A hen party has become a right of passage for any bride in recent years.
Gone are the days of a quiet night out with a few friends the night before the wedding. Now, brides, bridesmaids and the whole wedding party embark on abroad hen dos, local hen dos and work hen dos – sometimes throwing in a spa weekend for good measure. This can take a whole lot of planning and organisation – not to mention the money involved for everyone invited – not forgetting the hen party gifts, bride gifts and groom gifts involved.
Strangely, the build-up to weddings seems to be the focus of a very ‘typical’ formula of event planning and instagrammable extras for stag and hen parties while many brides and grooms are now opting for a less traditional wedding day. It seems confused to throw a typical hen party when your bride is aiming for a very ‘un-typical’ wedding. Weddings come in all shapes and sizes with the alternative to the big white wedding being favored by most.
So, if you are planning a hen party or a stag do for the bride and groom but trying to avoid the clichés – here are our top 3 ideas to make the celebration memorable, fun and most importantly – personal.
Step away from Pinterest and read on!
Location, location, location
You don’t need to ask your wedding party to spend a month's salary on a hen do or stag to. First, think about what kind of party your bride or groom would like. Are they a party animal and would like to be dancing the night away? Or would they prefer a weekend in the countryside hiking? In fact neither of these activities require getting on a plane – organising a party in the UK or where ever you are based is just as fun as going away and may work better financially for your guests. Alternative hen dos and alternative stag dos are all about throwing the ‘perfect party’ expectation out of the window and focusing on what your guests will enjoy - not expect. How about booking a cottage or Airbnb for a long weekend and planning a night out and a night in – there are loads of great cities to explore and choosing somewhere central to your group will cut down on traveling and allow your guests to dip in and out of activities if they have other commitments.
Remember that the location doesn’t make the party – the people do! Although spending a week in Ibiza might sound like the most glamorous option, if half of your guests can’t afford it or couldn’t be away for that long, then everybody will lose out. Alternative hen party ideas could even include hosting your party at someone’s house for the weekend – fully stock the fridge or even hire a chef in for the night (or a butler in the buff if that’s your style) and enjoy the home comforts while spending time with your bride or groom.
Alternative games for hen parties
Some people LOVE games some people hate them! What does your bride or groom prefer? The alternative hen party or alternative stag party is all about shaking off the expectations and the cliché norms and organising a night that is personal. Does anyone really enjoy Mr and Mrs anyway? Maybe you love it but have played it at every hen party and fancy a change – try introducing new ideas like a photo 'guess who' game or a fun twist of a quiz or board game for your bride or groom. Choosing a hen party game that the whole group can get involved in is always a winner – and adding in a drinking game is a sure fire way to get the night started!
Perhaps your bride or groom is actually not a fan of hen party games and quizzes – and let's be honest – maybe a good old-fashioned game of 21s or beer pong is all you need to think about. No one likes forced fun and writing down 20 things you love about the bride or groom is not exactly everyone’s cup of tea. You certainly don’t need memory books and baby picture games to make your party fun! Here are a few ideas for mega easy, fun games:
- Personalised Heads Up – simply download the Heads Up app, create a list of words relating to your bride or groom of party guests and enjoy.
- Beer pong – or prosecco pong – whatever takes your fancy. All you need are plastic cups and a ball! Super easy!
- Flip cup – this is FUN! Split into 2 teams and down the line each flip a cup and do a shot (optional) – the fastest wins.
- Personalised Articulate – requires a little more prep but very fun and throw is some funny stories and answers
Alternative bride gifts and groom gifts
Gifts for the bride and gifts for the groom are becoming a more popular addition to parties and wedding announcements. There are so many bride gifts to choose from and it can be tough to find a personal bride gift or special groom box. Perhaps you are separated by miles and are not able to make the hen party or stag party but still want to send an engagement gift to congratulate the happy couple. Champagne and chocolates can feel a little traditional and obvious so how about considering a bride or groom gift that is a little more personal?
Personalised presents always make great gifts because they are extra special and require a little more thought – who wants a bunch of petrol station flowers really! Personalised bride gifts come in all shapes and sizes – you may go for personalised jewelry or a special photo book – or you may choose to create a bride box full of pamper gifts and fun goodies for her to enjoy ahead of the big day. Your groom may like an experience gift like a spa treatment or perhaps a custom groom box filled with goodies for his wedding prep.
Wedding and engagement gifts can sometimes feel old fashioned and stuffy – so have an explore online and see what you can find that is personal and unique. We love creating unique gift boxes for bride and grooms to celebrate their engagement or wedding day, making a perfect alternative to traditional wedding gifting.