My American readers are likely not familiar with the English term “hen party”, which is what Americans sort of refer to as a bachelorette party. I say “sort of” because the English hen party has largely jumped the barriers of propriety and taken pre-wedding festivities to places that the tamer American bachelorette party would never go, with some hilarious and disturbing results.
The average American bachelorette party is (despite what you may have seen in the movie Bridesmaids a fairly tame combination of cupcakes, weak booze, and endless chatter, with maybe, possibly, sometimes if you’re daring, a Fabio-esque male stripper tossed in. By comparison, the English >hen party starts with costumes (see the photo above), from fairies, to devils, to escaped prisoners, to chickens (see above), with the bride-to-be getting the best costume, and a beauty-queen style sash of identification. Then, add in booze and lots of it, some goofy, ice-breaking party games, and when everyone is having fun, take the whole show on the road, head out to the nearest pub to initiate the pub-crawl portion of the festivities.
The hen party is much more rambunctious and boozy than the bachelorette party, and as a consequence is much more likely to end in tears and vomit than the average bachelorette party. It’s also much more likely to end in hilarity and good fun, too. So, next time some one mentions a hen party, think costumes and liquor, not cupcakes and squeals of fake delight.