Hen Party Suggestions

17 Aug

I promise we’re not obsessed by weddings but it is wedding season, I’ve just been heavily involved in a wedding and Katie’s getting married next year so there will be lots of tips and suggestions in this area for a while.

Hen parties are, in my opinion, getting out of hand. They often mean weekends abroad or in expensive catered country cottages. Even just a day in your home town can involve a lunch, an activity, cocktails, another meal, a club, more drinks and it can really add up. It’s fine if you know everyone can afford it or if you would choose to go on holiday with the group of people going away but that’s not always the case.

I mentioned my friend Zoe in my post Wedding Belle. A few weeks ago I organised her hen party and Zoe was very keen to keep it reasonably priced for her friends.

Location

I had initially booked a beautiful room above a pub called The Duchess in Battersea but they double booked the room. We’ve used it before though so if you live in the area I would still recommend it. The room has a great balcony with views of Battersea Power Station, in my opinion one of the most fabulous buildings in London. Many pubs have rooms to hire for free so do some research in your area.

Instead I held the party at my house which instantly cut the cost of drinks (I ordered mine to be delivered from Majestic) and food. Another option is to hold it in a park nearby if the weather’s good. You need to plan a back up in case it isn’t, this is England after all. I decorated with some bunting I bought but if I’d had more time I would have made my own. I’m going to attempt some soon and will post about it.

Food

If you’re catering yourself an easy and elegant option is to serve afternoon tea. We made: smoked salmon and cream cheese, cucumber, roast beef and horseradish, ham and mustard, prawn mayonnaise and egg mayonnaise. I baked scones to serve with clotted cream and jam and also prepared some in halves with sliced fresh strawberries layered over clotted cream. Other suggestions are to have a BBQ with lots of lovely salads or if you want to pay a little more you could buy food in from the amazing Ottolenghi, your local delicatessen or even M&S.

It’s Who You Know

My sister Cally has completed two wine tasting courses and offers a wine quiz to hen parties, charity events etc. I bribed her with a couple of nice bottles of wine to do the wine tasting for us for free. Split into two teams she gave us information and tips on how to taste as we filled in her quiz. Winning team won a box of chocolates (which of course we all shared). This is a really nice activity as it gets everyone talking to each other. I served a few Delia Smith canapes so we didn’t get too drunk too quickly!

I have two friends who are expert cupcake bakers so asked them to bake 20 cakes each for £20. Much better than I could ever make and much cheaper than getting them from a shop.

Me! I collect vintage china so used all my crockery to make it look beautiful.

Hen Party Games

We played:

Mr and Mrs – Ten questions to email the groom-to-be. He needs to answer for himself and his bride. Sample questions:

What is your/your bride’s favourite song?

What is your/your bride’s worst habit?

What is your pet name for her and vice versa?

What is your favourite part of her body and vice versa?

What annoys you most about her and her about you?

If you could be anyone famous, who would you be? Who would she be?

What is your/her speciality in the kitchen?

What would you/she grab in a fire? (apart from your bride!)

What was your/her least favourite subject in school?

When the hen gets the question wrong they have to drink a shot, she also gets to nominate someone to do one with her. When she gets it right the prize is an item of fancy dress clothing. Zoe is a rock chick at heart so we bought lots of exciting items from the Clapham Fancy Dress Shop. Unfortunately it is closed at the moment but still available online.

Guess the Body Part – Ask the groom-to-be to take pictures of the following parts of his body – thumb, ankle, knee, ear and belly button. Find two or three other willing gentleman to do the same. Print them all out and ask hen party members to hold up the photos, one category at a time. The hen simply has to guess which one is her fiancée! Right and wrong answers are rewarded and penalised as above.

Loo Roll Wedding Dress – split into teams of about 5, choose one person to be the ‘bride’ and the team have one minute to dress her in a toilet roll wedding dress.

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Family Fortunes – A few weeks before the party write a list of ten questions about the hen and email to as many friends and family as you can think of. Example questions include – What was the hen’s most embarrassing moment, what is the hen’s favourite food, drink etc. Collate the answers and present them Family Fortunes style – ‘The top answer was…’

Daytime activities over, we headed into town to a rock bar and a cheap indie club. These were specifically chosen with Zoe in mind. You will know yourself/your friend best so look for somewhere fun and that will reserve you an area for free.

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