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January 17, 2014

The Origin of Hen’s Night

Hen’s night, stagette, bachelorette party. They’re all terms for the same thing—the last party that a bride has with her female friends before she gets married.

The stag or bachelor party has origins long ago in history. Stag parties were held back in Henry VII’s time, and it’s said that they could even date back to Spartan times when the bachelor about to get married would have a meal and drinks with his friends the day before the marriage.


The Hen’s night is a lot more recent—around the 1960s, (some say it’s even later) according to my research, and they began as a kind of equality thing with the male stag party.

However, Cleopatra had a party with her friends before marrying Mark Anthony. It’s also said that the term could come from the word henna. In countries such as India, North Africa and the Middle East they have a ceremony the night before the wedding where the bride’s hands are painted with henna designs.

These days anything goes for a hen party. They can range from elegant dinners to down and raunchy nights at a strip club and everything in between.

Here are a few suggestions for a hen’s party night:

1. Organize a fancy dress theme and go out and party.

2. Do special T-shirts.

3. Organize a spa day or weekend.

4. There’s the stripper thing

5. A sex toy party

6. Something unique like a photo shoot, a cocktail or chocolate making course or a course in something that interests the bride.

7. Have dinner at a themed restaurant.

8. Attend a special concert

9. Have a high tea or afternoon tea at a hotel.

10. Tell embarrassing stories about the bride.

11. Organize a scavenger hunt.

12. Hire a bus and go on a wine tour.

I’m off to a hen’s party at the beginning of March. I’m not sure what we’re doing but I’m looking forward to both the party and the wedding.

Did you have a hen’s party? What did you do? Have you attended a hen’s party recently?


  1. Dena Celeste

    It’s funny, I never had a hen party. But then, I never really felt the need. My hubby and I were long distance for the 2 years before we married, and that was by far enough time apart. Besides, we still hung out with friends after we got married. It’s nice. ^_^

    I think the only hen parties I’ve ever seen have been on TV, to be honest.

    • Shelley Munro

      Mine was very sedate. Girlfriends and relations, including my grandmother. Not much scope for mischief.

      I’m going to one in March. I’m not sure what is happening but the bride assured me there will be no strippers. The writer in me was a bit disappointed because of the research angle, but really, I’m happy just to get out of the house, away from my lonely computer and socialize. :)

  2. Maria Zannini

    I’ve never been to a bachelorette party, but I have been to a divorce party–with strippers. It was then I realized I was more interested in the reactions from everyone around me.

    You’ll have fun. It’s so nice to get away to socialize. The strippers would only get in the way of good conversation. ;)

    • Shelley Munro

      A divorce party with strippers – now there’s a story. I would have been more interested in the reactions of everyone too.

      I can’t wait to learn what we’re doing. I hear we’re having cocktails, but I’m waiting for my invitation.

  3. T.F. Walsh

    Very cool blog post… my hen night was pretty ordinary and boring… went on one of those stripper cruise ships…hehe

    • Shelley Munro

      LOL – I bet that was fun ;)

    • Jen Hendy

      ‘..Ordinary and boring..’ Ha Ha ! ;-)

      • Shelley Munro

        We all need to find one of those cruise ships, right?

  4. Mary Kirkland

    My brother has been married 5 times so I’ve been to a few of them. I think the most interesting one was his 3rd wife and he decided to have a Co-Ed bachelor/Bachelorette Sex Toy party. They invited family and friends including my mother, step father, her family and myself. Yeah, that wasn’t awkward at all. At the end of the party and after seeing a bunch of sex toys, we were supposed to buy some from the lady who came to show them and for each one that was sold my brother and sister in law got a $ amount credit for their own sex toys. When they found out how much money they had to work with they went in the back picked out their winnings and came out to show everyone what they picked. Awkward! lol

    • Shelley Munro

      Hubby and I had a chuckle about the sex toy party. I can imagine how awkward that must have been. there’s a story there too!!

      • Mary Kirkland

        Oh now it would be too funny to have that end up in a story. LOL

        • Shelley Munro

          *wink* you never know…

  5. Heather

    The only one I’ve attended was in 2000, and was held at a friend’s, though there were some *interesting * gifts.

    • Shelley Munro

      Hmm. I need to think about that.