Hen Party Planning: The Ultimate Guide

Hen parties. They either send shivers down your back or have you screaming ‘I WANT MORE’. But whether you loathe them or love them, it cannot be denied that they’re everywhere. Yet, what are they? And where do they come from? Here is everything you need to know about planning the hen party, literally.

Table of contents

  1. What is a hen party?

  2. A history of hen parties

  3. Hen nights and bridal showers, what’s the difference?

  4. How long before the wedding should the hen party take place?

  5. Top tips for planning the ultimate hen party

  6. Maid of honor tips

  7. Hen party budgets

  8. How to choose a hen party theme

  9. How to chooses your activities

  10. Location, location, location.

  11. Hen party props an accessories

  12. Hen party games and pranks

What is a hen party?

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Usually when you’re trying to work out the meaning of a word or phrase, you’ll head to the English Oxford Dictionary but for this one, we’re heading to Urban Dictionary. According to Urban Dictionary, a hen night is “a girl’s night out laid on for the bride getting married the next day”. While hen parties now tend to take place a few months before the big (except for those in Eastenders), this definition definitely sounds about right.

Hen parties are often said to be a classy version of a stag do but whoever said that has obviously never been to good one. In reality, a hen party can involve anything from cocktails and chit chat, to witnessing someone’s quiet sister be sick all over herself after getting off with the bouncer. Cute. Either way, many countries around the world have their own traditions but all tend to focus on a party given in honour of the bride-to-be, pre-wedding. Good times with your friends: necessity. Strippers and slut drops: optional.

A history of hen parties

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Are you ready for a history lesson? Because we’re about to give you one.

Back in the day, ‘hen’ was used to describe the female version of any bird. So a hen party was used to describe a party that was strictly girls only. However, it wasn’t until the 1970s that popularity really began to increase. Experts have put this down to the sexual revolution of the 1960s.

While the phrase ‘hen party’ has been around since the 1800s, it wasn’t until many years later that these words began to have any context. Google’s N-gram tool searches keywords used in millions of books and shows an increase in the use of ‘hen party’ from the 1960s. And, it wasn’t until 1976 that the Times Newspaper first used the phrase ‘hen party’ in a story. But, it was about a badly behaved male stripper. Naughty boy.

The more you look into hen parties, the more it’s obvious this is a recently new phenomenon. Three million years ago, if you fancied someone, you got down to business and began hunting with them. There were no worries about side chicks or naked pics. So, ultimately marriage was no big deal. Yet as animals and plants began to gain importance, the ownership of land and women did so too. Women soon became something that could be traded and marriage was seen as a celebration. However the hen party tradition that we know and recognise today, would still take a few years to come around.

Hen nights and bridal showers, what’s the difference?

They both celebrate the same thing but there’s a big difference when it comes to hen nights and bridal showers. While a hen party is big and brash, a bridal shower is classy, elegant and PG-rated. A bridal shower is often hosted at the bride’s family house and games such as ‘Pin the Bouquet on the Bride’ are played while nibbling cupcakes and sipping rose tea (Okay we made the last bit up). Opt for a hen party and you’ll be slathering baby oil on a stripper and shoving a donna kebab in your gob.

Another difference is cost. Hen parties are usually paid by all the hens. A bridal shower often works out cheaper and the bride’s family will usually foot the cost. In addition to this, at a hen party, the hen’s are usually given gift bags filled with novelty items. At a bridal shower, guests are expected to bring the bride presents, similar to a baby shower.

How long before the wedding should a hen party take place?

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As a rule of thumb, one month before the event should be ample enough time for the bride to recover, be able to tend to last-minute plans for the wedding and for you to keep the camaraderie between newly found friends. Just remember, try and keep it relatively soon after a pay day!

If the bride had decided to have more than one hen party (some do you know!) then make sure they are not too close together. There will probably be some crossover of attendees and be more than likely that some won’t be able to make two weekends close to each other.

Extra tip: Make sure you build in a bit of downtime. After a heavy weekend with all her best friends and lots of drinking, the following days could get a little depressing.  If you’ve asked her to book off Monday and Tuesday, why not factor in a surprise. Maybe a spa or afternoon tea, something that doesn’t involve alcohol to help her wind down a little.

Top tips for planning the ultimate hen party

The hen party has to be unique, affordable, suit a dozen different tastes, and of course, make the bride feel like a star. Even though, let’s be honest, it’s not like she’s the first bride on earth. That being said, planning a hen party can seem daunting so we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you out.

