A message for all you Brides-to-be: don't miss out on one of the most exciting and fun ladies; nights of your pre-marital life. More importantly, don't miss out on the organisation either. It is important to have the perfect hen party, and although you may trust your Maid of Honour with your life, even she may miss a few details that you would have liked to include. Get planning your hen party in good time, but leave the logistics and stressful parts to your MOH and bridesmaids that's what they're there for!
You will play the part of the supervisor of affairs, and delegate roles to each of your helpers, in order to make this a less stressful event for yourself. Planning is key when organising any event, especially if there will be a lot of attendees. This way, with a checklist in hand, your bridesmaids and family members will know exactly what needs to be done, and you can just sit back, relax, and watch events unfold! There would be nothing worse than showing up to your own hen party, and thinking ‘what's this?’-make sure your hens know roughly (if not exactly) what you want, to avoid disappointment. There's always room for surprises, but some surprises aren't always welcomes with open arms.
Meet With Your MOH and Bridesmaids
If you don't mind your hens taking the planning into their own hands, then this is your opportunity to say so. If you'd prefer to have some say in the hen party preparation, then say so!
Whatever your stance may be, an initial meeting is a must, to avoid any crossed wires or confusion. For example, you might have your heart set on a hen weekend in Ibiza, but unless the rest of the party can afford to go, you might be building your hopes up. A first meeting is essential.
Decide on a Theme
You may want the typical, L-plates kind of hen-do. Alternatively, you might step outside the box, and opt for something a little more sophisticated, like a Hollywood icon or 1920s themed hen do.
You can leave it to the MOH, or you can choose a theme yourself, but bear in mind that ‘sophisticated; comes with a price tag, and that your hens will be restricted by their budgets. This is the purpose of such meetings, to decide what best fits with your desires and the budgets of others alike.
Set a Date For The Hen Party
This step goes hand-in-hand with steps 4 and 5. Decide on a Budget and Book the Venue. You can't really set the date for your hen before making sure your potential venue is available that night. Likewise, you can';t book the venue before making sure your hens are free. What's more, you can't choose a venue that';s unreasonably priced for your hens.
The best thing to do is to get the girls round one evening, and have a diary check. If hubby-to-be gets bored of the female company, send him off for a poker night with his friends; that will be a first! Circle all of the potential dates, then work around these, depending on the availability of the venue.
Choose a venue that will coincide with your theme, but also with your budget. This might take quite some time, so make sure you have a few phones on the go to enquire about room hire prices. This is a good excuse to have a catch up and a nibble with your hens too.
Decide On a Budget
Obviously, this will depend of the kind of night you're going for. If you do prefer the more sophisticated, cocktail night, you will need to consider costs of hiring a booth, costs of drinks, and possibility of free drinks (probably not all that likely in a cocktail bar). On the other hand, a club night is sure to have £1 shots offers and low cost entry fees, so this may be a more suitable option if the average hen budget is smaller.
If you'd like a hen party abroad, you will again need to think about costs, and give your hens enough time to save up. How far away is the venue? Will you be getting dropped off and picked up? Or is it in walking distance? Will you need to hire a minibus? Are you planning a spa weekend? You then need to take into account both spa costs and travel costs. These are the kinds of questions you need to be asking yourself when trying to figure out your budget.
You will also need to provide goodie bags for your hens. These commonly include mini gifts that can be used on the night, such as straws, shot glasses, sweets, lollipops, badges and sashes, but of course these can be customised depending on the style of event. For a cocktail night hen party, your gift bags might be filled with more appropriate gestures, like cocktail umbrellas, cocktail glasses, compact mirrors, mini hairspray, and mini nail files.
Book The Venue
Once you have a series of potential hen party dates, phone up or e-mail your venues of choice, and see which are available and which aren't. This could be an effective way of whittling down your top 5 venue choices; if they're unavailable on the chosen dates, then no can do. It will make your decision easier, as brutal as it seems.
Let's say you want the full-on, L-plate and pink feather boa hen party; you will probably want to book a VIP lounge in a club for the first couple of hours, just so that you can play your hen party games without being interrupted by the general public. Why not invest in some ‘WARNING! HEN PARTY’ tape to go around your booth, to alert people that you're a private party?
If you're going for a cocktail-making-class kind of hen-do, look at booking a venue with a couple of drinks included in the price, to keep costs down, and to match your budget.
Let The Events Unfold
Once all of the technicalities are in place, there's nothing more to do than get yourself ready, and arrange minor details. Plan your outfit, book your hair and nail appointments, and get hyped for the big night. Hardly ever does EVERYTHING go exactly to plan on the night, so don't worry if you stray a little from the itinerary. Draw up a plan of how you want the night to go, and give this to the MOH to follow.
For example, you might want to play an ice-breaker game like ‘Chink and Drink’, where you ‘chink and drink’ if you met the bride at school, or you ‘chink and drink; if you;re the bride’s family, just so that everybody can become acquainted if they're not already. You might want to save ‘truth or dare’ for later on in the night, when people have relaxed and had a few drinks.
For a spa hen weekend, your itinerary may be more sensible, factoring in your different treatments, swim times, and lunch breaks. It is entirely up to you how you decide to organise the night itself; you may even leave these minor details to your MOH, once you have agreed on the main theme and venue.
Do Not Stress
Don't forget to leave the stressing to the bridesmaids. If they're reading this too: you are the ones who should take care of mishaps and overcome obstacles. The bride-to-be shouldn't have to deal with that. Brides-to-be, just remember to enjoy the night, make sure you look fantastic, and don't be afraid to push your bridesmaids for help!