Posting for traffic - hen do AIBU

(144 Posts)
ComingUpTrumps Mon 29-May-17 19:23:32

At the risk of completely outing myself, I'd like to ask you for some advice please. It's about a hen weekend that I'm organising in Oxford for 12 people from 9th to 11th June.

(I posted a similar thread about hen do costs a couple of weeks ago).

I'm meant to be organising the hen weekend with two other people. One of those people (Person A) has very important exams coming up until the day before the hen weekend, and they'll of course need to focus on these. They've requested not to be involved in the hen weekend planning because they need to revise for these exams.

Person B is on holiday at the moment. They're currently on a plane to a long-haul destination, and will have patchy WiFi access throughout their holiday. They'll be on holiday until 2 days before the hen weekend.

I'm now in charge of organising, which I'm happy with. I also am job-hunting right now, so I'm not working, which also means that I have more free time than A and B.

However, the problem is that I can't get into contact with A or B very easily at the moment, because one is on holiday and the other is preparing for their exams.

I've emailed and WhatsApped them both with constant updates about the organisation of the hen weekend so far, just to keep them posted and aware of developments, however (understandably), since last week, I haven't had feedback from either of them about the organisation and plans.

Our itinerary is the following:

Friday evening:
Train to Oxford
Taxi transfers from Oxford station to accommodation.
Pizza at accommodation.

Breakfast (included in accommodation price for Saturday and Sunday).
Dance lesson.
Lunch (£25 per person, as we booked from a set menu).
Taxi transfer from punting place to accommodation, so we can get ready for evening.
Taxi transfer from acccomodation to Oxford city centre for evening.
Dinner in Oxford (booked from £25 set menu of 3 courses)
Bar in Oxford
Taxi transfer from Oxford to accommodation.

Sunday: breakfast at accommodation, and then train home.

The problem, firstly, is that I've sent out emails to the other attendees (not including the bride) requesting part of the payment. The payments are needed as we need to pay for the Saturday morning dance lesson in full when booking it. I sent them an initial email with a payment request on Friday afternoon. A few got back to me saying they'd pay me on the weekend, but I haven't yet received payment from them. I sent out another follow-up payment request email this morning (I was requested to by person B in case people didn't respond to the first payment email). In total, I've only been paid by one person.

The other issue is the timings of activities on the Saturday. I could only get a restaurant reservation for 9pm on Saturday night (after phoning about 15 restaurants). Do you think this is too late? What complicates matters is that one member of our group is vegan, so although the restaurant have said that they can cater for her (they're not a vegan-only restaurant), I'm not sure what she'll be able to eat. Person B also didn't like the restaurant menu.

A further issue (sorry!) is the cost. Oxford is a very expensive city. All of us are paying for the bride's costs (apart from her train ticket to and from Oxford), so we've all decided to pay an extra £20 each. This means that the whole weekend will cost at least £284.50 per person (with taxi transfers and train tickets included, but not including drinks).


a) Am I being unreasonable to ask people to pay this?

b) How do I get people to pay?

c) Can I pull off organising the hen do?

OP’s posts: |
PurplePidjin Mon 29-May-17 19:27:51

I would ignore A and B. They clearly don't give a shit

Then I would email all attendees requesting payment within 24 hours to confirm they're coming. If they don't pay, they don't come.

As the organiser you say "This is what's happening" then they either join in or don't, their loss. If you ask it becomes a discussion which gets messy.

What does the bride want?

ComingUpTrumps Mon 29-May-17 19:30:33

Thanks for the reply Pidjin.

The bride wants a 'cheap and cheerful' hen do. Except I don't think you can do a 'cheap and cheerful' weekend in Oxford (expensive city), when everyone is travelling in from different places.

OP’s posts: |
SkeletonSkins Mon 29-May-17 19:32:55

I wouldn't pay that much, sorry, I just wouldn't. Is the dance lesson totally necessary? Could you have a bit of a picnic lunch or something cheaper for the lunch on the Saturday? If you ate lots at breakfast people may not want lots.

9pm is fairly late I'd say - are there really no other restaurants in the entirety of Oxford that can do any earlier? If not, could you organise some drinks somewhere beforehand that might serve a few snacks to keep people going?