  1. Pick a damn date, and stick to it. Don’t forget to send of the invites in advance.

  2. Know your audience - Get together with the bride and do a quick run over on who is being invited. Are the majority of guests born-again Christians? Recovering alcoholics? Worse yet, pregnant? If that’s the case, be prepared that you’ll need to offer activities that can involve everyone. Find out what she wants and whether or not she wants to go abroad.

  3. Decide early on if your bride is a theme kinda gal. Does she appreciate a perfectly matched table setting? A lover of the pink and black dress combo? Themes can be great at creating a unified weekend BUT they can also be limiting and sometimes cringeworthy. Best to consult the bride on this one.

  4. Set up a group chat - The simplest way to arrange budgets, dates and activities is to create a group chat. Plus you’ll be able to send all the photos over after the weekend.

  5. Decide on a location and find accommodation.

  6. Plan activities. From cocktail making, nude life drawing classes, multi-activity days or a trip to the theatre, it’s important to fill the hen party with fun things to do and see.

  7. Create a kitty. Often large groups use a kitty when heading away but it can also be useful when booking things beforehand. Having a joint money pot is not only easier to keep track of who has paid what but will also stop that tight mate from missing a round. You know who you are.

  8. Don’t forget about the finer details. Organise hen party games, outfits, party bags and more!

  9. Send an itinerary out to everyone a week before and don’t forget to have fun!


Maid of honour tips

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You guys go way back. If you’ve been given the ultimate BFF role, then there’s a number of things that you can do that will help your bride’s day go even smoother. Plus, remember it might be you next time so make sure she feels special…

Be Supportive

Whether it’s as simple as choosing a linen colour or as complicated as navigating family politics to make a seating chart, some pre-wedding tasks can be tough — and stressful. A great Maid of Honor will be supportive of her friend and help her work through the to-do list.


Be Enthusiastic

You’d be surprised at how much wedding planning can take over your life. Offer her your honest opinion when she asks for it – and be sincere, even if she’s asked you a hundred times. She’ll be there doing the same for you on your big day

Keep the bridesmaids in line

A big part of being a great maid of honor is helping to manage the rest of the bridal party. From taking the lead planning the hen party or bridal shower to making sure everyone has ordered their dress on-time, serve as the bride’s right hand woman and help get those details in order. Let the bridesmaids know they can come to you directly with any questions, comments, or concerns and then you can jot them down, filter the ones you can answer out, and bring the rest to the bride when she has less on her plate. Be the link between the bride and the bridesmaids.


Ask for help when you need it

If you're feeling overwhelmed, swamped, or out of ideas, don't be shy to ask for help. You shouldn't feel as though you're a one-woman show throughout this whole adventure.


Remind the Groom

As the main link between the bride and her groom, you can remind the him of romantic little touches that you know for a fact that the bride wants but is too embarrassed to ask for. Gently suggest that writing her a love note on the morning of the wedding would be a sweet idea, or that if he’s feeling flush that a little something sparkly wouldn’t go a miss!

Be prepared!

On the day of the wedding, put on your maid of honor hat! Make sure you’re on time (or even a little early) for hair and makeup, with all of your accessories in tow. Bring along water, snacks, and an emergency kit (Band-Aids, safety pins, a travel sewing kit, and double-sided tape) so you’re ready to tackle whatever your BFF’s big day might throw at you.

Keep the Bride laughing!

Even when things get stressful or overwhelming for you both, remember to keep the bride laughing and make the situation — and the whole wedding adventure — as enjoyable as it should be.

Hen party budgets

Budgets at a hen party can be a notoriously difficult subject.

After all, you  don’t necessarily know what the rest of the party can afford, so you must be mindful. Set a budget per person early on – and stick to it! You will also have to consider costs surrounding the hen party weekend. Are any other of your friends getting married? Are there any other hen parties? Are there any seasonal events that you and your friends will be attending?

Ultimately the budget will be based around the activities you do, plus in some cases may need to include overnight accommodation and flights as well. You may also need to include a budget for food and drinks on top of whatever you book. Try not to price anyone out whether you’re planning on staying in the UK for the hen party, or travelling abroad. If you do plan a hen party abroad then maybe consider a separate, smaller hen party or celebration back in the UK for anyone missing out. When it comes to drinks or dinner in the evenings maybe suggest a kitty that everyone contributes to in advance, so that everyone is paying roughly the same throughout the whole event.

