Planning and Organising 3 Hen Dos

Advice, Organising, Planning, Travel

 

Have you ever tried to plan a hen do? A group of relative strangers who are all linked via one person. It is not easy.

The older you get the more difficult it is to plan things.

To organise x amount of people with different things going on in their lives, sometimes it is practically impossible.

I have about 6 Whatsapp groups where we all try and meet up. Most of the time it is a text from Jess saying are you still up for Saturday. I have completely forgotten that I had plans but then I just end up going.

I used to be worse!

Completely dysfunctional; I forgot everything. But this isn’t anything this is my hen do.

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Snow Boarding group!

 

I am having a few: one in Madrid (my favourite city at the moment), A Hag do in London/France Skiing and another Hen in Essex. This way all mine and Gavin’s friends can attend the ones they are available for and can afford.

It sounds excessive but my sister lives in New Zealand so won’t be there until a week before the wedding. She is a bridesmaid so that’s why I am having an Essex Hen Do. Plus, the elders can attend that one.

Hen Dos are expensive

We are having a few, goodness knows how I am going to save for them.

I don’t really believe in your hens brunting all of the cost. I don’t mind them paying for drinks and the odd meal but not flights and accommodation.

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Becky’s Hen do Edinburgh

I have organised one hen do, been part of the creative side of my sister in Law and attended a fair few myself.

My best friend gave me a list of 44 people.

I was freaking out about what that many people could do and stay. Luckily it was a small group of us that went away and a larger group that attended the London hen do.

Still there were cross words, tears and I am pretty sure one hen never paid me. Guess that’s my fault for not being more organised.

One of the biggest issues is people not getting back to you. Dongle the organiser was a great help for picking the date but still I only had people’s emails to deal with.

Nightmare

My dyspraxia means that I tend to read an email and answer in a very straight forward way. Which can come across as abrupt, blunt sometimes rude. I don’t mean it. I read emails at face value, without a tone and certainly not between the lines. Some of the hens didn’t understand this.  I had to explain myself to them and as soon as I talked about my dyspraxia they understood my reply’s.

All in all, we had an amazing Hen do in Edinburgh, caught up with old friends, drunk lots of booze in our old haunts. Walked up Arthurs Seat! Had afternoon tea at the Dome (you have to do this) did some touristy bit too. Scotland rocks!

But I made a lot of mistakes.

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Abi’s Hen do Munich

So, with this info I am going to aid my organiser

Becky told me where she wanted her hen do one drunken night so when it was my turn, she asked me where I wanted to go. First place I thought of was Madrid.

Hot, sunny, beautiful Madrid. I loved it there and can’t wait to go back. Gav is off to Krakow which I also adore but there is something magical about Madrid.

Flights and accommodation can be sorted out for less than £200 so it would be the same price staying in the UK.

Things I learned from hen Dos I have been to

  • Organisation is Key
  • Let people pay for themselves
  • Respect people budgets
  • The hardest part is finding a free weekend
  • People don’t respond to people they barely know
  • There is a lot of pressure on the person organising
  • We are adults, let people be

 

Organisation is key

in planning a Hen do it doesn’t matter if you have 3 or 44 people leaving things to the last minute doesn’t work.

Let people pay for themselves

I get that sometimes people find it easier to pay on one credit card and then people can pay them back later. But that puts the stress on one bank account. I couldn’t afford to do that so why should other people.

Respect people budgets

We all have different pay check and budgets, respect that some people can’t afford everything. You invite them because you love don’t make them feel bad if you can’t afford it.

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Sam’s Hen Do, Penfest, yes those are dark clouds!

Finding a free weekend

I have set the date and given everyone 11 months’ notice. If they can’t make it I understand but almost a year should be plenty of notice especially for dates and also to save.

People don’t respond to people they barely know

I have also taken it upon myself to invite the guests on my Facebook account. I have done this so Becky doesn’t have the hard task of chasing everyone up. After collecting money, I found this the hardest. The yes/no’s the last-minute cant makes it’s made me book a place, then cancel it loosing my booking fee and paying for a cancellation.

The person organising is gold

Becky is just looking after one hen do. She is then organising with the girls to see do the final details that I am not allowed to know about she has two rules, no strippers and no penis anything!!! She is a super star but I know it will be work for her.

 

Sorry Becky.

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Sam loves Tennis, Penfest

We are adults, let people be

I mean it. If you can’t make, I totally understand. If you can’t afford it, I really do understand. If you just don’t fancy another hen do then don’t come. If people want to go to bed early, let them. If they don’t fancy dancing till 3am I don’t blame them.

 

My bed time is normally 10pm.

 

I am not getting involved in my hen do anymore. I will leave the planning to my bestest.

