Weddings have modernised in recent years.
Churches, formal dining and white dresses have been replaced in favour of glamorous gardens, canapes and gowns in hues of blush, gold or even red.
But there are a few traditions that brides and grooms have chosen to keep.
One of those is the hen’s party.
With social distancing as a result of COVID-19 likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future, people are increasingly turning to entertaining at home to celebrate milestones.
Hosting a hen’s party at home has many benefits.
There is no room hire fee or limit on how or where the decorations can go. Want to have some fun and hang some naughty decorations?
Go for it!
Fancy dancing around the living room to the Spice Girls, Madonna and Britney? Do it like no one is watching!
But perhaps one of the best things about hosting a hen’s party at home are the food options.
While it is just one of the elements that make up an event, Gathar founder and CEO Jodie Mlikota says it is one of the most important.
“The food will influence what type of hen’s party it is,” she says. “A sit-down affair will be more classic and elegant, while a grazing table or canapes will be more relaxed and modern.”
Here are five of the best ideas for hosting a hen’s party at home:
- Grazing table and games
Dial the music up and get ready to party like Beyonce’s single ladies.
A grazing table with a nearby drinks station will give your guests the option to help themselves throughout the night, also reducing the work for you.
Play some games and give the hen and her guests a chance to mingle.
Then, it’s time to hit the dance floor.
Top up the grazing table throughout the night; bread and cheese will be sought-after as the evening draws to a close.
- High tea and champagne
Gather the girls and celebrate like you’re at London’s The Ritz with an elegant high tea.
Finger sandwiches, macarons, scones and mini-pastries are the perfect accompaniments to any tiered cake stand.
But it can also be utilised in a more modern way.
Cheese high tea, or Cheese Tea as The Westin in Melbourne calls it, will bring joy to any hen’s party guest.
Roll out wedges of brie, camembert, gouda, Roquefort and whatever else your heart desires.
Layer with crackers, quince, pate and fruit and you’ve got a high tea fit for a queen, or a tiera-wearing fiancee.
- Canapes and cocktails
If you want to hire some topless (or clothed) waiters, now is your chance.
Pre-prepare bite-sized canapes, including arancini, smoked salmon blinis and mini-quiches that can simply be placed into the oven for reheating as guests arrive.
Place them and the drinks onto trays so they can be distributed throughout the evening.
Ms Mlikota says one of the biggest complaints about cocktail parties is a lack of food.
“Due to the nature of a stand-up event, some people will receive more canapes than others,” she says.
“That’s why it’s crucial to ensure you have more than enough to go around.”
As well as bite-sized canapes, Ms Mlikota also suggests preparing some larger fork meals.
“These can feature anything from beef sliders to risotto bowls and pork belly,” she says.
Sip on your drinks until the early hours, then perhaps bring out a tray of gourmet sausage rolls to close out the night.
- Sit-down dinner party
Dim the lights and flicker some candles for a more traditional and elegant affair.
For a sit-down dinner party you can either choose to dish up individual meals, or create larger share plates.
Think slow-cooked meats, salads and roasted vegetables, with a cheese board or decadent cake for dessert.
Matching crockery and glassware will make the table setting, but beware of over-decorating.
Large vases of flowers, while pretty, can prevent guests from seeing each other, reducing the ability for guests to interact with each other.
A hen’s party dinner isn’t an occasion for games, but rather one for heartfelt speeches and toasts to the bride-to-be.
- Bottomless brunch
Just because the word party is in the title, doesn’t mean it has to be held at night.
Mix things up by holding a boozy (or not) brunch to celebrate the impending nuptials.
Think floral dresses, belinis, crown making and a long table filled with tasty treats.
Start with fruit platters, granola and muesli, before moving onto savoury items like croissants, quiches and muffins.
If you want to take it up a notch, you also also pre-cook eggs, bacon, mushrooms and sourdough.
Keep the items in a warm oven until ready to serve.
This is a time for catch-ups, cheers and light-hearted games, with the option to kick on if the mood takes you!