Often, hen parties can be ick-inducing: people you don’t know, activities designed to mortify, general unease. So why on Earth did I start a business selling hen party biscuits? You cry. And the answer is because when a hen party is good, it’s really good. When done well, a hen party is the ultimate in BLOODY GOOD FUN. Loads of great people, coming together to celebrate the greatest person? Bliss!
As someone who’s both been to a fair few in her time and has since set up a hen party biscuit business, I wanted to share some of the icky things about hen parties so that you don’t have to suffer them, and what you can swap them with instead to have the best time ever. So, without further a (hen) do:
A certain school of thought says that awkward activities are the best way to break the ice: I say that’s rubbish. We all know how it feels to be in a room with some people you don’t know, suddenly expected to enjoy activities you might not even enjoy if you were doing them with the people you know the best. Of course, Mum, Nan or Aunty Sue might be well up for it – and big up if they are! – but oftentimes it’s just awkward all round.
For example, my hens were on strict instruction not to involve a stripper or naked waiter kind of vibe at any point during my hen party. Once I had to pose for a photo with the life model at my friend’s hen party…I was the unfortunate one setting up the camera, and had to dive onto the floor in the front to make the picture. It still scars me to this day. *shudder*
Instead, go for activities that still bond you all, but without the element of embarrassment. Crafting, food (my DIY peen biscuit box combines both!), silly games that quickly become hilariously competitive – there’s loads of ways to bring the group closer together that don’t involve going so bright red that you want to be teleported away. Everyone is usually in a good mood and up for a good time at a hen party, so let your hair down, switch off from the strain of every day and deal with Monday on Monday!
I love getting to meet my friends’ other friends at hen dos, and having a good old bonding session before the main event. Not only does it make the hen party itself loads of fun, but it makes the wedding even better if you know more people. You never know; you might even make some lifelong friends out of it.
Of course, you want to celebrate somewhere beautiful and exciting, but with most people working during the week, the time you actually have together is limited. Crossing the country for a girly weekend sounds idyllic, but in practice, you often end up spending less time exploring the new place than you do lugging your suitcase through cobbled streets, trying to find a brunch spot that has space for 12, or spending fortunes filling up at the fuel pump. (And God FORBID you travel back on a Sunday, and have to get the dreaded rail replacement whilst sleep-deprived and hungover…even the words send a very shiver down my spine.)
One of the reasons I love hen parties so much is that they’re a great excuse to get the girls together again. Let’s face it: life is busy, and we don’t get to see each other enough! With this in mind, you’ll probably want to spend more time doing stuff, than travelling to do stuff.
This isn’t to say don’t travel anywhere: of course not! But when you’re looking for places to go, I’d recommend prioritising somewhere that’s stress-free to get to, but is still new and exciting.
There is SO much tat involved in hen parties. If you’re planning a hen party and feel obliged to buy the tat because it’s the done thing, but you don’t particularly want to: here’s your permission slip not to do it. Shot glass necklaces that end up so unbelievably sticky they’re probably radioactive; the themed t-shirt that doesn’t fit right and you will never wear again, but you feel too weird giving to a charity shop.
And don’t get me started on penis straws. Ok, you’ve got me started! I’ve just spent £5 on this glass of wine (£10 if you are in London)…don’t make me drink it through something with veins, I BEG. I always accidentally on purpose lose my penis straw right at the start of the night…
Your girl is the best, so she deserves the best. It’s easier now than ever to curate something that they’ll treasure forever; or, at least, will appreciate before they use it. Things like scrunchies or (ahem) a pack of paracetamol may come in very handy during the weekend. Alternatively, why not welcome each hen with a delicious vanilla or chocolate biscuit peen on their pillow, to give them sustenance for the weekend ahead?
Most importantly of all, keep in mind: hen parties are supposed to be fun. Organising them can be a big source of stress, so please remember that you’re doing amazingly!
You can’t please everyone when organising a Hen Party, and more often than not something will inevitably go wrong. But at the end of the day, even the most low-key hen party will be appreciated, because of the thought you put into it.
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