Erin Lawless shares her top tips for planning a hen do.
KNOW YOUR BRIDE
You’re her bridesmaid – you should know her pretty well. Is she the sort who would be absolutely mortified if you tried to pin an L Plate on her? Or will she flat-out refuse to put a drink in her mouth the whole time unless it is accompanied by a sparkly willy straw? Are we talking Dream Boys and Butlers In the Buff, or paintballing and go-karting? Is she the sort of bride whose hen do won’t be complete without her lovely mum / aunt / gran there, or does the thought of any family member being present make her break out in a cold sweat? Ultimately you’ll be taking the lead from her – but, still, you’ve got to be reeeeally certain of your audience before you book that comedy dwarf stripper.
You say “it’s just a weekend.” Then, “okay, it’s a long weekend.” Everybody likes a long weekend. But the first activity is at like 9am on the Friday morning, so I guess everyone might need to cop off work early on the Thursday afternoon for travelling. Oh, and the return coach / train / flights you’re looking at booking are around lunchtime on Monday… Before you know it, you’ve eaten up three days of everyone’s precious annual leave. These poor girls might have five such hen weekends this year – and, you know, want to go on actual holiday too.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
For some reason hen parties make it totally permissible – even preferable – to go to the tackiest destinations – be that Marbs, Shagaluf, or that grim disco with the sticky floors in your town that you’ve always taken the piss out of. If you’re going all out – embrace the cheese! Or, class things up with a spa town and a cream tea. The ultimate top tip – if you’re planning to go abroad, make sure all your invitees check that their passports aren’t expiring before it’s too late!
One of the nicest things about hen parties (and weddings!) is how it brings different groups of people together. School friends, uni friends, work friends, family members… but when the only thing these women have in common is the bride, that might not make for a harmonious few days in close (possibly drunken) quarters. In-jokes are fine – but make sure you’re not accidentally excluding hens newer to the scene.
WHAT HAPPENS ON THE HEN…
Hen dos are pretty notorious. Drinks are drunk. Secrets are spilled. Groups of men are attracted over like flies to honey. A few ill-advised truths might be shared (“but we were playing Truth or Dare!”); a few ill-advised blokes might be snogged (“but he bought me a drink, it was the least I could do!”). The ultimate rule: what happens on the hen stays on the hen!! Plus it’s a good idea to effect a hen-wide ban on the snap uploading of pictures to social media. Yes, it might be a cute selfie of the two of you, but I don’t think the boyfriend of the hen in the background is going to appreciate logging on to Facebook to see his partner bumping uglies with some rando on the dancefloor (and if the hen in the background happens to be the bride, there might not end up being a wedding at all!).
SAVE THE DATE
For fans of romantic comedies like Bridesmaids and Four Weddings & a Funeral, this is a hilarious new romantic comedy series about one bride and her four best friends.
Nora Dervan is ready for her Happy Ever After. With her darling Harry waiting at the altar, and all her family and friends around her. She is certain that her special day will not be forgotten/will be one to remember… But with her four bridesmaids hiding more secrets, than bottles of champagne. Will her big day be remembered for all the right reasons?
Bea has barely gotten past the fact that her two best friends are dating, and now they’re engaged, whilst cupid’s arrow points in a forbidden direction for Cleo. She is so distracted by her off-limits, hot new colleague that she has forgotten Daisy, who has been left dreading the singles table. There’s more romance in the cheesy pick-up lines than Sarah’s own marriage, which hasn’t turned out as she hoped it would be.
With her wicked sense of humour and refreshingly honest voice, Erin Lawless brings to the life the romance (and horrors!) of wedding season.
Erin Lawless is a recovering Londoner, living in rainy England with her husband, who knows to buy books instead of flowers, and her new baby. She’s a reader, writer, amateur historian, shoes-I-will-never-wear buyer and epic drunk dancer.