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Wedding Wednesday – No Bachelor Party

My sister “Pam” and her fiancé “Jim” are getting married in two weeks. They are both in the early 30’s , and this is the first marriage for both of them. They’ve had a rather long courtship (12 years) and a very long engagement (almost 8 years). There are a lot of reasons for the delay: her going back to school, him serving two tours in the army, both experiencing career changes, etc. But finally, the planets have aligned, and they are now ready to make it official. They set the date a year ago and sent out save-the-dates 6 months ago. I’m in the bridal party, as are both of Jim’s brothers and a couple friends.

Over the last two months, I’ve hosted both Beth’s bridal shower and bachelorette party. Both went smoothly, and we had a great time. Last night (two weeks out from the wedding), Pam called me for advice. Apparently, neither Jim’s brothers nor his friends have planned a bachelor party or celebration of any kind for Jim before the wedding. Jim had mentioned ideas to them several times over the last few weeks. Pam even took the initiative to reach out to each of the groomsmen and make sure they had each other’s contact information. Jim wasn’t expecting anything big. Pizza, beer, and poker would have been fine. Mostly I think he just wanted the comfort of knowing he had people in his life who cared enough to make an effort. But not one of them did. Jim is heartbroken.

Pam told me that she reached out to each of the groomsmen to find out what happened. Of course, they all had their reasons: jobs, kids, various obligations. I personally do not buy that excuse. I have a full-time job, a kid, and many obligations and still managed to host TWO bridal events for my sister. Also, these guys have known about the wedding for the better part of a year. I don’t know if it’s the fact of Pam and Jim’s long engagement, laziness on the part of the groomsmen, or just poor communication that’s at fault here. As far as I know, Jim has a good relationship with both of his brothers, so that’s not the issue.

I know, I know, I know. No one is OWED a bachelor party. But I can’t help but feel bad for Jim. I feel like his friends and brothers let him down. And now Pam, who is already overwhelmed with wedding planning, is asking me what to do. Should she do nothing and encourage Jim to just get over it? Should she plan a party for him herself? Should she call up the groomsmen and demand that they put something together ASAP? For what it’s worth, I promised Pam that if the groomsmen don’t come through, I would plan a party in Jim’s honor next weekend. I may not be a guy, but I know how to throw together a shindig on short notice.

What do the EHellions think about this? 0913-18

{ 72 comments… add one }
  • Anna Hamrin December 5, 2018, 3:44 am

    I think he just needs to get over it. It’s not the end of the world. When I got married I had a friend get married the same summer. Her friends threw her a bachelorette party ti which our common friends were invited (but not me…). Then no one threw me any party of any sorts. It kind of stung to realize I wasn’t as close to my friends as I thought, but whatever. I’m happily married 10 years and counting 🙂

  • Aje December 5, 2018, 5:51 am

    I dolt think having the women of his life throw him a party would make him feel better. I’ve been part of a wedding where the sister was MOH but nothing would have been done without the bridesmaids pushing things along quietly out of love to the bride. Later when she found out, she admitted that it was hard to digest the fact your own family doesn’t want to follow through for you.
    I think it’s kind of what it is but shame on them because that is part of the responsibility. If you’re not willing to do those kind of things then you decline being part of the wedding party’s

  • Lynne December 5, 2018, 6:19 am

    If they’ve been “courting” for 12 years, I would also feel hurt, in his place, but realize there’s nothing to be done for it. If they have been living together as a couple for all that long time (or even much of it), in essentially a common law marriage, then his buddies probably don’t see the point of it. In both cases, if no one has volunteered to host a party, it’s wrong to pressure them to do so.

  • Shoegal December 5, 2018, 7:55 am

    When my sister-in-law got married, my sisters and I expected her sisters (who are a little older) to throw her a bachelorette party. They had planned and executed a shower for her and so did we. We just assumed they would take care of it. When they didn’t we threw together a very small party for her because we felt bad. When she came over she expected some big shin-dig and we hadn’t planned all that – but in her defense we had thrown much bigger things for my cousin and sister so she thought she was getting the same. In the end I thought we shouldn’t have bothered – it wasn’t our responsibility to plan something and it looked like we cut corners for her.

    I do feel bad for Jim. When I got married I contacted the best man and gave him all the contact information for who to invite, the venue where it should be held and explained what my husband would want. It all came together. So I don’t see the harm in maybe do some planning – like invite everyone in an email or text to some bar to honor the groom with some drinks. So nobody is obligated to throw a party – and most likely these guys would show up and have a beer with him at least.

  • ALM December 5, 2018, 8:06 am

    YES, Jim should be expected to get over it.

