'Why I Refuse To Come To Your Hen Party' One Exhausted Writer Shares Her Story
"I'm officially done attending these overpriced, entitled diva fests," says Elle Griffiths, 32, from Nottingham.
Like lots of things in life, the first hen do you ever attend is a novelty. It feels strangely grown-up to think that your friend is getting married and that you're you're all entering an exciting new stage of life together.
Fast-forward to the 300th one you attend, and most likely, you'll be well and truly over it.
I know I certainly am. So much so that a couple of years ago I made the decision not to go on them, ever again.
I'm over the forced fun, the awkward conversations with people's mother-in-laws while drinking lukewarm wine out of a penis straw, the inevitable annual leave you have to take to in order travel to far-flung locations. But most importantly... I'm over the price.
A report in 2017 estimated the average cost of a UK hen do at £471 per person. That's eye watering enough, but I know I've certainly spent more than that on some I've attended
Particularly 'busy' years for hen dos have left me completely out of pocket, struggling to pay my rent, let alone spend any money on a holiday or treats for myself. In total, I've shelled out over £2,000.
For a long time, I felt duty bound to RSVP an enthusiastic 'yes' to every invite I received. I prided myself on being a good friend and that's what good friends did, right?
So what if I hadn't seen the person properly for a couple of years and our entire friendship had been based on hating our boss when we worked together in our early twenties? Of course I was going to go on their fancy city break hen do with a bunch of women I didn't know.
Eventually, I realised I had to be a bit pickier with the invites I accepted. But even close friends' hen dos started to come with an increasing amount of passive aggression and drama.
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Events that were promised to be 'low key' and' cheap' quickly escalated into anything but, and I found out the hard way that, once you've paid a deposit, there's no polite and easy way to back out of things without scuppering accommodation for 12 other people you barely know.
I also didn't understand why we needed to pay for such twee activities, instead of just having a nice meal and getting drunk. I cringed through Beyoncé dance classes, half-heartedly painted pottery and humoured 'wine tasting' tiny mouthfuls of what I'm sure was just marked up Blossom Hill.
The breaking point finally came after an especially brutal year spent single, shelling out money on other people's romantic successes. I decided to throw myself a big 30th birthdayparty to compensate, but was truly hurt when someone whose hen do I'd attended made excuses and bailed.
I was doubly annoyed because she'd also personally cajoled me into attending another friend's hen do she was organising that I really couldn't afford at the time.
I tried to tell her I was disappointed she wouldn't return the favour and come to my birthday, but it turned into a big fallout and we haven't spoken since.
Furious that I'd been guilt-tripped and strong-armed into attending hen dos under the guise of a friendship code, only to realise it didn't work both ways, I vowed that I was officially done attending these overpriced, entitled diva fests.
Then, this year, one of my best friends asked me to be bridesmaid at her wedding in Italy, where she now lives with her fiancé.
I was really touched to be asked and accepted immediately. But I worried how she would take it when I told her I didn't 'do' hen dos anymore.
Amazingly, I need not have worried as she told me she couldn't think of anything worse than a hen do so there wasn't even going to be one! I was so relieved and now can't wait to get fully involved in a dreamy Italian wedding.
You see, I know I sound bitter but I'm actually a very good friend. These days I just don't feel obliged to spend money I don't have to prove this.
My friends' happiness is very important to me, but with the wisdom of age I now know mine is too.
Featured Image Credit: Elle Griffiths