I am officially on a hen – do high.
Two days worth of hangover, a bought of seafood poisoning, a dash of skinny dipping and three broken glasses later and I have never felt more fabulous in my life.
In my pre hen do panic about phallic objects and overly tanned male strippers I completely overlooked how fabulous it was going to be to have my best friends in the same place all together.
Friday started with me typing a post code into my TomTom and heading towards a place called Wickwar in Gloucestershire. As we drew closer and closer to our destination I had palpitations as I realised we were getting ever closer to Stroud. We arrived at Wickwar and drove through the village and up Chapel Lane and turned into a long driveway with lush green fields and horses, and infront of us was the most beautiful over sized farm house. Seeing all my friend’s cars lined up in the drive was the first time I felt truly excited.
The house itself was simply stunning; part barn conversion, part cotswold stone extension with it’s enormous open plan living room and kitchen area with vaulted ceilings and views of the surrounding gardens it was breathtaking.
We spent the afternoon in the sunshine drinking champagne so everyone was very merry getting to know each other. There were a limited amount of embarrassing stories about me that were told, given the abundance of embarrassing stories I was incredibly grateful.
That evening we had a private Chef, Sebastian Snow come in to cook us a three course dinner during which I was made to drink from a comedy over sized wine glass. Predictably the evening descended into madness ending in a meringue fight and skinny dipping in the out door pool.
We then got into our pj’s and my friends had each got me a present which was incredibly thoughtful. There were lots of tears as they had all written me a few personal and heartfelt words.
My cousin Julie, who organised my hen had made me a photograph book of my life; from baby through to childhood and teenage years and then life with Nick. It was incredible. On page 1 was the only photograph that I have with both my parents, it was taken on my 21st birthday and made me cry a lot, with happiness.
The sentimental, elegant part of the evening was turned on it’s head when Julie B presented me with a ‘cock box’. We played the cereal box game, drank an entire bottle of apple sours out of ‘cock shots’ and were decorated with glittery red head cocks. The shame of seeing my little sisters adorned with cock headbands, cock shot necklaces and massive cock stickers with rings through the bellend’s will haunt me forever.
As I am an exercise addict Saturday morning started with 50 lengths in the pool and ’8 minute abs’ with my equally bikini bonkers best friend Layla.
The afternoon turned into a scene from the Wild West with us being led out into the garden to be presented with a bucking bronco, a strong man bell ring and target shooting complete with hay bales. Turns out I am the strong man bell- ringing champion – thank you Davina!
A spot of sun bathing and a two hour girly chat later and preparations were beginning for a night out in Bath.
We had a fabulous dinner followed by a night of dancing and maybe a little snogging – not me!! And I got off lightly only having to wear a sash and an L plate.
I think the most touching thing about the entire weekend was not only how well it was planned but that it was tailored to me perfectly. My friends are now desperately asking my cousin Julie B to leave her job selling luxury properties in the Cotswolds to become a full time hen – do / party planner.
The only problem with the weekend is that I now no longer want to get married but for us all to chip in and buy the cottage and live there in harmony together!
The focus in planning the wedding has been simply about Nick but it was wonderful to see how many wonderful women I have in life. I feel truly blessed to have such a variety of friends all of whom bring such different things to our friendships meaning I really have the best of all worlds. To go into marriage with such a strong support system behind me really is the best feeling in the world.
Julie, Tasia, Ellie, Becky, Layla, Julia, Charlotte, Gemma & Hannah it was such a perfect day (s), I’m so glad I spent it with you.