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Festival Hen Parties - our top picks

Paula McGarry

Since 1976 when the Times newspaper first formally referred to a 'hen party', the traditions, activities and style of the parties thrown for brides-to-be have been everchanging. From intimate dinners with our nearest and dearest girlfriends to elongated spa weekends and city break with scheduled activities; there has never been a time where choice has been available in such abundance. 

Stylist found that the average cost of attending a hen-do has reached £507 per person leaving a lot of women feeling stressed and pressured about the affordability. Looking past the price; coordinating dates, activities, travel, outfits, gifts, games and budgets is a hard task for any maid of honour and group of bridesmaids. 

The answer to solve these problems and satisfy not just the bride but everyone invited might come in the form of a festival. A natural haven for groups of friends, it seems like an obvious choice. The opportunity to dress up, experience a range of activities, dance, drink and have fun, travel and bond, are all very much available at a festival. In fact, it probably more readily available and cheaper to harness. 

When you consider how many people you know are planning or wanting to go to a festival anyway, combining a hen-party with something people genuinely want to do, is one of the easiest, fastest and most convincing ways to get people to commit financially without feeling 'put out'. 

It is also perfect for those that can't invest too much time. Most festivals have the option to purchase day tickets as opposed to weekend tickets, giving your guests control over when they come and go without missing out entirely. Added to this fact that some (not all, mind) festivals are relatively age-neutral means that your mother, aunties, and in-laws might even be keen to join in too, perhaps just not when it comes time to camp. 

And if you're worried that a festival hen party might get too rowdy, you can explore toned down versions that steer clear of the traditional expectations. Literary, film and cultural festivals can be found the world over with some of them taking place outside of the core summer months too. 

Tips for organising a festival hen party

Festivals all over the world are reaching peak attendance levels with some of the most popular ones selling out their first round of tickets in a matter of hours. What this means for you is you need to be quick. We suggest that you designate a few different people in the group to try buying tickets when they go online. Doing this will ensure that you can purchase enough tickets without exceeding the limit. It will also improve your chances of getting the tickets that you want. 

Entertainment is taken care of for you when you go to a festival but spending some time checking what extra activities are available isn't such a bad idea. Some festivals will have pre-bookable venues for food and drink, workshops and masterclasses that you might want to take part in.

Remember that everyone is there to have fun, but it is also about the bride. Try not to let the segmented nature of festivals split the group up if you don't need to be. Sticking together rather than slipping into a 'doing my own thing' attitude will ensure that the atmosphere is still very much 'hen-do' even if the setting is not. 

Most of the below festivals, you can camp or VIP camp if you want to make your hen weekend extra special.

 Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of


UK Festivals to consider:

Glastonbury - Pop & rock - ££ - Glamping available

Reading - Rock, Alternative, Metal, Hip-Hop, & Dance  - ££ - Pink Moon Camping (luxury camping)

Leeds - Rock, Alternative, Metal, Hip-Hop, & Dance  - £ - Glamping available

V festival - Pop - ££ - Glamping available

British Summertime - Pop & Hip-hop - £ - No Camping available

Wireless - R&B - £ - No Camping available

Isle of Wight - Rock & pop - ££ - Glamping available

Creamfields - Electronic dance - ££ - Glamping available

Download - Heavy metal‎, ‎rock‎ & ‎punk rock‎ - £ - Camping available, but not glamping

Lovebox - Dance - £ - No camping available, day festival, London location

SW4 - Dance - £ - No Camping available, day festival, London location

Port Elliott - All genres, from DJs to live bands! They also do workshops, a comedy tent, and wellbeing exercises, therefore, you'd have plenty to do and never get bored! This is for a 'smoother' hen festival. - £ - Glamping available 

Wilderness - Indie, soft rock & pop - ££ - Glamping available

All Points East - All genres! - £ - No Camping available

Shambala - Rock, pop & folk - £ - Glamping available

We Are FSTVL - Dance & EDM - ££ - Glamping available

Eastern Electrics - All genres! - ££ - No camping available, day festival, London location

 Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of


Top European Festivals:

Tomorrowland, Belgium - EDM - £££  - Glamping available, all about the production. - £££ - Glamping available 

Primavera Sound, Spain - Indie rock - ££ - No camping available

Roskilde, Denmark - All genres! - £ - Camping available 

Super Bock Super Rock, Portugal - All genres! - £ - Camping available 

Hellfest Open Air, France - Heavy Metal - £ - Camping available


 Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Our favourite Festivals further afield :

Coachella, California - Rock, indie, hip-hop, & dance. - Hippy vibe - £££ - Glamping available 

Pitchfork Music Festival, Chicago - Rock, indie rock, hip-hop - ££

The Governors Ball Music Festival, New York - electronic, hip-hop, indie, Americana, pop, & folk - ££ - No camping available 

Ultra Music Festival, Miami, Florida - Electronic dance & EDM - £££ - Glamping available 

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Best Bridal Underwear Brands

Paula McGarry

Within the theme of your wedding, you will likely be poring over the details of your stationery, flower arrangements, table dressing and of course, your bridal look. What you shouldn't overlook amongst all of this planning is your wedding lingerie. Sure enough, your choice will be determined in part by the design of your dress, but we have set out to make it easier to narrow down your selection of designers based on some favourite bridal styles. You can always slip into these for your honeymoon or for the wedding night!


