Forget ‘L’ plates, Popworld and kiss-me-quick signs. Hen parties have evolved into a far more sophisticated affair, with some spending thousands on the perfect weekend. The ‘posh hen party’ market has exploded in recent years, with groups wanting bespoke accessories, unique destinations and Instagrammable accommodation. We spoke to the experts to find out the top trends and classy hen party ideas to inspire.
Last Night of Freedom is Britain’s leading stag and hen party organiser – we spoke to founder and Managing Director Matt Mavir, who revealed some of the hottest classy hen party trends heading into the 2023 wedding season.
Classy Hen Party Ideas
Classy Hen Party Ideas: Destinations
“While Newcastle, Liverpool and Benidorm remain among Europe’s biggest hen party hotspots, there’s a growing market for destinations not defined by boozy nights outs,” said Matt.
As such, new hotspots are emerging with an emphasis on class, elegance, and style. “Destinations like Bath and York have become increasingly popular in the past year. Bookings for York have more than doubled, and hens especially are seeking somewhere that looks great on their stories,” added Matt.
“Bath has become incredibly popular as it is a stunning Roman spa town, and rather than two days spent in bars and clubs, hens are increasingly seeking somewhere stylish and sophisticated, and they don’t mind spending more money to get there.
“It is the same with Dubai. A decade ago, flying to Dubai for a long hen weekend would have been madness, but that shows just how important location is to hens in 2022.”
Classy Hen Party Ideas: Accommodation
Gigantic Airbnb apartments, sprawling country manors and city-centre penthouse party pads have become par for the course for hens. No longer content with two nights in a Premier Inn, hens are instead splashing sizeable sums of cash to secure the swankiest dwellings possible.
“Hens want to nest together, and increasingly, we are seeing groups wanting to all be under one roof,” said Matt.
Bath’s Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel, a five-star retreat which is a million miles from sticky dancefloors sickly shots – is a foodie’s paradise, set across seven landscaped acres while also boasting a thermal wellness suite and a cosy drawing room where you and the girls can take afternoon tea.
Or, if you’re after a city-centre break, Honeypot House is made up of several chic party pads in Newcastle’s centre. Hidden in plain sight directly above the epicentre of Newcastle’s nightlife, inside, there are five unique rooms big enough to host a hen party of almost any size and each with their own quirky, Instagrammable theme, from Alice in Wonderland-inspired Mad Hatter’s Tea Room to a Loft Penthouse Apartment.
“They are all big enough to keep groups together, and groups are happy to spend more to make that happen,” added Matt.
Further afield – for those hens that would still rather party than sit in a spa – there’s the Encore at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas. Enjoy Sin City in style at this five-star palace which oozes opulence and energy. Unwind in your spacious suite, before visiting one of the hotel’s three nightclubs, including the legendary XS, while the vast 50,000sqft beach club is flanked by a forest of 40ft palm trees.
Classy Hen Party Ideas: Accessories
We all love a cheesy plastic prop. And even when money is no object, groups still tend to prefer going low brow than high.
“It doesn’t matter how much you spend on your hen party, everyone loves a willy straw!” admitted Matt.
“They are always among the biggest selling hen accessories. In fact they are so popular, there was a national shortage earlier this year.”’
Yet while they never fall out of fashion, the big trends moving forward are far more tasteful. “Rose gold is huge. Hens can’t get enough of it,” added Matt, with Last Night of Freedom launching a ‘Team Bride’ collection centred around it.
“The Team Bride concept also allows groups to match, and that unity is increasingly a big part of hen culture. We offer matching slippers, robes and sashes, while they are increasingly becoming more eco-minded so we are seeing more demand for paper – and less for plastic.”
Classy Hen Party Ideas: Outfits
While customised t-shirts are still big sellers, groupwear is the big trend heading in 2023. For those wanting to inject some humour into festivities, hen party outfits could come in the shape of dressing the hen as a fox – and the rest of the group as the hunters (tally ho!).
Yet for those seeking a more refined hen experience, the nighttime is about looking as fabulous as you feel. Some hens are ditching the shirts and Where’s Wally outfits, instead turning to sequins and plunge dresses – with Boohoo offering a sparkly range specifically aimed at hens.
Classy Hen Party Ideas: Games & Activities
For years, hen party ice-breakers would involve downing shots and talking about your partner’s bum. However, there’s a growing demand for games that are less smutty and that have a more Etsy-inspired feel.
Best-selling Pin the Ring is a tone-down version of a hen party classic but with a chic design and that classic pink and rose gold colour scheme. And when it comes to bonding during the day, the range of upmarket hen activities on offer has exploded.
No longer is it just paintballing and a night, out, for groups willing to splash the cash – the world is their oyster.
Hitting London? A flower crown workshop is a bloomin’ beautiful idea – especially when followed by afternoon tea on a vintage Routemaster London bus.
In Vegas? Why not spend the day racing dune buggies in the desert sands, before unwinding with bottle service at a VIP table in Surrender.
And according to Matt, for groups willing to spend that bit more, there is a real A-list option heading into 2023. “Why not have dance class run by Mr Motivator?
“And if you’re in Newcastle, you can go on a bar crawl with some of the castmates from Geordie Shore – and with VIP bottle service thrown in.
“Obviously these products aren’t cheap, but there’s definitely a market for these experiences – plus, you hopefully only have the one hen party, so make it as magical and memorable as possible!”