EMILY’S CLASSY ITALIAN HEN PARTY IN BURANO, VENICE

Do you like surprises? I LOVE them!! So when Jess told me she was throwing me a surprise hen party abroad, it was a delightful marriage of two of my favorite things in the world – the excitement of not knowing where I was going and travel. Keeping everything hush hush on the lead up to the trip however was a little more complicated. For months, anyone who knew anything about what Jess had planned, avoided me for fear of letting the cat out of the bag.

When I think of a typical hen party, bride sashes, fancy dress and penis straws, are the first things that come to mind. I wanted my hen party to be less obvious than that but with way more fun! A week before we were to leave, I found an envelope had been pushed through our letterbox, it contained a packing list that outlined everything that I would need for our trip. I was sure this would give me some clue as to where we were going but all I could really get from it was, that it was in Europe and it was going to be hot.

The evening before our flight, Jess came to my house with another surprise up her sleeve. This was one of my favorite moments as she had made a wildlife quiz, that I would need to solve in order to find the letters that would spell out our surprise destination and it was hidden inside a greetings card that had the face of my hero on it – David Attenborough! Solving the quiz however was not one of my proudest moments, it took a little longer than it probably should for someone who has a degree in Animal Biology but I blame it on all the nerves and excitement. The hidden letters spelled out Italy and as soon as I found that, something inside told me we were going to Burano. I had been wanting to go there for years and had mentioned it to Mr T a number of times, so Jess really couldn’t have picked out a more perfect destination.

We arrived in Venice the next day and headed via water bus to the charming island of Burano. This was the perfect base for our four day vacation, 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 colour! And the surprises didn’t end there.

Our home for the weekend was Tiffany’s Home a colorful building with 3 self contained apartments. Each flat was painted a different color and I got to have the pink of course! 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 had settled into their new accommodation for the long weekend, the girls gathered in our very pink bedroom to open the goody bags that Jess had made for all the hens. Included was the cutest polka dot veil and ‘Bride’ hairgrip from Crown and Glory. I was so overwhelmed at all the effort Jess had put into making my hen party so special and we’d only just arrived. It’s fair to say, I cried alot on that trip, I felt so incredibly lucky to be surrounded by 7 of my closest friends, all of whom had made a very special effort to celebrate with me. I will never be able to thank them enough, I am one very lucky lady!

Once we’d freshen up it was time to explore Burano! I was so excited to see the place that until now, had only existed on a Pinterest board and of course it wouldn’t really have been a trip with ‘the girls from Bespoke Bride’ if we didn’t do a photo walk. If you’re not a fan of having your picture taken then I can only imagine this would have been someones worst nightmare but all our friends were good sports and indulged us, as Jess and I took photo after photo and even joined in for a snap or two. It was so fun getting to share this side of our lives with others, although eventually the weather becomes so unbearably hot that we had to retreat back to our apartments to freshen up and get ready for our private chef experience with Dine Indulge, which is not surprisingly , Jess had styled with a lemony twist in homage to our Italian theme with gorgeous stationery designed by Sarah Kate Creative.

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?’, I loved finding out how well my friends knew me and was especially interested to hear what Mr T had to say. It’s funny because until now, I’d only seen them as entertainment to fill time but using as a bride to be myself. they are actually very special and I’ve kept all my friends and Mr T’s answers as a momento.

There’s nothing more ‘hen party’ than a bar crawl, so for the second day we ventured into the capital of Venice. Before we headed out, Jess had yet another hidden gem to surprise me with and this was one of the best. She had handmade the most amazing sequined captain hat with ‘Bride’ embellished across the front. No tacky sashes here! I loved wearing it and I was asked so many times where I’d bought, I was so proud to say my bestie had 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 carry out otherwise there would be a forfeit at the end and each challenge had to be photographed as proof of completion. Well it’s fair to say I did about half of the challenges before I got a little too tipsy (Tequila’s courtesy of Emily Gossip were responsible for that!) but one of the best ones had to be asking a random man in a bar if ‘I could have tickets to the gun show’(honestly how does Jess think of these things?) He was a great sport and had his photo taken with me, guns out and all.

Other highlights, included having a photo taken with what looked like an Italian version of Mr T, (who made me blush like crazy) walking into a bar and walking straight back out after seeing the prices, drinking a shot on fire through a straw, shotting Limoncello in the streets – classy and the Skyline rooftop bar, the views were incredible! Not so great moments however, included falling asleep in a water bus station and not getting back to our apartment until 3am because we’d missed the last bus, but I think we can all laugh about it now?!

And the most funny stories had to come out of day three. In desperate need of a little relaxation after a busy few days, we decided to go to back to Venice and laze at the Lido. As you totally depend on water buses and taxi’s in Venice, everything takes longer than you think. So not only did we leave our apartment later than we’d intended to that day, we also had to allow extra time for the trip. You would have thought by now after three days of traveling this way, that we’d be pro, especially after learning a valuable lesson about timing the previous night, but in true Bespoke Bride fashion (we’re generally late for everything!) not even a trip to the beach went with incident. I highly recommend concentrating when you in water buses as we’re proof that it’s easy to miss your stop. Too busy editing photos from the trip on our phones, we failed to realise that our boat had already stopped at the Lido and we’d missed the stop.

We finally arrived at the beach at 4pm, 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 journey back to Burano.

And the funny stories don’t end there. Arriving back at our apartments at about 7pm, we began to notice that alot of the restaurants looked like they were winding down for the evening. Burano is mainly a tourist island, people tend to leave by 6-6:30pm so we put it down to that, realising we might not be able to get dinner anywhere, we hurriedly got ready and rushed to our restaurant in the square which was very quiet. The locals at the restaurant informed us, there was going to be a big storm…

As it was only a 5 minute walk back to our apartment, we leisurely ate our dinner, laughed and joked around. One of the waiters asked where we were staying and we said it was only a short walk back to the apartment, he eyed us for a minute then walked away. Feeling a little uncomfortable, one of my hens suggested we hurry up and go as the staff clearly wanted to pack up for the night. Leaving with full bellies, we were only a few yards away from the restaurant when we felt the first few drops of rain. Drops quickly turned into a shower and in seconds we were in the middle of a full blown thunder storm. The sky went from gray to black in no time, the wind took my breath away and the rain came down in such force it actually hurt. Some of the girls made a run for it, whilst the rest of us sought refuge in an alley. What was only meant to be a five minute walk took us half an hour as we stood under cover laughing in disbelief and excitement, considering our options. In the end, the only thing we could is run! I have never laughed as much as I did that night, running bare foot in the rain whilst the thunder and lightening felt like it was nipping at our heels was the most invigorating experience.

Weirdly, it was the most perfect ending to the most perfect hen party ever. It was an amazing adventure, one like I’ve never had before, full of surprises, fun stories and memories I will never forget.

Jess really outdone herself with the level of detail and effort she put into making my hen party truly unforgettable. My hens, the destination, the apartment, the food, the accessories and activities were all 100% me and I couldn’t have done it better if I’d tried. Sounds like it’s time for Bespoke Bride to go into the hen party planning business don’t you?

PS If your interested in getting a BRIDE hat for yourself or for a bride to be, we will be selling a *LIMITED* number of them very soon. If you’d like to know more, click here and leave your email address so you can let you know the moment they’re live in the shop!

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