Written by Katie Byrne, published 13th feb 2017
OMG - she's engaged! This is amazing and magical. Love is real.
OMGGG - she's just asked me to be a bridesmaid! This is amazing and magical and also kinda obvious.
Because it would have been weird if I hadn't been a bridesmaid. Amiright?
It's cool that I'm not Maid of Honour. I prefer being a bridesmaid as it's a bit more low-key.
So... Hen party.
This is the most exciting bit of the whole thing, right?
Other than the actual wedding itself. Obviously that's the most important part - and the hen is the vodka-soaked cherry on top.
So what happens now? How does the hen get planned?
Do I have to do anything? Or do I just... Wait...?
I love that the planning of the hen party is stressing me out before it's even begun.
What are the rules here? Are there rules?
*Googles 'hen party planning etiquette'*
I mean - there are three other bridesmaids, and a Maid of Honour, and no one has mentioned it, other than that time Bridesmaid #2 sent that GIF from Bridesmaids.
Are we tip-toeing around it? Or do we just not need to talk about it yet?
The thing is, I'm nervous of mentioning it in case that means I then have to plan it. I know that's irrational. And maybe a bit selfish. But. No less.
I'll wait a bit and see what happens.
*Six weeks pass*
Ooh! Been added to a Facebook group called Stacey's Hen Y2K17. This seems promising.
Cool - so the Maid of Honour is on it. So that means...? I mean... Do I... Am I... Should I be doing something...?
I mean, I feel kind of bad for leaving it all to the Maid of Honour. But at the same time, I don't want to stand on any toes or irritate the MOH when she seems to have it all under control.
I'm not being useless or unhelpful. Instead, I'm being thoughtful and considerate.
Although I should probably ask if I can do anything to help.
Yep - I'll do that. But not now. Next week. Maybe the week after. Definitely at some point before the hen do.
No. Do it now. You'll feel better for it.
*Sends message, doesn't look at phone for rest of the day*
So I'm in charge of organising goodie bags.
Sweet. Can't get that wrong.
I need to transfer money over to the Maid of Honour for the hotel. But... I can't find my card reader. Or my account number.
Why is everything so difficult? Why is life so hard?
Hmm - looking at this guest-list on the Facebook group, there are a few people here I don't recognise.
How is it possible, after all this time, that she has friends who I don't know?!
Also, I didn't realise Stacey's mum would be coming to the hen party.
Or her gran. Oh God, her grandma is so sweet.
I might need to rethink those penis whistles I found for the goodie bags.
I'd hate if Stacey's mum thought I was, ahem, one of those girls.
I was so proud of those straws, too.
I'll save them for something else. Not sure what...
Okay: the MOH has just texted to ask if I can help chase up the 'stragglers'.
Ergh. And I accidentally opened the message, so she can see I read it.
When she says 'help' - does she mean me do it, on my own? Or has she already contacted some?
Or am I just chasing up people that have already been chased?
How have I somehow become the hen party bailiff?
*Briefly seethes with silent resentment*
I can probably stall on replying to her for... At least half an hour.
Heh heh heh. The perfect way to bulk-contact the stragglers: post a message on the Facebook group's wall and tag them in.
Okay, so everyone's replying on the post, which is great.
Hmm - how do I turn off Facebook notifications on my phone? Just asking for a friend...
Am I feeling stressed about the hen party...?
Three days in Blackpool, staying with a group of people I kind-of know... This is fine, right?
I mean, it'll be fun when I'm actually there.
The MOH has just texted the other bridesmaids and I to ask if anyone can think of any surprises for the bride.
Perhaps the surprise could be how much we've all spent on the hen party... *dry chuckle*
What would a surprise be? Strippers are so passé. Could I tweet Ed Sheeran?
If I tweeted Ed Sheeran, might he come to the hen party?
I mean... I suppose I could try. Nothing ventured and all that.
Just told my boyfriend about the Ed Sheeran thing; he's still laughing.
Just looking through the hen party itinerary. I mean, personally, if I was getting married, I wouldn't want to spend quite so much time in the water.
Like, there's a lot of water on this itinerary.
There's a boat trip, a sauna session, a water park experience...
Which is all cool. But I hate water, so pretending this is fun might be a little tricky.
Ah cool, the MOH has just text again: she's booked a stripper.
Of course she has.
...And she's just sent another text: "Any ideas for the surprise yet?"
So if the naked man isn't the surprise, does that mean we have to do something else?
