This post is enormous because I have so many photos from this trip that I want to share. So grab an extra large beverage and prepare yourself for a kaleidoscopic visual assault!
As much as I adore Marrakech (this recent trip was my third in two years!) it can be a very intimating and intense place. People yelling at you, motorbikes whizzing past you in narrow alleyways, donkeys pulling carts that look way too heavy for them, old men pushing enormous trailers full of everything imaginable… and all in 40°C+ heat! It’s chaotic and buzzing all day and all night which is why having a calm oasis to retreat back to at the end of a long day isn’t just advisable, it’s a necessity!
I don’t know if I’ve ever featured photos from a bridal shower on the blog (except my sister’s hen do of course, does that count?) but I loved the photos and story behind Sarah’s so much that I’ve decided to share it.
“One of the most important things for me in the run up to our wedding was to ask my best friend if she wants to be my maid of honour” Sarah explained. “I was planning on sending her a special card which I’d had designed especially for her. What I didn’t know was that Manuela, the designer, told her and all my closest friends (who were to become my bridesmaids) about the idea! Together they then started to organise a whole party on a rooftop terrace to celebrate the occasion and our friendships. The whole decoration and details where in the same colour range as the cards!”
This weekend was my sister’s hen do (bachelorette for my American readers!) We planned everything as a surprise for her, but were under strict instructions that there be nothing pink, fluffy or penis shaped!
After posting a few photos on social media, I’ve had lots of questions about where we were and what we did (apparently a lot of you also want a send off that doesn’t involve inflatable penises or matching tee-shirts!) so I thought I’d share what we got up to. I’ve also ended the post with a few bonus tips to make sure your own alternative hen do goes off without a hitch!
Renting a house though Airb&b
There were 11 of us, so we decided that hiring a big house that we could all stay in would be the most fun and economical option. Rachel (my sister) didn’t really want to go ‘out out’ so we didn’t need to be near a big town or city.
I trawled Airbnb for weeks to find somewhere big enough to sleep everyone, that didn’t cost a thousand pounds plus a night, and if there was a hot tub or a pool, even better! Eventually we found Lower Tadmarton House, near Banbury. It was wonderful! The house slept up to 16 (although we had to share double beds, which no-one seemed to mind) and we had the option of hiring in a hot tub at an additional cost. It was PERFECT.
If you are wanting to do the same my advice would be to start looking way earlier than you might think you need to (especially if you’re doing it over a popular weekend, like the May Bank Holiday). I booked this place in January but even then a lot of the places I considered were already booked. Plus, some people did reject our booking when they found out we were a hen do! Mean!
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with plastic willies, L plates and strippers… in actual fact I’ve been to many hilariously awesome hen dos just like this and had an utter ball. But if you want to do something that’s more muddy than smutty, how about heading to a festival with your best girls!?
Set within the stunning Cotswolds landscape, Lakefest, and it’s eclectic atmosphere, is the ultimate hen do idea for music and festival lovers. Taking place from from Friday 7th to Sunday 9th August 2015, already confirmed acts include Ash, Embrace, The Magic Numbers and Billy Bragg (with more to be announced soon!)
And if roughing it isn’t your bag, they also offer a wide choice of accommodation options. If you want to sleep under the stars then their well-equipped and scenic camping sites are top notch, or for those of you who prefer a more luxurious experience, their glamping options (including cabins, chalets, tipis and even a pod village for those that really want to live it up) are totally the way forwards!
Want to get a feel of how the festival goes down? Be sure to check out this video from last year!
Ahh the great British hen do… the chance for brides-to-be and their friends to blow off some pre-wedding steam, get royally sozzled and (most likely) cause a bit of harmless chaos in the process. I’ve always been a bit of a party girl, so far from something I frown upon, I can totally see the appeal of all of the above. In fact I totally did all of the above for my own!
Although I refused to play into the sash wearing, penis straw sucking stereotype, we sure did cause a riot that night out in central London. I don’r regret one second of it (OK, so I might regret my choice of shoes. Too high heels combined with too much wine meant I fell over a LOT). It really was just what I needed before finally becoming Mrs Williams.
WIN a Hen Party Kit!
If you’re not sure what your plans are for your own hen do yet, let me entice you with this idea. Banana Moon Clothing would like to give one lucky Rock n Roll Bride reader the perfect hen prize package.
The booty includes ten personalised t-shirts of your own design, three bottles of pink champagne, enough chocolates and sweets to satisfy even the sweetest of teeth, hen party games, hen party dress-up items and a £600 restaurant voucher! Plus, with brands including American Apparel and Dickies in their arsenal, andorganic cotton options available, personalised t-shirts no longer means one-size-fits-all poly monstrosities!
To enter you need to have your own blog. Simply create a post describing what your perfect hen party would consist of, and within it make sure you link to Banana Moon. Then, pop back here and leave a comment on this article sharing it with us. You have until 23.59 on Wednesday 7th May and our favourite entry will win the lot!