What is a Bachelorette Party?

The Bachelorette Party…

bachelorette-party1442A bachelorette party, hen(s) party, hen(s) night or hen(s) do, is a party held for a woman who is about to get married. The terms hen party, hen do or hen night are common in the United Kingdom and Ireland, while the terms hens party or hens night are common in Australia and New Zealand, and the term bachelorette party is common in the United States and Canada. The term stagette is sometimes used in Canada. It may also be referred to as a girls’ night out or kitchen tea (South Africa in particular) or other terms in other English-speaking countries.

The bachelorette party is modeled after the bachelor party, which is itself historically a dinner given by the bridegroom to his friends shortly before his wedding. Despite its reputation as “a sodden farewell to bachelor days” or “an evening of debauchery,” a bachelorette’s party is simply a party, given in honor of the bride-to-be, in the style that is common to that social circle.

Participants are often all women. Bridesmaids (if any) are typically invited, but any of the bride’s close friends may be included.

This party is typically hosted by one or more members of the wedding party, although it is possible for any friend to host a party in honor of the bride-to-be. Formally, a party in honor of the bride-to-be is never hosted by the bride-to-be, although she may participate in its planning. While it is normally the duty of a hostess to pay for the entertainment she gives her guests, it is common in most English-speaking countries for participants to share the costs of this event. Whether the bride-to-be pays her share, or whether her share is divided between other participants is something to be determined by the organizers and the bride-to-be during the early stages of the planning process.

Participating in a bachelorette party is always optional, and many brides decline these parties altogether. Neither bridesmaids nor other friends can be required either to attend or to pay for any part of this party.

Since it is derived from a formal dinner, a bachelorette party is properly held in the evening, usually about a week (or at least a few days) before the wedding, and usually includes dinner, although alternative approaches are not uncommon.

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