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Hen do shortfall - who should pay?

(62 Posts)
ViviPru Thu 17-Jan-13 07:20:26

With two months to go, a friend (Mary) has dropped out of my hen do. Yesterday's email to her requesting payment prompted her to check her diary and realise the trip to Italy she booked last week clashes.

Problem is, when the hen do was originally organised and booked, it was on the basis of her confirming that she was definitely able to attend. This means there is now a £150 shortfall.


~The hen do has been arranged by my friends

~When initially discussing my expectations/desires for a hen do, my main concerns were that it ought to be as equidistant as possible from all attendees and have the option of a scaled-back attendance and consequent reduced cost for those with kids (this was fulfilled)

~I suggested that I wasn't comfortable asking anyone to pay more than £120 in total at the very most.

~Mary does not have children

~Last year I attended Mary's hen do, which was a similar cost up front, and cost me about £350 when all was said and done.

~It's only just come to light to me that Mary is the only one who did not pay 50% deposit last autumn. I don't think this is because she never intended to come, more that she is quite difficult to pin down by email, rarely checking her hotmail emails, and not able to use work email for personal correspondence. I was not aware of this prior to the hen do being organised, we tend to communicate via text mostly.

~In her words, she's simply had a 'blonde moment' in double-booking this weekend which is wholly believable. She's very upfront and if it were about anything other than a genuine oversight, I believe she'd have said.

~I recognise that having friends organise my hen do on my behalf might have left me open to a situation such as this arising. Had I done it myself I could have chased Mary up for the deposit before Christmas and the situation wouldn't have arisen. My friends were keen to do it for me though, I only ever wanted quite a simple do and with so much else to organise I thought I may as well hand it over.

~At this point in time, I do not have the exact details about what monies have been paid that are non-refundable etc. I was just told last night that without Mary's attendance, there is a £150 shortfall.

~No mention has been made of money by Mary. I don't know if she is aware that her dropping out at this late stage has the consequence of a shortfall.

~The organisers suggested we just share the cost between the other attendees, but Im not comfortable with that and have said if it comes to it, I would rather cover it myself.

~I am aware this is not strictly an "AIBU" question.


Who ought to pay the missing £150? Mary? Me? The organisers? The remaining hens? If Mary, how should it be handled?

AltinkumATEalltheTurkey Thu 17-Jan-13 07:22:19

Get everyone to chip in.

Back2Two Thu 17-Jan-13 07:24:02

Not Mary, I think you'll just have to split it

PrincessOfChina Thu 17-Jan-13 07:25:10

Depends how many of you there are, and if the other hens were already chipping in to cover your costs? If there are lots of you then it's like a tenner each or something and is do that. If its less, I'd be inclined to suck it up between myself and my bridesmaids.

I do think you should have a chat with Mary and point out she should have paid £60 as a deposit and now she's dropped out you need it really. Just make lots of apologies and say you've all just realised she didn't pay the deposit and say you'll be out of pocket. If she's pretty straight up she'll offer anyway when she realises.

BillyBollyBrandy Thu 17-Jan-13 07:25:24

Surely she should just lose her deposit unless someone else has paid for the entire amount without getting cash in first? If that's the case then I would tell her and see if someone else can come. If they can't then she owes you the money.

YorkshireDeb Thu 17-Jan-13 07:25:43

I'd like to think Mary but I doubt she will. If you feel you can I would point this shortfall out to her though - it's really not fair for anyone else to pay for her mistake & at the very least she should feel bad about it! Failing that I'd say split the cost - the other hens will understand (although may be cross with Mary). How many hens are there to share the shortfall between? X

dexter73 Thu 17-Jan-13 07:25:52

If I cancelled something I would pay the money myself as it isn't fair to make other people pay because I can't look in my diary. I would send her an email saying that the money is still owed and see what she says.

squeakytoy Thu 17-Jan-13 07:26:10

invite someone else to take her place?

ENormaSnob Thu 17-Jan-13 07:27:00

I would say either Mary or the organisers.

Mary shouldn't be dropping out.

Organisers shouldn't have booked place without deposit.

I don't think it's fair to expect everyone else to cover it tbh.

ViviPru Thu 17-Jan-13 07:28:01

I probably should have said there are 10 other attendees including me, two of these are attending on the scaled-back basis.

saggybaps Thu 17-Jan-13 07:28:07

Ask her to pay her deposit explaining that there isnow a shortfall. If she's as nice & genuine as you say, & you paid £350 for hers, she should pay no prob.