SpikeGilesSandwich Mon 29-May-17 19:32:55

Blimey, rather you than me! As for the cost, that depends on the financial circumstances of your group, the best part of £300 is nothing to some people but a lot to others. If you think this is an amount your friends can easily cover then send an email telling them how much it will be and if they are still up for it, when the total will need to be paid by. Don't leave it all open to discussion or it will go on forever.

lilydaisyrose Mon 29-May-17 19:33:38

I wouldn't be able to afford anything like this amount for a hen weekend but would probably just let you get on with it and meet bride for lunch at later date! I couldn't afford a similar themed weekend in St Andrews a few years ago, so just went along for the afternoon for a film screening and lunch (still cost £££).

I am agog that Saturday lunch is costing £25 (for lunch!) - can you not get a pret coffee and sandwich somewhere or similar & does everything have to be so organised? I think 2 x activities, lunch and dinner out is far too much to fit into one day - why don't you do the dancing or punting?

I am wondering if the reason you haven't had any payments is the cost? It's this month and a huge amount of money - people aren't able to pay in instalments or save up. If people are going to the wedding too, that's a massive cost. Can you go elsewhere (another, cheaper city) or just do a day trip then come home or completely rethink things? Can you ask the bride for a steer on what she wants? Maybe she'd prefer to pay for herself (I would).

SkeletonSkins Mon 29-May-17 19:34:55

In fact, does it need to be two nights? That would cut costs hugely. How about people drive to punting place in the afternoon, then drive to the accommodation. That would cut the cost of two taxies and lunch, plus an entire nights accommodation.


ComingUpTrumps Mon 29-May-17 19:35:48

The other attendees are aware that this is the cost.

I'm unemployed right now, so I'm not sure how I'll afford it.

Person A and Person B were both pushing for a fancy lunch and fancy dinner on the Saturday. And Person B, who has organised hen weekends before, was very keen for an activity-based day on the Saturday, with a dance lesson or something similar. £25 per person is the cheapest quote I could find for an activity.

OP’s posts: |
ComingUpTrumps Mon 29-May-17 19:36:17

Skeleton only one person in the group is bringing their car to the weekend.

OP’s posts: |
lilydaisyrose Mon 29-May-17 19:36:30

This is definitely not cheap and cheerful! I had a cheap hennie. Everyone paid £5/£10 to do some pottery painting in the city we live near then we had a summer picnic in a massive park/meadow! Everyone brought sandwiches and cakes to share and the sun shone - it was a fab day.

Squishedstrawberry4 Mon 29-May-17 19:36:36

Maybe send a text stating that you're a bit worried that no one has paid as it means you can't book/pay for anything (awaiting payment in full first as everything is numbers dependant). If unsure of anything/attending, please can they let you know tomorrow as a matter of urgency or put the cash into your account. Thankyou.

Ask the two women to chase everyone sure they have everyone's contact details and an email would only take ten minutes

Failing that ask the bride to chase everyone up.

Squishedstrawberry4 Mon 29-May-17 19:38:00

You need to just accept that if people don't pay up, you can't book stuff and will need them to come up with alternative arrangements.

ComingUpTrumps Mon 29-May-17 19:38:17

According to Person B, brides never pay for their costs in hen weekends.

Also thank you so so much everyone for your help. I promise that I'm not dismissing your suggestions ont of hand. I really do appreciate all of your suggestions and advice. I hugely appreciate everything.

I feel that my hands are tied because the bride wants a weekend away not in their home city, and all of the guests expect a certain 'standard' for the weekend.

OP’s posts: |
Squishedstrawberry4 Mon 29-May-17 19:39:02

Ask the bride to ask the two women to chase payment

lobsterface Mon 29-May-17 19:39:09

Probably difficult to get just the one night most places want two min. I agree on the lunch being expensive but then if you're not eating till 9 you'll want a later lunch.

What price was agreed to begin with? Lady hen I went to Dublin and tbh it cost less including a dance lesson and night out.

ClashCityRocker Mon 29-May-17 19:39:57

I wouldn't be keen on spending £25 for lunch on the Saturday coupled with £25 for tea.

Usually I'd have a big breakfast and skip lunch, or have a lighter lunch for under a tenner and maybe some nibbles at the accommodation if not having tea til nine.

