Planning the Hen Night
Years ago, it was traditional for the chief bridesmaid to organise a dinner party at her house, followed by the inevitable move to somewhere more lively. More recently, expensive holidays and weekends away are popular, but can be costly. Fundamentally, anything goes. If the bride opts for a night of uninhibited revelry rather than a quiet dinner party that is her choice.
The party is usually organised by the chief bridesmaid or close friend, with help from the bridesmaids and close friends. The bride should give a few hints about what she'd like from the occasion and supply a list of her friends and their contact details.
It doesn't have to be a surprise; some brides like to help plan proceedings. Either way, some unexpected elements should be included.
Only wedding guests should be invited; family invitations are a matter of personal choice. Often mothers who accept the invitation make a getaway after the more genteel part of the evening.
It is quite likely that many of the guests at a hen party won't have met before. The party should be an opportunity for the girls to get to know each other.
Inviting male friends is obviously not the traditional thing to do, but if the bride wants to include her best male friends, it is totally acceptable and her prerogative.