First you are asked to be a bridesmaid, which is very exciting - all those bridal plans to discuss, dress fittings to attend and emotional support to provide. And then you get asked by the bride to be to plan her hen party! It’s a great honour but can seem daunting as you want to make your bestie’s hen do amazing. So we are here to help with ideas and tips to make the event a huge success.
To make a start it is always best to consider the type of person that the future bride is. What does she like to do? Is she an adrenaline junkie or more of a spa girl? Does she appreciate the finer things in life or prefers a few beers in the local pub? There are so many activities to choose from nowadays that there really is something for everyone. Just make sure you don’t spring a surprise on your friend than she might not like – always best to discuss your plans for her special party first. So that you don't miss any essential steps out of your planning download our handy Hen Party Planning Checklist .
Hen Party Ideas in the UK
Once a hen party was just a gathering of the bride to be, bridesmaids and the brides mother at the local pub. Now a hen party can be celebrated in a myriad of different ways. Here are some ideas to give you food for thought!
For a really interactive hen party experience why not try a wine tasting? From novice to wine connoisseur, there is a wine tasting for everyone. Take the classy route with a sparkling wine tasting and a vineyard tour or learn how to taste like a professional and join in a fun quiz.
Cheese & wine pairing
Already taken a wine tasting? Why not learn more about which cheese goes with which wine. Not only is it a delicious way to spend an afternoon or evening, it’s a great way of lining your stomach if you’re heading out to the clubs and bars afterwards!
Explore the magic of artisan chocolate making. Take a class led by an expert chocolatier and make choccy treats to eat and take home. The perfect choice for a hen with a sweet tooth.
For the future bride who enjoys the finer things in life and just wants to spend time chatting to her girlfriends over a great meal, what better choice than a Michelin starred lunch or dinner? Push the boat out in style and choose an ultimate dining experience.
If you love cooking or baking, this is a great choice for a hen party. You can have fun together in your pinnies and make something delicious to enjoy with your besties. Learn from professional chefs or expert bakers and learn recipes from your favourite cuisine.
Visit a distillery and enjoy a tasting with the experts. Learn about the aromats that go into gin, each imparting their own flavour. You could even get the chance to make your own unique bottle of gin to take away. A fun and fascinating hen party.
Spoil yourself and book the quintessential British treat, afternoon tea. Be waited on at a classy hotel or in a quaint tea room whilst enjoying patisserie delights with your chums. Add champagne for the ultimate indulgence.
Offering a bespoke service, Tasteful Travel can add any of these experiences to a UK short break in a location of your choice. Pair a foodie adventure with a spa weekend or a country cottage stay. So don’t delay, contact our hen party experts for a free consultation today.
Hen Party Ideas Abroad
Go to the home of the first ever hen parties. In Ancient Greece, there were three parts to marriage. Firstly the Proaulia, when the bride spent the last days before her wedding with her mother, female relatives and friends preparing for marriage. During this time the bride-to-be and her family made offerings to the gods and feasted. So you can see where the tradition for celebrating amongst girlfriends came from.
Nowadays there is a huge choice of hen party trips to Greece. From a relaxing spa break with the girls or an action-packed week of activities and experiences – think parascending and speedboats, think wine tasting, think waterparks, think sightseeing, think cookery lessons, think clubbing, think anything you wish.
Greece offers an amazing choice of scenery from its numerous picturesque islands to its bustling mainland cities. Choose Corfu for café culture or fun nightlife. Laze away the days on lovely Skiathos or Paros. Get caught up in the action on Kos and Rhodes. Or get your fix of metro sophistication in Thessaloniki or Athens. So much choice requires a bit of help to get the right hen do destination. Why not call the Tasteful Travel hen party experts for a free consultation.
Jet off to the sunny island of Malta and its crystal clear waters, great gastronomy, and excellent night clubs. What more could you wish for? The flight time is pretty good too. The country is made up for 3 islands, Malta, Gozo and Comino so boat trips are a must. From sunset cruises to party boats, you can be sure of a good time on the water. Or maybe you prefer to try life underwater on a diving course?
