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Hen parties

(159 Posts)
Beswitched Thu 27-Jan-22 15:50:54

My niece has been invited to a hen party in April that is going to cost about €400.
It's a weekend away in a seaside spa hotel and includes 2 nights accommodation sharing rooms, a couple of spa treatments, a dinner on the first night, and a 'party bus' to take them to a nightclub in a nearby town. The €500 includes pitching in for the bride's meal and accommodation costs.
They will also have to pay for drinks, train fares, entry into the nightclub, lunches and pizza and wine on the 2nd night.
She is getting married herself later this year and really can't afford this, but is being pressurised by the bridesmaids, told her friend will be so disappointed if she doesn't come etc

AIBU to think this is ridiculous and hen parties are getting way out of control. My niece reckons she'll be down about 600 euro when everything is taken into account.

I saw a similar thread on Mumsnet today. Attending a wedding is expensive enough nowadays without these costly weekends away being added to the mix.

Madgran77 Thu 27-Jan-22 15:55:32

I think that is ridiculous ...friend will just have to accept that niece cant afford it. However what is she planning for her own hen party .....similar or something more accessible to people on different levels of income? As presumably the friend whose hen party this one is will also be invited to nieces hen party

ShazzaKanazza Thu 27-Jan-22 16:08:30

I think Hen parties and hen weekends and holidays abroad are ridiculous and so expensive. What happened to just a night out with the girls. They are getting so complex and expensive for the hens to pay and when my sons ex partner had her hen party booked I asked what she was doing she said ‘I don’t know but everyone will be paying for me’ (They’ve since split up and didn’t get married in the end). I was shocked. My own Daughter refuses to attend hen parties now if it’s away. When it was hers her bridesmaids booked a night away at a local spa with a treatment and a meal included and I paid for my daughter so her hens only paid for themselves.It was a couple of days before she got married. It was lovely. Not expensive and a quiet night away with her friends. In my day I went out for a meal out with friends and paid for myself then we met up with the stags and again a few nights before we got married. I’m probably boring and out of touch now.

Marydoll Thu 27-Jan-22 16:09:08

My daughter was put in a similar position just before the first lockdown. Despite the fact that she too, was also getting married and couldn't afford it, the organisers put so much pressure on her to go.

I am going to my future DIL's hen do in a couple of weeks.
We are staying in a rented country house with swimming pool and hot tub. It is only a forty minute drive away and the whole thing, including accomodation, food and drink is costing £180. Much more reasonable.

There are country walks nearby and we are planning a murder mystery night, games and Karaoke.

Marydoll Thu 27-Jan-22 16:11:32

I meant to say that we will be staying for two nights.

Sarnia Thu 27-Jan-22 16:19:47

It's what they do these days. They find the money because they don't want to be the odd one out. I think it's crazy to almost put friends on a guilt trip to go whether they can afford it or not.

MissAdventure Thu 27-Jan-22 16:22:49

I wouldn't enjoy something that had cost so much.

Dickens Thu 27-Jan-22 16:35:33

Hen and Stag nights / weekends are big business, and prices are, apparently, increasing. There's loads of companies willing to take your hard-earned cash and arrange the venue - complete with T-shirts, funny head-gear, stretch limo's, and strippers for both the hens and the stags.

I wouldn't touch them with a barge-pole.

Your niece should refuse to go - that's a ridiculous amount of money to spend when she's getting married herself shortly. Of course the bridesmaids will put pressure on her - but she shouldn't feel guilty, they'll all still have a good time without her, and she'll have that money for her own wedding. Teach her to say "no" - not easy - but you have to learn not to let people organise your life for you!

Marydoll's DIL's hen do sounds nice!

Kali2 Thu 27-Jan-22 16:38:46

Totally ridiculous- same with baby showers, etc!

BigBertha1 Thu 27-Jan-22 16:39:54

My daughter ahs been to a few hen parties but not involving so much expense but she has declined the latest rash of them on grou9nds of expense. She sent the bride a gift and that was fine.

Hithere Thu 27-Jan-22 16:40:08

An invitation is not summons

silverlining48 Thu 27-Jan-22 16:43:24

I think it’s ridiculously out of control too. A night out or spa with a few friends is lovely. Going abroad in matching pink outfits is crazy. I know my dd got so fed up with it as her friends all married and expected her to go to all the hen things, most abroad, which working fir NHS she could not afford, especially as the weddings were so expensive too. It all caused her a lot of grief,
Is it just prevalent in the uk, certainly in Europe things are much simpler.

grandMattie Thu 27-Jan-22 16:46:03

SiL now refuses to go, what with the stag parties, the present, accommodation and transport to the marriage then the after party…

Kali2 Thu 27-Jan-22 16:46:53

Sadly aping the USA.

Doodledog Thu 27-Jan-22 16:48:12

The problem seems to be that if you go to one, you have to keep going to all your friends' parties, as each bride has splashed out £££ for all the ones she's been to, and feels short-changed if her night is a less extravagant affair.

