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Sober hen parties are on the rise

Posted by Danielle Harvey on 8 November 2023

group of women walking along a river in the countryside While hen parties are often characterised by celebratory cocktails, drinking games and wild night outs, the hen-do could soon be shrugging off its booze-fueled persona.

Global searches for 'sober hen do ideas' have doubled over the past year1 while 'sober bachelorette party games' has also seen a 50% increase2. On TikTok, #soberliving3 has seen a surge in popularity, with videos including the hashtag boasting over 650 million views.

If you're a bride-to-be looking to celebrate your 'last night of freedom' tee-total-style, party planning expert, Amy Greenshields at cardfactory has shared her four top tips.

1.Be upfront about drinking rules
If you've been tasked with planning the celebration on behalf of the bride, make sure everyone attending knows a sober celebration is what she wants. While it can be fun to keep certain aspects of the hen-do a surprise, it's always best to communicate rules around drinking with the attendees prior to the event. This will ensure everyone is respecting her boundaries and expectations.

Amy says: "Most guests are likely to expect alcohol at hen-dos as part of the event. If you want to keep the celebration completely alcohol-free, it's a good idea to communicate this when sending out invitations. Be unambiguous and clear so invitees know what to expect and won't bring alcohol to the party or drink before they arrive."

2.Include icebreakers
If you're bringing different groups of friends and family together for the first time, you'll want to make sure to plan games and activities for guests to get to know one another.

Amy advises: "Without alcohol to act as a social crutch, it's important to think about other ways to get everyone in the mood to socialise and make people feel more comfortable talking to one another.
"Icebreakers are a great way to encourage conversation, break down barriers and make everyone feel more at ease. A fun way to do this at a hen-do is through games and activities related to the bride, such as a quiz. This will help guests bond by reminding them of their mutual connection."

3.Focus on a theme or location
The activity chosen can be the make and break of any hen-do, but it is even more essential when going about it sober. Focusing on a strong theme or fun location will give your hen-do structure and make it an exciting occasion for all.

Amy says: "Switching up the location or theme away from the traditional party hen-do backdrop will downplay its sober aspect. There are plenty of engaging activities which don't require alcohol to be fun. Some popular hen-do choices include cooking classes, spa days, craft activities and outdoor adventures."

4.Remember why you're celebrating
The tradition of hen-dos is an expression of love and admiration for the bride given by her friends and family. Beyond the food and drink served, the most vital element of any good bachelorette is to personalise and tailor the event to the bride.

Amy comments: "The great thing about a sober hen is the event can become a much more sentimental and memorable experience for everyone involved. Lean into this by creating a memory book for guests to share their favourite stories for the bride, design personalised cards or mementoes to hand out, or hire a photographer to capture precious moments."

Amy ends: "From birthday parties to weddings, we've seen the trend toward sober curiosity begin to alter the way people wish to celebrate milestone occasions - and hen-dos may be the latest event to go dry.
"Alcohol-free events are desirable for many reasons; being more affordable, inclusive and memorable, to name a few. Whether you're going down the sober route or not, always keep the bride's personality and preferences at the heart of your hen-do planning to make it a special and memorable experience."

cardfactory are the leading specialist retailer of greetings cards, gift dressings and party products in the UK. As well as a fantastic range, they offer outstanding quality at exceptional prices. cardfactory now have over 1000 stores in both the UK and Ireland, with new stores opening every year. Most products are designed, printed and made in the UK, and all personalised cards and gifts are made to order with fast delivery. 

Keyword io - global search data for 'sober hen do ideas' over the past year (Sept 2022 - Sept 2023) Keyword io. sober hen do ideas | Keyword io - global search data for 'sober bachelorette party games' over the past year (Sept 2022 - Sept 2023) | Keyword io. sober bachelorette party games #soberliving | TikTok

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