The Hen Do: Beyoncé, Bubbles and Bare bottoms

Julia's hen do

This time last week, I was shaking my booty to Beyoncé, relaxing in a hot tub with a glass of bubbly and getting up close and personal with a buff butler’s bare bottom – just your average weekend really….except it was my hen weekend. And what a weekend it was.

My maid of honour Beth alongside the rest of my bridesmaids had been meticulously planning every last detail for several months in secret! I started off trying to plan it myself – I can’t help it, I am an obsessive planner – but after a telling off from Beth I was in the dark from there on in. All I did was give Beth a brief for what I would ideally like – a big house where everyone could be together, preferably with a hot tub and that was it! Well what I got was all that and more.

I had been looking forward to my hen weekend for ages, ever since Wayne has his ridiculously early stag in Ibiza last July! And once Christmas was over it was only eight weeks until the fun filled weekend. It was an absolute killer not knowing anything as the weekend drew closer as I am normally the one organising everything. Even not knowing how everyone was getting there was annoying me. Nobody contacted me in the week running up to it in fear of letting something slip. Around two weeks before Beth sent me an email with the clothing that I would need to bring…only to fuel my intrigue more. Sportswear (my limit is Zumba so this was worrying), swimwear (eek I may have got my hot tub after all), 1920’s outfit (damn it I returned the fabulous dress I wore for a Gatsby themed NYE party) and a coat…plus normal clothing of course.

We could only arrive at the secret location from 6.30pm on the Friday in order to let the bridesmaids set up. This day was torture – for one it snowed and messed up everyone’s travel plans but it also dragged so much as I was so eager to get there, my poor Mum had to try and keep me entertained with lunch and shopping (mainly for herself!)

The fact that this was my hen do and not just a girl’s weekend away felt really surreal. Bringing together my school friends with friends I know through Wayne and the army to my Mum and brother’s girlfriend – it was totally overwhelming that they had all made so much effort for me!

When I arrived at a farm and lodge nestled in the North Yorkshire countryside I knew Beth had fulfilled the brief perfectly. I was greeted with a house filled with photographs of me, me and Wayne, everyone that was coming and even our dog Lola. A Kir Royale was handed to me and from there everyone gradually began to arrive. I couldn’t wait to get on all the tacky gear that they had provided – a sash with ‘Mrs Fadge to be’ emblazoned across it, an 80’s style veil and wings with flashing L plates. My friend Faye had also bought me a gorgeous pearl and diamante embellished champagne flute….perfect! Amongst belting out country roads on the karaoke and dancing around the kitchen in my bikini (which was unfortunately captured on Snapchat) the rest of the evening is abit of blur…

Julia's hen do

The next day we were up bright and early for afternoon tea (I have literally been eating nothing but the left over cake all week!) a dance lesson to learn a routine to Beyoncé’s Single Ladies (to be decided whether this will be performed at the wedding) and to top it off a 1920’s themed evening with Daniel (or Miguel as we renamed him) from My Buff Butlers. I must also give a special mention to Riverside Butchers at Stamford Bridge who came to our rescue when we were faced with just one sausage and a burger for our evening meal…hardly the BBQ feast we were after. But in the end we had the most amazing spread and it was all delicious, I would highly recommend them for your party, hen do or wedding. They went above and beyond to make sure we had a fab time.

Saturday night/Sunday morning drew to a close and I was so desperate for the party not to end that I was dragging my hens out of their beds to continue the drinking, dancing and hot tubbing (sorry BJ) – I have promised I won’t do this at the wedding.

There was a game of Mr & Mrs in there too where my bridesmaids Nicola and Lucy had filmed Wayne answering questions and I had to guess the same. Playing this at gone midnight after copious amounts of Prosecco and tequila shots maybe wasn’t our best idea as I hardly got any right and I can’t even remember half of it.

Beth and all the girls put so much effort in it really is so overwhelming that everyone was there for me. As I gradually said bye to everyone they kept replying with ‘see you at the wedding’ which really did make my stomach flip and anxiety kick in! As we said our final farewell to Beth and my Mum and I were the only ones left, we began to cry. Tears of happiness because it had been such an amazing weekend but also sadness that it was another milestone over in the run up to the wedding. I know that’s silly but it all went by so fast it was really sad when it was all over…god help me after the wedding.

the lodge

So to round off this post my advice for brides to be for your hen do is…let the bridesmaids do it. It was so lovely to see all the ideas they came up with and it took the stress off me. Also don’t be scared to have one hen for your family too. My Mum had a great time and there were just the right amount of willies and naked men that she wasn’t too traumatised!!

There’s not long to be sad however as wedmin is in full swing again. I am meeting the lovely Leanne from a la memoire this weekend to discuss table plans, order of service and other stationery for the big day. Next weekend we are meeting our caterer Ray Wade for the final time before the day, and our florist Flowerlab.

To see all the (publishable) pics from the weekend search #thefadgewedding on Instagram and don’t forget to follow me @julia_lumley. Until next time…