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A bridesmaid leads a tough life. Not only do they have to get up at 4am to prepare the gatecrashing games and forfeits, they also have to make sure all ang pows get collected at the wedding banquet and that feuding relatives don’t end up wandering to the same tables.
And then there’s the fact that you need to coordinate the perfect hen party for your soon-to-be-married friend’s last night of freedom. If money were no object, you could hire the Chippendales or, if the bride-to-be prefers a day of pampering and luxury, you could ship everyone off to that fancy beach villa holiday at Bali. But obviously it is, so here’s how to do hen’s night on a budget.
Tea party at a cafe
If your friend isn’t an alcoholic and wants her hen party to consist of a resplendent brunch, skip the champagne brunches and hotel high tea buffets in favour of an afternoon tea session at a cafe. No matter how much you order from the a la carte menu, you’re likely to spend less than you would at a hotel buffet. (See also 7 cafes to check out for hipster, modern weddings.)
To make the session feel more like a “hen party”, you just have to dress up your reserved tables with balloons, feather boas or whatever your thing is. Some nice cafes that have long tables where you can seat a party of ten include:
- Rider’s Cafe (51 Fairways Drive) – The scenic setting and the presence of horses will make the event a little more special
- Merci Marcel (56 Eng Hoon St) – Enjoy a certain je ne sais quoi at this chic French cafe for a chill and stylish Sunday brunch affair with your girls.
- Cafe Melba (90 Goodman Road Block N #01-56 Goodman Arts Centre) – Don’t settle for a cafe in a shopping mall. The Goodman Arts Centre is quite idyllic and there’s a nice al fresco area with benches where you can squeeze in groups of up to 6
- PS Cafe (45 Ann Siang Road) – The multi-storey Ann Siang branch has one of the nicest cafe interiors, and you can always head down to Club Street for drinks afterwards
Lots of Singapore hen parties have taken place in KTV lounges. That’s because Asian-style KTV is often less about the singing than it is about getting drunk in a private room. Elsewhere on MoneySmart, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best and cheapest karaoke places in Singapore.
Reserve your room, order some booze, get ready to sing your lungs out and you’re in for a fun night. And then, head for a budget dim sum supper to fill your tummies after emptying your lungs out.
Five star hotels in Singapore are some of the world’s most expensive even when the cost is split between five bridesmaids. But a boutique or mid-range hotel can be quite affordable, especially if you get a discount on Agoda or a similar site. Here are some suggestions.
- Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay – This hotel’s main advantage is that it’s within walking distance of Clark Quay and Robertson Quay, so if you’re planning to party, it’s a good choice. Rooms aren’t super fashionable but are decent and comfortable enough for a good night rest after a crazy time on the dance floor.
- Village Hotel Sentosa – One of the more affordable hotels in Sentosa, this spanking new addition to the state of fun has an expansive infinity pool overlooking the sea. You can also head to Silosa or Tanjong beach for a picnic or an alfresco lunch at one of the many beach clubs. A good option if you want a fun and laid back hen’s weekend.
- Punggol Ranch Resort – If you’re looking for an unusual experience, there’s Punggol Ranch Resort. You get to ride horses at the Western-style ranch and enjoy a family room.
Spa session in Johor Bahru
Going to a spa is quite a popular hen’s night option, but you’re looking at spending at least $60 for an hour-long massage at a remotely luxurious spa (and by that, I mean you’re not at one of those “tui na” joints) like Healing Touch. For more elaborate and luxe experiences, you’re looking at shelling out over $200 per person.
The solution is to head to JB for a spa session. You can easily hob into a taxi once you cross customs. Spa Manja is just a few minutes away from customs by cab, and you can enjoy a 60 minute massage for less than 100 MYR (33.23 SGD). At prices like these, you can spa your brains out.
So, the boys have their strip clubs and Thai discos. If the bride-to-be is a party animal who’s expecting something racy on her last night of freedom, well, the good news is it is totally possible to party at Japanese-style host clubs here, and it can cost no more than a night out at a normal club if you’re careful. Basically, ladies sit down at private tables, and pretty boy hosts drink with and entertain them.
The trick to managing your expenses is to avoid hanging flower garlands excessively (as is done at Thai discos) on the hosts. Just like at Thai discos, hanging garlands is not obligatory, so if you’re a thick skinned bunch of bridesmaids you can get away with paying only for your drinks, which should cost no more than they would at any club in Singapore.
Good news for the ladies in this department. There are many bars and clubs in Singapore that offers free entry AND drinks to cover your fun night out. Here are a few of the latest ones you can check out with your girls.
- 36 – Had fun at the clubs of Gangnam or Hongdae during your trip to Seoul? Now you can have that experience at Singapore's first Korean-themed dance club, 36. Time to knock back on those soju bombs!
- WAN Singapore – Or, if you're more into a Hong Kong-esque kind of clubbing night scene, then WAN is the place to be at. Best of all? Ladies get in free as long as you register on their guest list beforehand.
- Marquee Singapore – A Ferris wheel, 3-Storey slides and just about the biggest nightclub in Singapore. Need we say more? It's not the cheapest but it is definitely worth a visit if you haven't been.
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