Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hen Parties

I love that across the pond they call bachelorette parties Hen Parties. It's so cheeky and yet there is something austere and old fashioned, like I picture a bunch of stoic blue hairs in their nubby tweed jackets, horn rim glasses, dark stockings and shiny mary janes sipping tea and telling dirty jokes in their unflappably formal British accents. But, I tend to overthink things. Brides get 2 options for pre-wedding parties, the bridal shower, in all it's boring glory, and the bachelorette party, the attempt on the part of the girls to live up singledom the way the bachelor does.

I avoided the pre-wedding parties b/c I had been to a few, and I must say I wasn't impressed. The Shower's were milk toast dull. A bunch of women sitting around while the bride opens gifts and feels forced to gush over a silver serving platter her mother's friend forced upon her.Then there are the bachelorette parties that involve me doing body shots of a glisteny male stripper named Steve at 4am. Ladies from the Philly area know that I speak of the Cave, and while I must admit I do laugh hysterically when I see a man gyrate 3 inches from the floor in some erotic-push up dance to Kid Rock's Cowboy, I think next time, I'll just say no when that invitation comes my way. That might be fine for a bunch of guys to go to a stripclub, but I think I speak for many a lady out there, I don't really need it.

I love the idea of a Hen party-just because the name isn't something I associate with needles in my eyes boredom, or morning after disgust and a feeling of being way too parched and an overall feeling of being "sticky."

Here are some great ideas for girls (with or without guys) that can make a pre-wedding party a lot more fun, and more useful to the participants!

1. Spa Day. This is pretty popular, ladies go get mani-pedi's, facials, massages and the all sorts of prettification. It's a nice way to bond and relax, but it can be a bit damaging to the wallet, especially when you pay for yourself AND the B2B

2. Amusement Parks/Carnivals. This is great for Spring, Summer or Fall, or those who live where the season's never get too cold to shut down the merriment of childhood. This is also great for coed parties. A bunch of friends and family enjoying outdoor fun and running around like children. Most theme parks are a pretty good value too, and most everyone can afford general admission. Of course, there is always someone who is afraid to ride the rides, who inevitably is the human coat rack (love you Mom) but again, you can't please everyone.

3. Weekend Getaway. Why not schedule an all girls getaway a week or more before your wedding? You're stressed, you have a lot to do, and it might do you good to get away, bond with your best friends and just enjoy the moment. This is great if you are skipping a honeymoon or postponing it a while. Plus, it's cheaper for a room full of girls to share a room or two than couples or individuals, so it doesn't have to be all that expensive. Visit NYC for the weekend, Travel to Vegas, go rockclimbing, spend a weekend at a beach, hitch a fligh from Virgin Airlines for a weekend overseas, figure out what you all want to do and what you can afford and plan it! If you are like me and my ball and chain, we have differing opinions on travel I'd love to go someplace warm and sunny, but being ginger, he tends to pink in the sun, so a weekend in the Bahamas is perfect for me and me tan-able gal pals to swing. We also have an impossible time coordinating our schedules, so it's easier for me to call my girl Laura up and see if she's up for heading to London for a 3 day weekend than Nic. And if you are staying at a place with Spa services, you could add #1 if you feel like it!

4. Learn to do Something. You don't need an actual party with a date and time. Maybe you get your friends and/or family together and say "let's learn to do something." Take a cooking class, an art class, a strip-tease class (you'll get fit AND have a little something something to show off when the honeymoon comes) learn to play cards, do something different that you can share with your friends.

5. Extreme Activities. Always wanted to go skydiving? Why not do that with your friends as an alternative to the traditional shower or bachelorette party. I'm sure there are other extreme things you can do and this is another one that is perfect for boys and girls.

6. Group Boudoir. The reason I'm posting this is because I photographed a Boudoir Party for some friends and it was a BLAST, which is one of the reason's I now offer it on my boudoir menu. The girls had so much fun playing dress up, getting pretty, helping each other with hair and makeup, and rallying behind one another for fun sexy pictures. I had a mindset originally that boudoir was very intimate and private, but the girls proved me wrong! They had fun sharing the sexy, flirty and fun part of themselves with their closest friends. It was the same dynamic for a small group of 30 year old women as I remember from my teenage years shopping for a homecoming dress. The honesty, the support, the encouragement and the fun, frivolous silliness of it all came rushing back and I thought this was a great idea. It's something different, and each girl was able to get some really awesome pictures of herself as a keepsake of a fun night of friendship, and the guys they went home to got a little something extra too!

Re think the pre wedding parties. They don't have to be boring or traditional.
Your wedding is a time to celebrate the couple you are about to become and the new life you are beginning, so why not take some time before that to reaquaint yourself with your friends and family and do something memorable. Think of your ideal Hen party and plan it.


Anonymous said...

i love your in-depth ideas and inspirations! so much so, you are featured on my blog today :)

Sarah@WeddingBook.com said...

Love the post-- and totally agree! I just got returned from a weekend bachelorette get-away where we ate good food, went to the spa and just spent time with each other. We're thinking about making it into a yearly event!

hen parties said...

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