The mothers of the bride and groom may not always be up for raucous hen party activities like pole-dancing or drawing a naked male model (although some are!), but that doesn’t mean they have to be left out of your pre-wedding celebrations. A lot of brides now organise a separate low-key event to involve the happy couple’s mothers and other female relatives. It can be a lovely way for the women of both families to get to know each other better before the big day. And come on, if you’re only supposed to get this “bride to be” experience once so you need to milk it! Mum’s the word: How to host a hen fit for your mother-in-law!
1. Spa day
As the most important guests after the bride and groom, the mammies deserve a bit of pre-wedding pampering. For laid-back luxury in the beautiful surrounds of Enniskerry, check out the spa packages at the chic Rainforest Spa at Summerhill House Hotel. You can start the day with a glass of Prosecco and afternoon tea, or book an overnight package with dinner to really get away from it all and enjoy some quality time.
2. Memory Lane
Host a get-together at home that will really help the in-laws to bond. Ask the guests to dig out their old photo albums or home videos of the bride and groom and have a giggle sharing childhood tales. You can always have a sneaky peek of the pics beforehand and hide the really cringeworthy ones if you like!
3. Time for tea
It’s hard to beat the old school charm of an afternoon tea enjoyed in an opulent setting. Or, if you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere, most spa hotels can arrange for you to take your tea in the comfort of your bathrobe after a relaxing treatment. Some of our favourite afternoon tea spots in Ireland include: the luxurious lounge in Dublin’s Westbury Hotel, Gregan’s Castle in the beautiful Burren, and the vintage-chic Ballyvolane House in Cork. Or bring the tea party to you with these great mobile options.
4. Cocktail party
Glamorous mammies, (and even grannies!), will enjoy getting dressed up to the nines for a good old-fashioned cocktail party. Every woman loves a bit of Sex and the City! The Vintage Cocktail Club in Temple Bar is top of our list with its exclusive setting and relaxed, vintage vibe. Other classy cocktail joints around the country include Tribeton or the House Hotel in Galway, and Suas rooftop bar or Long Island in Cork. If your mum is more of a sherry or port fan, the candlelit Copper Room in Limerick will be right up her street. Or check out this BYO cocktail option in Dublin.
5. Wine and dine
Pop on your glad rags and enjoy an evening of fine dining and good company at a top restaurant. Some ladies of a certain age may have rather traditional tastes in food, so it might be a good idea to check that the menu appeals to everyone before booking! Also do your research on your chosen restaurant’s atmosphere –when organising a fun night out with a group you’ll want somewhere on the livelier side.
Getting crafty with your gal pals has never been more fun. Around Ireland there are fun workshops popping up from learning the art of graffiti to making your very own silver ring. Some even include prosecco and food so you can keep all happy. Here are 5 ideas for cool craft workshops in Ireland. These are perfect for activities to do with friends on a hen party or an excuse for sunday funday.
Teaming crafting with cocktails sounds like a super fun session to us, especially when it’s BYO cocktails! What does this mean we hear you ask? BYO cocktails are when you bring your own alcohol (so vodka, gin, rum, whiskey – whatever your tipple) and your very own cocktails are mixed for you by some cool and very skilled mixologists. This means that everyone gets to drink their preferred drink. The crafting option is up to you. You can decorate knickers or a garter OR make some fun headwear. This cool activity (very apt for your hen party) is available in Dublin. Check out more details here. You can also skip the crafting and just go for the BYO cocktails!
Here you get to make your very own ring! Design and sculpt your own unique ring from jewellers wax and enjoy a tasty lunch with prosecco. At the end of the class, you can choose to have your ring professionally finished and posted to you. You can choose silver or upgrade to gold if you prefer. The Carve Workshops can take place in Tribeton in Galway city or within 200kms of Galway. Grace covers Dublin so it’s a great option for a hen party or for a group of ladies who want to do something different. You can contact and book with Grace directly on Bash.
Flower crown making is the ultimate boho chic hen party activity. Enjoy an afternoon making a crown of gorgeous, seasonal wildflowers. Sophie is based in Sligo but her workshops can take place all over the country. Sophie is an amazing horticulturalist and can even decorate your venue to make it really special. Workshops in Sligo can be held in a funky cafe or a sleek art gallery. Homemade treats are included and groups are welcome to bring their own beverages. Later on, wear your handmade creations for a bohemian-themed night on the town! You can enquire with Sophie directly on Bash here.
This definitely on the list for the alternative or badass bride! This cool and quirky workshop by All Out Design takes place in a funky warehouse studio in Dublin where you can learn the art of graffiti. Street art experts will show you how to create a graffiti tag, how to spraypaint a stencil and finally how to create your very own graffiti piece. Your group will enjoy a glass of prosecco along with excellent pizza to enjoy while you admire your creations. Very cool.
Collars come in and out of fashion but are always stylish. Create an on-trend accessory that you can wear again and again in this unique Dublin based workshop that will teach you how to make and decorate a Peter Pan collar. Develop your dressmaking skills by making a wool felt collar from scratch using a pattern. All materials are supplied and you can bring your own Prosecco to enjoy while you sew. Find out more here.
Until the last decade or so, baby showers were something we only witnessed on TV shows from across the pond. However, like many US traditions, they have found their way to our shores and are now a common rite of passage for Irish mothers-to-be. If you’ve never been to one and have a bestie with a bump that you’d like to spoil, here’s everything you need to know, from games to gender reveals! Here’s how to plan a baby shower.
