Would you ditch your bridesmaids for not making your hen do?

Bride is branded ‘childish’ after revealing she wants to ‘DEMOTE’ her bridesmaids because they refuse to pay for a hen do abroad – but others agree they should ‘make more of an effort’

  • Bride left upset after her bridesmaids refused to come to her hen do abroad
  • She asked Mumsnet users if she should demote them from wedding duties
  • Some said she should, others said she was very childish and far too demanding

A distraught bride has provoked a furious debate online after asking whether she should ‘demote’ her bridesmaids for not coming to her hen do abroad.

Writing on the British parenting forum Mumsnet, the woman explained how she has six bridesmaids for her upcoming wedding. 

But – after all initially agreeing to go on an overseas trip with her for her hen night – three have now dropped out. 

One sober bridesmaid explained she didn’t want to join in with the drunken celebrations, another refused to foot the bill for the party abroad, and a third failed to explain their reasoning.

Commenters were split over the bride’s post – some agreed that she should demote them from their wedding duties, while others said the bride was ‘very childish’ and far too demanding.

A woman has asked if she should demote her bridesmaids after they dropped out of her hen do (stock image) 

Writing on the British parenting forum Mumsnet , the woman explained how she has six bridesmaids for her upcoming wedding. But – after all initially agreeing to go on an overseas trip with her for her hen night – three have now dropped out

The bride sought advice on the forum, asking whether she should demote her friends from wedding duties entirely, or whether she was overreacting.

Many said she was right to be upset, but others said she was being unreasonable and that hen dos should never be held abroad. 

Explaining her situation, the woman said: ‘I have six bridesmaids and have just found out that three of them aren’t coming to my hen do.

‘One reason is because they don’t drink (but are OK in drinking situations), two because of the money (yet they go away 3/4 times a year and are a blood relative), and the other one hasn’t given a reason but I’ve known her for 20 odd years, and she is going away for another wedding abroad the following month.

‘Am I ok for being annoyed? Would you demote bridesmaids for not being there for you or am I overreacting?’


Some said it is a bridesmaid’s job to organise and commit to a hen do and that they shouldn’t have agreed to do the role if they couldn’t be a part of it

In a later post, added by the bride’s friend, it was explained that the hen do was abroad, but not until next year – giving everyone a year to save up for it.

She said the bridesmaids all planned the hen do at the recent Jubilee weekend and agreed to be there – but three of them dropped out a few weeks ago when a deposit had to be paid. 

The information sparked a lot of support for the bride from Mumsnet users.

One said: ‘I think this is very shabby of them. They are supposed to be arranging it, never mind showing up.’ 

Another said: ‘That’s very poor show to be honest – even if you can’t afford the whole hen package/day, you make an effort to join in for some of it.’

Some readers said that hen dos were a big ask of people and that they should be as cheap and easy as possible

Others said money should be used for family holidays or things you really want to do, and not someone else’s hen do

Some said the bride needed to accept her friends couldn’t commit to the expensive holiday abroad and come up with a Plan B

But others were less sympathetic and said the bride was being out of order and ‘childish’.

One wrote: ‘If it is costing people a lot…then you can’t expect people to pay for that. Your wedding (and especially your hen do) is not that important to other people. 

‘If they’ve told you nicely they can’t make it then sorry but that’s up to them. I can see why you’re disappointed but “demoting” them is quite childish.’ 

Another said: ‘If they were friends enough to be your bridesmaids, they should be friends enough to have genuine reasons. And you should be friend enough to accept that graciously. I get that it’s disappointing, but no, don’t “demote” them, that’s just spiteful.’

Some urged the bride to understand how much people are struggling financially at present – and to not think badly of them for dropping out

One Mumsnet reader said it was ‘spiteful’ to consider demoting her friends because they dropped out of the hen do. Others said she was ‘childish’

Another said: ‘Your wedding is important to you, but it’s not the main thing in other people’s lives and you can’t expect them to prioritise a hen do. It’s not the wedding, and to be honest, some hen dos get so OTT and expensive that I’d be looking for any excuse not to attend. And as for talking about “demoting” – makes you sound about 13.’ 

Others concurred about the issue of cost, with one saying: ‘If… your plans involve overnight stays in expensive accommodation, activities and a plethora of other things that will take them away from their families/impact their ability to afford family holidays and activities then YABVU [you are being very unreasonable].’ 

Another added: ‘It depends on the cost, I think it’s awful people are guilted into paying £100s for a ‘party’ it’s just not some people’s cup of tea, I couldn’t think of anything worse than going on a traditional hen do. 

‘People need to cut back at the moment and priorities change, your friend is allowed to go on other holidays that are more important to her than your hen do, you should make people feel bad about prioritising.’ 

A further one wrote: ‘Extremely unreasonable to expect people to go, let alone be upset if they can’t/simply don’t want to. 

‘No one should ever be in a position of paying off a hen do over the course of a year.’

Others were brutally honest about hen dos full stop. This reader said she avoided them like the plague

This reader said it was unreasonable to expect people to spend a vast amount of money on a hen do, even close friends

Others advised her to change her plans, with one saying: ‘Could you maybe plan something more inclusive instead? Drinks and pizza at home? Small lunch out? Coffee and cake morning?’

Another counselled: ‘A hen party abroad is a big ask – change the plans to something cheaper/easier,’ while a third said: ‘I really would not go to a hen party abroad. Sorry. What’s wrong with an afternoon out?’ 

Expanding on the woman’s initial post, some also queried her decision to have six bridesmaids, questioning whether they were actually real friends.

One wrote: ‘They’re not ‘being there for you’ by going on a…trip away. Are they actually there for you in everything else?’

Another added: ‘YABU [you are being unreasonable] purely for having six bridesmaids!’ 

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