Trills Thu 17-Jan-13 07:29:42

She should pay some of it, at least.

Whoever i organising it should sort it out - you shouldn't have to worry about it when you don't have all the info. Just telling you "there is a £150 shortfall" is a bit useless.

What s being paid for that would definitely not be if Mary was not there?

Non-refundable activities where you pay per person?

Is the accommodation per person (hotel) or are you in a house where you would have got the same house anyway if you had known there was one fewer person.

littlewhitebag Thu 17-Jan-13 07:32:30

If no-one has to pay more than £120 at the most why would the shortfall be £150? Genuinely confused.

lightrain Thu 17-Jan-13 07:33:18

This happened on my hen do, the exact same thing. I covered the cost myself. I felt uncomfortable asking others to pay more, and uncomfortable asking 'Mary' to pay when she wasn't going to attend (even though really, she should have paid!).

holidaysarenice Thu 17-Jan-13 07:35:03

I would definitely expect the £60 deposit from her. Would email her and say I'm sure she understands she'll lose the deposit she has paid. Except you know she hasn't paid it yet!

How on earth will you divide the shortfall espec as some ppl are attending less of it. Very hard!!

RuleBritannia Thu 17-Jan-13 07:36:42

Why on earth do people have such expensive hen dos? In my day, It's not so long ago that a group just went out for a drink or meal with wine. Why assume that everyone has £100+ to spend on non-essentials?

jumpingjackhash Thu 17-Jan-13 07:40:40

It sounds to me like Mary didn't consider herself confirmed to the point of having to pay, especially if she was meant to pay her share of a deposit last autumn. I think your bridesmaids should sort out the shortfall (or revise plans for the activities) as they were remiss in not chasing her up (they're had months, really, so could have called her!).

I can see why you might want to chip in too, but it's not fair to expect the others to pay.

Also, not sure her having no kids is relevant. Child free women also have other things going on.

Branleuse Thu 17-Jan-13 07:43:42

things were much simpler when a hen do meant getting all your mates together for a meal and a few bottles of wine

RuleBritannia Thu 17-Jan-13 07:44:56

Thank you for the back up, Branleuse.

Adversecamber Thu 17-Jan-13 07:49:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ViviPru Thu 17-Jan-13 07:50:02

PrincessOfChina Good advice - thanks

Enorma Good point. The organisers paid the deposit I think without Mary's contribution. They shouldn't have, really.

Trills Good points, it was Mary who texted me directly last night to say she shouldn't come, all previous correspondence re the hen do has taken place between the organisers, I have not been involved. I got in touch with one of the organisers to see what financial consequences her not coming would have.

I believe that some of the £150 is to cover food, drink, an activity of some description, so while it is not already spent, it is accounted for.

It is a rented cottage, so we will get the same house anyway with one fewer person.

Littlewhite At the outset, I SUGGESTED it cost no more than £120. I only found out last night that it was actually costing everyone £150

RuleBritannia There was an option of a scaled back attendance, just a meal out on a night that suited the individual or a 1 night stay rather than 2. These options were open to all of the hens, and two decided to take the option of staying one night. The rest chose to attend in full.

ViviPru Thu 17-Jan-13 07:54:13

JumpingJack You hit the nail with where Mary is with all this I think. Were I reading this as an outsider, I think I'd say 'you should make Mary aware she is responsible for the shortfall and really she ought to pay the deposit, but the rest should be shared between you and the organisers.'

not sure her having no kids is relevant

You now that if I'd not stipulated this in my OP, some people would have assumed she had kids and might base their judgement on Mary and the situation on this.

CaseyShraeger Thu 17-Jan-13 07:54:38

I also don't see how if there are originally planned to be eleven people going, paying no more than £120, and one of them drops out, the shortfall can be £150. Shouldn't it be a maximum of £120?

Really IMO Mary should pay the 50% deposit and the remainder should be paid somehow - in your position I'd probably cover it myself if possible but there's nothing wrong with asking tge others to chip in. But I can see it could be awkward asking her to stump up now.

ViviPru Thu 17-Jan-13 07:55:02

*know not now

ViviPru Thu 17-Jan-13 07:55:34

Casey see my previous post re the confusion between the £150 and £120

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