*Drinks three glasses of wine during Friday evening drinks with the other bridesmaids; decides this is the perfect time to tweet Ed Sheeran*
"@EdSheeran Hiiii1 wud looove it if yu could siing at my friends hen doooo pls come it will be fun there is a stripper!!!!"
This is definitel,y a agreat idea, I'll twe234t Gary Barl0w to00.
*Wakes up following morning with hangover; deletes tweets*
Aw - one of the bridesmaids has suggested we actually make Stacey something.
Oh God, wait a minute: does this mean the surprise has to be a Meaningful Gift?
I'll have a look on Pinterest for some ideas.
Yup; if I find a cute Pin, I can send it over to the other bridesmaids and ask them to, er, make it a reality.
A book of letters? Adorable! The other bridesmaids will love this idea!
*Sends idea to other bridesmaids via WhatsApp*
Cool, so the Maid of Honour has said she loves the idea and has asked me if I can coordinate it.
Coordinate this book of letters and sort out the goodie bags?
She knows I have a full-time job right? And a dog that needs walking twice a day?
Okay, well the good thing is I can probably use this on a future CV.
I am extremely skilled in multi-tasking and time management, having held down a full-time job whilst organising goodie bags for a hen party, as well as a book of letters for my best friend...
Hmm. Maybe not.
So if we're doing this book of letters - which everyone has agreed to so far - that means I'm actually going to have to write a letter.
This was so much easier when it was just an idea on Pinterest, rather than something I actually need to do in real life.
Think the last time I wrote a letter was... 2003.
What do I write a letter on? Surely not on normal lined paper. I need something a bit more... Special.
*Buys writing paper and fountain pen*
I mean, they were in the sale anyway so technically it was more of an investment than a waste of money.
Okay, letter done; letters from other hens, done; all I need is something to do with them all.
So some of the bridesmaids have written on both sides of the paper - meaning my original idea of sticking them into a book doesn't actually work.
Ringbinder it is! If I buy a plain ringbinder I can print out some photos and stick them on the front to make a cover. Must remember to buy a Pritt Stick.
I'll also need some of those clear sleeve things to put the letters into.
This is basically turning into a pint-sized stationery odyssey - and I'm kind of okay with that.
In all the excitement of the letters, I've forgotten about the goodie bags.
This is fine, everything's fine.
The Maid of Honour's just texted me asking if I've finished them yet, and if she can see a 'piccy'.
Sure hun, I'll send you a 'piccy' - just as soon as I've finished racing to town to buy stuff to fill them...
Going to have to use the penis straws as a filler now, regardless of what Stacey's mum thinks of me.
Yes, arguably I've spent six times more than if I'd ordered stuff from eBay, but hey - YOGBO, no?
Just had to explain to my BF what YOGBO means. Obviously it means 'You Only Goodie Bag Once'. Why is he so painfully uncool?
Aw - the bride just tagged us all in a post on Facebook, with a caption explaining how excited she is for her hen weekend to start.
Just read out the caption to my boyfriend: "Busy day! Spray tan this morning, lunch with mum and my sisters and now I've just finished packing for my hen weekend! So excited to see my girls and make lots of memories. So lucky to have you all in my life. You mean the world to me. Love you all so much. See you tomorrow!"
As lovely as that status is - I can't see past 'spray tan'.
Why didn't I think about that sooner? This is like the Goodie Bag-Gate all over again - I thought I had plenty of time and forgot about it.
It's 10.45pm and the hen weekend officially begins at 9am tomorrow, and I'm definitely considering giving myself a fake tan.
I mean, I'd need to shave and exfoliate and probably not lie down for a couple of hours just to avoid smudging or streaking anything.
Also, doubt the BF would be up for helping me reach those tricky bits on my back...
But it'll look so much better in the photos. And I should be able to cover up the streaks with a good Instagram filter.
Not that there would be streaks obviously. I really don't want to be the palest person there.
...Do not do this to yourself, you know how it usually ends. Just wear a bit more bronzer if needs be.
Okay. No tan. I am literally so sensible. Is it weird to be proud of yourself?
Because I am v. proud of myself rn.
This chick has fully evolved into a hen, people.
THE HEN PARTY EXPERIENCE HAS COME FULL CIRCLE! This hen has found her wings!
I feel like this whole hen party experience has changed me. For the better. I'm a wiser, vastly improved person.
Yeah - think I'm over-tired. Bed time. Must charge phone. And remember to pack charger tomorrow morning.
Haven't over-thought any of this at all. No, sirree.