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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.

WhataSook Sat 23-Feb-13 11:09:01

I wanted to elope for my wedding, we had agreed on South America and was in the process of organising it when DH's family said they would come to SA for the wedding!

We were living in Australia (where I'm from) and I thought if I cant elope with just the two of us we will marry in my country. We gave a year's notice to his family and friends and stressed that it would be nice to see everyone but that we were planning on moving to this side of the world a year after the wedding so would do a big party then.

Twenty of his family and friends made the trip, so I kept my side of the wedding to twenty also. But DH's friends then also wanted him to have a stag do, and then threw ridiculous amounts of money at us for a wedding present. I was mortified and tried to figure out how we could give the money back without offending. I knew some of lads couldnt afford it but had gone along with it which upset me.

I wasnt going to put myself in debt for my wedding day and I didnt bloody expect anyone else to either!

Fairydogmother Sat 23-Feb-13 09:54:49

You had to pay for all your own stuff when you were a bridesmaid?! OMG!

I get married next year and I will pay for dresses, shoes, make up and hair. I have asked them to get their own underwear as they don't need anything special.

ChestyLeRoux Sat 23-Feb-13 08:29:38

Ive been to countless weddings/hen dos
Never done anything abroad
Never put more than 20 quid in a card as thats the usual amount
Never paid for the hen as never heard of that

I took 20 quid out on my hen do thats all I needed and was hammered.

An average wedding/hen night for me costs about 60 including me going hen night,money and card and drinks for me,dh and our kids on the day.

ScarlettInSpace Sat 23-Feb-13 08:19:47

Oh yes, being maid of honour was one of the most expensive things I've done, especially when you include the £120 dress I had to buy that I didn't even like, shoes, hair, country house hotel at £100 a night for 2 nights, hen do and a fair amount of other incidentals... 6 months after the wedding the bride showed her true colours and I ended up with £2500 of her debt in my name. Suffice to say we dont speak. Never again!

I love a big posh wedding though, and hen do's are what you make them <hides>

chubbychipmonk Fri 22-Feb-13 13:59:08

Totally agree, it's worse when you're a bridesmaid! I spent nearly £600 in the run up toward being bridesmaid at BFs wedding. . Spa day, hen night, paying for her hen night, engagement present, wedding present, overnight stay at wedding, cost of drinks at wedding etc etc etc!! When I sat down & actually added it up I could've cried!!

TheSmallClanger Fri 22-Feb-13 13:46:19

The kicker is when you are asked beforehand how much you'd be willing to spend on a hen party, reply saying honestly that you haven't got that much money at the moment, then get an invitation for an event that costs four times what you said you could afford. It would be okay if the bride in question then accepted that you couldn't go, but in my experience, it leads to accusations of "not making an effort" and emotional blackmail about you being one of her oldest friends.

The bride in question later realised what an arse she had been and apologised, but it was really stressful at a time that shouldn't have been.

It can be hard to say no when it is someone whose relationship to you you value, but they are not being considerate, especially when they know your situation. Weddings now cost an absolute fortune to attend, and it's time away from family, other stuff and other people that not everyone has. For example, a few years back, we got invited to a wedding in Cyprus by one of my relatives. We turned it down, as it would have meant going without a family holiday at a time when we felt we needed one with DD. Cue emotional blackmail about weddings being one-offs, but family holidays being ten-a-penny, and why didn't we just treat the wedding as our holiday? I just wanted to shout that I didn't want to have a wedding in the middle of a holiday with an 8yo, didn't want to go to Cyprus and didn't want to eat up our holiday budget on wedding expenses. This relative's mum was really huffy with me until pretty much now, because I was being nasty to her DD around her Speshul Daaaaaaaay. Grrr.

DontmindifIdo Fri 22-Feb-13 12:47:36

but OP you are saying they should base it round you! You are saying that because you can't do it all they should have a hen do that's more complex to organise (having a selection of people coming to a selection of events you have to book separately is a lot more hassle than just picking a package and booking a set number of people into it and then letting the hen company do all the other logistics for you). Because you only want to go to part of it, you think the bride should arrange it to be physically close to you, regardless of if everyone else fancies going away. Because you can't afford to buy a t shirt for one weekend you think no one should be doing that in the group.

Can't you see, you're upset because the event has been arranged to suit the bridesmaid, the bride, the bulk of the group, but not you.

IME - people who only come to bits of a do are harder work to arrange round, if everyone is doing the same thing, you can just get on with it, if you are running late or decide that you fancy doing skipping a bit, that's no problem, you just do it. But if you've got to be at a bar at X time because that's when you told the others you'd be there, or that you have to wait for someone who's arriving separately rather than being able to just herd a whole group, the timings have to be kept too (and therefore normally be a lot less flexible).

wherearemysocka Fri 22-Feb-13 12:33:31

Oh well, think of the money you saved by not going to the wedding of a complete twat, ineedthatforkoff - hope you spent it on something nice for yourself!

babanouche Fri 22-Feb-13 12:15:21

I've no objection to huge weddings if they're fun and inclusive but loads of them are just wank and ridiculous. I think they're the ones taking the pounding here.

