Hen Party

CANVAS presents . . . the hen party to end all hen parties

Browse for the best way to celebrate the bride-to-be

Hen Party

Why a hen party can make you feel like a spring chicken

Hen Party

Our three step plan on hatching a hen party

Hen Party

The difference between a hen party and a bridal shower

Shake your tail feathers! Here’s why a hen party can make you feel like a spring chicken

Left to plan the hen party? Don’t forget to do it and leave the wedding with egg on your face.

Here in the UK, it’s pretty unheard of to attend a wedding where the bride and groom didn’t have a stag or hen party. Those who have might recall the murmur of whispers. The questioning. The speculation. Who’s responsible? Why didn’t she get a hen party? How else would you celebrate singledom before tying the knot? We guarantee that if you were the maid of honour for the bride, you’d leave with egg on your face.

So, to help you avoid being a bad egg, CANVAS has put together this compendium on how to hatch a hen party.

Hen parties and CANVAS go hand-in-hand. Whatever your background, there’s no escaping the fact that marriage is possibly the most important decision of your life. You know that, and we know that, so what better way to say goodbye to singledom than to celebrate in style at CANVAS! Hen parties are often said to be a classy version of a stag do, but whoever said that has never been a too good one. In reality, a hen party can involve anything from cocktails and chit-chat (cute) to strippers and slut drops (optional). Either way, we’ll explain how you can get in the right headspace and focus on honouring the bride-to-be to the best of your abilities.

Our three step plan on hatching a hen party
that’ll stand the test of time

The key to success is planning well in advance and not taking on the burden alone.

So you’re best friend’s engaged?! Ahhh! Pass on our congratulations – they must be so excited! You, on the other hand? Not so much. I mean – sure – you’re excited for them. That’s a no-brainer. But you’ve been gifted the responsibility of the hen party – and with great party comes great responsibility. So, if it’s your first time planning a hen party – don’t panic! It’s a bit of a joke in CANVAS that the following could just be one big tip: Prosecco (and lots of it!), but we do actually have some wisdom to bestow upon you gaggle of gals.

First things first: planning a hen party can be pretty stressful – particularly if you have never planned a large event before.

So to help you on your way down the aisle with your BFF, we’ve broken the following up into three steps with three points. The key to success is planning well in advance and making sure you don’t take on the burden of hen party planning all on your own. Traditionally, the task of planning falls to the maid of honour, but don’t be afraid to delegate to the other bridesmaids. Some brides even like to plan their own party – but we’ll get to that in a bit. For now, breathe – in and out – better? Okay, let’s begin!

Step #1 – Speak now or forever hold your hen party

First-time bridesmaid? Maid of honour? BFF who wants it to stay that way? If you’ve been tasked with planning your gal’s hen party then the VERY first thing you need to do, should be preeetty simple . . . TALK TO HER. Sure, it’s worth keeping the surprises a surprise BUT it’s important you exceed her expectations – rather than just meet them. To pave the way for your girl’s dream day follow these tips and take them away.

This should be pretty obvious (after all, we did just mention it) but it’s well-worth reiterating: not everyone likes surprises.

You might know your gal pal inside and out but it’s important you don’t presume anything. No one wants to face the wrath of a bitter bride-to-be, and nor do they want to plan the hen party they wish they had for someone else. So, find out whether she wants to be involved in the hen party preparations, stat.

If she says yes, then the bride knows best. She wants to be surprised and she’s just given you carte blanche to go WILD at CANVAS. Keep in mind the following tips (but don’t divulge anything!) or move onto step #2 of planning her hen party.

If she says no, that’s okay. Not everything has to be a surprise (but you can still sneak the odd one in here and there). Follow these tips, maintain her trust and keep your gal pal in the loop. It’s her hen party, after all – AKA HER day.



Strippers? Extreme sports? Aunty Tracey? Check whether the bride has ANY fears and squash them quick. No one wants to worry – especially when it’s their own hen party!


How much can you (the hens) afford to spend? We’re talking both money AND time. Remember, the wedding alone is a costly affair – that costs time (and money)!


On that note, what’s important to the bride? Something low-key and budget-friendly like CANVAS or an amazing trip abroad that’ll be as memorable as the big day itself?


