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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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684 Reviews

Anonymous

Laurence was very professional and made sure everyone was at ease. He was a lot of fun and got everyone amped up for our day on the boat!

Anonymous

Amazing!! Our butler was funny and fit as well as being a really good sport! We has a great time and would thoroughly recommend!!!!

Linzi W

Both amazing...loved the games!! We all got really drunk and had such a laugh...thank you :)

Mollie H

Amazing service, the bride loved her hen party. Thank you Mollie

Natalie

We had a fantastic evening with your butlers, this service will definitely be recommended thanks for your time and service we really enjoyed it. Thanks Natalie

Anonymous

Jake and Clint came to our villa for a hen party of 21 and they done a fantastic job, we laughed from start to finish and couldn’t have asked for more fun and games. Well done guys 😁 couldn’t recommend enough. Thanks guys, love nikki x

Katie

The butlers were amazing, they did not let our drinks go dry and kept everyone entertained,, didnt really know what to expect when booking but i highly recommend for a hen party the games were hilarious

Anonymous

Andy was a fantastic addition to my sister's hen party. He was easy to communicate with before hand, helped us keep the activity a secret and made our group (all at different stages in life) feel totally relaxed and comfortable throughout. I would definitely recommend using Butler Bookings!

Sophie W

Absolutely fantastic!! Chatty and friendly, got the party started and made sure everyone was included. Also incredibly hot!!

Anonymous

Tyrone could not have been more of a laugh. Exactly what you need for a hen do. Nice one!

Zoe

Absolutely brilliant! John was friendly, everyone loved him and had a great time.

Lauren H

Freddie was really good at starting the party vibes. Bride was very happy and he wasn’t forceful with anything (respectful with people that didn’t want to take part). He asked if everyone was comfortable, helped serve drinks. Very happy!

Karen S

Liam attended our hen party on Friday evening and it was a fantastic success! Liam got everyone involved (even our 81 year old nan). Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it, thanks Liam for a great night!

Rachel J

Great evening, he kept us all entertained, very sexy , he certainly put a smile on all our faces , thank you

Rebecca

We had a great time with our butler. I was a bit aprehensive to book at first as it was for my sister's hen with older family members there, but John was great at included everyone and making sure we all had fun. It was a great way to start our hen break and get all the hens mixing and having fun. Thanks John.

Anonymous

Freddie was great! He cracked on with games and made everyone chuckle

Patricia O

What an experience..john was amazing from start to finish. We didn't know what to expect but he made it brilliant and made our friend James's birthday.. The games he gave us to play were fun ... Would definitely recommend and book again. Thank you so much...

Lydia I

Really great surprise for our bride on her hen party! The butlers served us drinks and also played lots of games with us. They were both really nice and friendly and also so funny, made us all feel very comfortable and we all had so much fun!

Hannah B

Lee was fantastic and really made our night!

Steph

Our butler John was so lovely! Great games, so funny and a lovely guy! Everyone had a great time!

Anonymous

Had a lot of fun with our butler and the girls had a great time! He made loads of effort to entertain and give our bride to be a memorable night! Thanks!

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