General wedding musings

How to have a happy hen do – 40 weeks to go

So, this is a bit of a late post, and I blame Eliza Dushku. The Boy bought me the boxset of Dollhouse for Christmas, which we’ve started watching. And now we can’t stop.

A couple of weeks ago, you may remember me talking about a lovely friend’s hen do. This week, I thought I’d write a bit more about it, as I had so much fun. (To the lovely Nat, who may be reading this…um…surprise?)

It started early on Saturday morning, when The Boy took me to the train station (despite what you may hear from me when it comes to commuting, it turns out I do actually enjoy train journeys, as long as they don’t involve a stressful thought process along the lines of “Will I make it into the office at all today?”). With my (skinny) blueberry muffin (which tasted like dust), my (skinny) latte (which tasted rather nice), and my back issues of Vintage Life, I had a thoroughly enjoyable two-and-a-bit hours journey down to Brighton. And a less enjoyable 20-minute wait in a drafty train station for my friend to arrive (let’s call her Josephine. She loves it when I call her that). She loves vintage stuff as much as I do, so we were thrilled to discover a vintage jewellery shop on the way to the hotel. So. Much. Sparkly. Loveliness. We visited the next day and had a whale of a time looking through all the gorgeousness.

We arrived at the hotel and made our way to the lobby, where we bumped into the bride, fetchingly decked out in a rabbit onesie. “I’m so hot already!” she declared. Luckily, we were spending the afternoon hula hooping, so she wasn’t going to get warmer, right?

Wrong.

Turns out hula hooping as a child is very, very different to hula hooping as an adult. After only five minutes, I was dying for a glass (or bucket) of water, and it hurt. I was using muscles I had forgotten (or, more likely, was never aware) I had, and within 15 minutes, we were doing tricks. Have you ever tried to pivot in a circle while keeping a giant piece of plastic from crashing to the floor? It is trickier than you might think. To finish, we played a game of musical hoops, where much cheating ensued (I’m not bitter. Really I’m not. I type, bitterly).

It was such a fantastic ice breaker, and not something I’ve heard of many hen parties doing (as it would likely get in the way of valuable drinking time and suchlike) – I would definitely recommend it if you have a hen party coming up. Just don’t have anything strenuous planned for the next day.

Here’s a photo of us at the end of the class – I’m the one in the obnoxiously loud (and big) skirt.

Nat hen do4

Then it was time for the obligatory games. First up, we had to make wedding dresses out of toilet paper. Our group included the bride who, it turns out, is surprisingly competitive. She was not happy when another team won, although in my defence: 1. It was not my idea to give her dress a polo neck and 2. The other team had made a ring and a bouquet out of toilet paper. How do you compete with that?

Nat hen do3

After a hilariously awkward game of Mr & Mrs, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for our night out. Everyone scrubbed up very well, and accessorised beautifully with bunny ears (the bride’s a big fan). I was going to post a photo here, but then realised that a few of the evening’s…inflatables…might give some of my readers a funny turn.

As we walked to the Italian restaurant for dinner (all 24 of us), I heard a dad say to his son (aged around 4), “Well, a hen do is when…” – I am so, so glad I didn’t have to listen to the awkwardness that was the end of that sentence. We all sat at different tables, and it was lovely to get to know some of Nat’s friends (who are all very nice by the way, and I’m not just saying that in case they’re reading this. Which, of course, I hope they are).

On a related note, I recently heard a rumour someone believes I’m not taking my pre-wedding diet seriously. With a starter of garlic mushrooms (including a side salad), a main of vegetarian pizza with at least three different vegetables on it, and a chocolate cake dessert that came with half a strawberry, by my reckoning, that’s my five a day, thus proving I am taking it very seriously indeed.

We were hustled out of the restaurant fairly quickly, which worked out well as it was time to get to our reserved area in a local bar, but it came at a price. My lovely, retro-looking umbrella was abandoned in my haste to get to the bar. If someone in Brighton has found a grey, orange and green brolly (it’s nicer than it sounds), please, please take good care of it. Yes, I’d had it a month and had already broken it a bit, but still.

After a bit of a dance and a drink at a bar , we embarked an uneventful walk back (except for when I lost a shoe pretending to stretch my legs because I was mocking Josephine for complaining she was sore from all the hula hooping. Ah, karma, why do you mock me so?), and then everyone went clubbing. Josephine and I saw that the club was right next to our hotel, and decided to go to bed. Fairly certain we were the only hens in Brighton that weekend who were in bed well before midnight through choice, not because we’d been helped there by concerned friends looking to avoid us getting alcohol poisoning.

I realise I’m rambling, but all in all, it was a fabulous hen do that got various groups of friends (and family) from the bride’s life together, doing fun stuff and generally having a great time, which is just as it should be.

And I discovered that I really enjoy hula hooping.

Next week: My new fitness regime. By fitness regime, I mean hula hooping my way through Disney films. This weekend saw me exercise my way through Robin Hood and The Aristocats (the latter also included some off-key singalongs, an extra treat for The Boy, who is exiled to the games room during these sessions). Currently up for consideration for next weekend are Alice in Wonderland, Lilo & Stitch, Aladdin and/or Lady and the Tramp.

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