    Also, OP, STAY OUT OF IT. Tell the bride to stop micro-managing the groomsmen and butt out as well.

    1. No one is owed a party to celebrate them, particularly as an adult. Remind groom he has that whole wedding shindig to be a celebrant of.
    2. The bride and groom have been engaged for 12 years. Odds are the groomsmen aren’t young bucks who can have few responsibilities in their lives. Those aren’t excuses, that’s life.
    3. Bachelor parties are sometimes surprise shindigs. This could still happen, but nothing is going to happen if bride keeps inserting herself and trying to control other people.

    If the groom is old enough to be married, and gone through two tours in the military, he should be mature enough to get over it. If he just wants to have a poker night with his buddies, he can always hold one himself after the wedding unless he was planning to dump all his friends after the wedding.

    • LizaJane December 5, 2018, 1:40 pm

      “…unless he was planning to dump all his friends after the wedding. ”

      Where did that come from?

      • HenrysMom December 5, 2018, 9:28 pm

        Dumping his friends after the wedding is often the case, for various reasons. For my brother, it was because his wife put so many limits on his time, he couldn’t find time for his own family, much less his friends.

        However, in this case, if Jim dumps his friends, it’ll be because they didn’t step up. Hopefully OP has a brother, boyfriend, husband, or even their father to help out with this.

      • ALM December 6, 2018, 4:00 pm

        You haven’t been on this site very long, have you? Demanding newlyweds who dump their bridal party friends after many long months of expecting to be celebrated is practically a cliché here.

        • LizaJane December 7, 2018, 6:26 am

          I’ve been on here for 10-+ years.

          I just don’t see anything in the OP that indicates the groom was planning to dump his friends; although I wouldn’t blame him if he did after this. 2 groomsmen are his brothers, which makes that more difficult.

          I think you’re making an interesting assumption.

    • Rinme December 6, 2018, 12:44 am

      This. The situation is between Jim and his buddies. Don’t butt in. Lack of a bachelors party is not the end of the world.

  • NicoleK December 5, 2018, 8:08 am

    If he were writing in I would tell him to get over it, but he isn’t.

    I’d call the brothers or his friends and say, “Look, he’s very upset, can you just surprise him with pizza and beer or something simple.”

    Alternately, if you have a BF have him throw it.

  • DGS December 5, 2018, 8:20 am

    No one is owed a Bachelor Party or a Bachelorette Party or showers, for that matter. It would be lovely if friends would take the initiative to host one or more of those events (never family – it’s seen as a gift grab), but if it does not happen, Pam/Beth and Jim need to accept that it did not happen and evaluate their friendships. Is it possible that they are not as close to their friends as they thought? Is it possible that their friends are in financial strain secondary to the wedding expenses (clothing, travel, wedding gift), so budgeting additional funds towards a party is not feasible at this time? Is it possible that their friends have had some unexpected expenses or events of their own? It is possible that they are not very good friends (the wedding couple is always the one initiating activities and being there for friends but no reciprocation on the part of the friends)? Or, is it an age thing – their friends might have gotten married slightly younger and may be wrapped up in the needs of their own young families now and less cognizant of the parties they may have participated in in the past?

    I do feel bad for Jim, as it sounds as though he would like a get-together, so perhaps, he can simply send out an email or a group text inviting his friends to a pub for some wings and a beer or to play pool and have a few drinks or even over to his and Pam/Beth’s house to have some munchies and watch a football game. When my DH and I got married, I did not want a bachelorette party, and my bridesmaids had thrown me multiple showers (they were from all over the country due to where I had gone to university and graduate school, so the showers were with different groups of people in different places), and to thank them, I had them all over for dinner and drinks at our house. My DH went out for a lovely dinner and pool/drinks with his residency colleagues, which was his impromptu bachelor party, basically a “hey, guys, let’s honor DH after work and have a steak and some Scotch”. We are still happily married, and the friends are still our friends. It does not have to a big to do.

  • KaraLee December 5, 2018, 8:27 am

    Second paragraph, line 1, who is Beth? Is it supposed to say Pam?

    • ladyv21454 December 5, 2018, 11:04 am

      My guess is that Beth is the bride’s real name, and the OP just slipped and forgot to use the pseudonym of “Pam”.

    • OP December 5, 2018, 1:28 pm

      OP here. Yeah, I don’t know what happened there. It should say Pam. I’m not sure where Beth came from since that’s not her real name either.

  • Marie December 5, 2018, 8:44 am

    Throw the guy a party, he’ll appreciate it. It’s great that you’re stepping up to make your friend happy!

