The Contemporary Hen Party
The Hen Party is evolving
While phallic paraphernalia and fluffy boas may not yet be a vision of the past, there is a definite movement toward the more chic and elegant Hen Party.
Though this could be attributed to changing socio-economic factors, such as age and earnings, I suspect this subtle turning of the tide is simply down to the sheer demand for something, well… more sophisticated.
This demand is spurring a new wave of Hen Party resources and products - a welcome relief to the newly engaged; and though these changes aren’t happening overnight, there are clear trends emerging among the more contemporary Bride to Be.
The more the merrier
Numbers can quickly add up when planning who to invite to your Hen Party. Before you know it you’re looking at a list of around 20 names, made up of various friendship groups and family. It is therefore increasingly the case that the group is unfamiliar with one another. With this in mind a popular idea is to plan a residential Hen Party – where everyone sleeps under the same roof for a night or two. It allows everyone to relax and get to know each other over the duration of the weekend, without being forced to shout pleasantries over a thumping bass in the local nightclub. Whether it be in the UK or abroad, the ‘weekender’ is quickly becoming the norm.
Location, Location, Location
Once you’ve decide on the length of stay, you’ll need to decide where to go. Budget airlines have dramatically broadened our horizons over the last two decades, tempting many Hen Parties abroad with the promise of sun, sea and sand. However it’s often the case that going abroad will dramatically cut your numbers, simply because not everyone will be able to afford to go.
If you do decide on a Staycation, then my advice would be to avoid the traditional ‘Hen Party Cities’, whose High Streets are drenched in Stag and Hen Parties come the weekend. Renting a large country house for the weekend, a city centre town house, or even Glamping are all contemporary alternatives to Chain Hotels or Hostels.
Who are you supposed to be?
Fancy dress is giving way to more subtle, classy dress codes. A popular idea amongst my friendships group was for the Hen Party to wear Black, while the Bride to Be wore White. This is a very flexible dress code, allowing your Party to wear whatever style of clothing they feel most comfortable in, whether it be an LBD or jumpsuit, the choice it theirs. It also allows the Bride to stand out from the crowd and looks fabulous in group pictures.
Accessories wise – feel free to leave the Garish L plates and Head Boppers at home (or in the bin!).
A growing trend is to wear a simple pin or button badge, with the Brides being slightly bigger or elaborate; the advantage of this simple styling is that the group clearly belongs together without being embarrassed to walk down the street. While the choice available isn’t huge at present, it’s growing quickly, fuelled simply by demand for something a bit different!
Salsa Dancing or Cocktail Making are simply not everyone’s idea of fun, and yet you’ve probably been introduced to at least one of these activities at some point during a Hen Party. I know I have. But what if your tastes and passions lie elsewhere? Until recently you’d be heavily reliant upon your Hen Party organizer to pull something original out of the bag, and organise it in every detail. Thankfully that is not so much the case these days. With websites like The Hen Planner, even the most unimaginative Hens have an array of activity ideas at their fingertips. Narrow Boating, Wine & Cheese Pairing, Craft Making, Butchery Masterclass…I could go on.
If the thought of picking an activity from the endless options available seems daunting, my advice is simple. What are your passions and interests?
This is your day to do something you enjoy; the memories made will stay with you forever.
Whether you are having a night out in your local city, or jetting abroad, it’s likely your Hen Party will include at least one night out. With different ages, and stages in life come different ideas and expectations of a good night out. Try and cater for everyone by mixing it up a little. If there are elderly relatives, or expectant mothers in the group, going drinking all night then on to a club may not be possible. Arranging an early dinner, perhaps in a private room somewhere, before moving on to a Bar gives everyone a chance to get involved and enjoy the night, even if a few don’t make it to the Club later on.
Thanks a Million
Your Hen Party is all about you – but it wouldn’t be possible without all your best friends and closest family. Why not say Thank You in a truly personal way by treating them to some fabulous favours. By no means a tradition here in the UK, but certainly a growing trend, presenting your Hens with gorgeous Gift Bags filled with little treats is a real pleasure – and something they won’t be expecting. They don’t have to cost the earth, and favours to fill them come in all shapes and sizes. Vanity Mirrors, Lip Balms, Playing Cards, Wish Bracelets, Miniature Spirits, Personalised Shot Glasses are all popular ideas which can be picked up fairly cheaply.
It’s a chance for you to say Thank You; for coming to your Hen Party, and most importantly, for being a valued friend.
For more fabulous ideas visit www.thehenplanner.com and for beautifully designed and crafted favours and keepsakes visit www.team-hen.com
Author: Danielle Kendall from Team Hen