I recently returned from my hen do in Barcelona. 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, silly silliness…
However, attending a hen and being the hen, or so I learned, are two very different things. I arranged the accomodation and booked our flights, but left the planning and activities up to the girls (face palm). In hindsight, I discovered that actually, I’m not a huge fan of surprises. Although I enjoyed most I mean everything the girls planned, it was nerve-wrecking not knowing what was going to happen next.
Major key alert!
I got the keys keys keys… So channeling my inner DJ Khaled, here are my top 5 most important keys (lessons learned) to hen dos.
Plan Your Own Hen Do
I took care of the accommodation and flights but left the agenda up to my girls. Although they did a great job, (this is not a criticism of them) in hindsight, it should have been my responsibility. It would have been much easier for the girls and myself, also saving a few thousand what’s app messages, if I would have just taken the lead and set the plans.
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! One of my hens bought us each a black choker with the first letter of our names, making us look like the baddest girl gang ever.
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.
The experience of being together in the apartment, getting ready, cooking and hanging out, was my favourite part 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 from my camera under the tray! None of which would have been the same in a hotel.
The Surprise Stripper is NOT a must
If your hens decide to get you a surprise stripper, that’s another reason why it’s better to stay in an apartment than a hotel. But it’s not a must. I had a stripper, but he was more of a comedian than a Magic Mike type. First of all, I don’t think he’s into women, which was more than obvious, and well, without getting into details, he was just really, really funny. It was hilarious, but not sexy.
Always 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.
Oh, you thought you’d get a photo did you? Here are some photos of the food and drink we had instead.
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 deep in a twenty 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… So choose your hens, and how many of them, wisely! Especially if you’re going on a trip.
Pick a hen-friendly city
Barcelona is a really popular city for hen and stag parties. They were literally everywhere we went. But perhaps it has become too popular. We found that many people were put off as soon as they realised we were on a hen do and some even became 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.
Extra key alert! Download the app Find Friends and add each other, you can delete it after. Trust me.
XO Bridam Neeson