Mention the (seemingly) innocuous words hen party, and most women will react with a giggle, exclamation of horror, wistful nostalgia or perhaps a mixture of all three depending on personal experience, but they probably won’t think “classy”. A “hen do” is a rite of passage that marks the end of being footloose and fancy-free, and although modern women have had more freedom than ever before, there can no doubt that marriage is a game-changer and so who can blame brides-to-be for having a last hurrah?! The trouble is that hen dos have been hot on the cringe factor, while most girls just want to have fun with their friends nowadays. After all, maybe they’ve grown past that stage; there’s no denying the millennial bride is far more discerning.
We’ve moved on
There was a time when all that was expected was a girly night down the pub with lashings of alcohol, a few nibbles and perhaps a male stripper to add a sense of naughtiness to the occasion. Hormones running riot, tears in the toilets, arguments and someone being sick were de rigueur along with the camaraderie of exchanging gifts, drunken hugs and promises of still being best friends even when Miss became Mrs. And although there is nothing wrong with an old fashioned “do, most modern woman want a hen day, bachelorette party or bridal shower that is both chic and fun.
Hen do’s and don’ts
It is no surprise that two little words hold the power to invoke such strong emotions. Imagine a maid of honour worrying it will never be her turn, a bitter divorcee with a downer on marriage or that soon to be in-law watching you suck your margarita through a willy straw on your last night of freedom and you begin to understand how emotions could run high on what should be a time of celebration! So how do you ensure “team bride” is team happy with the hen do being remembered for all the right reasons? It’s easy – you just think classy.
There is no doubt that the party plan business is booming and blushing brides are not so coy about wanting to make a statement and even if they are, you can be sure that their BFF wants to give them a send off from single life they’ll remember for a lifetime. The winning formula is to accessorise, accessorise, accessorise because it really is the little things that count. Elegant accessories will help you hold a party fit for a princess. Just remember to write on the invitations “be home by midnight!”
Forget plastic fantastic
You don’t want guests drowning in pink vulgar tat (it’s neither classy nor environmentally friendly) so you will need to think beyond handcuffs and penis memorabilia! Here are 10 ideas for essential yet classy accessories to help you do just that:
- A “team bride” keepsake book filled with funny anecdotes and heartfelt messages from the bride’s ladies in waiting. Photos of the hen do can be added later – as long as they’re respectable!
- Classy photo booth props – consider a vintage theme and suggest a dress code (think ladies rather than ladettes) to add elegance to the proceedings! The props could be given as keepsakes or tucked into the bride’s book for memories to look back on.
- If you do want to add a bit of naughtiness then keep it classy not trashy and consider holding a lingerie shower. Not only can the bride pick what goes under her wedding dress but the guests can treat themselves so that they feel like a million dollars on the big day too!
- If you are decorating a hen do setting then it’s the accessories as well as the location that will really add a touch of class. Forget pink boas and say no to genitalia! Think Boho flowers, ring shaped honeycomb decorations and tea sets and champagne glasses. Pink bride straws are acceptable!
- “I do, crew” t shirts are a theme in themselves and certainly take the effort out of wondering what to wear to a hen party! You can still look classy in a t-shirt with heels and red lippy and a “uniform” will make everyone feel involved, including those soon to be in-laws (or outlaws as you may prefer to call them!)
- “Kiss the miss” is a lovely and unique idea for the future Mrs, where every guest leaves their lipstick print on a framed print to create a flurry of kisses which can then be hung in the marital home or used as a cover for the “team bride” book. Mwah!
- Bride squad, team bride, bride tribe, wedding posse – no matter that you call your nearest and dearest; personalised tote bags are the grown up version of party bags that guests will be delighted to receive no matter how old they are! Classy accessories could include lip glosses, badges, cupcakes etc and even eco friendly gifts such as flower seed bombs.
- Confetti filled balloons! Hopefully your guests will be mature enough to not want to pop them but if they do – the confetti can be kept as a keepsake or it can be thrown (gently!) over the bride as a pre-wedding warm up!
- Whichever classy theme you choose – vintage tea, cocktail party, James Bond anyone? THE ultimate classy accessory has to be a Buff Butler from Butler Bookings and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! These gorgeous hunks of manliness are not your typical tawdry stripper posing in a leopard print thong but charming gentlemen who reveal their buttocks of loveliness to only the most discerning ladies! It’s all done in the best possible taste and a dashing butler (or two) will certainly leave you shaken not stirred!
- Finally, your butler will certainly carry out polite favours, but the best ones are chocolate favours hidden in a classy cracker and served on a silver platter to your “hen do” guests. That’s one guaranteed way to end the pre-wedding celebrations with a bang!
However and wherever you choose to celebrate your hen, keep it classy and you’re likely to have a few cheeky photos to remember the night, rather than many drunken snaps of moments you’d rather forget.