    Yes, he will get over it, but if OP is willing to throw a party that will make him happy, why not?

    • DancerDiva December 5, 2018, 11:48 pm

      Yeah, not sure why so many here think that’s a bad idea, other than OP butting in and trying to control what the groomsmen do. The night before a friend’s wedding, a couple of female friends and I took pizza to the groom and we had an impromptu get together. He was nervous, and the groomsmen were nowhere to be found, so I think it helped, and he was so surprised and really touched. It’s not a given that a groom wouldn’t like a party thrown by women.

    • NicoleK December 6, 2018, 1:08 am

      Will it though? It doesn’t change the fact that none of his friends care enough to do it.

      • EchoGirl December 8, 2018, 10:43 pm

        It shows him that somebody does.

  • Ergala December 5, 2018, 9:05 am

    I threw my sister’s shower because I was the maiden of honor. She was mine a few years later and I didn’t have a shower. I was pretty hurt. I’m getting married for a second time and those in the wedding party have made no mention of a shower of any kind so I’m not expecting one. My fiance’s friends are all planning his bachelor party and it is going to be HUGE. Oh well.

  • pennywit December 5, 2018, 9:08 am

    Was it Dear Abby or Ann Landers who made MYOB a motto? I think it applies here. If Jim wants a bachelor party, but his groomsmen choose not to throw one for him, it’s Jim’s feelings and Jim’s relationships with his friends, and Pam and everyone else ought to stand back and let Jim and his friends work it out … or not work it out, as they so choose.

  • staceyizme December 5, 2018, 9:28 am

    Honestly, if the boy wants a party and you want to throw it, go for it! You can do a GREAT guy themed event and leverage male attendees to make it fun. Best of luck, OP! The only caveat- NO HARRUMPHING over who was supposed to do it or the cost, or the details. For this to work, it needs 100% GRADE A goodwill.

    • 2browneyes4 December 26, 2018, 1:07 pm

      I agree with staceyizme

  • Melissa December 5, 2018, 9:48 am

    I kind of feel bad for Jim……but as you say, OP, no one is “owed” a party. I’m going to make a stereotypical assumption here, but most guys aren’t as great at planning parties, etc as women are. Especially if these guys are past the stage of wanting an old school bachelor party at strip clubs and things like that – I will also guess that guys who are into those sorts of things will chomp at the bit to plan a bachelor party. So, the good news is, none of Jim’s close friends are into hard partying lol. But I disagree with the attitude of “not buying” their excuses. OP, you planned these events because you wanted to and it sounds like you’re a good party planner. For someone who has no desire to plan a party, and may not even think about it, those ARE excuses/reasons why the planning didn’t happen. Again, no one is owed a party. I’ve been married twice and have had zero bachelorette parties. Neither one of my husbands had a bachelor party. A friend of mine had a bachelorette but no one threw her a bridal shower (I’m pretty sure her bridesmaids were way more interested in going out and partying instead of trying to put together a nice shower for her, or doing both. I wasn’t a bridesmaid but if I’d realized that no one was throwing her a shower, I probably would have.)

    Depending on the relationships involved, Pam may be able to contact one of the brothers or a best friend of Jim’s, and simply ask them to plan a boys’ night, with pizza, beer and poker. I think it’s fine for a family member to host this, since it’s not a gift giving occasion. Even if the rest of the guys pay for the beer and pizza, that’s not a huge expense to share in order to cover Jim’s portion, so I don’t think it’s a major favor to ask. The wedding has come and gone by now, but I hope Jim and Pam’s wedding went well, and they are just as married, whether they had many pre-wedding events or none. PS I love the names you chose 🙂

    • ladyv21454 December 5, 2018, 11:07 am

      OMG, until I read your last sentence, I hadn’t even thought about the names! How cute!

  • Lisa December 5, 2018, 9:57 am

    I’m surprised because usually the first thing on any groomsman’s mind is “yay, bachelor party” when invited to be in the wedding. Nothing says the OP can’t host something, maybe a Jack/Jill type event.

    BTW did anyone notice the slip and use of the name “Beth” in place of “Pam?”

  • Tysons in NE December 5, 2018, 10:18 am

    I find it hard to believe that none of the guys weren’t willing to use the bachelor’s party as an excuse to at least get together for some beers and a movie (no chick flix!)
    Agreed that no one is owed anything and it sounds like he wasn’t expecting a wild night on the town. Still if some one really thought about it, a night of poker would not have hurt any one.

