Hen party planning is a maze of payments, activities, guest lists, and keeping everyone happy. If you’re in charge of the big blowout before the big day, you're going to need some help to avoid unnecessary stress and worry.
That’s why we’ve come up with a hen party checklist of everything you need to do to make sure nothing goes wrong on the night (or day, or weekend).
Read through the foolproof essentials of hen party planning, then just print out our checklist at the bottom.
Four + months before
Speak to the bride-to-be
First thing you need to mark off your hen party checklist is getting an idea of what your bride wants. This is her last true night of freedom. A time when she’ll feel like she can do what she wants and get away with it. So, make sure it’s all about her.
You need to find out:
- What kind of hen do she fancies (wild, naughty, peaceful, relaxing, action-packed, etc.).
- Where she wants it to take place (abroad, at home, weekend away in the UK, etc.).
- Who she wants there.
- When she wants to have it.
- Whether she wants to be involved or not.
Nail these basics down now and it’ll make your hen party planning a lot easier from the start.
Plan a meeting with hens
Now, it’s time to take your findings to the hens. Organise a get-together and go over everything your bride-to-be has outlined to make sure they’re free, available and up for it.
Decide on venues, locations and activities, and get a rough schedule together before you start calling around to enquire and book. If your bride wants a few surprises and no input; then brainstorm some ideas together and select a few key hens to help you arrange everything — this is a must-do if you want to take away at least some of the work you have in store.
Set up online communication with your hens
A very important and easy-to-forget-until-it’s-too-late task on your hen party checklist. Get your hens’ phone numbers, email addresses and social media info, then set up a group chat on WhatsApp or Facebook. This will make hen party planning so easy when it comes to chasing payments, informing people of changes to plans, and double-checking costs and other details without going to everyone individually.
Book in advance
You might think it’s months away and there’s plenty of time, but good hen party planning is all about confirming early. Book everything now, whether it’s the stripper, craft workshop, concert, live show, transport, or accommodation; settling everything as soon as possible not only means more time for people to pay and plan, but also less chance of disappointment. Remember, hen parties are big business today and everyone’s having them.
Set up a spreadsheet
Time to get nerdy. Set up a spreadsheet on your laptop and put columns for:
- Hen names
- Individual prices
- Confirmed/unconfirmed bookings
- Due payments
You could always use one of our hen party planners to do this by hand, too.
Two months before
Get final payments from everyone
Never an easy task in your hen party planning checklist, but now is a good time to use you group message to ‘gently’ remind everyone that they owe you cash. And then get it.
Send formal invites
Once your venues and activities have been confirmed and paid for, it’s time to get the official invitations sent out and marked off that hen party checklist. You can either do this by post or by email, and there’s a huge range of styles you can go for to match the tone of your hen do.
Make an itinerary
If you want to take hen party planning to the next level, put those spreadsheet skills to work again and make a hen night run-down. By now, you should know where you’re meeting and which pubs, bars, cocktail lounges, and nightclubs you want to make a diva entrance at during the night. Best to get all these down and sent around the hen group message to make sure everyone’s happy with the route.
Brainstorm hen party games
If you’re starting the hen night at home, entertainment is paramount. A good hen party game gets everyone to mix, mingle and have a laugh before the night-out antics begin. Go for a variety of ‘naughty and nice’ options, like the Charm Bracelet Game and Princess Tiara Pinata, sprinkled with a few rounds of Pin the Junk on the Hunk and Hen Party Dare Cards.
Buy any personalised items or fancy dress outfits
If you’ve gone for fancy dress and there’s a lot of you in the group, you’ll need plenty of time to make sure everyone gets what they need. It’s also a great weight off your mind to delete this from the hen party checklist early.
One month before
We suggest getting in touch with any hens who are travelling from different parts of the country to join the hen party. Checking that they’ve sorted out their travel and making sure they know how to get to the venue from the train or bus station is a nice touch. We’re sure she and you soon-to-be-bride will appreciate it.
Buy your hen party games
Now you’ve had time to look through the variety on offer, pick out your favorite games and get them ordered to make sure there’s no lull on the night and plenty of ice-breakers.
Although we’re sure people respect your hen party planning efforts too much to back out without saying a word, it’s always good to just tap into that group message and confirm everyone’s attendance.
One week before
Make a shopping list for pre-hen night treats
It’s nearly here but the hen party planning isn’t over yet. If you’re having hens around your or the bride’s house before going out, make a list so you don’t forget any nibbles and booze. There’s nothing worse than a dry, buffet-less table so make sure there’s plenty of party food and cocktail-making drinks for everyone on the guest list.
Put together your hen party favour bags
If you haven’t heard of them, hen party favours are a big deal and a definite box you need to tick on your hen party checklist.
They’re like adult goodie bags given to each hen during the night, but it’s really up to you and the bride to decide what goes in them. Include things that are ideal for having a laugh on the night out, such as glow bracelets and lip whistles. Then, add some sweets and chocolate or beauty products, and pop everything into a personalised gift bag.
Check details with all hens
We think about one week before the event is a good time to send a short text, email or message to make sure everyone knows the meeting time and place — and what to expect on the night.
Now’s the time to double-check that the group transport you’ve reserved is still on. For a large group, it’s a nightmare to phone around other companies on the day to try and get a large enough taxi. While you're on a roll, might as well get in touch with the venues and activities you booked those months ago to make sure nothing that could harm your hen fun has happened.
Check photos are sorted
Now’s the time to ensure your designated hen photographer is still willing to capture the high and low points of the night — and that she has plenty of space on her camera or phone to do so.
Decorate the room
If your house is the meeting place for the hen party, make sure you tick off decorating the main room from your hen party checklist. Go for lots of balloons, banners and table decorations, and enjoy having more time to get ready tomorrow.
Get the games and favours ready
Have these out and good to go the night before so that you’re not searching around for them when the guests arrive.
Debrief the bride-to-be
Go through all the details of the upcoming night with the soon-to-be bride. She’s probably got that nervous/excited feeling and knowing your epic hen party planning has everything under control will give her an easy night’s sleep. Remember not to whip out all your spreadsheet details if you’ve booked any surprises.
Hen party checklist is done and hen party planning is complete. Now, just sit back and relax before reaping the rewards of your efforts tomorrow.
To make things easier, we’ve put all our ideas into an easy-to-tick hen party checklist. Print off a copy and keep yourself cool, calm and collected throughout the entire hen party planning process.