Just have more than one. That's what I'm doing. Having different types of events/nights with different groups. I want to enjoy it and I know I will enjoy them more if I know the people who are there are having a good time.
I am an Anxious Annie myself.
I ended up with THREE hen do's.
A bottomless Prosecco brunch with family and female in laws. which was Fab
A weekend in Brighton with a few friends and the girlfriends of OH's friends.
and finally a afternoon tea with Prosecco with Work girlies.
The only one that had issues was the one where I merged groups. There was a drunken row between 2 girls who didn't know each other which made me a tad awkward but when it happened I was sleeping so didn't hear it.
Anyway, the anxiety from that has now passed All I care about is that I had a good time and so did the great friends of mine who made an effort to get alone with everyone and it was all about me
It is always difficult to merge groups but it isn't your responsibility to ensure people are respectful of the fact that they are all there for you.
I found the idea of the hen party intimidating and anxiety-inducing because there's so much pressure for it to be an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime thing, and I thought that if I didn't love it as much as I have loved going to my friend's hen parties, I would have missed out.
As it turned out, I did have a massive anxiety attack, and for a few days after the party, this over-clouded my recollection of the day. But as time has gone passed, I've been remembering the good parts as well, and although if I had had the choices, I would have done it differently, I know my friends did their best and were probably just as anxious as me to have a good time!
I know it's hard, but don't go in expecting it to be the most amazing, best time of your life, but at the same time don't expect to feel awkward throughout. Just try to look forward to having the opportunity to hang out with all your dearest people, whether as a whole or in groups. For me, one of the best bits was seeing the number of people who reappeared from my past!
I am having a second, more intimate hen do when the groom goes off for his stag - just a couple of people, maybe spa, definitely bar.
I didn't know how the merging of my groups would go but it was totally fine and everyone had an awesome time!!
I know it’s kind of traditional for your bridesmaids to organise the hen do, but if youre feeling anxious about it can’t you all plan it together? I’ve planned the majority of mine as I was already feeling anxious about it all, and my bridemaids are just going to plan some surprises. Makes me feel much happier about it all!
I'm planning mine with my bridesmaids, as I need some control or I'll get too stressed.
I'm also having 2 hens, possibly 3. There are certain people I have to invite, but wouldn't want to spend a whole weekend with, so I'm just having an afternoon tea or meal out for my family, OH's family and OH's friend's wives. Then on my away hen do I'm literally just having me, my 2 bridesmaids and my sister in law, as going away in a huge group just isn't for me!
A few ideas:
-Have more than one. No need to be anxious about "mixing of groups." There's no way I'd want some of the characters from one part of my life attempting to party it up with those from another! I'm a non-drinker as is most of my family so two very different types of events would need to be planned for the various people in my life.
-Plan it yourself. LOADS of ladies on here have done that. For a while it honestly seemed like virtually no one was having someone plan it for them (on this forum). If you control the who/what/when/where, it's a lot easier to know what's coming at you and a lot less reason to be anxious.
-Drop the whole "hen" formality entirely and just plan a simple night out with those you want there. You don't need to wear silly costumes and drink from willy straws (unless you want to bring them) to have a good time.
-If you want your BMs to still plan it for you, give them some groundrules (and ask them to respect them). If there's really something you don't want to do, tell them upfront. You can also ask them to just include you in the planning. There's no rulebook that says it has to be a surprise.
I’d definitely go down the route of doing different things with different groups. If planning a wedding has taught me anything, it is that you cannot (and should not even attempt to) please all of the people, all of the time. Literally it is impossible because people seem to have such set ideas of what weddings and all associated elements should or shouldn’t be and it’s dofficult but so important not to get railroaded in to doing things that mean nothing or make you feel uncomfortable just because someone well meaning says we really should. Have smaller and perhaps less typical hen celebrations with different friends/groups of people and that way ob each occasion you already take out the anxiety over groups mixing and worrying if they are enjoying the planned activity. Feel free to insist that you have some input too, even if it’s laying out things that you would really prefer NOT to do.
I had an abroad hen do this year with my five best friends (all bridesmaids). I didn’t even include my fiancé’s daughter who is also a bridesmaid because I didnt want to feel as though I had to “look after“ her. I wanted to relax and enjoy the time I had with my best friends. I will then have a more local hen do nearer the wedding but plan on asking my bridesmaids to structure it so that people can come to some or all of it, as they wish. I also think most people want to be there to support you and even if it’s not their ideal activity or company, will suck it up and try and have fun and enjoy celebrating you on the day so don’t worry about it! I’ve been on hens I havent enjoyed much but I’m quite sure the bride would never know, because I put a smile on, participated and made the most of it. Just make sure you are doing something you feel comfortable with!
Firstly, I would consider planning your own hen and having more control out of it. I imagine part of the fear comes from having no idea what’s being planned. If you still want your bridesmaids to sort it, I would articulate what you want in as much detail as possible. The good thing about a modern hen do is that it can be literally whatever you want it to be. You can definitely keep it small and not have a tame weekend. Why not keep it simple and plan a night out with those really closest to you?