self importance surrounding weddings has become astronomical! Not to mention the expense!! Do people think we have nothing better to do with our precious and limited income than throw it at them, because they have decided to get hitched??

Well, it's a big so fucking what from me! If your wedding and hen do is going to cost me £££s then I'm not interested in it, or you.

We have three kids and a single very modest salary to live on and you're not fucking having it in the name of your wedding.

YouOldSlag Wed 20-Feb-13 13:47:55

pictish. I may print that off and send it back in an RSVP envelope one day. It would feel so good.

atthewelles Wed 20-Feb-13 13:49:33

Well said pictish.

People seem to have got incredibly competitive about weddings; oh, we have to have fireworks, we have to get married in a castle in the middle of nowhere, we have to have a 3 day wedding with a fun fair the day before and a barbecue the day afterwards, we have to have a honeymoon in the Carribean so we'd better ask for cash gifts...... because that's what everyone else does.

The fact that they are putting unreasonable financial pressure on less well off friends and family doesn't even seem to enter their heads.

wherearemysocka Wed 20-Feb-13 13:49:40

I don't think I'd go to the wedding of someone I wasn't interested in whether I had the money or not. If you despise these people who are supposed to be your friends that much then I'd suggest the friendship is probably done for.

I don't have any time for people who won't calmly go up to the bride and groom and explain the situation, offer to cook dinner for them or go out for a drink if they can't afford the hen/stag, say that they'll have to leave the wedding early to get home/pick up the kids/whatever.

If the bride or groom start screeching that it's their SPECIAL DAY and you must do everything they say, then fair enough, they're idiots and you're better off without them. But to not do anything about it and then slag them off on an internet forum is a little pathetic.

atthewelles Wed 20-Feb-13 13:51:50

I don't think its pathetic wherearemysocka I think its letting off steam in a safe and private place............... good therapy smile.

wherearemysocka Wed 20-Feb-13 13:53:39

Yes, and I do it as much as anyone. But unless someone says something to them then they will think that it's OK and everyone's happy to go along with it.

atthewelles Wed 20-Feb-13 13:56:42

I know. But its hard to be the first one to take a stance.

Ideally people who are grown up enough to get married should have enough common sense to realise that not everyone can afford to splash out a small fortune so that they can enjoy being Prince and Princess for a day.

elliejjtiny Wed 20-Feb-13 13:56:44

YANBU. When I got married my youngest adult bridesmaid was 14 and desperate to go to the hen night, wear the same dress as the others rather than match the 9 year old flower girl etc. One of my other bridesmaids was quite poorly with endo and had just had a laperoscopy. So my hen night was a meal at pizza hut. I wore a bride to be rosette and one of the bridesmaids got hold of a badge making kit and made badges for the other bridesmaids. That was it, cost per person about a tenner. I think some of them went drinking after but I'd promised the 14 year olds mum I would keep an eye on her and get her home safely. DH went go karting and then out for a curry for his stag do although I think most people just did the curry, it was only 5 of them who did the go karting I think.

I've heard of gender reveal parties where a sonographer brings a portable scanner to your house/venue and then you have a scan and the sonographer reveals the gender to all the guests shock.

I've been offered a free 4d scan at one of those fancy clinics and with the info they gave me it said that me and "my guests" will be made welcome etc etc. People bring guests to these things?!?! I think I'll just bring DH, I don't want anyone else sat staring at my wobbly stretch marked tummy for half an hour thanks.

YouTheCat Wed 20-Feb-13 13:56:53

Don'tmindifIdo, I'll be celebrating with a nice meal with my much younger and lovelier partner. grin

I can't believe some bloke is having a 3 day party to celebrate the birth of his 4th child! I wonder how his poor wife will be celebrating? I imagine it will be surrounded by the 4 kids/nappies/nipple cream. What a selfish arse that man must be.

YouOldSlag Wed 20-Feb-13 13:59:40

If I was the wife of the man having a 3 day party away to celebrate the fourth baby, I would simply make an appointment with a solicitor and change the locks. I'm not even joking.

sherbetpips Wed 20-Feb-13 14:02:21

I dont go on the hen do's firstly because I cant afford it and secondly because I can cope with one night with a group of mostly strangers but the thought of a whole weekend/week would drive me nuts.
I also hate the 'give us cash because we have everything' wedding gifts. Sod off I will decide what to buy you (because I am too embarassed to only give you £20).

racmun Wed 20-Feb-13 14:07:24

I agree it is utterly ridiculous, a couple of years ago we worked out that we had spent nearly £3k going on stag/hen dos, weddings stays, wedding outfits and presents.

We don't do it anymore and have got to the point we would rather keep the money in our family than worry about looking a bit of a tight arse. More often than not you're just invited to make up the numbers and to make the bride/groom feel special at the hen/stag do.
Do what you can afford and nothing more

YABU. I've never been to a wedding with any of the 'issues' you describe...

