Well, OK, not quite. But the cost of being a hen has doubled in the last five years. We’ve found some low-cost options for you and your maids to enjoy
Picture the scene; a rather fabulous invite has popped up in your inbox detailing a close friend’s hen do, we’re talking spa treatments, a cocktail-making class and a luxury hotel. But, it has a price tag to match and it’s going to take more than a little help from the bank to fulfil your friendship duties on this occasion. Or, perhaps you’re the bride in this and you’re living in fear your friends will have to take out loans to cover the plans of your over-zealous chief bridesmaid?
With statistics showing hens have to fork out around £157 each for the average do, you’re not alone, so we’ve come up with some fabulous ideas for days, nights and weekends, which should keep you all in the black...
The spa break
Treatments can work out pricey, but there is a way you can bring the spa experience to you, says Sam Bonnar from The Hen Party PA. “There are some great homemade options, from body scrubs to face masks, and you can find recipes on my blog,” she says. “Simply decorate the room with flowers and scented candles, have plenty of clean towels ready and find out whether your hens have any special talents – perhaps you have a budding masseuse or manicurist amongst you?”
If you’d rather bring in the experts, call on My Pamper Party, which offers spa packages lasting between 20 minutes and two hours. Prices start from £16.95 per guest.
The club night
You and your gaggle of hens are ready to hit the town and spirits are high! But you arrive at the nightclub and find yourselves queueing, before paying a small fortune to get in. Or worse, being refused entry and wandering the streets looking for an alternative. Talk about a hen-night horror scenario.
The good news is, there are websites which can help you plan your night free of charge and point you in the direction of the coolest clubs. “Whether it’s a fancy dress club or sipping cocktails on a rooftop bar, we have the know-how on where to party,” says Andrew Webster from Design My Night. The website has a host of budget-friendly places to go in London, Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham, as well as VIP entry guest lists to make your night extra special. Sorted!
The weekend away
You’re not sure you can afford a fivestar hotel, but how about five-star luxury in a tent? The glamping trend is fast-growing, with creative and kitsch sites all over the UK. We love the Jollydays Luxury Camping site in Yorkshire, where the Luxury Lodge Tent sleeps up to six people, with all the comfort of wood burners and wool blankets. Prices start from £425 for a two-night weekend in a six-person tent. For details, visit www.jollydaysluxurycamping.co.uk.
The crafty workshop
Love the thought of making corsages, or designing and creating a garter for the bride-to-be? A crafty session will be fun, and will give you something precious to take away with you. There are workshops up and down the country in studios and hotels, or you can have one come to you. The Crafty Hen works with talented tutors all over the UK to bring workshops to brides. Sessions cost from £30 per person. Visit www.thecraftyhen.co.uk.
The activity do
If your idea of a hen party is spending some quality time doing something new, there are lots of free events up and own the country that you can get involved with.
“Take time to find something your friends will all bond over, whether it’s a food festival, music event or fête,” says Sam. Perhaps you’re sporty types? If so, the Forest Segway experience at Go Ape could be for you. You’ll be guaranteed an hour of adventure for just £30 a pop. Visit www.goape.co.uk for details.