Book a spa treatment for your group then head off to Marsaxlokk for a great meal at one of the many restaurants terraces overlooking the sea. No visit to Malta would be complete without exploring Valletta, medieval capital boasting city walls and bustling harbour. The islands also produce great wine too. And don’t forget to head to St Julians for the nightlife at its Paceville district.
If you think Malta might be just the destination for your hen party email our travel specialists for a call back.
But you don’t have to stick to our favourites, Tasteful Travel can book a hen party anywhere you wish worldwide. Our service is completely bespoke so we can tailor make your dream trip to anywhere for groups of any size. Don't delay, download the ultimate Hen Party Planning Checklist to help with your first steps, or drop us a line today for your free consultation.
After you've said “I do” and set the date, one of the best parts of planning a wedding is dreaming of the honeymoon to follow. It will be your first holiday together as a married couple and you'll want it to be memorable. Here are some luxury destination ideas to get excited about.
Singapore is full of romance with memorable sightseeing spots you can explore arm in arm with your loved one. It has outstanding dining options, world-class nightlife and a safe and pleasant environment for an exciting honeymoon experience.
There is a huge range of top quality hotels in Singapore, many boasting spas. Book a couple's spa experience for the ultimate romantic treat. Try the historic Fullerton, iconic Raffles or the elegance of the Shangri-La. For more modern luxury pick the Ritz-Carlton Millenia or the Four Seasons.
Whether you are looking for a relaxing or action-packed holiday, Singapore has it all. Walk together through the wonderful Gardens by the Bay or chill out on the beach at Sentosa Island. Visit Universal Studios for an adrenaline fix or take a night safari to get up close to leopards and other nocturnal animals.
Romance is in the air at a rooftop bars. Get stunning views and first class dining at 1-Altitude at Raffles Place. Enjoy cocktails mixed by award winning mixologists at the CE LA VI skybar at the Marina Bay Sands, a microbrewery overlooking the city.
There are so many dining opportunities you'll be spoilt for choice. Take a trip on Singapore's cable car. Step into your very own private cabin and enjoy spectacular views of the city as you share a delicious 4-course meal. Grab a snack from a Hawker stall or choose fine dining in a huge array of top class hotels and restaurants. Don't forget to try Chinese and Malaysian cuisine or take a cookery lesson together.
Singapore is a buzzing and cosmopolitan city and is the perfect choice for the honeymooning couple.
A honeymoon in the Maldives gives you a chance to be together in a way that never happens at home. The name means ‘garland of islands’ in Dhivehi, the local language and evokes the wonder of this collection of magical islands. Overwater bungalows or villas in amongst the lush vegetation provide private love nests, secluded for maximum privacy and romance. Gaze from the veranda or the plunge pool across the panoramic views over the lagoon lapping the beach. The breeze rustling the palm fronds seems to whisper romance.
Each resort is on its own island so there are no strangers and the staff care for their guests in their private world. Crystal clear lagoons, white sand beaches and colourful coral reefs are standard in the Maldive islands. Exclusive upgrades, candlelit dinners under starry skies and bespoke experiences-for-two can be arranged to give your married life an amazing start.
Taj Exotica Resort and Spa for the lap of luxury on Emboodhu Finolhu island in the middle of one of the largest lagoons in Maldives. Just a 15-minute speedboat ride from the airport brings you to this idyllic resort, amidst the coral reefs.
On a private island in heart shaped Addu Atoll stands Shangri-La's Villingili Resort & Spa, an exclusive all-villa hideaway. Just 5 minutes by speedboat from the airport, the resort offers a range of activities, totally romantic dining experiences and the only 9-hole golf course in the Maldives.
One & Only Reethi Rah on one of the largest islands in North Malé Atoll. Enjoy a Thai massage over the water in the resort's award winning spa or revel in the marine life assisted by their Dive Centre. Dine in restaurants with stunning views or experience awe-inspiring private dining.
