Travel
Fact-checked

At WiseTour, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What is a Hen Party?

A Hen Party is a vibrant celebration marking a bride's final days before marriage. It's a time for close friends to gather, share laughter, and create lasting memories. Think themed games, heartfelt toasts, and perhaps a dash of delightful mischief. Want to know how to plan the perfect Hen Party or the origins of this cherished tradition? Join us as we explore.
Kate Monteith
Kate Monteith

A hen party is a festive celebration held before a wedding, and attended by the bride and her female friends. These parties are basically the female equivalent of the male bachelor party or stag party. Known as "bachelorette parties" in the United States, and "stagette parties" in Canada, they are called "hen parties" or "hen nights" in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia.

This type of party is usually planned by the brides’ closest friends, often the maid of honor or bridesmaids. The festivities can be held in a public place, such as a restaurant or bar, or may be held in a private home or rented room. The location often depends on the amount of exuberance expected of guests. Some celebrations can get quite wild, with frenzied dancing and inappropriate behavior. Alternately, a day of drinking champagne at a day spa would be considered a tame version.

A hen party is called a "bachelorette party" in the United States.
A hen party is called a "bachelorette party" in the United States.

Unlike a bridal shower with young girls in attendance, the hen party is strictly for adult women. Bringing a gag gift is de rigueur, with lighthearted male-bashing a favorite theme. Gifts are meant to cause a bit of blushing and gales of laughter, if possible. Drinking of alcohol and freeform dancing may be encouraged as the party unfolds. The women will “let down their hair,” but generally watch out for one another to see that no one is ever in danger.

A hen party is typically planned by a brides' closest friends.
A hen party is typically planned by a brides' closest friends.

There is a wide range of options when it comes to planning the entertainment for a hen party. The general idea is to celebrate the last moments of single life and the new life that will unfold. Planners will be wise to listen carefully to the likes and dislikes of the bride, and let the nature of her personality set the tone for the festivities.

An afternoon cocktail party with a few naughty games will suffice for some brides, while others prefer a wild night of dancing and slamming shots. On the other hand, some brides will completely shun the idea of a raucous night of drinking in favor of a spa day with the bridal party, including soothing massages, manicures and pedicures, and other lavish pampering.

Hen parties may include going to a club.
Hen parties may include going to a club.

The word “hen” in the title is a reference to female chickens. In the U.S., the term is considered somewhat derogatory toward women, and the time of sexual equality, any gathering of women and girls might have been classified as a hen party. The parties held by today's women have nothing to do with the innocent quilting bees of old, except for female bonding.

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is a hen party?

A day at the spa as part of a hen party will likely include a relaxing massage.
A day at the spa as part of a hen party will likely include a relaxing massage.

A hen party, also known as a bachelorette party in the United States, is a celebration held for a woman who is about to get married. It's a time for the bride-to-be to enjoy her last moments of single life with her closest friends. Traditionally, it involves various activities, from a simple night out to elaborate weekends away, and can include spa days, themed parties, and even international trips. The focus is on fun, bonding, and creating lasting memories before the wedding day.

Who typically organizes a hen party?

Drinking shots is one hen party activity.
Drinking shots is one hen party activity.

Typically, the maid of honor or the bridesmaids are responsible for organizing the hen party. They coordinate the event, keeping in mind the bride's preferences and personality. The organizers should consider the budget, venue, activities, and guest list, ensuring that the celebration reflects what the bride would enjoy. It's a collaborative effort that often involves input from other close friends or family members of the bride-to-be.

What are some popular hen party activities?

A day at the spa as part of a hen party could include a manicure.
A day at the spa as part of a hen party could include a manicure.

Popular hen party activities vary widely and can range from relaxed to adventurous. Some common choices include spa days, cocktail making classes, dance lessons, wine tasting, and themed dress-up events. For those looking for more excitement, activities like outdoor adventure sports, weekend getaways to a new city, or even a short cruise can be arranged. The key is to tailor the activities to the bride's interests and ensure everyone has a great time.

