Many people have asked me whether I’ll be blogging about my hen do, which unless you’ve been living in another galaxy, you’ll know was at the start of May. I’ve only been banging on about it for 12 months, and can now confirm that it absolutely exceeded any expectations I could ever have held. I have intended to write sooner but in all honesty, I think I’ve been having trouble coming to terms with the feeling that we’re at the beginning of the end of the fun wedding celebrations. My hen was the closest thing to the wedding and when that was over, I knew that next up was the big day. But before that, 23 girls, one undisclosed destination and copious amounts of ‘gin in a tin’s drank before we’d even left for the airport at 4am. I knew I was in for a great weekend, I just didn’t know that it would be the best weekend of my life so far. Honestly, the BEST.
If you’ve read my previous post, you’ll know that originally, I wasn’t up for a surprise hen do. I like control. I know what I want, I know myself better than anybody else and I wanted to make sure that everybody had a great time. My hen do taught me that I am actually happy to pass up control every now and again, my loved ones know me even better than I know myself and everybody was always going to have a great time because they are a great bunch of girls. With it being a complete surprise, I was able to fully let go of my worries for other people (What if they spend too much? What if they can’t afford it? What if they have an awful time? What if they don’t all get on?), and simply enjoy what my beautiful bridesmaids had planned for me.
When I found out we were off to Palma, Majorca, my first reaction was ‘FANTASTIC!’ I get to speak Spanish, eat delicious Spanish food and dance to Spanish music for a whole weekend, what could be better? This was swiftly followed by the realisation that Palma was the airport you fly to when you go to Magaluf (I’ll leave the crude alternative names to your imagination – we all know them) and a panic that I’m far too old and no longer hardcore enough for a weekend in Magaluf. Deciding to embrace the whole thing, I was soon eating humble pie – and not just a slice, the entire pie! Magaluf was surprisingly amazing, we weren’t the oldest there as I was previously concerned about and even if we were, we certainly gave any younger ones a run for their money! Staying in Palmanova meant that we arrived at a lovely hotel, close to a beautiful beach and rooftop bar where we spent our Sunday, and we got the best of both worlds seeing another side to the well-known party destination of Magaluf. Having been to Kavos and Malia, Magaluf was a dream, and I would go back in a heartbeat.
I’m going to spare you the boozy details of the entire weekend, partly because ‘what happens in Maga stays in Maga’ (I can’t believe I’ve just said that – who even am I?) but partly because I can’t possibly write down every wonderful thing that happened. I get so excited when thinking about it, but realise that sometimes it’s a case of ‘you had to be there’ and that not everybody is as excited to hear about it as I am to talk about it. I will say this though – wedding planning has aged me by 10 years, but my hen do took me right back to age 18 where I could party for days and still live to tell the tale. I’m somehow alive and telling it, though if you ask the guy in Palma airport on the way home who looked at me and muttered ‘Jesus Christ’ at the state of me, I bet he’d beg to differ.
So this post isn’t so much about the hen do, but rather friendship, which is the biggest thing I’ve taken from my hen. For the sake of this article, I’ll also refer to my family and in-laws as my friends – because let’s face it, they were for this weekend! They fit straight in with my actual friends so much, that nobody would have been able to tell the difference anyway! I am so fortunate that I can put my family and my friends, who come from so many different places in my life, together, and have nothing but fun, laughter and pure joy. I am so lucky that I have a Mum who is super cool and loves to get stuck in with the girls, and who parties just as hard as the rest of us, and that I don’t even have to tone it down and behave around my future Mum in Law. I have to admit, I’m not sure I’ll ever get the image of my Mum on a Magaluf booze cruise, in a sailors hat with illuminious pink vodka froth hanging out of her mouth, or my Mum in Law partying away on the Maga strip out of my head. And I don’t want to.
On my hen weekend, I had pregnant friends and friends unable to drink alcohol, who kept up with the rowdiness and made incredible efforts nonetheless. There was a friend (a bridesmaid in fact!) who ended up in A&E hours before we were due to leave, being told she wouldn’t be able to come. The next day after getting the go ahead from doctors, she flew out alone completely unbeknownst to me, rocking up at my hotel room the next morning and absolutely making my life. There were friends who, despite never having met the abovementioned friend before that day, all clubbed in to pay her back for the extra flight she had to pay for, so she wasn’t out of pocket. We went on an incredible and extremely drunken booze cruise, where my beautiful brand new, white bridal swimsuit and kaftan were covered in the most purple sangria known to man. My friends, who were clearly the best roommates imaginable, spent hours rubbing salt and cold water into them to try and get the stains out whilst I had a drunken power nap. They got every last stain out of my beautiful bridalwear. There was my Mum who made sure that I didn’t spend a single penny on the weekend, paying for everything and buying bottles of Prosecco for us all in a beautiful rooftop bar on the beach. There were friends who put party bags together, bought me drinks all weekend, kept my essentials safe so I didn’t need to worry about a thing, and who made sure there was photos taken for me to remember the weekend when I was having too much fun to find my own phone. They bought me beautiful things like ‘bride to be’ towels and sunglasses and decorated my bedroom with the most wonderful display of photos of me and James. The wilder ones had made up chants about me beforehand and then taught them to the rest, resulting in a load of Brits abroad screeching ‘Megan Holt to be’ amongst other actual chants around the strip. There were friends who got me home safe in the constant drunken state that I was in, before venturing back out to get themselves food because I was so drunk that I couldn’t even stomach food, and just needed to sleep. There were friends who knew literally nobody else there and yet still paid to come and celebrate with me. There were friends who couldn’t make it to my hen, and threw me my own mini one afterwards like I was the Queen! Each and every girl that weekend contributed to it being the most incredible weekend of my life, and I am forever grateful to them for the memories I now hold.
The love that I have for each and every one of those girls is overwhelming. I will never forget the amount of effort they all went to to give me the best send off into married life. It was wilder than I ever could have anticipated, even knowing my friends! I haven’t laughed, partied or enjoyed myself so much in years. I had stomach pains from laughing so much the entire weekend. I felt so grateful the entire weekend, and I felt the most loved I ever have in my life!
If there’s one thing I have taken from my hen weekend, it’s that I am unbelievably fortunate to have friends and family as beautiful, thoughtful, kind and caring as they are. I was so low when it was over, and all I wanted was to have another hen do! I got my first real taster of the feeling that this is almost all over. 2 years since we got engaged, 18 months of planning and all of a sudden we’re reaching the end at what feels like full speed ahead. It was quite difficult to accept that my hen was the last time I will have my favourite women together on holiday, but such is life and I am glad that I made the most of it whilst I could. So next up, wedding. A week tomorrow I’ll be marrying the love of my life, with all of my wonderful friends by my side. What a privilege that will be!