Summer hen party ideas & activities
If you had to delay a hen party due to lockdown, summer 2021 is your chance to make up for lost time and throw a truly special event for your best friend, sister or cousin.
You might be planning to take advantage of the relaxing of covid restrictions by booking a festival, spa or restaurant, but if you’d prefer to stay away from the crowds – and are keen to avoid the stress of rule changes and last minute cancellations – then an ‘at home’ hen do is the way to go.
It will help keep the costs down, too, and provides a chance to create a personalised event with all the special touches. Read on for our ultimate hen party ideas…
Transform your garden
For starters, if you can, host the hen do at a home with a garden – either your own or one of the other hens. Once the location is sorted, choose a theme for the party. If you are doing a ‘festival at home’, you’ll love our attractive Festival Party and Boho Spice ranges: think bright balloons, floral garlands and sweet string lights. If you’re the go-large-or-go-home type, our Tropical Party range is packed with gloriously OTT decorations (inflatable flamingos, tutti frutti garlands and tiki lanterns anyone?). For a more understated, stylish theme, go for the decorations and tableware in our nautical but nice By the Sea collection.
Top tip: Have a wet weather plan. With the British weather being what it is, it helps to pick a location which has good inside and outside space because the show must go on come rain or shine. Make sure there is space for everyone if you need to be indoors and make sure you decorate inside, too.
Hen party decorations
With the general theme picked, it’s time to get specific with some balloons, tableware and accessories themed around the very reason you’re all gathering. We have brilliant hen ranges to choose from, including Boho Bride, Blush Hen, Botanical Hen and more. ‘Bride to be Balloon’ bunting and ‘Almost Mrs’ confetti balloons are two of our favourites, and if you have some great photos of the bride-to-be, a personalised banner is a nice extra touch. Chief hens love our ‘Team Bride’ sashes, and other accessories such as advice cards and tableware for extra fun. If you’re hosting a pamper party, push the boat out with these Blush Hen brides dressing gowns.
Let the games begin to get the party really started! Party Pieces has a whole range of hen party game ideas to inspire you; from Bridal Bingo to Prosecco Pong. Why not relive your younger days and organise an old school sports day competition? This set has equipment for egg and spoon and three legged races, relay batons and more. Everyone can have a go at rounders, although you might need to decamp to a local park for the extra space. Otherwise, go for croquet and boules for some calmer, but no less competitive action.
Top tip: Plan the teams in advance to make sure the guests mix and have a chance to get to know each other, and to avoid any ‘last person chosen’ embarrassment.
Mr and Mrs
There’s no getting out of this hen party staple for the bride-to-be! To play, ask her other half to answer questions about their relationship ahead of the hen party, then ask her for her thoughts and see how her answers compare. Questions can include all sorts of things about annoying habits, pet names, most romantic moments and more. Some hens like to film the partner’s answers, either in person or via video call, and then show them up on a big screen at the hen do.
Top tip: Naughty questions can be hilarious for the gathered hens, but bear in mind how likely the bride is to be embarrassed or upset by anything that might be a bit too much. If there are family members such as mums, aunts or sisters at the party, then you might want to tone it down.
Set up your very own hen party photo booth for Insta-friendly photos of the evening. We’ve got everything you need for a professional photo finish: customisable Polaroid frames, ring frames, sashes, ‘bride to be' glasses, photo booth prop kits and more. Picture perfect!
Top tip: Create a hashtag such as #AmiHenDoTeam2021 and put it on the invitation as well as displaying it somewhere in your photo booth area, so your guests can tag and find each other’s photos on social media.
Hen do food ideas
For a stress-free option if budget allows, book a private chef to come and cook up a storm on the day of the hen do – and, crucially, do the washing up – or source a local caterer to make grazing platters and sharing plates before time. If this isn’t an option, a simple barbecue is always a crowd-pleaser, and to make it even easier, you could ask some of the hens to bring side dishes and salads. To add the finishing touches, we have a superb range of tableware for summer garden parties – we particularly love these Simply Eco scalloped plates, Candy Stripe platters and metal trays in sage green. Go here to explore our entire range.
Top tip: When you send out the invitations, ask guests for their dietary preferences and allergies (also if they are pregnant and therefore need to avoid certain foods), so you have plenty of time to work out menu options and shopping lists.
Hen do drinks ideas
A good rule of thumb is to choose two types of wine, two different spirits and two non-alcoholic options. That way you have plenty of choice without over-complicating things. Many hens love setting up their own bar in the garden. They can be kitted out with these Hawaii-inspired drinks straws. Mint green champagne flutes will also look perfect for your summer party, and this Kilner stackable jar set or this pink drinks cooler will let people keep their glasses topped up throughout the party. If it’s the kind of party that will see shots consumed, then this shots wall will be a hilarious centrepiece and, for a final flourish for your bar, these pineapple cups really bring the kitsch!
Top tip: Don’t forget to have plenty of chilled drinking water, plus tea and coffee available for your guests, who probably don’t want to drink alcohol solidly all day.
An afternoon tea is always a popular choice for a hen do, and as with the barbecue, you could get some of the guests to bring a bake. Assign a few people different cakes to make, someone else to bring scones and another to do the sandwiches on the day. Fizz, whether that’s champagne, cava or cremant, is an extra flourish for afternoon tea if you’re drinkers. Buy a cake stand (our favourite is this cake and drinks stand) so you can present all the treats in style, and these pink champagne flutes will look the part, too. This peach print large plate is ideal for your sandwich platter, and these peach print food covers will keep your spread fresh before it’s time to eat.
Top tip: Go one stage further by adding an impressive doughnut wall or prosecco stand to your set-up. Cheers!
Spa day hen do
Bring the spa experience to your ‘at home’ hen do by paying for a beautician and/or masseuse to come to the party venue and give treatments to all the hens. To keep things simple, pick two different treatments – such as a back massage or manicure – and then all you’ll need to do is sit back and enjoy a pampering.
Top tip: Really go the whole hog for your stay at home spa by hiring a hot tub for the party. This is a great way to transform a familiar garden into a cool party venue, and they often come with a gazebo so can still be used on rainy days. Check local suppliers and reviews to find the hot tub for you!
Sleepover hen do
With this summer hopefully being one in which people can properly catch up with family and friends, make the most of your hen do party by making it not just an afternoon and evening bash, but one that stretches overnight and into the next, and theme it around the kind of slumber party you had when you were younger. Crash on the sofa to watch favourite films from your younger days (accompanied by popcorn served in our popcorn holders or pick ‘n’ mix), paint each other’s nails and talk into the early hours. The only difference is you won’t have any angry parents threatening to put you all in separate rooms if you don’t keep the noise down!
Top tip: You could give the evening section of the hen do a bit of focus by organising a murder mystery game or team quiz to play.
Line up all your favourite tunes (both past and present) on a playlist, clear space for a dance floor and then party into the night. Deck out the kitchen with bits and pieces from our fab Disco Fun range. Our disco ball balloons and Good Vibes hanging decorations are the perfect products to get you started, and accessorise with glow stick glasses and necklaces. Finally, get a Boogie Plug In Light and some mini USB lights to really turn the kitchen into a nightclub (minus the entry fee and queues for the loos!)
Top tip: Ask the hens in advance for three songs to get them dancing, and add them on to your playlist.