Back in December of 2016 I was lucky enough to have been asked to be Maid of Honor by my beautiful cousin Emma. We have a great bond and are very close, we don’t see each other often, with her living in Telford and me living in Essex, but when we do see each other it’s like we’ve never spent any time apart, and we can pretty much finish each other sentences!
I was over the moon that she wanted me to be her Maid of Honor, I have been a bridesmaid a few times, but maid of Honor…. NEVER!! I was so excited and honoured that she had asked me.
Of course with such a title comes great responsibility…. THE HEN PARTY!!
It’s literally the MOST important thing EVER!! Even more important than the actual wedding (okay maybe not) but it’s pretty important to give the bride to be the most perfect send off as she ventures into married life.
Emma as I mentioned lives up in Telford (Shropshire) while I live in Essex, so we didn’t have any mutual friends, which meant I would be planning a Hen Party for a group of girls that not only lived miles away, but also that I had never met!!
First thing on the Hen Party planning list…. Enlisting the help of the chief bridesmaid trust me it was the best idea ever! I was fortunate enough that Emma had picked the loveliest bridesmaid, Natalie. We didn’t know each other nor had we ever met before, but she quickly become my new BFF, and by the end of the hen party planning, giving her a quick call was like second nature! Between us we managed to come up with a realistic budget, and plan a pretty packed weekend.
The next thing on my list was to get a Facebook group together (minus the bride) and get to know the other Hen’s a bit better!!
Luckily I quickly established that all the hens Emma had selected to come on her hen party were absolutely lovely, so far so good!
The hen party took place in Brentwood Essex, on the weekend of the 2/3/2018, an uncertain weekend to say the least when we were hit with a good few inches of SNOW!! I remember the day’s when snowing meant no school, and snow day’s, now it’s more like getting stuck on a hill in my car and having to walk home!!!!
Anyway I digress, I chose Brentwood Essex for the future Mrs Phillips’s Hen party because, well, I KNOW my cousin well enough to know that’s the only place she would have wanted to go to. YES we are both fans of the The only way is Essex (there I’ve admitted it!!) and have partied at the Sugar Hut twice before, we love it there, and there’s no other place she would have wanted to be.
These were a determined bunch of girls who made it despite uncertain train cancellations and snow!!!
We left Friday night free for settling in getting acquainted, and playing silly Hen Party games, that included lots of SHOTS, as well as lot’s of food, well you cant have drink without food, and vice versa. I have to say Friday night was pretty tame, and we were all tucked up in bed by 9.30pm (yes we are hardcore!)
Saturday of course was the main day, and we had a pretty busy day ahead, the weather was still a bit unsettled, but thankfully it had at least stopped snowing! After leaving our hotel, our first stop was Slug and Lettuce for a private lesson in cocktail making!! I booked this through a company I found on google called The Door guy, our package was for 7 of us and included a glass of Prosecco, 2 cocktails each and a buffet lunch. We had a private room upstairs away from everyone else, and our own bar tender too. Myself and the hens absolutely loved this, and unlike some cocktail making experiences I have seen where each person goes behind the bar, we were all sat at a long table and had everything we needed to become pro’s right in front of us. It was a great, fun and sociable experience, that wasn’t rushed and was really enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this!
From there we headed across the road to Chloe’s Beauty Bar (you will only know the significance of this, if you watch or have watched The Only Way is Essex) We were all booked in here for Make-up, but decided last minute to get a little hair style too!! I mean why not right?! It was my first visit to Chloe’s Beauty Bar and I couldn’t have been happier with the service or how fab we all looked when we walked out!! We were treated with prosecco, and snacks brought over to us while we were all waiting, and although we were in there a little longer than planned (about 4 hours altogether) we were very well looked after! And all looked amazing and ready for our night out at Sugarhut!!
Obviously the finale of the night was heading to Sugarhut where we had a booth booked which included a generous drinks package! 1 Magnum of grey goose, 1 House Spirit, 2 bottles of Moet and mixers! Booking a booth also meant we had VIP entry into the club, although at 9.30pm there wasn’t much of a queue. I love Sugarhut and as I previously mentioned Emma and I have had some great times in there with some great memories. So it was great to create more memories, and party the night away.
Throughout this weekend I had one aim and one aim only which was to give Emma the best hen party weekend ever! I wanted everything to be perfect and for her to have a weekend to remember, after all you only get ONE hen do, you have to make it count!
We started planning this Hen Party back in April of 2017, well it’s no secret I am a serial planner! But I wanted to give all the hens plenty of notice of what we were doing and the cost, to give everyone a chance to get the money together, which is of course all doable with 11 months notice. Of course nothing ever runs altogether smoothly and we had a last minute drop out a few weeks before the hen party which not only took our nice even party of 8 down to 7, but also meant added cost for the rest of the hens. But, it happens and luckily nobody minded the extra cost, but it doesn’t make it any less annoying for the rest of us.
We all left Brentwood Sunday morning, absolutely shattered, and I still had the night before’s make-up on. But the Bride to be said she had a brilliant weekend, and celebrated her hen party with all her good friends who battled it through storm Emma (appropriately named) to be with her.
I loved meeting all of the girls and had a very memorable time celebrating my cousins Hen party.
I’ll end it on a quote that I find to be most fitting as the years have gone on.
Okay so now stress is now over (no one actually tells you how stressful hen party planning is!) but it has been a pretty stressful 11 months, for both me and the bridesmaid. But I couldn’t be happier with how it all worked out!! I’ve never planned a Hen do so I am pretty proud of myself!! Now the countdown to the wedding is on! But I just wanted to list a few things I used which helped with the weekend.
All party bag bits, games, sashes, shot glasses, willy cake toppers and chocolates, and the blow up doll were from either ebay or amazon.
T shirts I got from the Hen Party Superstore
Goodbye miss book was from Amazon
Don’t forget to check out The Door Guy for a wide range of party packages to make your party extra special!!