Did you have a hand in planning your hen party, or was it handed over to the maid of honour? Lizzy is joining us today to share her fun hen party experience!
The other week, my mum added a perfectly innocuous question to the family WhatsApp. It said: ‘ I was talking to a friend on the dog walk about nostalgia and we got chatting about our favourite childhood meals. What is everyone’s answer?’ Much discussion ensued. My dad and sister leapt in with their answers and, I soon joined in enjoying looking back at some of the delicious homecooked food we were lucky enough to have in our childhood.
Fast forward two weeks and my best friend had just picked me up from work to start a magical mystery tour of a hen do. She drove me to a wonderful little Airbnb house in Cambridge. She knocked on the door and my mum and sister answered!
Turns out, the whole ‘favourite food’ conversation was a plot. And one I had fallen for hook, line and sinker. The first evening of my hen do was perfect. Cosied up in a lovely house, with my best friend, sister and mum, drinking gin with edible glitter and… eating my absolute favourite childhood meal.
I had made it clear from the moment I was engaged that I wasn’t doing anything mad for my hen do. Clubbing has never been my thing, I’m in my mid-thirties and have two small children. Sleep and low-key drinking were ideal for me. I was also keen that I didn’t plan it. I asked that it was in Cambridge and handed over the guest list, but otherwise I just wanted one part of the wedding that I didn’t have to plan in minute detail.
Luckily, my friend of 22 years Dani was more than up for the challenge. The house was decorated with balloon and flower hoops. I had a lovely champagne glass, mug and dressing gown for the occasion. Saturday morning was filled with good coffee, croissants and an at home spa – she did my nails, I had a face pack, foot treatment and hair conditioning hat thingy (I’m not normally a beauty treatment kind of a gal).
Around lunchtime we headed down to the river in Cambridge and to the Double Tree Hilton for afternoon tea. There were, of course, the obligatory baby photos and a bespoke ‘Lizzy Quizzy’ for people to fill in. There was also an excellent prosecco filled afternoon tea. I live for cake and this part of the day fulfilled that need, so a lot of fun was had by all.
From there we walked to Cambridge’s escape room: Lockhouse. This. Was. Brilliant. Something like this is right up my street, and as a first timer I now have the bug. I immediately text Gareth on leaving and told him to organise a repeat visit for my birthday. It was so much fun, so well done, challenging but hilarious and whilst we failed to save the world from alien invasion in the one-hour window, we had a lot of giggles trying. The guys who ran the place even hid an extra ‘happy hen do’ clue. If there hadn’t been an evening do, I would have asked to stay and do one of the other rooms they had there, although I fear ‘trapped in a serial killer’s cabin’ may have felt a bit too real.
“The smiles, memories and photos will last forever.”
The final part of the night was a private dining room at Stolen Liquor Loft in the centre of Cambridge. There were more amazing handmade decorations (Dani is an angel), more embarrassing family pictures, delicious food and a LOT more gin. The quiz answers were discussed, advice for the marriage was handed out (thanks Lorraine….) and it was a great chance for people who will be at the wedding together to get to know each other before the big day.
In all, I could not have asked for more from my hen do. It was fun and relaxed. It was all the things I like doing with all the people I like best. The smiles, memories and photos will last forever.
So now I’m into the nitty gritty of the last five weeks of wedding planning. So much is under control (I’m an organisation freak) but there also feels like there is so much to do. The centrepieces are off to the florist. The final dress fitting takes place this week. The registrar approved the songs and readings for the big day and Eli has his suit fitting soon. There are boxes and BOXES of decorations, photos and children’s activities packs to organise and label so that Sara (of Queen and Eden) and the venue can have all the things easily accessible for all the right places. So there is a lot to do but most of all I’m trying to take it all in. I’m trying to picture the day and the people we will have there. And I’m trying to picture that moment I will say ‘I do’, because then the exact colour of the ribbon for the seating plan seems a little less important.
What are your hen party plans? Let us know in the comments below.