My hand quakes over the mouse, reluctant to click ‘open’ on the email at the top of my inbox. You see, I know what it is. It’s another hen do invite.

So why all the anxiety? I mean I love a good old hen night. I love the idea of seeing off my friend’s single days in style. I love the idea of humiliating the bride-to-be in an endearing ‘here love, stick these L plates on’ kind of way. What I don’t love is the spiraling cost of modern hen weekends.

Today’s pre-wedding jaunts have evolved by such epic proportions, they require military-style planning. Gone are the days of the local pub send-off – now it’s all about upping the hen and stag stakes. Take my friend – she got invited to a lovely little staycation for her pal’s wedding (so far, not so extravagant, right?) but as she scrolled down the event info, this weekend sojourn to a quaint cottage was going to set her back over £200. And this was even before she’d splurged on the actual wedding present, accommodation or heaven forbid, a new outfit!

Well I for one shall not be partaking in this escalating tradition. I don’t want my friends to be living on spaghetti hoops for a month just so they can come to cycle around Barcelona with me or chill out at a yoga retreat in Morocco. So with the help of my sisters (or ‘bridesbabes’ as I affectionately call them) I am taking it old school.

Of course, the finer details are still very much a secret (I maybe should have come up with a list of hard limits by now…) but what I do know is that we shall be meeting for an afternoon buffet at my mum’s, followed by dinner out and then on for some dancing. And because it’s just half an hour up the road, everyone can head home to their own bed, without needing to splurge on a hotel. Winner.

The hen do is just over a week away and I can’t wait to share it with my closest friends and family, because, afterall, isn’t that what it’s all about? That and an obligatory willy straw, of course!

By Stephanie Maylor

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