And it doesn't hurt for the people getting married to remember the world doesn't revolve around them, even on their wedding day.

FFS they're in love. What more do they want/need? Priorities, people! Hehehe....

INeedThatForkOff Fri 22-Feb-13 12:10:22

I've been bumped off the guest list for 'choosing' not to go on hen parties I couldn't afford, so it's not a straightforward choice.

It may be that I was never going to get more than an evening invitation anyway, in which case, why the fuck are you asking me to spend hundreds on your ego trip hen do anyway? Oh I know, to massage your popular ego some more.

wherearemysocka Fri 22-Feb-13 11:54:03

I often get invited to hen dos over weekends and as a teacher obviously can't take Mondays and Fridays off during term time (yes, I know there are a number of non teachers who can't either).

One bride actually told me to throw a sickie so I could come (yes, I am absolutely going to risk disciplinary action to go on your hen do) so I had to tell her I wasn't able to come until the Saturday morning. I was mightily pissed off with her and nearly didn't go at all - in the end I did, on my own terms and it was OK. I think a few other people who had to work or couldn't leave children for so long had had a word and she had calmed down.

I totally understand your situation and in your position would probably duck out and leave them to it, and then go out to dinner with the bride before the wedding to celebrate. But if that's what the bride and all the other guests want to do then you're going to have to suck it up and let them go.

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 22-Feb-13 11:45:26

Totally agree Dontmind.
It's only an invitation people, you can always say NO.

johnthepong Fri 22-Feb-13 11:44:48

I don't care if people want to have a big party or whatever- what I object to is feeling obliged to have to pay for it all!! I had a simple hen night that was broken into different parts- with people being able to come to some or all of it, as they wished. I was very touched that the hens decided to contribute together to pay for my meal out (probably cost them an extra £2-3 per head)- didn't expect this at all and was completly unnecessary. The hen night was local and those that lived further away crashed at my house! No hotels involved. I did already have one dc when we got married so was quite aware of financial constraints.
Wedding again, was about half a mile down the road from where we lived- we even had people staying at our house on our wedding night who lived far away and couldnt afford a hotel. dh and i stayed in a hotel for the night.

I am not saying my financial position should be the deciding factor in the hen night at all; I would like to go and meet them for a drink or meal etc without having to drive several hours (frends live locally), or having to do the whole weekend because its been booked through a company and you cant just go for a meal, or having to give up hours of my time creating a special memory scrapbook, or buying t shirts that I will only wear for a couple of hours on the hen do and never again. It just feeds the whole consumerist and waste culture that I intensely dislike.

wherearemysocka Fri 22-Feb-13 11:40:01

Brilliantly put, dontmindifido - your post should be copied and pasted onto every single one of these threads that descends into people bitching because it turns out other people's lives don't revolve around their needs.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Fri 22-Feb-13 11:39:54

In my experience, 'normal' friends can loose their marbles a bit around wedding times and big birthdays. It is disappointing when it happens, and the conversations about why you can't attend ARE in reality difficult. It doesn't mean I want to cut them out of my life forever.

It IS a trend to encourage people to spend more and more on weddings and other sorts of events. This is a fact (as far as I am concerned.)

We have an au pair and are constantly given the hmm by a certain set of friends when we say no we can't actually make her babysit for 36 hours over a weekend, so we can free ourselves up to come to your birthday party (not even a big one)/random gathering in your pub in your town. Why not? you say, you the one with both grandparents living in your town and childcare on tap. Because it would be abusive that why. But apparently we're being precious about things.

YellowDinosaur Fri 22-Feb-13 11:25:10

Totally agree with you Dontmindifido

badguider Fri 22-Feb-13 11:19:39

Well I don't see my friends and extended family as often as I'd like, we all work and have families and busy lives and have moved apart - sometimes to other cities, sometimes just out to suburbs and commuter towns.

Guess what - I like when people have weddings and big birthday parties to get us all together. I enjoy catching up with people and having fun with them.

If something is genuinely out of my budget then I'll say no (and I have never been asked to pay for more than a night or two in a b&b or hotel and travel to another part of this country) but I also like going for a weekend away in the lakedistrict (last wedding i was at) or wherever with my husband.

DontmindifIdo Fri 22-Feb-13 11:11:49

Yellowdinosaur - I agree, there's a certain element on here who refuse to accept they are just as 'entitled' if they are effectively saying their finanical position should be the deciding factor in someone else's plans - the OP is a case in point, she has said she's the only guest with DCs to think about and who is in a much more constrained financial position, but feels that because one person invited on the hen is in this position, the whole hen do should be fitted around them. It's like suggesting becuase I was pregnant and therefore unable to do some of the activities planned at a friend's hen do, rather than me just saying "sorry, I can't do that, you all have fun" (which is what I did) the bridesmaid should have arranged something completely different from what the bride and everyone else wanted to do.

