A few years ago it was so easy for a group of girls to get together and go on holiday or plan a night out, or go for a spa or go to a concert. As we’ve all moved out of home, gotten more grown up jobs, faced our student debt head on, and incorporated seeing all our significant others’ friends and families in to our schedules, it’s gotten increasingly difficult to spend time with just those core group of girls who I love to death.
One of my very best friends, Viv, and I used to have an agreement, which was imposed upon everyone else too, that for our birthday we get to pick exactly what we want to do and our whole group of friends will promise to join us. Gradually that’s turned into only being enforced for thirtieths, and there are still excuses made on occasion…
So I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a couple of years! For one of us to get engaged so that all our favourite girls can budget and plan and set aside some real quality time to spend together doing fun stuff, and all as chosen by Viv, with my best party planning skills and optimism thrown in.
What is the dream hen do?
Obviously there’s the classic night out with sashes and L plates, which always looks fun, but as we are nearing the aforementioned thirties and barely go ‘out out’ as it is these days, on its own I don’t think this would be sufficient. Especially not for Viv, who has very acquired tastes, and also having been unwell for a few years and unable to drink alcohol, would probably in fact end up intolerable to her while the rest of us were drunkenly oblivious!
Lots of people head for a long weekend these days for stag or hen dos, and in Viv’s heyday her birthday requests have included a week in Barcelona, so a trip abroad is a real option. Rather than Ibiza, we’re considering a long weekend in Marrakech or a Greek Island, somewhere that’s more laid back with choices of local cuisine as well as ‘tourist friendly’ restaurants and bars. We will definitely be looking for some pampering, some sun, some cocktails, and some exotic foreign waiters who are happy to spoil us and good naturedly spoil Viv as the bride to be.
Realistically, even with the hen-do power, I think lots of people won’t be able to set aside the time or budget for a foreign holiday hen-do, so we need to think of a practical plan which more people will be able to come to.
Planning is key! And getting everyone together from the start is going to be important, because however delightful the entertainment in the evening, or individual pampering may be, it’s more than likely that the best bonding time will be on the way to the do and on the way home from the do, slightly worse for wear. Have a limo chauffeur service, big enough for all the girls to sit together to travel in to London (or wherever you might pick to go).
You’ll be able to open a bottle of champagne to toast the bride to be and set the mood for the day, together, reminiscing about the happy couple, and any other hilarious or horrible memories that may be put to rest for good on the wedding day! Getting the limo home again will also help everyone to recap on the nights events and have the more frank discussions that you may have restrained yourselves from on the earlier journey, without people having to part ways and say goodbyes at kicking out time.
What to do when you arrive? We will make the most of the day, getting in to London for a light lunch together somewhere equally fancy and picturesque, yet still laid back. Perhaps in Covent Garden, or somewhere a bit more out of the way if you don’t like crowds. Then head to a spa, make sure all the girls have come prepared with their costumes and their tools and outfits for getting ready for the evening.
Share some time in the Jacuzzi or the steam room, pop out for a glass of bubbly or a cocktail, and enjoy some pampering each. Once refreshed, use the luxury changing rooms to get ready for the night ahead.
Book somewhere really special for a late afternoon tea, or a fancy dinner. Why not take some hen do games with you, quizzes about who knows the bride to be best, or who knows the history of the happy couple best, or telling tales about the funniest memories of the bride to be or the couple that each guest has. Make sure to be as tasteful or tasteless with your games and any entertainment (Cough cough who said stripper?) as you think will best suit your bride to be.
After dinner, there are so many options for entertainment in a city like London. You could go for drinks at the Ice Bar, where you have to wear huge oversized coats as the temperature is freezing inside. Or how about finding a salsa party club; lots of these nights offer dance classes prior to the club night kicking off. There are hundreds of theatre shows to see, why not pick something totally girly and emotional like Dirty Dancing and enjoy that together.
Whatever you do, make sure it suits the bride to be, and just make sure you’ve made time to talk and giggle and reminisce and make your bride to be the absolute centre of attention for the day.
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Karen loves nothing more than spending time with family and friends, and as an owner of 2 businesses she is well aware of the time constraints we all face, so she always uses Milton Executive Cars when she’s travelling with a number of friends to make the most of any time they are spending together.