If you relate to these, then don't worry - you're not alone! Real brides share their stories...
This just in, brides: worrying about your hen party is pretty common. From dreading what's in store ('I hate being kept in the dark!') to worrying about how people will get on ('the last time they saw each other, they had to be kept on different sides of the room...'), there's a lot of scope for jitters.
However, another surprisingly common worry brides can have is that they, well, don't want a hen party. And you know what? That's okay. We talked to some of our real-bride readers to find out why they didn't want a hen and what, if anything, they opted to do instead.
#1 You might not want a hen party if your wedding plans are a little last-minute
Real bride Jess says: "We got engaged in March and decided we wanted to marry in August. We settled on such a tight time-frame as my partner's grandfather was poorly at the time, and it was important to us that he was there for the celebration. This gave us five months to plan everything, as well as make sure everything added up from a budget perspective. The hen party was so low down on my priorities list that when my best friend asked if I wanted her to plan something, I told her no - I'd rather she helped me with some of the wedding stuff instead (she's super-crafty, so helped me make decorations for the venue!)."
We say: wedding planning is stressful enough - and even more so when you're working to a tight time-frame. If time isn't on your side, why not consider planning a post-wedding celebration with your besties instead?
#2 The people you'd invite live a long way away
Real bride Priyanka says: "I've got lots of friends - but they're sprawled across the country, so I'd have been mortified at the thought of asking them to spend time and money on travelling to a central point. Instead of having a hen party per se, I arranged different meet-ups with different groups of people - for example, uni friends in London, childhood friends back home in Somerset, work colleagues where I live now in Edinburgh. It was lovely to use the wedding as an excuse to stage some much-needed catch-ups with people - and best of all, there wasn't an L-plate in sight!"
We say: Skype group-chat is the way to go! It might sound a little, er, tech-y, but it can totally work: even if it's just to discuss wedding planning, it's a great way to break ice between your girls, as well as allow them to put faces to names. Perhaps ask if they can arrive the day before your wedding for a pre-wedding dinner or cocktail.
#3 Health reasons make you think twice
Real bride Stephanie says: "I discovered I was pregnant shortly after we got engaged. Instead of a hen party, my best friend organised a spa day shortly before the wedding, so I had the best of both worlds - pampering and spending time with some of my favourite ladies! It was the perfect compromise, and also meant some of my friends who hadn't met before got to know each other."
We say: Talk things through with your Maid of Honour and come up with a plan B. If there are certain things you can't do owing to pregnancy or health conditions, make it clear ASAP and have a think about what you might like to do instead!
#4 You don't want a wild night out - end of
Real bride Kate says: "I really wasn't bothered about celebrating my 'last night of freedom'. In my mind, it's a cringe-worthy concept - I've chosen to marry my partner, after all, so why do I need to mourn the end of my 'wild' single life? Instead, I invited friends and family to join me for an afternoon tea and some bridal shower games at a nice nearby hotel.
We say: Stay true to you! If the idea of a generic hen party (think phallic straws/glow sticks/feather boas and so on) - or even a more sophisticated evening - brings you out in a cold chill, guess what? That's cool. If you don't want a night out for your hen party, you really don't have to have one. Work with your Maid of Honour to plan something that won't leave you eyeballing your watch every five minutes.
#5 You're not sure who you'd invite
Real bride Lianna says: "Most of my friends are guys - so when my sister asked me to draw up a guest-list for my hen party, I had no idea who to put on it beyond a couple of very old school friends. Instead, I asked her to organise a family day with our other sister, as well as our mum, aunts and grandmothers. It was really lovely: very relaxed, very low-key and the perfect reminder of how lucky I am to have my family."
We say: If you're scraping the metaphorical barrel for people to invite, consider swerving a hen party. (Unless, of course, you really want one - duh.) Instead, look at doing things with the people you do have in your life. Don't feel you have to bow to tradition - do your own thing, ladies!