Hen’s Night

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Hen’s night may not actually be known as “free”, at least not in this part of the world. But we’ve had a lot of fun planning the hen’s night of the year, involving among other a surprise kidnapping of a bride to be and flight tickets to another country. It will be awesome! But as this is an international world, maybe first a few lines of what in general goes on in a hen’s night in Finland, and then a wish for fellow bloggers to share about their traditions – do you have them, what are they like, or better yet, a story of the best hen’s night ever?! I’ll be happy to link you up if a comment is too short for this grand theme!

In Finland the maid of honor is expected to organise the hen’s night for the bride. Mostly the made of honor will call all the female guests together to plan and organise the day (or weekend), which mostly comes as a surprise for the bride. Usually the hen’s night involves a fancy dress for the bride, often some funny common theme for the hen’s party (eg theme colour, wig), some pampering (eg manicure, massage), some fun common activities (go-carting, pole dancing, kayaking, sumo wrestling) or some special experience for the bride (eg hang gliding, rock climbing), and some games such as a tool kit for the marriage or making a sculpture of the groom/ poem to the groom (something to show up at the wedding/ “advice” for a happy marriage or what will happen at then end), good food and drinks, bridal sauna with all of its traditions (sitting on spruce, washing with salt and flour, running naked around the sauna as many laps as there are ex’s…) and it is all party-party. It is not uncommon to end the day at a cottage where everyone stays the night. Earlier the bride was often also supposed to sell something or to perform on the street, but I don’t think it is very common any more. At least the ones I’ve been a part of have been more focused on creating a memorable and enjoyable day for the bride-to-be together with all her friends than making her do something she doesn’t feel comfortable with. But it all depends on the bride, I do remember one bride spontaneously rapping on the street, she was GREAT and earned really well.

Obviously all the arrangements add up and are paid for for the bride. As it has been important to make it possible for all friends to join the party, regardless of their finances, we have, over the years, included cheaper options in the day too in order to keep the expenses reasonable – but I do not think they have made the day less special or fun. After all, the bride has mostly only wished for everyone to be present. And who wouldn’t like a surprise brunch with some bubbly, strawberries and croissants with all her friends? Or a at a summerhouse, even though the summerhouse may not be rented for the purpose but owned by somebody in the party (or their friends/relatives)? If staying in the city, there often is somebody, who works for a company that has a big enough sauna to be used for a reasonable price. We’ve also taken advantage of the skills of the friends as there is always some beautician in the party or somebody who knows some professional, who can give a good deal for a special person. 

Your turn, what are the hen’s night like where you are, and what are your best tips for the one we are planning?

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17 comments

  1. Great advice, I am once going to be a bridesmaid once again so it’s nice reading these comments.

  2. […] some girls I studied with surprised a friend of ours with a hens night last weekend (I mentioned the plan earlier). She lives in the Allgäu district about 1,5 hours drive southwest of Munich and close to the […]

    1. Lucky having fun and dancing is still allowed when pregnant 🙂 Sounds like a good night!

  3. Well, I have only been to my own. It was organized by my maid of Honour. We had dinner at a restaurant and then we went out to night club for dancing and drinking, which I couldn’t do since I was 3 months pregnant 🙂

  4. I have never had a Jens night myself or planned one. I helped with my sisters, which was a weekend getaway to Disneyland. But in California it’s very optional. Most people either plan big and go away for a whole weekend, go small and spend a night in the bars near home, or have none at all. At least those are the kinds I have been to. 🙂

    1. Sounds really like a lot of options, and not too many traditions nor too much pressure involved then!

      1. It really is up to the bride as to how traditional she wants to be. We have bridal showers which are a bit more traditional.

        1. What are bridal showers like? Baby showers have landed here too but I’ve never heard of bridal showers!

          1. Bridal showers are where the maid of honor and bridesmaids throw a more formal et together for the bride. They play games (like making a wedding dress out of toilet tissue), eat snacks and cake, and give the bride gifts, woman to woman. (Which means a lot and lingerie and such).
            Pretty much it’s the same format as a baby shower. 🙂

            1. Sounds really like we mix your bridal shower and hen’s night together into one when celebrating our hen’s nights!

  5. We have something similar here. But not all brides-to-be have hens night. I do not have one though. Most of my party friends do. Usually they go to a pub to have drinks and the girls will start dressing the bride-to-be with a head veil and walk about or do something silly in the pub. Everyone knows who’s the bride then. It’s fun but may not be everyone’s cup of tea though.

    1. But is it a surprise for the bride? Or is she organising it? I think some sort of hen’s night is pretty universal, isn’t it?

  6. I had to arrange my sisters last year and it was stressful trying to get a bunch of her friends from all over the country/world to agree on activities!! In the end we went to an ‘ice’ bar, something I am sure you have in Finnland ? And then teppeniki fir dinner and karaoke for the wee hours….it ended up being loads of fun, yours sounds like it will be awesome!!

    1. Organising can be very stressful with all guests not even knowing each other. But the program ended up good anyway, especially if all of you had fun!

      I don’t know if we have ice bars but there are ice hotels (actually made out of ice too, and sleeping on a reindeer fell, or so I’ve heard. So not just -5 degree temperature) in the north!

      This one is easier to organise as there are not that many guests invited all know each other well.

  7. I think also quite varied, but along the same lines. A fancy dress theme is common, some groups would go with more of a “dare” scenario where the bride has to complete embarrassing tasks, others just have a fun day/night/weekend. I wouldn’t think most brides pay the whole lot, though, usually it would be guests chipping in as in a usual night out. There’s also the “kitchen tea” event which is also for females but more something you could invite your Aunt to – cuppa and some biscuits and a chat.

    1. Never heard of the kitchen tea before! Nice to be able to include older relatives in something too.
      My boxing partner in Sydney was getting married the same weekend we did (what are the odds?! But she got her blessings from Elvis – true story), and she was actually organising the hen’s night herself. Is that common? Or maybe a way of making sure it is fun and not embarrassing?

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