How to choose a hen party theme

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There’s two types of people in the world. People who love hen party themes and those who brandish them tacky and unfavourable. But we believe that there’s a hen party theme out there for everyone. So whether you’re looking for some inspiration for your very own do or have officially been given Maid of Honour duties and have started hen party planning, you’ve come to right place.


Why do I need a hen party theme?

As well as being a great excuse to get dressed up, a themed hen do can help you make decisions. As well as providing a little inspiration for the ultimate party outfit, it can also influence activities, decorations, food and drink, and hen party games. Need we say more?Do I have to have a themed do?

Of course not! As the patron saint of classy hen parties (okay we made that up) you don’t need a theme to create the perfect hen night. Plus, before organising you might want to check that the bride will like it.  After all, the hen night should be what the bride wants. Okay 90% what the bride wants and 10% of what you’d like...

How do I choose a hen party theme?

Whether you’re the bride-to-be or maid of honour, knowing where to start when it comes to theme ideas can be daunting. From monochrome to pink, Abba to Spice Girls, there’s more potential themes than the amount of times your bride-to-be has got in a mood and screamed that the wedding is off...

Start by choosing a theme that you know your bride will love. Maybe she’s hinted that penis paraphernalia is super tacky or alternatively maybe she’s mentioned a theme that she likes. But if she hasn’t don’t worry as we’ve got loads of super chic and classy hen party ideas that she’s bound to love. You may also want to consider your hen party location as 1920s glam might not look so good at a festival!

As well as choosing a theme that the bride will like, it’s a good idea to calculate how much it will cost and also make sure that everyone is comfortable taking part. You might want to dress up the Spice Girls but the brides mother-in-law might not…

So with that in mind, we’ve rounded up our favourite themes for a little inspiration for your hen party.  

Monochrome

Best for the traditional brides

Get all the girls in their LBD and make sure your bride is wearing her best white dress. Okay, get her to save her BEST white dress for the big day but get her to wear something fancy. Alternatively, if you’re abroad, swap dresses for bikinis and don’t forget to get the winning Insta-shot.

Girl Band

Best for that wannabe popstar bride

Are you even a friendship group of girls if you haven’t called yourself a girl band? We think not. Go traditional with the Spice Girls, old school with B*Witched, disco with Abba or super sexy with Little Mix. Whatever you choose just remember you’ll never sound like them - even after 7 shots of sambuca.

Glitter

Best for the text-book girl bride

If there’s one thing you should know about girls, it’s that glitter is life. This theme is great for pleasing everyone. One option is to adorn your new sparkly top… on the other hand you can cover your face, hair and breasts in the shiny stuff.

At night at the movies

Best for that extra bride

Ladies, dress up in your fanciest frock and create your very own awards evening. A great pre-drinks celebration or the perfect activity for a night indoors. The best award goes to…

Spots and stripes

Best for the no-fuss bride

Polka dots have been huge recently so why not extend the fashion to your hen party. You could opt for a gold and white themed do, traditional monochrome or go crazy and let everyone choose their own colours.. Plus, there’s endless dotty hen party accessories such as cups, coasters and straws.

Metallics

Best for that on-trend bride

Bang on trend and open to interpretation. Whether you want to dress up in your fave silver skirt or get that cheekbone highlighter popping, this trend will be a hit of all ages. After all, your BFF’s nan can always get a silver wash through her hair...

LBD

Best for the classy bride

Some of the best things in life are simple - and this is one of them. A great choice for all ages and it means you can go as glam as you like. What girl doesn’t have a little black dress or jumpsuit? Pair with your fave lippie for the ultimate classy look.

1920’s

Best for the glamorous bride

Get your feather boas and swing dresses at the ready and release your inner Gatsby. The ultimate glam theme, don’t forget your red lippie and curls.

Pyjama Party

Best for those chilled brides

Believe it or not, but not everyone enjoys going to clubs that cost £15 to get into only to spend the night saying “WHAT?” because the music is waaay to loud. Why not opt to stay in? Get all the girls around, loads of treats and your bride-to-be’s fave flick. Midnight snacks are a must.

