Hens' and Bucks' Nights/ Showers
Emma Margeaux Bride Online Columnist

Hen's Night FAQs

(Courtesy goodnessgracious.tumblr.com)

Who arranges the hen’s night?

Traditionally, the maid of honour is in charge of arranging the hen’s night but if she is unable to do it due to geographical or other challenges, one of the other bridesmaids can take her place. The bride-to-be should not be expected to arrange the hen’s night. She already has enough on her plate.

When should I start planning the hen’s night?

There is a lot of preparation that goes into putting on a hen’s night. Sending out invitations, booking venues, arranging activities and being the mediator between bickering friends on the guest list, all take time. It’s best to start planning the hen’s night three months in advance to ensure the bride-to-be has a good night.

Who should be invited to the hen’s night?

Generally speaking, this is a “no boys allowed” deal. The number of guests depends on the type of event and the bride’s preferences. If a quiet dinner is planned, only invite the bride’s closest friends. If you are planning to party like there’s no tomorrow, inviting ten or twenty guests is acceptable. Make sure to clear the guest list with the bride before sending out any invitations.

Should the hen’s night arrangements be kept secret from the bride-to-be?

There should be at least some surprises during the hen’s night event. Make sure to have a photographer on stand-by to capture the bride’s reaction to any such surprises. However, plan with discretion. The person arranging the hen’s night should be someone who knows the bride intimately and knows what she would or wouldn’t approve of. There’s nothing worse than forking out a large sum of money on male strippers if the bride-to-be is only going to run out of the room feeling embarrassed or, worse still, mad. Try to keep the bride-to-be in the loop as much as possible but ensure that a few appropriate surprises are included in the night, too.

When should the hen’s night be held?

Although a hen’s night is a woman’s last night of “freedom”, it should not be held the night before the wedding. Nobody wants to walk down the aisle hung over so many women opt to hold their hen’s night a week or two before the big event.

Where should a hen’s night be held?

This is completely dependent upon the bride’s personality and preferences. If she wants to party hard, try to find a strip of clubs where you can all go on a bar crawl, moving from one nightclub to the next. If she wants a more intimate get together, consider holding the party in one of your friend’s houses or apartments. A house party can still contain plenty of booze, strippers, obscene gift giving and raucous laughter.

My friend is very shy and conservative. How can we celebrate her night?

A hen’s night doesn’t necessarily have to involve clubbing and nudity. For those more modest brides, a tasteful and dignified get together can be arranged in the form of brunch, high tea or dinner at a nice restaurant. This type of event is the perfect opportunity to invite the mother-of-the-bride or even the grandmother-of-the-bride.

What are some fun activities for a hen’s night?

Check out this page for more in-depth activity ideas. The short version, however, includes: drinking games, karaoke and truth or dare, which are always fun ways to get the party started. Scavenger hunts are becoming more and more popular for hen’s nights. These usually involve all of the ladies pairing up and receiving a list of instructions. The instructions can be outrageous, such as “convince a man to sing ‘Like a Virgin’ at the top of his lungs” or “tell a stranger that they have the sexiest butt you have ever seen”. All tasks must be captured on film in order to be checked off the list. The first pair to return with a complete list wins a prize. 

What is an appropriate gift for a hen’s night out on the town?

If the bride-to-be is set on partying til the sun comes up, you might consider giving her a naughty gift to suit her wild personality. You’re sure to find something suitable with a quick trip to the local adult store. If you are all going out on the town, don’t forget to arrange a time where party attendees can give the bride their gifts. It’s a good idea to meet at a friend’s house to give gifts and have a few pre-party drinks before heading out together.

What is an appropriate gift for a modest bride?

If you think the bride-to-be might be offended by naughty lingerie or sex toys, you might consider buying something for her new home. Try to think of something which isn’t traditionally given as a wedding present. An album by her favourite artist is a good idea. Vouchers for a day at the spa and cinema tickets are always popular, too.

What should we wear to a hen’s night?

No matter what the guests wear on the night, the bride must, under all circumstances, stand out in a crowd. This means decking her out in feather boas, flashing badges, tiaras and “Bride-to-be” sashes. The rest of the group can be dressed in fancy dress, all in pink, or however they please. Custom made t-shirts are a fun way to celebrate a hen’s night and make a good memento long after the event.

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