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Hen do plans keep growing and growing - AIBU?

(87 Posts)
romanrainsalot Mon 11-Jan-16 10:35:55

Is there a reasonable amount to ask people to spend and take part in? I get that people want to celebrate "last night of freedom", but why has it become the norm to spend entire weekends or weeks?

SIL to be, already has a weekend of stuff organised, with more now being added to the original agenda (trying not to add too much detail in case out myself). Just totted up that if I say yes to everything then I'll get no change from £500. I've managed to dodge a few activities already.

I don't want to sound like a grumpy old cow or sour relations with SIL to be. I just I have a lot of complications in my life: I have a disabled DH, so he cant look after DD all weekend alone; MIL will be on hen do so she can't do childminding; DM is doing a lot of caring for grandparents, so reluctant to ask her to mind DD for longer than a few hrs; plus I'd rather spend £ on family activities and holidays. Also to add to the mix, the Hen do activities are over Easter and the wedding May bank hols so I can't take my family on holiday then as the wedding and pre-wedding activities are taking over!!!

AIBU or am I just old and past it?

miraclebabyplease Mon 11-Jan-16 10:41:16

Yanbu at all. When you have children you realise how precious family time is. One day she will have a child, look back and wince with what she asked people to do.

Be honest and say you can't afford all as it will mean no family holiday and that you have limited childcare. She probably expects this anyway x

Poledra Mon 11-Jan-16 10:41:35

Nah, you are so not BU. It's got completely out of hand, IMO

EponasWildDaughter Mon 11-Jan-16 10:42:05


Even without all the physical complications for you £500 is a great deal of money which no one should expect another to cough up.

As long as she has no strong expectations for all of you to go along with all of it then she can organise as much as she likes. I wouldn't spend that much on someone else's hen night i can assure you.

GruntledOne Mon 11-Jan-16 10:55:51

£500 is utterly ridiculous. I think a hen do needs to be limited to one fun evening out - if the bride really wants to do more than that then she should bear the expense.

icanteven Mon 11-Jan-16 10:59:08

Your SIL to be is not Kim Kardashian, whatever she may think, and nor is getting married an extraordinary and unique event that warrants all this excess. It is completely okay to say no.

MrsJayy Mon 11-Jan-16 10:59:59

My sister was a bridesmaid last year the bride organised 3 hen do's 1 was 3 days abroad its getting out of hand £500 is ridiculous

KoalaDownUnder Mon 11-Jan-16 11:04:31

YA soooooo NBU!!

Nobody did this shit back in the day (am
42), because they knew other people's lives didn't revolve around them.

SaucyJack Mon 11-Jan-16 11:05:44


I'm in a similar situation, although it's the chief bridesmaid's fault- the bride herself is actually quite embarrassed by the amount of time/money we're expected to spare.

The other stupid thing about it is that half the invitees now can't/won't go as it's all become too much.

It's stupid. We're not living in a chick kit novel. I quite feel for the bride as her last night (weekend) is being spoilt.

PennyHasNoSurname Mon 11-Jan-16 11:12:36

Personally I love a rare weekend away with friends, so if I can afford it, I go. I dont really think of it as a Hen Weekend, more just a weekend away with an excuse.

However if I cant afford it, cant get the time off work or dh is away already then I would decline without guilt.

If you dont want to do it then dont do it.

expatinscotland Mon 11-Jan-16 11:18:11

You just say no. 'Sorry, I cannot afford to come along.' 'Sorry, it's beyond my means to come along, but thanks for the invitation.' Over and over and over.

Ridiculous to expect people to shell out £500 for a fucking hen do.

Inertia Mon 11-Jan-16 11:19:32

In your circumstances I think it's entirely reasonable to say that DH can only look after DD alone for a few hours, so you'll come along for one daytime activity, or go for one evening out if that's easier in terms of DD being in bed.

JapanNextYear Mon 11-Jan-16 11:20:14

Just say you can't do it all and pick one thing which you will enjoy, where you will be able to interact with the hen, and be firm.

MoMoTy Mon 11-Jan-16 11:22:24

Yanbu, completely unacceptable to expect people to fork out 500 for a hen do! I would also just put this on your Dh and say you can do only the daytime activities.

yorkshapudding Mon 11-Jan-16 11:24:44

YA so not BU. It's gotten completely out of hand in my opinion. It used to be a Hen night, as in one night out with possibly an activity in the day as well (e.g spa day followed by a meal and evening out) now it seems that a long weekend or even a week away (often abroad) is the norm. The last few I've been invited to have also included expensive gifts/treats for the bride to be. It all really adds up. I don't want to sound mean but attending a wedding is costly enough in itself when you factor in travel, outfits, a wedding gift etc. If you get invited to a couple of these things in the same year your annual leave and any spare cash get eaten up pretty quick.

emmaluvseeyore Mon 11-Jan-16 11:28:54

Sounds familiar! My cousin is getting married abroad this year and it's caused a massive rift in the family because only parents, siblings and some grandparents are invited (we are a really close family though). But, his fiancee has invited us all to this ridiculously expensive hen weekend in London (£350+). We all live in the South East about an hour away from London, so it's not like we don't go there quite often anyway. I've said I can't go because of the cost. I'd much rather spend that money on going to the wedding abroad to be honest.