All I want is lovely wine, great food and my friends.

That’s it

A perfect hen do for me.

Have fun with your hen do and treasure those who are helping. They are gold.

Dana

Jess and Crispin’s Hag Do, Drink Shop Do

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Madrid and Engagement ring shopping

Advice, Personal Experience, Planning, Travel, Uncategorised, Wedding

I honestly thought this would be easy, I mean it is shopping for my engagement ring?

I kind of knew what I wanted, something vintage or unique? I thought I would love shopping for jewellery, I didn’t expect it to be filled with pressure.

 
Having to pick a piece of jewellery that sits on your finger forever is hard.

 
With every ring I tried on I felt the price tag and the weight of my decision.

 
I have a new respect for partners choosing the ring. This isn’t my favourite necklace or bracelet. This is something that will stay on my finger permanently. And with that come a massive amount of pressure to get it right, so I will be happy forever, without regrets.
When Gavin asked me to marry him, those words were all that mattered but still.

 

I would like a nice ring on my finger at the same time.

 

We won a competition to Madrid through Brockman’s gin, see being a gin drinker really pays off! So we decided when we were there we would do a bit of ring shopping. Madrid has a lot of emeralds and I knew I wanted a green stone.

 

The first ring I tried on was a beautiful emerald cut emerald with two diamonds at the side on a gold band. It was expensive and beautiful and when I looked at it, it really wasn’t me. I felt strange knowing that this expensive ring wasn’t me and Gavin looking at me with his big beautiful eyes.

 
He just wanted for me to be happy and a drink.

 
We were in glorious Spain.

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Engagement shopping in Madrid this was google maps helpful reminder

 

We all wanted a drink!

 

This continued in about five shops, the green was too green. The gold was two yellow.
Then we found a street filled with antiques… oh if I had a bigger suitcase!

 
I doubted my decision and my preference. We walked a minimum of 16000 steps a day. This was broken up with wine cheese and a bit of site seeing so I am not complaining. I really fell in love with Madrid a little bit.

 
We eventually found a gorgeous 1920 diamond ring. It fit perfectly. Was an unusual shape but I just wasn’t sure?

 
I couldn’t commit to it.

 
We were in Madrid not in London and leaving the next day it was not as though I had a lot of time to think about it.

 
I felt pressured to make a big decision

 
At first, I was grateful that I got to choose but then it started getting stressful and I started resenting the options out there.

 
So, I had a think.

 
Looking around shops was getting crazy.

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We had eaten a lot of churros!

My plastic ring was broken due to its fragility.
If you havent read about my proposal please find it here  Gav bought me a replacement in Sainsburys for £6. Yes, it turned my finger green, then black but after that it was fine. It was simple and pretty and I had lots of complements on my sparkling £6 ring.

 
Finding the real thing was proving tricky and stressful. I couldn’t commit to what I wanted.

 
I now admire men who go out and see the perfect ring for their partner and buy it. There is a reason that so may people just like a diamond solitaire.

It is simple and elegant.

 
Green is my favourite colour so I knew I wanted green stone. We have a running joke that my favourite colour is purple when it is green, Gav constantly tells me it is purple. So, when I was looking at stones I came across a green amethyst. It suits us! It should be purple but it is green.

 
I have a Pinterest board called hint, hint Gavin. Filled with pale green rings on white gold.

 
So, we planned a trip into London’s Hatton Garden.

 
I popped into a shop in Romford and they had some nice stones in the window. I had a two-minute chat with the girl who was working there and was told to come back when the manager was back at the weekend.

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We were busy that weekend so didn’t come back for two weeks. Hatton Garden was waylaid due to birthdays and parties that kept getting in the way. I took Gav with me and as we approached the window there it was. A pale green cushion cut amethyst with a white gold band and little diamonds on the side.
She had got it.
It was perfect.
How was it possible. It even fit me. They had made it so easy, I thought it was going to take forever. She had even found me some matching earrings and a pendant. The woman was a genius!
And that its.
A two-minute chat and a lady who knows what she is doing and I have my beautiful engagement ring.

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My Green Amethyst Engagement Ring

It’s probably not your cup of tea.

 
I love that it is not traditional. This little beauty is going to sit on my finger for the rest of my life. It wasn’t lovingly selected by my fiancé but we did pick it together.

 
Finding it was a journey, in a stressful first world problem kind of way. Our trip to Madrid was heavenly, I have never felt so at home in a place I have never been to before. So although we didn’t find my ring there it we cant wait to go back. I did start to think that my £6 ring was in it for the long haul.

 
But nope, here is my ring. In all its simple elegance.
Now to find the band!!!
Dana