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Stag and Hen dos - Following on from the Wedding thread

(42 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?

TerriBull Wed 23-Mar-16 09:23:07

Judthepud2, I think your daughter's invites were exactly the sort of affair I had in mind when I started this thread. People are put in difficult positions to fork out and make arrangements for this sort of event. IMO a friend, should understand if an invitee politely declines, if they take offence maybe their friendship isn't worth having if they think it's acceptable to put their friends under this sort of pressure.

I do agree that a nice time can be had such as your DIL's get together on Hampstead Heath and various understated outings others have described here.

Judthepud2 Wed 23-Mar-16 08:57:36

DD3 has attended several hen dos recently that involved 5 days in some European resort! She has begun to resent these as it means parking her children (usually with us), missing work and huge expense. I have suggested she doesn't have to go but she says it would cause offense.

Nicest hen do I went to was DIL's four years ago. Picnic on Hamstead Heath and a Bollywood dancing class in the evening. Great fun. The youngers went on to a pub later, but I gave it a miss. Too much fun for an old person like me. ?

Deedaa Tue 22-Mar-16 21:54:07

DH has never lived down the fact that he was 15 minutes late for our wedding because he had spent the night before at a Greek restaurant with his dad. I gather that large quantities of Retsina and Metaxa brandy were involved. He was so hungover I wondered if he would survive the ceremony.

My bridesmaid and I had spent the evening drinking tea and watching television.

Penstemmon Tue 22-Mar-16 21:16:35

Follow up re SiL.. I ended up staying at DDs house as the flight was delayed but had a tentative 20:00 take off slot. All passengers on the plane but the slot not allocated..all had to wait on plane for 3 hours before take off..SiL got home at about 2:00 a.m...I was asleep and did not hear him!

The rest of the "stags" paid an additional £400 for train tickets to get home when they knew of the potential delay/ they all needed to be in work (SiL did too but decided £400 on top of what had been spent was too much) They all had to stand from Toulouse all the way to Paris.

Was it worth it? SiL said they had a memorable time!!

Penstemmon Tue 22-Mar-16 21:08:31 DH his best man and the "ushers" i.e the rest of his good mates all met at the pub opposite the church at opening time (11:00?) and wandered over to the church in time for the 2 o'clock ceremony.

I had a traditional middle eastern (may be in other places too I guess) pre wedding bridal evening instigated by my grandma with all the women of my family. I suppose that tradition started because of all the primping and preening to be done to the bride (before professional make up artists and hairderssers!)and also telling the bride what to expect on the wedding night. As far as I can remember we had a great meal and a lot of laughs! (ps I knew what to expect!)

annodomini Mon 21-Mar-16 13:35:47

I had a very hungover bridegroom, though we didn't have stag and hen dos. My parents had come over to Kenya for the wedding so we all went for a meal with a good friend along with the best man and his wife. My parents and I left before midnight but then the others got stuck in to the booze. Surprisingly, they managed to turn up on time.

Maggiemaybe Mon 21-Mar-16 13:00:44

My own hen do was a few drinks in a new-fangled wine bar in the next town (oh, we felt so sophisticated!), followed by the local disco, which probably closed at midnight. My DDs had a) a clay pigeon shooting / off-roading afternoon followed by an evening in the local bars, and b) a long weekend with friends in a big cottage in the country, with long walks and afternoon tea, cocktails, daft games, all in-house. I went to both and enjoyed them - they weren't particularly expensive.

A few years on and I wanted to fix a family do with my DC. I find that on that date the girls are both in Budapest on a hen do and DS is in Spain at a wedding. They've been as far as Las Vegas for hen/stag dos. Now we hear Brazil's a destination. Trips to the Moon for the next generation? grin

M0nica Mon 21-Mar-16 12:10:02

Too many are marrying for the wedding and not thinking about the marriage.

TerriBull Mon 21-Mar-16 10:39:48

I'm wondering where the whole "stag and hen" thing emanated from, any ideas anyone? I particularly dislike the notion that sometimes goes with the more base type of escapades that just maybe there will be an opportunity for one last sexual indiscretion before marriage, which would make me question why that person would want to commit themselves to marriage anyway hmm

M0nica Mon 21-Mar-16 10:06:15

I also think it ridiculous, at a time when we hear how difficult it is for young people to save a big enough deposit to buy a house, to see them spending the equivalent of a house deposit on the wedding and associated festivities, often leaving themselves deeply in debt, which makes saving for a house even more difficult.

Jalima Mon 21-Mar-16 09:15:15

We didn't have such things as hen dos when I got married.
I don't think I missed anything.

Penstemmon Mon 21-Mar-16 08:50:14

Hmm! This evening I was asked by DD if I could babysit as she needs to be in Manchester tomorrw morning for a
work meeting so will travel up today on an early evening train. Her DH would be returning during this evening from a stag do in Andorra(ski weekend) Now the flights are cancelled due to French air traffic control dispute... I will have DGS x2 all night! confused

carerof123 Mon 21-Mar-16 08:40:31

What happened to the drinks at the local pub for your stag or hen do many a groom walked up the aisle with a hang over on his wedding day years ago!!!

Now it seems like a competition to do the wildest and wackiest thing and as others have stated it costs every one the earth. Modern life is very strange at times!!!!!

Jalima Mon 21-Mar-16 08:08:39

The 'afternoon tea hen do' sounds quite civilised Terribull in comparison to some of the dreadful hen and stag dos I have heard about shock but if she was not a close friend there was no reason for you to go (these teas cost a fortune!).

Someone I know took her husband (both in their 70s) to Blackpool for a weekend because he had never been. They were appalled and disgusted at nearly naked men and women roaming the streets, drunk and vomiting in the gutter. It was winter-time - she kept saying to me when she got back 'we didn't dare go out for a stroll - and don't they feel the cold?'.
I've heard of trips to Prague, the continent but never Brazil!

DD had a tasteful 'dinner cruise' with a few friends, her future MIL and me. The youngsters did go on for drinks afterwards whilst the oldies went home.

Are these extravagant young people the same ones who moan that they will never be able to afford a house, or are they in a parallel universe?

absent Mon 21-Mar-16 04:31:15

I have never gone to a hen night and, understandably, no one has ever invited me to a stag night. They both seem to me a really silly and absurdly expensive modern "tradition", especially when they involve trips abroad, hotel costs, etc. I did share a family lunch with the women in the family and the bride, plus her baby daughter, that was delightful and friendly. None of the guests was expected to pay and that was kind of our hostess – the bride's mother – but it was not a trip to Brazil or some other ridiculous expense.

Eloethan Mon 21-Mar-16 00:30:43

I've only been to two hen rights. One in a local pub, and the other at a Greek restaurant called the Apollonia near Soho. It was an inexpensive night but great fun.

I think these expensive stag and hen dos are ridiculous and if you really care about your friends why would you put them to such expense, or discomfort at having to decline?

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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!