6 - Drink
We could talk about cocktails here, prosecco, gin, shots – please God, not the shots. Drinking games are common, as are toasts to pretty much everyone and everything the bride’s done in her life. And then we could talk about the lovely giggly bit, all the laughter and merriment – later followed by the crying in the toilets, falling off a table and propositioning strangers.
But we think you get it.
Instead, how about this for a shocker – drinking’s not compulsory! Get your nails done, do afternoon tea, go to a perfume making class, make mocktails or go to a show. Wake up the following day fresh as a daisy and clear of conscience, ready for more fun and activities – no booze, no problem! If, however, alcohol’s playing a leading role in the celebrations, then there’s one thing you’ve got to make sure to get plenty of – water! You won’t regret it the following morning when Dehydration isn’t on your list of ‘D’s’!
7 - Dancing
If you do, however, decide to imbibe a drop of the old giggle water on your big night out with the ladies, then, as sure as night follows day, a bit of a boogie will ensue. And boogying, ladies, is the Great Leveller. Not in the sense that everyone will end up flat on the floor – although there’s a high possibility of that happening – but in the sense that on the dance floor, with a stock of bubbly or cocktails on board, everyone looks equally ridiculous.
From the moment you do that shoulder-shiftin’-dressage-pony-walkin’-‘who’s-dancin’?-Hell-yeah –I’m-dancin’ walk on to the floor, to the one where you confidently believe you can twerk, you are on a truly level playing field with everyone else out there enjoying a booty-shake – and the best part of it is, that your hands are in the air because you just don’t care. And neither does anyone else. Dance like no one’s watching – in fact, no one probably is because everyone’s in that eyes-closed, lower-lip biting moment of pure enjoyment. Feel the magic in your feet, the beat in your soul and think of the immortal words of Strictly’s Len Goodman; “I haven’t danced since 1973. I’m too old”. Because tomorrow your head will pound and your bones will ache but boy, will you have enjoyed that good old boogie.
Feel the magic in your feet, the beat in your soul and think of the immortal words of Strictly’s Len Goodman; “I haven’t danced since 1973. I’m too old”
8 - Daring
On every hen night, there is a tipping point. A magical shift in the atmosphere where some or all of the guests will come over a little mischievous. Conversation with strangers will be a great idea, as will flirting and, indeed, full body contact. A stirring wave of bravery will wash over certain people – the wave of bravery that ends with Silent Jane from work getting the shift or your Mam’s best friend running through Temple Bar in her bra in February. And it is always the most courageous who become the stuff of legend, in tales that echo through the ages. For. Ever.
Just worth keeping in the back of your mind at the point where it seems like a great idea to flash the bouncer …
9 - Dying
Not literally. In the words of Daniel Day Lewis in Last of the Mohicans – “Don’t Die, Whatever You Do!”
However, the odds are pretty low on at least one of the party announcing the morning after the night before that they are, in fact, actually dying. Dry mouth, pounding brain, trembling hands, mild vertigo and severe terror. If you’ve completely ignored my suggestion in point 6, then the only answer is to ride the wave of your hangover or, indeed, embrace it.
This is the point where you circle the wagons. Have supplies – cold coke, tepid Lucozade, things that are salty, things that are sweet, then things that are salty again because your tastebuds and your needs – not wants, mind, needs – will jump on an eternal merry go round of dissatisfaction. Stick together at this stage, girls. Get each other down for breakfast, pocket a little napkin of pastries for later, get those wheelie cases to the train or the plane as a team, produce the Pringles. And don’t forget that this is the stage where it’s the law to discuss, dissect, analyse, question and laugh yourself sick at the craic you’ve had.
10 - Discretion
It goes entirely without saying that what goes on tour stays on tour. “What did you get up to your hen?”, says he, when you roll in the door, gagging for a cuppa and your pj’s. “Not much”, says you, as your brain flashes back to your bridesmaid, a semi-naked waiter and some nutella.
And even if things didn’t get quite that crazy, the code remains – only flattering selfies on the gram, please. No video of when Lucy attempted the Crazy In Love dance, no matter how funny it was; and definitely no evidence of when Tina went over on her high heels and flashed her granny pants. It. Never. Happened. Okay? As far as the world will know you’ll remain as refined and sleek as when you left the house. As far as the girls will know? That hen party was the best craic ever.