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Bridemaid but can't afford £250 hen do

(71 Posts)
Cerulean60 Fri 20-Apr-18 20:47:31


I'm a bridesmaid for an old friend I'm not particularly close to anymore. The co-bridesmaids are mutual old friends. They've suggested a budget of £250 for a UK break (spa trip and 2 nights at an airbnb with alcohol/food/games).

I was honest and said I'd struggle to afford that and others might too, but now everyone else has come back saying that budget is ok. I do work full time but am also doing postgrad study which is costing me a fortune, and I really have no spare cash each month (my outgoings are about £200/month more than I earn...). The co-bridesmaids have been quite insensitive to this and have made me feel bad for suggesting a slightly more affordable budget. I actually feel quite embarrassed and down that I'm the only one who can't afford it.

Of course I want the bride to have a lovely weekend and tried to make some creative suggestions e.g. spa day with overnight stay optional, but they didn't like that idea. I've also asked whether it really needs to be 2 nights but apparently it does. I feel like my co-bridesmaids are being quite insensitive (the bride isn't aware of any of this) and not being sympathetic at all.

Any thoughts? I have considered suggesting I'll do something on my own with the bride that is a bit more affordable for me (e.g. spa day) - do you think the bride would be ok with that? I don't want to fall out with anyone but am really worrying about the cost sad

Helpmeplan Fri 20-Apr-18 20:50:04

Keep being honest. Bloody hell people need to be realistic

hibbledibble Fri 20-Apr-18 20:50:47

Can you do an alternative cheap hen do? Dinner and drinks or similar?

Hens dos and stag dos are becoming rediculously expensive nowadays. It's no longer a meal plus an activity. It's either a weekend away costing more than I would spend on a family holiday, or a day costing a 3 figure amount.

NewYearNewMe18 Fri 20-Apr-18 20:50:47

I'm a bridesmaid for an old friend I'm not particularly close to anymore

If you aren't close to her, decline to be bridesmaid.

I'm like the majority of MN, I simply do not understand these ridiculously extravagant hen (and stag) do's. Tell the other hen's you cant afford it, you wont be getting into debt for it and to discount you from any figures. I would also tell the bride that it is beyond your budget.

AlexanderHamilton Fri 20-Apr-18 20:52:00

Whatever happened to a nice meal out the weekend before the wedding.

Just say unfortunately it’s over budget for you and refuse to feel any guilt.

Derlei Fri 20-Apr-18 20:53:01

If the bride chooses to fall out with you than support your decision then she’s not a good friend and I’d tell her to stuff being a bridesmaid

MsHopey Fri 20-Apr-18 20:53:45

Do you have to go?
Do you even want to go?
I know it sounds odd, but I feel like we do lots of things for other people no matter how we personally feel. If the bride is close enough of a friend to ask you to be a bridesmaid, surely she'll understand why you weren't there.
I'm my sister's bridesmaid this year. She's doing a lovely cabin in the woods for 2 days, but I straight away said I couldn't go due to money and not wanting to leave my baby. She was sad but h understanding.

MidLifeCrisis2017 Fri 20-Apr-18 20:54:26

I've just paid that for a week in Greece <not helpful >. Surely you just need to say you can't afford it but arrange to go for the day if that's possible.

Teacuphiccup Fri 20-Apr-18 20:55:48

If I was the bride I’d be mortified.

Presumably she asked you to be her bridesmaid because she thinks highly of you and wants to spend time with you. I’m sure she wouldnt mind doing something with you on your own.

Bojangles33 Fri 20-Apr-18 20:56:50

If I was the bride I'd be livid at the other bridesmaids for making you feel like this! Just speak to the bride and let her know that you can't afford the full hen do and do whatever bit you can afford or do something with her separately. And don't feel bad about it, everyone's circumstances are different! You would probably end up not enjoying it anyway and just worrying about spending money you don't really have.

Fruitcorner123 Fri 20-Apr-18 20:57:02

I have considered suggesting I'll do something on my own with the bride that is a bit more affordable for me (e.g. spa day)

Do this. Explain to the bride that the hen do is out of your budget and you would like to do X with her instead. Look on group on you can often get some really good deals on things like spa days and afternoon tea. I wouldn't be offended if my bridesmaid did this. I would actually be chuffed if i was the bride as I get an extra treat.