Actually I miss weddings now. A few years ago there were 2 or 3 weddings every summer. Now everybody is married. Must be getting old grin

The cheapest thing on my wedding list is £4, I didn't want to do a list but my DP's friends were asking for details. I've put loads of inexpensive stuff, under a tenner, on it and some under a fiver. I'd hate people to think I was being entitled or greedy. If some one stuck £20 in an envelope I'd been really grateful for it... I'd spend it on a special night in with a takeaway and bottle of wine for me and OH.

deleted203 Wed 20-Feb-13 14:14:40

I've never been on a hen night. And certainly not a weekend! I didn't have one myself when I got married.

When my sister got married and was organising a hen night I quite cheerfully said, 'I don't want to come. It's my idea of hell, thanks'.

I don't feel the need to spend money I can't afford doing something I don't want to.

quoteunquote Wed 20-Feb-13 14:37:15

Now to out myself,

on my FB page it clearly states. quoteunquote is not accepting invitations, don't ask, as a refusal often offends.

If I accepted all the invitations we would not have any time to do what we enjoy, and want to do, as well as spending a ridiculous amount of money which would be better spent else where,

we still have far more events on social calendar than I would like,

but I no longer do any that aren't necessary, if feels like I have clawed back a significant part of my time.

Antipag Wed 20-Feb-13 14:48:11

I agree OP. I worked really hard t make my hen night something that all my friends of differing fortune's and home lives were able to attend one part. We had an early meal at a reasonably priced tapas place, drinks at a bar, then went clubbing. It meant that my sister who has three children and not much money to spare could come just for the dinner part, my best friend who is single and on 60k a year came to the whole thing and my in betweeners picked and chose one part or another. I would never expect my friends to pay for a weekend anywhere! I have never been invited on a weekender hen do either. DP has had a couple of stag weekend invites in Amsterdam and the like but we have to turn down for financial reasons. Our wedding was brilliant we had all our 140 family and friends and their children for an afternoon tea follwed by bread, cheese and cold meats in the evening, a cheap bar and we didn't ask for wedding gifts or money and we did the whole thing on less than £5000 incluing the £1500 honeymoon.

DontmindifIdo Wed 20-Feb-13 14:53:33

elliejjtiny - I know for the 4D ones because it's not 'check if the baby is healthy' more 'let's have a look at it' that friends have taken older DCs they already have, their mum/MIL and one who's taken her sister who was going abroad and wouldn't be around when the baby was born.

OP - really talk to the bride. She is going to understand even if the bridesmaids hadn't thought that one person on the list has a very different lifestyle to the rest of them.

Pigsmummy Wed 20-Feb-13 16:23:48

Our friend arranged a five day stag to Ibiza on one of the most expensive weekends of the year, to include hard core clubbing, my husband has a life threatening medical condition that means that he needs (along with a cocktail of daily meds) regular sleep, food, not too much exposure to flashing lights etc or drugs, the groom tried very hard to bully him into going, despite all these reasons!!

Owllady Wed 20-Feb-13 16:29:19

grin at eggso

Internationaltraveller Wed 20-Feb-13 16:31:14

I said no kids at my wedding but it was an evening one, and most of my friends didn't have kids at that time. sounds like you should just not go to the hen do. I have not attended those on the basis of not being able to afford it. personally, I like it when not allowed to bring kids to wedding as it means I can have a 'date' with DH and relax!

ChocolateCakePlease Wed 20-Feb-13 16:48:07

The sad part is all these lavish hen/stag dos and expensive weddings costing not only the bride and groom a fortune but also some of the guests end up in divorcesad

Isn't the statistic something like 50% of marriages end in divorce? Purhaps some of these hen nights and weddings are just an excuse for a big night out and a big party then the marriage part is a big disappointment to some or not the main focus. I think my sis just wanted a party tbh (as her marriage ended within 6 months after thousands spent.) She may as well have just gone on a night out or had a party because now she has the expense of divorce!

My mate used to say she'd rather get a court summons than a wedding invite!

Some of mine and my friends hen nights were : weekend away in Ireland, night on the lash in Brighton, club night in London, weekend in a cottage in Wales etc. We were all single or newly married with no kids and would have been doing these things anyway. Whats wrong with just hanging out with your pals, getting pissed, eating nice pub food, snogging Welsh farmers etc. Why is there this need to be entertained - my friends are entertaining enough and we really loved just getting together and having a laugh. Why does everything have to be such a bloody production these days?

oohlaalaa Wed 20-Feb-13 16:54:32

Most I've spent on hen weekend is £150. Given excuses for very expensive ones.

DB and his wife got married in Italy. Pre children. Felt obliged to go, and cost us £1600 to attend. £800 of cost went on credit card, and took us months to pay off. I do think weddings abroad are a very big ask. Best friend is also planning a wedding abroad next year, so will have to start saving. Our daughter is a bridesmaid.

My mate who did have the poshest wedding and hen night - married end August, single again by Jan 1st.

I dont think I will ever go to another wedding now, too old and all pals married or are not going to bother now. Will have to wait for their kids weddings, when I can be the embarrasing pissed old bird in the corner!

TheBigJessie Wed 20-Feb-13 17:04:53

A three day party for a bloke to celebrate the birth of a child?

Can I have his phone number? I need to Have Words.

FellatioNels0n Wed 20-Feb-13 17:11:42

I haven't read the thread, I just want to say OP YANBU.

