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AIBU thinking to be upset (wedding /hen night related)

(54 Posts)
hellejuice91 Mon 16-Jan-17 07:58:00

So I am getting married at the end of May to my partner of 6 years.

For various reasons I decided to have my hen night early (the beginning of October) and I invited 20 friends to a weekend in Blackpool. Knowing people had different budgets etc I made it clear that people could come for both nights, one night, just the day etc so no one felt pressured to spend more than they could afford.

I was ill for a bit chunk of last year and the hen night fell at the same sort of time as me going back to work.

As the weeks rolled up to my hen night, more and more people were cancelling. Some had out right refused to go to Blackpool, some people never even said yes or no, and then leading up there were loads of cancellations.

Some examples include 'I can't go it's my Dad's birthday' 'I can't go I've not booked a hotel room and I won't find one now'.

Anyway it got to three weeks before and it was me, my bridesmaid and my friend who is giving me away at my wedding. A friend of friend had also invited herself, her three sisters and her mum. As it was going to feel like I was crashing on their family holiday, I cancelled.

Now, I was really hurt. My friends have a bit of a history when it comes to letting me down, but I did not think they would cancel over something so important.

Now it comes to my wedding and I am fairly sure it's going to happen again. Whenever I think about my wedding all I feel is worry that there is going to be no one there for me (I don't have any family due to an abusive childhood) and the hurt and embarrassment I'm going to feel.

AIBU to think they are going to do the same again?

WIBU to make it clear how much they hurt me over the hen night?

Is there anyone who has been through the same sort of thing that has any advice?

Bantanddec Mon 16-Jan-17 08:12:46

Have they already rsvp'd to say they will be coming to the wedding?

onemorecupofcoffeefortheroad Mon 16-Jan-17 08:13:51

That's hurtful and they are clearly flakey so I'm not surprised you are concerned. I guess you have a couple of options, you make your wedding a small intimate occasion with just those friends you know won't let you down or, alternatively, you could appeal to them not to let you down. Or maybe just canvas them in advance individually, asking them if they are definitely coming as you have to confirm numbers and pay deposits.

NoraDora Mon 16-Jan-17 08:18:15

Two issues stand out here.

1. Flakey friends. They sound a bit crap, have they rsvp to the wedding invitation?

2. Your hen do sounds a lot to be honest. Even one night away is expensive. It was also months away from your wedding. I can see why people didn't go. It all sounds a bit disorganised. A local night out might be a better idea. You could do it much nearer the time.

PurpleDaisies Mon 16-Jan-17 08:23:14

People are often really crap at responding to invitations. The "it's my dad's birthday" person I wouldn't be pissed of with-it could have been a big thing that they were invited to first. Hen dos are expensive and although you say there were different levels of expense available you don't say what the minimum was (how far is Blackpool-was it feasible to go in a day?). The person who organised it could have invited extra people to make the costs less as so many said they weren't coming.

People are much less flakey about actual weddings than hen dos. Once they've said they'll come they'll generally be there, even if you have to chase them for an answer.

Treaclex Mon 16-Jan-17 08:23:30

It's clear your friends are flakey but I think there's so much pressure when it comes to hen and stag do's to push it from a cracking night out to going away. I've never been on a hen do didn't have one myself as it's just not important to me it seems like it's important to you though so why not plan something a little more low key and closer to your wedding ? On your wedding day as long as you and DP are there it really doesn't matter who else is.

lemontrees Mon 16-Jan-17 08:23:31

Agree with @NoraDora...

Can see why you felt upset but don't understand why hen nights have to be such expensive events these days. Depends where you live, of course, but train fare to Blackpool and then drinks / food for the day would still be too expensive for some as the cheapest option. I can understand too why some pulled out, though it's a shame they weren't upfront with you if cost was the issue.

I would do as advised above and just ask if anybody is now unable to attend as you need to confirm numbers. I'm sure people won't not attend your wedding - it is very different from a hen night. Good luck!

PurpleDaisies Mon 16-Jan-17 08:23:44

Forgot to say, I can totally understand why you were upset though.

WhatchaMaCalllit Mon 16-Jan-17 08:27:02

There is no hard and fast rule that says a hen night has to be held close to the wedding day. It completely depends on the couple that are getting married when and where and even if they have a hen/stag do.

I think your friends were rude and I'd have to call them out on it. Perhaps send them an invite which has an RSVP that they must send back (put stamps on the envelopes so they can't even say that they couldn't get to the post office) and then follow up with a phone call saying "Hi X, Just want to double check that you will be coming to the wedding on Y date. We need to confirm numbers with the venue and we can't afford to be paying the venue for guests that don't show up. I'm nervous about numbers as you did say you were coming to my hen and then backed out so we just want to confirm numbers. I'm sure you understand".

melj1213 Mon 16-Jan-17 08:38:23

I can see why you might be upset but perhaps people didn't realise how expensive it would be to go to Blackpool til they went to book things, esp with it being mid-Illuminations when you wanted to go, which is a busy time?

