How to Plan a Hen Party in 10 easy steps
If the task of organising your friends hen party has been placed in your capable hands, here are Your Wedding Concierge's 10 easy steps to ensure the hen party goes without a hitch! Your Wedding Concierge can be your hen planning partner if the thought of organising it is just too much and you can find out more about my hen party service here.
1. Number and nights
It is important that you ask the bride to make up the list of guests she wants at her hen party. Don't try to second guess who she may or may not want there as with so many brides to be there are lots of different groups of friends and family to factor in. Some brides to be will want everyone they know there, some may just want to keep it to their close circle of family or friends. It is important to consider how the group will gel together and ideally you want to keep the group relatively small as it makes it a lot easier to organise and manage. After the guest list has been sorted then decide whether or not the hen party should be one or two nights; there are pros and cons to each but it's best to consider everyone's situation before proceeding.
2. Do you want to go abroad?
Most brides want a hen party somewhere hot and sunny but this may not suit every bride to be as some brides prefer more local options. Get a few ideas from the bride and then get planning!
3. Set your budget
One of the most important elements but also the most contentious. Ask the bride what her budget is and she should be able to give you a rough idea of what her friends would be able to afford. It's best to get the budget set before beginning any research as it will help you narrow down the options.
4. Pick a hen party theme
Some brides will have a definite idea of a theme they would like, others don't have a clue but there are some great options. A glamping weekend with a flower crown workshop would potentially suit the more boho bride or if the bride has a particular hobby or skill this could become the theme; I've seen 80's dancers through to 1920's vintage so anything goes!
5. Chose a hen party location and pick suitable accommodation
Whether it's a stay cation or somewhere further afield, it is important to consider everyone's situation when choosing both the location and accommodation. People who have children or are pregnant may not want or be able to travel too far, so if these individuals are important to the bride then a more local option would be best. The accommodation you choose will ultimately come down to budget but there are loads of great options from large houses, B&Bs, hotels to glamping sites.
6. How far ahead of the wedding would you like it to be?
Traditionally hen or stag parties too place either the night before the wedding or the weekend before, but will so much planning and organising that goes into a modern wedding, this just isn't realistic. Some brides will choose their hen party to be months in advance of their wedding but for me I think it's best to be 6-8 weeks before the big day. This means that everyone has time to recover, but not so far in advance that everyone forgets about what a great time they had!
7. Start researching activities
There are so many factors that will go into deciding which activities to include and will be very much dependent on whether you're staying in the UK or travelling abroad. It is important to factor in those who are on the hen party as some may have particular likes or dislikes but also may not be able to take part in certain activities due to health issues for example. From adrenaline fuelled activities to more crafty options there's something for everyone out there!
8. Factor in food
One of the key points that often gets overlooked is food. When putting together the budget it is necessary to include (even if a rough estimate) of the costs for breakfast, lunch and dinner. On one of the hen parties I attended, the maid of honour had pre-booked the restaurants for dinner and had got a set amount agreed so we just transferred the money beforehand meaning that on the night of the dinners only one person had to pay. It definitely made life a lot easier!
9. Don't forget the extras
Whether flashing sashes and 'bride - to - be' glittery glasses or bunting, balloons and party bags are the added extras there are so many to choose from but one of my favourite options are these hangover kit bags which you can fill with all sorts of items such as a face mask, sweets and many other goodies.
10. Set Up a WhatsApp or Facebook Group
It's up to you at what time of the planning stages you set up a WhatsApp or Facebook Group but my recommendation would be to contact people once you have a rough plan(s) otherwise there will be too many people with too many ideas if you leave it to open, which can become extremely stressful to manage. It's a good idea to keep the groups going during and a little after the hen party so that everyone can share pictures from the event.