Calling all hens, maids of honour and brides-to-be! This one goes out to you lovely ladies.
We, humans, are fascinating creatures. We're impulsive. Social. Organised. Emotional. Creative. Enterprising. But one of the best things about us? Our uniqueness. Thankfully, no two humans are the same. And we know that when it comes to playing this crazy game we call life, everyone's journey is different.
Whilst that is true, there are particular universal life experiences that pretty much everybody goes through. A few examples of this? Sure. The first day of school. Hearing the song that made you first fall in love with music. Your first pet. Attending your first gig or festival. Graduating uni. Travelling the world with your friends. Falling in love for the first time.
Discovering your passions and purpose. Becoming a parent. And if you're lucky, becoming a grandparent. All of these experiences are considered milestones in (almost) anyone's life. And speaking of important milestones, how could we forget one of life's biggest? Which is...getting married. Getting married is one of the most important things you will ever do. And with it, comes a plethora of things to organise. We understand that whilst it's definitely exciting, wedding planning can be stressful as heck, too.
Finding a dress, venue, caterer, photographer, and musicians are but a few things you need to sort out before tying the knot. But when the to-do list seems endless, and your special day feels too far on the horizon to get hyped about, there is one thing that redeems this period of engaged "purgatory" between married and not. One thing that you and your best girls can look forward to.
What are we on about? It's a party with your closest friends. Where there are silly games, fun bar hopping and the letting-down of hair as you paint the town red. It's arguably the last hoorah before you walk down the aisle and tie the knot. Have you guessed it?! We're on about hen nights! Alexa, play Girls Just Want to Have Fun.
Hen parties are arguably one of the best things surrounding wedding prep. Bopping music, banter, best friends, booze - what's not to love?! And they're older than you'd think, too. Turns out, bachelorette parties originated way back in Ancient Greece! A quick history lesson: what we know now as a hen do, the Ancient Greeks called Proaulia.
Proaulia took place a few days before a wedding. To commemorate the transition from childhood to adulthood, the bride-to-be would drink and feast with her female relatives and friends. The bride would then sacrifice childhood toys, locks of her hair and her personal girdle to Artemis, the virgin Goddess. Fast forward to 17th Century Britain, where the word "hen" was used to describe a group of women gathering in celebration.
Fast-forward again to 1976, where this time a male stripper was arrested in the UK for "lewd behaviour" - at a hen do no less! Since then, hen do's have skyrocketed in popularity. These days, a bride would get funny looks if they announced they weren't throwing one.
But with all history lessons and jokes aside, the energy that goes into planning your hen party is no laughing matter. And just like your wedding, your hen party needs to be fun, memorable and go off without a hitch. So if you haven't already guessed, this blog is about hen parties. But not just any old hen party.
We're talking about organising a hen party in our favourite UK seaside city - Brighton. If you're in the UK, Brighton is the place to go if you are looking for vegan restaurants, rooftop cafes, queer-centred entertainment and gorgeous stoney beaches.
And as it goes, Brighton is one of the best cities in the UK for hen parties too (move over, Manchester!). Look: any city that has a world-famous annual Pride march is bound to be a great city for hosting your hen do, too. Plus, we know for a fact that Brighton nightlife is absolutely buzzing, it's no shock Brighton is a top pick for hens and brides alike.
Hens and brides to be flocked from far and wide to Brighton, so much so that the city has a self-described "Hen Season" each year. In short, there are as many hen do venues in Brighton than there are vintage shops. And consequently, Hen Season in B-town causes spots to get booked up faster than you can say, Brighton Pier. Plus, with all the variety, it's easy to get overwhelmed with choosing where to go.
We can hear your billow of anxious questions about Brighton hen parties. "Are there any Brighton hen activities that involve cocktail making, or afternoon tea, or perhaps a dance class?" "Can you think of any cool venues on the North Laine?" "What about venues that are within walking distance to the Royal Pavilion that also play hip hop?" "Or venues on West Street or the Brighton lanes that do live music?" "Or an escape room in Brighton that has champagne cocktails for guests?"
"Can you recommend any hen party activities with drag queens, unlimited drinks and male strippers?" "What if we want a delicious brunch on the Brighton Marina, can you think of any places?" "Sounds random, but are there any hen party venues in Brighton that have giant inflatable bubbles?"
"What about a sightseeing tour - do they have any in Brighton?" "What if the bride wants to do some water sports or attend a foodies festival, can you recommend any places?" "Or are there any hen party activities in Brighton that resemble a school sports day?"
Stop right there. We get it. Planning your hen do is very important, so we understand that you have lots of questions and concerns. But we can help you. Proud Cabaret is coming to the rescue (once again) to give you some Brighton hen do ideas and the low down on where to go for your Brighton hen party weekend.
Plus, we've thrown in some little tips to remember when doing your research. Planning a Brighton hen weekend? Well by the end of this blog, you'll have everything you need to get booking! Are you ready for you and your Brighton hens to have an amazing weekend? Let's get into it!