  • JD December 5, 2018, 10:22 am

    The first thing that jumped out at me was that OP hosted her sister’s two bridal showers. Family isn’t to host any of them, much less two, since those are gift giving occasions. And now the bride wants to call up the guys who seem uninterested in planning a party, and give them instructions on how to spend their own money. I know it’s to soothe Jim’s feelings, not for any greedy reason, but it shouldn’t be done. One is never to call bridal party members and tell them they “MUST throw a party and here’s how to do it.” If they are in their 30’s with young families, extra cash to party is probably not easy to come by. I think Jim needs to get over it, but if OP wants to throw a beer and pizza party, OP certainly may. I’m not sure that Jim will feel any better, knowing that OP had to do it, though.

    • OP December 5, 2018, 1:38 pm

      OP here. To clarify, I only hosted one shower and one bachelorette party.

    • NicoleK December 6, 2018, 1:10 am

      I’ve noticed that in the comments sections of advice columns people tend to get worked up about who hosts these things, but IRL relatives host them all the time.

      Same with registries. IRL most guests WANT the registry info spoonfed to them because they can just do a little online clicking.

      • Shoegal December 6, 2018, 7:35 am

        Personally, I don’t see the problem with a sister or for that matter, a mother hosting a wedding shower. Yeah, I know the etiquette behind it and don’t need to be told about it again. I threw a shower for both of my sisters – yes, they are my sister but also my dear friends. I was the maid of honor for one of them and along with the bridesmaid we put together a lovely shower. Times change and I think it this antiquated idea needs to put to rest.

        • Ergala December 6, 2018, 10:20 am

          I agree with you. Usually the bridal party throws the shower. Well I was my sisters maid of honor and her sister in law was the bridesmaid. Family. I threw the shower because as maid of honor it was my job to. What exactly happens if the entire wedding party is family? The bride just doesn’t have a shower? I think these rules really do punish women in a way….we are held to such a high standard for maintaining etiquette and rules really do revolve around our behavior and actions.

        • EchoGirl December 8, 2018, 10:46 pm

          I feel like some of the etiquette on that is outdated too, because it seems like the assumption is that the family is asking for things because otherwise they’d be on the hook for dishes, cookware, etc. Nowadays, the couple would probably just buy it themselves, so the family doesn’t get any “benefit” from hosting the shower.

      • Rinme December 10, 2018, 2:09 am

        I feel this way about hosting one’s own birthday party. I hadn’t been to a friend-hosted party in the last 20 years.

  • ladyv21454 December 5, 2018, 11:01 am

    I’ve never seen the attraction of the kind of bachelorette party most people throw. It just seems like an excuse to be loud and obnoxious. What’s the point? If it’s to celebrate your last days of being single, that doesn’t say much about your commitment to the marriage. I’d much rather have a quiet meal with my wedding party, or have an at-home “watch movies in our pajamas” party.

  • CarolynM December 5, 2018, 11:54 am

    OP, I think it would be great if you threw Jim a party! You may not be one of the guys, but you are being a good friend to Jim. Maybe even make it a co-ed bachelor party – take both Jim and Pam out to celebrate them together. Yeah, no one is entitled to a bachelor party and Jim is an adult and should know how to navigate disappointments … but … uh … it sucks out loud to feel like you don’t matter to your nearest and dearest! I mean, ***I*** want to throw a bachelor party for Jim and I don’t even know him!

    One advantage of a co-ed party is that it loses any association with the party being thrown for Jim out of pity or as a last minute balm for hurt feelings – it reads more as a distinct other kind of celebration, one where BOTH bride and groom are being celebrated, not just the bride’s friends taking out the groom, but all the friends taking them both out.

    OP, you sound like an amazing friend – I hope you throw this party and Jim and Pam have a blast!

  • lkb December 5, 2018, 12:52 pm

    First of all, as an addicted watcher of “The Office,” thanks for using the pseudonyms Jim and Pam! 😀

    Second of all, I can think of several possible scenarios why there hasn’t been a bachelor party:
    * Lack of funds/time etc.
    * The groomsmen in question are not “party people” (the people in our bridal party weren’t).
    * There was a surprise in the works (at a brief glance, it looks like this post was written two weeks before the wedding).
    * The groomsmen felt awkward about having a “bachelor party,” which, thanks to movies and TV, connotes strippers, drunken orgies et al. No, bachelor outings don’t have to be such (the guys in our wedding party went to one of those mini-golf/go-cart/ropes-course type places with minimal if any drinking (one groomsman was just a shade underage).
    *Jim may have sent out a vibe that “no, it’s okay, I don’t want a bachelor party,” that was taken as gospel by the groomsmen. Sometimes people are clueless that way.
    *Maybe there’s difficulty in finding a time that everyone is available.