Get these advice cards FREE and an inflatable BABY balloon when you book your baby shower via TheBash.co
What is a baby shower?
A baby shower is a relaxed and fun get-together for an expectant mum and her close friends and relatives. Usually only women are invited but plenty of people buck that trend. This event usually takes place in the last couple of months of pregnancy and the mum-to-be is ‘showered’ with gifts to help her prepare for the arrival of her little bundle.
How do you plan a baby shower?
Usually a close friend or relative of the guest of honour will plan or host the shower. If it’s a surprise, it’s vital to get the baby daddy involved so you know who to invite…and to make sure your pregnant pal shows up! Cute baby shower decor is now widely available on high streets or online, so all you need to do is decide on a venue, pick a theme or colour scheme and let the fun and games begin.
Where do you host a baby shower?
A baby shower can be as formal or as informal as you like. Team it around a brunch, lunch or afternoon tea. You can go out of if you’re the hostess with the mostess, have it in your house. You can decorate as you please and bring in catering or provide your own nibbles the baby shower guests. Here are some mobile options to give you some more ideas. Another great option and a way to make it a little different is to combine it with an activity for example a spa day like the gorgeous Rainforest Spa
What happens at a baby shower?
The opening of the gifts is generally the main attraction, but there are endless possibilities for baby shower games if you think the mama-to-be is in need of a giggle. Some include guessing the size of her bump using pieces of string, baby-related charades, or picture matching using baby pictures of all the guests. You could also create a scrapbook with hand-written advice or wishes for the baby from the guests, or a colourful fingerprint guestbook for the baby’s room.
What gifts should we bring?
Gifts that pamper the baby mama are the way to go, ask guests to contribute to a voucher for a spa, hotel or restaurant so the soon-to-be parents can enjoy some down time before baby’s arrival. Vouchers for baby boutiques are a great idea also, and hampers filled with newborn essentials and pampering treats for the new mum always go down well. But don’t feel that you have to do gifts!
What about food?
Your guest of honour is eating for two, food is definitely necessary! Afternoon tea-style finger food tends to be the most popular option, along with pink and blue cupcakes or a pretty, personalised cake. It’s fine to treat your guests to some Prosecco, but seeing as pregnant ladies can’t partake, it’s only polite to keep this to a minimum. Make sure there are some mocktails or non-alcoholic bubbles on hand for the VIP! You can book into a nice afternoon tea venue or have it in your home or a family member’s home. You can book a mobile tea party around Dublin, Waterford, East Cork, Wexford, Kilkenny and Wicklow with these fabulous mobile options.
Gender reveals, what’s the deal?
The hottest trend in baby showers Stateside, gender reveal parties are a fun way of announcing the baby’s gender to friends and family. Sometimes it’s even a surprise to the expectant parents themselves! Many couples reveal the news is by cutting a cake with either pink or blue filling inside. Releasing pink or blue balloons is another lovely way to find out if bump is a girl or boy.
That’s it! Please share your comments or feedback with us on this post. We love hearing different ideas for how to plan a baby shower.
If you’re planning a hen do for a traditional bride-to-be, why not switch things up a bit with a 2017 twist? Bring some sass to an afternoon tea with a drop of gin, or up your spa-game with a ‘Glamp n Pamp’ experience with Mad Dogs & Vintage Vans. Sound good? We thought so! Here are 5 traditional hen party activities with a twist.
Hotel du Vin’s gin-inspired afternoon tea is a must for any hen party’s to-do list. The tea kicks off with a selection of mini sandwiches and savouries, followed by a delicious array of scones, cakes and candy floss (yes, candy floss). Their Gin and Tonic pairings are perfectly matched by Fever-Tree, allowing you to discover a new, exciting array of glorious gin concoctions! Excited? Us too! Check it out here
Take regular glamping to the next level in luxury with Mad Dogs & Vintage Vans new ‘Glamp n Pamp’ experience! The boutique eco glampsite is situated in the heart of the Wye Valley, and guests get to stay in four vintage caravans while a shower shack is located nearby with hot water on demand. Discover a range of luxurious, rejuvenating treatments, including hot stone massages, detox facials, reflexology and foot scrubs, all amongst a truly wonderful setting. Find out more here
For the activity, fitness loving bride, 1Rebel’s new and exclusive bridal sessions will have your hen party planning nailed! A £40 package can offer one 1Rebel session of your choice (be it the Ride, Reshape or Rumble session), a blow dry at Barber + Blow, a superfood bellini, mini prosecco bottles and some decorations to make it even more special! Get in contact with 1Rebel here
Turn up the style-dial on your afternoon tea with Voltaire! This cool cocktail and champagne bar in the city offers an alternative twist on the traditional afternoon tea by teaming it with cocktails! Hurrah! Three miniature cocktails accompany each course and include everything from Pumpkin with Rosemary Infused Vodka to a Hendricks, Elderflower and Cucumber Martini! Plan your party with Voltaire here
For the yoga-loving bride, discover bhuti, a wellbeing retreat in the heart of Richmond. Offering bespoke bhuti hen dos which include an hour and a half of gorgeous treatments, a full day of pampering, yoga classes, access to the exclusive members lounge and lunch in their fabulous vegan kitchen, your bride-to-be will be over the moon! Get in touch with Bhuti here