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Stag and Hen dos - Following on from the Wedding thread

(41 Posts)
TerriBull Fri 18-Mar-16 10:16:38

Apropos of a discussion about contributing to the cost of a honeymoon, I'm wondering if other GNs feel it's unreasonable to expect the invited guests to stag and hen occasions to spend, sometimes a considerable amount of money, to attend an event they really don't have any interest in going to. A while back I got an invitation to an afternoon tea for a prospective bride, second time around wedding. Although I enjoy her company I only know her as the partner of a friend of my husband, my contact with her being, we sometimes go out for the occasional meal as a four. I tactfully turned down the invitation because I didn't want to spend the money on what can be an expensive afternoon tea with a load of people I'd never met, apart from her. At the time my husband thought it was a bit off of me. The proposed venue was a smart hotel and when a glass of champagne is added it would be in the region of £50. I know other women who have been invited to say a spa week-end for a similar purpose and the cost has therefore run into hundreds. Is it a presumption to expect people to shell out for these sort of occasions?

One of my sons fresh out of university and pretty broke was invited to a stag week-end by a colleague, he had a whole range of activities and a hotel to fork out for and he confessed to me that he wished he hadn't gone, but felt under pressure.

Leaving tackiness aside, what are your thoughts on this relatively new phenomenon. Is it acceptable to politely turn down invitations because either it's not your cup of tea or because of the cost involved?

thatbags Fri 18-Mar-16 10:24:05

YANBU and yes, it is reasonable and perfectly acceptable to politely turn down invitations that one feels might cost one more than one can really afford.

Actually, it's always acceptable to politely turn down invitations to things you'd rather not attend. And you don't have to give a reason.

grannylyn65 Fri 18-Mar-16 10:28:06

100 % with you thatbags! how is minibags these days?

Katek Fri 18-Mar-16 10:42:20

It's not just spa days/weekends or teas either. I was speaking to a friend yesterday and her daughter is off to Portugal for a hen do. Seems a fairly common practice as well!!

TerriBull Fri 18-Mar-16 11:06:04

There are other things I would lump into this category "dinner and dances", personally found them dull affairs and they always involved the expense of an evening type dress, shoes, little clutch bag etc. to languish for evermore at the back of the wardrobe. Whilst these would be associated with work or partner's work, I have told my husband I now reserve the right not to have to attend, what in my opinion are "duty events" he has given up wittering on about a table of 6/8 to his golf club dinner and dance because he knows my views, which are "forking out on clothes I don't want in order to dress up like a dog's dinner, to eat indifferent food and to spend the evening talking to people I hardly know and have little interest in" God I sound awful grin

I love going out really, especially together or with our mutual friends, and I quite enjoy dressing up, but not to that extent. I feel it's my prerogative to turn down situations that I don't want to waste my time or money on, although he frequently offers to pay for any garb I would need, but I would rather spend such an amount on a week-end away, far better value imo. He kind of agrees with me, but old habits die hard. He wasn't happy when I turned down the afternoon tea invitation at the time, but got over it. It's good to hear other people feel the same, I do wonder if it's just me who feels like this. I have no problem with those who enjoy these sort of events, but I don't. Horses for courses!

suzied Fri 18-Mar-16 11:13:35

I popped round to see a neighbour a while back and her son told me she had gone away for a hen weekend - to Brazil!!!!

TerriBull Fri 18-Mar-16 11:15:06

suzied - she must be nuts grin

Juggernaut Fri 18-Mar-16 11:36:08

Our DS had his stag 'do' in Brussels, cheap flights, cheap hotel, lots of sightseeing, very little drinking.
DH, the bride's father and our DS's Godfather (who was also a groomsman) were in the party, along with best man, groomsman, and two long time friends of DS.
DH and I paid for the flights and accommodation for DS, DH, best man and both groomsmen, it seemed fair as they were the actual 'Groom's Party'.
We also paid for the hire of Morning Suits, etc for the five 'main men', we felt that as they were wearing what they were told to, it would have been unfair to expect them to pay.
It turned out to be a huge mistake paying for the stag weekend and suit hire for one groomsman (not DS's Godfather) as his wedding gift to the happy couple was £20, this from a young man who earns over 40k pa, had his house bought for him outright by his parents, and holidays in Dubai twice a year!

