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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?

Gryffindor Thu 17-Jan-13 20:24:45

Mary should pay the deposit, I think you should pay the rest.

I got married last year and couldn't stand the thought of my friends paying a fortune for a hen night on top of the costs of actually coming to the wedding, new outfit etc.

Instead we just went for a boozy local meal. I was a bit upset because a few close friends cancelled with extremely implausible excuses, but in the end, I was glad that I spent time with the friends who actually bothered to show up, and when the bill arrived I paid the lot as it was actually not bad for the 10 of us. Luckily it was just after payday!

I honestly would have hated a big extravagant weekend-long do.

fromparistoberlin Thu 17-Jan-13 11:34:23

but try mary first

tough titties

and not fair AT ALL to others hens

ViviPru Thu 17-Jan-13 11:34:08

No, StuntGirl, £120 was what I suggested should be the maximum cost for those attending the whole weekend.

Haughtyculture Thu 17-Jan-13 11:13:31

I think that in an ideal world Mary should cover the costs but chances are I would just end up putting the shortfall in myself and make a mental note not to invite Mary to anything expensive again

StuntGirl Thu 17-Jan-13 10:51:55

Arf @ £120 being the scaled back version!

(Fat fingers!)

StuntGirl Thu 17-Jan-13 10:51:02

Aef @ £12

FriendlyLadybird Thu 17-Jan-13 10:41:13

I think Mary should pay at least the deposit, but probably not the full £150 if that includes food, drink, and an activity. Basically, she needs to cover her share of the cottage rental, which is a fixed price and you're not going to be able to reduce, but not the food and drink etc. because she will not be sharing in it and it can just be scaled back.

morethanalltheteainchina Thu 17-Jan-13 10:40:59

I would send her an email back saying something along the lines of "Ok, hope you don't mind that you will lose your deposit though as obviously we've already had to give this to the venue etc blah blah blah'

This should then prompt her to either a) say "shit, I never even paid the deposit, here it is, sorry once again" and then I would cover the balance myself or b) say "oh I never paid the deposit to start with haha!" in which case I would cover the full cost myself and think that Mary was a cow

ViviPru Thu 17-Jan-13 10:29:38

Yeah me neither! I'd love to have got married there, you lucky thing!

MTBMummy Thu 17-Jan-13 10:26:27

Vivi it's a deal - actually CYB is where DP and I plan to get married next year :-)

Ceremony, then bike ride, then party - I couldn't think of a better wedding day - well for DP and I anyway

ViviPru Thu 17-Jan-13 10:17:27

Oh MsV. So wise ;)

DeepRedBetty Thu 17-Jan-13 10:16:55

What TheCatIsEatingIt did was very sweet, is there anyone in that position in your circle of friends?

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?

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

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.

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.

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

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

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 ?!

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

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.

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?

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.

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 08:11:45

Good luck, clouds!

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!

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