I am firmly in the 'waste of money' camp, but the psychology of it all is a minefield. When I was working a lot of the younger members of staff spent so much on hen/stags abroad, with cocktail making classes, salsa nights, champagne receptions and so on, that they couldn't afford the money or the leave days to spent time with their own partners and young families. They felt obliged, though, as the stags/hens had been to their 'dos' when they married, and it is hard to break the cycle.

Josieann Thu 27-Jan-22 16:58:39

I thoroughly enjoyed the hen parties in our family because it gave me the opportunity to meet "the girls" prior to the wedding. We did some fun things like jewellery making, afternoon tea and learning to mix cocktails. I think they were around £250 for 2 nights, plus travel, which seemed a sensible price.
I was surprised how many husbands were happily being left at home to look after the babies. Good on them!

DiscoDancer1975 Thu 27-Jan-22 17:00:06

This is quite normal these days I’m afraid. I just went a night club with my friends....and we wore bin liners. the very least, you have to be abroad!

Mad isn’t it? ?

Beswitched Thu 27-Jan-22 17:20:14


I think that is ridiculous ...friend will just have to accept that niece cant afford it. However what is she planning for her own hen party .....similar or something more accessible to people on different levels of income? As presumably the friend whose hen party this one is will also be invited to nieces hen party

She doesn't want a hen party at all and has warned her 2 bridesmaids not to organise one. At most she will agree to a meal and a few drinks somewhere local.

Kim19 Thu 27-Jan-22 17:25:42

She will have to be strong. Either she can afford it or she can't. I would certainly have put my wedding above all others.

TerriBull Thu 27-Jan-22 18:10:39

I have followed a few threads on MN on this subject, many of the invitees not wanting to go for one of the following, financial constraints, work commitments, juggling childcare., not enough annual leave to cover that outing and a family holiday. All valid reasons imo. for turning the invitation down, furthermore that should be accepted with grace by the person who has issued the invite. Sadly that is often not the case. On one thread, the imperious invitation issued by the bride's mother said something along the lines, bearing in mind I think the cost of a trip abroad for the hen do was going to cost something in the order of £1,000 "you all have a year to save up, no ifs no buts about the cost" Absolutely staggered at the expectations and front of some people shock none of their business as to what people can or cannot afford. The woman who started the thread and had the invite didn't really want to go due to the cost and having to take time off work, childminding etc. Then at some stage down the line, she had to do an extra shift, hospital worker I believe and missed some Zoom meeting to discuss all the prospective dross they were having to stump up for. Upshot, she was severely admonished for missing the meeting, ostracised by some which happily gave her the impetus to drop out. Unanimously the other posters spurred her on giving her the courage to stick with that decision. Then both she and her husband were ceremoniously dropped by both bride and groom and I think they had their wedding invitation withdrawn too.

Honestly, I feel sorry for many of these young women these days, it honestly wasn't a thing when I was young, maybe a meal out with some close friends but not these expensive week ends, a full week even. often abroad, for something, it seems many feel under immense pressure to go along with. The other thing many state, that they only often know the person getting married and are forced to be closeted with others who they later find the don't like.

All in all it's got sod all to do with marriage and a couple's life ahead. It's such a load of unnecessary bollocks extravagances.

EllanVannin Thu 27-Jan-22 18:21:22

Imagine forking out for something that you won't remember a thing about ?

Casdon Thu 27-Jan-22 18:22:43

All the hens I’ve been to in recent years have been in self catering houses, and about £200 each for the weekend. I’ve got lots of nieces and a daughter and we’ve all enjoyed them so much we are planning a ‘no hen’ weekend away this year because nobody is actually getting married. It’s not necessary to spend £500 each, but I do think a weekend away together is lovely for the bride and she should set out her idea to the chief bridesmaid for where she wants to go and how much, as she knows the circumstances of the hens better than anybody else.

Ladyleftfieldlover Thu 27-Jan-22 18:30:26

My Australian niece had a Hen party which included a Life Drawing class with a handsome young man. I didn’t have a hen do in 1976. Had they been invented?

Witzend Thu 27-Jan-22 18:34:32

The only way these things are going to be toned down, is if enough people are brave enough to say, ‘Sorry, I can’t afford it.’

Though TBH even if they can afford it, most people have better things to spend that sort of money on, perhaps especially young people trying to save for deposits, etc.

And it’s high time brides stopped expecting expensive hen parties. Goodness knows attending a wedding can be expensive enough, what with travel and often hotel costs, present, drinks, etc.

Ditto stag do’s. It must be nearly 20 years ago that a dd’s boyfriend declined a stag do in Boston (USA, not Lincs.) that was going to cost £500 even then. He was going to be best man, so felt bad for saying he couldn’t afford it, but I admired him for it.

Maggiemaybe Thu 27-Jan-22 18:34:55

The hen do in the OP does sound like fun, and some of the participants (probably the ones with no ties and more disposable cash) might be looking forward to a weekend away with the girls. But it’s totally wrong that anyone should be pressured into going. A simple polite declining of the invitation should be enough, and no justification or explanations required. As Hithere says, an invitation’s not a summons!

I’d definitely be saying no to the one TerriBull describes, whether I wanted to go or not! The cheek of it! shock