My best friend got married when we were 19 (I was Maid of Honour), and we had a great afternoon on Hayling Island at the fair, went bowling and out for dinner. Probably cost us about £40 each, if that, and all of us could enjoy it. I don't get all this extravagance!

IJustLostTheGame Mon 11-Jan-16 11:30:03

Ridiculous. The best hen do I ever had was hiring a caravan at Clacton on sea. It was less than £30 per person. We holed up with food and booze and just played silly card games, hungry hippos and took a karaoke machine.
Whole weekend cost around £100 including petrol and food.
Mate of mine just did a boozy tea party at her house and we made her a blue garter and pieced together a marriage quilt. That was great fun too, kids were present and cost under £30.
Activities get in the way of spending time with people.

Birdsgottafly Mon 11-Jan-16 11:30:16

""Nobody did this shit back in the day (am42), because they knew other people's lives didn't revolve around them.""
"Am I old and past it?"

I'd say it was more a lack of disposable income and societal expectations of women and of course lifestyle changes.

Im 47 and love Weekends like this away, because I don't have Childcare issues and have disposable income.

You plan an event and you invite (rather than assume they can't come) your friends/family.

They can decline.

It doesn't need the angst.

Howdoesironmanwee Mon 11-Jan-16 11:31:44

YANBU it's ridiculous. I've declined two in the past two years, both costing upwards of £400 each, both in the UK shock
In one case I was subsequently uninvited from the Eddington, which was great, clearly we weren't really friends and as a family we saved almost £1000!
It's increasingly difficult, with so many people going to uni, we have friends from all over uk and beyond, I guess people try to make it more of an event, but still.
I oganised my own 10 years ago and managed one night in fairly nearby town, lovely hotel, dodgy pole dancing, meal, booze and river trip for £120, ,I felt that was a big ask!

KitKat1985 Mon 11-Jan-16 11:32:33

YANBU. I wouldn't spend £500 to go to a hen do, nor would I like to give up that much precious free time but then I don't like all that forced fun and antics anyway DH last year got invited to a 3-day extended stag weekend (Friday - Sunday) where it was back to back activities all weekend, a night out drinking and a hotel stay. If he had done it all it would have been about £250 - 300. He decided to tell them he could only make one of the days in the end as he wasn't prepared to spend that much money, lose a days holiday from work, and not see me or DD all weekend. Weddings in general seem to have gotten a bit excessive.

ShowYourSeams Mon 11-Jan-16 11:34:43

I'm in a similar situation with a family members hen do (although not to the tune of £500! That's ridiculous!)

It started off as a day out to a city about an hour away from where we live. Bus there, planned activities, pubs in the evening, bus home. It then progressed to staying over. Myself and another guest are both against this as we have young children, so are getting a late train back.

She then added to the mix VIP entry to a club with private booth, drinks paid in advance, etc. Myself and other 'going home' member have been expected to contribute even though we won't be participating.

She then added 'party bags' to the agenda, so we've had to fork out for those. Now she wants us in matching fucking ridiculous t-shirts and expects us to pay for them ourselves.

To top it off, she's spoken to a friend and said she's pissed off that she's had to arrange everything herself, so now the friend is planning some surprise activities that she wants us to chip in for, as well as accessories for our 'outfits' that she's also expecting us to buy.

There's not a hope in hell that anyone is being any more money out of me!

hefzi Mon 11-Jan-16 11:36:10

A friend of my brother's had his stag do in Las Vegas: fine for all the city lawyers and bankers, less so for my brother who's a junior academic. He gave the groom the choice: he'd attend the wedding or the stag do, as he couldn't afford both. (Groom told him to attend stag do - brother says it was the most boring five days he's ever spent, as he doesn't gamble and doesn't like strip clubs...)

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Mon 11-Jan-16 11:37:58

YANBU - even if people like the "girls' " weekends away, 500 pounds for a weekend for one person is double the very top end of a normal spa day type budget surely? Personally I think its cheeky and self involved to expect people to spend large amounts attending your celebrations - 500 pounds for a hen, then a wedding present, travel to and from wedding, hotel over night at wedding - one person's wedding can wipe out an entire year's family holiday budget...

redjoker Mon 11-Jan-16 11:40:35

Have been in the same boat about 5 times (lots of hen do's in the last 3 years) Finally put my foot down at SIL's hen do in ibiza- costing at least 300-400 for a weekend.

Just can't afford it- feel guilty all the time and used to just go on these things and make myself skint but you have to draw a line!

Think it's easy to get caught up in these 'package' do's that make it all seem really worthwhile; but it the long run its a lot of money for what you get.

im 26 and feel like this- but hey I am a bit of an old fart haha!

badg3r Mon 11-Jan-16 11:42:53

Grrr I hate Hen do's for exactly this reason. Just tell her you're really sorry but it's too expensive. IME if you say you can't find childcare or prefer to save the time for family time then sometimes people are less understanding, especially if they don't have children of their own. But if it's too expensive it's too expensive.

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