    I agree with the other posters — no one is owed a bachelor party, or anything else. It’d be nice if Jim’s friends do something for him if they want but it is certainly not mandatory.

    Best wishes to the happy couple.

  • Trish December 5, 2018, 1:21 pm

    He should invite his guys over for a last single guys poker night, with cigars and whiskey and be done with it. Order pizza. Not everything has to be a huge celebration, particularly if no one seems interested in giving it to you.

  • bopper December 5, 2018, 1:28 pm

    Also, how far away does everyone live? If far away, wouldn’t they do it right before the wedding?

  • Devin December 5, 2018, 2:42 pm

    Do you have a partner/husband who could throw a small bachelor party for Jim? That way it’s still a ‘guys’ party, but you’re not demanding anyone else to throw it.
    I’m wondering if some of Jim’s hurt feelings is because he’s thrown bachelor parties for these same guys in the past and now the effort isn’t being reciprocated. Or if it stems from his time in the army. Being in the military he’s probably used to having a group of male friends that would literally die for each other, and if he no longer has those kinds of relationships it can be a big disappointment.
    Maybe his groomsmen have a surprised planned for him closer to the wedding date (I’ve noticed guys tend to do bachelor parties later than women do bachelorettes)?

  • Bea December 5, 2018, 4:34 pm

    I get a feeling they are planning a party but it’s a surprise. Most likely because they want to “kidnap” him and take him somewhere the women would frown upon.

    Bachelor parties don’t tend to be the kind of parties we throw for our bride friends/family.

    I’ve been hearing the details about my partner’s BFF’s bachelor party that’s being planned. The groom has no idea that it’s even happening. Let alone the details. It’s less The Office and more The Hangover…

    • Kitty December 11, 2018, 4:47 pm

      If the bride/bridal party is frowning at wherever the bachelor party may take place, I would cast a very wary eye on the marrying couple’s relationship.

  • kingsrings December 5, 2018, 4:44 pm

    Don’t interfere, and neither should your sister. This is strictly between her fiance and his friends. It’s really unfortunate and hurtful that they can’t even throw together a small, basic event, but that’s sadly the decision they’ve made, and he’ll have to accept that.

    • NicoleK December 6, 2018, 1:12 am

      I disagree, they may not realise how hurt he is. If they aren’t told a breach they didn’t mean to have happen could happen.

  • essie December 5, 2018, 5:59 pm

    If these are Jim’s friends and Jim is hurt by this, then Jim needs to put on his Big Boy pants, use his words, and say something. Jim served 2 tours in the military, so unless he has mental or emotional problems, the lack of a bachelor party won’t kill him – he’ll survive the disappointment just fine.

    He doesn’t need the women in his wife’s family to throw him a consolation party. He doesn’t need them running interference between him and his friends, either. If you’re going to treat him like a child, then at least do it right: IF he asks for advice, offer it. Otherwise, keep your mouths shut.

  • Catherine St Clair December 5, 2018, 7:08 pm

    Maybe things need to change and there should be one party for the happy couple before the wedding. Eliminate the bachelorette party for the bride and the stag party for the groom. Have one simple party to celebrate them as a couple. No gifts, just food and socializing. I know guys that threw a stag party with strippers and porn movies for a very conservative guy. He wanted no part of any of it. It would simplify things and no one would be left out.

  • Kitty December 5, 2018, 7:55 pm

    If I were in Jim’s shoes, I would just shrug my shoulders and plan to have fun on my own. Order some pizza, watch my favorite movies at home, and just have a good time. But I am not a very party-person, so I never saw much of a point in these bachelor/bachelorette parties.

    Especially for a couple that has been all-but-married-in-legal-terms for a very long time. It isn’t really a ‘your last night as a not-permanently-attached single’ party anymore, just a bog-standard party. Loses some of its… purpose, I guess I’d call it.

  • Dawn December 6, 2018, 8:57 am

    Jim”s fiancé could be a real flying monkey here and call his mom for a different reason and casually mention in conversation that Jim’s feelings are hurt. I’m betting mom would give his brothers a swift kick to the rear.

    Jim has every right to feel hurt. These are his BROTHERS and his FRIENDS who are not stepping up to the plate to do something that has become pretty traditional. And after two tours in the military I think it’s safe to say Jim wears big boy panties. When my wonderful stepdaughter was getting married none of her friends did anything for her and I was upset for her. MY best friend threw her a beautiful Saturday brunch shower. Most of the bridal party didn’t show up because they had partied too hard the night before and, no, it wasn’t a bachelorette party. Some people just suck.

