"I wasn't organising my friend's hen's party, then a list of demands landed in my inbox."

Last year, I agreed to be in the bridal party for a close friend of mine. But before I said yes, I made it blatantly clear that due to the demands of my job, I couldn’t be readily relied upon to take part in all of the organising that I know comes along with a wedding.

Of course, I would be as available as was possible, she’s a close friend of mine, after all. But I didn’t want to make any promises that I couldn’t keep. At the time, the bride assured me that this would be fine and the bulk of the organising, hen’s party, kitchen tea, etc would be looked after by her maid of honour.

It seemed like we had everything sorted and I was thrilled to be a part of her big day. Yet it the last month or so, things have taken a downward spiral. And it all started with an email that landed in my inbox, titled: “URGENT: Hen’s party tasks for the bridal party”.

Listen: A study shows being a bridesmaid is the equivalent of a full week’s work. Is it time to ditch them?

I opened it eagerly, wondering what it could contain, given that I’d been so upfront and honest about my prior commitments and availability during these few months. It began with, “Hi lovely ladies, As some of you would know, Jennifer (the MOH) is going away on an unexpected holiday with her partner (what a beautiful surprise!) and she’s informed me she won’t be able to arrange the hen’s party in time before she leaves. For this reason, I’ll have to split all of the planning amongst the four of you”.

I wasn’t aware, I wasn’t aware in the slightest that the MOH who had agreed to take the lead of the hen’s party planning would be jetting off to go on a holiday with her long-term partner and was shuffling off all her responsibilities to the rest of the bride party.

As though I wasn’t infuriated enough, what followed was basically a list of demands, outlining what the bride did and did not what to be arranged for the day. It went something like this:

  1. Arrangement of the hotel: for the day of and the following day. Please let me know who is staying they night so we can split costs!
  2. Book entertainment: no strippers! But something fun please.
  3. Organisation of games: I’d really love if there wasn’t anything overly tacky or embarrassing but I’d like everyone to still have a laugh.
  4. Suggestions for lunch venue followed by booking: please confirm with me if I’m happy with the venue before you go ahead and book.
  5. Ordering of dinner to be had at the hotel: again as above.
  6. Itinerary for clubs and entertainment following dinner: will also need my final approval.

The email finished with, “can you all please arrange the split these tasks between all of you and then come back together to finalise an itinerary for the day after I’ve had an eye over everything”. The bride also asked that someone put their hand up to be in charge of money collection and to ensure that there was a fund for the day to cover any expenses and to allow for booking.

Even split between a group of five women, this was beginning to look like more and more work. I’m now being expected to contact the other bridesmaids and let them know what of ‘my share’ I will be looking after. To be honest, I don’t think I have time for any of it.

What should I do?