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To be put out that bride is upset no-one organised a hen night?

(40 Posts)
ViviPru Fri 02-Sep-11 11:52:39

My BF (male) is getting married abroad. We're attending along with their parents and 2 other couples; the brides BF & partner and the groom's best man & partner. While the groom has been my best pal for years and years, I also consider the bride to be one of my closest friends and care a great deal about her.

The bride's just confessed to me that she's pretty upset that no-one has thought about organising a meal or something by way of a hen send off for her here in the UK. This has been sparked off by a close girlfriend of hers (not attending the wedding) asking when the hen-do is. The groom is having a traditional stag weekend - men only.

She didn't seem to be accusing me directly, but at the same time she never once said "of course its not YOUR responsibility"... I'm put out for several reasons:

1. She made a point a while ago of telling everyone she doesn't want any kind of traditional wild hen party. (clearly we all missed the subtext i.e. she wants a non-traditional calm hen party)
2. Previously, mention has been made of the 8 of us having a sort of stag/hen night out while abroad
3. Her BF seems to be off the hook as she's 'going through a lot at the moment' (err - who isn't?)
4. The wedding has been intentionally non-conventional from the off, so its a bit unreasonable to now expect people to observe convention.
5. Turns out the best man's partner DID suggest a meal out together for the girls but this wasn't met with great enthusiasm.
6. Ages ago I'd suggested a girly night in while the men are on the stag weekend but again this wasn't met with great enthusiasm either.

I'm upset that she's feeling so blue about it, and I can't help ruminating over it. The girlfriend-not-attending-the-wedding is now booking a meal out for all the brides female pals, but it all feels rather tokenistic now. I suspect that its all going to kick off if everyones true feelings are aired.

This isn't really a 'what should I do' thread I don't feel I need to do anything - I know I'm probably just looking for validation that I've not done anything wrong, but I'm also looking for ways to see the whole situation from the bride's perspective in order to handle it constructively. Ta much.

SiamoFottuti Fri 02-Sep-11 11:55:49

Why didn't she organise her own? Isn't that the norm?

candr Fri 02-Sep-11 11:58:35

I didn't want the classic hen night and my friends all live a fair distance away so to get them to organise something when they don't know each other would have been odd so I organised my own night of meal and comedy club which suited everyone. I would have loved someone to do it for me but at the same time that wouldn't have been easy. Maybe she wants you to do something but doesn't want to ask in case she feels you are doing it cause she asked not cause you wanted to IYSWIM. Maybe makes some plans on paper that are nice and smple and discuss it with her so she knows you were willing to help her with this even though it should be her best mate doing it.

anonacfr Fri 02-Sep-11 11:59:05

If she so wanted a hen night why couldn't she arrange it herself?
One of my closest friends got married last year. She had a very simple wedding (in her parents' garden).
The 'hen night' was a weekend at her place with all her closest school/uni friends. It involved a nice relaxing afternoon, a delicious meal at her local 'posh' restaurant (we all paid for her and ourselves, she paid for the pre-meal champagne for everyone) and then we all slept on the floor/sofas/cushions in her flat, just like back in the days... It was lovely!

hoovercraft Fri 02-Sep-11 11:59:50

Its the bridesmaids role to organise the hen do isnt it?

LydiaWickham Fri 02-Sep-11 12:01:01

Erm, she should have either decided on a chief bridesmaid and therefore it would be their responsibility to organise, or if she's not having one of those, done it herself.

You've not done anything wrong, you suggested a night out when the stag do was going on, that's as close to organising a 'non traditional hen' as it could be.

don't beat yourself up about that part, although as you said you were thinking of a hen do when away, perhaps ask her about it and make it clear you're actually planning that and get it booked/confirmed.

ViviPru Fri 02-Sep-11 12:02:55

You might have a point there candr - thanks. Its a group brought together through the male friendships and I was originally friends with the men before the partners came along so it kind of just follows that I'm usually the one who organises anything social. Looking at last nights conversation from that perspective, it could well be that she was trying to tell me something...