I think it's part of the modern disease of wanting to turn every little event in life into a huge stage extravaganza.

It starts with totally OTT birthday parties with competitive party bags, Halloween, eight year olds having 'mani-pedis' <shudder> 'graduation' ceremonies for 11 years olds shock WTF? with 'diploma' certificates laminated by the Fake Tanned Lunatic Parent Fringe, 'sweet sixteen' parties and senior proms with fire engines and stupid stretch Hummers etc, that are getting so bloody extravagant it makes you wonder what on earth these kids will expect when they get married shock then it's hen weeks, stag weeks, weddings where the bride and groom have learnt to sing some fucking awful duet, or do a tango, weddings abroad that you are expected to attend, wedding lists at posh shops where nothing is under about 80 quid, or they just want the cash, and then the baby showers start. shock IT'S ALL A LOAD OF CYNICAL, SELF-AGGRANDISING, GRABBY OLD CACK.

I am too old and for this world. <goes for a lie down with some Horlicks and a People's Friend>

drmummmsy Wed 20-Feb-13 18:19:16

this makes for very funny reading! thankfully all of my friends are still single - i've never had to do a hen night or wedding (except my parents - I was flower girl then grin )

i like this woman's idea of marrying herself, although it's maybe along the same self indulgent lines?

www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/25/nadine-schweigert-woman-marries-herself_n_1546024.html

bumperella Wed 20-Feb-13 18:29:26

Well.... you don't have to go. No matter how close you are to the bride/groom, you certainly don't have to go to the hen night, you can leave the wedding reception as soon as the first dance is done (or only go to the ceremony) thereby avoiding the expensive overnight stay or overpriced drinks, you don't need to buy a new outfit, you don't need to buy an extravagent gift. You could go alone, without DP or kids.

There's nothing wrong or embarassing about saying "I'm sorry, I can't afford to come along to the hen night/stay over at the venue/travel to Barbados for the wedding/whatever". Whats the big deal? I feel sorrier for kids whose peers appear to have the big parties etc as at htat age it is much harder to ride out the pressure (ironic really, as it's not the child who can afford it, it's the childs parents!).

I didn't have a big hen night (had bunch of freinds round to the house so pretty cheap) and I got married close to where I lived. I've no problem with people who do ahve big expensive "dos", I've opted out of parts of them when necessary and was never made to feel uncomfortable as a result.

Slippersox Wed 20-Feb-13 20:51:31

We recently went to a family wedding which was organised very short notice for various work related reasons for the couple.Registry office ,neither are religious,and lovely meal afterwards and all very enjoyable and the couple looked loved up and lovely.Only to be told that our presence would be required abroad next year for the 'proper' wedding.The brides family are not English and an exotic destination - not cheap to fly to -has been chosen.Because they want a really big 'do' with a cast of many in attendance.As we are self employed ,and during the recession have barely taken time off for fear of losing customers and a holiday means not just the expense of travel etc but loss of earnings we have already said we will not be attending.
This has not gone down well but we are sticking to our guns on this one.What annoyed me most is grooms mum insisting this is not the real wedding, next years will be.Sorry but no.They got married last week FFS.Whats more important to them ?Being married to each other or spending loads of money on a bling do.

GroupieGirl Wed 20-Feb-13 20:52:36

Dontmind I think you are overestimating our organisational skills! I was more thinking, "I'm going to X gig. Come if you want." as a method of invitation!

Slag you'd be very welcome!

DontmindifIdo Wed 20-Feb-13 20:56:15

Groupiegirl - ha ha ha !!!! You will end up people saying yes then 'can you get me a ticket, I'll pay you back' 'where are we meeting before hand as you've got the tickets' then it'll turn in to a whole exercise of someone having to organise people, and they'll make you wear L plates.

expatinscotland Wed 20-Feb-13 21:02:46

I decline: hen thingies that are more than one night; weddings that are not local and not in a place with affordable accommodation; childfree weddings; any wedding touting for cash as a gift or 'buy our honeymoon' type of tackiness.

This separates the wheat from the chaff.

GroupieGirl Wed 20-Feb-13 21:09:53

Noooooooo!!!!!

If anyone brings L-plates it will mean an automatic un-invitation from the wedding which by all accounts would be a relief!

YANBU - DH has been invited to a stag weekend a really long way away for a wedding that we didn't even make the sit down meal list for. It includes a number of activities that he doesn't want to do. He declined as did many of the invitees. Instead of taking the hint (it is months away, it is unlikely that most people are booked up), they have changed the date. The answer is still "no"!

johnthepong Wed 20-Feb-13 21:42:19

The hen do was booked through a company at an extortionate cost of around £200. I said I would only go for one night and booked my own accomodation. Still costing me a fortune. I cant believe these hen do companies exist. Why the fuck are people paying £200 to stay in a travel lodge and go to a nightclub- still have to pay drinks and food on top!!
I have now been shunned by the chief hen as I am obviously awkward by not going through the company.

