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What's a Hen Party?

Average: 3.8 (10 votes)

In England, it is custom for the bride to have a 'Hen-do' and the man to have a 'stag-do'.

It just happens that I am going to my first hen party this weekend!

Read the article about hen and stag do's and try and fit the vocabulary in the correct gaps.

Have you ever been to a hen or stag do? How did it go? Let us know!

Lesson by Caroline


A hen night/party - a party for women only, usually one held for a woman before she is married.

A stag night/party - a party for men only, usually one held for a man before he is married.

A do is causual British English for party. "We're having a do this weekend for my son's birthday."

Missing Words

  • Couple - two persons considered as joined together, as a married or boyfiend/girlfriend.
  • Extravagance - spending more money than you need to.
  • Stages - parts of an activity ; periods of development
  • Emerge - to appear; start.
  • Elaborate - containing a lot of careful detail or many detailed parts.
  • Expert - a person with a high level of knowledge.
  • Hotspots - popular and exciting places.

While stag parties have long been a pre-marital ritual, the hen do seems to be a more recent custom that began to _1_ in the mid-1980s.

Cities such as Brighton and Newcastle have become _2_ for gaggles of young women, shuttled around from pub to pub in rented limousines, dressed with veils and L-plates.

Wedding etiquette _3_ Peggy Post says in recent years, the tide has actually started turning in terms of what women want from a hen do.

Where once it was seen as a "last night of freedom", as life has become ever-more hectic for today's career-focused female, the hen night is instead about spending time with friends.

"It once had the reputation for being the one last fling but it's now more a last chance to bond with close friends before you're part of a _4_," she says.

As someone who has been organising stag and hen parties in the UK since 1997, Ian Lucas of Redseven is can comment on how the occasion has evolved. He says that there have been three noticeable _5_ in the development of the modern-day hen:

"What started off as a night with friends at home with a few bottles of wine in the 80s became a night on the town in the 90s and a weekend away in the 00s."

Over the years, as women have had more money through careers and marrying later, so hen parties have become increasingly _6_.

"Alcohol forms a massive part of these celebrations. It's the key thing, the socialising. But it's not like it used to be with groups of girls and guys turning up in a town to get drunk and fall down in the streets," says Mr Lucas.

Of course, there are always those who can, and will, push it to the limit in _7_. Before of her wedding to England footballer Wayne Rooney, Coleen McLoughlin spent £20,000 on a weekend with her friends.

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