Beautiful - Mae’s Sunday

 Images from

Images from

Mae’s Sunday is not interested in stealing the show when it comes to your bridal lingerie. It’s a brand that doesn’t need to flirt with trends or fanciful designs. Instead, it is simple, sensual and timeless. The small collection is convenient for taking away complicated considerations. Less choice in this area doesn’t mean that you don’t have more to peruse. Mae's Sunday rival their underwear collection with a breath-taking range of robes, slips and bodysuits made of beautiful silks, lace and beading that stands out amongst more well-known underwear brands. 

The Founders of Mae’s Sunday have made it a mission to see that each piece is handcrafted and meticulously thought out meaning it will look good and function well. Exclusivity is key here; you will only find Mae's Sunday in a handful of places in Europe given that very few are ‘in the know’ about this beautiful brand. 

Price range: From $80 

Stockists: Direct online, see website for further details of other stockists 



Romantic - For Love & Lemons

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Images from

If you’re looking for feminine touches and a full range of styles then 'For Love & Lemons' is the right place to start. Their brand is focused on delivering underwear to women that makes them feel confident and enhances their individuality. For you, this means that the option to experiment with more unusual bridal lingerie is available at reasonable prices. 

Traditionally, the design focus has been on lace. Recent collections are making use of their iconic, delicate looks but adding some more structured, strappy options into the mix. What we like in particular is that you can complement your bridal lingerie with their range of romantic nightwear and swimwear options for your honeymoon. 

For Love & Lemons will work particularly well for you if you don’t want to limit the underwear to a one-time usage. Many of their bralette styles can be worn day-to-day making them very versatile. It also gives you an excuse to indulge in a few options. 

Price range: From $72 

Stockists: Direct online, Selfridges, Spotted on Celeb, Topshop 


Seductive - Agent Provocateur

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Images from

Of all the brands that endeavour to create luxuriously seductive lingerie, we think that Agent Provocateur strikes the perfect note. 

Classic and seasonal styles abound with Agent Provocateur, and the more extensive range ensures that there will be a shape and form guaranteed to work underneath your dress. They currently have 15 styles online with the added benefit of mix and match options to suit your dress and body shape. 

Agent Provocateur understands the indulgence of selecting bridal lingerie and will work with you through personal shopping appointments and private fittings to make sure you have added confidence on your wedding day. 

The wearable nature of this brand means that you won’t miss out on wearing your bridal choices again in the future. You can just as quickly wear this underwear again on any special occasion, a beautiful memory of your wedding day from the confines of your boudoir. 

Price range: £55-495

Stockists: Direct online, Selfridges, Net-a-Porter, Numerous boutiques worldwide 


Bountiful - Adina Reay

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Images from

Although not strictly a bridal lingerie brand, Adina Reay provides excellent options for brides with voluptuous figures. Adina Reay's bras cater to women with fuller breasts and still feature delicate detailing and exciting designs. What makes this brand even better is that they do not compromise on the beauty of each item as the cup size increases to GG and beyond. 

Each piece is made in the UK and combines luxury materials and invisible engineering to provide reliable support which gives you added confidence when you are walking down the aisle. Adina Reay make use of a mix and match style, allowing you to select the most suitable choices and their range of vibrant colour options makes for a good solution for your honeymoon too. 

Price range: £50-130 

Stockists: Direct online, Harvey Nichols


Magical - Luna Mae London

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Image from

If you are seeking perfection and have the budget available, Luna Mae provide fully bespoke options for wedding lingerie. To say it isn’t cheap is an understatement but the result is pure magic. We especially liked that they discreetly monogram each piece with your initial and that in addition to your underwear set, they can also make bespoke robes for you to wear the morning of your wedding and every morning after that if you so wish. 

Bespoke fittings are by appointment only in their London boutique, an experience that is set to be memorable far after your wedding day. However, if getting to London isn’t an option, they will work with you to create your bespoke lingerie by taking your measurements over the phone or email. The quality of the craftsmanship and the intricacy of the design make this option one that you will fall in love with over and over again.

Having access to fully customisable options is perfect for brides who have a fixed idea of what they want without having to compromise with boutique designers or high-street brands. It also benefits brides that have particular sizing requirements or complicated dress designs that require more creative thinking and hand-tailored tinkering. 

