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Elaborate hen dos are rivalling the cost of weddings for guests, according to a new report.

A survey for high street retailer Debenhams shows the average cost of attending a hen do in the UK has spiralled to £185 per person.

The fun farewell to the bride’s single-life increasingly involves an overnight or weekend stay, which requires a carefully thought out wardrobe for the hens, with often several new items of clothing.

Looking your best can also involve hair and beauty sessions, while food and drink and transport, all bump up the price.


An increasing trend to hold bachelorette parties abroad which can involve a whole new holiday wardrobe, flights and nights in a hotel, sees average costs rise to £680, according to the  study which surveyed over 1,100 shoppers.


In contrast the average cost of attending a wedding is estimated to be around £360 *, which  includes a nights accommodation, one new outfit, wedding present, drinks and transport.


The stag and hen party industry is worth an estimated £300million** a year and growing with many young professionals treating the events as a mini-holiday that lasts several days rather than just one night.


Over four out of ten (43%) of potential brides questioned in the survey said they gave friends at least three months warning of a hen party so they could plan ahead and a quarter (24%) provided more than six months notice of the celebrations.


Two thirds of all women invited to pre-nuptual knees up said they would start saving well in  advance in order to afford the occasion and look to buy suitable outfits often taking advantage of sale. Over three quarters (78%) said they would buy something new to wear.


Personal stylist, Alain Mehada of Debenhams said: "We have seen a steady increase in       enquiries from customers wanting help purchasing new outfits for hen parties, weekends and trips abroad. Often the group of invited women may not all have seen each other for a few   years and it is natural that they want to look their best.

“Planning and shopping ahead is the key to getting the most for your money. Using a free    personal shopping service like ours can be a huge help in sticking to a budget and gaining   expert advice on which outfits will flatter your figure and give you confidence at an event like a hen party.”


Average cost of attending a hen party abroad

Flights/train tickets to destination


Hotel accommodation for three nights


Toiletries/hair and beauty treatments/fake     tan


Food and drink


New clothes/accessories for the trip


Taxis to and from hotel





Average cost of attending a hen party in the UK.

Travel/car fuel/train/bus/taxi/limo


Cost of organised activity or spa day


Food and drink


New outfit for the evening





The term "hen party" dates back to the 1800s and signified a gathering of women, but there was no link with weddings. Writer George Monger wrote about the pre-wedding customs prevalent in industry in 1971, with some obvious parallels to the hen party culture we see today. On a female employees last day of work before the wedding she would be dressed up in a coat or veil to look like a parody of a bride, then paraded around the factory to be congratulated.

However, it was not until 1976 that the Times newspaper first used the phrase “hen party” in the modern-day sense. It was in a news report about a male stripper who was fined by Leicester Crown Court for acting in "a lewd, obscene and disgusting manner".


Debenhams is a leading international, multi-channel brand with a proud British heritage which trades out of 240 stores across 28 countries. Debenhams gives its customers around the world a unique, differentiated and exclusive mix of own brands, international brands and concessions. In the UK, Debenhams has a top four market share in womenswear and menswear and a top ten share in childrenswear. It leads the market in premium health and beauty. Debenhams is the eleventh biggest UK online retailer by traffic volume and in March 2013 was awarded “International Growth Initiative of the Year” and “The Retail Technology Initiative of the year for Endless Aisle” at the Oracle Retail Week Awards. Debenhams has been investing in British design for 20 years through its exclusive Designers at Debenhams portfolio of brands. Current designers include Jeff Banks, Jasper Conran, FrostFrench, Henry Holland, Betty Jackson, Jonathan Kelsey, Ben de Lisi, Julien Macdonald, Jane Packer, Jenny Packham, Pearce Fionda, Stephen Jones, Preen, Janet Reger, John Rocha, Jonathan Saunders, Marios Schwab, Ashley Thomas, Eric Van Peterson and Matthew Williamson.


Notes to Editors
Online survey for Debenhams of 1118 UK adults aged 18 and over conducted April 2014.
*Survey by the Halifax
** Study by Teletext

For more information and images please contact:

Debenhams Press Office 020 3549 6420 /

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