If you or your bride-to-be adores all things retro, antique and old-school, a vintage hen party is a must.
Vintage hen parties are popular among future brides who want that bygone class and quirky twist on their hen do that everyone can enjoy and remember. From old-fashioned countryside frolics and lively jive dancing, to classic car rides and nostalgic photos shoots; vintage hen parties whisk you back in time with fun and style.
Take a look through our top ten vintage hen party ideas and get inspired to breathe life into your own era.
Vintage high tea
Take afternoon tea up a notch with pretty china, polished cutlery, dainty cups, soft sandwiches, light cupcakes, handmade petit fours, crisp linen, and dedicated service like the old days. High tea is a relaxed and sophisticated vintage hen party idea with plenty of time to chat and laugh with your hens. We suggest hosting this in the summer when you can sit outside and catch the sun.
If you like, you can opt for an Alice in Wonderland ‘Mad Hatter’ style tea party, where you can decorate with bright table accessories and get everyone to wear quirky hats. It’s a great way to get everyone dressing up, looking daft and acting childish for a few hours. And don’t worry, we’re basing this twist on an old, beloved children’s story, so it’s still classed as a vintage hen party in our book.
The best way to create the vintage hen party atmosphere is to actually be vintage yourselves. Pick an era or decade and bring the past into today in style with a vintage photoshoot! There are lots of photography services that come with hair-stylists and makeover professionals or you can book separately, so everyone can get the perfect look that they can look back on in years to come.
There are lots of costume websites to buy the perfect attire to suit your vintage age, and you can even organise food and drink to enjoy while you’re getting preened and dressed. Go swingin’ Sixties or disco-fever Seventies and head out for the night with unbelievable historic accuracy…
The perfect compromise for party-going hens and vintage soon-to-be brides is a classic cocktail class. We all love a good cocktail, but some of the creations coming across the bar is getting a bit much. You can’t seem to order anything anymore without a Catherine Wheel or Barrat Sherbet Fountain sticking out the top.
We say bring back the good old Screwdrivers, Bloody Marys, Rob Roys, and Moscow Mules and create a vintage hen party dedicated to classic cocktails! You can find all these recipes online and we’re sure a cocktail challenge won't go amiss on the big night, either.
(You might want to combine this activity with your ‘Vintage Photoshoot’ activity).
If you’re all ‘Whip and Nae Nae’-d out, maybe you could refresh you bank of moves and restore some dance styles from the past to create your vintage hen party.
Book a group dancing class, invite everyone along, and then throw on a customised t-shirt each to learn jive, go-go, or Charleston dancing! Retro dancing class are incredibly fun and make ideal hen do activities. They’re suitable for all people, so don’t worry about inviting older guests. In fact, they might have been around when the style made its debut.
Pick from a range of 20th century dances, or go even further back in time and try a polka, waltz, two-step, or burlesque routine.
Want to take your vintage hen party idea on the road? Visit one of the UK’s most historic cities, Bath or York, and soak up the vintage atmosphere. York was a large Viking settlement and Bath is most commonly associated with the Roman civilisation, but both have wonderfully kept remnants of the past throughout the ages.
Visit a spa in Bath and hang out like the Romans did, or try the Viking Museum in York for a spot of culture during your stay. Both of these cities have amazing food and drink scenes with an electric nightlife, so you get a great blend of vintage and contemporary to suit all the hens.
This is one of our favourites. If you love old-school artists and bygone glamour, why not hire a recording studio and get the hens together to record your own album of famous songs from the past?
Whether you’re into jazz, swing, country, rock’n’roll, or old Hollywood musicals; just pick your songs, channel your inner divas, and have fun. You can often hire these for a few hours and the final recording makes and excellent keepsake. You could even whack it on at the wedding reception, if you dare.
Vintage countryside fun
Where better to immerse your hens in old-fashioned pursuits without the stench of modern times than the open country? Depending on where you’re all coming from, there may be some travel involved, but there’ll be a variety of exciting activities to take part in when you get there.
You can play polo, bowls, archery, or croquet before jumping (side saddle, of course) and riding a horse in the open air. Clay pigeon shooting is also very much a niche, old-fashioned sport now, which will add to your vintage hen party appeal, and you could book a stay in a cottage to make a weekend of it.
Vintage Victorian cooking
If you want an activity that includes inviting everyone over, putting on some drinks and food, and just having a laugh while doing something fun and retro; then vintage baking is for you.
You can either buy a Victorian cookbook or look online for some recipes and print them off. Set everyone up with a pie, cake or biscuit recipe to make and spend your vintage hen party creating delicious goodies like your great-great-great-grandmother used to make. Once you’re all done, of course the bride-to-be gets to play judge and jury. You could dress each creation to impress the panel with pretty vintage hen party decorations, too.
If you’ve been looking for hen do ideas for a while, we’re sure you’ve come across lots of craft workshops. These are rocketing in popularity purely for being a fun, active and all-welcoming alternative to simply having a hen night out.
But we need a retro twist. Why not book a bunting or frilly underwear class and get creative while keeping it old-school? Bunting always reminds us of old-fashioned street parties, while big frilly underwear makes us think of our grandmothers. And we really don't want it to. Either way, you’ve got a fantastic vintage hen party idea that everyone will feel comfortable and capable of joining!
We hope we’ve inspired your vintage hen party ideas. Before you start making arrangements, check out the drinking and baking accessories to go with your theme.