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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?

CaseyShraeger Thu 17-Jan-13 07:56:15

(cross-posted on the £120/£150 thing)

ViviPru Thu 17-Jan-13 07:57:29

ha sorry smile

I feel that really, Mary should pay the £70 deposit, and the remaining £80 should be paid between me and the 3 organisers. But I'm not sure how to go about making that happen in the most reasonable way....

CloudsAndTrees Thu 17-Jan-13 07:59:39

She should pay the deposit at least, and unfortunately I think you as the bride should pay the rest. You shouldn't have to, but the others shouldn't have to even more.

This is why I'm dreading organising my friends hen do!

iamabadger Thu 17-Jan-13 08:03:09

Will there really be a remaining £80 if some of that was to cover food and drink? As Mary isn't going so her proportion of food and drink won't be required. I'd also check what she's actually been told and asked for-if I wasn't chased for a deposit if probably assume there wasn't one or it was just a nominal fee for the whole group to be honest.

jammietart Thu 17-Jan-13 08:03:29

Can you just pay? Absorb the cost into the overall wedding spend and move on and enjoy your hen do? Not saying you won't enjoy it but issues like this can fester and cause resentment.
( although I think Mary should pay the entire cost herself but if she hasn't offered already I doubt she thinks she should)

TheCatIsEatingIt Thu 17-Jan-13 08:04:12

I had a dropout, so I paid the shortfall myself and used the empty space for a very dear schoolfriend who couldn't afford it but had wanted to come - I told a white lie and said the dropout had paid.

ViviPru Thu 17-Jan-13 08:04:23

Good points all, thanks for chipping in

SminkoPinko Thu 17-Jan-13 08:04:26

shock @ the expense of hen nights! I would never pay £120 for a night out with friends even if one of them was getting married and I loved her dearly, let alone £350! Couldn't afford it, full stop, especially at this time of year. Are you sure she's not skint after Christmas?

Anyway, this is all an aside. You have made your feelings clear about not wanting your mates to pay too much more but your friends are organising, not you, and they need to manage this hiccup. They need to sort out the money side to all attendees' satisfaction and come up with a implement plan B if plan A is now unrealistically expensive. Let them sort it out amongst themselves.

Have a great time, when the big day

jumpingjackhash Thu 17-Jan-13 08:05:23

I think the big learning for your plans Clouds is if they've not paid their contribution by X date, you assume they're not coming and let them know that!

Thanks for answering questions Vivi, you're in a difficult situation over something which has been caused by others (a misunderstanding most likely). Just have a chat with Mary then if you want her to contribute. I would probably cover it myself though and silently wish my bridesmaids were better organised, but I'm anal about planning!

Got you on the kids thing! wink

Gumby Thu 17-Jan-13 08:05:37

Can't you invite someone else?

Sister, sister in law, your mum, his mum, cousin work mate?!

GailTheGoldfish Thu 17-Jan-13 08:07:51

Mary should pay, at the very least just the deposit. But if she won't, if I were you I would pay. It's lovely that your friends have all been able to pay £150 to celebrate with you, if it was me I wouldn't want to burden them with extra cost.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 17-Jan-13 08:09:42

Thanks jumping!

I'm hoping my friend will want a hen do that can be paid for on the night so I just have to book a table and a few pay-when-you-get-there travel inn rooms!

ViviPru Thu 17-Jan-13 08:10:35

Sminko The £150 covers 2 nights in a rented cottage, travel, food & drink for the weekend and and activity of some description. All but 2 of the hens have had a similar scale hen do for a similar price. Everyone was given alternative options.

She's definitely not skint after Christmas, Mary is a high earner and is generally generous and extravagant. I think if it was put to her, she would pay in full, but it's just whether she ought to.

Deffo heed Jacks advice, clouds!

SminkoPinko Thu 17-Jan-13 08:11:45

Good luck, clouds!

LIZS Thu 17-Jan-13 08:19:38

At very least she should stump up the deposit then the remaining cost would be split unless you can fill the space in which case person x pays and Mary gets her 50% back.