I wish I had said no. I dont want to go. Got a £50 budget which will probably buy me one drink in the nightclub. Thats also got to pay for my dinner. Already paid for hotel room so all in all it will still end up costing me over £100 by the time Ive driven there. Oh yes, just remembered, parking is £25. Woop de doop.

bumperella Wed 20-Feb-13 21:47:48

Aww, I thought reading this that a gender reveal party was going to involve post-op transexuals getting their new bits out, I'm slightly disappointed that it's not as outre as that. I live rural, don't get out much....

expatinscotland: What if wedding is local to the bride (or groom) but not local to you?

FellatioNels0n Thu 21-Feb-13 05:05:22

Hen Nights are the seventh circle of hell anyway. Always have been, even in my day when they involved going for a lame meal in a nearby town and then onto a lame nightclub. With the bride's mother, sister, auntie, and a bunch of work friends none of her other friends know. ICK. I'm so glad I never have to do any of this again, especially as I would now have to spend 200 quid and fly to Barcelona for the privilege.

The idea of 'one last night of singleton freedom' is such a patronising, outdated and daft idea anyway.

MrsLion Thu 21-Feb-13 06:38:23

YANBU. Definitely not. I see this all the time.

DH has been groomsman at 3 weddings recently. 1 of these weddings was out in the sticks, 2 nights away was required due to 'wedding party' obligations the night before. 

All of the stag dos have been weekends away. As have the hens' nights. Which I politely declined.

Out of the other 2 weddings, one was in Fiji, the other The Cook Islands. Granted we live on the right side of the world but it's still a foreign holiday ffs.

Spent vast amounts of money.

We have also been invited to another wedding this year in Fiji. There is no way in hell we are going.
'Its all so wonderful! All our guests can combine it with their holiday this year!'

Errr actually no. For those of us with kids its a pain in the arse. 

We don't want to go to sodding Fiji for our family holiday thank you very much- dictated by your  wedding plans. I would much rather a trip back home to the UK to see my friends, parents and sisters. 

MercedesKing Thu 21-Feb-13 06:40:31

I hate this kind of stuffs too, you see, our tradition for other's wedding is all about cash too, it felt like an obligation to give others the money, all the interpersonal communication is imbued with something vulgar, which seems that cash is the only thing the wedding cares about,. However, it seems that almost everyone in my surroundings would love to do this kind of things, it sucks. Hope it can be changed someday. hmm

Reading this thread is making me feel old grin

When I got married a hen night/stag night was a meal out and a pub crawl.

Wedding presents were a nice wodge of cash from the parents smile and towels/photo frames/toasters from everyone else. But at least we're still married - and we'll never run out of toasters smile

ScarlettInSpace Thu 21-Feb-13 10:34:32

The funniest stag do invite OH had was a casino weekend in Monaco hahahahahahahaaaaaaaa yeah right grin So many people respectfully declined it was changed to Scotland grin

pictish Thu 21-Feb-13 10:44:12

A casino weekend in Monaco??

LOLLLL!! That sounds dead affordable and realistic, and not a bit up one's own arsehole!

Ferhooking hell!

ScarlettInSpace Thu 21-Feb-13 10:45:15

I know, we actually pee'd ourselves laughing when he got the invite grin

pictish Thu 21-Feb-13 10:54:32

I bet! grin

FellatioNels0n Thu 21-Feb-13 11:22:07

I have no problem with people wanting to get married abroad, but surely the whole point of that is that you can have an unusual, small and intimate wedding with just very close family and maybe one or two close friends at most. Surely it's the decent thing to do to throw a bit of a party for your wider group of friends and other relatives (if that's what you want to do, but I see no obligation to do it) once you are home, not expect them to use up their valuable time and money following you have way around the world?

Oh, and since when did we start having bridal showers, formal wedding rehearsals with a dinner attached, and a big dinner the night before the wedding? People have been watching too much of that blooming American telly again. hmm

When I got married the rehearsal involved me, my fiance and the vicar, and it took about 12 minutes. grin

(which was about 10 minutes longer than the marriage lasted.)

RosyRoo Thu 21-Feb-13 11:44:16

I turned down a hen weekend invite for the first time ever this year, and I feel very guilty about it. I find it very difficult to say no, because it's not that we absolutely can't afford it, it's just that I would rather spend the money on other things. I now feel like I will have to be careful all year not to mention any holidays or expensive sounding plans to the bride to be. I couldn't use the excuse of being busy as the date was sounded out about a year in advance!

pictish Thu 21-Feb-13 12:25:21

Just tell the truth rosy. Tell her that the hen do is too much of a strain financially, as you must put your family holiday first.
Who in their right mind could argue with that?

I honestly hate hen dos! All that tacky dressing up and giant inflatable willies - no thanks. Mine will be something small and low key.

But fair enough if that's what others want - please just don't wave the inflatable around beside me in a restaurant lol

I'm doing well on wedding-from-hell-bingo on this thread... I was so excited to be invited to a wedding this year as I haven't been to one for ages but we've had:
- cash requested for honeymoon via medium of tacky rhyme in invite
- no children invited, babes-in-arms allowed but tacky rhyme in invite asking you to take them out of the ceremony if they cry hmm
- wedding in castle in middle of nowhere and my DP (of 4 years) is only invited to the evening do so not sure what he's expected to do for seven hours
- I declined the hen weekend on the grounds of childcare/finance as suggested by several posters above, very graciously and non-defensively I thought, only to have the bridezilla come back to say she was very 'disappointed' because I'd had the time to save up and organise myself.