You can be as active or relaxed as you wish; swimming, snorkelling, diving or night fishing. Take a champagne sunset cruise, picnic on a sandbank and visit a desert island for just the two of you for a day. Explore the undersea world in a whale submarine or see the reefs from a seaplane. The islands have fragile eco systems so do your bit for responsible tourism and join in a coral-planting session or plant a commemorative coconut palm.
With so many picture perfect and romantic destinations in Australia, it is the perfect choice for a relaxing honeymoon to recharge your batteries. With such a huge country to discover, the range of scenery and experiences are second to none. From the World Heritage site of the Great Barrier Reef to the Red Centre, the outback, and the bustling cities, love-struck newlyweds can drink in the beautiful landscapes and revel in warm hospitality Australia has to offer.
The Whitsunday Islands
With pristine beaches and teeming with colourful marine life, Hamilton Island is paradise on earth. One of the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, it offers good weather year round and some outstanding accommodation. At the northern tip of Hamilton Island, qualia is a completely private hideaway situated within the Great Barrier Reef. Only one island away from the brilliant white sands of Whitehaven Beach, Hamilton Island is the perfect location for exploring one of the most beautiful parts of Australia, or for a barefoot chill-out.
For a city-centric honeymoon, Melbourne is a vibrant and bustling destination. With its quaint alleys and cafe-filled lanes and historic buildings, Melbourne enchants. Activities abound: watching movies under the stars; taking a gourmet boat trip; private wine tasting tours, romantic strolls around the Botanical Gardens; or visits to museums and galleries, Melbourne has it all. It is also one of the culinary hubs of Australia, so you'll be spoilt for choice with restaurants, cafes, wine bars and micro-breweries. Treat yourself to butler service at The Langham for the ultimate stay in Melbourne.
For foodies you could not pick a better location for your honeymoon than the Barossa Valley. A region full of farms and wineries, the Barossa is one of the best places in Australia to sip a glass of wine. The locals are very welcoming and friendly in the Barossa and you can also enjoy many festivals like the Barossa Gourmet Weekend, Barossa Vintage Festival and so much more. Recharge your senses at 1860 Wine Country Cottages where you can walk hand-in-hand in the quiet countryside or experience their Boutique Wine and Food Trails. Relaxing and laid back, a honeymoon in the Barossa Valley is a unique experience.
'Found in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, heavenly Hawaii offers a breathtaking honeymoon to romantic newlyweds. Consisting of six unique islands, Hawaii invites you to experience distinct adventures, activities and sights. From the hustle and big surf of Oahu to the pineapple plantations and volcano views of Maui, to the coffee farms of Hawaii (big island) to the dramatic scenery of Kauai, Hawaii gives honeymooners a huge choice of amazing holidays.
On Maui you can experience a huge variety of scenery and climates on such a small island. When I visited this magical island we stayed in the historic Lahaina area where it rarely rains but visited tropical Hana after a picturesque and memorable drive, discovered British looking meadows on our way to Haleakala National Park - a barren volcanic landscape. Take part in the Old Lahina Luau or try Maui wines at Ulupalakua Vineyards and visit one of the many excellent restaurants. Explore this fabulous island from the Four Seasons Resort Maui on Wailea Beach. Unwind in style on a Maui honeymoon.
The third largest island of Hawaii, Oahu is sometimes called "The Gathering Place" and it lives up to the name as it houses the capital, Honolulu, and is the most populous island of the group. A honeymoon on Oahu gives lovers a great balance between buzzing metropolis and laid back surf resorts. Its a fascinating island with so much to experience, like the Dole Plantation, where you can eat the best pineapple you ever had! Don't forget to sample a delicious cocktail, the Mai Tai took its current form in 1954 at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in iconic Waikiki. While you're in Waikiki you can climb Diamond Head, an extinct volcano which has been used as a military base. The amazing views from the top are worth climbing all those stairs.
For the best surf in the world head to the North Shore where you'll find the famous Banzai Pipeline - best leave the surfing to the professionals as it can be dangerous for the inexperienced but its great to watch. I found the Polynesian Cultural Center fun as well as fascinating and you can also sit where Elvis did on the base of the double palm from Blue Hawaii! No visit to Oahu would be complete without a sobering visit to Pearl Harbour. Oahu really does have something for everyone.