“Hen” didn’t always refer to a female chicken. Back in Middle English, “hen” was a blanket term for the female of any bird – sometimes even the female of any animal species. Similarly, the etymology of the word “stag” referred to the male of a species. Stag developed to refer to a male-only party, just as a hen party came to mean a party exclusively for females.

Step #2 – Know your audience – what hen party would they like?

Okay, whether or not the bride-to-be wants her hen party to be a surprise, this is one key element she MUST be included in. The bride might not have the same social circle as you. She might have a diverse group from different parts of her life. And you don’t want to be responsible for isolating the older generations – or any guests for that matter. So we suggest reaching out to the bride and getting her to pen her ideal guest list, along with contact details. It’s well worth asking her to order the hens in order of attendance preference so you can favour the dates for them in particular. Some advice though – burn such a list after reading!

If need be, you can always split the hen party — come again? Yes, that’s right, SPLIT the hen party. It’s the polar opposite of a hen party, but you could hold a joint bridal shower.

With all this said and done, it’s likely you won’t nail down your final guest list – and that’s okay. People will drop in and out of the hen party (especially when faced with a global pandemic . . .) but it’s crucial you get an idea of the scale of the hen party you’re planning. It’s also worth considering the types of hens you need to accommodate. The bride might want her Mum and soon to be mother-in-law to come. Whilst we think they would feel comfortable at CANVAS all evening, we doubt her great-grandma would be up for a boozy weekend . . . For this reason, many people are opting to hold both a hen party and a bridal shower.


We’ve all seen Bridesmaids and The Hangover. No one should risk the brides big day for a stag or hen party. Plan the event before a month or more before the wedding.


Communication is key. Take to WhatsApp, brainstorm ideas, propose dates and iron out the budget and responsibilities. By staying connected, everyone has plenty of notice!


Most hen parties include a variety of ladies in different circumstances. Not everyone is young, free, single – or loaded! Consider splitting the hen party to keep everyone happy.


A hen party isn’t the worldwide term for such an event. In Australia, it’s a buck and hen party. Alternatively, America calls them a bachelor and bachelorette party, respectively. In South Africa, it’s common for women to gather and hold “The Kitchen Tea”, where they’ll bring gifts destined for the bride-to-be’s new kitchen.

Step #3 – Hatching the hen party of a lifetime

So, steps one and two? Yeah, they were just the warm-up. Now, we know we gave the option to include the bride-to-be but we had our fingers crossed. Let her know the absolute basics. At this point, you have her nearest and dearest on speed dial. All the bride should know is the time, the place and what she needs to bring. She’ll also need to know whether or not you’ve organised transportation for her and the rest of the hen party. It’d be somewhat awkward if you’d planned an amazing night in CANVAS but forgot the limo!

CANVAS is calling. Crack out the Prosecco and light up the night.

When it comes to hatching a hen party, we recommend one thing: be original. If you really want this hen party to stand the test of time, do something more unusual. Something themed around the bride-to-be. Sure, keep everyone entertained and relaxed in equal measure. You can do so in a venue like CANVAS. We’re optimal for offering the best of both worlds. Our venue regularly stages tribute acts, live bands, DJs and celebrity guests. We also have a Live Lounge, Cocktail Bar and Green Room ripe for hire.


Bournemouth is brilliant for hosting both stag and hen parties alike. With local hotels, houses and apartments on hand, it’s perfect for a weekend getaway by the beach.


Be open and honest with the budget. Let the hen party know when to pay their share so you don’t get bundled with the bill. Especially as you’re all chipping in for the bride too!


It’s far too easy to forget the finer things. We’re talking personalised PJs, matching t-shirts – ANYTHING that’ll make you bond as a group of friends and family.


In Canada, there’s such a thing as a stag and doe party or a “sten” party. This fuses the stag and hen party and includes both men and women. However, the main objective of the stag and doe party is to raise funds to pay for the couple’s wedding or honeymoon.

What’s the difference between a hen party and a bridal shower?


Yes, as we mentioned in step two you can always split your hen party and host a bridal shower that accompanies your hen party. It might sound like more work, but it can actually ease tensions – if carried off correctly. But what is a bridal shower, and how is it the polar opposite of a hen party? We’ll break it down below but just remember . . . whether you opt to host a bridal shower and a hen party – or just a hen party – CANVAS is perfectly equipped to host your bride-to-be’s big night out on the town.