I feel -> <- this close to falling out with her about the whole business tbh.

Oh - and I had a write a paean to our friendship and how fabulous she is for the memory book from the hen weekend. I'm sure she'll love it and it'll be a nice thing to have but I found it a tad toe-curling <understatement>.

pictish Thu 21-Feb-13 13:15:33

Pins - tell her if you save up for something it won't be for a hen weekend, but rather something you need and the whole family can benefit from.
Such arrogance! (her not you)

expatinscotland Thu 21-Feb-13 13:36:27

'expatinscotland: What if wedding is local to the bride (or groom) but not local to you?,

Depends. If it's in a place where I can get a Premier Inn, fine, but if it's this castle in the middle of nowhere where you have to stay at teh £££ place then it'll need to be a no.

We struggle to save for an annual caravan holiday in the UK for our family and this will always come first.

Pictish - yes exactly! We've just bought a manky old house (our first) so that's our priority. We're not even going on holiday this year <bring out the violins>. I'm still kind of staggered that she didn't accept a 'no'. And it's a girly whirly pink extravaganza which she knows is not my scene.

LaQueen Thu 21-Feb-13 13:43:43

Well, I just had a one night hen-do, in a nice bar, and I paid for my own drinks. The next day, DH took me and my 2 closest friends (who had stayed the night) out for lunch...all pretty low key, and cheap.

But, I do agree that it has got out of control.

DH has flown all over the world on bleddy Stag-Breaks, they're not even Stag-Weekends, because they last 4-5 days shock

His own Stag-Break, was at least in this country, but comprised of a 5 day jaunt, covering 3 cities in total, and a day at the races.

LaQueen Thu 21-Feb-13 13:45:57

And, I agree with expat about couples having a wedding in beautiful, but inaccesible places to 95% of guests.

Very selfish and self centered - not everyone can stretch to travel costs and hotels.

DH's best friend got married in a remote Scottish castle - and because it was his choice, he picked up the bill for everyone's accomodation, which was fair enough.

ResponsibleAdult Thu 21-Feb-13 13:56:26

Weddings have become 12 months of inexcusable selfish behaviour on the part of either bride, groom, mother/ father of bride or groom or all of them. Takes all the fun out of what should be a happy day.
Hope there is some kind of backlash to a more reasonable level of expectation. Return to a hen night meal and club. Stag do pub crawl. Wedding small and local, gift what you can afford.
Will be indoctrinating my DCs in the near and foreseeable future that this is the case, because unless we win the lottery that is what they will be getting.

bumperella Thu 21-Feb-13 19:02:45

I reckon that you can get married wherever teh heck you want, so long as you accept that not everyone you want to invite will attend. IMO it's all a bit silly. Or more like it, clever marketing. The "most important day of your life" the "biggest party you'll ever throw" the "best day you'll ever have" etc etc etc.
I'd rather have my toe-nails pulled out with pliars than go to a hen week/weekend with bride, her prospective MIL, her granny, her sisters, her SIL-to-be, her work colleagues, her school mates, her uni freinds, the next door neighour and the dog. But, each to their own.

Horsemad Thu 21-Feb-13 19:43:05

Last wedding I went to, the combined age of the B&G was 140!!

No hen celebrations thank the Lord - I dread to think where we'd have ended up sad

ILoveMyCats Fri 22-Feb-13 00:40:40

This is a great thread - have been nodding my head a lot. Over the last couple of years we've accepted invites to weddings and hens and stags that we've been annoyed by, but didn't feel we could decline and didn't make the point to the right person. Sil got married in new Zealand despite living in London!!! Had to go as DH's sister - 3 weeks and thousands of £s when we were saving for a house.
The tide is turning among people we know, but not much as they have been collecting some ideas from other and trying to better them. It's taken me a while to work up the courage to do things like this, but I have started saying no to big birthdays etc. I also have 'friends' who try to persuade me, and in the past I've caved, which makes them try all the more. I've decided not to give in and if they don't like it, they're not true friends. I'm much happier as I don't go to events that I can't enjoy for worrying about the money and don't have to spend time with people I don't like.
When planning our own wedding, I invited the afore mentioned friends, when I didn't want to. One rearranged my seating plan so that she was next to her dp and put the rest of her table in couples (I'd arranged it so that they were mixed up so that the single girl on the table didn't feel she was on a table of couples). They all knew each other very well. She didn't even look embarrassed when I remarked about it. Another RAN to the bar for last orders and came back with a TRAY of drinks for her table who had not finished their other drinks so took them with them. It was a free bar. In the 2 and a half years since my wedding, I have seen these women a few times and have continued to be disgusted by their behaviour. So am not seeing them and am not going to their weddings.
I think people can get swept along and forget that not everyone can afford/likes what they do. Weddings are big business and we are a society that indulges. Be true to yourselves, as that feels better than these so-called friendships do. It is worth being honest with people, though. As, if you don't tell them your barriers, then how will they know you can't afford it or don't enjoy pink parties? They may still be offended, but at least you have been true to yourself. They should respect you for it, even unconsciously, and you'll respect yourself too.

