5 September 2016

10 things a secret hen/bachelorette party needs

A few months ago now (lord, how time flies) having stalked the lovely Amanda via the medium of blog and gleefully following her wedding plans hatching (it's fascinating when the stresses aren't yours) I became a little suspicious when no mention was made of a hen/bacherlorette party.

Knowing this lovely lady in real life (again through the medium of blog) I correctly assumed it was a case of expat-i-tis, the latin name for a case of gleefully avoiding embarrassing parties thrown in your honour due to lack of locally based family and bridesmaids able to organise a shindig. See why it was shortened?


10 essentials every hen party/bachelorette dinner needs Adventures of a London Kiwi

Once secretly ascertaining that this was indeed the case with her English Knight and groom-to-be Sam, we set to work.

Step 1: Organise a date
Fun ideas in hand, we secretly co-ordinated diaries with Sam (the flurry of messages was quite a tome indeed, including a made up operation name which finally allowed me to utter the glorious phrase "the Albequerque Squirrel is in the Telephone Box" despite a distinct lack of squirrels in New Mexico - contrary to the 5 seconds of mammalian research I carried out.) Ah, the joys of London life.

Step 2: Secure the hen/bachelorette
A fairly essential aspect of the whole shebang is making sure that hen attends, so I employed the smooth tactic of messaging our bachelorette the tactically proven "hey, fancy coming to a blog drinks thing with me on <date>?" Asking no further questions, she agreed after looking at her diary which was magically free! But, believe me, whilst keeping then unveiling the secret is brilliant fun, when she texts you the night before (co-incidentally whilst collecting one of the guests from the train station) asking "oh, is tomorrow still on?" your blood pressure/panic switch might take over for just a little moment before you text all - fake - breezy "Yep! Can't wait to catch up with you!"

10 essentials every hen party/bachelorette dinner needs Adventures of a London Kiwi
 
Step 3: Pick a language
I feel that in the case of  transatlantic shindigs, a single case of language should be decided upon right from the very beginning. Unfortunately owing to the bride-to-be's transatlantic leanings vs. the British location we failed mightily on this score. Sorry.

 Step 4: Guests
Popping a message to my co-conspirator Katy (the one and only Little Miss Katy) and a few of the London blog glitterati, we ended up with a perfectly formed cadre of us, Frankie (The Mayfairy), Dannielle (the original Chicadeedee), Angela (self-confessed Awkward blogger) and Amanda's sister-in-law (the only non-blog addict) for an evening of merriment and blogspeak.

10 essentials every hen party/bachelorette dinner needs Adventures of a London Kiwi

Step 5: A Theme
We rolled with a vague (and I mean properly vague) literary/DIY theme which coincidentally tied into the wedding beautifully. Having visited The Fable for brunch/Budapest planning sessions a few months ago and spotting the beautiful book booth I had been itching for an excuse to corral a group of friends, which fitted the bill perfectly.

Step 6: Decorations
Having decided to forsake the normal R-18 decorations that hen parties involve and neon tutus of other hen parties around us (and making sure that on the night Amanda knew just how lucky she was) in proper commando style we picked easily transportable decorations; pastel bunting to throw over the booth, funky beaded necklaces for decorating the table and ourselves (starting a conversation about how big everyone's heads were, sorry team), proper hen-style props for the requisite selfies and a couple of classic hen items to embarrass drop on Amanda. With more time, we would have tied in a touch of Breaking Bad and Americanisms, but what can you do? (We settled for gentle teasing instead.)
Probably the most fun aspect of organising the evening, we whittled the plethora of internet suggestions down to a couple of good 'uns including a GBBO themed biscuit nibbling contest and rather "brilliant nail polish shade or porn movie title" competition. With the night not requiring any more jollity, we ended up in between cocktails playing a hilarious round of "Mr & Mrs" with answers supplied in advance, which had us howling with laughter.

Step 8: Food and drink
We wanted to keep the evening pretty low-key and picked the The Fable, which it turns out is rather popular for Saturday hen parties. With a fun, funky and literary themed restaurant, we nibbled our way through their menu and a sipped a few glasses of their libations. 6 hours later we stumbled out with smiles on our faces and Amanda festooned with a variety of bunting (the way that every party should end!)

10 essentials every hen party/bachelorette dinner needs Adventures of a London Kiwi

Step 9: Good transport/a decent organiser
Slightly ruining Amanda's entrance, the London Transport system played a joker and several of the trains were delayed or cancelled, but it many ways it was so lovely to see her face light up every time someone entered. Also, I should have organized everyone to come earlier and have a backup plan in case the trains weren't working, like take Amanda for a drink. Alas the restaurant is a stone's throw from the station so we plowed on in.

Step 10: Ambiance
Good people and no drama. That's all you need, plus a fun soundtrack in the background. 

10 essentials every hen party/bachelorette dinner needs Adventures of a London Kiwi

Would we do it again? In a New York minute. (Ps. for more wedding related fun, see Amanda's blog Rhyme and Ribbons.)

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