The key ingredients for a successful hen party

facebook-profile-picture By Claire
Team Bride

Without giving anything away, it’s my friend’s hen party this month (which I’m a bridesmaid for) and mine is also coming up soon, so I wanted to take this time to reflect on what the must haves for a good hen party are, along with a few have nots! I won’t lie, this is also a very strategic subliminal message to my bridesmaids as I know they’re up to no good and I want to make sure they know what my expectations are…

You may disagree with me here, but I’m just not a big fan of the tacky hen party stuff. Willy straws, condoms hanging from a veil and fancy dress are just not for me. I’ve actually put a very big lock down on any “organised fun” for my hen party as the very words just spell out anything but fun to me, and I’m all for just having a good time without forcing it. That being said, you still want to enjoy your hen party, feel special and have your moment, and therefore I thought I’d highlight the key things that are vital for a successful hen party.

  • The People – It doesn’t matter where you are, all that matters is who you’re spending it with. It’s completely up to you whether you invite family, the oldies, work friends, school friends, but the key ingredient here is having everyone there that without it just wouldn’t feel as special. Even if that means compromising on price or location, your closest friends and family are the number one component to ensuring you have a good time.
  • The Games – Although I’ve said I’m absolutely against organised fun, I do think games have a special place on a hen party. They’re great for breaking the ice between groups of friends that may not have met before, and they’re also great for shining the spotlight on the special lady – the bride to be.
  • The VIP – The hen party would not be happening without your friend / sister / relative having said yes to spend the rest of her life married to someone else. Therefore, as the tradition goes, the hen party is meant to signify their last night / holiday of freedom (even though that’s not really the case anymore) so let’s make sure you show her a good time! You want her to have an unforgettable experience, tailored to the things she loves, and I think this is really important. For my friends hen party, we’ve tried to make everything about her and the things she has experienced in life (although I can’t give too much away just yet!)

With those three things, I think you’re onto a winner. It’s very easy to get bogged down by destination, and don’t get me wrong, I was very keen to go somewhere hot with a bit of culture (we booked Barcelona) but that really is one of the smaller details in the grand scheme of things.

You can probably tell, I’m very particular and I know what I like. Therefore, please don’t be offended by my hen party turn-offs, you may feel completely different but these are my absolute no go’s.

  • ORGANISED FUN – I’ve said it before, but here’s my issue. I don’t like charging people to do an activity that not a single person would choose to do any other time but because it’s a hen party and you’re desperately looking for ways to fill time you pay through the nose for some kind of class that everyone has to take part in. I’d much rather spend my time and money enjoying the scenery / food / people than paying to do an activity like this.
  • T-shirts – Just no. Again, paying for a t-shirt you absolutely will never wear again (except to sleep in) because it says something so crude on the back that you wouldn’t ever dare to be seen in it in public again are just a big no for hen parties in my eyes. I’m probably not even OK with sashes either.
  • Fancy dress – Why? Why does hen party = fancy dress? That’s just not an equation that works for me. I much prefer planning my own outfits and looking forward to putting a great outfit together than the thought of dressing up as a nurse / army girl / cowgirl / [insert other slutty fancy dress outfit here].

You may have noticed I’ve not mentioned anything here that involves a six pack and a thong. I’m still very much on the fence about male strippers / butlers in the buff. Everyone loves a little bit of smutt, and I’m happy for that to come in the form of a male adonis. On the other hand, the thought of actually having to rub baby oil onto another man’s chest makes me cringe beyond belief. Let’s watch this space on this one…

What are your hen do’s and don’t’s? Let me know in the comments below. I’ll also be sharing all the photos from my friends hen party at the end of June and my own in September on my Instagram, so follow for more hen party and wedding planning content.

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