I lol about the gender reveal parties as I too had had visions of post-op transsexuals. Then I was horrified that people think that others want to celebrate a 20 weeks scan! what is the world coming to?!

pictish Fri 22-Feb-13 08:44:51

Show off, show off, show off, me me me, spend spend spend.

While the country has been struggling to recover from the recession, bizarrely the trend for overblown weddings has gone from strength to strength!

I am shock at the sil who lives in London but got married in New Zealand!! I mean are there any more expensive flights, than flights to New fucking Zealand?? What goes through their heads?!

Fact is...anyone can get married on the moon for all I care, so long as they don't actually expect anyone to shell out to go too, and then come over all offended when told "no thanks...we'd rather eat and pay our bills this year".

"But it's our wedding!!"

That's right..it's your wedding. When you've found the cure for cancer give me a shout. Other than that, piss off.

babanouche Fri 22-Feb-13 09:37:49

yep, I agree it's stupid. Someone I know had two hen parties - one for family and friends and then a secret one for closer friends which cost everyone a fortune in a mansion for the weekend.

And no kids invited - I'm sorry I think this is so rude and objectionable. Fair enough you might not want to have absolutely everyone's kids there due to cost but seems to me B&G's don't consider what their guests do for them. It's their day and it's all about them. Well, no actually. The fact that two people love each other doesn't take precedence over my family.

I can see the point of a small, private wedding with no kids but f you're spending a fucking fortune on a wedding at least have the good manners to consider your guests.

Rant. Sozzers.

SnowyWellies Fri 22-Feb-13 09:57:32

Huh. never mind weekend-long hen's, I can give you a weekend-long FAREWELL 'do' an ex-manager of mine thought it was appropriate to have when she left our office. I had been there about 2 weeks and felt obliged to go. She had all her subordinates there who clearly felt obliged to go. And get this- it was in fucking Spain. I have no idea why any of us thought this was a good idea to pander to her, but it was a pretty toxic organisation with a bullying culture and certainly we did not feel we could refuse.

Christ on a bike, we were given shcedules, and were herded around, and it all came out of our own pockets.

babanouche Fri 22-Feb-13 10:01:55

Jeez, Snowy - out of order.

Re weddings & hen/stags - I wonder if part of it's down to people being older and having had years of going out on the piss whenever they want, it just doesn't feel special enough without party planning to the nth degree.

Whereas the rest of us who hooked up years ago and have families are just a bit hmm about it all.

Basically young people and lonely people like Snowy's boss are just selfish.

Glad to have solved that for you all.grin

Horsemad Fri 22-Feb-13 10:12:09

I know somone getting married this year and the meal is £150 per head shock

They're having 150 guests shock shock

Rache1S Fri 22-Feb-13 10:24:43

I had everyone's financial/childcare circumstances in mind when I got married and decided to have a cheapish Hen Day relatively close to home. Then I got moaned at that I wasn't going abroad and ended up arranging a weekend in Spain as well for those that wanted to! Sometimes you can't win! grin

I agree that the whole wedding thing has spiraled out of control in recent years with everyone trying to out-wedding each other. I am proud to say we didn't buy into this game.

I hate these threads.

While I totally agree that in some cases people get totally obsessed with themselves and expect their friends to fork out ridiculous funds of money for their hens / weddings etc actually the majority of people don't. The majority of people also understand that an invitation is precisely that and not a summons.

If you don't want to go for whatever reason then don't. If the person issuing the invite gets the hump ignore them. But I don't see the need for the inevitable flurry of 'i am so so much better and more considerate than all of you I made my wedding dress for a fiver from leaves I found on the ground and paid for everyone to come so they're not out of pocket' Bollocks.

It's not a competition to have the most lavish party but equally these threads are the absolute opposite to that with everyone fighting about how little they spent and how much better that was which is just as 'look at me aren't I better than you' as the opposite.

We're all different, some people like huge lavish celebrations, some like low key events with only those closest to them. Some have lifestyles and friends who can afford to do expensive things and enjoy it, some don't. Some might be able you afford it bit prefer not to etc etc and the rest....

Do what works for you and is important to you and those you love, and accept that whatever that is some people will choose to come and others will decline. But is there really any need to be so vitriolic and bloody righteous about it?

Out of interest op, what did you do for your wedding /hen?

jellybeans Fri 22-Feb-13 10:37:03

YANBU. I wouldn't go. Luckily have only been to evening wedding receptions lately. I declined one which was far away and without DC but DH went alone.

DontmindifIdo Fri 22-Feb-13 11:11:49

Yellowdinosaur - I agree, there's a certain element on here who refuse to accept they are just as 'entitled' if they are effectively saying their finanical position should be the deciding factor in someone else's plans - the OP is a case in point, she has said she's the only guest with DCs to think about and who is in a much more constrained financial position, but feels that because one person invited on the hen is in this position, the whole hen do should be fitted around them. It's like suggesting becuase I was pregnant and therefore unable to do some of the activities planned at a friend's hen do, rather than me just saying "sorry, I can't do that, you all have fun" (which is what I did) the bridesmaid should have arranged something completely different from what the bride and everyone else wanted to do.

