At the end of July, HenQueens’ copywriter, Lucy, will be getting married in the Cheshire countryside. And amidst all of the table planning and cake tasting, she travelled up to York in June with her besties to celebrate her last night of freedom. So, we decided to grill her on her do’s and don’ts and her hen party advice for fellow brides. 

Put down some rules 

The girls and I have always spoken about marriage and hen parties, even before any of us were engaged, so we have a rough idea of what everyone wants. For years, they’ve known my stance on strippers and silly behaviour so I didn’t even need to worry about those sorts of things popping up over the weekend. Of course, I want to have a laugh but keeping it classy is the most important thing to me. 

As well as this, for me, I just wanted a really chilled weekend – filled with alcohol, food and maybe even some shopping! Action-packed activities can be a great idea for hen parties but I knew that they weren’t top of my list, personally, and my girls knew this too!

Don’t fret over numbers 

As an only child, I don’t have any sisters or even a big family with similar-aged cousins. Mum and I are best friends and love to hang out but I still wasn’t sure I wanted her at my hen. Likewise, my partner’s sister and I get on so well but I’m not sure she would have appreciated listening to some of the answers in Mr and Mrs. 

I decided pretty early on that I wanted to do a family hen (we’d called it the bridal shower) and then a full on hen weekend with my besties. For the family one, I headed up to the Lakes with all the women in my partner’s family and my mum. We drank, laughed and ate so much incredible food! I decided that York would be left to the girls. 

I also have a very small group of friends and one of them has recently had a baby which meant there were a total of four of us in York. I was worried this might be too intimate after seeing hen parties with more than 15. But actually, it was extra special and exactly who I wanted to spend my time with (minus my friend who’d just given birth!)

Keep your days filled 

My hen began with us all meeting at the station where I was dressed up in veils and tiaras (classy ones though!). We then got a table on the train, cracked open some cocktail cans and I was given the itinerary for the weekend. Things were starting off as soon as we arrived as I was sent for drinks with one of the girls while the others decorated the flat with team bride hen party accessories and placed out some hen party games. Then it was on to bottomless brunch and drinks by the river. The next day, it was up, a pamper session in the flat with breakfast, before heading into the city to shop, drink and do more eating. 

In the evening, the girls had booked gin tasting, dinner at The Ivy and then it was time to go all out! Even though we were going home on Sunday, they still managed to book brunch and afternoon tea at Betty’s. I couldn’t believe they’d gone to so much effort booking things throughout the day but it really meant we were never bored and it was honestly the best weekend ever!

Lap it all up

One thing I couldn’t get over was how many strangers stopped us in the street to say congratulations, ask about the wedding and just genuinely take interest. I mean, I was wearing a veil for 48 hours but it was still so lovely. Bars we were in would send over free drinks too and I honestly felt so special. 

It does go quickly which is why it’s so important to just enjoy every single minute of it. I think it’s nice to try and have moments with each of your besties too, which was easier for me as there were only four of us.

My main hen party advice

It really was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had, and the perfect hen party in my eyes. I feel so genuinely lucky to have friends, and a bridal party, like that. Now, with just a few weeks to go until the big day, I’m doing final preparations and trying to not be too much of a Bridezilla!! But, if you’re looking for any hen party ideas, I’d say planning a hen party in York is a great choice. There’s just so much to do and the atmosphere is amazing, day and night!