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Where Did the Hen Party Come From?

Hen Party   /   May 4th, 2018   /   0 COMMENTS   /  A+ | a-


Whether you’ve been on one, organised one or been the focus of one, most of us have had dealings with a hen or stag party at some point. The hen party or hen night is the ladies’ celebration before the wedding and is a bit like a female version of the bachelor party. But there’s a lot more to do it – so where did the hen party come from?

Ancient pre-wedding celebrations

The idea of special celebrations or parties before the wedding itself isn’t a new one. In Ancient Greece for example, the wedding was made up of three parts. One of those was the Proaulia where the bride and her female family members gathered for a special ritual (read party in modern language). This actually pre-dated the first mention of the male pre-wedding gathering by some 1300 years so there’s a good case for the hen do being the forerunner of the stag do, not the other way around!

Hen = woman

We have the 1600s to thank for the idea of a woman as a hen. Back then the term was used as slang for a woman and by the late 1800s, there was use of the term ‘hen party’ in a publication called The Deseret News. This was a ‘time-honoured idea’ that women got together for tea and ‘chitchats’ before the wedding. Here’s the first mention of the classic hen party involving drink and lots of gossip. Hen parties didn’t always just mean there was a wedding around the corner either. Sometimes they were just gatherings of women. Politician and activist Eleanor Roosevelt was said to have had a ‘hen party’ at Christmas in 1940 when cabinet wives and ‘ladies of the press’ got together to have a good chat.

The bachelorette party

We have the ladies in the US to thank for the modern adaptation of the hen party – which they call the bachelorette party. Back in the 1960s, they started to have parties before the wedding with drink and fun. And by the mid-1970s there was an association between the ‘hen party’ and pre-wedding fun. But it wasn’t until the 1980s where it started to become a more common custom and not until the 1990s where the bachelorette party became the standard pre-wedding celebration.

The modern hen party

Since the 1990s, things haven’t changed that much with the hen party. The idea of male strippers has been refined to buff butlers who host a party while the drinking has broadened to include lots of cocktails or sometimes something a little less more sober, depending on the bride and the party. Hen parties of the 1990s often involved just a pub crawl but the modern hen party is often a weekend-long event that can include shopping, outdoor experiences, spa days and fine dining. Just as we have all found new things to do with our social time, so too the hen party has evolved beyond just getting drunk – although there’s still a lot of that goes on too!
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654 Reviews

Shehla

Tom was absolutely amazing, well spoken, funny, very personable and fit. He was likes by everyone and was very professional. Would recommend him to all. Thank you Tom for a great evening you were brilliant.

Tammy W

Hi there the butlers were fantastic. Really made it a fun start to our night out. Connor was on time and the other one was 20 minutes late but it wasn't a problem. Both very good. Thank you

Rachel B

If we could give a 6 we would have done. Thank you Liam. Just gorgeous, funny and a great Ass! Very accommodating to our every need. Would love to book him again!

Jill A

Booked a butler for a hen party and we were not disappointed! John was excellent and got everyone into the party spirit very quickly. Everyone had a fantastic time and had such a laugh. Would 100% book again and recommend butler bookings to anyone! Thank you for making the hen party one to remember!

Anonymous

Our bulters where great. Really got the party started

Maggie A

Thanks so much Lee for a great night. We were just a small group but Lee was so much fun. Good games, he encouraged us all to get involved in being naughty. The cream licking the best laugh.So relaxed and comfortable to be with. Naughty cheeky and handsome. Sians hen xx

Anonymous

Really great. Exactly what we were looking for for our hen. A little prep for games would have been good for us to get before but still really great. Really nice guy lots of fun 👌🏻

Anonymous

Liam completely made the whole weekend. He was charming, charismatic and really turned the party up a notch. We would recommend him to everyone

Amber

We hired a butler for a hen party. Grev our butler did not disappoint. He was fab at getting the games started and he had us laughing the whole way through. Would highly recommend Grev the whole group was impressed with his service

Anonymous

Ýour butlers were amazing. They were so well organised aand so good to look at. They came up with some brilliant games and Everyone enjoyed the Hawaiian pool party which the butlers kept us all entertained for 3 hours. Thank you so so much. Best hen party ever. We would definitely use you again. Highly recommend. Linda x

Anonymous

Absolutely loved our butler, was a bit unsure at first but he got the games going and the drink flowing!! Was without doubt my favourite bit of the entire hen weekend!! Thank u Thomas!!xx

Anna

Jonh fue muy amable y servicial y gracias a él pasamos un rato muy divertido.

Beth A

Lee was our butler who we hired for 2 hours. We were a hen party of 11 ladies and can honestly say he was immense! He was experienced and knew exactly what he was doing without being asked. He came with games to play of his own and went of to make drinks without any promting. As the host of the hen do this was so good for me as it took the pressure off me for a couple of hours. Thank you so much Lee :)

Anonymous

Liam was a brilliant Butler at our Hen Do on Saturday night, great games and lots of laughs - Many thanks!

Emma M

Grev was amazing!! Great entertainer had us all laughing and involved in games! Very attentive and friendly! Made our friends hen such a good night! Thanks again x

Amy S

Excellent service - James was very interactive, made sure everyone was involved and took the initiative to start games. Would highly recommend.

Hayley

Both Dan and Tyrone were fantastic! Got us all involved with some really fun games and really joined in and got the party going. Thank you!

Anonymous

Very confident and judged the hen really well! Very friendly and was willing to join in the games!! Would recommend

Anonymous

Liam was excellent, very fun and brought a great atmosphere. Extremely respectful and played great drinking games. Would recommend :)

Michelle C

We had booked with another company who let us down last min, we booked a butler with Butler Bookings a few days before our event and they couldn't have been more helpful. Adam arrived about 15 mins before the allotted time and he was so lovely, he put us all at ease straight away. My friend got the shock of her life on her hen doo. Adam involved all of the lasses and poured drinks, shots etc, he even got into the hot tub with us. He was very polite and chatty and of course had the butler body and bum. I would have no hesitation in recommending this company and will def be booking again. Cheaper than the other company who let us down and I think a lot more professional. Adam was great, we all wish him the best of luck xxxx

Anonymous

Andy was brilliant! He got us playing tasteful but hilarious games which was a brilliant start to the hen do and really helped people to get to know eachother. Thank you!

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