    • Kitty December 11, 2018, 4:49 pm

      For Jim’s friends, and your stepdaughter’s, can you really make a case that these really are ‘friends’?

  • Michelle December 6, 2018, 9:46 am

    I think the friends haven’t thrown a party because Pam & Jim have been together for quite awhile (12 years) and they are pretty much married except for the ceremony and paperwork. The friends may not think of Jim as a bachelor if they have been living together as well and I agree with commentor Melissa that said most men are not planners, so it may have just slipped their minds.

    I understand that Jim is hurt. It stings when your friends don’t celebrate you in the way you may have celebrated them. I don’t know if having basically a consolation party thrown by OP would be the best thing. OP could mention it to one of the groomsmen and see if there is a surprise event just a day or two before the wedding?

  • MrsSML December 6, 2018, 11:28 am

    Honestly, I’d be hurt too. It’s common knowledge that the groomsmen and best man throw a bachelor party. I know a lot of guys who view this as “sacred” even.
    My suggestion? Throw a bachelor party for both Pam and Jim. Give it a theme based on Jim’s interests (sports, gaming, other guy things) and invite absolutely everyone. Show him that it’s his big day too. You’re a good friend, OP.

  • kingsrings December 6, 2018, 12:58 pm

    This reminds me years ago when my male friend “Joe” was marrying “Patti”. Patti didn’t have much if any female friends, so Joe asked some of our mutual female friends to plan a bachelorette outing for her, even though they weren’t at all her friends. In fact, Patti was a huge spoiled, very immature brat whom none of us liked to be around much. Yet Joe was set that she was going to have all the traditional bride things anyway. So my friends threw her a little bachelorette shindig and it was just very awkward for everyone involved since they weren’t friends to begin with and barely tolerated each other. If something can’t happen because people don’t want it too, then don’t ever force it to be so.

  • edy December 6, 2018, 1:12 pm

    If I were in his shoes, having you throw a party would make me feel worse. It would feel like a pity party (even though I know that’s not your intention).

    If anything, I would contact the brothers and say you’d like to have a coed party the weekend before. Doesn’t have to be a big expense, even just pizza and beers at your house and/or meeting up at a bar where everyone pays their own way. (Feel free to roast me, ehell, but that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.)

  • The Other Elizabeth December 6, 2018, 2:24 pm

    Wow, a lot of you people are cold, not to mention rather denigrating to poor Jim: “Put on his big boy pants.” “Just get over it.” “He should be mature enough to get over it,” or, “Unless he has MENTAL OR EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS . . . he’ll survive the disappointment.” Real nice, those last two, with the quiet suggestion that he is immature or mentally unwell. Like he’s throwing a tantrum, instead of merely feeling sad because he’s being left out of an experience that he has no doubt witnessed happen to almost every wedded man he knows. He probably just wants to feel acknowledged, and like an equal among his friends and male relatives who have enjoyed pre-wedding festivities.

    Also, all the people saying that he should be able to just get over it since he was in the military don’t know a thing about military men and women. People don’t stop having feelings just because they served. If anything, all the vets I know need that affirmation and gesture that they matter to their loved ones even more.

    • kingsrings December 6, 2018, 3:33 pm

      Thank you! Nobody’s entitled to anything, but people are going to naturally feel hurt to not get something that they see others in their circle getting. And telling military folks to toughen up because they’re military only hurts them more.

    • Bea December 6, 2018, 3:50 pm

      Also we’re putting so much weight on “Jim’s feelings are hurt” to start spinning it like he’s having a breakdown about it.

      His feelings are hurt. That could be a “Hey honey, did you hear about your bacholor party yet?” “Nah, they didn’t get around to planning one.” “Awwww are you okay with that?” “Meh. It stinks but you know, it is what it is.”

      Hurt feelings aren’t the sign of anything other than “Ouch, stings! Stinks! Okay let’s go get married now.”

    • ALM December 6, 2018, 4:08 pm

      He should be mature enough to be get over it, particularly after two tours in the military because he should have some perspective on what is a major crisis in life versus what is a minor disappointment. That is what I was referring to.

    • Corlia December 7, 2018, 6:55 am

      I’m also flabbergasted about the insensitive advise given. He has the full right to feel hurt, any reasonable person in this situation would. I also feel bad for him and hope someone “put on their big boy pants” and show him support on his wedding.

    • Raradra December 8, 2018, 8:29 am

      This is something that I see fairly often on this site. Whenever someone dares to mention having their feelings hurt in situations like this, there is always a bunch of people saying insensitive stuff like “They should put on their big boy/girl pants,” “They should just get over it” or even implying that the person must be immature and/or throwing a tantrum. It’s like those people are incapable of seeing the difference between hurt feelings and actual temper tantrum.

