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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.

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