Best and worst of getaway hen parties
Best friends. They're the glue of life that happens to make even the worst situations bearable.
Some of us are the mono-bestie type, with that one special gal always having our back. Me and my pals - we're one big BFF groupie, with our own special brand of humour, an entourage of kids in tow and a rock solid circle of trust even Jack Byrnes would be proud of.
So when the last and final bestie announces she's getting hitched, one of the main things on the agenda is the hen party. Being hen party number five, we've well and truly busted the myth that all the fun is to be had by the bachelor boys alone. In fact, when you're at hen party number five the stakes are up for the final brouhaha to be outstanding.
Let's face it, there are many different ways to celebrate the end of the single mingle.
Fact: Whether hitched or not, girls really do just want to have fun... We've been down the old-school route of the infamous carrot and potato, add to that an embarrassed neighbourhood march or two. Growing in popularity is the hosted pamper party - and who wouldn't want to attend one of these? It's the perfect excuse to satisfy any curiosity you might have about sex toys and gadgets without feeling seedy or needing to skulk into one of those adult shops. In the age of empowerment, Pure Romance might just be the experts you need at your party.
Then we dabbled in the Hen Party getaway, with a Winelands escape which saw a number of bottles of bubbles being consumed and the christening of two dingy boat oars as our pole dancing props. Right, we'll just leave it at that.
Indeed, when it comes to themes, the options are endless.
This time round we decided to make it a City Break getaway - setting up base-camp at the Protea Hotel Fire and Ice Cape Town. When a hotel puts together weekend party packages including cocktail coupons and transfers to the hotspot clubs or runs ambassador campaigns for you the reader to be the spokesperson for its funky brand then you know you're on the right track. They've also got some incredible self-catering loft apartments which makes things easier on the pocket.
So here's my best and worst in equal measure in planning the ultimate getaway hen party...
Best of bonding: You and your friends have had years and years to cement the friendship, which is why you owe yourselves one night of reckless indulgence. Nothing allows you to do this better than an overnight stay at the right hotel. It takes the stress off the rest of the night and you certainly can rekindle that pajama-party feeling as you giggle about the night's antics until sunrise.
Worst of the guest list: Who you invite to the hen party certainly can make or break the event. If possible the bride-to-be should certainly be in on who she wants attending what could be quite a raucous night out. If you're planning to surprise her, then think carefully about who your friend would feel comfortable with when letting her hair down. Any family or friends not up for a night of partying can be seconded to the more subdued kitchen tea guest list.
Best of lingerie: Make sure you get her sized up, who needs ill-fitting lingerie right? It wouldn't hurt to make her colour preferences or any other special requests known either. NB - alll essential invitation information.
Worst sort of timing: Suffer the fools who celebrate their final freedom send off literally the last night before the wedding. Enough said about that silly mistake. If you are planning to make it a weekend away, do try to give everybody enough of a head's up in case they need to save for the unexpected getaway. There will be no skimping on any of the trimmings required to make it an outstanding hen party.
Best way to dance the night away: Ultimately this has a lot to do with where you plan to host your hen party - not forgetting to choose accommodation wisely so that getting back to the hotel is as easy as clicking your heels together. If you're going for a Sex in the City vibe don't choose a hotel that's out in the suburbs. If it's not in walking distance from the nightlife, remember don't drink and drive, rather pool for a cab.
Worst of the party games: Nothing kills a party faster than a lack of preparedness. There are endless options out there. All it takes is a little pre-party think. If your friends aren't afraid of a bit of truth or dare or perhaps a bit of spin the bottle Q&A then you're certainly in for a fun night. Fail to put these in place and no amount of tequila will stop this ship from tanking.
Best piece of advice: Yes, the night's emphasis is on fun but don't let your bride-to-be miss out on an opportunity to garner insightful, funny and useful advice from those close to her. Work it in as part of the gift-opening. The quality of these little nuggets will also depend on our point raised earlier about the guest list. Make it count.
Worst hangover ever - By now we've learnt that epic very often means a shot of tequila or whatever the preferred tipple might be. Grab those Essential tabs gals and load up on H20 after the long, long chats into the wee hours to banish any signs of the dreaded hangover - otherwise you could try some of these cures.
Best of the breakfast huddle: All's well that ends well - and nothing seals the deal quite like a really good breakfast the morning after the mayhem. Once again this speaks to where you'll be staying so choose your accommodation wisely and you won't be disappointed, we certainly were not.
- This article was published on the GoTravel24 website on 23 March 2012