If everyone says "no, can't afford that, sorry." then plans will be changed. If only one person says that, normally the response is "oh well, never mind."

What I don't understand is why anyone is friends with people who wont accept "sorry, I can't afford that" or "sorry, I can't get the time off to go to your wedding/hen do" or "sorry, I can't find childcare so I can't come" - why are you bothered that these people get upset? Just cut them out. (Or don't be friends with an arse and then be surprised they act like one)

Why can't some of you accept that very very rarely are these invites issued as a way of deliberately pissing you off. If you can't afford somehting, rather than get in a fuss about it, why can't you just say "sorry, can't do that" - because by getting all het up about it, what you are actually saying is you think the bride/bridesmaid should have planned the event round you and your situation. What you are effectively saying is you get in a huff when you have it basically pointed out to you that you aren't the most important person in a bride's life.

badguider Fri 22-Feb-13 11:19:39

Well I don't see my friends and extended family as often as I'd like, we all work and have families and busy lives and have moved apart - sometimes to other cities, sometimes just out to suburbs and commuter towns.

Guess what - I like when people have weddings and big birthday parties to get us all together. I enjoy catching up with people and having fun with them.

If something is genuinely out of my budget then I'll say no (and I have never been asked to pay for more than a night or two in a b&b or hotel and travel to another part of this country) but I also like going for a weekend away in the lakedistrict (last wedding i was at) or wherever with my husband.

Totally agree with you Dontmindifido

LadyHarrietdeSpook Fri 22-Feb-13 11:39:54

In my experience, 'normal' friends can loose their marbles a bit around wedding times and big birthdays. It is disappointing when it happens, and the conversations about why you can't attend ARE in reality difficult. It doesn't mean I want to cut them out of my life forever.

It IS a trend to encourage people to spend more and more on weddings and other sorts of events. This is a fact (as far as I am concerned.)

We have an au pair and are constantly given the hmm by a certain set of friends when we say no we can't actually make her babysit for 36 hours over a weekend, so we can free ourselves up to come to your birthday party (not even a big one)/random gathering in your pub in your town. Why not? you say, you the one with both grandparents living in your town and childcare on tap. Because it would be abusive that why. But apparently we're being precious about things.

wherearemysocka Fri 22-Feb-13 11:40:01

Brilliantly put, dontmindifido - your post should be copied and pasted onto every single one of these threads that descends into people bitching because it turns out other people's lives don't revolve around their needs.

johnthepong Fri 22-Feb-13 11:44:48

I don't care if people want to have a big party or whatever- what I object to is feeling obliged to have to pay for it all!! I had a simple hen night that was broken into different parts- with people being able to come to some or all of it, as they wished. I was very touched that the hens decided to contribute together to pay for my meal out (probably cost them an extra £2-3 per head)- didn't expect this at all and was completly unnecessary. The hen night was local and those that lived further away crashed at my house! No hotels involved. I did already have one dc when we got married so was quite aware of financial constraints.
Wedding again, was about half a mile down the road from where we lived- we even had people staying at our house on our wedding night who lived far away and couldnt afford a hotel. dh and i stayed in a hotel for the night.

I am not saying my financial position should be the deciding factor in the hen night at all; I would like to go and meet them for a drink or meal etc without having to drive several hours (frends live locally), or having to do the whole weekend because its been booked through a company and you cant just go for a meal, or having to give up hours of my time creating a special memory scrapbook, or buying t shirts that I will only wear for a couple of hours on the hen do and never again. It just feeds the whole consumerist and waste culture that I intensely dislike.

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 22-Feb-13 11:45:26

Totally agree Dontmind.
It's only an invitation people, you can always say NO.

wherearemysocka Fri 22-Feb-13 11:54:03

I often get invited to hen dos over weekends and as a teacher obviously can't take Mondays and Fridays off during term time (yes, I know there are a number of non teachers who can't either).

One bride actually told me to throw a sickie so I could come (yes, I am absolutely going to risk disciplinary action to go on your hen do) so I had to tell her I wasn't able to come until the Saturday morning. I was mightily pissed off with her and nearly didn't go at all - in the end I did, on my own terms and it was OK. I think a few other people who had to work or couldn't leave children for so long had had a word and she had calmed down.

I totally understand your situation and in your position would probably duck out and leave them to it, and then go out to dinner with the bride before the wedding to celebrate. But if that's what the bride and all the other guests want to do then you're going to have to suck it up and let them go.

INeedThatForkOff Fri 22-Feb-13 12:10:22

I've been bumped off the guest list for 'choosing' not to go on hen parties I couldn't afford, so it's not a straightforward choice.

It may be that I was never going to get more than an evening invitation anyway, in which case, why the fuck are you asking me to spend hundreds on your ego trip hen do anyway? Oh I know, to massage your popular ego some more.

babanouche Fri 22-Feb-13 12:15:21

I've no objection to huge weddings if they're fun and inclusive but loads of them are just wank and ridiculous. I think they're the ones taking the pounding here.

