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A civilised hen party for me . . . that's if I ever do get married

Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever get married. I mean, I have the dress and everything. I'm just waiting for a man to get down on one knee.

Okay, so you're probably wondering how I have the dress already. But you see, my sister bought a fabulous dress in Marbella for her wedding a few years ago, and looked like a princess on the day.

Then my other sister wore the same dress for her wedding and also looked radiant. Then my mother got it dry cleaned and, well, it's been hanging in my wardrobe ever since. Just longing for an outing. No pressure or anything.

But in all seriousness, I don't know if I'll ever get married. Part of me hankers for that happy-ever-after fairy tale and the other part of me balks at the thought of giving up my cherished freedom. But if I ever do tie the knot, I know exactly what I want for a hen night.

I'll hire out a room at a restaurant and have a nice, civilised meal with friends. There will be no L-plates, pink cowboy hats, strippers or ghastly matching T-shirts. There'll be no drinking games, and chocolate willies on sticks will most certainly be banned.

I've been on many a hen night. Some were not fun. Now, I'm not some sort of stick-in-the-mud who can't have a good time, but there is something kind of contrived about hen weekends where everyone feels under pressure to have the best time ever for the sake of the bride.

Having said that, I actually went on a hen last weekend to a castle where I had a wonderful time. The bride and her friends were delightful. It was pretty tame, yet good fun, with no cheesy props in sight. But not every hen is that enjoyable.

A while ago I read a story where the bride-to-be and her hen party were involved in a God Almighty punch-up on a Ryanair flight to Barcelona. Obviously, most hen parties don't end up in tears, like this one, but I do think they can be kind of stressful, especially if you don't know the other women involved.

Take my friend, Alice, for example. Alice is, sadly, divorced now, but when she was getting married a few years ago, her best friend, Lucy, decided to organise her hen party. Honest to goodness, it was awful.

bombarded

Lucy is obviously one of these women who has too much time on her hands because for months I was bombarded with emails and texts on what I was to wear, what I was supposed to pack and so on.

Then, when I got to the hotel, I was given a printed itinerary. It seemed every waking second of my weekend away was to be taken up with silly games and quizzes.

As I am a busy mum, this, of course, was my idea of absolute hell. I had been envisaging a relaxing weekend away with friends, and I haven't been given a timetable since I was in school!

I gave up at the toilet paper party where the bride was wearing a makeshift wedding dress out of toilet paper. It was beyond naff.

I excused myself and went to have a relaxing massage in the spa instead. Sometimes, you've got to say enough is enough.

www.marisamackle.ie


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