BY  
Pretty Zen Hen
February 24, 2020

So you’re best friend has asked you to be her bridesmaid. You’re so excited, but wait… What exactly is the difference between a bridal shower, kitchen tea and hens party? Who gets invited to what? Do you need to throw one of each? Hosting a series of events on top of bridesmaid duties and life in general can seem like a never-ending list of tasks. Don’t feel overwhelmed… Let our guide to events to celebrate the bride-to-be give you some direction.

Kitchen Tea & Bridal Shower

What is a kitchen tea?

As the name suggests, a kitchen tea is an afternoon tea where the guests bring a gift for the bride which is suitable for her kitchen. Traditionally, couples didn’t live together before getting married. The purpose of the gift was to contribute towards setting up the couple’s kitchen for married life.

What is a bridal shower?

A bridal shower is much like a kitchen tea but is a celebration where guests ‘shower’ the bride with gifts of any theme. This could be for her home or gifts for the bride herself. Today, the emphasis for both events is on the celebration of the upcoming wedding more so than the gift-giving. As the kitchen tea and bridal shower are similar in purpose and structure, you only need to host one or the other if the bride would like this type of pre-wedding celebration. 

Cakes and drinks on table at kitchen tea or bridal shower

Who hosts and covers the cost of a kitchen tea or bridal shower?

Both the kitchen tea and the bridal shower are hosted by the maid of honour and bridesmaids. The event can also be held at the bride or mother of the bride’s home, or even at a café or hotel if you’d prefer the event catered. Generally, the bridal party or the mother of the bride cover the cost of these events, but it is also now commonplace to ask guests to bring along food to share and contribute towards the celebration.

Who is on the invite list for a kitchen tea or bridal shower?

Close female family and friends are on the invite list, allowing for guests from both side of the family to get to know each other before the big day. Often a few games will be played to break the ice between guests. It is common for guests to bring along a favourite recipe the kitchen tea which is then collated into a keepsake recipe book for the bride.

Three ladies drinking wine at a bridal shower

Hens Party & Bachelorette Party

What is a hens party and is it the same as a bachelorette party?

Traditionally, the purpose of the hens party (also known as a hen party if you’re from the UK or bachelorette party if you’re from the US) is to give the bride one last night out as a single lady. The night out typically involves the bride dressed up in a hot pink ‘bride-to-be’ sash and veil, perhaps a male stripper or topless waiter, some raunchy games, and a few too many cocktails!

Girls holding hands celebrating hens party

Who is on the invite list for a hens party?

Close girlfriends and sisters are usually on the invite list for this type of event, with mums and grandmothers being invited to the kitchen tea or bridal shower only.

There is now a trend where brides a swapping the debaucherous night out for a sophisticated hens day or weekend which may involve a winery tour, arts and crafts activity, or even yoga. If opting for a more tame hens celebration, the bride may prefer to have only one pre-wedding event with all of her female friends and family members. It is always best to check with her regarding how many events she wants to have and who she’d like invited to what.

Who hosts and covers the cost of a hens party?

Like the other pre-wedding events, the hens celebration is organised and hosted by the maid of honour and bridesmaids. Guests will be expected to cover the cost of the day, with everyone contributing towards the cost of the bride.

Now that you have a clear idea of the differences between the many events you can host to celebrate the bride-to-be, get your planning underway by finding the perfect group experience, party product or event vendor by browsing our hens directory.

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