Tip: Decide Your Bridal Party Before You Start Researching Venues
Shout out to all of you disorganised darlings! This one goes out to you. This tip may seem blindingly obvious to most. But when we said we'll be giving you the low down on Brighton hen dos, we're starting from the ground up. And you'd be surprised at how many brides to start frantically Google searching for venues for a Brighton hen party before they've even finalised the guest list and the bridal party.
How does one book a hen party in Brighton without knowing how many hens they're partying with?! Having a number of hens in mind will help you narrow down your choices of venues. Plus, it will give you a clearer image of your budget from the start.
Tip: Set a Date and Decide on a Budget as Early as You Can
We hear you - this tip also seems blindingly obvious. But the sooner you do this, the better. The last thing you want is to send out late invitations and find out some of your best gal pals won't be able to attend your hen party. After all, if all goes well, that'll be your only wedding - you don't want anyone missing out! And as soon as you set a date, you can cross-reference your budget and start researching! Again, a bit Captain Obvious here, but finalising your budget will set the planning in motion.
Tip: Note Your Hen's Dietary Requirements
This tip seems like it would go without saying. But again, you'd be shocked to know how many brides to book a hen party venue "lastminute.com" without checking their hen's dietary requirements (and whether the venue will accommodate them).
Let's put it this way: if you were a vegan hen, you would not be happy to find out that the bride has booked a night at a pizza joint with no plant-based cuisine, now would you? Besides, a huge factor behind the success of a hen night is that all the girls have a ball. And how can this happen without everyone being fed? You want your hens happy, not hangry.
Tip: Brainstorm & Discuss Ideas
You know what they say: failing to prepare is preparing to fail. And just like wedding planning, this rings true for your upcoming Brighton hen party, too. We at Proud Cabaret are huge fans of writing things down when planning something important. We recommend making a list of all your hen party non-negotiables, preferences and everything in between.
Do you have your heart set on a hen party in Brighton city centre? Are you vehemently against going to Las Iguanas, for example? Or do you absolutely need a private room for your bridal party? What if you won't budge on finding somewhere with a hot tub?
Or is it imperative that you do a bottomless brunch to celebrate your incoming nuptials? What if you realised you need to find a place close to Gatwick airport so one of your hens doesn't miss her flight home? Making a list will help you determine things like this. If you're a visual learner, make a mind map. This will bring the vision of what you want your hen party to look like - or not look like - to life.
Then, you can show this to your hens and discuss what to do. And what everyone can afford to do. At the end of the day, the bride's word is law, but it's important that everyone else is happy with the plans, too! Plus, the hens can help with the brainstorming. You know what they say: sometimes, two heads are better than one!
Tip: Don't Be Scared to Delegate Important Hen Party Tasks!
If you're engaged to the love of your life, you're not just planning a hen party. You're planning a full-blown wedding. Which is a monumental task. So don't shy away from delegating some tasks to your trusty hens.
We understand that it's tough to relinquish some control over this. After all, it's the last hoorah to mark the end of your singlehood. Plus, this is a special time in your life, and if you're working yourself to the bone organising everything - you won't enjoy it.
Besides, you can't give from an empty cup. You want to be having a blast at your hen party! And your hens are here to help you. For example, you can have one hen in charge with booking the activities, and another hen collecting the money for it. Getting some help from your trusty hens will definitely make you feel more relaxed ahead of your special day.
Idea: The Hen Challenge
We're kicking off our list of Brighton hen party ideas with something a little different. Have you ever dreamed about spending a day reliving one of the best bits of childhood with your closest girlfriends? Well, now you can.
The Hen Challenge is a sports-based experience that lets you choose 2 goofy games to play with your bridal party. Hens can choose between Bubble "Mayhen", Old School Sports Day (which does what it says on the tin) and Archery Battle Zone Tag. Now who doesn't love a bit of healthy competition?!
Idea: Afternoon Tease Hen Party
Fancy a hunk with a side of afternoon tea? The Afternoon Tease Hen Party experience is an afternoon with a twist, located in Brighton's city centre. Hens can choose from a vast selection of coffee and tea, sandwiches, freshly baked scones and homemade cakes. This all sounds like your typical afternoon tea - except the food and drinks are all served by a hunky, scantily-clad butler! Want some eye candy with your cake? We thought you might!
Idea: Proud Cabaret Brighton
A wise lady called Sally Bowles once said "Life is a cabaret, old chum. Come to the cabaret." Proud Cabaret Brighton - that is! We're the MacDaddys of cabaret here in the UK, and we're a firm favourite amongst hens, too! Brighton's "Hen Season" sees Proud Brighton shows getting booked up faster than you can say Hove. And one step inside our opulent venue will make you see why.
Want to dance till your feet hurt to our electrifying mixes of club classics and fresh new tracks? Or immerse yourself watching our mesmerizing cast of multitalented cabaret and burlesque artists? Then our Cabaret All Stars show will be right up your street.
Or would you rather cackle to your jaw hurts? How about indulging in a gorgeous bottomless brunch headed up by the country's hottest Drag Queens? Then treat yourself and your fellow hens to our raucous Drag Bottomless Brunch! Or how about some gourmet food with a side of healthy competition? Then our Now That's What I Call Drag show is just the ticket!