Birdsgottafly Fri 02-Sep-11 12:04:57

It's usually upto the chief bridesmaid to organise the hen do, as you should pick your best friend to be cheif bridesmaid.

If she hasn't stuck to convention and done it that way, then all the other usual conventions will not fall into place.

You can bet that the groom has had imput into his stag do. Alot of women want others to be clairvoyant and seem to be incapable of just asking for what they want.

Suggestions were made, she didn't want to do what was suggested. She should have at that time said what she did want to do, instead.

This sort of thing rarely happens in male friendships.

purits Fri 02-Sep-11 12:05:33

She is getting married abroad and then gets upset that the ones left behind someone hasn't organised a UK hen party? The cheek of her!

Sorry, as far as I am concerned, getting married abroad misses the whole point of a wedding - which is a public ceremony for everyone who cares about and loves the couple. Why should they organise a hen party if they are not considered important enough to be invited to the wedding.

BoisJacques Fri 02-Sep-11 12:06:55

Wing it. Orgnaise a rnadom, last minute night out and pretend the 'suprise' was the plan all along. Last minute trip to Blackpool/Brighton/London should do the trick.

ViviPru Fri 02-Sep-11 12:08:26

thanks, Lydia your comments are helpful. I agree, its the lack of allocation of formal roles (which all seemed very nice in theory) that has led to the confusion. I'll take your advice and think more seriously about arranging something abroad. anonacfr, SiamoFottuti & hoovercraft - I never thought of it that way but you have a point... Both her & my BF are very laid-back people who are great company but never really initiate anything themselves, they just drift from social event to social event and must think they just happen magically.... so i would never have expected her to organise anything herself

Thumbwitch Fri 02-Sep-11 12:11:23

People need to learn to ask for what they want, not drop hints that are so subtle you'd need to be psychic to get them.

Your bride has been a bit daft, really - so she's being unreasonable to complain about it!

Hope it all works out anyway.

ViviPru Fri 02-Sep-11 12:12:51

"This sort of thing rarely happens in male friendships." nail on head, Birdsgottafly hence this all being rather alien to me, having been 'best woman' a couple of times but never bridesmaid

purits I couldn't agree more. The wedding itself is a whole other AIBU that I couldn't possibly bring myself to inflict on you all. I was gobsmacked when the bride said she was a bit upset that girlfriend-not-attending-the-wedding hadn't thought to arrange something earlier. Er hello - maybe the fact that you've priced her out of attending your wedding might have something to do with it?!!

Ephiny Fri 02-Sep-11 12:16:38

I don't know what she expected, if she didn't want the 'traditional' hen night, but didn't seem to want a night in or a meal out either. You're not mind-readers, so if there was something specific she wanted to do, she should have said so, or organised it herself.

I know it's traditionally the bridesmaid's job, but lots of brides do organise it themselves now (or at least have input). Not everyone even has bridesmaids.

ChaoticAngeloftheUnderworld Fri 02-Sep-11 12:21:02

Didn't you post about this wedding on another thread?

YANBU It's up to her to arrange a hen night if she hasn't appointed anyone as chief bridesmaid. Mind you if she's priced people out of the wedding chances are she may have done the same for a hen night.

Personally, I'd rather arrange my own so I could get to do what I wanted to do.

LRDTheFeministDragon Fri 02-Sep-11 12:21:09

On the face of it, yes, she should have organized it herself or delegated if she wanted it done.

But I have quite a lot of sympathy for her. When I got married, DH and I were quite happy with the idea of an unconventional, small wedding. And we were happy to do the planning to give our friends and family a good time. My family really did not want to do anything, and actually, it is bloody sad realizing that every other wedding I'd been to had involved family members who wanted to show their love and support, and mine really did not. They turned up, were vaguely interested but rather more interested in themselves, and left. They tell me it was a beautiful day.