Vintage

Best for the alternative bride

If your bride loves all things vintage, why not get your hens to dress accordingly. For the ultimate hen party activity, invest in a vintage photoshoot or makeover. Not only will your bride love it but its a chance to get all glammed up retro style.

How to Choose your Activities?

If you’ve been tasked with planning the perfect hen party, it’s likely that you’re a little stuck for ideas. After all, how are you meant to entertain a group of ladies that will probably range in age and likes? Even worse, if you’ve arranged an entire 48-hour hen weekend, what are you supposed to do when it’s too early to booze? Plus, you may want to think about the weather and time of year. Fear not, as we’ve put together a list of hen party ideas that are perfect daytime activities and guarantee a good time for everyone involved.

Hen Party wine tasting

Best for those who pretend they’re sophisticated

Sure if you wandered into a bar at 10am and ordered a bottle of your fave shiraz you’d get a few funny looks but organise a classy wine tasting session and it’s a completely different story. There’s hundreds of venues up and down the country or if you want to get truly sozzled, why not host your very own wine tasting experience at home?

Afternoon tea and a day of shopping

Best for all ages

Want a fun activity that everyone will enjoy? Sit, back and relax as you feast on savoury snacks and delicious sweet treats. For the ultimate hen weekend activity, why not organise champagne afternoon tea? Plus you can invite your mum’s auntie and your future mother in law, without having to worry that your mate might get her boobs out. Result. Afterwards, head to the shops and see if you can nab a bargain for the big day.

Nude Life drawing

Best for school girl giggles

Why is it that as soon as you see a naked man prancing around, we all turn into a group of giggling girls? Nude Life drawing puts the art into party with a personal and fun activity that will definitely see your bride-to-be blush when she has to pose with the model in the final shot. Based in London? Here’s our selection of the best drawing classes in the capital.

Spa and champagne day

Best for relaxing before the big day

Planning a wedding can be stressful and there’s no reason why hen do activities have to involve sweaty clubs, the cheapest vodka and a kebab at the end of the night. Instead organise a pampering day to truly treat your bride. Whether you opt for a luxurious country spa or bring the pampering to your bride’s home, don’t forget a little bit of fizz to celebrate her special day.

DIY cheese and wine evening

Best for varied groups

Who said you had to go out out for an unforgettable hen party? Grab all your mates, get down tesco (other supermarkets are available) and fill your trolleys with a range of cheese and wine. A great daytime activity to have a laugh and bring all the girls together while feasting on the good old stuff.

Bottomless Brunch

Best for getting all the girls together

This hen party activity combines our two favourite things together - food and drink. Get all your girls together and prepare to fill your boots with as much prosecco in two hours. Some cities have even gone one step further with a bottomless brunch river cruise! We’re there.

Chocolate Making

Best for something unique

Designed for all ages, this seriously sweet workshop will teach you how to make everything from truffles to chocolate. The ideal daytime hen activity for any chocoholic, you’ll get to take your masterpieces home or if you’re like us, eat them there and then!

Pre theatre cocktails and a musical

Best for the wannabe actresses

Daytime performances are not only really convenient but there’s also bundles of pre-theatre meal deals just waiting to be snapped up. A great hen party activity for when the weather’s not on your side, simply book in advance or turn up to the box office on the day and see what tickets they’ve got left.

Flower Crown Making

Best for the boho bride

Flower crown making is hugely popular right now and is a great idea for a festival themed hen party. Tailored to your favourite colour and the current season, you’ll be led by an expert team of crown makers (yes that’s a real job) to design, create and fit your very own floral headpiece. Once done don’t forget that perfect instagram shot!

Distillery tours and tasting

Best for keeping your spirits lifted

Now just because it’s a daytime hen party activity, it doesn’t mean alcohol is banned! A gin distillery tour is a great to way to learn about your fave tipple while of course, sampling a few shots along the way. Discover the history of your favourite drink and why not head to the on-site store to invest in something good for pre-drinks?

DIY Spa Day

Best for those that want to stay at home

Give your bride-to-be a little TLC in time for her big day and organise a pampering day. Whether you fancy yourself as a little beauty therapist or want the professionals to come to you, don’t forget a little bit of fizz to help celebrate her special day.

Tapas Supper Club

Best for those foodie brides

Impress all the hen party guests with this unique and tasty Vintage Tapas Evening. Sit back and relax as the restaurant is brought you. Choose from six delicious tapas dishes, which will be served on vintage china and enjoy the vintage music from a traditional gramophone. A memorable hen party meal that will satisfy all senses.

