Have you been given the task of organising a hen party? Whether you’ve been a bridesmaid before, or this is your first time, planning someone else’s hen party can seem like a daunting task. But do not fear, like a magical fairy godmother, we’re here to help. When it comes to any part of wedding planning, it’s tricky to know what to do and when, but follow these simple steps and your friends will have one heck of a hen party!
First of all, here’s a few things not to do… Don’t get carried away and start planning your dream celebration. Remember it’s all about what the bride will enjoy. Don’t let too many cooks spoil the broth and get involved in decision making. Be confident and take control. That said, keep other hens in the loop, so they can make necessary preparations. Don’t blind-side the bride. If the hen party is a surprise, ensure she has enough information so she knows what type of clothes to pack and how long she’s going for. Do not become a glory seeker. Although this may be your time to shine and show the bride how special she is to you, don’t try too hard to show yourself a ‘better’ friend than the other hens - remember you’re team bride! Don’t over organise the fun. While it’s great to plan fun activities and bonding games, the hens will appreciate a little down time, so make sure the schedule is not too jam packed.
Now, here’s how you should plan an amazing hen party:
1. Names and numbers
Ask the bride to make a list of exactly who she wants to invite. This way you won’t forget about any cousins, colleagues or friends that you don’t know.
2. How long will you 'hen' for?
Next decide how long you’ll be celebrating for. Will this be a daytime do, one night or two? If you think some of the guests will clash a bit, you could always split the hen do into sections. For example, the spa time might be great for family and civilised friends, while cocktails in the town might be better left to the party girls.
3. Set a hen party date
It’s popular for hens to host their party 1-2 months before the wedding, although you can choose any day or weekend at least a couple of weeks before the wedding. Ensure you’ll have enough time to recuperate, and also enough notice for people to be able to attend. DO NOT plan the hen party for the night before the wedding!
4. Set your budget
Cash can be a deal breaker and affect how many hens accept your invitation. Make sure you set a realistic budget for everyone attending. If you’re going away and they’ll need to save up, make sure there are enough pay days between sending out the invitations and the hen party. If your guests have varying salaries, it might be tricky to find a balance for the budget. Splitting the celebration into sections could also mean that people could attend part of the event, if they can’t come for the whole thing. Also consider how and when you will collect payments. Allowing people to pay in instalments is a good idea, and this could be done with bank transfer or Paypal.
5. Location, location
Where you’ll celebrate will be largely determined by your budget. Do you want to stay local? Enjoy a weekend break elsewhere in the UK? Or soak up some sun abroad? Consider whether you want a city break or rural retreat. Make sure you consider all the guests work and family commitments if you’re planning a hen party further afield. Now do some research, and start looking for ‘top hen parties in the North East’ or ‘top hen party spa breaks in the UK’ etc.
6. Accommodating your hens
Make sure you pick suitable accommodation. Hotels and bed and breakfasts are convenient, but self-catering options can make the whole experience more intimate and personal. For example, you could go for an apartment in Durham that sleeps 6 people, or perhaps a private hot tub cottage at Wynyard Hall.
7. Keep hens in the loop
Once you have a few plans in place, share these with the other hens to see if they have anything to add. Remember, you won’t please everyone, so if in doubt, go with what the bride will like.
8. Order your personalised hen party T shirts
Add a personal touch to your hen celebrations with custom hen party T shirts. We have a range of pretty T shirt colours, elegant script fonts and flattering styles to choose from. The text can be fully customised by adding names, initials, the name of the bride or perhaps the date of the wedding.
8. Fabulous, fun activities
Keep your guests in mind to ensure the hen party activities are appropriate. There is a plethora of fun things to do, from cocktail making, bottomless brunch and cookery classes to comedy clubs, drag cabaret and sightseeing. You could go for a river cruise in Newcastle, afternoon tea at somewhere swanky like Rockliffe Hall or perhaps a visit to York races… Or perhaps something more creative like a floristry / flower crown workshop, nude life drawing or a candle making workshop? You can also arrange some hen party games for your hotel, apartment or cottage such as Prosecco pong, advice for the bride, a Mr and Mrs quiz, who’s who, bridal bingo, a cocktail quiz or bridal party dares.
9. Factor in food
Remember to keep your hens well fuelled! When making the first draft of your itinerary, don’t forget to include lunch, arrival snacks and dinner - and check for dietary requirements to avoid any embarrassing situations! That said, don’t over cater. It’s good practice to cover the cost of some food or drinks, or build this into the price per person.
10. The finishing touches
Make the hen party one to remember with fun little extras. Hen parties no longer have to be tacky, as there are plenty of luxury, stylish decorations on the market such as flower walls, balloon arches, metallic confetti and foil bunting. It’s nice to get sashes, pin badges and party bags to make your celebration more memorable, and you could even make a scrapbook or photo album for the bride to keep.
And finally, relax and have fun! Hen parties are all about enjoying the celebration, so enjoy yourself.