This subject often comes up on MN, where inevitably the demographic is younger and they are more likely to attend such events. Nearly as good as parking wars, are some of the threads. There is often a consensus amongst those who post, that they are too extravagant, too costly, too onerous as far as the disruption they cause to working life/family life, especially where young children are involved and the juggling of child care etc. There was one particular thread that was breathtaking, where the summons was issued by the mother of the bride to the bride's friends, it went something along these lines "X is having her hen do something like 18 months hence, so you've no ifs, no buts, start saving now, the cost was going to be", if I remember rightly, something in the region of well over £1,000, maybe £1,500 for a week in Europe. So the "AIBU" was written by the not too happy invitee, who was weighing up the cost, how the week away would impact on her annual leave, slotting it into family life and whether that would mean they, the family could still all go away, all in all it sounded a logistics nightmare. It was pretty clear from the start that she wasn't on board with the idea. However things came to a head with the imperious mother,bridezilla & Co, when she couldn't be part of a Zoom meeting, she had the temerity of having to work due to a change a shift, (a nurse I believe) and got a severe reprimand for not being in on planning some of
this crap involvedthe arrangements which kind of gave her the impetus to tell them she was out. She was dis-invited from the wedding, as was her husband/partner and he also had his invite from the corresponding stag party cancelled, lucky escape there, how much would the two events and the wedding cost them both, quite a sum I would imagine. So that scenario I gather is quite common and as some have said when they get invited to several of these events a year the whole cost is way too much. I remember having such a conversation with the daughter of my friend when we were all out too lunch, and she was saying pretty much the same thing, had been invited to a "hen" which was a week away, didn't really want to go, hardly knew any of the other women, and that's another factor some say, "I only really know the bride, none of the others, or I don't really get on with others that will be going". All in all, I feel lucky that this wasn't a thing at the time I and friends got married, maybe we'd have all gone out for a meal pre wedding, what's wrong with that? I'm sure some still do something more modest.
Personally I hate it when either stags or hens go abroad, it's bad enough at home, and behave really badly.
Anyway, to conclude, many of these happenings sound way over the top to me and a massive expense on top of the main event which as we know can cost a King's ransom anyway
If I was commanded by Mrs Bridezilla to start saving in the region of a thousand pounds plus in order to attend her daughter's hen week, I'd be 'unfriending' both daughter and mother in short order.
Hen weekends (or a week!), lavish weddings, baby-showers, gender reveal parties - you only need a couple of friends into all this to find yourself well out of pocket - money that could be spent on your own family's needs, disregarding the fact that time out if you are working eats into your annual leave allotment.
I have a rather quaint and outdated attitude towards marriage and intimate relationships - they are mostly IMO private affairs. Making a commitment towards your partner in front of family and close friends, on the day... that's it as far as I am concerned. The rest is razzmatazz. Expensive razzmatazz.