Before last Friday, I'd only been to one hen party in my life (to my US readers: "hen party" is what a bachelorette party is called in the UK) and that was for a high school friend who got to wear butterfly wings and walk around town selling hand-baked cookies to strangers. So, needless to say, I was dreading the very secret event quite a bit (almost as much as I was looking forward to it!).
I was very touched when my office team decided to organise a hen night for me and the senior writer, who's getting married exactly a week before me. Having only worked here for five months, I was very moved that they'd done this for me. Still, I had no idea what to expect.
A word of advice if you're at risk of being a hen anytime soon: expect anything.
Be ready to be the centre of attention. We got pink wigs to wear (mine was long and curly and I LOVED it), fluffy and sparkly pink tiaras and a sash saying "Bride to Be". Plus a pink helium balloon. I loved the getup, but let's just say you can't exactly be shy when it's your hen night.
Embrace whatever the night brings. The "not knowing" part is definitely something I like. Some hens are blindfolded, but I don't think I'd enjoy that; I like the evening slowly unfolding before me. Plus, the idea of being blindfolded in front of a staircase terrifies me.
Eat a lot beforehand and afterwards (if you're vegan). If you have any kind of diet issues, don't go to Cote in London. Even though my colleague had called several times beforehand and specified that one of the hens was vegan, there was butter in absolutely everything. There was no way they could prepare anything else since everything was "already prepared" (I don't trust restaurants that use this system!). So I ended up having a salad starter and a salad main...paying as much as everyone else. I had a big slice of lasagne and some lentil stew when I came home!
Don't bring a huge bag. The day of our hen party was also the last day for one of my colleagues, so we had a huge potluck and I had brought tons of food. I had also brought my party dress and a pair of high-heeled sandals...all in separate bags. Schlepping to and from the venues, I looked like I was moving house....in a pink wig.
Dare to bare. It always makes me a bit sad when I have to go to a party wearing tights - it's just so un-partylike. Since I live in a rather chilly part of the globe, that is, unfortunately, a pretty common occurrence. Even if last Friday wasn't exactly summer, I shed my tights for the evening and slipped into a summery dress with sandals. And guess what - I wasn't even a little cold.
Bring comfy shoes. After dancing all night long, I was relieved to change into my ankle boots (and pull my tights back on!) to head home!
All in all, my first hen party was a screaming success - and I have my amazing coworkers to thank for it! Here's one more reason to go back to office work from freelancing - if you're really lucky, you get to meet some truly fantastic people.