How do I tell her I can’t afford her Hen’s Day?

My cousin is getting married.

I could not be happier. They’ve been together over 10 years and I think he finally had enough of the ‘what are you waiting for’ jokes.

Honestly though, they are a great couple and we are really looking forward to the wedding day.

What I am not looking forward to however, is the lead up. The hens day to be specific.

The Hen's night is causing significant stress. (Bridesmaids)

Did I miss the memo that said you need a second mortgage in order to celebrate the ‘last days of freedom’? Am I the only one who is shocked at the amount that guests have to pay in order to be involved?

Here’s the backstory.

Her sister (my other cousin) is arranging the hens day. She sent around a save the date and confirmed numbers some time ago. Being close to the bride to be, I was one of the first to confirm that I would be there.

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This week we received an email with a run through of the plans. Firstly, it’s not a hens night, it’s a hen’s weekend. For me, that means arranging babysitting and expressing an awful lot of boob milk. But I can cope with that.

We will be staying in a hotel. Not an affordable one, an expensive, fancy one down on the waterfront. A quick check of the website indicates that you’re not getting a night there with change from $400 (and that's the cheap room). I’m sure the stripper who has been booked (at a combined expense) will thoroughly enjoy his surroundings.

After generally swanning around in opulence we will be making our way to a revolving restaurant with views over the city. Cocktails in the bar first followed by dinner, at $90 per head.

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My research tells me that the spa morning could cost up to $600. (istock)

I’m assuming we will be going out after the dinner, so the budget will need to allow for club entry fees and drinks.

When our hangovers allow us to exit our shockingly overpriced room the next morning, we will attend a series of spa treatments at the hotel. Once again, google tells me that a facial, pedicure and massage will make my credit card want to cry.

Luckily we will stop for lunch (currently unplanned, although probably not Macca’s) before attending a cooking class at $120 per head.

Once again there will be dinner out and an overnight stay to get us ready for the suspended yoga class being taught on the Sunday morning. It’s a private lesson in the rooms. It’s also $50 per head.

When I spoke with my cousin (the organiser) about the email, I awkwardly enquired as to whether I could just attend part of the festivities. Her response was "Oh, she'd be so disappointed. I mean, it's just nice to do something special for her with all the girls, really make it a treat. It's going to be fantastic and you need some time out too."

Now I love my cousin and want to be there to celebrate with her before the big day but seriously, this is ridiculous. I’m a mother with kid related expenses to pay for. I don’t have hundreds (potentially thousands) to splurge on the hens night, ignoring the costs associated with attending the wedding. Naturally the cost of the hen herself will be absorbed by those attending so the bill keeps climbing.

How do I tell my cousin that I can’t attend because she’s made the cost prohibitive? They are single, professional girls with a lot of left over income. From the outside it might look like we are swimming in it too but that shouldn’t matter. Even if I did have excess cash, surely asking me to part with so much of it for a hen’s weekend is unfair. 

What happened to a night out in the city? Dinner and dancing? These days it seems as though a hen’s night is not a hen’s night unless you rival a Hollywood A-lister jetting off too Vegas.  I suppose I should be thankful that option wasn’t thrown out into the arena.

Am I the only one thinking Hen’s and Bucks Day have gone a bit too far. Of course your friends and family want to celebrate with you, but not at the cost of considerable debt.

What would you tell the organiser?

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