Bachelorette party

Bachelorette party

A bachelorette party, hen party, or hen night, is a party held for a woman who is about to be married. The term "hen party" or "hen night" is more common in the UK, Ireland, and Australia, while the term "bachelorette party" is more common in the United States. The term stagette is used in Canada.cite book
editor= Barber, Katherine
title=Canadian Oxford dictionary
publisher=Oxford University Press
location=Oxford [Oxfordshire]
] 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's party,cite book
author=Post, Peggy
authorlink=Peggy Post
title=Emily Post's wedding etiquette
] which is itself historically a dinner given by the bridegroom to his friends shortly before his wedding.cite book
author=Post, Emily
authorlink=Emily Post
title=Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home'
publisher= Funk & Wagnalls Company
] Despite its inaccurate reputation as "a sodden farewell to bachelor days" or "an evening of debauchery", a bachelorette's party is a normal party, given in honor of the bride-to-be, in the style that is common to that social circle.


Participants are usually all women. Bridesmaids (if any) are typically invited, but any of the bride's close women friends may be included. Generally, people who are not invited to the wedding are not invited.

This party is typically hosted, and therefore organized, 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,cite news
title=Don’t Be Rude: Part III, Socializing by Margaret Berry - The Morning News
author=Berry, Margaret
work=The Morning News
quote= Don’t throw parties in your own honor. Throwing a birthday party, a shower, or an anniversary party for yourself lacks humility. It also suggests that the party is a poorly camouflaged push for gifts, instead of a heartfelt expression of affection from a dear friend.
] 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.cite book
author=Martin, Judith
authorlink=Judith Martin
title=Miss Manners on Weddings
publisher=Crown Publishers
location=New York
quote=Contrary to rumor, bridesmaids are not obliged to entertain in honor of the bride, nor to wear dresses they cannot afford.

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.


Many different kinds of entertainment are selected, depending on what the organizers think will best please their guest of honor. While notions of a bachelorette party as a night of drunken debauchery persist in some social circles, it is now becoming widely seen in America as an opportunity for female bonding.cite book
author=Hughes, Kathleen; Carolyn Gerin
title=Anti-Bride Etiquette Guide: The Rules - And How to Bend Them
publisher=Chronicle Books
location=San Francisco
pages=90, 92
quote=Squealing girls and strip clubs full of dancing, oily-chested men with socks stuffed in their banana hammocks are becoming a thing of the past. Bonding with your gals is what the bachelorette party is all about, not calling attention to how drunk and tarty you look in public.
] According to etiquette expert Peggy Post, "Whatever entertainment is planned, it should not embarrass, humiliate, or endanger the honoree or any of the guests."

When held in a private venue, such as the hostess's home, the party may take any form that pleases the hostesses and honors the bride-to-be. Dinners and cocktail parties, which provide comfortable opportunities for participants to talk or to give intimate advice to the bride-to-be, are common. Other hostesses choose a themed party, such as a "pamper party", with guests indulging in spa treatments, or a cooking class.cite book
author=Kristen Finello; Bridal Guide Magazine; Diane Forden
title=Bridal Guide (R) Magazine's New Etiquette for Today's Bride
publisher=Warner Books
location=New York
] While proposing a toast to the bride-to-be is common at most bachelorette parties, a few center on drinking games.

Some parties take place in public venues, such as a restaurant or bar. A few parties are bar tours.Fact|date=August 2008 A very few bachelorette parties are organized as holidays to destinations such as Las Vegas or other party cities.

Sometimes a daytime picnic or other outing is organized in preference to the more common dinner party.

Commercial interests

Many companies sell products aimed at the organizers of bachelorette parties, including packs of themed games, pre-printed invitations, decorations, novelties, and adult toys. Hundreds of websites provide "ideas" or "suggestions" for parties in an effort to sell their wares.


The bachelorette party is consciously modeled after the centuries-old bachelor's party, which is itself historically a dinner given by the bridegroom to his friends shortly before his wedding.

Although the practice of giving a party to honor the bride-to-be goes back for centuries, in its modern form, the bachelorette party may have begun during the sexual revolution of the 1960s. It was uncommon until at least the mid-1980s, and the first book on planning bachelorette parties wasn't published until 1998.cite book
author=Montemurro, Beth
title=Something old, something bold: bridal showers and bachelorette parties
publisher=Rutgers University Press
location=New Brunswick, N.J
] Its cultural significance is largely tied to concepts of gender equality. Compared to the bridal shower, which helps the bride-to-be acquire possessions or a dowry and reinforces traditional gender roles, a bachelorette party is an expression of social and sexual freedom.

Initially, parties in honor of the bride-to-be that were labeled as bachelorette party often involved displays of sexual freedom, such as attending male revues asking strangers intimate questions, or getting drunk, and parties that honored the bride-to-be without these elements avoided that label. Now the term is used for a wide variety of parties.cite book
author=Fox, Sue
title=Etiquette For Dummies (For Dummies (Psychology & Self Help))
publisher=For Dummies
quote=Bachelor and bachelorette trends vary from coast to coast and are changing fast in many social circles. Most every type of party is acceptable...


A more traditional alternative is the "bridesmaids luncheon", hosted by the bride and/or her mother during the day, usually several days or a week before the wedding. At a bridesmaids luncheon, the bride often presents a small gift to each bridesmaid.

If a significant aspect of the party is presenting small gifts to the bride-to-be, then the event is properly called a bridal shower. For the convenience of the bride-to-be, bridal showers are usually held earlier than a bachelorette party.cite book
author=Vanderbilt, Amy; Tuckerman, Nancy; Dunnan, Nancy
authorlink=Amy Vanderbilt
title=The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette
location=Garden City, N.Y

A stag and doe party, also called a "Jack and Jill party" or a "buck and doe" party, is a similar party that includes men and women. It may combine aspects of a drinking game with fundraising.


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • bachelorette party — noun (N American) A hen party • • • Main Entry: ↑bachelor …   Useful english dictionary

  • Bachelorette Party — Bachelor Party Bachelor Party Éditeur Mystique Développeur Mystique Date de sortie 1983 Genre Casse briques, érotisme Mode de jeu Un joueur …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bachelorette Party — Hen Night (engl. „Hennenabend“), auch Hen Party ist ein vorehelicher Hochzeitsbrauch der angehenden Braut im Vereinigten Königreich, in Irland und Australien und das weibliche Gegenstück zur „Stag Party“. Die männliche Variante des vorehelichen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • bachelorette party — noun A party held for a woman who is about to be married. Syn: hen party …   Wiktionary

  • Party — Parties redirects here. For other uses, see The Parties (disambiguation). Birthday party redirects here. For other uses, see Birthday party (disambiguation). Pool party redirects here. For the video game, see Pool Party. For other uses, see Party …   Wikipedia

  • party — noun 1 political group ADJECTIVE ▪ political ▪ centre/center, centre right/center right, left wing, right wing ▪ centrist, fascist, leftist …   Collocations dictionary

  • Party bus — A party bus (also known as a Party Ride, limo bus, limousine bus or luxury bus) is a large motor vehicle designed to carry 10 or more people. Party buses are usually driven by chauffeurs. Party buses offer seating capacities from 10 to 50… …   Wikipedia

  • bachelorette — noun Bachelorette is used before these nouns: ↑party …   Collocations dictionary

  • hen party — bachelorette party, stagette party …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Bachelor party — A bachelor party (United States, South Africa), also known as a stag party or stag night or stag do (UK, Ireland, Canada and New Zealand), bull s party (South Africa) or buck s party, or buck s night (Australia) is a party held for a bachelor… …   Wikipedia

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.