For someone who loves party planning, you'd think I'd have had the best time organising and attending my own hen when it rolled around five years ago today! It didn't quite work out that way and I actually ended up feeling really stressed and disappointed at times.
Looking back, I wish I could go back in time and tell my pre-married self a few things:
It's all about quality not quantity.
Right now you're stressing about numbers. Who is coming during the day, who is coming in the evening. Stop. Stop now. I know it's actually a bit hurtful when people drop out, when friends and family have other priorities but really? The people who are making an effort to host, plan and attend your hen party are amazing. They are more than enough.
Stop stressing about money.
Planning a wedding is expensive and hen/stag weekends are big business. Both you and Matt have gone to a lot of effort to plan events that will cost less than £50 a head. That is cheap. If people think that is too expensive, let it go. It's not your job to pay for other people - they should be buying you drinks!
Consider a joint hen/stag party.
This may be a bit unconventional, but you and Matt share the same friends, enjoy the same company. Take Will, Alex and Chris for example - they're all going to Matt's stag because they're guys, but actually, they're your best mates too. You're not going to be given tips on surviving married life, it's not your 'one last night of freedom' where you cop off with a stripper. Having a joint party would be great. Plus, Matt's dressing up theme is pretty cool...
Do exactly what you want.
OK, so you want to start at the village pub then go across to the community club to watch a band before heading to Vodka Revs. This is a good plan. Getting to Revs too early just means everyone ends up burnt out before midnight. Being the last person standing for your hen night is brilliant, but not when everyone else has gone home and you're drinking with the regulars you used to serve in the pub.
Take more photos!
I know there is an argument for living in the moment but seriously, there are hardly any photos to look back on now. Take tons and make your friends give you the ones they take too. You may prefer to be behind the camera rather than in front of it but trust me, you'll look great after the make-over and you should have some photos to look back on. It'll also make it a lot easier if you want to write a blog post at a later date, just saying.
Eat more cake.
Hiring the fabulous Sundae Surprise for your activity brings the added benefit of delicious cakes. I know you're excited and you've started drinking early but take the time to sit down and stuff your face. You'll regret it if you don't.
You will enjoy it.
When you're stressing you start thinking about calling the whole thing off. Don't. You will have a lovely time and great memories. It might not be the same as other people's hen parties, but this is yours so make the most of it.