It is worth mentioned right at the start that it is your hen do so it is important you do it how you want too. If this means you stick on a veil and a learner plate, then please do. This article is not meant to poke fun at the more traditional hen do, it is all about the trend that is moving away from this kind of thing and celebrating that added choice.
The Old Days
OK, so perhaps not that long ago but the standard hen do always seem to involve a night out with the girls wearing various pretend bits of wedding dress and learner plates. Sometimes it also involved a male stripper bad enough to make everyone cringe and a lot of supposedly “girly” drinks. While none of this, apart from the stripper, was that bad things are really moving on and the choices out there are massive!
What Do We Want?
Well according to hen party experts www.fizzbox.com we are starting to look for and book a lot more experience-based hen dos rather than just heading out for a party. This is also true for the stag do market, but they were doing this kind of thing 10-15 years ago and the girls didn’t seem to want to engage. It seems while there is still a definite party element the booking evidence and search data suggests women want to do something fun as well as party hard.
Longer Hen Do’s = more fun
There is a huge trend towards booking hen weekends these days rather than a hen night. This means hiring a big house somewhere and hanging out for a couple of days and nights. But this added time suddenly needed to be filled and so the rise of the hen do activity was born. There is also a trend to book these kinds of weekends in the UK more now too. A few years ago, it was all about going somewhere hot but the lack of things to do is pushing hen groups to look closer to home and get stuck into activities.
So, what are women really booking for hen dos these days? Well, the range is massive. There are lots of perhaps more female focussed options like Afternoon Tea (boozy or not), Cocktail making, Pole Dancing lessons, Dirty Dancing (the movie) dance lessons and things like life drawing classes with a hunky chap posing. But women are also booking go-karting, paintball, quad biking, rock climbing as well as things like surf lessons. The supposed realm of “blokey” things to do has gone and women are really getting stuck in. One thing that does come up a lot is the question of mixed activities. This is not about mixed hen groups because that is becoming common but more that when the hen group do a certain activity that they are not doing it alongside men. When it comes to things like paintball or go-karting it is a sad reality that a lot of male groups can be stupid and sadly still quite sexist. This may well have led to the slower take up from groups of women, but many places are now offering women-only sessions.
The Big Night Out
Just because hen dos now involve weekend stays and exciting day time activities doesn’t mean they don’t want a big night out. The party is still very much a focus, but the key is that it is not the only focus. There is certainly a move away from the traditional night club session and a move towards gin tasting and then private karaoke rooms or just a really good pub.
The Healthy Option
While for many the idea of being healthy on a hen do is a bit of an anathema healthy hen do’s are getting really popular. Yoga retreats are something that has really come into the mainstream for hen parties where people can socialise, relax and escape all the usual stresses before a wedding. These can be a great place to really bond with or get to know people in the wedding party. Some groups are even choosing to add hiking and climbing to the hen do plan where they self-plan a route and campsites and really get away from it all. There are even combinations of Yoga and Hiking – https://yogahikes.co.uk/private-guiding/
Bring on the new wave
The Hen Do is what you want it to be and the fact that the choices are so vast now can only be a good thing. It should be all about spending time with great friends and maybe meeting new people and getting to know them as you join their family. It really is something to be celebrated though, that women are stepping outside of any preconceptions and choosing to make sure that the guys do not get all the fun!