A HEN-DO should be one of the most exciting pre-wedding moments for a bride-to-be, where they’re lavished in attention, gifts and, let’s be honest, endless amounts of booze.
But when my best mate, Natalie, booked her wedding last year, she couldn’t have predicted a global pandemic was likely to shatter her dreams of a fun-filled girls’ weekend in Ibiza to celebrate her upcoming nuptials.
While she and all of us hens have our fingers and toes crossed that come September, a last-minute sun-drenched getaway might be possible before the big day, we decided to host a virtual one for now instead.
And it was so much fun – and came to only £30pp, that I’ve decided to lay out how we did it for anyone
All dressed up with no where to go
Now while the idea of getting 12 gigging 30-somethings together on a zoom call might sound pretty easy, there was always a risk that something could go wrong (technically), that one of us would get too drunk – or that filling four hours with wedding-themed fun could become stale.
So we made a plan – a structured one, that meant every second was filled with something.
First up, we made sure this wasn’t the kind of zoom call where you could hang out in your trackies with a top knot.
Natalie is one glam lady, so the dress code had to match – an invite was sent out a week in advance specifying all attendees should show up in their glammest outfits, false eyelashes where appropriate and preened hair.
This was the kind of effort the team would have gone to had we been hitting Ocean Beach Club, not our own screens.
An Amazon pack of cheesy bridal accessories and a BRIDEY t-shirt – which Six Stories Bridal are sending out to all brides who have had their weddings cancelled – were also sent out.
Dancing in heels
To make this easy for everyone – and to add to the anticipation – goody bags containing affordable make-up from MUA were sent to all the hens. For under a tenner, everyone got an eyeliner, lipstick and eyeshadow palette to experiment with.
Once everyone was all dressed up with nowhere to go, we logged onto a zoom call where we had a few ‘welcome drinks’, hen party games, you know the light stuff to get going.
But knowing Natalie, I knew this hen night would be a total fail without dancing.
After doing a fair bit of research, I found a virtual dance class hosted by Tarek Khwiss from At Your Beat dance school. Costing £100, the 45-minute ‘dancing in heels’ session started at 6pm.
Tarek led us through a relatively challenging but fun and super sassy routine to Beyonce’s Freakum Dress.
Adapted to the circumstances, moves included us running to the screen and pointing at the blushing bride.
We intend to repeat the choreography at the wedding – in better circumstances.
Pizza and nipple tassels
Two hours in it was time for some food to be ordered.
To make it easy for everyone to have the same, we booked food via Tastecard – on a £1 trial for three months! – meaning everyone could get a Dominoes pizza at the same time (genius), including the groom, who was pretty disgruntled to have been shipped upstairs while his wife-to-be and sister got more and more tipsy on ground level.
Unsurprisingly, the arrival of his four cheese stuffed crust pizza helped lighten his mood.
Once the food was ordered, it was time to get creative. Thinking about things to do separately was hard. We couldn’t make wedding dresses out of toilet roll – and no one had elastic to make garters.
After some intense online research, we found The Makery – a cute independent online retailer who normally offer group bundles for hen parties to make nipple tassels, bunting or hen do knickers.
Knowing groups like ours couldn’t come together, they agreed to send out individual kits for £10 per person to make our very own sequinned nipple tassels.
Once the pizza had been delivered and devoured, the last hour was spent playing typical hen do games, like Mr and Mrs, before reluctantly, five hours after we began, everyone signed off.
Don’t get me wrong, it was nothing like the hen do we’re planning for her when we can finally get out – but it brought us all a bit of joy.
And for £30 a person, I’m kind of wondering if we should do it again next week?!