Is there a typical duration for a hen party?

The duration of a hen party can vary greatly depending on the type of celebration planned. It can be as short as an evening, a full day, or extend over a weekend. Some particularly lavish hen parties may even last a week, especially if they involve travel to a destination. The length of the party should accommodate the schedules of the bride and her guests, as well as the budget and the activities planned.

Are there any etiquette rules to follow for a hen party?

Hen party etiquette generally revolves around respect for the bride's wishes and comfort level. It's important to plan activities that she will enjoy and to avoid anything that might make her feel uncomfortable. Guests should also be mindful of their behavior, ensuring that the focus remains on celebrating the bride. Additionally, it's considerate to plan for a budget that is accessible to all guests, so that no one feels excluded due to financial constraints.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments

fify

My hen party was in the UK, I had a party organizer take care of it for me. It wasn't very expensive and they came up with so many unique hen night ideas and activities we could do. I just picked what I like. They organized the whole event and even had free gifts for us. It's worth the trouble to plan yourself in my opinion.

bear78

@ysmina-- There are so many fun and naughty hen party games. They're relatively easy to come up with too, just use your imagination.

Locale and food can be the major costs involved with a hen party. But many restaurants offer special fixed price menus for parties. You can even have the party at home if you want to save money.

My sister-in-law did a house party for her hen do and we had a beautician come over and give us facials and makeovers. Then we played games, watched our favorite films, ate and drank. It was a lot of fun, we didn't get stressed out and it was also a sleep-over so no one had to worry about driving home. It was genuinely a great night.

ysmina

What can I do for a hen night party on a budget?

The attendees will all be adults so it can be a little on the naughty side. I certainly don't want to bore people. It can't be too crazy either though because I don't know some of the ladies who are invited. Please help!

anon261634

Naughty-shaped piñatas are a fun trend which takes "lighthearted male-bashing..." to a new level.

Papier-mâché or cardboard moulds covered with brightly coloured paper, piñatas are typically filled with sweets and beaten with a stick until the contents come whizzing out.

Fun for a hen party, phallic-shaped goodies, jokes, condoms and sweets are hilarious. Look online for inspiration.

anon231717

We love hen parties. In the US they are bachelorette parties, which is the term they use.

anon151522

@naturegurl3: it is good you know what you want. Now just find what will be enjoyable. You could opt for an afternoon tea in London or maybe wine tasting and a spa.

yournamehere

@naturesgurl3 -- Oh wow. You can really go a lot of directions with hen party accessories.

Kind of like hen parties themselves, the accessories span the spectrum from very innocent to quite naughty.

If you're looking for pretty tame ones, you might consider getting your sister a veil or a fun tiara. Some places even sell sashes that say "Bride to Be" or "Hen Party".

They also have accessories for the friends, like little bottles of bubbles, t-shirts, boas, you name it.

That way she can feel special, and you guys can have fun without getting too crazy.

naturesgurl3

What are some good hen party accessories?

My sister is getting married and I want to throw her a mature, but not too boring party.

Any ideas?

CopperPipe

Some people even go for a whole hen party weekend!

That way they can get in a day at the spa, a night on the town, and have the morning after to recover.

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • A hen party is called a "bachelorette party" in the United States.
      By: WavebreakMediaMicro
      A hen party is called a "bachelorette party" in the United States.
    • A hen party is typically planned by a brides' closest friends.
      By: stokkete
      A hen party is typically planned by a brides' closest friends.
    • Hen parties may include going to a club.
      By: pressmaster
      Hen parties may include going to a club.
    • A day at the spa as part of a hen party will likely include a relaxing massage.
      By: Dmitry Ersler
      A day at the spa as part of a hen party will likely include a relaxing massage.
    • Drinking shots is one hen party activity.
      By: Ahileos
      Drinking shots is one hen party activity.
    • A day at the spa as part of a hen party could include a manicure.
      By: Andriy Bezuglov
      A day at the spa as part of a hen party could include a manicure.