How to Plan a Hen Party Your Bride-to-be Will Remember Forever
Planning a hen party can be exciting and also pretty stressful!
If you’ve been put in charge of organising the hen do, you probably already know you’re in for a fair bit of work! To many, a hen party just seems like a great time to get together and celebrate a person’s upcoming nuptials. But look behind the scenes and you’ll find a lot of time and energy has to go in to making it just right. The hen party planner has got to get all the bride’s family and friends together at the right time and in the right place and choose activities that everyone (or at least almost everyone) will enjoy!
Whether you’ve planned one before, or it’s your first time, there are guidelines you can follow to make the organisation go more smoothly…
Here are 10 key steps to planning a hen party the bride will remember forever (…and for all the right reasons!)
1. Talk to the Bride
If the bride-to-be has put you in charge of hen party planning then, congratulations! You’ve been given a very important task. The first step is simple… Find out what the bride-to-be wants out of her hen do! If she wants to keep it a surprise then this may be a bit tricky, but there are at least a few questions you need to ask to make sure you’re on the right track to planning the perfect party.
Consider asking some of the following questions…
- Are you going to have the party here or abroad?
- Is there a defined budget and should you set one?
- Is there anything that is definitely off the list (like bungee jumping for example?)
- Is there any place that the bride loves or has always wanted to go?
- What is the most important thing for the bride to get out of the party?
2. Make Up the Invite List
You need to work out with the bride how many people are going to be coming to the party and who she wants to invite. When you first work out the number, it’s best not to see it as the actual number but more as a general guide. As with any party, there will likely be lots of changes ahead.
There is a lot that comes into play when it comes to coordinating a hen do, and not everyone will be able to commit to the same date, or the same budget, or even activities. This is just a good time to get a rough estimate and make sure that everyone that the bride really wants to be at her hen do (the VIPs if you will) is able to come.
3. Start Working Out Dates
This can be one of the most difficult parts of a hen party’s organisation. The best place to start is to confirm with the bride what dates they are 100% able to do. Without a bride, there’s no party obviously! The more date options you have from her the better, as you can then ask the other invitees who can go on what dates and work out which one is going to be the most well attended.
This is where that VIP list will come into good use too, because you can check which dates they are all able to come and narrow it down to just those ones.
4. Set Up a Group Chat
Whether you do it through WhatsApp, Facebook, or another messaging service, getting everyone together in one digital place to arrange details will keep things from going too awry. Set up your group chat and then post all the date and time information there from now on. This will make it easier to keep track of the party list.
Give information about the budget you’re working to as well, and let people take some time to decide whether they can make it and/or afford it. If someone is unable to attend strike them off your list (but not out of the group!) and keep track of who has said what.
5. Plan the Party
One of the best parts of arranging a hen party comes when you’re deciding what you are actually going to do! If the bride has given you a location, then you’re set! But if not, you could do a poll of your group chat members and let them help you pick.
Before you ask them though, do your research and come up with a few options to give them otherwise you might end up with 20 different locations! Once you’ve got the place sorted, start thinking about the activities. If you’re going to a city or heading out into the country that will narrow down your choices. Think about the guest list too. Does anyone have any limitations, such as mobility issues? Or is anyone pregnant or unable to do a certain activity for another reason?
There are so many exciting possibilities for a hen party, but don’t get overwhelmed! Make a list of your top ideas and check which ones are truly practical and feasible. Don’t ask for advice from all the people attending as working to multiple people’s opinions will just confuse things and cause extra headaches for you. Just make sure the most important people are happy.
6. Finalise and Confirm the Details
You’ve got your plan in place and it’s within budget and available to do on the day that you have planned it. Now you can go to the other hens and let them know all the final details. When you do this, it is quite likely that there will be some people that drop out. Give people a chance to do this if they need to, then make sure it is clear to everyone still coming that you will now be confirming the booking and who is on the list.
If you’re going away for a weekend for the hen party, make sure everyone knows the location and consider transport. If people are coming from similar places you might be able to car share, or even hire a bus. If people are coming from all over the place then everyone arranging their own transportation might be best.
If you are sorting all the transport from A to B make sure you add that to your costs and that you’ve adequately budgeted for it. This will save any confusion later on.
7. Get the Money
This can be the hardest part of throwing a hen party, because collecting money from people, whether friends or mere acquaintances, can be stressful. Make it easier by letting all the people who have confirmed that they are attending know what they have to pay and that they will need to pay by a certain date. Make it easier for them by privately sharing your payment details. Use BACs transfers or set up a Paypal.me link that will make it nice and quick for you to receive the money from them.
Prepare yourself for a few late payers as this always happens. Don’t worry! You’ll almost always get your money. A great tip is to set a payment date earlier than when the hens actually have to pay. This way you’re more likely to have the necessary cash in time to make all the bookings. If you need to pay for some things on the day. Organise the cash and have funds in labelled folders ready for you use hand over when necessary.
8. Work on the Smaller Details
With everything really important booked, now’s the time to start thinking about the fun little additions you can make to the day. Whether it’s researching hen party games, searching for hen party accessories, getting hen party t-shirts or sashes created, or setting up the decorations for the hen house, there are lots of small things you can do to make the day really memorable.
Creating party packs can be a great ice breaker and it shows to the bride you’ve been thinking about those extra special touches. Include things that people might need for planned activities and fun stuff for during the day, such as party games or random dressing up items. You could even put together a package for the day after (from painkillers and sweets to a bottle of water and fruit, depending on your crowd!)
9. Make Final Contact
A week before the hen party, make sure you check in with everyone to confirm what’s going on, what you’ve organised, and that everyone has got the details on timing and locations of plans.
It’s also a good idea to give out your contact details as an emergency contact in case anyone is unable to make it at the last minute or someone gets lost on the way to the hen do.
10. Time to Party
When the party arrives, you’ll need to prepare to look after both the brides and the guests! You will be the contact for anyone who gets lost or needs help at any point, you’ll need to lead the others from venue to venue, and you’ll be in charge of any money and will need to make sure everyone is having a good time.
Just make sure you take a bit of time out to chill and enjoy the fantastic party you’ve put on!