Themed Dinner Party and a Private Chef

Best for living the dream

Private Chefs don’t have to break the bank balance and with your own selection of booze, it can often be a fantastic idea for hen parties on a budget. Simply choose your theme and your very own chef will create a delicious menu. Plus, these pictures will certainly ooze class on Instagram.

A slumber party

Best for the ultimate girls night in

Just like the old days, cosy up for the ultimate girls night in. Dress in your best PJ’s and get the beauty case out, or, if beauty ain't really your clan’s thing, get some board games out or sing your heart out on the games console!

Perfume making

Best for making memories

Obsessed with shopping for the perfect perfume? Why not create your very own signature scent for your hen do, then you girls can all go and hit the town smelling gorgeous!  A personal master perfumer will acquaint you with individual scents to determine your favourite smells, before letting you sample different blends to help you choose your own selection. The selection will then form your unique perfume before giving you name it as your own! A 5ml sample of your own perfume will be yours to take away!

BBQ and Garden Glamping

Best for those on a budget

Why pay hundreds of pounds to stand in a muddy field when you can stand in your very own muddy garden for free? Okay, we’re joking. Fire up the BBQ, indulge in a variety of burger sauces and toppings and set up your very own glamping site. Check out Boutique Camping for glam camping accessories that are sure to wow!

A glamorous makeover and vintage tea party

Best for getting your glam on

Every girl loves getting her glam on, so why not treat your hens to a vintage makeover and tea party? With a dressing up suitcase jam-packed with retro accessories, you can transport yourself to any era you like. Traditional afternoon tea, pretty china and of course vintage music will also be included.

Who done it? A murder mystery evening

Best for getting your brains ticking

If you want to get your bride-to-be’s brain ticking over then an evening of mystery, mayhem and murder is on the cards. For all the rules as well as how to plan the ultimate murder mystery hen party, head to www.nightofmystery.com. Plus, get all the girls in their best Gatsby style dresses for ultimate glam.

A cosy afternoon of crafting

Best for those creative brides

There’s nothing better than staying inside of a cold wintery day, away from the rain, sleet and freezing cold. Even better why not spend your time creating wedding related crafts such as headpieces and fascinators. Not only will you have a good time but you’ll also be able to take something home as a momento from the weekend.

A night on the town

Best for the traditional hen do

Dancing and cocktails are sure to make this weekend perfect for your best friend. Find out where the best bars are, and if you book one in advance (explaining it’s a hen party) you’ll likely be able to get special discounts and possibly a bottle of champagne or custom cocktail for the lady of the hour. Depending on the kind of party they like, either find a club that caters for all music tastes or try something more specialist like a salsa club which is becoming an increasingly popular hen weekend trend. Fill the bride’s hotel room with balloons and ensure you have a range of party games ready to play before you go out. Top tip: make your own version of ‘Mr and Mrs’. It will go down a treat!  

Explore the outdoors

Best for the active hen

There are lots of hen activity days you can book now; from game days to rock climbing and quad biking! Based on what she loves (and how adventurous she is) arrange a day of fun activities. If your friend is getting married in the summer, make use of the good weather and get outside!

Location, Location, Location

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Think carefully about your location and how accessible it is for everyone. The chances are the bride will have friends from all over the country, maybe even the world so you want to choose a place that’s easy for everyone to get to. If you have overseas friends it may be best consulting them separately first. If you can tie up a date for the hens that are further away, it will be easier to get the UK based hens together for this date due to their closer location.

So whether you’re looking for bargain booze or somewhere that calls for a classy celebration, we’ve done some of the hard work for and rounded up the most popular hen party destinations.

Brighton

As one of the most culturally diverse cities in the UK, Brighton is a favourite amongst many hen parties. Just one hour away from London on the train, this trendy and chic city is the ideal choice for anyone looking to plan a unique hen weekend. In a quintessentially British affair, spend the morning exploring the beach or one of the many bars that surround it! And, when the sun goes down, this colourful city comes alive. Head to the North Laines for a great night out with a friendly atmosphere. Alternatively, visit West Street or one of the big name clubs to continue your hen party into the early hours. If you’re planning a summer hen weekend away, then it doesn’t get much better than Brighton.

