On the wedding merry-go-round: Stag&hen parties
March 6, 2014
I was just being grateful that at my age, most of my friends have gone past needing some ridiculous pre-wedding party, with a few exceptions (notably, a recent invitation that I declined that was composed of an overnight stay, bookended by multiple expensive activities).
But no, I was wrong. Gone are the days of having a group of friends get together for a relatively inexpensive spa day, or night off drinks and dancing or whatever it is we did back in the day as broke college grads. Now we’re seeing people ask their friends to fly across country, or meet up at a destination city, there to party it up for a full weekend. Between gifts, time-off, lodgings, travel arrangements, most of these seem to be $1000 minimum.
My physical therapist was just telling me about the great deal her boyfriend got, going to Mexico for “just $1000” for his friend’s stag party! *blink*
“All inclusive” is nice but $1000 for a weekend party with the boys (or girls) is a deal? When did that become the norm?
It almost feels like I woke up one day and our friends all became “wealthy” without us. To be fair, PiC’s friends are actually truly well-off, so it’s really not terribly surprising that a few thousand here and there isn’t cause for pause for them.
I don’t have any philosophical issues with destination weddings: that’s where the couple wants to go? Fine. And invitees are free to go, or not go, according to their time and budget constraints.
But stag and hen parties? They feel a little more like hostage negotiation when you’re part of the wedding party and the relevant betrothed is asking: so, what do you think of going to [insert international destination, during high season]? Y’all, when you need a passport for the pre-wedding party, I have objections.
We’ll have honest conversations with the friends, of course, because we’re simply not lining up to spend a few thousand dollars between the stag party, gifts and travel to the wedding; it’s not their fault but let’s face it, every wedding we attend requires travel these days.
There just aren’t that many people that we can spend that kind of money on, especially not with a friend getting married every year or two and oh, living our lives?
I’ve organized my fair share of these, there was the memorable year I ‘maided for 4 brides in 1 summer, but this remains too rich for my blood. Neither PiC or I got either stag/hen parties and I didn’t get a bridal shower, and our budget’s pretty happy about that.
How do you feel about these things? Fun and worth doing as a “once in a lifetime”? Or does it make you want to call for a simpler life? Or somewhere in between?