Planning a hen do is a task that usually befalls the bridesmaids and maid of honour. Whether at home or away, this can be a complicated task! So here are some helpful tips to assist you on planning the best possible time for the bride to be!
One: The Brides Wishes. This is the ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL point to remember. This is a day/night/weekend for THE BRIDE to celebrate with her best girlies. You need to establish by having a conversation with the bride roughly what she expects. Not all brides want to go the naughty route, and not all of them want to go for anything too relaxed like a spa day either. FIND OUT HER EXPECTATIONS (without letting her plan it for you) and you will be well on your way.
Two: The Guest List. This will be the one and only full task you should be giving to the bride. You need to know who she wants to invite. One of my top tips, is get the bride to open a private Facebook event and add all the guests, and set the bridesmaids as “admin” on the group, and then get the bride to leave the event, so that she cannot access any of the fun planning stuff! Do take note though – find out from the Bride if any of the guests she wants to invite are NOT on Facebook as you will have to find a way to contact those separately.
Three: The Date. If you are organising a large group of people, this may be difficult. It is a good idea to get a couple of dates from the bride and the bridal party that fits best, and then put up a “poll” on the FB event to see which of those dates sort the rest of the attendees to the Hen Do.
Four: The Budget. Possibly one of the most awkward topics to deal with. There will be people of varying incomes on the Hen Do. Be aware of people’s limitations. It will probably not be possible to make EVERYONE happy, but you have to be prepared to try.
Five: The Prep. Once you have the general details mapped out in your mind, then you have to do the serious stuff. Research into transportation to your destination, whether nearby or abroad, holidays, restaurants, spas etc. Make sure that it is all BOOKABLE on the dates you require, and get deposits and confirmations from people upfront before paying. You need to make sure that you are not out of pocket for people who are indecisive, which always happens.
Six: The Fun. Once all the serious stuff is out of the way, then you have the fun parts of the planning to deal with! It is advisable to make a list of what needs doing. Who needs to buy or make what decor, who is planning party games, who is making play-lists if applicable, who is bringing useful things for the evening (e.g plasters for sore feet after dancing the night away!) Don’t try and do it all yourself, delegate amongst the bridal party, as all working together will make it a lot easier to handle.
Seven: The Surprise. The fun part. A lot of the activities for the evening will be a surprise to the Bride. Take tissues just in case of waterworks! Go with the flow. If you are a perfectionist like myself, it may be hard to let go if your plan for the do starts to go off the rails, but there may be some things that the Bride likes more than others. You have to remember, that all your good work has been in order to make HER happy and smiley.
Eight: A Gift. Not all Hen parties do this, but I do feel like it is a nice touch, if all the hens get together or arrange a gift for the Bride, with messages from them all on there. Whether this is a signed picture after the do is over, or some other memento to give the Bride on the evening itself.
Nine: The Morning After. Consider the “hangover” from the event (either caused by alcohol, or just the emotions!) Whether you are gone for a whole weekend or longer, or just for an evening, it may be worthwhile putting together “care-packs” for your fellow hens. Think Paracetamol, Sunglasses, Make-Up Wipes, Water. It may also be a nice gesture, to put a small memento of the hen do in for the guests, maybe something that goes along with the “theme” of the evening, if you had one.
Ten: The Pat on the Back. Remember, that after all the effort you put in to planning the Hen Do for the Bride and guests, that you were picked by the Bride for a reason. You are her friend, and she appreciates what you have done to make her Hen Do amazing!
What other advice would you give to help plan a Hen do? What made the last Hen Do you attended great?