I live across the bay from Blackpool (I can even see the Tower from my house on a clear day which round these parts is a rare weather phenomenon ) and if I want to get the train, even if I book well in advance, it can easily cost £50 return for a 90 minute train journey, to drive would take about 2 hours, but then I wouldn't be able to drink if I was going to be driving home again (plus any parking fees/petrol etc) ... then add in a few drinks, whatever you were planning on doing in the day time, hotel bill and the costs can easily mount up.

Mrsglitterfairy Mon 16-Jan-17 08:41:56

I went away for 3 nights last year for my hen do. Gave people 9 months notice and it wasn't particularly expensive (uk break at a holiday park) and in the run up, so many people dropped out. People that I thought I was close to and didn't think would let me down. In the end, 14 of us ended up being 6! I was so upset at the time but you know what, I had the best time! One of the girls that came is dh's friend's girlfriend who I didn't massively know at the time but I would now consider to be one of my best friends. And most of the people that dropped out of my hen do still came to the wedding and I'm still good friends with them to this day. People have different reasons for flaking out, they're not necessarily being flaky or selfish etc, may be that they have anxiety and don't want to go away with a group of people, feel embarrassed saying they can't afford it etc. I wouldn't let it get to you, just go with who's coming and enjoy it

RedHelenB Mon 16-Jan-17 08:44:06

You shouldnt have cancel;led. My golden rule is do what was planned with whoever shows up - you would have a great time and now you;re feeling down!

Crumbs1 Mon 16-Jan-17 08:49:42

I think there is a world of difference between going to a hen night in Blackpool and going to a wedding. I would not in my worst nightmare agree to a hen event in a seedy seaside town. I think hen nights are a ghastly idea and other than a nice meal with friends think they are a complete waste of money, rather common and usually create bad feeling. That's just my personal view though. I would always, however try to get to a friends wedding.

sonyaya Mon 16-Jan-17 08:53:52

That's shit about the hen - if people can't afford it or don't want to go they should say so when initially invited. Also your closer friends should make an effort to go unless there is a good reason why they can't. I get why you're upset.

Don't worry about the wedding though. People are much more willing to make the effort for a wedding in my experience, and are sensitive to the fact that the bride and groom have paid for them to be there. I don't think you'll get the same level of flakiness as you did for the hen.

This is why I haven't asked my MOH who is going on my hen as I expect lots of people will drop out too and I'd rather just see whoever is there. It isn't just you who has people drop out of the hen, it happens to everyone (although your friends sound particularly shite) so please try not to take it so personally flowers

VivDeering Mon 16-Jan-17 08:56:41

Now it comes to my wedding and I am fairly sure it's going to happen again. Whenever I think about my wedding all I feel is worry that there is going to be no one there for me (I don't have any family due to an abusive childhood) and the hurt and embarrassment I'm going to feel.

I think that this is the key part. Can you tell us more about the hurt and embarrassment feelings?

Sundance01 Mon 16-Jan-17 09:03:03

Firstly I totally understand how you feel and I would probably feel the same.

However, from my experience - this is totally par for the course. People love the idea of joining you for your hen night when first mentioned but over the time the reality of the cost, child care, other commitments start to rear their head and people have to make choices. Going to a hen do is normally an expensive, time consuming treat for the women - the rest of her family get nothing from it - and people feel they cannot justify it.

Be happy you have friends enough to invite and who wanted to join you even if they could not make it. Could you have a much smaller event at home or local pub and invite everyone again?

I am sure this is not personal and you do not want to lose friendships - they may be feeling as bad as you are for letting you down.

Mufftache Mon 16-Jan-17 09:04:20

Bless you, I can totally understand you're upset. Ive been there with crap friends.

I just didn't have a hen do at all for the same reasons. I know I wasn't the most 'important' friend in my group and people regularly turned down invitations for events I organised - its too far away (even though its wasn't)...they've already made other plans to do something far more trivial that could be easily changed...DS/DD has a club thing they have to take them to that day....it's DHs sisters cousins uncles dogs birthday that weekend...blah blah blah
(I understand people sometimes DO have plans / circumstances that clash or can't be changed but this was a constant and persistent issue).

They still turned up to my wedding though, but I had a fun fifties theme they wanted to wear fancy new dresses to (they all went dress shopping together for my wedding and I wasn't invited or even told they were going dress shopping as a group), and they got a nice free expensive meal out of it. Lots of selfies of themselves in their dresses went online but no photos with me.

I've since distanced myself from them. Some are family friends or non immediate family so have to maintain a loose relationship with them. I would go out of my way to be at their events - making myself skint to be there, driving miles, cancelling other plans etc. But not any more.

