I’m getting married and decided to do a hen trip with my bridesmaids. What could possibly go wrong? Despite having five of the coolest bridesmaids that ever lived, we caused more mayhem than the guys from The Hangover, minus the drugs and tiger. Forget Bridezilla, I was Bridam Neeson. But what happens in Barca, stays in Barca, folks.
Henning is a lot like Fresher’s Week. I’ll give you a second to let that mental picture linger just a little longer. But of course, you’re in a new place with new people, drinking as much alcohol in a weekend as you would normally consume in a year. There are silly costumes, silly dares and silly behaviour galore.
Attending a hen and being the hen, however, are two very different things. After booking our accommodation and flights, I decided to leave all the planning up to the girls. In hindsight I learned I’m not a huge fan of surprises. Although I really enjoyed everything the girls planned, it was a nerve-wrecking way to find that out!
And that’s not all I learned. Major key alert! I got the keys keys keys… So channeling my inner DJ Khaled, here are my top 5 most important keys to hen dos.
Key No.1 – Plan Your Hen Do
Have a plan, and a back-up plan. I took care of the accommodation and flights and left the agenda up to my girls. They did a great job striking the balance between having some fixed plans like ticketed events and reservations while allowing for some flexibility on the day, with a list of options to choose from.
But in hindsight I probably shouldn’t have put the responsibility on them. It would have been much easier and saved a few thousand what’s app messages between the girls if I would have taken the lead and set the plan.
There are many other ways your hens can contribute, like making these awesome survival kits (which really came in handy) and buying all the hennery to dress you up in! We also each got a black choker with the first letter of our names making us look like the baddest girl gang ever.
Key No.2 – Get an Air BnB apartment instead of a hotel
I don’t just recommend staying together in an apartment, I insist. And this is coming from me, who has a serious thing with hotels. I love them dearly and take every opportunity to stay in one and so I was initially skeptical about the apartment thing. But I was blown away by our flat, which was big and elegant with high ceilings, and also cost a fraction of a hotel.
The experience of being together in the apartment to get ready, cook and hang out was one of my favourite parts of the trip. On our final night we had an epic slumber party full of dodgy twister and pin the dick. On our ‘The Hangover’ morning, Jane did everyone a massive solid by troopering her way to the shops and making us all the most incredible ham and cheese sandwiches while hiding under the tray! None of which would have been the same in a hotel.
Key No.3 – The Surprise Stripper is a must
The stripper is an essential component of any hen do and another reason why it’s better to stay in an apartment than a hotel. In order to ensure your experience goes smoothly, choose a company wisely and do tell them what your hen will be comfortable with. It’s okay to set limits if that will make you all feel more comfortable. Our stripper was very well-behaved compared to some of the stories I’ve heard! He was also not exactly into women… which made for stripper comedy gold on the opposite spectrum of Magic Mike.
Oh, you thought you’d get a photo did you? Here are some photos of the food and drink we had instead.
Key No.4 – Choose as many hens as you can handle
The size of your hen group is important. If you’re a one-on-one kinda gal, a large group will be a lot for you to handle. If you’re the kind of woman who rolls in a twenty-deep girl crew strutting some serious squad goals envy, more may well be merrier.
But whether you are four or forty, there will always be a range of personalities with different wishes and ideas to convince and coordinate. Let alone multiple taxi requirements, large table bookings, and other potential issues…
Key No.5 – Pick a hen-friendly city
Barcelona is one of the most popular places for hen and stag parties. They were everywhere we went. But perhaps it has become too popular, as we found many people were put off as soon as they realised we were on a hen do and were quite rude. Getting told off for wearing a veil or sash and being asked to remove it is serious buzz kill.
Maybe it’s time to give the people of Barcelona a break, and head over to Lisbon or Amsterdam where they’ll be more than happy to have you!
My hen do was one of the most memorable trips I’ll ever take. In three adjectives it was fast-paced, exciting and emotional. It was an opportunity to reflect on my life and the people who are with me as I enter into marriage. I had a mix of old and new friends, which I hope will always be in my life one way or another. A big thank you to my girls who I’m sure are reading this to make sure I didn’t really spill the beans on my hen trip! I love you guys.