It can be so daunting planning a wedding and definitely confusing trying to work out the “language” of weddings and events! A common question we get asked is “What is the difference between a Bridal Shower, Kitchen Tea, Hen’s Night and Bachelorette Party?” followed by the confusion of which to have and who’s meant to be invited!
Let us help answer the ever-puzzling question and provide some clarity, as well as the added relief of suggested themes and colour palettes. One thing that all of these pre-wedding occasions have in common is; the maid of honour and bridesmaids traditionally organise and host these events, so you can take a deep breath and put your feet up.
A lot of these events have evolved over time and use to be held 2-3 weeks prior to the wedding and would be female guests only. These days we are seeing the pre-wedding events being moved to around 4-8 weeks prior to the wedding to minimise stress and space out the festivities. There has also been a shift in the guest list to now include any close male friends as opposed to being strictly ladies business.
Bridal Shower vs Kitchen Tea so what is the difference?!?!
Bridal Showers and Kitchen Teas are very similar daytime events with only minor conceptual differences. The main difference between them is the origin; Bridal Showers are more common in Belgium, Netherlands, US, UK and other parts of Europe whereas Kitchen Teas are local to Australia and New Zealand.
Geography aside, Bridal Showers are a time to “shower” the bride in gifts in order to spoil her with something for the bedroom, kitchen or other luxurious gifts. However, at a Kitchen Tea, it is customary to bring a gift specifically for the kitchen such as a small electrical appliance, modern cooking gadgets, perhaps even kitchen cleaning utensils.
Common practice for a Kitchen Tea is to ask the guests to bring along their favourite recipe, these are then all collated into a personal cookbook and gifted to the bride.
Suggested themes and colour palettes;
Bridal Shower: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Beachside Chic or Lace & Pearls. Think blues, aquas, beige, ivories or perhaps you would prefer soft yellows, pastel greens and other gelato-inspired colours.
Kitchen Tea: Alice in Wonderland’s Madhatter Tea Party, Classy Outdoor BBQ or Bake-Off! Think bright colours and mixture of patterns like polka dots, gingham or candy stripes
Hen’s Night vs. Bachelorette Party
This is purely another demographic confusion with Hen’s Nights being predominately known in Australia and New Zealand but also stretches as far as the UK and Ireland. Whereas Bachelorette parties are more of a US based concept and thanks to movies and television it has us all confused!
These events are sometimes in addition to a Bridal Shower or Kitchen Tea with the sole intention of having one last debaucherous night of single life before getting hitched. It is not expected to bring gifts but it is usual practice to participate in some rather raunchy games and there may be a surprise visit from a rather good looking “policeman” about a noise complaint.
More recently however, we have seen a transition from naughty nights out to classy days about! Some hostesses are swapping the massive night out for more sophisticated daytime events such as winery tours, glamping sleepovers, luxury spa days or interactive group classes.
Suggested themes and colour palettes;
Hen’s Night: Burlesque Boudoir, Sex and the City themed, Black and White Bold and Bright with solid patterns and pops of colour, perhaps even feathers. Think citrus colours like Marsala, orange, yellow and raspberry.
Bachelorette Party: Bachelorette TV Show with a ‘Red Rose’ theme, Las Vegas or Casino Royale. Think reds, golds, glamour and glitter
We hope we have tackled the confusion, relieved you of stress and inspired you (and mainly your bridesmaids) with some fun and interesting ideas!