Una Mullally suggests some starting points…
Help… I’m organising a lesbian hen party!” This is what I want to say – but there’s nowhere to say it and certainly no one there to respond. We can get Red Bull to push a man out of a can in space, and destroy the entire economy of a nation during a late night meeting, but let me tell you something, we’re falling way behind on lesbian hen expertise.
The couple are two of my best friends, Etain (hers is the hen I’m organising) and Michelle. They are the kind of couple everyone envies because they’re so awesome; the kind of couple who make you sick with admiration because of their love and respect for each other. They had (two) seriously amazing proposals, one of which became something of national importance on the Six One News. No pressure then.
The main rub is that gay and lesbian hens and stags are not like their straight counterparts. They’re mixed: gay guys, straight guys, gay girls, straight girls and everyone in between. You’re catering for a wide range of people, so let’s just hope everyone likes mechanical bulls and strippers. (Etain, that’s a joke.) The good thing about it is that because gay hen groups are so diverse, it blows open the parameters within which we currently view hen parties (getting hammered) and stag parties (getting hammered). It makes you rethink what actually makes a decent pre-wedding celebration.
Via Getty’s Lean In Collection
There are loads of assumptions built around these occasions: that every group of women will enjoy an hour in a spa, or every bunch of guys feels good about falling around an English city. So how do you decide what to do with a mixed group that you can’t just lump into a mass manicure or an afternoon of paintballing?
First, figure out whether crossovers between both brides’ parties are likely to occur (which, undoubtedly they will) and liaise with the organiser of the other hen to avoid duplication of activities. Then, make sure your itinerary blows the other one out of the water. Secondly, know your audience. Thinking about entertaining any large group is really thinking about what ties you all together. Scout the congregation for common interests and ideas – you might be surprised at what will most delight. Choose personal over pocket – the worst hens are just about spending loads of money (because resentment is no craic, whatsoever); the best ones draw you into the feeling. Venturing too far into any gender or orientation stereotype is instantly exclusionary… and actually, just pretty boring. Remember that, for whatever reason, gay women and gay men tend to be more likely to have exes within their circle – that can either be a minefield or an opportunity for Best Man Speech type gags, depending on how you play it. And finally, if all else fails, lean on an Orange Is the New Black theme. Just don’t have such a wild night that someone ends up in actual prison.
Una Mullally @unamullaly
This article is taken from BASH Volume 2. Volume 4 is on shelves now.