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To wonder when hen parties became so OTT?

(26 Posts)
Cerseirys Sat 30-Jan-16 08:37:15

Not exactly TAAT, but yesterday's thread by someone talking about a bride having three hen parties (including one overseas) really got me thinking. I've been to a few but they all involved a night out, or something like afternoon tea or a day in a spa. Attending all the events the other poster talked about would've cost her £1300! A friend of mine had to go to two hen dos for her friend - a city break in Paris and then a night out in London. And then her friend was annoyed with her because she couldn't make it to her actual wedding, which was in the Caribbean! When did hen dos become such expensive events?

Twowrongsdontmakearight Sat 30-Jan-16 08:47:37

I've no idea! I truly wish people wouldn't. I had a night out locally with friends - meal in a place that also had dancing after. And even that was too much effort for me really. I would have rather not bothered.

In the olden days when you went from young free and single, living with mum and dad to the grown up responsibility of being a wife and householder it was a last hurrah. Hardly the case now. It seems more like indulgence of competitive bridezillas!

RubyRoseViolet Sat 30-Jan-16 08:50:12

Not sure op but it's crazy isn't it?! I've only been to a few and they've all been low key affairs (think I must be of that slightly older generation). My own involved a Thai meal and then the pub. I went to a brilliant one once which was held in a room at a pub and involved lots of hilarious games!

If I were invited to a huge one costing a fortune I would decline without question. I don't have a lot of spare cash and that which I do have I spend holidays and treats for my own family.

Cerseirys Sat 30-Jan-16 08:55:00

I also hate the tackiness of the bride in the veil or sash and matching tshirts saying "X's hen night" but that's just personal preference!

MotherKat Sat 30-Jan-16 10:47:42

Went to the good food show with my bridesmaids, one of them had a tummy bug so we went back to the hotel early, chilled out and chatted, then had an early night, it was pretty nice.

ColdTeaAgain Sat 30-Jan-16 10:54:36

Mine wasn't. Beach games and picnic in the day then cocktail making followed by a meal out and silly dancing. We were all done by midnight as peaked early grin. Stayed at a cheap b&b and the full English in the morning was fab. Everyone enjoyed it and appreciated it not being a major logistical operation costing hundreds!

ColdTeaAgain Sat 30-Jan-16 10:57:41

If I got invited to one costing a bomb I won't as my friends don't do OTT then I would politely decline.

wickedwaterwitch Sat 30-Jan-16 10:58:45

It's bonkers I agree!

Pidapie Sat 30-Jan-16 11:00:18

I've been to 2 hendo's (hendos?) and neither were OTT. One was in the local town, we went around having a laugh by doing silly things (normal hen do in my country) like asking people if they wanted a hug with the hen, giving out free chocolates etc. Then we went to her house and had homemade pizza and drinks, before going out dancing - in the local town. We all had pink t shirts too. Cost me probably £100 as I was maid of honour so paid for decorations for the house, and a (homemade) pinata etc.

Second hen do was in London (where the hen lives), we went out for afternoon tea - all paid for by her sister, and then out for cocktails in a nice bar. Cost me all in all about £40, as I live out of London and had to catch the train in, and had only 1 cocktail!

Was very happy with both! smile

UntilTheCowsComeHome Sat 30-Jan-16 11:17:13

I don't know how anyone can afford these crazy hen dos, I couldn't even afford to go to my SIL's one and that was only a 'basic' spa day and meal.

The wedding alone cost us close to £500 to go to so couldn't go to the hen on top of that.

Behooven Sat 30-Jan-16 11:27:25

In the 'good old days' (my sisters weddings in 79s and 80s) hen nights were brilliant at home affairs. Oh and the 'show of presents' too!

Mum and female friends and relatives, home made buffet food, drink and raucous stories flowing, singers doing a turn, finished off with trailing round the streets banging pots and pans singing she's getting married in the morning at the top of our voices. And pity any poor men innocently passing by, kisses and money (a few coins) had to be forthcoming! grin

Now it's all commercialised and planned to the nth degree, and has to be better (and more ott and expensive) than everyone else's. Soulless.

Sad actually.

Behooven Sat 30-Jan-16 11:28:25

70s not 79s

FlatOnTheHill Sat 30-Jan-16 11:29:42

I agree OP. I always decline if it involves dressing up like a complete wanker.

Birdsgottafly Sat 30-Jan-16 11:29:53

I'm nearly 48.

They started 'developing' from the 90's, as women got more disposable income, that was 'theirs'.

That and more women were making a clear stand that it was fine for 'male unaccompanied' women to go anywhere and spend their money on their enjoyment.

I can remember a time when it was fine for a man to be in the pub/fruit machines, or betting shop, blowing his cash, but a woman's wage was 'family' money.

I think that those that don't understand why their friends might not be able to attend are out of order.

However, it's fine to say "I'm planing this", do you want to come along? Not everyone is struggling, money wise, or has child care issues.

Salmotrutta Sat 30-Jan-16 11:32:39

The older "hen do" traditions up here were things like dressing the bride up/hanging signs round her neck/covering her in flour etc. and going out for a drink and a laugh.

Stag dos were similar - tie the groom to a lamppost, have a few drinks put him on a train to Aberdeen etc.