Failingat40 Fri 20-Apr-18 20:59:19

Just say no. What can they do? They can't force you to go and pay up.

I didn't stay out on the hen night I was bridesmaid for, I went on night shift instead as we weren't close anymore.

She was a bridesmaid for me in return and didn't come to my weekend away. I didn't mind one bit.

CocoaGin Fri 20-Apr-18 21:01:58

Don't do it. It's an invite. Not a summons.

Findingdotty Fri 20-Apr-18 21:02:12

Hen dos aren’t compulsory. As long as you aren’t complaining about not attending the hen night (which I am sure you aren’t) then don’t go, tell the bride, maybe offer to spend the day with her doing something to do with the wedding and it should be fine.

Idontdowindows Fri 20-Apr-18 21:03:13

"Hi Bride, I'm sorry to say that the hen do has become unaffordable for me. Unfortunately the other bridesmaids do not wish to compromise on cost so that means I will not be able to attend. If that means you no longer want me as your bridesmaid I will understand."

LoniceraJaponica Fri 20-Apr-18 21:04:33

"Keep being honest. Bloody hell people need to be realistic"

This ^^
If more would be hens spoke up against expensive hen dos they wouldn't be so many.

My stock answer is "don't try and guilt trip me, it won't work"

Bellabutterfly2016 Fri 20-Apr-18 21:04:55

I have a similar situation except I'm not a bridesmaid - my friend from college is getting married, she's not having bridesmaids but I'm a witness (she's having her 2 daughters as flower girls)

Anyway - she's messaged us all and has suggested 5 nights in Ibiza!!!!!!

Years ago it was a hen night
Then a weekend
Sometimes 5 days like this one
And even a week now!

Where do people get their money from? The money this would cost, me, my partner and daughter could all go away for!
I'll be declining!

OnTheRise Fri 20-Apr-18 21:05:17

Tell them you can't afford it so are bowing out of the whole bridesmaid thing. Easy.

TodayImThisName Fri 20-Apr-18 21:05:41

I’d decline and I wouldnt angst over it. It’s more than you want to spend and that’s that.

I bet if they have set the budget at £250 they will still end up spending more.

StaplesCorner Fri 20-Apr-18 21:06:23

Tell the bride. Explain it all, say how sorry you are and ask if you can treat her to lunch instead, end of. If she freaks out, you are no longer bridesmaid, end of.

SomeKnobend Fri 20-Apr-18 21:07:08

Don't go. So ridiculously self indulgent to expect people to spend days and hundreds of pounds on a fucking hen do.

itsbetterthanabox Fri 20-Apr-18 21:08:00

Speak to the bride. It won't ruin the surprise to know the duration and cost because surely she knows these things anyway?
Could you go to part of it? Just one of the nights?

Neato Fri 20-Apr-18 21:08:16

I spent £260 on the initial weekend (fri-Sun) for a hen do recently and then;

£60 on travel
£40 on booze to take
£25 on lunches out and about
£100 on the 'big' night out including taxis

So, even if you stump up the initial amount, you still are required to pay out when you are there. It's pretty hard to say no IME and once the costs roll in, its a rollercoaster!

In your position, I would offer to take the bride out for a lovely meal yourself or something and be honest with the group.

Spamalotta Fri 20-Apr-18 21:08:17

Threads like this make me glad I'm old and married as are my friends, long before this ridiculous "hen weekend" nonsense because the norm.

ElderflowerWaterIsDelish Fri 20-Apr-18 21:08:43

Just be honest and say sorry I can't go. My budget won't stretch to £250...

You need to be realistic, if you splash out £250 on this, will it cause you to be in debt?will you be able to afford food, pay your bills, and other living expenses...

Also this could just be the tip of the iceberg...will be be obliged to buy your own bridesmaid dress?...will you be able to buy a wedding gift of your own choosing or will it be expected of you to buy from a list of approved gifts?

If you aren't close to her anymore and this is going to cost you money (and your time that could be spent on your own stuff) then why not decline being a bridesmaid?

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