Bournemouth

Bournemouth is somewhat a stag and hen do superstar with a relaxing coastal town and busy nightlife scene suitable for every type of hen. Enjoy a relaxing strolling the sandy beaches with your fish and chips, sip champagne at one of the classy bars on offer, or, take advantage of Bournemouth’s seaside location and enjoy watersports such as water ski, wakeboarding, canoeing or kayaking. Once that’s finished and you’re done soaking in the coastal vibes, the town doesn’t disappoint either. So if you’re looking for golden sands, a massive variety of activities, nightlife and restaurants with the surprising benefit of being in the UK, Bournemouth is a top shout.

Newcastle

Nights out and Newcastle go hand in hand like a cold gin and tonic. After all, the geordies are famous for their antics on the toon. From the well-loved Quayside to the trendy Diamond strip, this northern city really does have the whole package. Think cocktail classes, shopping sprees and the chance to see some great live music, this is one hen party destination that doesn’t sleep. The locals here are passionate and love a good night out, and have we mentioned the northern drink prices?

Cardiff

Wales’ capital may be home to numerous bars and clubs but the city is still small enough to get around in your heels - depending how many inches you go for. With one of the best nightlife scenes, Cardiff also boasts one of the biggest shopping centres in the UK so you can nurse your hangover with a little retail therapy. Spend your day doing a group activity and then head down to St Mary’s Street or Park Street and get the fizz flowing.

Bristol

With a fantastic choice of places to stay and things to do, Bristol is often dubbed the unofficial capital of the South West. While it may not have occured to you to head there for a hen party, it should definitely be one one of your choices. Famous for its vibrant music scene and cultural street art, trendy Bristol has a lot to offer including some of the best bars and clubs around, a classy harbourside to enjoy a glass of vino and loads of haunts to sip a local cider! Plus, if you  wanted your hen party to be that extra special, split your hen party weekend up and spend Friday through to Saturday day at the UK’s most elegant city, Bath. Here, you can take in the stunning architecture, the Roman Baths and there are amazing spa’s for hens. Saturday you can pop to Bristol for a classy meal and hit the town!

Edinburgh

It’s not Scotland’s capital city for any old reason. Packed full of bars, clubs, restaurants and activities, Edinburgh is split up into 5 distinct areas so all you have to do is pick your spot and enjoy. Attractive, fun and bustling with Scottish charm, this is one city that certainly knows how to party. The perfect mix of traditional and contemporary, this compact and easy to navigate city is ideal for when the whole hen party has had one too many. But, will anyone be able to stomach haggis the morning after?

Liverpool

Renowned for its shops, bars and brows - what more could a girl want? Previously awarded the European Capital of Culture award, this northern UK city has everything you need for an unforgettable hen weekend. A popular destination amongst hens of all ages, you can expect fantastic food, a variety of activities and an amazing music and nightlife scene - after all, it is the home of the Beatles. With over 200 bars and restaurants to visit, why not organise a bar crawl, starting at the beautiful Albert Dock, working your way to Nation and ending up at the Cavern Club. A city with this much musical history is the perfect location for a hen party dance off!

London

Whether you want a traditional hen party weekend (life drawing included), a spa day retreat or are looking for something alternative, London has plenty of activities to impress you. Head to Oxford Street and indulge in a little shopping. Then descend on one of the chicest bars that the capital has to offer. From Soho to Covent Garden, Chelsea to Southbank, whatever your budget or style, this is one destination that everyone will love.

Manchester

A city fuelled with great music, an unrivalled clubbing scene and never-ending shopping streets, Manchester is fun, vibrant and brimming with hen party ideas. Choose the glamorous Spinningfields for a-list drinks, try one of the many eateries found in the city centre and then party until the early hours in trendy Deansgate. Alternatively, head to Northern Quarter for endless fun in one of the city’s most popular spots. And for a truly unforgettable evening, head to the Skybar and make a toast with panoramic views of the city.

Birmingham

The second largest city in the UK is home to incredible nightlife, mouthwatering restaurants and every shop that a girl could ask for! Birmingham is big on fun. Located in the heart of the midlands, this city is easily accessible for hens all around the UK and with more canals than Venice, this is one hen party destination that is a true all-rounder.

Hen party props and accessories

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You’re nearly there! You’ve planned the ultimate hen party - accommodation, travel, activities and restaurants are booked, you’ve picked your theme, your outfit is hanging in the wardrobe and the invites are out. There’s only one more thing to take care off - hen party props and accessories.

