rogue

'I had the most incredible hens night... probably because I wasn't getting married.'

I stared in the mirror back at my own reflection. It was gloriously tacky. I was wearing a white lace dress, decorated with a tacky pink satin sash, screaming ‘Bride To Be’.

From it, red lights flashed erratically, as if I needed the extra attention. Crowning my blonde hair were two fluffy pink devil’s horns. The night was here. I was ready to go on my very own hens night. But – I wasn’t getting married. Was I about to scare off every man in Melbourne? What on earth was I doing?

As a lover of the tackiest things in life, I’d always been preoccupied with hens nights. The formula is always the same. Take a crowd of Passion Pop fuelled women, add penis accessories from eBay, mix in some Magic Mike and show up to a club playing the greatest hits of 1988. It’s perfection. I was never one to dream of a white wedding. I wanted the lurid pink hens.

ideas for hens night
"Crowning my blonde hair were two fluffy pink devil’s horns. The night was here." Image supplied.

As creator of the Facebook Page, ‘Bad Dates of Melbourne’, I found myself speaking to a lot of single women who – like me – wanted the glory of a hens night without the bummer of a husband. So, throwing all sense of shame to the wind, I booked a red party bus named Ken and rallied a wannabe bridal party using social media.

One Facebook event later and a gaggle of brides and grooms descended on Federation Square. From the zombie bride, to the material girl inspired bride to the groom in the tuxedo t-shirt – we were ready to take on Melbourne and lovingly take the piss out of our tackiest wedding tradition.

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Every five minutes, I was approached by a new well wisher with a cheery “Congratulations!”. It was strange. What should you say when someone wishes you the best for your fantasy wedding? I'll let you know when I find out the answer. I simply gave each person my biggest grin and said, “Thank you! I'm getting married!”. I was working on the assumption I would surely get married at some point, making my response technically correct. It's a weak argument I know, but when you're on a fake hens – all bets are off.

What was fortunate was, I quickly found my concerns for repelling men were unfounded. When you wear a Bride to Be sash, you are the ultimate challenge. Off the market - but running wild for one night only. You're hot property! I found men trailing me across the dancefloor and trying to hold my hand. The offers of shots and champagne rolled in. They were the dodgiest gentlemen Melbourne had to offer. And I had my pick! It was more attention than I'd ever had as a single woman.

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As we descended from Ken the red party bus and made our entrance into each club, we'd charge past the real hens nights filled with legitimate bridal parties.

They sat in the dark corners of the club, heads down texting their partners at home – until they spotted the gaggle of rowdy brides and grooms taking over the dance floor. To be completely honest, it made me feel a little guilty. Was I stealing the thunder of a real bride to be? Maybe. But it's hard to be in deference of a tradition that embraces penis straws. So, I was prepared to take the risk.

As the hens wound up and I stumbled from Ken into a maxi taxi, I realised that we truly forget to celebrate single life. The milestones we mark are all for couples. People in relationships get engagements, weddings, babies and bucks. My hens night is now set to be an annual tradition.

So, let's steal one back for the people riding solo and raise a toast to single life. I'm taking back the hens.

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