It's all gone a bit mad nowadays! confused

Birdsgottafly Sat 30-Jan-16 11:34:09

""In the 'good old days' (my sisters weddings in 79s and 80s) hen nights were brilliant at home affairs""

There were some good nights, but it's personal whether you like that or going to another city etc. Family size is dropping as well, so the old style gathering could only apply to a few.

I don't have family in the UK (second generation immigrant) so that's something else that's changing plans.

The 80's bought us cheaper travelling, as well.

harryhausen Sat 30-Jan-16 12:11:51

I got married in 2003 and I went to a gay club with my one local best friend (gay man). I had a great time!

The reason was, I didn't grow up in the town I now live in. Many if my friends were either married with young children who lived scattered across the country or friends who simply lived scattered all around the country. They were all coming down for my wedding (which I was touched by!) and I felt I didn't want to put them out by asking them do either come down again for a hen do or go somewhere. It just didn't sit right with me.

When I had my babies I met shed loads of great local women and it would perhaps be different now but never mind.

Before we got married dh went on a 4 day stag trip to Prague. He said after the first night they were all a bit tired and getting bored. "Yes. Another pair if tits. Big deal. What about a museum or a coffee shop?" grin

If I was invited to a massive hen trip now I'd just decline. Dh and I barely have anytime together let alone away on trips etc. I couldn't justify it, and I'm normally knackered by 11.30pm these days!

Fratelli Sat 30-Jan-16 13:32:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fratelli Sat 30-Jan-16 13:51:40

I agree op. My friend's bridesmaids are organising a secret hen do. Three to be exact. One meal out, one day in an expensive spa and one night out including a stay in a bnb. I'm going to the meal as I would rather have a weekend away with my dp as it's rare and money is quite tight as we have an infant. I'm pretty sure the bride will be mortified at people being asked to do so much! Especially as many of us have young children and are on budgets. She also hates surprises! My soon to be bil is having his stag in Amsterdam. Meaning we have to start saving now for my dp (his brother and best man) to be able to go when it's not his thing at all and is having to use precious annual leave for. Some people don't realise others don't have as much money or free time as them.

daisychain01 Sat 30-Jan-16 13:54:03

Cheaper foreign travel, Squeezy-jet trips to Prague, Amsterdam and Barcelona probably have a lot to answer for.

It isn't just thr flight, you then have to add accommodation, food and clothes. The whole thing then "grows arms and legs" with 2 or 3 events, one is never enough. That creates the baseline with every couple then feeling they have to outdo their friends.

And of course there's never a thought about their guests' financial situation!

Jibberjabberjooo Sat 30-Jan-16 14:19:38

I had a hen weekend, as have all my friends. I think only two had a hen night.

Mine was abroad, my friends decided where they wanted to go then surprised me at the airport.

I'm quite happy to use my holiday (easier as I work shifts) and go to a hen weekend. If I couldn't afford it I wouldn't go. I've enjoyed all the hen weekends I've been to.

I've never had a friend who had multiple hen dos though, that's just ridiculous.

NotTHEBupcake Sat 30-Jan-16 14:29:30

I'd never come across the OTT ones in real life until recently, when my mum's work colleague's daughter was involved in a crazy 3-day, money-hungry, personalised everything event. Ugh.

Mine was a few friends in a coffee shop!

I may have a crazy one coming up though... A family member (well, an in-law) is getting married and I imagine she won't be content with a night out. She's talked about a weekend away. I know she'll be massively offended if I don't go, but I really couldn't care less.

WorraLiberty Sat 30-Jan-16 14:33:06

I think it started in the 90s as a PP said.

Probably due to the popularity of Easyjet and the like, offering really cheap flights to European cities.

Having said that, my friends and family have fairly simple tastes and never went in for that sort of thing.

Jibberjabberjooo Sat 30-Jan-16 14:43:53

I don't think a hen weekend away has to be crazy. Most of the hen weekends I've been to were in a cottage in the uk somewhere. None of my friends have felt the need to out do each other.

I've never experienced any bridezilla or bridesmaidzilla strops if anyone can't go. If you can't afford it, don't go. No one should get angry about it or start a guilt trip. I have dc now so going away isn't as easy but if I can I will.

NinaSimoneful Sat 30-Jan-16 14:56:33

Good question. When did 'hen do' become 'holiday'? Girlie three- or four- day city break in a European city abroad? Well, I guess that's been answered - the 90s.

Hey if that's what the bride and her friends want to do and can afford it then that's fine. None of my business. But when brides get arsey about their friends not being able to drop everything and afford a city break that generally includes at least one night of heavy boozing then that's when it becomes a problem.

Some brides think that choosing to get married automatically entitles them to be fawned over by their friends, by bridal shop assistants, by venue event managers, by their guests. Sometimes even by their colleagues, friends of friends, the postman. It's a sad really. There must be something missing from their lives if they feel they need all that attention. Some void that just the simple act of getting married to (presumably) the person they love isn't going to fill. They need bells and whistles and multiple hen dos and designer gowns and chocolate fountains and photobooths aswell. And when the honeymoon is over, the tan has faded, the ££££ photos have been looked at, the unwanted gifts eBayed, that void will still be there.

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