Is the hen party dead?

We went to Brighton a couple of weeks ago and everywhere we went there are groups of women with sashes declaring who was the bride, mother of the bride, granny of the bride etc.  Grown women wandering around the town centre on a Saturday afternoon with penises on headbands and L plates round their necks.   If I am honest, it all looked a bit, what’s the word?  Tragic.

One group of women were wandering along the sea front, presumably going from one venue to another, all spaced out, some walking on their own, some others in pairs having a cigarette and they all looked as miserable as sin.

As I watched them it really did make me wonder if the idea of a hen party is dead.

The idea of the hen do is deeply entrenched in ancient history.  Back to the day when women were a commodity, and traded much like a cow might be now, betrothed to another family to secure their future wealth and happiness and therefore offered up by their fathers.   Thankfully our view of women, and the world, has moved on now and yet hen parties are bigger than ever.

And quite honestly I don’t get it.   Well I do.  I get the idea of a celebration, of the bride to be and her friends going out for dinner, to celebrate the impending wedding.  Toasting the beginning of this next chapter of the bride to be’s life, but I don’t get all the other guff that goes with it.   A week in Magaluf with a themed itinerary and every minute of every day being planned to nth degree.   Or the long weekend away in a ten bedroom stately home that has cost an arm and a leg before you even start adding in the beautician who is coming in to pamper everyone, and the private chef who appears every evening.

The expense is the main thing I can’t get my head around.  It means before you even get to see your friend in the big white dress at the end of the aisle you are £500 down.  How do people afford to do that a couple of times a year?  Add to that the cost of the outfit for the day of the wedding, the overnight hotel (possibly even two) and a wedding present and you are looking at the cost of a city break for every wedding you attend.

Why also the need for the penis themed head gear, straws and ice cubes?  Are we meant to believe the bride has never seen one before?  I find that unlikely.   Ditto the L plates?  Really?  Learner plates at 30+ just looks sad, I am sorry but it does.    I am not being a killjoy, I am all for groups of girlfriends having a good time, hell we probably don’t do enough of it but do we need to do with all that guff round our necks or on our heads?  No, we probably don’t.

We need to have the good time, to have a laugh, to celebrate the forthcoming nuptials.    And from what I saw in Brighton at the weekend nobody was doing that.

Photo of a hen party courtesy of Shutterstock

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