LullyDully Fri 18-Mar-16 11:48:27

Modern weddings again. All about spending at a time when young people need funds. The couple form out thousands and guests are hammered too. Daft.

Luckygirl Fri 18-Mar-16 12:34:00

Terribull - no-one has ever invited me to a dinner dance, and are never likely to! What exalted company you must move in!

Stag and hen nights have got totally out of hand - bonkers! - and a waste of money.

For many it is just a chance to get totally pissed. There is a wonderful scene in Kate Atkinson's latest book describing drunken hen-nighters in York with their flashing penis "antlers" - it would be funny if it was not so pathetic.

Lavande Fri 18-Mar-16 14:01:45

When I retired from work, I determined that I would resist pressure to take part in anything that I really did not want to do. The list includes weddings in exotic places and hen nights.

Having said that, a party of women in their 40's (approx) boarded the train I was on heading up to Sheffield. They were in full hen party regalia and were in high spirits. I groaned at the thought of having to endure raucous noise and behaviour for the next hour or so. Instead, they were having so much fun and clearly enjoying each other's company that it became infectious and I found that I, and the rest of the carriage was being more entertained than annoyed.

Still, it's not my thing. Apart from not being able to hold as much alcohol these days and choosing to spend my pension in other ways.

grandMattie Fri 18-Mar-16 14:31:48

One of the reasons my Sister-iL stopped talking to us was that we were unprepared to spend a fortune going to her son's wedding in San Francisco!!!! She was furious. We even investigated sending the young man's godson, DS2 alone, but it was just too much.

My own SiL has started refusing going to stag dos because they are too expensive, as they still have to give wedding presents, and they take up his entire holiday allowance that he prefers [understandably] to spend with his wife and daughters.

annsixty Fri 18-Mar-16 15:02:52

I have never been to a hen night, I am talking about earlier days of course, although I think it is more common now for mums to be invited. Am I alone?

TerriBull Fri 18-Mar-16 15:27:06

Luckygirl - I don't mix in exalted company I think I'm down to earth. Previous dinner and dances I referred to have been associated with either the company I worked for or my other half's at the time. I'm going back a few decades when some companies liked to waste money on this sort of affairs and they expected everyone to attend, I don't think I was the only one who found them a complete drag. I echo Lavande, I am now determined to resist pressure to take part in things like this, my time belongs to me. My husband belongs to a golf club, that's his hobby which is fine, but I have no interest in going to any of their social occasions including dinner and dances

grannylyn65 Fri 18-Mar-16 15:27:26

Seem to have lost jingls ?

Joelise Fri 18-Mar-16 16:29:07

Have to agree with TerriBull 100% with regards to dinner and dances, I have had to endure too many ladies nights over the years & now refuse to go to any more ! When my DD was getting married ( second marriage ) she had a hen day at her house. She invited her younger cousins, her future MIL, many friends & me. We all took at least one dish for a wonderful lunch, then she had organised for someone she had met while networking to produce a Mama Mia video. It was hilarious ,I have to add that I was an onlooker, making appropriate (?) remarks! The younger participants all dressed up in Abba type outfits, with wigs and all. Then we had cake & wine tea followed by a lady from Stella & Dot jewellery showing us her wares, but with no pressure at all to buy. In the evening we all took cabs to a local restaurant , where more friends joined us . We each payed for our own meals, so it wasn't an expensive day & we all had a terrific day.

Alea Fri 18-Mar-16 16:42:00

Should this not be called Stag and Hen do's and DONTS??

DD2 and friends and sisters plus 1 honorary male "hen" took their dogs for a long walk in Epping Forest then they plus some of us oldies (MOB, MOG, Aunts etc) went for a meal in a Tapas restaurant. The oldies left around 11 to get home for our cups of cocoa and the youngsters stayed on in a very nice pub drinking Cava.

