This year I have had two hen parties already; one in the UK and one in Paris, (and a wedding to top it all off, of course.) These were my first proper, proper hen party experiences.
As a self-confessed introvert (if anyone’s interested, I’m ISFJ-T on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), coupled with anxiety issues, I was naturally a little nervous about these events
No matter how lovely the girls were (these ladies are some of my nearest and dearest!) and how much I knew logically I had nothing to worry about (I wasn’t even doing any of the organising, for God’s sake!) I was still consumed with anxiety for the days before the events.
It’s irrational, but that’s how these things go.
Both hen parties turned out to be amazing experiences and I loved every minute (hangovers aside.) Not only were they a blast, but I learned a lot about how to face the hen party / weekend as an introvert and have an amazing time.
Here are a few of my top tips for working with your introverted personality to ensure that you relax and have as much fun as possible with your fellow hens, and the beautiful bride! Its hard to imagine when you’re feeling stressed about it, but it’s totally possible.
I loved my hen party experiences with a group of wonderful women, celebrating the most exciting moments for one of our closest friends. I hope you do too.
1. Take a step back when you need to
If you need to take a step out of the action momentarily, then do! There’s no harm in heading to the seated area in the club, having a nap in the hotel room or going for a wander separately from the group if you need to.
When I went to Paris, I accompanied one of the girls home a little early so she didn’t have to get a taxi alone, and that slightly earlier night was a blessing in disguise – it gave me extra sleep, and a little time in my hotel room all to myself. I woke up feeling like a new woman.
2. Give yourself a role
If you feel a little awkward, give yourself a task to keep busy with – if you aren’t already in charge of something! Maybe ask one of the bridesmaids if you could help with something specific – or, as I did, take it upon yourself to become a sort of ‘unofficial photographer’ for the weekend. I got some great snaps of the girls, ensured there was always a group shot at each tourist attraction, and my long lanky arms came in handy for group selfies. The photographs will be much appreciated and cherished by the bridal party when you’re home, and you’ll have recorded some lovely memories for them all to keep.
3. Confide in a friend and pair up!
If you’re in a large group, there’s a strong likelihood that someone else will be equally as nervous as you are. If you know someone else going, perhaps agree to ‘look after’ each other until you both fully relax into the event. You won’t need to worry about the awkwardness of nursing your cocktail in the corner on your own, which is one weight off your mind.
4. Remember; this too shall pass.
This is my favourite thing to tell myself when I have a big, anxiety-inducing event coming up. No matter how long the night seems to be, how overwhelming the weekend gets, even for a moment, there will come a time when you will be lying in your own bed and it will all be over.
This helps me put things into perspective: I understand that it’s not as scary as it seems, and that the overwhelming feelings will inevitably end at some point; but also, most importantly, it reminds me that the night / weekend won’t last forever, so I should just try to relax, have fun and enjoy it, while it lasts!
5. Make new friends
It’s a strong probability that a hen party will involve meeting new ladies and making new friends. For introverts this is another terrifying prospect, but with the bride in common, you’ll all have something to start talking about. If you’re all friends with the bride, it’s likely that her friends are all as lovely as she is, as it’s probable that she surrounds herself with like-minded ladies!
After my latest hen weekend experience I now chat with the other girls on Whatsapp and we had a blast at the wedding.
One even made me pinky swear (fuelled by wine) that we would be “real life friends, ok?!?”
(Daniella, if you’re reading this, we need to make sure we grab coffee next time I’m in London.)
6. Relax – and have a drink (or three!)
This may not work for everyone, but I definitely relax a bit after a drink. I get a little more confident and a little more chatty. Turning up sober may fill you with nerves, but once you arrive, grab yourself a drink (if you drink alcohol, of course) and it’ll really help. It also makes for a great prop too so you have something to hold, avoiding too much hand-waving-while-talking. Of course, it goes without saying that you should drink responsibly! I spent a day at Disneyland feeling a bit too delicate…
7. Choose your outfit wisely
Maybe treat yourself to something new to wear; you’ll feel spoilt and excited to dress up, and you’ll want to show off your new outfit.
Is there a dress code or a theme? For one of the hen parties I needed something black, so I opted for a brand new dress from H&M which made me feel sassy. For Paris, we all had to wear striped tops, so that was that sorted! Having a theme really helps reduce the angst of finding the right outfit and you’ll worry less about what you look like.
One of the most important things to remember, though, is to choose something comfortable, like you would on a first date, and something you know will be flattering and give you confidence. Don’t go for a new outfit that’s so out there you’ll be tugging and pulling at it all night, or worrying about how you look; stick with what you know works for you, and makes you feel your best.
Happy hen partying!