How to Throw a Kick Ass Hen Party

Join us for the second instalment of the electric three-part Alternative Hen series, penned by Mistress of Mayhem Siobhan Scanlon, founder of The Peacock Bride. In part two Siobhan proffers poultry pearls of wisdom, explaining how you can throw a sizzling bash for even the most disgruntled of hens.

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Anyone who has had the pain, I mean pleasure, of organising a hen party knows all too well the challenges sometimes faced. Trying to please 20 ladies can be difficult at the best of times but throw location, cost, food, activities and sleeping arrangements into the mix and unless you carefully manage this you’re likely to end up with hen’s egg on your face. Below are a couple of simple tips that can really make the difference between a ‘MEH’ party and an ‘Sha-mazing’ bash.

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1. Save money on the RIGHT things

In the last few years, the price of hen parties has sky rocketed. But there are some clever ways to save money so you don’t have to sacrifice a month’s salary on pleasing the bridezilla.

– Consider self-serve options for accommodation, such as glamping or renting a house. You can pre-load the place with bubbles and breakfast, saving you a fortune on sleeps and eats.

– Call restaurants/cafés in advance for any group deals. You’d be surprised how often they are willing to create a set menu for group bookings. That way the cost is set, everyone is clear and you don’t have Greedy Gertrude at the top of the table ordering steak to get her money’s worth.

– Fish around for any BYOB (bring your own booze) options in the area. These are becoming more and more popular, and are a massive relief to the budget without actually sacrificing anything.

2. Nobody likes to be dictated to a hen party is NOT a military operation

dictator henI’m all for having set plans, and for a hen party it’s a must – but there are certain ‘rules’ to be considered when it comes to planning. Before bulldozing ahead with a one-size-fits-all approach, it’s worth bearing in mind that people’s expectations of a hen party can vary massively depending on their own situation. Understanding this is the key to a successful hen party!

Let people dip in and out of activities as they wish. I organised my sister’s hen party last year, and we decided to take a jaunt on some electric bikes for a couple of hours. This wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so I had arranged a masseuse to come to the venue for anyone who preferred that. There’s little worse than feeling obliged to do something you don’t want to do, especially when you’ve paid good money to be there. Besides, when the pressure is off, people will most likely get involved of their own accord. By setting the tone for a relaxed and flexible weekend early on, the hens will be onside from the get go!

3. Never underestimate the power of FUN FUELERS

‘Fun Fuelers’ are what we like to call any paraphernalia that, in a nutshell, generate fun! Remember, often hens are meeting for the first time or you may be flying solo for the weekend, so having a couple of icebreakers are a great way to quickly unite a group in a natural way.

Things such a photo props, hats, inflatables and piñatas goad people to get involved. There’s full fuelersnothing more unifying that discussing your outlandish costumes or watching the blindfolded bride-to-be beat the living daylights out of a unicorn piñata.

4. Arrange as much as you can advance

Where possible, prebook and pay for as much as you can. The only thing worse than being forced to wear matching pink t-shirts that say ‘Zilla’s Hen Party’ is being landed with another £200 bill at the end of the weekend. The last hen I went to included food for the weekend, taxis, drinks, dinner, club entry, even some champagne caviar! It was such a relief to all the hens at the end of the weekend, and there was no begrudgery over the price tag.

5. Dont be afraid to switch it up

Don’t be afraid to switch up the traditional format of the hen party and stray from the ever popular two-night/one-day activity format. One-nighters are becoming more and more the done thing, and you’ll find that people generally tend to give it socks for the night. Another trend is that of day parties – still life painting, ice cream making, laughter yoga and clay pigeon shooting are all the rage amongst 2015 hens. Do what your little heart heart desires but for pete’s sake consider your hens in the process.

Connect with The Peacock Bride’s whimsical world of poultry cool via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Stay tuned next week for the third and final instalment of the Alternative Hen series, where Siobhan will be exploring the art of Peacocking with party accessories.

We leave you to ponder the words of Charlotte Brontë, ‘I would always rather be happy than dignified,’ she says. Second that Charlotte. Cluck fucking cluck.

#alifelessordinary #badlybehavedbalance






Evolution of the Hen

Join us for the first of an electric three-part series penned by Mistress of Mayhem Siobhan Scanlon, founder of The Peacock Bride. In part one, Siobhan canvasses the surprising history of this most feminine of rituals. 

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IMG_0491Way back in 5th century Sparta, a man called Brad got down on one knee and popped the question to his college sweetheart Tiffany. Brad, feeling a little nervous about the whole commitment thing called on his farmer friends to ditch the land, bring the banter and send him flying up the aisle with a bang. And so the stag was born.

The hen took a little longer to hatch. The exact origin is unknown but many believe it emerged in North Africa sometime between the 6th and 20th century. The term ‘hen party’ has long been debated with some claiming it is derived from henna, aHenna celebration wedding custom in many cultures. Henna, if to be believed is capable of purifying the bride and keeping her free from evil. Personally, I’m not buying it. More realistic in my opinion is the claim by a local US paper in 1897 that ‘hen party’ was a “time honoured idea that tea and chitchats, gossip smart hats, constitute the necessary adjuncts to these particular gatherings”. A better representation of the hen we know today for sure but really it wasn’t until the birth of the 1960’s sexual revolution that the flamboyant celebrations began to characterise the bride-to-be’s last night of freedom.

90s henIn the 70’s the bride was paraded around her work place as colleagues sang and danced to none
other than ACDC’s Highway to Hell, in celebration of the upcoming nuptials. At the time the celebration was more about the brides choice to relinquish work and embark on her new path of domesticity and motherhood. Far removed from todays celebration and hallelujah for that. The 90’s saw the emergence of the more risqué bash with w*lly straws, blow up dolls and more whips than Jamie Dornan could handle on a good day. Following this the hen weekend was born and hens began flocking to far away towns in their broods.

Optimized-the-peacock-bride-10The last five years have seen chicks take the hen to the next level with brides looking for more than
just a booze filled bash and activities like laughter yoga, life drawing, knicker making and sumo wrestling have become more and more popular. In short the modern day hen party can be whatever you want it to be.

And so there it is; an ancient basis for what has become as a modern rite of passage for any bride to be. Throw in a dash of pink, a handful of glitter and a unicorn piñata… Hey presto, we have the modern day hen party!

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Connect with The Peacock Bride’s whimsical world of poultry cool via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Stay tuned next week for the second instalment of our alternative hen series, where Siobhan will dismantle the dictatorship of the blueprint hen.

We leave you to ponder the words of Mae, ‘there are no good girls gone wrong – just bad girls found out,’ she says. Give in, and have a hell of a time doing it we say.

#alifelessordinary #badlybehavedbalance