weddings

Organising a Hen's Night is the most stressful thing you'll ever do.

A small disclaimer to begin: I am not unfamiliar with stress.

I work three jobs. I just finished my final exams for my law degree. Yesterday, a senior person at work asked me to explain “metadata” to them (cue a lot of frantic Googling and a few tears). Once, a dog I was walking stole a small child’s toy from her tiny arms and ran around the park with it for over an hour, and I had to chase after him while the angry mother screamed, “GET YOUR DOG UNDER CONTROL!”

So, yeah. Stress and I are old pals.

But recently, I was asked to do the most stressful thing I’ve ever done – and the worst part is, I DIDN’T EVEN REALISE UNTIL IT WAS TOO LATE.

Here’s how it went down:

  1. My beautiful best friend announced she was getting married (thrilled).
  2. She asked me to be her maid of honour (double thrilled and a little bit chuffed to have beaten out the competition been asked at all, such an honour!).
  3. She broke the news to me that this would involve organising a Hen’s Night (great! What is that?).
  4. The wedding wasn’t for a year (loads of time to organise the Hen’s Night).
  5. The wedding wasn’t for at least five months (loads of time to organise the Hen’s Night).
  6. The wedding wasn’t for two months (my God, should have already organised the entire Hen’s Night, almost too late now).
  7. I organised the Hen’s Night.
  8. It was terrible.

See, I’m not what you’d call a natural party planner. Whenever, by accident, I happen across a DIY Pinterest board, I shut the lid of my computer and back away slowly in case someone asks me to crochet a tablecloth. The idea of sitting down and searching “Hen’s nights Sydney” filled me with so much dread that I couldn’t bring myself to do it for literally nine months. When I did take the plunge (out of sheer and absolute desperation), there were so many options that I had to take a break from sitting down and Googling things to sit down and think about what, exactly, I’d gotten myself into.

I did not plan this holiday we went on for a good reason: I am not good at planning things.

The problem with organising Hen's Nights, you see, is that there is a lot to do. The other problem is that there are too many people involved. The other other problem is that you're trying desperately to make the bride happy without asking her annoying questions all the time about what will make her happy, and everybody (you, the other bridesmaids, someone's mum, your elderly neighbour) has different ideas about what will make the bride happy, and there's no certain way to work out who is right.

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At first, I was adamant that I wouldn't go through one of those tacky Hen's Night companies with their cookie-cutter "packages". My idea would be unique and individualised and special! Cut to three days later and now that I've had some time to think about it I actually LOVE those Hen's Night companies. Did I call them tacky? I don't remember that?

Then I had to send out invitations. In the post. Via the post office. With stamps. Turns out the fancy large envelopes I bought cost TWO DOLLARS EACH to post. (As an aside - how can Australia Post be failing when they're charging such exorbitant postage fees? Surely they're rolling in cash?)

Listen: Are 'zen dos' the new hen's dos? (Post continues...)

Naturally, I forgot to send some of the invites to some of the invitees, but luckily, I blamed the postal vote on slowing everything down. For weeks. And some of the invitations arrived a lot earlier than others because I DON'T KNOW, DO I LOOK LIKE THE BOSS OF AUSTRALIA POST???!?!?

Then, everyone had to give me money. Because people pay for Hen's Nights. They are not, in fact, free. (It took me a long time to work this out.) I had all this money in my bank account, and none of it was mine! I had to do a lot of maths to work out who had paid for what, and when, and how, and if I take the square root of X and divide it by the number of hen's night attendees, how much money do I have left over to buy flower crowns?

Then there were decorations. And games. And working out who has got the best camera and should we have drinks beforehand and OH GOD was I meant to organise a hotel room for us to stay in because I definitely forgot and, also, is it going to rain on the day? SHOULD WE CANCEL THE WHOLE THING? (Would that be such a shame? Hasn't all this stress been the fun part?) Every day, my phone pings incessantly with messages from the other bridesmaids about things I've forgotten. In a nice way. Or not in a nice way. I can't remember who I like and who I hate anymore.

Just kidding. I hate everyone.

Long story not-very-short, the Hen's Night is tomorrow. It's been the most stressful thing I've ever done, and I just... wish someone had warned me.

I wish I'd known what it would be like, and how much time it would take, and how much money I would spend on stamps, so that when my beautiful best friend asked me to organise her Hen's Night, I could have looked her in the eye and said...

Yes. Of course I will.

Just... let me get a drink first.

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