While my girlfriends in Newcastle were working with my family to plan an International Bridal Shower to remember, another group of friends were planning me a surprise weekend away as a Hen Do. While this planning was going on, the only information I had was the weekend in question. A few weeks before we left, the group gave me a formal invitation packet with some more clues to help with my outfit planning and packing, but I still had no clue where we were off to! Then, the big weekend finally arrived. As soon as the Friday workday came to an end, they spared no time in getting the party started! First step: they gave me some necessary bridal accessories and beautiful gifts.
And then we were off! After a few hours in the car, we arrived in the beautiful English city of York. Our surprise Hen Do was going to be a fancy weekend at the York Horseraces! That first night was a calm and relaxed evening of cocktails, face masks and party games (special thanks to my mom for providing various photos of me at embarrassing ages for these games).
Once the races were completed and we'd settled our bets, we freshened up and went to treat ourselves to a nice dinner followed by a night out in York!
In the morning, before the fun was all over there was still one more big surprise left in store. On the ride back to Newcastle, not only did I get free reign over a Disney road trip playlist, but we also pulled over for lunch at Taco Bell!
Since moving to Newcastle, I've been so lucky to make so many friends that make me feel like I'm at home. I was immediately surrounded with so much love and support when we announced our engagement last November, and my girls group wasted no time in starting to plan me a bridal shower. Trouble is, Bridal Showers are particularly American... British girls typically celebrate a Hen Do, which is more like a Bachelorette Party. So as I found out later, they spent months working with my family back in the States in order to organize everything in the traditional American way that would make me feel most special.
On the morning of August 4, I had my final dress fitting and brought it home safely to wait in our apartment until the wedding day. Of course, I was gushing with all kinds of wedding butterflies. The girls had planned for that night to be both my Shower and Bachelorette Party ('Hen Do'), so I got myself ready and waited for them to pick me up. I knew nothing about what the night had in store, but I certainly had my suspicions after months of secrecy! When the girls arrived, they carried in boxes and boxes of food and drinks, and set up a spread of choices. They put up "Miss to Mrs" decorations in my living room and kitchen, and popped the Prosecco for us all to enjoy. I was banned to the kitchen, for what I assumed was some more secret decorations. However, when they invited me back into the living room I was shocked to find they'd set up a Skype call to all of my American family and friends, who were having their own Bridal Shower for me back in the States. We all chatted together, played shower games, and I opened all the gifts that had been arriving to my house for weeks (but that I assumed were just early wedding presents!). I had assumed I would not have a bridal shower with my family - with this international surprise I was able to celebrate with everyone across time zones.
When the shower came to an end, those of us in the United Kingdom gathered ourselves up and headed out into Newcastle for a Hen Do out in town.
Ron & Andee
Two Americans documenting our adventures abroad!
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