Do you like surprises? i love them!! So when Jess told me she was throwing me a surprise hen party abroad, it was a blissful marriage of two of my favorite things in the world – the excitement of knowing where I was going and traveling. Although keeping everything quiet before the trip was a bit more complicated. For months, anyone who knew anything about Jess’ plan avoided me for fear of letting the cat out of the bag.
When I think of a typical hen party, what first comes to mind are bridal sashes, fancy dresses, and penis straws. I wanted my hen party to be less obvious but more fun! A week before we left, I found an envelope pushed through our letterbox containing a packing list containing everything I would need for our trip. I was sure it would give me some clue as to where we were going but what really got me out of it was that it was in Europe and it was going to be hot.
The evening before our flight, Jess came over to my house with another surprise. This was one of my favorite moments because she created a wildlife quiz that I would need to solve to find the letters that would describe our stunning destination and it was hidden inside a greeting card with my hero on it. It was the face of – David Attenborough! Solving the quiz though was not one of my proudest moments, it took a little longer than is possible for someone who has a degree in Animal Biology, but I blame it all on nerves and excitement. The hidden letters traced Italy and as soon as I found it, something inside told me we were going to Burano. I’ve wanted to go there for years and have mentioned it to Mr T many times, so Jess really couldn’t have chosen a better destination.
We reached Venice the next day and took a water bus to the charming island of Burano. It was the perfect base for our four day holiday, the narrow streets and colorful houses on the water were even more beautiful in real life. I was instantly obsessed, everywhere we looked there was color! And the surprises didn’t end there.
Our home for the weekend the Tiffany Home was a colorful building with 3 self-contained apartments. Each flat was painted a different color and I definitely have to have pink! It had the most beautiful pink bathroom. Complete with a double pink open shower and a pink double bed. Now that’s my kind of apartment!
After everyone settled into their new accommodations for the long weekend, the girls gathered in our very pink bedroom and opened the goody bags that Jess had made for all the chickens. The cutest polka dot veil and ‘bride’ hairgrip from Crown & Glory included. I was overwhelmed with the effort Jess had put in to make my hen party special and we had just arrived. It’s fair to say, I cried a lot on that trip, I felt incredibly lucky to be surrounded by 7 of my closest friends, all of whom made a special effort to celebrate with me. I will never be able to thank them enough, what a lucky lady I am!
Once we freshened up it was time to explore Burano! I was so excited to see the place that, until now, only existed on a Pinterest board and of course it’s not actually visited by anyone. ‘The Girls of the Bespoke Bride’ If we don’t do the photo walk. If you’re not a fan of having your picture taken, I can only imagine that this must have been anyone’s worst nightmare, but all of our friends were good sports and indulged us, as Jess and I took photo after photo. And even joined for a picture or two. It was so much fun sharing this side of our lives with others, however eventually the weather got so unbearably hot that we had to go back to our apartment to freshen up and prepare for our private chef experience with Dine Indulge Which was not surprising, Jess styled in honor of our Italian theme with gorgeous stationery designed by Sarah Kate Creative with a lemony twist.
That night we also played some of our favorite hen party games including ‘How Well Do You Know the Bride’ and ‘The Groom Said What? Had to say It’s funny because until now, I only saw them as entertainment to fill time, but using myself as a bride. They are really special and I have kept all my friends and Mr T’s answers as a memento.
Nothing says a more ‘hen party’ than bar crawling, so the second day we set out for the capital city of Venice. Before we move on, Jess had one more hidden gem to surprise me with and it was one of the best. He hand made the captain hat with the most amazing sequence emblazoned with ‘bride’ on the front. No sticky waistband here! I loved wearing it and was asked many times where I bought it, I was proud to say my bestie made it for me!
During the bar crawl, the girls presented me with a scavenger hunt. It was a list of fun challenges that I needed to complete or else there would be a loss at the end and each challenge had to be photographed as proof of completion. Well it’s fair to say that I completed about half the challenges before I got a little too drunk (courtesy of tequila’s Emily Gossip was to blame!) but the best ones have to take it one at a time had to ask random guy if ‘Can buy gun show ticket’(Honestly how does Jess think about these things?) He was a great sport and had his picture taken with me, guns out and all.
Other highlights include a photo of what looks like the Italian version of Mr. T, (which made me blush like crazy) walking into a bar and walking straight out after seeing the prices, drinking a shot on fire through a straw , Shooting in the streets of Limoncello – Classy and Skyline Rooftop Bar, the visuals were incredible! However, there were not so good moments, including falling asleep at the water bus station and not getting back to our apartment until 3am because we missed the last bus, but I guess we can laugh about it now ?!
And the funniest stories were to emerge from the third day. In dire need of some rest after a busy few days, we decided to head back to Venice and explore the Lido. As you are completely dependent on water buses and taxis in Venice, everything takes longer than you think. So not only did we leave our apartment later that day than we intended, we also had to allow extra time to travel. After three days of traveling this way you’d think by now, we’d be pro, especially after learning a valuable lesson about last night’s timing, but in true Bespoke Bride fashion (we usually Come late for the cheeses!) Even the trip to the beach went along with the event. I highly recommend paying attention when you’re on the water buses because we’re living proof that it’s easy to miss your stop. Too busy editing photos from the trip on our phones, we failed to realize that our boat had already stopped at the Lido and we missed the stop.
We finally got to the beach at 4 p.m., where we were able to chill for an hour (and get some swimsuit footage, of course!) before we had to get back on the boat to make the 90-minute trip back to Burano Lie down
And the funny stories don’t end there. Arriving back at our apartment around 7 p.m., we began to notice that a lot of the restaurants looked like they were closing for the evening. Burano is mainly a tourist island, people leave by 6-6:30 so we put it down, realizing we wouldn’t be able to get dinner anywhere, we got dressed quickly and Arrived at my restaurant in the square which was eerily quiet. The locals of the restaurant informed us, a big storm was about to hit…
Since it was only a 5-minute walk from our apartment, we ate our dinner at a leisurely pace, laughing and joking. One of the waiters asked where we were staying and we said it was just a short walk from the apartment, he looked at us for a minute then walked away. Feeling a little uneasy, a hen of mine suggested we hurry up and leave as the staff apparently wanted to pack up for the night. With full stomachs, we were only a few yards away from the restaurant when we felt the first few drops of rain. The drops quickly turned to showers and within seconds we were in the middle of a full blown storm. The sky turned gray to black in no time, the wind took my breath away and the rain came down so hard it actually hurt. Some of the girls ran for it, while the rest of us took shelter in an alleyway. What was meant to be only a five-minute walk took us half an hour standing under the covers laughing in disbelief and excitement considering our options. Finally, the only thing we could run! I had never laughed as hard as I did that night, running barefoot in the rain while feeling the thunder and lightning as it nibbled on our heels was a most exhilarating experience.
Weirdly, it was the most perfect end to the most perfect hen party ever. It was an amazing adventure like nothing I’ve ever been on before, full of surprises, fun stories and memories I’ll never forget.
Jess really outdid herself with the level of detail and effort she put into making my hen party truly unforgettable. My hens, destinations, apartments, food, accessories and activities were all 100% on me and I couldn’t have done it better if I tried. Looks like the time has come for Bespoke Bride to go into the hen party planning business, doesn’t it?
PS If you’re interested in getting a bride hat for yourself or a bride-to-be, we’ll be selling out a *limited* number of them soon. If you’d like to learn more, click here and leave your email address so we can let you know they’re live in the shop!