DD3 and friends went on a wood carving/turning afternoon and each made a wooden spoon before being joined by the oldies (MOB, MOG etc as before) for a meal at Ottolenghi's.

I thoroughly approved of both choices!

PRINTMISS Fri 18-Mar-16 16:44:27

You should live here - we have groups of young women who come down for their Hen Parties, with T-shirts and head gear announcing the fact. When walking though town they might also come upon the sign "Divorce Parties" catered for!

Deedaa Fri 18-Mar-16 22:28:30

This all seems part of the modern craze for over dramatising everything. You can't have a wedding that doesn't cost thousands, you can't have a hen or stag do without involving luxury hotels. The most mediocre act on TV can't be less than "Awesome" and "Amazing" and dangerous sports like Formula One and Speedway have to be dramatised with loud music and shouting in case we can't see that they are dangerous.

M0nica Sat 19-Mar-16 08:11:36

You can have weddings that do not cost a fortune and people always have - and still do. We were talking to somebody this week whose son and fiancee were having a quiet Registry Office wedding this summer followed by a weekend party in a barn, with the bridal couple, family and friends doing all the organising and catering.

12 years ago DS & DDiL did something similar and we have been to several such weddings. Looking back on over 50 years of going to weddings, none of the low cost 'family & friends' weddings have ended up in the divorce courts, and the oldest couple are now approaching their golden wedding anniversary. Sadly several of the grander weddings have failed to last.

I know nothing about Stag and Hen Nights. I do not know anyone who has ever had one, DS didn't and I don't think he or DDiL have ever been on one of those extravagent ones.

Teetime Sat 19-Mar-16 09:51:43

I don't consider age a barrier to anything but I use the excuse when saying a polite No Thank you to Hen 'dos'. Both my DDs invited me to theirs and professed themselves disappointed when I said 'No its for young people'. I do not want to get drunk on shots and watch some overmuscled idiot take his pants off.

We have started saying No to golf club dos as well now as I agree the food is dreadful and endless golf post-mortems and tales of derring do on the green are boring even to other golfers. The other day I was ambushed in the club to buy a ticket for the charity fashion show. I bought a ticket but said I would not be attending. 'Why?' queried this very sweet lady. 'Because the clothes are crap' said I in a voice louder than I intended. I looked around in trepidation awaiting the wrath of the Ladies Committee but heads were nodding everywhere.

Deedaa Sat 19-Mar-16 21:02:35

DD was the same MOnica They had a Registry Office wedding with a church blessing afterwards (He was divorced so no church wedding) Her dress was under£100 from Monsoon, DS and I did the catering and the club they had both worked at let them have a room for the reception for nothing. As I have mentioned before they have been married for 19 years so we must have done something right.

glammanana Sat 19-Mar-16 21:31:48

Just recently I have declined the invitation to my future DILs hen party which entailed a meal out with 30 people most of whom I only kew by sight if at all,then on to a burlesque club for entertainment and cocktails,not too bad one may think until she informed me that she expects everyone to dress up in burlesque style clothing,"I am very sorry but that really is not me do you mind if I kindly refuse the invitation and wish you a good time" says I and the sound of relief in her voice was almost deafening. lol.
This is the same person who has organised another hen party when we get to Las Vegas for the wedding and expects me to cough up xxx amount of dollars for a half ride down the strip in a stupid wedding bus she is totally living on another planet imo.I just wish they would get married at our local reg office and go away on honeymoon for a couple of weeks on their own

Floradora9 Sun 20-Mar-16 19:55:13

Do not get me started on hen and stag parties. We were on a flight filled with them for three hours and it was a nightmare. They sang, shouted, flirted ( over our heads ) and never let up the whole time . I was assured it would be better coming home was worse. I would be ashamed if I were the mother of any of these young people . If the flight had been any longer I would have got up and shouted at them .The airline have to put a stop to them.

Deedaa Sun 20-Mar-16 21:09:32

I'm sure your DiL to be is a lovely person glammanana but her wedding ideas sound dreadful. Why Las Vegas? Does it make the wedding any more legal? Just not my idea of a good time.