If everyone says "no, can't afford that, sorry." then plans will be changed. If only one person says that, normally the response is "oh well, never mind."

What I don't understand is why anyone is friends with people who wont accept "sorry, I can't afford that" or "sorry, I can't get the time off to go to your wedding/hen do" or "sorry, I can't find childcare so I can't come" - why are you bothered that these people get upset? Just cut them out. (Or don't be friends with an arse and then be surprised they act like one)

Why can't some of you accept that very very rarely are these invites issued as a way of deliberately pissing you off. If you can't afford somehting, rather than get in a fuss about it, why can't you just say "sorry, can't do that" - because by getting all het up about it, what you are actually saying is you think the bride/bridesmaid should have planned the event round you and your situation. What you are effectively saying is you get in a huff when you have it basically pointed out to you that you aren't the most important person in a bride's life.

jellybeans Fri 22-Feb-13 10:37:03

YANBU. I wouldn't go. Luckily have only been to evening wedding receptions lately. I declined one which was far away and without DC but DH went alone.

YellowDinosaur Fri 22-Feb-13 10:30:00

I hate these threads.

While I totally agree that in some cases people get totally obsessed with themselves and expect their friends to fork out ridiculous funds of money for their hens / weddings etc actually the majority of people don't. The majority of people also understand that an invitation is precisely that and not a summons.

If you don't want to go for whatever reason then don't. If the person issuing the invite gets the hump ignore them. But I don't see the need for the inevitable flurry of 'i am so so much better and more considerate than all of you I made my wedding dress for a fiver from leaves I found on the ground and paid for everyone to come so they're not out of pocket' Bollocks.

It's not a competition to have the most lavish party but equally these threads are the absolute opposite to that with everyone fighting about how little they spent and how much better that was which is just as 'look at me aren't I better than you' as the opposite.

We're all different, some people like huge lavish celebrations, some like low key events with only those closest to them. Some have lifestyles and friends who can afford to do expensive things and enjoy it, some don't. Some might be able you afford it bit prefer not to etc etc and the rest....

Do what works for you and is important to you and those you love, and accept that whatever that is some people will choose to come and others will decline. But is there really any need to be so vitriolic and bloody righteous about it?

Out of interest op, what did you do for your wedding /hen?

Rache1S Fri 22-Feb-13 10:24:43

I had everyone's financial/childcare circumstances in mind when I got married and decided to have a cheapish Hen Day relatively close to home. Then I got moaned at that I wasn't going abroad and ended up arranging a weekend in Spain as well for those that wanted to! Sometimes you can't win! grin

I agree that the whole wedding thing has spiraled out of control in recent years with everyone trying to out-wedding each other. I am proud to say we didn't buy into this game.

Horsemad Fri 22-Feb-13 10:12:09

I know somone getting married this year and the meal is £150 per head shock

They're having 150 guests shock shock

babanouche Fri 22-Feb-13 10:01:55

Jeez, Snowy - out of order.

Re weddings & hen/stags - I wonder if part of it's down to people being older and having had years of going out on the piss whenever they want, it just doesn't feel special enough without party planning to the nth degree.

Whereas the rest of us who hooked up years ago and have families are just a bit hmm about it all.

Basically young people and lonely people like Snowy's boss are just selfish.

Glad to have solved that for you all.grin

SnowyWellies Fri 22-Feb-13 09:57:32

Huh. never mind weekend-long hen's, I can give you a weekend-long FAREWELL 'do' an ex-manager of mine thought it was appropriate to have when she left our office. I had been there about 2 weeks and felt obliged to go. She had all her subordinates there who clearly felt obliged to go. And get this- it was in fucking Spain. I have no idea why any of us thought this was a good idea to pander to her, but it was a pretty toxic organisation with a bullying culture and certainly we did not feel we could refuse.

Christ on a bike, we were given shcedules, and were herded around, and it all came out of our own pockets.

babanouche Fri 22-Feb-13 09:37:49

yep, I agree it's stupid. Someone I know had two hen parties - one for family and friends and then a secret one for closer friends which cost everyone a fortune in a mansion for the weekend.

And no kids invited - I'm sorry I think this is so rude and objectionable. Fair enough you might not want to have absolutely everyone's kids there due to cost but seems to me B&G's don't consider what their guests do for them. It's their day and it's all about them. Well, no actually. The fact that two people love each other doesn't take precedence over my family.

I can see the point of a small, private wedding with no kids but f you're spending a fucking fortune on a wedding at least have the good manners to consider your guests.

Rant. Sozzers.

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