Hen parties

The chief bridesmaid, with the help of the other attendants, looks after the pre-wedding hen's party, held at least a week before the wedding to allow recovery.

This takes myriad forms: a weekend away for skiing, swimming with dolphins, pamper treatments and dancing into the night, a winery tour or a pub crawl in a party bus with a dress-up theme,Themes are endless. It might be in the style of a particular decade ('70s and '80s are popular), or a movie (Grease, The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge) allow great scope, as do general themes such as flappers and gangsters, cops and robbers, or the Wild West.

Often the bride is assigned a list of tasks, some easy, others more challenging that can provide loads of laughs and the day or night wears on.

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