Whether you and your gang of hens want to laugh, drink, dance, or all of the above, Proud Cabaret Brighton will give you a hen party experience that will be talked about for years after your wedding day.
If you're a lover of vintage aesthetic and really want to push the boat out for your hen party, you can hire out the entire venue through our Proud Cabaret Brighton Private Hire! No matter the size of your party, your budget, or your dietary requirements we go above and beyond to make your hen do a night you won't ever forget. Want to find out more? Check out our website here.
Idea: Life Drawing Class
Fancy channelling your inner Jack Dawson? Located a walking distance away from the iconic Royal Pavilion, a life drawing class is the perfect hen party experience if you want to giggle with your girls and learn a new skill all at once. You get a welcome drink on arrival and a professional art teacher shows you the ropes on drawing: from line work, to perspective and shading. Then hens have 90 minutes to sketch as much of the gorgeous nude model as they can! What a cheeky way to spend the afternoon!
Idea: Cocktail Making at The Joker
Why just drink cocktails when you can learn to make them, too? The Joker is famed in Brighton for its high-quality drinks, so a cocktail-making class there would be a fabulous choice for your and your fellow hens! Not only do you get a welcome drink on arrival, a talented mixologist leads the 90-minute class and shows you how to make the perfect cocktail. If you love cocktails, this masterclass should not be missed.
Idea: Prosecco Bike Ride
Have you ever wanted to try a bar on wheels? Say goodbye to those run-of-the-mill pubs and say hello to the Prosecco Bike Ride experience! Hens get an hour to roam around Brighton whilst an experienced chauffeur steers the party on this site-seeing meets knees-up city tour - on wheels!
Hens help steer the peddles and drink to their heart's content as music thumps from the huge tandem bike. Plus it's BYOB (bring your own booze) so you can cycle and sip your favourite drink all at once! Alexa, play Queen's Bicycle Race.
Idea: Escape Room
Want to put your problem-solving skills to the test at this hen party experience with a difference? Then head to Brighton's popular Escape Room! Channel your inner Sherlock Holmes and work as a team to figure your way out of this tricky escape room. Hens solve brain teasers and mind-bending puzzles as they try to escape the room in time - all served with a cheeky bottle of prosecco. If your bridal party want to bond and get their brain juices (and drinks) flowing, check out the Escape Room on London Road.
Idea: Silent Disco Walk
We're all for this unique hen party idea. Mama Roo leads the walk and delivers a hilarious live commentary as you skip, dance and jive your way around Brighton to the sound of pop and disco classics that are blasting through your headphones. See the city, exercise and have a laugh all in one at The Boogie Shoes Silent Disco Walking Party. Whoever said silent discos are solely for music festivals are sorely mistaken. Plus there's a few surprises along the way!
Idea: Lip Sync Battle
Calling all Tik-Tok users (so basically everybody). This one's for you. A professional dancer leads this 90-minute workshop that makes all your dancing-round-your-room fantasies come true. The workshop splits you into two teams as you battle it out in this all-singing, all-dancing musical extravaganza.
Are you ready to strap on your dancing shoes as you sing, drink and two-step to your heart's content? Then try out the Lip Sync Battle. With tunes like Nelly's Hot in Here, Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance with Somebody playing, and more smash hits to party to, this hen party idea is without a doubt a crowd pleaser - or a hen pleaser we should say!
Idea: Treasure Hunt
Who doesn't love a good old-fashioned treasure hunt?! Get lost on Brighton's iconic cobbled streets and spend time sweeping the beach for clues with your fellow hens. This is also a walking tour, so it's a fabulous way to tour Brighton and get some steps in while you're at it!
Solve puzzles and try wrap your head around these cryptic clues as you have a laugh with your bridal party at this special treasure hunt experience. Captain Bessy guides the way as you walk past iconic sites like the Royal Pavilion whilst trying to find the treasures. Don't worry though: this isn't a timed exercise, so make sure that you take your time and have lots of fun doing it! Start by the Pavilion buildings and work your way through beautiful Brighton at this unique hen party experience.
Idea: Wine Tasting
We're ending our list of top ideas and tips for hen do's in Brighton with an absolute classic - wine tasting. Look: classics are classics for a reason. And who doesn't love some cheeky wine tasting with their closet gal pals and relatives?!
Hosted by a local sommelier, hens can sample up to 5 mouth-watering wines in this 105-minute-long experience. And you get to learn lots of interesting facts about locally sourced wines! Learning and drinking in one afternoon? Sounds like a win-win to us! Speaking of locally sourced goods, hens also get a stunning platter of local produce including yummy cheeses and meats, each perfectly paired with lovely wines. Does this sound like something you and your hens would love? Then head on over to Brighton's famous Wine Cellar!
We've come to our list of the best experiences an ideas to try for a hen do in Brighton. And if we do say so ourselves, we're sure that we've left you with lots of interesting choices and tips for your upcoming hen party, so you can throw a do that you'll never forget. So get booking, hens - we hear wedding bells!