Escape to the "Garden Island", Kauai is the northernmost island in the Hawaiian chain. When you see the emerald valleys, sharp mountains and cliffs carved by the elements, Kauai will take your breath away. With tropical rainforests, rivers and waterfalls it is not surprising that the island offers so many outdoor pursuits. Kayaking, hiking and ziplining are available. Discover the Wailua River, Poipu Beach and Kokee State Park. Head to the South Shore for Old Koloa Town, a historic and charming town which was built on sugar production, which explains the vibrant multi-cultural population of the town today.
Although Kauai is full of resorts, golf, shopping, beaches and sights, there are many places which are only accessible by air or sea, ensuring that it cannot be overdeveloped. If you want an active honeymoon in beautiful scenery, look no further than Kauai.
For more information on any of these amazing destinations or to book your honeymoon, get in touch with our travel specialists today.
If you love the Yuletide and can't get enough of the baubles, bells and twinkling lights, then a Christmas wedding is just right for you! Here’s some inspiration for decking those wedding halls and being very jolly.
Although not a common one, if you love Christmas it can be a knockout wedding theme. There is so much scope to let your imagination run riot, cuddle up in the cold weather and ramp up the romance by lighting up the darkness.
Winter wonderland wedding
Fill your mood board with shades of white to fit your style. Creams and pinky whites will soften the look of your wedding decor. Table linen, drapery and chairs can all be white but you can change up the look with textured fabric. Accents of colour can be introduced in ribbons or bows and add greenery or white flowers to complete your winter wonderland look. And don’t forget a bit of sparkle with some metallic details to be bang on trend.
Cool wedding colours
Choose red and green as your wedding colours if you are keeping it traditional. Bring these colours bang up to date with lots of elegant greenery and luxurious fresh flowers. If you want a more opulent touch, opt for rich shades of purple or burgundy. Mix your chosen statement colours with softer shades, such as peach, pink or creamy white. Share your colour scheme with your wedding planner or venue so they can bring it to life. They may well have some great suggestions for you too.
Christmas - woodland style
Think of Christmas and we think of trees. Create a wonderful woodland theme with lots of natural elements, like pinecones and green foliage. Like the song, there’s holly and there’s ivy but there is also mistletoe. These are the obvious choices but you could think about adding other evergreen boughs and seasonal greenery. Delicate white blooms such as snowdrops and lilies add a wintery touch to a woodland theme. For your bouquet add a splash of colour with berries and pine cones to contrast with pale foliage and white flowers.
Dressing for a Christmas wedding
Here at Tasteful Travel we absolutely adore winter weddings. They are always filled with sleek white colour schemes, have imaginative décor and a stunning winter wedding dress. Winter weddings need dresses that will keep you warm but still be dreamy. Long sleeves are not always necessary if you choose a beautiful bolero, jacket, shawl, shrug or cape to go over the dress. Think about delicate embellishment, a touch of crystal, metallic accents or a touch of colour for the perfect Christmas wedding gown.
Location, location, location
Where will you tie the knot at Christmas? Either you head for a snowy destination or you create your winter wonderland wherever you choose. Lapland is the most Christmassy destination you can think of and there is great skiing to go with your wedding in Switzerland, Austria, Greece and so many European destinations. Further afield marry during a white Christmas in New Zealand, California and Japan.
Even in the hottest of destination weddings the winter theme can be brought to the proceedings with baubles, white flowers, candles and metallic accessories. And the same can be said for any venue closer to home. At Tasteful Travel we love to find the perfect destination wedding for our clients at any time of year so why not contact us for more inspiration.
With the magic of Christmas sprinkled through your wedding flowers, bridal wear and decor, you are sure to have a very special day. Extra little touches can be added by way of your wedding favours. Wrap them up like little Christmas presents or miniature stockings. Treat your guests to shortbread or gingerbread, small bottles of mulled wine or anything else Christmassy. Use sticks of cinnamon to decorate for an ultra wintery look. And finally, don't forget to choose your favourite Christmas tunes for the dance floor!