A hens party is an opportunity to gather your best friends together to celebrate your last days as a single lady. There are no rules about how you should do this or what a hens party should involve, it all depends what you prefer. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about at all, you might not be from Australia. In the USA women have a ‘bachelorette party’, while in the UK you will hear about a ‘hen do’. These are all referring to the same thing, just with slight cultural differences about how we say it.
A hens party can be hosted by the bride herself, but it’s usually something the maid of honour, bridal party, or friends takes charge of. How much input the bride gets on things depends on the people hosting. Some prefer to keep the details top secret and surprise her on the day, while others want to make sure she is completely prepared and comfortable with whatever is planned and let her help with most of the planning.
It’s a good idea to match your hens party invites to the nature of the event itself, as guests tend to take clues from the invitation to set their expectations and to prepare themselves for the occasion. It’s important to ask yourself some questions about the event before you make your choice.
Am I planning a night party or a day party?
There’s often quite a big difference between hens parties held during the day and those held at night.
A hens day usually involves a luncheon, high tea or a road trip somewhere. It might include spa treatments or massages, manicures, or a hike in the mountains. You might take a trip to a winery or the botanical gardens or even go sailing for a day. To reflect this, hens day invitations are often light, airy, and embrace nature. They might be floral, botanical, beachy or patterned. They look great on thick cotton paper with letterpress detailing for a really classy, luxe feel.
If you receive a hens night invitation, you are more likely to expect an evening based around drinking and hitting up bars and clubs, often in a ‘crawl’ of different venues. They may also include male strippers or other adult entertainment. Of course, this isn’t always the case. Some night time hens parties just include restaurants, live music venues or even take place in someone’s home. It all depends on the types of guests who are going to be given hens night invites, and the preference of the bride-to-be. Hens night invitations are often a little more glam and dark. They look great on black paper with white ink, and look even better with some foil stamping in gold, silver, copper or other metallic colour.
If there’s going to be sensitive content or adult entertainment, it’s always a good idea to give some hint of this on the hens night invite so people can opt out if they’re not into that. You don’t have to say it up-front and ruin the surprise, but use terms or illustrations that point in this direction.
Does this party have a specific theme or style?
Regardless of whether you’re having a day or night party, every hens party will have its own style and theme. Whether it’s a formal theme (e.g. the entire party is themed around the bride’s favourite tv show) or an informal theme (e.g. the party is being held in a garden during Spring), it’s a good idea to carry that into the hens invitations. This might be as simple as hens invites in the appropriate colour scheme, or it could be as elaborate as a hens invite styled after something from fiction or with specific illustrations included as part of the design. Whatever the theme or style, hens night invitation templates should be available to match it. If you’re having trouble finding something that’s perfect, consider placing a custom order with your invitation provider.
But what if I’m having a kitchen tea?
A kitchen tea is another form of hens party, but is usually more low-key. It’s often more family-inclusive, with your mum, sisters, cousins, and even Grandma often scoring kitchen tea invites. A kitchen tea is usually held in someone’s home during the day (though sometimes in the evening) and guests bring along homewares and recipes for the bride-to-be. It harkens back to the vintage era of housewives in the kitchen baking for their husbands. Kitchen tea invitations often reflect this history with a vintage design or vintage feel. A kitchen tea invite may also draw heavily on the ‘kitchen’ part of the name, often featuring illustrations of mixers, aprons, rolling pins, scales, cupcakes or other kitchen bits and pieces.
Some people choose to have both a kitchen tea and a hens party, often on the same day. This lets all the women you know come together in the afternoon, and then those who are up for some after-dark fun can break off later and go do your own thing. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to have the main kitchen tea invitation for everyone, with an extra invite card just for those you want to invite to the latter part of the day. This helps people plan their time, bring appropriate clothes, and keeps confusion to a minimum.
Kitchen teas are usually much closer to bridal showers than hens parties, so be sure to check out our guide to bridal shower invitations for more information.
Hens parties come in all sorts of shapes and sizes: there are as many different kinds of party as there are kinds of brides. This can make choosing a hens party invitation difficult. Luckily, by asking yourself a little more about the nature of the party you can easily work out what style will match best.