I have no actual advice. I can just empathise. I hope it all works itself out and they have the decency to go to your wedding. Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials flowers xxx

Liiinoo Mon 16-Jan-17 09:09:00

I am not a fan of hen nights. I live in what some people would consider a 'seedy' seaside town and the sight of huge, straggling groups of hens and stags dressed up in hilarious outfits mirthlessly pursuing a good time has put me right off them. I would also resent paying hundreds of pounds to celebrate someone else's event. A meal out or locally a night in with the girls would be more my idea of fun. However I would decline immediately I was invited. To accept the invitation and then cancel is rude so I can understand your being miffed. OTOH if I were one of your loyal friends who had every intention of turning up, I might be a bit hurt if I wasn't considered 'enough' to be worth going away with.

A wedding is very different to a hen night, if people have accepted a wedding invitation it would be very unusual to cancel later.

If you otherwise like your friends and want to stay friends I wouldn't say anything, presumably none of them knew that you had had lots of other cancellations, as far as they knew they were just one person whose absence couldn't have made much difference. If you are having second thoughts about them and wouldn't mind if there was a permanent falling out, maybe speak up. And definitely organise a special night for your very good mates nearer the date so they know how much you value them.

myfavouritecolourispurple Mon 16-Jan-17 09:23:53

A wedding is very different to a hen night, if people have accepted a wedding invitation it would be very unusual to cancel later

I thought this, but I had quite a few people drop out in the run-up to my wedding - to the point that I was struggling to get the minimum numbers (60) for the venue.

I didn't really have a hen night, I just had a few friends (I think there were 5 of us) who went to a (cheap) day spa and then for a meal. No strippers or anything tacky like that.

Morphene Mon 16-Jan-17 09:27:57

I think I might be tempted to send everyone a message saying something along the lines of "I know not everyone will be able to make the wedding, and that sometimes emergencies crop up at the last minute, but please could I ask you to let me know as soon as possible if you aren't coming to the wedding as a swathe of last minute cancellations really hurt me in the run up to my Hen do."

MackerelOfFact Mon 16-Jan-17 09:30:36

I think having an expensive hen do more than six months before the wedding feels a little, I don't know, superfluous. In my experience, whenever hen dos fall more than a couple of months beforehand and/or they're quite expensive (and I'm talking £50+, not hundreds) there will end up being a couple of smaller hen dos as well, each one a new opportunity to cause offence to the bride.

If there's a holiday/trip/experience you really want to have, go and do that, and then do something else as a hen do. The reality is that for most people, a hen do is an imposed trip that they haven't chosen, haven't budgeted for and often can't prioritise. If the important thing to you is celebrating with your friends, then do that - leave the 'dream' trip for another time, that way you will get to do both properly.

jojo2916 Mon 16-Jan-17 09:39:41

Small do with close friends would be far more preferable to me than 20 who aren't close friends , they don't sound like they are close friends , go with the others I'm sure they don't feel like you would be gate crashing and don't take it personally I'd imagine most people don't have 20 people they could class as close friends, one real true friend is worth 50 associates, good luck .

agapanthii Mon 16-Jan-17 09:42:13

I dread hen dos. I LOVE weddings though. They are two different things entirely. If I had been invited to one in Blackpool six months plus before the wedding, which would include travel, hotels etc, I probably would have assumed there would be another, more local/timely event taking place closer to the wedding, such as a dinner or something. I'd have opted for option 2 over option 1. It doesn't mean I'd drop out of the wedding though.

MatildaTheCat Mon 16-Jan-17 09:50:53

Sadly you got the hen weekend wrong. Either people didn't want to spend the money or go to Blackpool full stop. You imagined a wonderful fun, bonding time and they saw snags.

When there is a large group invited it's easy to think that one person won't be missed and pull out. Unfortunately for you this happened. You could have still gone but decided not to which isn't their fault.

Your abusive background probably makes you very vulnerable to rejection but also possibly quite needy, hence having such a large scale event. I'm very sorry but with hindsight you were setting this up to fail. Many people who are at the stage with several friends getting married will be dreading these invitations both due to cost and time.

I do hope they all come good for your wedding and also that you don't hold grudges against the people who are your friends. They didn't all conspire against you although it was a sad result for you.

If you are really concerned speak to people individually to double check they are definitely coming on some pretext to do with arrangements, not checking because you let me down before.

Even then you will, on balance of probability get one or two cancellations because sadly, that's life.

Have a lovely wedding.

user1481838270 Mon 16-Jan-17 10:01:53

I am not a fan of hen nights. I live in what some people would consider a 'seedy' seaside town and the sight of huge, straggling groups of hens and stags dressed up in hilarious outfits mirthlessly pursuing a good time has put me right off them.

I think a lot of people feel similarly about hen nights. They don't refuse in case it causes offence and hurts the bride-to-be. They tend to find an excuse later instead.

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