If the thought of competing with the guys and putting your hands down a strange man’s pants leaves you considering the convent, don’t give up hope on having a great party. You, too, can celebrate a friend’s last days of maidenhood in an all-out fun way. Here are 12 of our favourite hens party ideas.
Let’s face it, marriage is a gamble. So why not hold the hens bash at a casino or racetrack? Most have a nice restaurant, and you might want to see a show or book rooms overnight. The great thing about gambling parties is that some may walk away with enough money to pay for the bridesmaid dresses, a wedding present, or — even better — another girls’ night out! Just remember the odds are against you, so if betting is your weakness, put down only what you can afford to lose.
Suggest a day or weekend spa event and send everyone running for their plush robes. You’ll forgo junk food and alcohol, but those clean pores and exfoliated elbows will be worth it. Choose a full service spa that offers everything from massages and mud wraps to makeovers and manicures. The bride will appreciate the stress-buster, and you all may find great new looks for the wedding day.
Who said disco was dead? If the bride was a tube-top-wearing ball of Saturday Night Fever energy in the ’70s — or a Studio 54 wannabe, at any rate — why not whisk her off to a hopping nightclub? Whether she’s into “Disco Inferno,” “Come on Eileen,” or something a bit more contemporary, find a place with the perfect special theme night. (Dressing up is so much fun!)
If she’s the artsy type, get the girls together for an art class. If fruits are your forte, book in a still life class. Feeling like something a little more exciting? Book everyone in to a nude drawing class. Take along some bubbly and have a good laugh at everyone’s artistic interpretations!
If you’ve forgotten the liberating feeling of making utter fools of yourselves, lip-syncing will be fun for all. There’s a reason kamikazes are served in karaoke bars. After all, do you really want to remember your performance?
Dance clubs, sleazy bars, pool halls, strip joints — why choose just one? Explore them all in the lap of luxury: a chauffeur-driven limo. Arrange for the car to pick up everyone at a designated location, and you’re free to go where you please and drink as much as you please, feeling like important celebrities. Just make sure the night ends at the house, apartment, or hotel where everyone will be crashing, so no one has to drive home. If a limo isn’t your style — or your group is too big — consider a chartered bus.
Image: Kombi Weddings
If the bride knows her Sun and Moon signs, plus her fiancé’s rising sign, we can predict with almost perfect accuracy that she’ll love a New Age party. Hire a tarot card reader and an astrologer to do everyone’s chart. This idea can be a big hit — and not just with the starry-eyed bride. Who doesn’t want to know what the future holds?
If your friend is a paragon of lady-like behaviour (with just a few slip-ups about which she’s sworn you to secrecy), she may appreciate a Kitchen Tea party, complete with lace doilies, finger sandwiches, petit fours, and scones. You can easily host a tea in someone’s home, or if you really want to splurge, go to a fancy hotel tearoom.
You’re adults, but that doesn’t mean you have to act the part! A scavenger hunt (complete with clues and a treasure map) will bring out the children in all of you, and prizes can be as grown-up as you like (bottles of champagne or gift certificates for a massage, for instance). Use a friend’s house or garden and be as creative as you dare.
A comedy club may seem one step up from a strip club, but it’s a recipe for hilarity — especially when the stand-ups know you’re there for a hens party (married sex and mother-in-law jokes will fly!). Call the club in advance and reserve a front-row table. Tell them what you’re celebrating, and ask about a group discount if there’s a cover charge. After a few stiff drinks, even Kevin Rudd could have you in stitches.
Does the bride love the great outdoors? Consider a back-to-nature hens party. Call your state board of tourism to ask about campsites, then ring up locations of interest and ask about rental cabins or tents (if you come up empty, you can rent tents and other supplies at outdoor stores). Also find out what activities are offered (bush walking, canoeing, swimming, fishing, or horseback riding). Make sure all guests know what clothes, food, and accessories to pack — and most importantly, remember to bring toilet paper.
Here’s a sure-fire way to make the bride forget about what’s-his-name: Take off for paradise. Depending on the time of year, you can get great off-season package deals on island vacations or cruises. Check with a travel agent about availability and special group rates. If guests are limited by their schedules, look into a trip that doesn’t require much travel time. With a two- or three-hour flight, you won’t waste precious time on a plane when you should be carousing at the beachside bar. If the bride can’t fly the coop completely, think about a beach weekend or a few days at a nearby resort.
Tell us Knotties, what are you doing for your hens? Which one of these themes is your favourite?
by Sue Bruskin Clarke