Price range: From £360 

Stockists: Direct only (London boutique) 


The key to choosing the right lingerie for your wedding and honeymoon is finding something that makes you feel confident. Take time to try on your favourite options a couple of times ahead of buying and remember that your final choice doesn't necessarily need to work underneath your dress. There will be time to change into your special bridal lingerie later in the evening. 

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Best wedding venues in the south east of England

Paula McGarry

Spring is a beautiful time of the year associated with new beginnings making it one of the best times to say 'I do.' One of the most memorable parts of your wedding will be the venue. It impacts how many people you can have come to your big day, the atmosphere and of course, the many photos you will have taken. Out of the hundreds of stunning wedding venues across the UK, we have made a selection from the South East of England that we think are some of the best around. 


Aynhoe Park, Oxfordshire

Style: Blow the budget

Capacity: 150 people (ceremony), 300 people (reception) 

Average waiting list: up to 15 months

 Top left, top right, bottom right image courtesy of Aynehoe Park, bottom right image from Sanshine photogrpahy

Top left, top right, bottom right image courtesy of Aynehoe Park, bottom right image from Sanshine photogrpahy

Why we like it: This Oxfordshire property is truly unique. Interior details at this venue include unicorns and giraffes, baroque styled staircases and hidden cellars for the after-party. Aynhoe park has a list of over 150 recommended suppliers to make every single one of your wedding dreams come true. You have the option to hire the entire property, bedrooms and all, for the weekend and extras such as pre-wedding afternoon tea and butler service makes it a truly memorable event for everyone involved. 


Farbridge, Chichester

Capacity: 132 people (ceremony), 150 people (sit-down), 200 people (standing)

Average waiting list: 1 year 

Average cost of a wedding here: £25,000

Style: Rustic charm 


Why we like it: Farbridge has a 'middle of nowhere' feel to it given its rich green surroundings and idle renovated barns. In reality, you can get there easily from London, Brighton and Southampton. The wealth of gardens make for a beautiful cocktail reception setting that is well suited to the sunny, brisk days of Spring. Farbridge have in-house caterers to take care of your food requirements but what impressed us what that, unlike most venues, they don't charge corkage if you want to serve your own choice of wines. 


Greenacres Woodland Chiltern

Capacity: Up to 120 people

Average waiting list: None 

Average cost of a wedding here: £20,000

Style: Stripped back woodlands 

 Top left image from Hannah Duffy Photography, other three images courtesy of Greenacres Woodland

Top left image from Hannah Duffy Photography, other three images courtesy of Greenacres Woodland

Why we like it: Greenacres Woodland are experts at woodland weddings. These venues offer an alternative to extravagant weddings with their stripped back, close to nature approach. Even when inside at these places, you still feel connected to your surroundings which are mostly a blank canvas for you to make of what you will. Fairly lights, handmade decorations and boho-chic accessorising work tremendously here. The focus, as it is always should be on your wedding day, is on you and your husband. 


Petersham Nurseries, Surrey

Capacity: Minimum of 80 people, maximum of 140 people

Average waiting list: 12-18 months 

Average cost of a wedding here: £25,000 

Style: Secret Garden 

 Images courtesy of Petersham Nurseries

Images courtesy of Petersham Nurseries

Why we like it: The way Petersham Nurseries is laid out makes for organic intimacy between you and your guests. Even larger parties will feel close and connected at this venue. Being tucked away inside glasshouses also makes for a romantic setting come whatever the weather in Spring. Petersham Nurseries strikes the perfect balance between grown-up and whimsical, a secluded and secret setting that only you and your guests are part of, for your day at least. 


Somerley House

Capacity: 120 people (sit-down), 200 people (marquee) 

Average waiting list: 8 months 

Average cost of a wedding here: £37,000

Style: Romantic Country Manor 

 Top left image and bottom middle image courtesy of Somerley House, top right and bottom right image from Kittywshaw photography, bottom left from Anna Morgan 

Top left image and bottom middle image courtesy of Somerley House, top right and bottom right image from Kittywshaw photography, bottom left from Anna Morgan 

Why we like it: Somerley House has been the subject of many photographers and TV series over the years owing to the sheer beauty of it. It is unique in that it is a privately owned family estate and therefore flexibility in customising your wedding is wide open. Brides and Grooms at Somerley House are spoilt for choice when it comes to atmosphere and ambience. Whether it is the walled garden in the warmer Spring months or the luxurious surroundings of the main hall, everything about this venue is picture-perfect. 


With so many stunning venues to consider, your ultimate decision should stem from the feeling each place gives you. Once you have booked a venue and have a date secured, you can now send out those all important invitations - head over to our invitations page for inspiration. 

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