Hen Party

We all know the general vibe of a hen party – right? Big, bold and brash, a hen night is practically heaving with childish, carefree fun. It can also be pretty naughty, what with all the anatomically-correct hen night accessories . . . and why not? This is the bride-to-be’s final night of freedom with her friends. It’s a time for her to let her hair down without a care in the world (before all the wedding nerves and stress kick in, that is).

Bridal Shower

On the other side of the coin is the bridal shower. This is a more refined and PG-13 alternative to the hen. Sure, it might not sound as fun as a party, but bridal showers are perfect for getting together with those who don’t want a big night out. It’s all about creating a calm and relaxed atmosphere for the bride-to-be to spend quality time with everyone. Particularly those of an older generation or who advocate certain activities.


Hen Party

Typically, hens pay for themselves and chip in for the bride (who has a wedding to pay for, after all). Be warned: the price tag can be a MAJOR disadvantage for certain hens as the number of events can warp and spiral out of control. With this said, gifts tend to equate to party favours – essentially goodie bags filled with novelty items.

Bridal Shower

Unlike the hen party, bridal showers are considered the more cost-effective option. Typically hosted at the bride-to-be’s family home, food and drink are catered in-house, and there are no extravagant events. However, unlike the hen party, guests are expected to “shower” the bride-to-be in gifts.

The Verdict

Whilst they both celebrate the same thing, there’s clearly a big difference between a hen party and a bridal shower. While a hen party is big and brash, a hen shower is classy, elegant and PG-rated. However, if the bride-to-be, had the option, we’d wager they’d want both! And who can blame them? One’s more event-based, whereas the other is more gift-giving. Yet, CANVAS can attest that memories aren’t often made from physical objects – they’re formed of experiences. Yes, a bridal shower is an experience – but it’s gift-orientated. A party, on the other hand, is you and your mate’s loving life and honouring each other’s friendship.

Which would you rather?


Live Lounge

We go loud and late every weekend.

The stage is set for a medley of world-class artists to engage in an intimate live music experience. Enjoy our immersive lighting and vibrant atmosphere, and party all night long in our award-winning live lounge. Your experience can be made all the more personal with our venue’s four large private seated booths. Looking to host a great hen party? We pride ourselves on our enviable and budget-friendly range of buffet and canapé options.


Cocktail Bar

Featuring a spectacular selection of spirit.

With a mind-blowing array of whiskey, rum and gins, we host the best hen parties in Bournemouth with some of the best concoctions known to mixology. Alongside an assortment of champagne, wine and cocktail offerings, you can relax, unwind and get ready for a good time at Canvas. With a capacity of approximately 100 standing and 45 seated, it can open up into the Live Lounge should your party require any additional space.


The Green Room

Shh! This is the latest addition to Canvas.

Waltz into a world of intrigue and step into the soles of flappers or clubmen back in the days of prohibition America. Hidden away from the rest of Canvas, this luxury speakeasy evokes insatiable feelings that we Brits simply can’t resist. So why not revisit the roaring twenties with over 50 gins locked away just for you and your party. In addition to this, if you’re looking to stage a hen party, we serve up cocktails, canapés and a brilliant buffet too.

Hen Party

We’re the perfect choice for your party in Bournemouth


Open Friday and Saturday nights, we go loud and late every weekend.

Located in Bournemouth’s Soho Quarter and known as “Bournemouth’s award-winning loft bar and live lounge” Canvas is the place to be. Our venue sports a huge emphasis on showcasing high-quality live acts and dynamic DJs. This, mixed with our award-winning bartenders, incredible cocktails and artisan décor, gives us our winning formula. Please use our contact form below if you want to book a hen party.

Get in touch. Canvas is calling.



Best venue to open in Bournemouth in years. Love the atmosphere , food and music. The coolest decor . It’s like being in a New York loft apartment . It’s the sort of place that you like to spend time in because it envelops you and makes you feel good, you don’t want to leave!! Love it

Absolutely loved this stylish, sophisticated new loft bar. The decor was chic and sexy, with great music and buzzing atmosphere!