My Wedding Planning Journey: Three months to go – time for the hen do
07 May 2021
Our bride-to-be blogger Ashleigh Tuttle should have been celebrating her hen do in Marbella – instead she had a surprise waiting for her at home
It’s insane to think that it was around two years ago that I started writing this blog. When I started, the world knew nothing of Covid-19, lockdowns or the losses we would face because of a looming pandemic. It does tug on my heart strings when I think of how naïve I was to it then, and makes me, as well as many others I’m sure, long to be back in that ignorance.
There is now less than three months to go until our wedding and I’m torn between wishing it would hurry up, and willing it to slow down so we can be in the best position with Covid. It’s not really the lead up I wanted, but it seems like we are getting back to a place of semi-normality at least.
One thing that has been dearly affected by the pandemic though was my hen do. If things had been ‘normal’ I’m sure I would have been writing right now how amazing Marbella was at the weekend, and how I’m sunburnt from drinking too many tequilas on the balcony.
As it turns out, the ban on travel made that impossible, and so I was prepared for a quiet weekend with my fiancé and the puppy, probably crying into some Ben & Jerry’s while looking at photos of the Air BnB we should have been staying in.
Ashleigh enjoying cocktails with maid of honour Rebekah
Instead, one of my friends invited me to Alton Towers to celebrate his birthday, as he didn’t get to celebrate properly last year, which was awesome but freezing! On the morning of, one of my bridesmaids (my brother’s girlfriend Kayleigh) asked me if I fancied doing a call that evening, just her, my brother, John and I. We’d have a few drinks, have a chat and just chill out. I said yes sure, why not? I was just hoping I wouldn’t be too knackered from going on all the rides!
On my way home Kayleigh text to check I was still up for the call and I replied of course. I was looking forward to getting home and cracking open a bottle of wine and just chatting with what will hopefully be my future-sister-in-law!
When I got home, I had the maddening idea that maybe she and my brother would have turned up to surprise me, so I checked the rooms to no avail, and the sadness and disappointment that I had avoided by being at the theme park earlier started to creep back in.
John was surprisingly up for the call. We’ve been doing calls with our friends throughout the pandemic, sometimes on a weekly basis, but this was the most animated I’d seen him about having a Zoom meet.
“I’ve got your Bucks Fizz in the fridge too,” he said, eagerly opening it to show me.
“You’re prepared!” I said, as I started to pour a glass.
I got into my cosy PJs, and John said we should maybe start setting the call up. “It’s not for another 15 minutes” I exclaimed, and he seemed to be bouncing in his seat. I found it weird but was like, maybe he just really wants a drink?
Kayleigh then messaged me and said the call would be on Zoom, because Facebook wasn’t as reliable. Again, I found it a bit weird but just said OK!
About three minutes past eight she sent me the link for the call, so I clicked to join. All my bridesmaids’ faces popped up on screen, as a few shouts of “surprise”, and glasses of prosecco and gin clinked against the cameras. I promptly burst into (happy) tears and told them how much I loved them. Kayleigh had organised the whole thing, with Rebekah (my maid of honour) coming up with some party games for us to play while we had a few celebratory tipples.
"Surprise!" Ashleigh's bridesmaids celebrated her hen do on a zoom call
“Why didn’t I think of this?” said John, as we all giggled away. It was great to finally catch up with my sisters and Emma and Lucy, who I haven’t been able to see in quite a while. After the call was finished, my bridesmaid Katie and I text late into the night, and she reminded me how much they all loved me which was so lovely to hear.
The next day Rebekah and I met up for cocktails and to discuss part two of the hen do, which will be taking place in July. We have postponed Marbella to next year, but have decided to still celebrate this year in England, with a spa day and lots of prosecco!
It may have not been the first hen do I imagined, but it was just as perfect.