Are you trying to organise a party for a bride-to-be that INSISTS she doesn’t actually want a hen do but has agreed to one against her will? Let’s get one thing straight – she’s lying to herself. I like to compare this bride to the girl who tells her boyfriend she doesn’t want anything for her birthday. Cue alarm bells! Fail to organise anything for this girl at your own risk. Believe me, the last lady I heard that didn’t want a hen party ended up having THREE before her big day. However, this doesn’t mean you need to go all-out and throw your reluctant friend a full-blown weekend of clucking with all the trimmings. What your friend really means is she doesn’t want a typical, tacky hen party. And we 100 per cent agree. We’ve put together some really fun activities for your low-key bride that might just convince her that her ladies know her better than she knows herself.
Is there any girl who could say no to a day of pure pampering and relaxation in a fluffy robe? A spa day is the ultimate treat. We think your bride-to-be will appreciate the privacy of an activity like this, where it would be just her and the girls and some amazing therapists ready to make you all feel beautiful. One of our favourite spots for a girly spa retreat is Kilronan Castle in Co Roscommon. They offer a luxurious collection of treatments and even include some prosecco in their “Here come the girls” package – the perfect addition! Check out the details here.
Did someone say cake? My ears are pricked and my mouth is already watering – and no doubt your low-key bride is already winging her way to your destination of choice. Afternoon tea is, again, a real treat. I’d describe it as a typical Saturday afternoon, chilling with your friends on the couch with a hot mug of tea and a packet of biscuits – only MUCH fancier. There will be ridiculously pretty tea cups, teeny sambos too cute not to taste, warm scones slathered with cream and jam and wickedly tempting pastries. There can be alcohol or you can just stick to the good old reliable tea – both are always sure to hit the spot. And there will be chats and lots of laughs. What more could a girl want!
How about booking a fancy hotel suite and having a girls’ night in! We think your bride-to-be would just love a cosy evening filled with glam pjs, bubbles, movies, popcorn, pizza and chocolate. This is the perfect opportunity to play lots of fun games. Check out our favourite the wedding dress game here. Bring her right back to her childhood with pass the parcel (hen party style!) Fill her a scrapbook full of tear-jerking and funny memories from all the years you have known each other. Break out the pillows for some play fighting. And most of all, appreciate how, sometimes, the simpler you keep a hen party, the better it is. After all, a sleepover will always be girly fun at its best.
Why not spoil the bride-to-be with a slap-up meal in a seriously fancy restaurant – somewhere you’ve all never been to but have read about in the celeb magazines. Get all dolled up and arrive like VIPs for a five-course evening of deliciousness – and a dash of wine, of course! Hit VB’s favourite haunt Nobu in London or book a private dining experience at MacNean restaurant in Blacklion, Co Cavan, home to top Irish chef Neven Maguire. The one thing people always remember from an event (especially weddings!) is the food, and if you serve up a feast like this to your bride, she’s sure to have a wonderful night she’ll never forget. If this is pushing out the budget too much, a ‘Come Dine With Me’ night at home could be a real winner.
Kitchen Hen Party
We’re moving from the dining room to the kitchen for our final idea. Kitchen hen parties are when the bride-to-be and her closest family, neighbours and friends gather in the bride’s kitchen for a relaxed evening to give the lady of honour a real homely send-off. Traditionally, every guest would bring the bride a gift for her kitchen to help her with her household duties as a wife! Today, although the gifts have changed, the sentiment of such a heart-warming evening hasn’t. We think this night would be a real hit with your reluctant bride. For some unique ideas on how to make it really special, check out Noelle’s blog on kitchen hen parties here.