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What is a Hen Party
"A party for a woman who is going to get married, to which only her female friends are invited." - Cambridge University Press
The Greeks are said to be the first women to celebrate marriage. The bride would spend the last days before her wedding with her mother, female relatives and friends preparing for marriage. These festivities would usually take place at the Bride's father's house and include a feast and offerings made by the bride-to-be and her family to the gods. The bride would also sacrifice her childhood toys, clothing, locks of hair, and her girdle to the virgin goddess Artemis. These dedications (in particular the girdle, which symbolised virginity) signified the bride’s movement from childhood into adulthood.
Moving in to more modern history, the basis of a hen do still remains along the same ideas, being that the soon-to-married 'hen' invites her closest female family and friends along for a weekend of fun and games, or just for a nice relaxing getaway.
"The last fling before the ring" (please note that we don't condone bigamy) - The Free Dictionary
What is the purpose of a hen party?
To celebrate the person who is getting married and give her a good 'send-off' into married life. It gives everyone in the group a chance to impart 'wisdom' on the bride-to-be for her future life and gives the hen a 'rest' before the big day.
What do you do on a hen party?
- Activities -
There are almost endless choices of activities to do for a hen party. From a relaxing spa break weekend, to Murder Mysteries, cocktail making masterclasses, dance classes, sports days, quad biking, raft building and everything in between, there is an activity which any hen will enjoy. Also frequently included some form of 'male-nudity'. This can include a stripper, a Butler in the Buff, Dreamboys or Life Drawing classes, but is usually aimed at causing pure embarrassment for the hen. You could always go for something a bit different like 'Pimp my penis' to add something 'extra' to your hen party.
- Dressing-up -
Whether it's getting all dressed up for a night out or fancy dress, dressing up is a common feature of a hen party. Occasionally the hen may also be subjected to being dressed as a giant penis, but we'll leave that up to the group to decide!
- Drink -
The favourite hen-party-tipples are Prosecco and Cocktails, which seem to go down very well with most groups (at any time of day). Guest list bar and club passes also prove very popular, as they mean that everyone can skip the queues and start dancing sooner.
- Accommodation -
Some hen parties prefer home comforts and rent a private house for a weekend. A popular option for groups looking to get out of towns and cities. Other groups like the appeal of hotels, often with coffee shops, restaurants and leisure facilities on site, meaning you don't have to go anywhere else if you don't care to explore the local area. Both options have their appeal and varying prices, so it's best to ask what everyone wants to do.
- Goody bags -
A common element of a hen party is a goody bag. These can include 'essentials' such as paracetamol, water, alcohol (not so 'essential'), sweets, games, masks and more*. A great little way to put a smile on everyone's face and can act as a little ice-breaker for the group members who don't know each other.
*There are often 'penis straws' or other phallic toys, food etc to be found on a hen party, but this isn't for everyone!
When does a hen party happen?
It's most common for a hen party to happen at least a month before the wedding date, so that the bride-to-be has enough time to get fully prepared for her 'big day'. Some hens may also consume their fair share of alcohol over the course of a weekend, so it should give them time to recover from that as well.
Where are hen parties held?
Hen parties can happen anywhere in reality. It's commonplace to arrange a hen party somewhere that is either a) a place which means something to the hen (where she went to school / where she grew up ) or b) somewhere which is convenient for everyone to get to i.e. in the middle (or thereabouts) of where everyone has to travel from. These are simply suggestions, but a hen party can be organised across the UK.
How much does a hen party cost?
On average, each person attending a hen party spends £110 on the weekend's activities and/or accommodation. Of course, if it's just activities you're booking then the spend will be lower and if packing your weekend full of things to do and staying somewhere really nice, the price will of course be higher. It's important to discuss a budget with as many of the group as possible.
Who goes on a hen party?
Generally speaking, it's an all-woman affair. The hen usually hands it to her maid of honour to sort the guest list, with future in-laws (mother and sister(s)), the hen's mother, close friends and possibly colleagues being invited. It's an event for the hen, so anyone who is important to her will usually be invited.
Give us a call to discuss ideas for a hen party
Now you know what a hen party is, here's what to do next:
- Get an idea of activities you'll want to do
- Have a maximum distance in mind, to travel for the hen party and an idea of the budget (ideally per person)
- Get in touch with us to start putting your plans together
We specialise in UK Hen Party packages, including midweek and weekend breaks. Whether you're looking for an activity day or a multiple night activity break, we've got it all covered.
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