I didn’t actually want a Bachelorette, or Hen Party as we call them over here.
I’d been put off by what they seem to be portrayed as in the media, gaggles of screaming, slurring women, on a mission to get as drunk as humanly possible, humiliate each other and grope unsuspecting men. Newspapers love to splash pictures of barefoot, passed out women in the street wearing sashes and their kebabs, whenever they can.
But is that really what hen parties are?
Everything about the way we approach marriage has changed. It’s rare in our society to see a 20 year old bride who’s never lived away from home being “given away” to her husband to love and obey. Some may be shocked to hear that not every bride who wears white is a virgin! *Gasp*
So are these “last night of single freedom” parties still fitting? I certainly don’t consider myself single. I made a commitment to my then boyfriend almost as soon as we started dating, I never strayed and I certainly don’t intend to now he’s my fiancé. The prospect of a mahogany tanned, muscled young man, writhing in my lap while my friends cheer, isn’t particularly appealing (after all, that’s what my 20s were for!)
Do hen parties really need to fit this mould?
I don’t think so. But unlike a number of my friends who have abandoned the idea altogether, I still think they’re an important right of passage. A fun reason to get your girls together and celebrate each other.
It could be as simple as a beautiful picnic on a summer’s day, swishy dresses, rosé flowing, sharing war stories from old dates, howling with laughter at past errors and bonding over whispered future dreams. Or maybe a glam dinner at your favourite local, followed by dancing until sunrise, saying goodbye over a tearful breakfast and promising to remain friends come what may.
The coming together is what matters. Not the event, not the expense, not even the size of the group.
So I thought about all of those options. I thought about a beautiful dinner in London, dancing at a friend’s club and keeping it all very low key.
But do you know what happens when I get together when my maid of honour and I get together? We get excited. We wind each other up and all sense goes out the window!
So instead of a quiet dinner party, we’ve planned a trip!
To answer the many, many questions we received on how we did it, I thought I’d share the process. You never know when it may come in handy!
We started with a few key points:
- Somewhere a short haul flight away
- Somewhere with an airport (no landing and getting ferries to an island or catching a train when we get there. I don’t know if you’ve ever done a girl’s trip, but the fewer logistics to handle – the better!)
- Somewhere I wouldn’t have to drive. Where we could walk everywhere or hop in taxis. (No designated driver arguments or parking nightmares.)
- Somewhere safe for women to wander alone.
- Somewhere with enough going on that we can go out dancing, but nothing too intense.
- Somewhere sunny!
Our shortlist looked something like this:
- St Tropez
(If we lived in the States, my shortlist would have looked something like this: Tulum.)
Then it really came down to the accommodation. We wanted to be in a villa but within walking distance of breakfast, drinks and beaches.
- Home Away for villas
- Owners Direct for more villas
- Booking.com for hotels with villas on site, or suites with more than one bedroom
- Mr & Mrs Smith for rooms with pools
- Small Luxury Hotels for the same sort of thing
I found us the perfect little spot in Greece. Somewhere we could have our privacy, but not have to organise a lot of cooking or chores. There’s a beautiful pool, the most beautiful little bay, and there’s partying a short cab ride away. The dream!
I’ve booked spa treatments for everyone when we arrive, then we’ll have a cocktail as the sun sets, followed by a chilled dinner.
Then the rest of the long weekend will be spent exploring, dancing and enjoying ourselves! Everyone will get a little bronzed before the wedding, and we’ll leave with memories to last us well into our married years.
The flights are booked and I’m almost as excited about the trip as I am the wedding. Almost.
Now all that’s left to do is shop for…essentials!
Valentina has made a great suggestion for managing money while we’re there, an app that manages expenses so no-one needs a calculator at the bar or supermarket!
Do you have any other tips for us?