There was a time when a hen party was a night with the girls down the local pub, a few daft games, a L-plate for the bride to be and a kebab on the way home. Since then hen parties have evolved into hen weekends and even hen holidays, with mounting costs for both the bride and her guests.
Here are some handy tips for enjoying you last night of freedom – without the financial headache.
- Stay local. By enjoying a hen party in your hometown, you immediately save everyone the cost of accommodation and travel – and you already know where to go for a fantastic night of cocktails and dancing. Celebrating locally doesn’t mean you can’t have a special weekend – in fact, the money saved in staying home can be spent on cocktail classes, a gourmet meal or other fun hen party experience.
- Go DIY. If you do have your heart set on going away for a weekend, why not create your own fun? Chip in with friends to hire a cottage in the woods or a house in the countryside for the weekend, take up your own food and drinks and make your own party. Get each hen to bring a game or activity for the group and enjoy a wild weekend without the stress of finding a cab home.
- Choose a broad theme. OK, so ordering t-shirts with everyone’s name on the back and ‘Cassie’s Hen Party’ on the front sounds fun, but it means guests spending money on a t-shirt they’ll wear for one night out then probably shove it down the back of a cupboard. Fancy dress themes can also mean shelling out for daft accessories. Why not choose a colour for the hens, then dress the bride in a complimenting colour so she stands out? Everyone can wear their own clothes, or buy something they’ll at least wear again, and your pictures will still look fabulous.
- Team up with the boys. You could also opt for a ‘hag do’ – where the stags and hens get together for one big party. Increased numbers can reduce the cost of accommodation – you could even hire a function room for an exclusive celebration. And you get the added bonus of being able to dance the night away with your husband-to-be, waving goodbye to singledom together.
- Host a pot-luck. Instead of spending money on a fancy meal out, why not start your party with a pot-luck at home? Get everyone to bring a dish, side or dessert, and enjoy a scrumptious spread together before heading into town. No need to try find a table for 20 on a Saturday night, then spend 20 minutes doing the maths to see what everyone owes when the bill comes – just you, your best mates and lots of yummy food, made with love.