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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.

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


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


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


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.

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