Tableware

Whether you’ve decided to sack off a sweaty club in return for your very own party or you’re simply hosting pre-drinks, investing in some bridal themed tablewareis a must. From cups to confetti, napkins to party hats, extend your dining table and get decorating. Plus, there’s a whole host of colours to choose from such as gold, rose gold, white and pink. Why not go one step further and create a hen party theme?

Photo props

Did you even go on a hen do if you haven’t plastered 50+ photos all over social media? Create your own photo booth and pose with a selection of fabulous, novelty props. Plus, they’re small enough to fit into your clutch bag, meaning you can capture the memories all night long.

Badges

Want to let everyone know that you’re on a hen do without using tacky paraphernalia?Personalised badges will do just the job. Simply enter your text, choose your design and hey presto. Maybe you’ve got some seriously embarrassing nicknames from school, or perhaps your bride-to-be will prefer ‘I do crew’ badges. Whatever your slogan, this inexpensive hen party decoration can also be kept as a keepsake.

Guest books and advice cards

While guest books are traditionally kept for the special day, we believe that the celebrations should start at the hen do. Ask all the hens to right a little message (before prosecco emotions have kicked in) and then present to your BFF the next morning. Looking for something a little more modern?Advice cards can be passed around and are sure to provide a laugh!

Party bags and favours

Everyone loves a party bag so thank your besties in style with a personalised bag. Then choose from a range of classy hen party favours that are sure to impress all the ladies. From wedding survival kits, pencils, themed headbands, personalised shot glasses and more, it’s important to remember your main girls.

Masks

Always fancied yourself as a Beyonce? Maybe you’ve been told that you look exactly like Cheryl? With a celebrity mask, you can be your idol for one night only. Even better, you can send your own photo in and make masks of the grooms face. Just watch your bride scream with laughter when she walks into the room.

Confetti

Who said confetti had to be kept for the big day? Choose from confetti in the shape ofdiamond rings,team bride slogans, wooden hearts, yay slogans and rose gold polka dots. On a side note: We’re not clearing it up.

Personalised clothing

Personalised t-shirtsare all the craze right now and are certainly a conversation starter! Whether you want to stitch the bride up with a silly photo, want a beyonce-inspired tee or simply want matching glittery tops, there’s a personalised t-shirt for every girl. Plus, it’ll be easy to spot that one mate who ALWAYS wanders off. You know who you are.

Hen party games and pranks

Pranks are usually left to the stags to organise, but why should the boys have all the fun? If the bride-to-be has a great sense of humour, wants an unforgettable hen night and you’re looking for a way to surprise her, then look no further. We’ve gathered the best ideas on how to stitch up the hen while ensuring that this will be a weekend to remember for all the right reasons.

HANDCUFFED DWARF

When it comes to getting the sweet bride-to-be handcuffed, there is no better match than pairing her with a dwarf. Why not go the extra mile and provide your little friend with some outrageous fancy dress. Go all out with a blue paint job and be a Smurf for the entire evening or alternatively, they could dress up as a double act. The perfect addition for any bar crawl - just watch her embarrassment when it’s time for a wee!

AMY WINEHANDS
Is she really your best mate if you don’t get enjoyment out of her looking like a fool? Before you head out, sellotape a bottle of wine to each hand so that the beloved hen can only drink. You’ll be amazed at where the hen party games go after this prank…

A FANCY DRESS WHITE LIE

It’s not a really bad lie if it’s only a joke, right? The hen party event organiser tells everyone including the hen that it’s fancy dress. Tell her you’re all going crazy - the best we’ve seen throughout the years are: animal onesies, nun costumes, rubik clothes, and even Mrs Santa Claus in the heat of the summer. Yet, plot twist, no-one dresses up except for the beautiful, blushing bride-to-be. Ooops. Did you not get the memo?

DRINK, DRINK, DRINK

Sick of hearing your friend pine about her stag? A classic hen party drinking game is to make her down her drink whenever his name is mentioned. Better make sure, you take a lot of fizz, ey?

BUTLERS IN THE BUFF

Picture this - All the girls are together getting their makeup on and having a few drinks. There’s a knock at the door and in walks a hunky, almost naked butler to raise the temperature. Here to keep your glasses topped up with fizz, host drinking games and assist you with every need, just make sure he keeps his teeny tiny apron on. The perfect combination between an embarrassing hen party prank and a little bit of eye candy, a butler in the buff is a tasteful choice for any upcoming hen weekend.

