Hens Night Etiquette Q&A

5 potentially awkard hens night situations - and how to deal.

by The Knot

Are you going to have to get drunk in front of your soon-to-be mother-in-law? And do you have to invite those ‘friends’ who aren’t the biggest fans of your fiancé? We break down all the trickiest potential hens-night scenarios – and how to deal.


Robes: Natalija. Photography: Simon Everiss

Q. My mum said that ‘nice girls’ don’t have hens nights. Is it really bad form for brides to celebrate this way? After all, men have way more OTT parties…
A. If the groom gets to celebrate bachelordom’s end, why shouldn’t the bride? You’re at a turning point in your life, which is definitely a reason to go out with your friends for one last blast. You might point out to your mum that going out for dinner and drinks is hardly shameful. Assure her a hens night needn’t be a drunken fling at a strip club, then go have fun! If you like, you can also consider other options like heading to a comedy club, or to a spa with friends. You should also know that not all bucks nights are raunchy – these days, lots of grooms skip the strippers!

Q. Should the hens party be held on the same night as the bucks party?
A. Not necessarily, but it’s a nice idea for both bride and groom to party simultaneously — it leaves no time to wonder (read: obsess over) what the other person is doing! One couple we know told their pals they wanted to meet at a favourite bar at night’s end.


 Robes: Natalija. Photography: Vanessa Ritchie

Q. Two of my girlfriends have reservations about my fiancé (and they’ve let me know how they feel). They’re invited to the wedding, but I think it would be awkward to have them at my hens party, which I just want to be a really fun night. Should I still invite them?
A. No one who might upset the bride for any reason — whether it’s because they disapprove of her fiancé or any other reason — needs to be invited to the hens night. The only people celebrating with you should be those who you feel totally comfortable with – ‘coz it’s your night! If these girls aren’t super close friends,  you could discreetly tell the party planners about the situation. If the girls in question ask you about the night later, explain that you didn’t want a big hens, and just had a small get-together with just your bridesmaids and a couple of other really close friends.

Q. Do I need to invite my mum and my guy’s mum to my hens night? I don’t really feel comfortable about getting tipsy in front of either of them, let alone both!
A. The answer to your question depends on the bride and on the type of hens party. Some women are extremely close to their mothers and wouldn’t have a wedding-related party without Mum in tow, while others feel more at ease with friends than with family. If you’re having a dinner party or a brunch or tea, it’s appropriate to invite the bride’s and groom’s mothers, but if you’re going out drinking (or anything else that’s not Mum-approved), having them along might be awkward. Chances are they’ll opt out anyway. You could make it a friends-only party, or blend the best of both worlds: invite them to dinner and go out with friends for ‘dessert’.


Robes: Natalija. Photography: Vanessa Ritchie

Q. Most of my bridesmaids and close friends are single, and they love partying and flirting with guys. I used to enjoy this, too, but now that I’m engaged I’m not really into it anymore. I know they’ll plan a hens night that involves bars, random men, and who knows what else. Can I tell them I’m not up for it?
A. Of course you can. There’s no rule that says you should have a ‘traditional’ hens party. If you’d rather do something else, let your friends know. Remember that the party is about you, the bride, so your pals won’t be looking for boyfriends (well, the whole night, anyway!) – they’ll be focused on making sure you have a great time. On the other hand, it might be fun to go out with the girls one last time, for old time’s sake. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to — for example, if your pals tell the cute guys at the bar to kiss you, say pecks on the cheek will be fine, thank you very much.

Do you have any hens night etiquette questions, Knotties?

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by The Knot


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