And it doesn't hurt for the people getting married to remember the world doesn't revolve around them, even on their wedding day.

FFS they're in love. What more do they want/need? Priorities, people! Hehehe....

wherearemysocka Fri 22-Feb-13 12:33:31

Oh well, think of the money you saved by not going to the wedding of a complete twat, ineedthatforkoff - hope you spent it on something nice for yourself!

DontmindifIdo Fri 22-Feb-13 12:47:36

but OP you are saying they should base it round you! You are saying that because you can't do it all they should have a hen do that's more complex to organise (having a selection of people coming to a selection of events you have to book separately is a lot more hassle than just picking a package and booking a set number of people into it and then letting the hen company do all the other logistics for you). Because you only want to go to part of it, you think the bride should arrange it to be physically close to you, regardless of if everyone else fancies going away. Because you can't afford to buy a t shirt for one weekend you think no one should be doing that in the group.

Can't you see, you're upset because the event has been arranged to suit the bridesmaid, the bride, the bulk of the group, but not you.

IME - people who only come to bits of a do are harder work to arrange round, if everyone is doing the same thing, you can just get on with it, if you are running late or decide that you fancy doing skipping a bit, that's no problem, you just do it. But if you've got to be at a bar at X time because that's when you told the others you'd be there, or that you have to wait for someone who's arriving separately rather than being able to just herd a whole group, the timings have to be kept too (and therefore normally be a lot less flexible).

TheSmallClanger Fri 22-Feb-13 13:46:19

The kicker is when you are asked beforehand how much you'd be willing to spend on a hen party, reply saying honestly that you haven't got that much money at the moment, then get an invitation for an event that costs four times what you said you could afford. It would be okay if the bride in question then accepted that you couldn't go, but in my experience, it leads to accusations of "not making an effort" and emotional blackmail about you being one of her oldest friends.

The bride in question later realised what an arse she had been and apologised, but it was really stressful at a time that shouldn't have been.

It can be hard to say no when it is someone whose relationship to you you value, but they are not being considerate, especially when they know your situation. Weddings now cost an absolute fortune to attend, and it's time away from family, other stuff and other people that not everyone has. For example, a few years back, we got invited to a wedding in Cyprus by one of my relatives. We turned it down, as it would have meant going without a family holiday at a time when we felt we needed one with DD. Cue emotional blackmail about weddings being one-offs, but family holidays being ten-a-penny, and why didn't we just treat the wedding as our holiday? I just wanted to shout that I didn't want to have a wedding in the middle of a holiday with an 8yo, didn't want to go to Cyprus and didn't want to eat up our holiday budget on wedding expenses. This relative's mum was really huffy with me until pretty much now, because I was being nasty to her DD around her Speshul Daaaaaaaay. Grrr.

chubbychipmonk Fri 22-Feb-13 13:59:08

Totally agree, it's worse when you're a bridesmaid! I spent nearly £600 in the run up toward being bridesmaid at BFs wedding. . Spa day, hen night, paying for her hen night, engagement present, wedding present, overnight stay at wedding, cost of drinks at wedding etc etc etc!! When I sat down & actually added it up I could've cried!!

ScarlettInSpace Sat 23-Feb-13 08:19:47

Oh yes, being maid of honour was one of the most expensive things I've done, especially when you include the £120 dress I had to buy that I didn't even like, shoes, hair, country house hotel at £100 a night for 2 nights, hen do and a fair amount of other incidentals... 6 months after the wedding the bride showed her true colours and I ended up with £2500 of her debt in my name. Suffice to say we dont speak. Never again!

I love a big posh wedding though, and hen do's are what you make them <hides>

ChestyLeRoux Sat 23-Feb-13 08:29:38

Ive been to countless weddings/hen dos
Never done anything abroad
Never put more than 20 quid in a card as thats the usual amount
Never paid for the hen as never heard of that

I took 20 quid out on my hen do thats all I needed and was hammered.

An average wedding/hen night for me costs about 60 including me going hen night,money and card and drinks for me,dh and our kids on the day.

You had to pay for all your own stuff when you were a bridesmaid?! OMG!

I get married next year and I will pay for dresses, shoes, make up and hair. I have asked them to get their own underwear as they don't need anything special.

WhataSook Sat 23-Feb-13 11:09:01

I wanted to elope for my wedding, we had agreed on South America and was in the process of organising it when DH's family said they would come to SA for the wedding!

We were living in Australia (where I'm from) and I thought if I cant elope with just the two of us we will marry in my country. We gave a year's notice to his family and friends and stressed that it would be nice to see everyone but that we were planning on moving to this side of the world a year after the wedding so would do a big party then.

Twenty of his family and friends made the trip, so I kept my side of the wedding to twenty also. But DH's friends then also wanted him to have a stag do, and then threw ridiculous amounts of money at us for a wedding present. I was mortified and tried to figure out how we could give the money back without offending. I knew some of lads couldnt afford it but had gone along with it which upset me.

I wasnt going to put myself in debt for my wedding day and I didnt bloody expect anyone else to either!

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