Hen Dos Are Getting Out Of Control: 5 Ways To Reign Them Back In
The average cost of a hen party is now £110 – but most likely you just paid more. It's time to take stock.
There was a time when a hen do meant a few cheeky wines down the local, maybe followed by a curry the night before the bride got hitched. It was a simpler time, when the only phallic-shaped object in sight would have been a pickled gherkin in a jar. Now, it’s an industry worth somewhere in the region of £275m annually, with the spend on a hen party in 2012 averaging £110. That’s a lot more than a couple of glasses of Chardonnay and a chicken Balti.
But the concept of the British hen party (we can thank our American friends for introducing us) only really started in the mid-1980s, with it reaching the giddy heights we’re experiencing now in the past few years. It may feel like a rite of passage, but it’s barely as old as you are now.
Hen parties were born from the sexual liberation of the Seventies, and the realisation that it isn’t just the men who want to mark the end of their bachelorhood. And why shouldn’t we have a party to rival the boys? We should. It’s just that they’ve got a little out of control recently, and it’s about time brides-to-be and maids-of-honour everywhere remembered a few things…
Don’t invite everyone you’ve ever met
Sure, you like whatshername from work, and you have a laugh for half an hour in Pret at lunch a couple of times a week, but does that mean you want her to see you eating a scotch egg from a stripper’s bum (yes, this happened)? Not if you want to be able to look each other in the eye at the tea point ever again. Weird, emotional things happen at hen dos: it’s what they’re for. But it’s probably best only your nearest and dearest witness them – they’ve likely seen it all many times. Oh, and if someone’s not invited to the wedding, they shouldn’t be invited to the hen do.
Keep it local
Going away for the weekend is now the norm for hen dos. It started with a cottage on the coast that belonged to someone’s auntie, then someone suggested hiring a few yurts to go glamping, and now it seems the only done thing is to board a plane to New York for several days with a credit card and a panicky feeling in your chest that’s quietly screaming ‘you really can’t afford this’. Yes, these are all really,reallyfun things to do, but they don’t come cheap. And they cost on the time front, too. Keeping it close to where the majority of people live, or somewhere in the middle of everyone (very diplomatic), will score you major brownie points and doesn’t mean it will be any less memorable because you didn’t drink a Cosmopolitan through a penis straw on Times Square. It’s the people you’re with, not the place.
Video: SISTERS GET READY WITH ME | HEN DO EDITION | LUCY & ELLE | Lucy Jessica Carter
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