In Scotland we call it a Hen night, Hen party, or Hen do – terms commonly used across the UK, Ireland and Australia. In the US they call it a Bachelorette party, in Canada it’s a ‘Stagette’ – but where did this tradition come from?
The bachelor party (or Stag do) which the hen party is modeled after was traditionally a dinner held by the groom-to-be for his friends just before the wedding. The practice of honouring the bride-to-be with a party is centuries old, but the current incarnation of the hen party only began around the mid-1980’s.
Currently, hen night tradition points to an all women group, and the party is organised and/or hosted by members of the wedding party – typically the chief bridesmaid. The party is normally held in an evening, within the last few weeks before the wedding.