My Hen Party Experience

As with all things in life, there is a first for everything. Some firsts are big and something to remember: like your first drink, your first kiss and your first time. A lot of your firsts are memorable and I have to say my first hen party was certainly a memorable experience. Except where alcohol consumption may have made things a little fuzzy but I will gloss over that. Even though quite a few people I went to school with are married and have kids, no one close to me has made it down the aisle, yet. Some of them are engaged but no weddings as of yet. I haven't been to a wedding since I was about 8 years old and I most certainly had not been on a hen party but that changed at the start of the month. Both my hen party virginity and my girls holiday virginity were taken all at the same time. I've been on holiday with friends before but it had never been exclusively girls which is an experience within itself. In today's post I wanted to share with you my experience and also a couple of tips in case you have a hen coming up as it is getting close to wedding season.

As I had never been on a hen party before, I had no idea what to expect. The only image I had in my head was of women in their 50s going wild, just because they finally had the chance to. I am 25 and still go out clubbing so I am not missing that lifestyle so it didn't get overly wild, it was just sort of like a normal night out, just for an entire weekend. All I knew going into this hen party was that it was sort of a holiday as it was aboard, we were going to a beach and there would be drinking. I have to say I don't know if your typical hen party usually goes aboard but we did. We went to Nice in France, a lovely place that simply was not ready for us. Apparently in France they do not really go on hen parties or stag dos so we looked foreign as we walked around in our themed outfits, with the bride wearing a veil at all times. One thing to note is that there will more than likely be themed nights, much like when you are a student so make sure you aware of the theme. If you are planning a hen, having a theme to your outfits is quite good if you don't know everyone because at least if you are all dressed the same, then you know you are from the same party. One night we had a white party night and the other we had a glitter party so they weren't over the top but they made us look like we were a party.

I have been to France before but never the South of France but it was surprisingly nice. Some parts are what I imagine Spain to be like but the beach was beautiful and everything felt very grand. All the building were about 5 storeys tall so I felt even smaller than I do on an average day. For the first time in my life we stayed in an Air BNB and I also flew Easyjet. Both were pleasant. I have to say I was super nervous about flying but it all went rather smoothly. The Air BNB was perfect for us. It was an apartment which was very modern, close to the main high street and very clean. There were 7 of us and only one bathroom which, as you can imagine, did cause bit of a problem. Luckily the toilet was in separate room from the shower but still it took us a long time to get anywhere as we all had to wait for each other to shower. Not only was that a tad annoying but there were 4 rooms for 7 of us so some of us had to share. All of the other girls knew each other better than I knew any of them but I shared a room, which was fine, but slightly awkward. Of course I know the bride, we used to work together but other than that, at best I had met one of the other girls a few times on nights out. Other than that I had met most people once. It wasn't too bad, as I aim to get along with everyone but it made me feel a bit shy and I was definitely quieter than I would usually be. If you are going away with a hen party I would recommend meeting up before hand, especially if not everyone knows each other, as it makes it easier when you have left the country and have to spend a lot of time together.

We were away for 3 days and at times I did feel awkward but I think anyone would when you don't necessarily know everyone that well. I tried to join in with everything and I was myself for the most part which is all anyone can do. I have to say by the end I was struggling with my mental state. I have always been an anxious person and situations like this make it a thousand times worse, to the point where I tend to isolate myself completely and I can come across as rude and disinterested but that is not the case. Usually it just means I am anxious or nervous and having a quiet breakdown. I am very proud of myself for not going to my comfort zone of taking myself away from a situation like this. Just before we left I did think about not going but I can't even tell you how happy I am that I went and made the most of it (to the best of my ability.) At times I did struggle and one of the big problems was that I couldn't share my inner meltdowns with anyone. When I am in the UK I have people I talk to about it but I was away with people I didn't know and who didn't know my situation. In a way I wish I had spoken to one of them about it because I think it would have made the trip a bit easier for me but that is easy to say in hindsight. I hardly talk about my anxiety with anyone, and when I do I usually cry, so I doubt I would have brought it up. My one recommendation if you are struggling is to talk to someone about it as it will ease your mind but I can't even follow my own advice so I don't blame you if you ignore that bit.

Due to my anxiety being heightened, my confidence took a dip. I always struggle with it anyway, as most people do, but when I am on holiday it makes it difficult. I have to say it wasn't really me worrying about what I looked like, I felt confident in the clothes and outfits I had with me. It was the confidence to be bold and try things that I was lacking, especially when it came to partying. Back in the day I would Party but these days I try to be a little bit more tame. This is hard when I want to have a good time and have no worries. I didn't feel confident within myself by the end of the trip so I was bit of a mess and I did feel myself closing off to the other girls. On the final night, we played hen party games where you have to approach people in bars and I couldn't even do that. I wanted to join in but by then my confidence was lower than the floor. Looking back on it, I really wish I had been more ballsy. An unusual environment like this can be hard but I was away for such a short amount of time before I was back to my normal life, you honestly have to make the most of it. It might feel wrong but you will regret it more if you don't do it.

Other than my mental struggles I had an incredible time. It was nice to go away with a group of girls and to be able to discuss things like beauty and also to not have people judge you on how long you take to get ready. Boys just never understand. Everyone got on well which was an added bonus. There was a lot of drinking and we spent time at the beach which was very relaxing and exactly what I needed. My one tip is to make sure you clock places you can eat. Being hangry makes for a bad time and some very frustrated people. One of the days it took us around 2 hours to find somewhere to eat and towards the end we were close to a murder, not good.

I had no hand in the organisational process but it wouldn't have happened if I did. I am useless at planning things like this so I am so pleased someone else took on that crap task. I am very thankful to the people who organised it and they did an amazing job. They booked activities for us to do, booked places to eat and even organised goody bags for us when we arrived at the airport. In the goody bags were our itineraries, matching tops and product samples which really excited me and I thought it was a nice touch. On the evening we arrived we went out for some drinks and a boogie but in the end we ended up having an early night so we got back and used some of the samples which was a great way of getting to know each other and letting our skin recover from flying. If you are planning a hen, getting some beauty samples is a great gift and cheap.

Speaking of cheap, a hen party is not cheap! We were in Nice which isn't cheap in itself but an important thing to consider is budget. As adults, money is an awkward topic. No one wants to spoil the fun and say they can't do something because of money and no one wants to feel isolated but at the end of the day, if you are on a budget, you are on a budget. On a hen party consider how you can cut corners and not spend as much. A big part of your money goes on drinking. We could have saved a bit by drinking more at the apartment but we just didn't, so we spent a lot on drinks whilst we were out. A hen party aboard isn't going to be cheap but if it is done in a way that everyone's budget can cover it, no one will be left out.

My main tip for a hen party is prepare to drink and party. It was literally a solid 3 days of partying and I haven't done that sort of thing since Uni. I would say enjoy yourself but just make sure you have recovery time after you get back. I booked the day after we got back off from work and no other day off has felt so good. It gave me the time I needed to mentally refresh and let my body recover. There was a point that I didn't think I would be able to cope so I considered pulling out of going but I have never been more pleased that I went. It was such a good experience and even though I struggled, it showed me that things are usually worse in my head. Even though it was a hen, it took me away from my normal stresses and gave me a much needed break.

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