STRIPPERS
Like marshmallows and hot chocolate, gin and tonic and beans on toast, hen weekends and strippers have gone hand in hand since the beginning of time. For a truly unforgettable hen party, make sure one of you pulls Hercules aside before he goes straight into his routine and gives him the instruction on how you’d like him to perform. It will be Instagram gold!

THE NEVER-ENDING ALARM CLOCK
Incredibly annoying but incredibly funny. To really make your hen wake up on the wrong side of the bed, set an alarm for the oddest hour. She’ll waken, turn it off and go back to a hangover-induced snooze. But, the fun is just beginning! The trick is to hide as many alarms around the bride-to-be’s room and set them 5 minutes apart. You might need to buy her some champers to make up for this one...

CABIN CREW ANNOUNCEMENT
If you’ve decided on a hen weekend away, then where better to start the games than at the airport. While the unsuspecting bride-to-be is sitting in her seat, pay a visit to one of the air hostess’ and ask for a very big favour. There’s nothing better than watching your favourite hen squirm and squeal when hearing her name and an embarrassing message for the whole place to hear.

DJ ANNOUNCEMENT
Just when the hen thinks she’s recovered for the aeroplane mishap, get the DJ to do the same. She’ll never know what to expect next.

DARES

Harmless fun since primary school, everyone loves a good dare - as long as you don’t have to do one! Stitch the hen up with some cringeworthy challenges. From speaking in a funny accent, to kissing a bald man’s head, just sit back, relax and watch her make a fool out of herself.

CONFESSIONS OF A BRIDE-TO-BE

This one takes a lot of preparation but the results are fantastic. In the weeks leading up to the hen weekend, write down as many funny stories about the hen that you can think of. You might need to get the help of the future husband for this one. Then when you’re all in a bar, begin playing ‘Never have I ever’ but only use the bride’s embarrassing tales. She’ll soon cotton on.

THE ULTIMATE HEN PARTY PRANK

This one takes guts but if you’re up for a challenge, look no further. Simply take the hen’s phone when she has a bath, pops to loo or heads to bar. Then find your number and change the contact ID to her hubbie-to-be’s name. Now get ready for  business. Using your phone, text the hen explaining that you just can’t go through with the wedding. When then hen arrives back to her phone, watch as she panics and rings her partner - only to find out it’s her best friends! Cruel but VERY funny.

Hen party gifts

Maybe this is the bride-to-be reading or maybe you’re being the best maid of honour and taking care of one more duty. Some brides opt for gifts for the bridesmaids but this poses the question as to whether or not you should you also buy gifts for your hens? Or is that one expense too far?  

The sleepover kit

If you’re keeping it low-key with a sleepover, why not make goodie-bags for your girls with all the props they’ll need for the night: games, challenges, eyemasks, painkillers for the morning – the choice is endless. A lovely idea is to present an  empty photo frame and then make sure you get a great group shot of your gang early on in the evening (when you’re still looking your best!). Quickly email the photo to your other half and have them get some copies express printed while you’re partying all night. In the morning, give the photo to all your hens as a memento of your big night in.

The hangover kit

Chances are, there’s going to be a lot of alcohol consumed alongside your hen weekend activities, and we’ve all felt the consequences of too many glasses of bubbles the morning after. Help out your future hungover self by coming prepared with the all the essentials such as painkillers, plasters and vitamins.

The Pamper Pack

You can’t beat an afternoon getting pampered with the girls! If you’re going to a spa for the hen do, let the feeling last with a little hamper of luxury bath oils or skin treatments for each hen. Personalise each hamper with a short, handwritten note about your favourite memory with each hen.

The Travel Bag

If you’re all off for a glamorous time in the sun, embrace the jet-setting lifestyle by giving your girls designer jewellery boxes or jewellery rolls before you head off to transport all your finest accessories. Weddings are all about the bling, so bring the shiny spirit into your time together. For bonus best-bride-to-be-ever points, you could pre-load the boxes with matching earrings or a carefully chosen bracelet charm that symbolises your friendship with each hen.

Whatever you decide, remember that the hen party is about celebrating the bride-to-be and your closest girlfriends – there are no wrong decisions, just lots of fun to be had!