SminkoPinko Thu 17-Jan-13 08:20:45

Yes, sorry, I can see that, reading the thread a bit more thoroughly. I just meant that I personally don't have that kind of budget for extras at all (and sadly can't think of any time in my life when I had) despite earning reasonable money- it's all spoken for. Feel very lucky that I'm a living in sin type with few married friends and in any case too old for the trend in exciting expensive weekend away type hen dos! I wondered if Mary was in the brassic boat with me but it doesn't sound like that is the case at all from what you've said in your last post.

miggy Thu 17-Jan-13 08:23:08

I cant really see why if she isnt coming her share should be any more than cost of house divided by number of hens as one less person to eat drink and do activity surely?
I would send her a really friendly email and explain that the cottage has now been booked and your numpty bridesmaids forgot to ask her to pay her deposit at the right time and would she mind coughing that up if she is now dropping out, as otherwise everyone will pay more. Then cover the rest yourself?

MTBMummy Thu 17-Jan-13 08:46:17

I was the bridesmaid organising my mates hen do, and I double and triple checked who could make it, most people paid their monies upfront, except for one family (which had 2 people attending) who said they were a bit skint pre Xmas and could they pay afterwards, I agreed and covered their costs.

They then emailed 2 weeks before the event asking if they could bring 3 more (all confirmed with the bride) so I said yes, and they agreed to pay on the night, so I manically contacted the various things we had planned ordered extra food and drink and paid the extra amounts.

Come the Hen Do, they did not turn up for the day part, which wasn't too bad, although did leave me a little out of pocket, do you think they turned up for the evening do (after making a huge fuss and getting specially catered meals) did they hell! I was left £300 out of pocket, with a bunch of food that no body touched.

I couldn't ask the bride, as I knew she was broke, as was the other bridesmaid, I will never confirm someone if they haven't paid the entire amount up front again.

goldiehorn Thu 17-Jan-13 08:50:50

I actually think that Mary should pay the lot, seeing as it is totally her fault that she cannot now come, she should have checked much earlier than this. Maybe it will teach her a lesson to be a bit more organised so that she does not end up messing people around! It does not sound like this is going to happen, but I think that it would not be unreasonable at all to press her for the deposit (and then unfortunately I think either you or the organsisers will have to pick up the shortfall - perils of having a hen do!).

However, I dont get why people are getting pissy about your hen do costing £150. I would say that is pretty average really for a nice weekend away, and is what I have paid for all the hen dos I have been on (although I draw the line at hen dos in fucking Ibiza!). And it is nice that you have given people the option of just coming for part of the time if it is too expensive or they cannot come on the friday night or whatever (again, something that all the hen dos I have been on have done).

Have fun! smile

Willowisp Thu 17-Jan-13 08:54:33

I think Mary should pay the lot - she's an adult, she writes said hen do in diary/ checks diary when booking event/ can't do event because hen do is booked. hmm

Why does she cancel trip to Italy ?!

Willowisp Thu 17-Jan-13 08:55:03

Grr... Why doesn't she cancel trip to Italy ?!

Kiriwawa Thu 17-Jan-13 09:13:33

If she's just booked a clashing trip, then she should pay the fixed costs (so share of deposit/cost of cottage). I would imagine that the activity numbers can be changed 2 months in advance, and obviously your food and drink costs will be lower.

ViviPru Thu 17-Jan-13 09:48:14

God, MTB that's terrible! How nice of you to not burden the bride with it. If your name is anything to go by, you and I would get on well, howsabout I sack off the hen do completely and you and I head to Coed Y Brenin and hit the black runs instead?

On reflection, reading all your (very helpful - it's not true what they say about AIBU!) posts and having a useful discussion with one of the (more organised) organisers the true accommodation deficit is likely to be more like £110, although it does mean there will be £40 less in the spends kitty, and it's not as clear cut as everyones £40 extra covering JUST their own individual place, but we'll just have to be a bit more careful.

The temptation will be there to casually let it slip to Mary next time I see her that we were left short, but I know that's really not at all fair and I won't do it. It's either tell her now and let her act accordingly or not at all.

I am just going to cover it myself. I CBA with any ill feeling or further dramas.

Crinkle77 Thu 17-Jan-13 09:51:50

The polite thing would be for Mary to make a contribution but perhaps not the whole cost. I would say half then split the rest between the other ladies. Or at the very leat the deposit money that she should have paid

MsVestibule Thu 17-Jan-13 10:09:40

Ah, Vivi, you didn't consider all of this hassle when you were waiting for your laidback DP to propose, did you wink?

I think you should ask Mary for her share of the accommodation. She sounds nice enough (if a bit dizzy) and why should you or any of the other hen party be out of pocket because she's double booked? I can't see why there are additional costs WRT food and activities, though? Surely you just buy less food, and activities are normally price per person?

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