I wonder if your friend is feeling a bit sad or isolated, and this is why it's upset her no-one has planned a surprise hen party. It could be that she is falling back on her friends because her family are not doing a lot (and in lots of families, the bride's sister or a cousin will help out with the hen party). I know you could say this is all a load of self-indulgent rubbish, or she shouldn't be expecting to be treated differently because she's getting married, but it does feel sad to be going into a marriage and feeling as if people around you don't care.

I think the fact she told you probably means she feels close to you and wanted to reach out a bit. I doubt she wanted you to feel guilty, but I can see why she might feel sad.

ViviPru Fri 02-Sep-11 12:24:03

ChaoticAngeloftheUnderworld hah yeah I did - busted - trying to exorcise my frustrations about it via the back door without getting down and gritty with a 10000 word blow by blow rant!!

ChaoticAngeloftheUnderworld Fri 02-Sep-11 12:26:59

Thought I remembered you grin Personally I think she (and your BF) are lucky to have you attending the wedding.

ViviPru Fri 02-Sep-11 12:28:05

LRDTheFeministDragon- thanks - this is pretty much the response I'd kind of hoped for in helping to see things from a different perspective. They aren't particularly close to their families, hence the wedding abroad, and her good friends are scattered around the country so we've ended up being a bit of a male-partner led gang (with me as exception) partially by geography. I hadn't thought about how these factors might have contributed to how she's feeling.

ViviPru Fri 02-Sep-11 12:31:03

ChaoticAngeloftheUnderworld tell you what - they bloody well are. What they don't need is a resentful, grumpy ratbag in attendance so i'm going to have to work on that.

LRDTheFeministDragon Fri 02-Sep-11 12:31:19

I could be totally wrong ... and I gather the backstory is, erm, interesting grin. But, you know ... she's a friend, she may be feeling a bit sad. Weddings really put you up against the reality of what kind of support you can expect from your family (not to mention, for your friends, the reality of what a bridezilla you can be ....).

Helltotheno Fri 02-Sep-11 12:33:23

The reality is lots of people don't like weddings... and let's face it, one of the reasons is that ostensibly normal people seem to turn into immature, egotistical drama queens. People shouldn't expect other people to have the same interest in their wedding as themselves, it's just not reasonable.
My dd will be under no illusion that if she wants me to do something, I'll help her with it, if I'm asked properly and not hinted at, and don't have to put up with pre-pubescent-style strops but otherwise, if she wants to have the big do, she can organise and pay for it herself ta very much. What's with the entitlement thing over weddings, I just don't get it?!

- ok rant over -

Op you've been hinted at over nothing that was your responsibility anyway, nothing has been said to you directly and I'd ignore the hints if I were you.
Unless she's going to actually man up and say what's on her mind, you don't have to react.

Thumbwitch Fri 02-Sep-11 12:37:05

Ahhhh, I think I remember your other thread about it now! V. expensive trip abroad for you, no? Hmmmm. Yes, LRD makes good points, but the bride in this case has probably brought it upon herself in some ways.
Sad really - she's probably too self-involved to realise that.

ViviPru Fri 02-Sep-11 12:37:57

"Weddings really put you up against the reality of what kind of support you can expect from your family (not to mention, for your friends, the reality of what a bridezilla you can be ....)."

haha, LRDTheFeministDragon thats the truth. Mr Vivipru and I have been together since the dawn of time and over the years have been involved in about 1037 weddings of friends and family. One day I'm going to hit them ALL with the Grand Nuptials of ViviPru sit back and enjoy the fireworks. Which is just me posturing because in reality everyone will find themselves attending the greatest wedding of their lives while I end up having a coronary/being sectioned/insert other dramatic demise here.

LRDTheFeministDragon Fri 02-Sep-11 12:41:32


I'm rapidly getting the idea this bride may be beyond the reach of reason ...

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