Rachel Bilson throws a hen's night for her friend Jill Stonerock at The Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
If I were to sit down one Sunday afternoon with my 22-year-old self and plan a really solid hen’s night, would we argue about what would be fun?
Normally, a hen’s night would mean paying out on penis-shaped paraphernalia and playing embarrassingly lame games with the brides cousin or school friend that I probably had never met before, but I’m going to try looking on the bright side – what makes a really good hen party?
First and foremost, a sense of organisation.
Not having a covert Tupperware, soy candle or Thermomix party.
Make it late afternoon into the night - it gives Aunty Betty a chance to bail while things are still reasonably above-board.
Want to do a girly dinner? Do it before anything else. If I have a few drinks then go to dinner, I’ve usually lost my appetite and all I want to do is go dancing.
Have a dress code – my cousin’s hens night was a cocktail party at a house and everyone had to wear black except for the bride, she either wears white or a shock of colour. I like to know what the tone is for the night – short skirt or jeans? Hair up or down? Tote bag or clutch bag? Harem or jeggings tailored pants?
Your guests shouldn't be forced to play a fun game. While some girls go ape for the toilet paper dress game. I would rather go chop a kilo of onions.
Do employ a bartender to serve up to three kinds of basic cocktails.
Do as my friend Jenna does – serve carby foods like sausage rolls and party pies. Before you think ewww, what a bogan – I would much prefer to eat a baby quiche Lorraine when faced with glass noodles, spears of asparagus and lobster foam.
Do a dance workshop. There is this dance studio in Sydney that teaches any kind of dance style as part of a night out – aside your normal trends like Burlesque, stripteasy stuff, the styles that caught my eye was Solid Gold ‘80s, Fightdance, Chicago, Motown Medley, Afro Fever and the moves from Beyonce’s Single Ladies.
I would try not to have a second location. Practically, this saves money and secondly, if there happens to be some drinky capers, you’re not unleashed on to the public. The best nights I've had were in one place all night. To change locations can change the dynamic, sure it might be for the better, but it's a gamble.
While I don’t want a feral night out at Collars ‘n’ Cuffs followed by a pub or club crawl, getting strange men to eat lollies of my lolly necklace while my hot pink veil with flashing penises highlight my ‘bachelorette party crew’ until 6am, I might also be a little disappointed at doing a charcoal life drawing of a nude bloke (honestly!) or a quiet afternoon at high tea, both of which are all the rage.
However I do have some non-negotiables…
There will be drinking and I will do my best to keep it moderate, but you know… excitement kicks in and I can’t keep too many promises.
There will be dancing. On a table, off a table or dancing with a fridge door. The boogie will have to take a lot of the blame.
An important note on male friends:
I love my mates, but I really don’t want to dictate which party who goes to purely by gender.
I'm going to try my hardest to explain this.
My inner-posse of friends started off being 3 girls and 5 blokes. Over the years, I think it's kind of doubled, but I don't think we see each other as girls and guys. It’s hard to explain, we all just really like each other and get along regardless of gender.
One of these inner-posse friends had her hen's night as a traditional affair, females only, at a wine bar then an unreal curry, totally recommended, but I remember talking to another inner-posse girlfriend about how we missed the boys. Not that I’ve ever asked them, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they’d kind of missed us too.
I guess there are just some guys that are in my life that I couldn’t imagine having a party without.
Just a quick word on penises - unless they are actually attached to my male friends bodies and covered with trousers I am not interested. I will be more than not interested, I would be mortified if I came face-to-face with a big pink penis piñata, cake, straws or top hat.
I read on another blog how ‘hucks nights’ (a portmanteau of bucks and hens. Clever.) are 'for couple’s who don’t trust each other'. Bollocks to that.
The absolute truth is that The Mister and I like each other’s company so much, that a party without the other just doesn’t seem like fun.
And that is someone my 22-year-old self isn’t going to meet for a little while yet.