If you’ve got a sophisticated bride-to-be and need some classy hen night ideas, you’ve come to the right place. Hen parties might make you think of cheeky sashes, sparkly stetsons and oily strippers. And although these are good for a giggle, they’re not for everyone.
Organising even a typical hen party isn’t easy, never mind when you have to make it refined and respectable. From choosing a suitable date and collecting kitty money, to controlling a crowd of people ranging from the future mother-in-law to those girls she worked with last year; it can be a nightmare.
To help you out, we’ve created a list of sophisticated hen party ideas — from ‘reasonably respectable’ to ‘impeccably classy’ — so that you can make a sophisticated hen party that the future bride will love you for.
For those brides who just want a hint of refinement, try a dance hen party. A timeless art form and the unspoken language of romance, dance fits hand in hand with marriage. There’s a huge variety of fun dance classes created especially for hen parties that you can book online, featuring every type of music from hip-hop and 90s, to Bollywood and musical theatre. We’ve even found some for specific artists and films — including Beyonce and Dirty Dancing — as well as traditional dances such as salsa and the Charleston. Taught in studios by professional instructors, they’re fantastic fun for all ages.
Learn some real moves instead of trying to own the dance floor after ten rounds of shots. You can always make the group wear personalised t-shirts to bring a bit of the bar to the studio, too.
Perhaps not the most cultured of activities, but trampolining is an Olympic sport and you definitely don’t want to be drunk and disorderly as you catapult yourself into the air. Trampolining has rocketed in popularity lately — and not just with hyper kids. There's always someone who attempts a triple back-flip before they can bounce, so it’s a great way to have a laugh and keep a big group entertained. Many venues even offer afternoon tea packages and party rooms that you can brighten up with the obligatory hen party decorations, which means you can still enjoy some food, drinks and sparkle afterwards.
Here’s a great way to take something fun and cheeky, and make it respectable and educational for your sophisticated hen party. With underwear designing, your hen group learns different ways to create a unique pair of pants.
Using bows, lace, sparkles, and much more; you master the fine art of knicker customisation and invent a special pair that you can wear on the drive home. Workshops like these are available nationwide — or why not book someone to come to you and put on a few drinks and nibbles to enjoy while you design?
Fine gin, fizz and wine tastings
If you simply can't be without a tipple at you hen party, then why not dress it up a bit with a specialised tasting session? Sample the finest wines, best champagnes and boldest gins with your hens at a range of venues scattered across the UK. Many offer selections from boutique distilleries and world-famous vineyards — or you can go all out with most packages and book special extras such as cheese and chocolate pairing. This is a really relaxing, informal day out where you can enjoy each other’s company, learn something new, and find a new favourite drink.
‘Bake Off’ bonanza
It'll be difficult to find someone in your hen crowd that don’t like, or at least can’t appreciate, The Great British Bake Off. Particularly effective if you have a reasonably-small guest list, what better way to add a touch of class to your hen do than bringing this cultural phenomenon to the party? Search the web to find the weirdest cake recipe and split the group into teams to see who wins ‘Star Baker’.
Obviously, the bride-to-be gets to channel Mary Berry and announce the winner. We think this is a great option if you’re looking for a tasteful and cost-effective activity that is fun for all ages. You can always liven it up a bit with plenty of food, drinks, balloons, and cooking decorations, too.
Creative craft workshops
We tried, but we couldn't choose just one from the massive variety of craft workshops available. Here are our favourites: flower arranging, clay-making, glass-blowing, perfume making, and ceramic painting. We think these are ideal if you want to get out, have a laugh and learn a new skill instead of doing the stereotypical night out — and how much more sophisticated can you get than being able to make your own kitchenware!? You can find all of these workshops online and many feature packages specifically for hen parties.
Starting to get a touch more sophisticated. Now popular among the masses, but still a very refined way to spend a hen night; glamping is the perfect blend of frolic and style. Far more sophisticated than camping but equally as inclusive to welcome all your hens, there are sites up and down the country where you can enjoy a night of civilised drinking and good eating without being pestered by leering clubbers. Arrive to find your ‘camp’ ready and waiting for nighttime games, dancing and festivities — or go for the whole weekend and throw in some shopping and afternoon tea off-site. The range of accommodation will suit your bride-to-be perfectly.