      • admin December 8, 2018, 12:43 pm

        I think it’s normal for people to have hurt feelings when expectations are not met. The crucial factor is what are you going to do about it? Do you need to adjust your expectations to be more in line with reality? Are hurt feelings the fuel by which you manipulate people to avoid future disappointment?

        • at work December 8, 2018, 2:30 pm

          Some people are beyond expecting anything. They pretty much know nothing will happen. But they still hold on to a shred of hope. You’re never supposed to stop hoping, right? Year after year, they hope for a a birthday cake, an anniversary dinner, a Christmas card, a phone call on a special day, but — nothing. It’s possible to expect nothing and know you’ll get nothing but still have a little bit of hope.

          • Ergala December 10, 2018, 12:33 pm

            That is me right there. I know my friends aren’t going to do anything for my birthday. I knew after 12 years of marriage I would be getting nothing for any holiday or anniversary. Not even mother’s day. But I still held onto hope that maybe just maybe that year I would be remembered.
            Last year my bff told my then boyfriend (now fiance) that she was planning a huge party for my birthday. My birthday came and nothing happened. He was furious.

        • kingsrings December 8, 2018, 2:49 pm

          Hurt feelings for sure are a tough situation to navigate. There’s the issue of who’s right and who’s wrong, and the conflict behind that. We should be able to communicate with each other to know when feelings are hurt so that we’re all aware of how we treat each other. But then when people have different ideas of expectations, there arises the conflict.
          If a group or a person does nice things for others, there’s going to be some level of reciprocity expected after awhile. Is that right? Or fair? Some would argue that one should never have any expectations, because then you’ll never be let down. But that mindset seems to excuse bad behavior then.

  • Queen of the Weezils December 6, 2018, 3:08 pm

    If you want to throw a party, throw a party! You can ease some of the awkwardness by making it for the bridal couple. Lots of ways to play this depending on mutual interests. He likes poker? Make it a game night.

    But don’t feel obligated to do this, because you aren’t. He is an adult; if no one throws him a bachelor party, he’ll live.

  • Mary Sgree December 6, 2018, 3:42 pm

    I believe these kinds of parties may be more often done in either certian parts of the country or at certain ages because neither my husband or I had bachelor/bachelorette parties. Neither did my grown children when they married. Over time I think someone says ” this is a have-to for weddings” and everyone else agrees when in fact, no one gets to decide what HAS to happen at any wedding. It’s really just another party that causes OTHER people to have to fork out even more money because someone is getting married.

  • Yummymummy66 December 7, 2018, 9:28 am

    What I noticed is that the wedding is in two weeks.at the height of the holiday season. I know that I have very limited time during this time of year. I can see the same for Jim’s family and friends. While I think it would have been nice for someone to plan something, I can see why they might not have. You have a group of men with all different families, activities, etc. this time of year. I don’t think anyone meant to slight Jim intentionally.
    My husband and I were married by a JP on Christmas Eve 21 years ago. I know that a lot of years, we were not able to really celebrate our anniversary as we would have liked to do so. But that was our choice to pick that date and we are ok with that.

  • EchoGirl December 8, 2018, 10:42 pm

    I get what OP is saying, that it’s not the party itself but the question of if people care enough to do it. OP doesn’t mention whether Jim has hosted/planned any bachelor parties in his time (assuming he’s not the first of the group to get married); if he has, I can understand the sentiment of going to a lot of trouble for other people and then feeling like they’re not willing to make the same effort. If that’s the issue, I think OP throwing the party would probably make Jim very happy.

    This isn’t to say that Jim is entitled to sulk or demand anything, but as I read the story, there’s no mention of him doing that (Pam demanding, yes, but not Jim himself), so that’s neither here nor there. A person can’t help feeling disappointed, and it doesn’t appear he’s taking it out on anyone else, so telling him to “get over it” would seem to me like saying “what you feel isn’t important enough to care about”.

  • mm December 10, 2018, 6:48 pm

    I’m sorry, but “no one is owed a party” is one of the cruelest things I’ve read on this site.

    • admin December 11, 2018, 5:09 pm

      If you are going through life believing that people owe you a birthday, bachelor, shower or any other celebratory party event, you’ve missed the point of this web site.

