Hen party planning seems like an uphill struggle — and it is — but we’re here to help. We’ve put together 13 steps to make sure you stay on the easiest path possible when creating the perfect personalised hen party for your soon-to-be-bride.
So, scroll on and start making the whole planning process easier.
- DO check details with the bride
If you’ve been reading our blogs, you’ll know there are countless ways you can celebrate a hen party. From dignified bridal showers to shameful nights out, few hen dos are the same. So, it’s crucial that you have a proper talk with your soon-to-be-bride about what she wants before you start your hen party planning.
Even a vague idea will do and of course, you can throw in a few surprises to keep it interesting for her. Just don’t centre it around Jägerbombs and strip poles, if she’s more of an afternoon tea and craft-making girl.
- DO ask for help
Hen party planning is honestly one of the most time-consuming events you’ll ever have to do. Asking for assistance is a must. Whether it’s someone not even on the hen party guestlist — like a parent — or a few of your fellow hens, dish out some tasks and ease the load.
Even having someone to check confirmations, book particular events or chase payments from the group will help. Creating a personalised hen party is tiring and stressful; but it’s also completely worth it when you see how happy it makes your bride-to-be.
- DON’T invite whoever you want
You’re probably thinking about who’s in and who’s out. Hopefully, you and the bride will be surfing the same wavelength when it comes to satisfactory hens on the guestlist, but make sure to check to be certain. This also helps you gauge the kind of hen party tone she’s going for without asking her outright (i.e. you can forget about organising a night of stripteases, flaming sambucas and podium dance offs if she wants her mum, aunts and grandmother there).
- DO sort out a budget
Always the big, annoying elephant in the room; asking how much people can afford is a task nobody wants. This is often the worst part of hen party planning, but once you’ve got your guest list sorted, you can usually make a good guess as to how much people will want to pay.
Young, single hens will likely have more disposable cash than those with families, but don’t be afraid to just send the overall cost to everyone for feedback once you have a plan. Might be worth doing this individually, just in case people feel uncomfortable saying they can't afford something.
- DO keep a spreadsheet
Hen party planning would be impossible without a trusty spreadsheet for guidance and reassurance. This will help you keep track of payments, transport and venues, so that you can chase the right people and book the correct activities with time to spare.
- DO make sure everyone is happy to join in
Even if you’re sure you know your bride and hens inside out, it’s always best to check if they’re happy with everything on the hen party agenda. Particularly important if you have daredevil stunts or cheeky outings planned.
Thinking up a unique and personalised hen party is fantastic and we’re sure the bride and other hens will love you for it, but you don’t want anyone feeling uncomfortable on the day and bringing the atmosphere down.
- DO set up a group chat to keep everyone in the loop
Whether it’s WhatsApp or good, old Facebook; get the hens — minus the bride-to-be — included in a group message. This takes away all the stress that you’ve forgotten to personally tell somebody about a price or change of time, and it gives the hens a chance to get to know each other before the big event.
- DO arrange fun games
Hen party games are godsends for breaking the ice and boosting party spirit. Within your hen party planning, make sure to include some good games to play at the hen do. Get them moving about with Kiss the Stud, or help everyone mingle with a round of Dare Cards. Of course, you’ll have to get these in advance, so it’s worth ordering them early in your hen party planning to make sure you don’t forget.
- DON’T forget a camera
You’ve spent so long making the perfect personalised hen party, you want everybody to remember it. Select a designated camerawoman (perhaps the one who drinks the least) and put her in charge of capturing the best and worst shots of the night. You could even make this into a special photo album for the bride afterwards.
- DON’T leave out the hen party favours!
With deposits, times and venues flying around, it’s easy to forget the little things that mean a lot. At some point in your hen party planning, make sure you arrange hen party favours for each guest.
Basically, these are goodie bags for grown-ups that can include anything from sweets, bubbles and water pistols, to make-up, whistles and shot glasses. Whatever you put in, they always help boost the party atmosphere, so don’t forget them.
- DO check transport for everyone
Never underestimate the pain of transport. You’ll probably need something that can fit a lot of people, so you have to make sure you book this in advance and let them know it’s a hen party — some taxi firms are funny about that.
Also, some of your hens might be coming from different parts of the country, so it’s nice to check that they’re OK sorting out their own transport, or if they need a hand.
- DON’T choose to leave out surprises
We might have panicked you with our ‘check details with the bride’/’make sure everyone is happy to join in’ statements earlier. Of course, we stand by this to ensure a smooth hen party planning process, but we’re not saying don't throw in a few surprises...
Unless she’s an unbearable control-freak — if she is, she’s probably reading this anyway — then she’s not going to want to know everything you've got in store.
Decorate the meeting venue with balloons, banners and table accessories before she arrives, or get everyone to wear fancy dress and surprise her with her own outfit to add some fun into one of her final nights of freedom.
- DON’T leave booking until the last minute and set firm deadlines
Whether it’s the car you’re arriving in or the hotel you’re staying at, make sure everything’s reserved way before to minimise your hen party planning stress levels. Many places need plenty of time to cater to large groups, so set clear deadlines for confirmations and payments with your hens — you don’t want to demand a big deposit with only a few days to pay it.