Brides-to-be shun exotic foreign trips in favour of homegrown hen parties on UK soil in recession
32% decrease in women going abroad for hen parties
Brighton, Blackpool and Birmingham are top UK hen do destinations
14:15 GMT, 13 August 2012
One of the best parts of getting married is the hen weekend.
But according to new research, brides-to-be are ditching fancy foreign trips for their hen nights in favour of cheaper locations at home as the recession bites.
For their final night of fun, brides are abandoning expensive weekend breaks in big European capitals like Dublin and Paris and opting instead for just one night away with their friends at British resorts like Brighton and Blackpool.
All fired up: Brides-to-be Rochelle Wiseman and Una Healey are decked out in the hen do attire
Hen Night HQ – Britain’s biggest online seller of hen night party packs – says there has been 32% fall in girls going abroad for their celebrations.
In contrast, bookings in the UK are up by 5.2% despite there being a 10% drop here in the number of marriages in the last decade.
Fewer couples can afford the expense of a big wedding – which now costs an average of 20,248.
Those that are tying the knot are cutting costs with simpler hen nights in less glamourous locations.
Hen Night HQ, which supplies 30,000 hen nights a year, has seen a sharp rise in bookings in Reading (74%), Norwich (49%) and Lincoln (58%).
Many women are saving money even further by staying at home for their hen nights – reflected in a big rise in the sales of partyware and decorations.
L-plates are one of the top sellers according to Hen Party HQ who supplied the gear to Rochelle and Una
The typical number of girls on a hen night is 10 and the most popular theme is Cowgirls, with hot pink glittery cowboy hats the most popular accessory.
TOP 10 UK HEN LOCATIONS
Hen Night HQ has supplied lots of celebrities with hen night gear including Una Healey and Rochelle Wiseman from the Saturdays.
They ordered popular items such as mini tiaras, drivers’ L-plate and even willy drinking straws for their parties in May.
The two pop stars typified the trend for simpler hen nights by having a one-night joint celebration with close friends in London.
Matt Curry from Hen Night HQ said: 'The nature of hen nights is changing as we all feel the pinch.
'Brides are staying in the UK rather than expecting their friends to pay for expensive weekends away overseas.
'And they are having slightly less ambitious hen celebrations.
'Some are choosing to stay at home and decking out their living rooms.
'Lots more girls are taking over an area of a bar or club. We have seen a big rise in demand for “Hen Party in Progress” table boppers, which suggests that rather than going on big pub crawls as was popular a few years ago, hen parties are happier staying in one place.'
POPULAR HEN NIGHT PRODUCTS AND CHEEKY PRESENTS FOR THE BRIDE-TO-BE
Hen Night HQ’s five most popular products are
Ladies Night Pink Sash
Rainbow Willy Straws
L Plate Confetti
Champagne Blowable Bubbles Bottle
Another new hen night trend is for ‘gifts for the bride’ – the British version of the American bridal shower – with most girls favouring very rude gifts. The top 5 are:
Bride to Be Vajazzle
Heart-shaped Nipple Tassles
'Ring for Sex' keyring bell
Husband Vodoo doll