Planning a hen do but not sure where to start? Here are my 10 top tips for organising a hen do!
Ask The Bride
Ask the Bride what it is that she wants for her hen do. Does she want to go to somewhere hot and sunny for a week or to a country house for the weekend? Maybe she just wants a low key hen do with a meal and night out in the local town or an afternoon tea in a posh hotel? While she doesn’t need to know every teeny tiny detail of the plans make sure you plan a hen do that that she will love. If the Bride is someone who loves to be pampered at a spa don’t go booking a Sky Diving experience, even if it does sound like a lot of fun!!
Make A Guest List
Make up a list of all the people that the bride wants to invite to the hen do. While not everyone will be able to attend it gives you a rough idea of numbers on what you are booking for. Also it will mean that you won’t miss out on the people she would like there the most like Great Auntie Mabel or her friend at work that you have never met.
Save The Date
Decide on a date for the hen do which is normally at least two weeks in advance, this gives the Bride time to recover and allows her to complete all the last minute preparations in the run up to her wedding day. It also makes it easier when looking at venues, activities, etc as you know if they will be available on those dates. Remember and have a date for the guests to RSVP otherwise you will be chasing numbers for ages.
Now that you know how many people will be coming and have a date in mind it’s time to find somewhere to hold the hen do. Places do get booked up quite quickly especially over the Summer months so you may need to act fast if you find something suitable. Whether it’s a hotel, B&B, serviced apartment or converted barn make sure it has enough beds for everyone. No one wants to wake up hungover in a sleeping bag on the floor!
Don’t forget about the travel too, if you are renting a house for the weekend think about transport there, will people take their own cars or do you need to hire a minibus. If you are staying local will you be needing to book taxis to take you to the planned activities, at least this way it keeps everyone together.
Set A Budget
Depending on what you have planned the budget is going to vary greatly. A hen do abroad may mean that less people will attend due to costs, childcare, holiday allowance at work, etc. Set a realistic budget on how much the hen do is likely to cost; include travel and accommodation if required, food, drinks, activities, etc plus a little bit extra for anything unexpected. You don’t want to turn round nearer the time and say “Soz Gemma, I didn’t add in the cost of the nibbles/Krug/unicorn so you need to pay an extra £156 each!” Also be transparent on how much things are and give a breakdown of costs so the hens know exactly what is included in the price.
Set Up A Facebook Event or WhatsApp Group
Make it easy on yourself and add all the hens to a private Facebook page or WhatsApp group chat instead of emailing them individually. It will also mean that everything is in one place for checking details, requesting payment, sharing itinerary, etc. Also the apps show who have read the messages so there can be no storytelling that they haven’t received the message of when to RSVP/payment deadline/what to bring 😉.
There are plenty of activities you can do such as a cocktail masterclass, escape rooms, gin tasting, learning to pole dance or even white water rafting. While these may sound like fun remember and keep in mind who will be there as Great Auntie Mabel might not be up for a bit of pole dancing or there might be some pregnant hens so gin tasting will be out for them. Don’t forget to tell people if they need to take specific clothing with them for the planned activities, no one wants to ruin their good heels if you are going for a country walk!
Food & Drinks
If you are having your hen do somewhere that is self catering then you might want to consider a supermarket delivery of the food and drink to your location as this will save someone bringing it all with them. Also don’t forget to cater for people with food intolerances, vegans, vegetarians, you don’t want them to be growling at you all weekend due them being hangry! Remember to order soft drinks too for those that are driving, teetotal or pregnant. Also it might be worth buying some pretty paper cups instead of glasses to save on breakages as well as the washing up.
Pinterest is your friend here, there are lots of inspiration on there for your decor. You may decide to go for a classy pink and gold theme with bunting and confetti balloons or a vintage feel with either real china or paper plates and cake stands for an afternoon tea. Maybe you want to go down the traditional hen do route of L plates and willy straws but that theme is becoming less popular now. Don’t forget things like paper pom poms, table confetti, napkins, etc to co-ordinate with your theme.
The little extras such as party bags, guest books and photo booth kits are excellent ice breakers as not everyone will know each other there. You could add small bottles of wine or prosecco, sweets, a hangover recovery kit, name badges, shot glasses, etc to the party bags. Buy a photo booth kit, take selfies and create a hashtag for the hen do. You can find party bag items, hen do decorations, games and costumes at Last Night of Freedom where they have a huge selection for you to choose from.
Now that your hen do is organised don’t forget to relax and enjoy yourself!
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