From traditional yurts and stylish geodomes, to wooden cabins and spacious bell tents, many offer features such as barbecues, firepits, fairy lights, sheepskin rugs, and fully-equipped kitchens! You can always make your glamp-site your own with plenty of hen party-themed decorations, tableware and customised pyjamas — you’re glamping, so it’s still classy… For a refined and controllable party atmosphere without the pushing and queuing of a night out, we think glamping is the way to go!
Murder and mystery
We love this hen party idea for a sophisticated bride-to-be. It’s got a bit of everything; elegant period costumes, theatrical performances, thought-provoking scenarios, and (often) a grand multi-course dinner. Many Murder Mystery Night hosts have created specialised hen party packages and offer a balance of fun, fright and fanfare that is perfect for a classy hen night.
We think your sophisticated bride-to-be will love dressing up in chic 1920’s fashion, stepping back in time, and working out these extravagant mysteries. What’s even better, is that they’re usually very tongue-in-cheek, and most hosts slip in plenty of jokes, pompous policeman and hammy acting along the way to make it funny and engaging for big hen parties!
The boating bride-to-be
There’s a very thin line between a sophisticated cruise along the river with glasses of fizz and tasty canapes; and a raucous booze cruise with cheap shots and cringey games. While the latter was fine for Zante, Summer 2012; a sophisticated hen party needs a more refined vessel experience. Thankfully, there’s a selection of river cruises you can take with your hens and future bride that fit in with your respectable theme. You can choose ones that sail in the UK or even head abroad and make a long weekend of it.
Relax with a drink as you float by changing shorelines, before heading for a three-course meal finished with cocktails on the deck as the sun sets… There are lots of boat cruises available for hen parties in places such as London, Nottingham, Prague, and Amsterdam, and many even offer hen party themed activities to enjoy on board, too.
As much as we like to think outside the box, there are some things that are too enshrined in society to ignore. Afternoon tea is the ultimate in relaxation and sophistication. Pick a real five-star venue where you can enjoy crisp-white tablecloths, dedicated table service, world-class teas, sugary scones, and dainty sandwiches, as you chat and laugh about how civilised you are with your fellow hens. Afternoon tea is ideal if your bride wants something low-key and alcohol-free. But of course, you could also organise a few drinks in the bar for afterwards, if you think she will approve.
Luxury spa sessions
We simply couldn’t write a list of sophisticated hen party ideas without including this timeless favourite. Spas have been popular with hens and soon-to-be brides since the notion of hen parties began.
Fluffy robes, fine cuisines and indulgent aromatherapy massages combine perfectly with relaxing hot tubs, champagne receptions and a traditional service to create the ideal sophisticated hen party. There are lots of spa retreats across the UK, or you can book a home treatment instead and have a group spa day without leaving the house! Since we know that every bride wants to look and feel her best on her special day, you could even organise this as a relaxing extra for her and a few close hens just before the wedding.
Party with a twist
We’re starting to get very refined now. Growing in popularity, a culture-themed hen party might be the perfect fit for your sophisticated, upcoming bride. These parties celebrate everything that’s weird and wonderful about anything cultural. Really think about your bride-to-be. Is there an era she’s oddly infatuated with? A country she always holidays in? A film or theatre show she adores? We think these all pass as culture, and so, you can use any of them to create the future bride’s perfect culture party. All you need is a bit of organisation and perhaps some research. Get the hens to wear traditional kimonos and dine on sushi and sake if she loves Japan.
Or dress up in costumes from a musical she loves and create games, dances and quizzes to suit. This idea will make her feel really special and create the perfect environment to keep your hen party particularly dignified and, of course, cultured.
Escape to the culture of the countryside
Top of our sophistication list — and a sure-fire way to escape the hoi polloi — is to book a castle or country estate for your hens and bride. A rustic-themed hen party is about as refined and respectable as it gets when it comes to hen dos. Let the future bride awake in a huge, four-poster bed before whisking her off for archery practice and horse riding around the grounds. After a fine luncheon, it's clay pigeon shooting before she retires to her room and dresses in all her finery for a multi-course banquet fit to shame a queen. A country retreat hen party is a great way to get away from it all and plunge the group into the pomp and grandeur of bygone days. Look online and you find a massive variety of recently-renovated manors, estates and castles offering different activities, so you have plenty of flexibility to find the ideal place.
Still can’t decide?
If you can’t choose what she’d like best, then why not mix and match? You can back-flip on a trampoline in the morning, wind-down with a spot of afternoon tea, then head out to for a Murder Mystery Night. Either way, these classy hen party ideas are bound to make your sophisticated bride-to-be delighted that she chose you to organise her hen party.