Picture the scene:
After months spent planning your perfect wedding to the man or woman of your dreams, the next big thing on your wedding todo list is planning the hen weekend!
You’ve wisely delegated the job of organising your hen party to your Maid of Honour, and have shared your vision of your perfect hen do, your wants and don’t wants and, most importantly, the guest list.
But, as soon as the save the dates have gone out, there’s a snag. One of your BFFs has said she can’t come to your hen party. You can’t imagine her not being there to sip champagne with in the hot tub, tackle that hen do assault course with and then to hold your hair back after one too many cocktails later on, and you’re actually a bit offended that she has chosen to not be there to see you off into married life.
The top 3 Reasons why your friend can’t come to your hen do
Before you kick off, get upset or start an argument, take a few minutes to think about why your friend might have turned down the invitation to your hen weekend. Here’s a round up of the main reasons people have to say no to hen do invites.
- They can’t afford it
Money – this is the biggie. There was once a time when a hen do consisted of a few drinks in the pub before the wedding. However, in recent years it has become MUCH more of an event.
The norm now is to have at least a day activity followed by a night out, however many choose to make a whole weekend out of it, possibly even flying abroad to make it into a proper shindig.
While we all love a weekend away with the girls, the financial implications of this are obviously considerably more than a couple of gin and tonics in the pub.
For your friend who can’t make it to the hen, it might be that she simply cannot afford to shell out for an extravagant weekend away, or even for an expensive night out.
Hen weekends in the UK typically cost anything from GBP 150 to GBP350 or even more if lots of activities are planned.
A hen weekend abroad cost around GBP200 to GBP500, again depending on location, activities and transport.
That’s a large chunk of the monthly budget for most people, and definitely makes it difficult to say yes to a hen party that’s likely to cause financial difficulty potentially for months to come.
For some, saying yes to your hen do might mean not being able to go on holiday with their partner or enjoy a day out with the kids.
And because of that, you as the bride unfortunately have to accept that everyone has their own priorities, and it doesn’t mean they’re any less of a friend to you just because they can’t afford to spend money on a trip away with you
- They’re too busy
Family/Time Commitments – hen parties tend to come along at a time of our lives where we are very busy bees. Twenty, thirty and forty-somethings are being pulled in about fifty different directions at one time. There’s a busy career, potentially kids, setting up home, not to mention making time for our own love lives!
So when the invite to the next hen do comes along, it can sometimes cause a bit of worry about how to fit in yet another weekend away, even if money isn’t the issue.
Sometimes dates and arrangements will clash, and if your friend decides that they need to honour the other arrangement instead of coming to your hen party, the best thing to do is respect that decision, and make a plan with that friend at another time to recognise and celebrate your impending nuptials.
- They don’t want to
We’re not all party animals or social butterflies who can work a room with ease a la Kate Middleton.
While your idea of a great hen weekend might be splashing around in the hot tub with 16 of your gal pals all in matching bikinis, there’s likely to be one friend who can’t think of anything worse.
While you might LOVE the idea of all piling in a mini bus and dancing til your feet ache while downing Jägermeisters, you probably have at least one friend who feels really uncomfortable about the thought of that.
You might think that forcing all your nearest and dearest to take part in a Tough Mudder-style hen do assault course, there’s definitely going to be one who hasn’t done any kind of sport since GCSE P.E and would not cope well with that.
So should you change what you want to do on your hen do just to make sure all your friends can come? Well, it’s a balance.
If you’ve always dreamed of renting a big house in the country, raving your way into married life or having a crafting weekend as your hen party, then you 100% should aim to fulfil that as much as possible.
However, it might be a good idea to sound out your ideas (or get the MOH to do it!) with your hens in advance. For example, if you’re planning a mad activity like zorbing or a high zipwire assault course and three of your hens are going to be heavily pregnant at the time, well that’s not really going to work out.
Similarly, if lots of your friends are currently saving up for house deposits, splashing out a few hundred on a fancy hen party house is going to put them in a really difficult position.
That said, there is always room for flexibility, which is why it’s good to have a couple of varied activities on offer to make sure there is something that will appeal to everyone.
Another good way of allowing everyone flexibility and give your hens the maximum chance of celebrating the end of your single days is to have your hen party close to home so that even if they can’t afford to stay overnight, they can still join in with one or two of the activities.
Should I have a cheaper hen do so all my friends can come?
This is such a tough one. While you understandably might want an all-out extravaganza for your hen weekend, for your friends this is just another thing they have to pay for, and that’s before they’ve paid out any costs associated with attending your wedding.
The best way to handle the financial side of hen parties is to talk openly with your hens about it. You can do this in a group whatsapp, but you might get more honest and open dialogue by talking to them about it one-to-one and face-to-face if possible.
Try and get an idea of how much they would be comfortably able to pay to come to your hen party, and give them an idea of how much your planned activities are likely to add up to, before they agree to join in.