Stickerrocks Mon 29-May-17 19:40:11

If the exams are the ones I think they are, please cut out the email updates every 5 minutes, as a career or a lot of cash for resits is likely to be at stake if they fail. My students are living & breathing their papers, hence why I've been teaching revision classes for them all weekend. A hen weekend would be very low on my list of priorities until the last paper was over.

HarrietKettleWasHere Mon 29-May-17 19:42:38

If it were me I'd balk at that cost, sorry. Is there no way that people can pick and choose what bits they go to based on what they could afford? I did that last weekend with a hen. I skipped the days activiries and booked my own (cheaper!) accommodation. I then just came out for a mean and drinks/club. Still cost me over £100 but easily would have been double that.

Oxfords is expensive, two nights there with meals out would be beyond what I'd be prepared to pay.

Not cheap and cheerful at all! Is it a done deal or can you re-organise?

Bumbumtaloo Mon 29-May-17 19:42:56

I'm from Oxfordshire, born and bred.

Yes, Oxford can be very expensive but it doesn't have to be. For example the punting is a very touristy thing and will be expensive.

Same for food, if you are eating in the centre of Oxford yes it can be expensive, if you can go a little further out there are some amazing places to eat without the price tag.

Certain bars and/or clubs will be expensive to drink in but again depends what you want.

I would send one last reminder for the activities and if no reply I would speak to the bride.

Thisisouting Mon 29-May-17 19:44:42

Revolution do cocktail lessons and I think it's £25 including food could you look into an activity that includes lunch? Or have a picnic before/while punting

9pm is fine for dinner get a few bottles of bubbly and some nibbles and have drinks at your accommodation before you head out, that will save you money on drinks

Ignore what B wants re fancy lunch it's not her weekend; organise something you can afford and the bride is happy with.

theITgirl Mon 29-May-17 19:46:50

Ok I organised my sister's hen do in Oxford as that was on the middle of all of us.

First check out the bus routes. They are very good and frequent, you can then fit in the one bus and not worry about organising taxis.

Instead of the evening meal on Saturday have you checked out the comedy club. Ok the food is basic, burgers and chips etc. But it is a really good night out.

Another suggestion is fudge making that is again in the centre and a really good laugh. You get a block of fudge to take away plus whatever you buy, and masses of varieties to taste. Also very cheap.

We didn't have a huge group but it was a very reasonably priced hen do.

pringlecat Mon 29-May-17 19:46:57

Have you booked anything so far? If the answer is no, it can all be scrapped.

How did you end up lumbered organising this with two people who aren't helping at all?

Silence probably means a lot of people are reconsidering going because of the cost.

ComingUpTrumps Mon 29-May-17 19:47:50

That's true Sticker - sorry. Which exams are the ones you have in mind?

Very true, everyone who had posted with suggestions. Thank you all.

The bride has quite high expectations, I think. She's having a wedding in the UK and a wedding abroad.

OP’s posts: |
RNBrie Mon 29-May-17 19:47:54

Cut out the lunch and the punting.

So the dance lesson and then have lunch at the accommodation - do bacon sandwiches crisps and nibbles (the bride did ask for cheap and cheerful!!)

After lunch do a walk somewhere and then everyone goes off and gets ready. Meet again and do drinks and nibbles and some silly games/shots whatever and then go off to dinner.

Give people a deadline for payment. If you don't get it then they don't come. This might leave you short of cash to pay for the accommodation though.

I organised a hen and it was a nightmare. One person swore blind they were coming so I paid their share. They never showed and the bride ended up covering their costs, it was awful and awkward.

arbrighton Mon 29-May-17 19:48:48

You can do cheaper than that in Oxford. I was a student there, lived in surrounding area for several years and still go back there frequently

I've just been to a one day hen do there (well 4 weeks ago) and while it didn't include accommodation, we had limo, cocktail making lesson, 3 course lunch and drinks/ snacks in a city centre bar.

think we paid about 90 each, to cover the bride.

Why so many taxis? There are perfectly good buses in Oxford (and FYI our whole hen party walked between venues after the limo picked up the bride. And two of us were more than 30 weeks pregnant....)

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