The bri­dal party ditches hens’ night rit­u­als

Wedding Destinations - - THE LOST SPRING - PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY JEN­NIFER SMITH

Like an ex­cited school kid I pack my bag and pre­pare for a girls’ week­end away - some­thing that hasn’t hap­pened in a long time. Back when I was a lot yonger, groups of us would find any ex­cuse to get away to­gether. Mid­night walks on the beach, long sen­ti­men­tal chats, danc­ing with broom­sticks - don’t ask why, but hey, it was a lot of fun.

This time how­ever, it’s a dif­fer­ent type of week­end away - one of the pam­per­ing va­ri­ety. We plan to ex­pe­ri­ence a spa from the per­spec­tive of a bride and her bri­dal party.

My small group of friends will re-cre­ate the bliss­ful gath­er­ing of friends and fam­ily, an op­por­tu­nity for all to bond and build a fun re­la­tion­ship be­fore the big oc­ca­sion.

By spend­ing time this way be­fore wed­ding, the bride and her pri­or­i­ties for the wed­ding cer­e­mony will be known to friends and fam­ily well in ad­vance.

While the hens’ party usu­ally pro­vides this bond­ing time, it tends to in­volve a bit of drink­ing and games that turn a lit­tle nutty - which is why I want to ex­plore some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. I’m look­ing for an en­vi­ron­ment that re­laxes, helps us un­wind and per­haps brings about a dif­fer­ent level of re­la­tion­ship build­ing.

On ar­rival at The Lost Spring - which has an al­most Juras­sic Park feel­ing about it - we are greeted by the spa at­ten­dants who give us soft robes to slip into and cock­tails to sip. We soak in one of sev­eral hot pools while be­ing served de­li­cious food and drinks from the menu. Then we em­bark on our Hen’s Heaven Spa Package. Mas­sage, foot scrub and a man­i­cure and pedi­cure. Now this is bliss.

Even though most of our “bri­dal party” hasn’t met be­fore, and de­spite our dif­fer­ent ages and back­grounds, our con­ver­sa­tion is deep and in­ti­mate. The spa en­vi­ron­ment and the com­plete re­lax­ation we are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing from the treat­ments in­spires talk about our deep­est selves. Along with pam­per­ing and cock­tails, the spa seems al­most like a “get­ting to know your­self bet­ter” ex­pe­ri­ence.

We emerge utt­terly re­laxed into the stone age-like set­ting of the hot pools. It was still light when we went into the spa, but now we’re em­braced by the dark of the night.

The Lost Spring is now more Juras­sic Park than ever. Ev­ery hot pool is like its own lit­tle cave. The jun­gle of plants and rocks is sud­denly trans­formed and be­comes dra­matic - like a movie set for our own spa ex­pe­ri­ence.

The ex­per­i­ment is a success. Our “bri­dal party” has spent an af­ter­noon and evening with noth­ing but bliss on the agenda and found it the best way to build new un­der­stand­ings with each other - and even with our­selves. - Rowena Bahl Visit th­elost­spring.co.nz

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