      • Anonymous December 11, 2018, 5:26 pm

        Nobody really believes that they’re “owed” anything, but every group has its own norms, whether that’s a family, a formal group, like, say, a soccer team, or a more informal group, like, a social circle, and people naturally get offended when someone breaks those norms. Let’s say that Sam, Susie, Sarah, and Sebastian all play on the same soccer team, and they all take turns bringing orange slices for halftime. Sam, Susie, and Sarah each take their turn, and they all partake, including Sebastian……but, when Sebastian’s turn comes, he doesn’t follow through and bring the orange slices. Sam, Susie, and Sarah are rightfully annoyed. Or, let’s say that Jim, Jack, Jane, and Jennifer are all siblings who regularly exchange gifts at Christmas time. One year, Jennifer arrives with no gifts, and no explanations. Jim, Jack, and Jane wonder why. Or, suppose Michael, Matthew, Mark, and Murgatroid are all longtime friends. When Michael, Matthew, and Mark each got married, all of the others, including Murgatroid collaborated on throwing him a bachelor party. But now that Murgatroid is getting married, Michael, Matthew, and Mark haven’t made any move to do the same for him. I think that, in this case, Murgatroid could reasonably be upset, because Michael, Matthew, and Mark had a hand in creating the “friend group plans bachelor parties for friend getting married” norm, and they benefitted from Murgatroid’s adhering to that norm when they were the ones getting married, and now they’re not keeping up their end of the deal. Does anyone else here watch The Big Bang Theory? I know it’s very funny the way Sheldon writes out an official “Roommate Agreement” with Leonard, and a “Relationship Agreement” with Amy, but he kind of has a point–he wants to have all the expectations written out, so that there’s no (or at least less) potential for disappointment and hurt feelings.

        • Anonymous December 11, 2018, 6:07 pm

          I realize that these three scenarios are different, because soccer games in a league happen (presumably) about once per week, Christmas comes once per year, and weddings happen (hopefully) only once in a lifetime, if that. So, it’s not that likely for Sebastian to forget his turn to bring the orange slices in the space of a week, or have some sort of unexpected crisis that makes him somehow able to play soccer, but unable to bring the snack as planned. It’s more reasonable for Jennifer to, say, be going through a rough patch financially and not be able to afford gifts for her siblings. In those cases, though, Sebastian should have let his teammates know, and Jennifer should have let her siblings know, and in the big scheme of things, there’ll be another soccer game next week, and another Christmas next year, and Sebastian and Jennifer can come through with snacks and gifts (and maybe even do a little extra) then, and hopefully, all will be forgiven. But, with the “once in a lifetime” factor of weddings and bachelor parties, Michael, Matthew, Mark, and Murgatroid’s weddings, and corresponding bachelor parties, could have been spaced years apart. They could have all been single until Michael got married, and then, by the time Murgatroid’s wedding came, all his friends were married, with possibly multiple kids each, which could make it difficult or impossible for them to reciprocate and give Murgatroid a bachelor party. But, they should still make an effort (like, a simple pizza and movie night, or getting funny T-shirts for all the groomsmen to wear at the reception), or, if they can’t even do that, they should at least explain to Murgatroid why, and let them know that they still value him as a friend. If they aren’t willing or able to do that, then maybe they don’t value Murgatroid as a friend, and in that case, he’s not obligated to STAY friends with them. That’s the other thing about groups–people are (generally) free to leave whenever they want. Murgatroid distancing himself from his friends might not necessarily be just from the missed bachelor party, but from repeatedly getting the short end of the stick. Let’s say he’s spent years giving wedding gifts, and planning bachelor parties, and attending his friends’ children’s first birthday parties, but his friends don’t acknowledge his birthdays or milestones. Let’s say he’s attended his niece’s and nephews’ (or his friends’ kids’) dance recitals and T-ball games and whatnot, but one night, he’s in, say, a community theatre show, and his friends all bail because they couldn’t find a babysitter, or they go, but leave five minutes in because Kiddo is bored. Yes, I know, Murgatroid just has to understand that things are different for people with kids, and he has to learn to compromise, but at a certain point, making 100% of the compromise gets tiring, so he’s within his rights to move on.

  • Ross December 14, 2018, 1:29 am

    This is not about someone who is sitting around feeling sorry for themselves feeling entitled to a party. This is a letter for a caring (soon to be) family member asking for advise. She has seen that the situation has made him sad and wants to do something nice for him. Having just attended a cousin’s wedding that broke the “rules” I see no problem in the people who care for him, the bride’s family, to honor him with something. My cousin had a brides man, and friends and family served as groomsman as the groom was just had his citizenship approved and only one brother and a cousin were able to travel from Europe.

    These types of events are important to people, whether they’ll admit it or not. He’s probably told himself that he’s too old and feels silly to be recognized for a big milestone in his life. I say absolutely, nudge the people he cares about in the right direction and if they don’t, I’d do something to celebrate him.

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