Wedding Planning Series: HEN PARTY PART TWO: Afternoon Tea & Spa

Part two of hen party, I am proud to say was organised by Moi and well its alittle unoriginal.

With the unveiling of the new spa at Hatherley Manor what better way to check out the new spa. And well no spa day is complete without an Afternoon Tea either is it?!

We opted to have the afternoon tea first, booked into the restaurant at the main house we had a sumptuous tea of sandwiches, scones and yummy mini cheesecakes and torte slices. Accompanied with hot, fresh tea & coffee and of course the obligatory glass of prosecco!

The only slight downside being they weren’t 100% ready for us at the agreed time and a last minute addition of one person seemed to cause some confusion for the staff. However once ‘underway’ it was lovely.

After an hour of filling our tummies with yummy food we had over to the Spa, it’s a short walk from the main house round the side of the house to the new spa complex at the rear. Although it would be nice for an internal pathway which I’m sure is in the pipeline as the spa is so new (only open a month when we went!)

The hens had booked a variety of treatments from luxury nail manicures & pedicures through to the full body massage and exfoliation treatment.

I had booked the back, neck & shoulder massage – all the late nights creating wedding cakes meant I had some serious tension that needed sorting. My therapist was absolutely lovely, and whilst I’m an old hand at spa days, she explained everything that was going to happen, asked my preferences on the hardness of massage and temperature and checked the music was acceptable for my treatment.

A blissful 40 minutes was being spent kneaded back into shape and I felt so relaxed – I think I nearly nodded off!

After my treatment i was shown into the relaxation den – a gently lit room, soft music, with a number of single and double beds to literally just relax on  – have a glass of water, read a magazine and just ‘be’ it was wonderful.

The spa hosts a number of fabulous features, from a pool with adorning hot tub to sauna, terrarium, steam room and my fav – the experience shower! Choose from 3 wonderful setting including polar mist and tropical storm  – a variety of different water temps/flows/hardness and of course some pretty cool colour changing effects too.

Here’s what some of the hens had to say about their Hatherley Manor Spa experience:

A-little unprepared for us for the afternoon tea, but the Spa was all ready and expecting us – even the gowns were laid out ready! The spa was great and one of the better ones i’ve been to in terms of facilities.

My massage treatment was fab – would recommend going there

The spa was really nice

Loved the spa it was amazing, great range of facilities, my massage was one of the best I’ve had. Would definitely go again

Of course you must check out the spa for yourself but for now, here’s some pics:

Happy planning

Sophie & Sarah

xx

Disclaimer

Hatherley Manor kindly gifted us the spa sessions, all treatments and the afternoon tea was paid for by the hens. All options are my own and those of the hens.

The Rise of the #bridesmaidzilla

Up until a few days ago I hadn’t even realised this was a ‘thing’.  A chance message in an online support group and well it seems to be a growing problem. There’s a new breed of bridesmaids out there – the bridemaidzillas. From subtle snubs to the outright rude, Brides seem to be getting a rough deal from those nearest and dearest to them – their bridesmaids.

An article for Marie Claire has given the best definition of this new rare breed:

Bridesmaidzilla – A lethal mix of frenemy and Mean Girl wrapped in a sash

and the’re coming to a wedding near you!

Some real life examples of Bridesmaidzilla antics, think of the film Bridesmaids and your on the right track:

  • A bridesmaid who knew her bestie wanted a child free wedding – but turned up with her baby as this ‘didn’t apply to her’
  • The bridesmaid who didn’t RSVP to the hen weekend or show any interest – pulled out last minute
  • The bridesmaids who didn’t like the brides choice of dress so ganged up and made her change it – this resulted in several other wedding changes due to the colour’s the new dress was available in
  • The bridesmaid who had a heated discussion with the bride on whether the groom was right for her or not – as she was to walk down the aisle

So what has precipitated this rise in maids that should be having your back, not stabbing it?

Bridal parties are larger than ever and with it brings a higher intensity, the more people in your party the more heads to please and manage. Larger parties also mean people are likely to break away and form cliques.

The instant connectivity that social media brings us means as a population we collectively have more ‘friends’ than ever and that old saying ‘you can’t please all of the people all of the time’ has never been more apparent. Sharing of ideas and inspiration at the touch of a button will inevitably get your party interacting – but also providing opinions and allowing them to be vocal over their dislikes – in a public setting.

Bride resentment is also a factor with maids secretly judging on whether the dress is big/good enough, the size of the rock, choice of venue, how extravagant is the cake etc or comparing there friends wedding to their own – is this wedding going to be better than mine?

Then there are those bridesmaids who for whatever reason just aren’t interested in supporting you on the biggest day of your life even if they’ve supported you through everything else – perhaps there poor behaviour is a result of some misguided protective factor or they have underlining issues with marriage, who knows.

Lastly, the cash, money ALWAYS ends up being a problem doesn’t it? For bridesmaids it can get expensive and well they want bang for their buck – they don’t want to be left spending hundreds on a hen weekend if its not doing what they want. If your bridesmaids are paying for their own outfits they don’t want to wear something they don’t like or feel comfortable in (although this is generally more of an American trend than UK)

Put all of these factors, together and what do you get? a melting pot of opinions, grievances, and eventually the intensity and pressure of it all will boil over leading to bad behavior and passive aggressive antics.

Relationships like life, change and evolve and what was once great at the time may no longer be a perfect fit now – friendships develop, grow and thrive; they also fizzle out. Why not be adult about things?

For those brides who may be experiencing maids who are not minding their manners remember this:

  • If you can set ground rules from the beginning – a kind of ‘what you expect’ – a google search will throw up some lovely ‘Will you be my bridesmaid’ poems which have subtle do’s and don’ts
  • Talk to them and tell them how your feeling – it may be the case that they aren’t aware of how they are behaving and could have just been caught up in the moment
  • Yes you can be annoyed, irritated and even upset by their behaviour – you are human and this IS allowed – but don’t waste too much of your energy worrying about it
  • The behavior exhibited is reflective of them NOT of you
  • If its not working out having them on your team – rescind the offer – is is YOUR DAY and its needs to be done YOUR WAY, if your not happy with them being at your side tell them

Happy planning

Sophie

xx