Jo Karabin from hen’s night consultancy Pash Parties says hen’s weekends are becoming more popular as they provide the bride-to-be with an opportunity to get away and really reconnect with her girlfriends. “Women are so caught up in life and work, and once they’re in a relationship they tend to do a lot of couple things, so it gives them an excuse to go away with the girls for the whole weekend,” she says. More time with the girls also means more fun to be had — whether it’s receiving group beauty treatments, dining out for lunch and dinner or catching some risqué entertainment after dark.
Hen’s weekends can happen within close proximity to home. “It’s about removing yourself from the everyday,” says Jo. While Melbourne, the Gold Coast, the South Coast or the Hunter Valley are all attractive options, many hens choose to stay in Sydney. “Some women stay in a hotel in the city they live in; it’s just about going somewhere new over the weekend,” she says. Jo recommends organising it early and making sure it’s not too over the top. “You don’t want to let things get out of control; it’s just about having fun,” she says.
◊ High tea: Treat yourself and the girls to an elegant high tea, with or without champagne. The Loft high tea at Darling Harbour offers a traditional three-tiered platter of savoury canapés and sweet petite fours accompanied by T2 tea. There are even tea-infused cocktails on offer. Visit www.theloftsydney.com
◊ Girls’ picnic: Bask in the sun while you lunch the afternoon away at The Winery in Surry Hills. Every Saturday and Sunday, The Winery hosts a Girls’ Picnic, which includes a delectable mix of cheeses, salads, petite rolls, quiche, sweets, seasonal fruits and refreshing drinks. Visit www.thewinerybygazebo.com.au
◊ A day at the races: Get dressed up for a relaxing day at the gallops. The combination of bets and bubbly is bound to give you a day of laughs and memories. Visit www.randwickraces.com.au/festivals
◊ Botox brunch: It’s not the most orthodox of girls’ days out, but it could be one for the cosmetic-surgery inclined. Sydney concierge service More the Merrier offers this unusual experience, beginning with a Botox session at a licensed cosmetic surgeon in Paddington and followed by bubbly and lunch at a Paddington restaurant of your choice. Visit www.morethemerrier.com.au
◊ Burlesque show: Experience El Circo, a unique dinner and theatre event at Slide in Darlinghurst. El Circo combines a nine-course degustation menu with nine spectacular circus acts every Saturday night and selected Friday nights. Visit www.slide.com.au
◊ Karaoke: Sing your heart out after dinner at a restaurant/karaoke bar. Mizuya Japanese Restaurant and Karaoke Bar has 24 luxurious private rooms where you can dine and drink while you belt out your favourite ballads. Visit www.mizuya.com.au
◊ Burlesque dance: If you’re feeling a little daring, nightclubs Kit and Kaboodle and Cargo bar offer burlesque dance lessons. Learn a new routine and enjoy cocktails on arrival, champagne and canapés. Contact Cargo email@example.com or Kit & Kaboodle firstname.lastname@example.org
◊ Breakfast: Wash away any negative aftereffects of the night before with a coffee and killer French toast by the beach. The Bathers Pavilion Cafe in Balmoral is the perfect place for girls to indulge after a night out. Visit www.batherspavilion.com.au
◊ Pamper packages: Relax, revive and rejuvenate the morning after your night out with a custom-designed pamper package. Pampered Hens offers a range of options, from beauty and holistic treatments to weekend-long retreats. Visit www.pamperedhens.com.au
◊ Yum Cha: Join the queue at one of Sydney’s yum cha palaces for a feast of steamed morsels — the perfect morningafter brunch. The Eight in Haymarket is leading the charge of popular yum cha restaurants in Sydney at the moment. Visit www.theeightrestaurant.com.au
Weekend away ideas
◊ Blue Mountains: Teeming with scenic walking tracks, cosy cafes and wellness retreats, and just a short drive from Sydney, Blue Mountains is the ultimate weekendaway destination. Spend a relaxing day with the girls at Lilianfels Resort and Spa followed by dinner at Solitary Restaurant, which is perched on the edge of a cliff. Visit www.bluemts.com.au
◊ South Coast: Go “glamping” with the girls at Paperbark Camp in Jervis Bay. Glamping is luxury camping, so you can enjoy the pleasures of being close to nature with the comfort of a good bed, your own bathroom and fine food. Visit www.paperbarkcamp. com.au
◊ Hunter Valley: Take a private wine tour during the day and then have dinner and drinks at the very “Sydney” Goldfish bar in Pokolbin. Stay overnight in a beautiful villa at The Crown Plaza, surrounded by a lush golf course, and recover with a first-class breakfast at the award-winning restaurant Margan in the town of Broke. Visit www.winecountry.com.au
Follow me for a sneak peek into the whimsical world of weddings with lots of fashion features, inspiration boards, and wedding planning advice that will help you stay organised.
Follow me for lists of the best hotels, honeymoon destinations, attractions and travel essentials for couples planning their honeymoons and finding your ultimate romantic getaway.
DIY doesn’t mean cheap and tacky... I can offer you some expert tips to plan a memorable and classy wedding on a budget, while giving it a unique spin.
Follow me for a selection of Australia’s best caterers, discovering a variety of cuisines; the perfect wedding cake, the classiest cocktails, a range of wines, and creative wedding desserts.
From flowers and center pieces, to backdrops and accessories - I can offer some excellent tips for your wedding décor to make everything look amazing for your big day.
I’m here to recommend some amazing photography ideas for your big day, from lists of photographers and videographers to amazing images from the latest fashion shoots and so much more.
Complete Wedding magazine features the latest bridal news and products, inspiring real weddings and a complete range of fashion, beauty, reception and honeymoon ideas.