Hen do's - Are they getting out of hand?
HEN DO - a celebration held for a woman who is about to get married, attended only by women.
Your last night of freedom, a chance to spend a night with your closest girlfriends to celebrate this fabulous occasion….
or, more recently, a VERY expensive week away, spending ridiculous amounts on
accommodation, food and drinks with your group of very stressed out, pushed for money, trying to smile through the pain of how much this has cost them, girlfriends.
Is it time to admit that maybe hen do’s are just getting a little out of hand?
Having worked in the events industry for a little while now, I really feel like I have experienced, first hand, the rise of the hen do.
But that’s only a claim from little old me right? Let’s look at some facts….
In 2009, the average cost of a hen do, per person was £91. Of course, for some people, this is still a large sum of money however it is a lot more manageable than the average spend per head for todays hen do’s which is a whopping £464 pp…and that’s only for UK based hen do’s!
It is estimated that in 2018 a CRAZY £1,250,047,188 was spent on hen do’s alone.
But why the huge increase in price?!
Well, traditionally, a hen do may consist of a night down your local, some karaoke and a couple of L plates, but now (thanks to Instagram influencers and celebrities who can afford it!) hens are opting for more exotic, far away destinations and activities:
As well as heading abroad, instead of opting for the cheaper accommodation choices, such as hostels, 40% of hen’s are booking out whole apartments and 54% are forking out for fancy hotel rooms.
Now, this would all be well and good and sounds like the experience of a life time if the bride decides to factor this into her wedding budget and treat her girlies…but, no! (at least, not in most cases)
In fact, in 79% of hen do’s, the bride doesn’t even pay for herself, let alone anyone else.
“But why does it matter, it’s the only hen do she’ll ever get!” - Maid of honour who has enough money to afford the extravagant do x3.
Not all members of a friendship group are in the same position financially, and it can be a very uncomfortable and awkward situation for individuals who simply can’t fork out that much money (especially when they have 3 other hen do’s to try and afford that year!). Sadly, 26% of people don’t actually attend because they simply can’t afford to.
All this stress, awkwardness, money and potentially ruined friendships over an event that was only ever meant to be a celebration with your nearest and dearest says to me, that maybe we have gone just a little overboard and lost sight of what it’s really all about.
So, how can we still have a cracking hen do without all of negative issues mentioned above?
Well, here are some things that I would suggest:
Less is more: As I’ve previously mentioned, the most important part of a hen do is that you are together with those you love, so instead of cramming a million activities into a week or weekend, which tires everyone out (hello grumpy, snappy gals!) and also racks up the cost, maybe just pick one or two activities to really have a laugh with!
Hire a planner or choose a package: I mean, I would say that because I am an events planner, BUT I really believe that the money you spend on a planner, you will save in the cost of your perfect hen do.
The advantage of having a planner on board or choosing from set hen packages is that they have contacts in the industry and can offer deals and prices that you wouldn’t get by booking everything separately. Plus, it saves you the stress of having to think of what to do, book everything separately and organise each element on the day (there’s only so many email confirmations and booking references a girl can take in one day!)
Go bargain hunting! (Not all bargs are tacky!):
I know that most hens want to avoid tacky decorations, plastic, fake veils and blow up
willies nowadays, but the decorations and props on offer in lots of high street, craft shops and supermarkets have really stepped up in quality.
You can pick up some really nice bits from places like hobbycraft (not sponsored but well up for it if you’d like!) and the range and for a fraction of the prices you’ll find at expensive online stores and bespoke boutiques.
At the end of the day, I think it’s clear that hen do’s have got quite out of hand but let’s try not to loose sight of what a hen do is really about!!! As long as you are surrounded by your lovely friends and the people you care about, then does it matter whether you’re in peppermint bar in Cardiff (woop woop!) or some fancy cocktail bar in Marbella?!