What Is A Hen Party?

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I love a Hen Party. Well, as a hen party planner (specialising in Hen Party Games), I’d be in trouble if I didn’t! But what exactly is a Hen Do?

What Is A Hen Party?

In basic terms, a Hen Party is a celebration for a bride-to-be before the wedding day itself. The general idea is to celebrate the last moments of single life and her new life with hubbie. Normally Hen Party guests are all adult women. It is the female version of the Stag Do or the bachelor party (which is held for the groom). They have different names across the world (bachelorette parties in the USA, stagette parties in Canada), but in the UK, Ireland and Australia they are usually called Hen Parties, Hen Nights or Hen Dos. The word ‘Hen’ is in reference to a female chicken.

Hen Party Girls

Who, Where, When, What?

Planning the hen party usually rests on the shoulders of the bride’s closest friends. These are sometimes the bridesmaids or the maid of honour. The party can be held at a club, bar or restaurant. Alternatively the bride-to-be might prefer to have a more low-key event at someone’s home or a private rented space. Popular activities for ladies who like a bit of a wild time include strip shows, karaoke, and dance classes. A sunset cocktail party with a few games will suit many brides, but other girls would prefer a crazy night out on the town, dancing and knocking back shots of tequila. If the bride isn’t up for a raucous night of drinking, they might like a more subdued Hen Do, like a spa retreat, pamper days (with massages, facials, manicures and pedicures) and champagne dinners. Whatever the choice, the hostess should always keep at the forefront of her mind the wishes of the bride; there is no point in hiring a salsa teacher if the bride has two left feet!

Learner plate for a hen partyExtras

The party will often have a theme (which should be something funny or in line with the bride’s interests) and activities such as a few fun party games. The friends of the bride will often come up with hen party dares which can range from tame to outrageous. Costumes and props can make the party unique and funny gifts for the bride can add a personal touch. It is a British tradition for the bride-to-be to wear a veil and learner plates. It’s also a great idea to organise some entertainment such as a band or karaoke. For ideas of things to do on your Hen Night check out the category Fun Hen Party Games.

Most importantly, make the night a great fun send off for the bride-to-be. That’s my sole aim when I organise a Hen Do!

Happy Henning,

Gaynor x

About the author

Hiya. I’m Gaynor – Hen Party planner extraordinaire.

A few years ago my best mate Sally asked me to be her bridesmaid. With that came the responsibility of organising the Hen Do which was an exciting but slightly daunting prospect. I had a reputation as a bit of a party girl so the expectations were high. The challenge was the budget – there wasn’t one! But with a bit of improvisation and a lot of imagination I managed to pull it off.

The success of the night was mainly due to the unique and fun Hen Party Games I’d organised to get everyone interacting and laughing. On this site I’ll share some of the best ones I’ve discovered over the years.

Enjoy x

View all articles by Gaynor James

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