Ten Ideas for Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Parties or Hen Party

Nowadays, it has become customary for the bridesmaids to throw an unforgettable party for the bride-to-be. There has always been a bachelors party for the groom, but today – bachelorette’s parties are becoming a lot more entertaining, extravagant or daring as bridesmaids are thinking outside of the box, and using more resources and tricks in order to throw a spectacular and memorable party for the bride-to-be.

Quick Checklist for Throwing a Bachelorette’s Party

If you’re one of the bridesmaids throwing a party for the bride, you should get a few things cleared up right from the start in order to be able to plan without any restrictions, and to avoid any rather awkward or highly uncomfortable situations later on.

Before you start to plan the party, make sure you find out the following from the bride first:

  1. What DOESN’T she want? If she doesn’t want strippers, certain women invited, the colour pink, to wear a silly sign or strawberry cake then listen to her. It is after all her party.
  2. What DOES she really want? If she’s dropped hints over the past few months of things she’d like to do at her party, make a mental note and try and work this into the overall theme.
  3. Guest List. Get a list of friends from the bride a few months before the wedding so that you have ample time to plan and make sure that they’re available on the party date.
  4. The Date. If the bride insists on knowing the party date ahead of time so that she can make sure she’s dressed appropriately, give her two or three dates. That way she’ll still be prepared, but she won’t know the exact date of the party.
  5. Budget. Work out well ahead of time what the party is going to cost, so that the bridesmaids have enough time to save up for the party. These parties are rarely cheap. (Remember, this is the bride’s party – she doesn’t pay for anything…that includes shots, entrance to clubs, hiring of entertainment, bridal shower gifts, etc!)

Hen Party, Bridal Shower or Bachelorettes?

A party for the bride goes by many names these days. They can be referred to as hen parties, bridal showers or bachelorette’s parties. If you’re not sure which one would work the best for the bride, nearmegirls.com a brief breakdown of each:

  • Hen Party: A party thrown for the bride before her wedding with her closest friends. This term is commonly used in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Bachelorette’s Party: This is the same as a Hen Party, but this phrase is used in the USA and Canada.
  • Kitchen Tea: Usually an afternoon tea held before the bachelorettes party. Female family members are invited and the tea is usually held at a family member’s house where tea and cakes are served.
  • Girl’s Night Out: This is referred to in South Africa as a night out for the girls, but can also be used to describe the bachelorette’s party.
  • Bridal Shower: This is a party held for the bride where gifts are given before her wedding day. This normally includes lingerie today. The party can be combined with the Kitchen Tea or the Bachelorette’s Party.

Bridal Party Themes

The party for the bride before her wedding is her opportunity to relax and have fun with her closest friends before the big day. It’s her last party as a single woman and a time for celebrating. Although the bridal shower or kitchen tea, and hen party or bachelorette’s party are often seen as separate events, they can also be combined if you have a very open-minded group of aunties and other family members!

For the purpose of this article and the for the majority of how these parties are organized, let’s keep them separate.

Five Bridal Shower or Kitchen Tea Theme Ideas

  1. Extravagant Brunch. Few things are classier than an exquisite brunch spread. Think of champagne and orange juice, mini quiches, croissants, cupcakes, etc. This theme works well indoors or outdoors. You can use theme colours for the table, food and decorations, or can have a formal or informal setting.
  2. High Tea. This is a very popular theme with many brides, especially the Alice in Wonderland theme. Here the bridesmaids can get very creative in using quirky and out-of-the ordinary sweet and savory treat ideas.
  3. Picnic Shower. For the bride who enjoys the outdoors. Arrange individual picnic baskets on a blanket outside, or arrange a spread on a large rustic wooden table filled with country-style treats. For entertainment, you can include board or card games, or even mini-golf or table tennis.
  4. Black and White Tea. For an even classier affair, set the tea to early evening and serve cocktail snacks, champagne and decadent chocolate truffles. The colour scheme is black and white and this would include the table settings as well as dress code for all the guests.
  5. Pamper Shower. This type of shower works well for a small group of guests and can be done in a back garden with a few spa professionals, or at a nearby spa. Light salads, fruit and champagne work well here, and this type of party is perfect in the afternoon before a bachelorettes night out.

Five Hen Party or Bachelorette Party Ideas

  1. Dance the Night Away. This is one of the most popular themes for a bachelorette’s party. You can include dinner at a nearby restaurant beforehand or a very early morning breakfast at a 24-hour diner afterwards. Hire a driver or ask one of the groomsmen (if their party isn’t on the same night) to play chauffeur.
  2. Hire a Party Bus. This idea works the best if there is a larger group to invite. This also works well by combining the bachelor’s and bachelorette’s parties into one. There is usually a bar on the bus, as well as space to dance. You could also include a battery operated karaoke system.
  3. Make a Weekend of it. Why only celebrate for one night? Surprise the bridal party with a weekend getaway to a nearby resort or lodge, or take a road trip somewhere further and book into a well priced guesthouse or self-catering accommodation.
  4. Have a Slumber Party. If you’re looking for something different, why not organize a girl’s night in? Catch up on a few chic flicks, do manicures, play music, gossip, bake cookies, and make cocktails.
  5. Limo and Wine Tasting. Hire a limo and drive around to various wine farms in the area to sample wine, taste cheeses and indulge in chocolate. If there aren’t wine farms in the area, take a day trip with a packed gourmet lunch and lots of bubbly to a setting with a gorgeous view.

Whether you’re planning a kitchen tea, bridal shower, bachelorette party, hen party or girl’s night out for the bride, there are hundreds of creative party ideas to choose from.

It’s important to make sure that you plan something that is within the bridal party’s budget, but most importantly – that it’s something that the bride will enjoy and remember for the rest of her life!