WOL Investigates: The Hen Party Your Girls May be Planning for 2013

Hen Party

If you’ve given over the reins to one part of your 2013 wedding, you may be feeling a little vulnerable about what your girls have planned for you. It’s not easy doing the guesswork as to whether your girlfriends will get things completely wrong when organising your hen. So we’ve done some investigative work and spoken to dedicated hen party planner Jenni Woolfson of Posh Fizz to find out what bridesmaids have been looking to organise for their best friends in 2013.

Interview by Karen Birney


“We receive at least two frantic calls a week from brides asking us to promise no strippers at their upcoming hen!” says Jenni, party planner and owner of hen specialist company Posh Fizz, “they definitely know what they don’t want anyway!”

As a dedicated hen party planner, Jenni says that brides are becoming more involved with arranging their hen nights over the last few years. But it’s as much about sheer practicalities than it is about “knowing what they want and what the don’t”. “The bride’s friends tend to be scattered all over the world these days,” says Jenni, “we often have girls flying in from the UK, USA and Australia which makes it tough for the bridesmaids who may not even know each other to get replies!”

Obscure Activities

The desire for a unique style and that elusive ‘something different’ isn’t just for the wedding itself it seems, as bridesmaids are feeling the need to throw a hen that really stands out from ‘the norm’. “We are definitely noticing a move away from the typical hen activities like pole dancing,” says Jenni, “more and more groups lately are going for the likes of a themed photo shoot or even a music video shoot.”

Jenni notes while that old favourites like cocktail making, ‘Paint a Nude’, and murder mysteries are still steady options for a great hen activity, bridesmaids want a more ‘involving’ experience. “I think [bridesmaids] are looking for more obscure activities for 2013,” says Jenni, as she names roller discos, garter making classes and ‘cross stitch knicker making’ classes as some of the more unusual activities topping the polls for next year.

Divas for the Day

Many bridesmaids dictate a certain theme for the hen, either to tie the group together, for a bit of craic, or to just get hilarious photos to laugh over at the wedding. While bridesmaids attempted to keep costs down for the last year (with accessible themes such as ‘Black n’ Bling’ and ‘Black and Gold’ suiting most Irish ladies of any age), things are getting a little more ‘experimental’ in the dress department. “Summer 2012 saw an explosion of colour with Superheroes, 80s Disco and Hip Hop topping the “theme” spectrum,” says Jenni. “Some groups are so innovative though. One August hen went for a ‘Divas‘ theme – the bride is a massive Madonna fan and went as her, and her hens wore padded bums as J-Lo, massive wigs as Tina Turner… It looked like such a fun hen!”

Q&A with Jenni Woolfson, Posh Fizz

What size is the average guestlist for 2013 hens? 

The average guestlist is 25 ladies, with the numbers ending up actually attending at 15. We always advise bridesmaids to cut 1/3 off their list when they price a package as it is quite normal for some to drop out even after saying they are “definitely” going! We ladies are very indecisive!

Where are the top counties for hens in Ireland for 2013?

The top Posh Fizz locations are; Galway, Carlow, Waterford and Dublin, although Kilkenny, Kildare and Wexford are still strong contenders. We have seen a major drop off in requests for Belfast which we link to to the poor exchange rate.

Are many girls choosing to ‘hen’ abroad in 2013?

We receive a lot of enquiries for overseas options but when the bridesmaids contact all the potential hens, they tend to get a low return of “definites”. The majority end up staying in Ireland where they can get fantastic value and a higher turnout of the bride’s friends. The Spanish packages we offer are still popular but the guestlist tends to drop to around 10 when they take flights and time off work into account.

Have you seen many girls having joint hens to cut costs for 2013?

Funnily enough, in the seven years that Posh Fizz has been in business we have only looked after three joint hens. I really thought they would become more popular but I think brides want their moment to be their moment and don’t want to share it with anyone else. If the group of friends is the same then it becomes feasible but if one bride wants all the cousins there and the other bride only wants friends, it can become awkward for them.

How much is the average spend per head?

On average, groups are spending €180pp for a whole weekend although this drops right down to an average of €150pp for a weekend during the winter month. For the one-night hens, the average spend is around €100pp.

Finally, what is your own idea of a perfect hen, Jenni?

The perfect hen to me is one where everything is organised in advance. No flustered bridesmaids are running around trying to find a pub that will take a hen party or a restaurant with space for 30 people! Flustered bridesmaids equal cranky hens! A combination of nice accommodation, a fun group activity that people will still be talking about at the wedding, a good quality meal with wine and a good old bop to cheesy tunes is a winning combination. Add in champers, a spa treatment or two and hen games and I’m a happy hen!

About Jenni and Posh Fizz

Posh Fizz is a Irish company dedicated to hen party planning! Posh Fizz packages hen parties both in Ireland and abroad which include activities such as sance classes, album recording, pampering days, baking, afternoon tea parties, ‘Farmers Wife for a Day’ and lots more.Included in all packages are keepsake invitations, personalised menus and a photobook for the bride. Info: [email protected] | www.poshfizz.com

Main image by Anders Overgaard for Harpers Bazaar