Hen Party Planning

Top tips and planning advice for the girls responsible for throwing the ultimate hen party for the bride. 

 

Tips and advice on planning a hen party

Congratulations on being asked to be a bridesmaid. Whether its your first time or you’re always the bridesmaid, you now have plenty of tasks ahead of you to ensure that the bride-to-be has a truly wonderful lead up to her big day. Aside from helping the bride choose a great dress for you to wear and discussing ideas on how to decorate the wedding venue, one of your jobs as a bridesmaid, will be to help throw and plan an unforgettable hen party for the lady of the moment. 

Planning a Hen Party

Its typical for all of the bridesmaids, along with the Maid of Honour, to help organise a memorable night or weekend with a handful of the bride’s closest girlfriends, but beware, this is not a simple task. You’re going to have to organise a party or possibly even a long weekend for a group of people who may not all know each other. This will take time, planning, patience and a lot of communication, however you choose to organise it. 

Consider the following steps:  

Guest List

Ask the bride for a guest list of who she would like to attend her hen party. The list should probably consist of their full name, email address and mobile number if possible to make the communication process easier.

Location

Decide on a location as a team and ensure that everyone is happy with the choice before you start making concrete plans. If the bride has always shown an interested in having her hen party abroad, then consider it.  If you do plan to travel out of the UK, make sure you give everyone plenty of notice, as this could cost a lot more than people had in mind. They may also need to renew their passport, depending on where you are travelling to. You might also have to wait to book flights, depending on when you choose to travel. You probably won’t want to book accommodation unless your flights have been booked. 

Budget 

When communicating with the guests, be very open and up front about cost from the beginning. If you’re planning a destination hen party, you need to accept that not everyone can attend. This may be due to budget, family commitments, time of year, work commitments and more. You may need to ask for money at certain times of the year, in the lead up to the hen party to cover accommodation costs. If this is the case, give everyone plenty of notice of when their financial instalments are due so that you won’t want to be left out of pocket. Asking for a deposit or instalments also confirms the guests’ commitment to coming on the hen party, although be wary that situations may arise that could be out of your control. Think about a back-up plan. 

Dates 

Before you book anything, make sure the bride can actually attend the date/dates you book. A hen party would typically take place with the 3 months leading up to the actual wedding. 

Hen Party Communication 

Rather than have multiple bridesmaids spread the word about the hen party (which is typically kept a secret from the bride), it may be better to select a single person to formally communicate all of the location, budget and planning information to the guests. If too many people get involved, messages could get mixed, therefore causing confusion and tension between hen party guests and the bridesmaids. 

Communication via email is probably the easiest way to get messages across to everyone. You’ll be speaking to and emailing people you don’t necessarily know, so everyone may feel most comfortable with this form of communication. 

Who to Invite to a Hen Party?

As the bridesmaid(s) you may wish to ask your bride who she’d like to attend her hen party. This list, however, will typical be made up of: 

  • Close work colleagues from current and previous job roles
  • Childhood friends 
  • University/College friends 
  • Sister(s) and future sister-in-law(s)
  • Mothers of the bride and possibly the groom too
  • The Maid of Honour and the bridesmaids

Top Tip: Everyone on the hen party guest list should be receiving an invitation to the wedding – you wouldn't want an awkward situation to arise when the official wedding invites are sent out. 

10 Hen Party Ideas 

If you’re lost for hen party ideas, here are 10 of our favourite suggestions: 

1.    Destination hen party abroad for a long weekend: this can be in the form of a European city break or travel further afield to somewhere like Miami or Las Vegas! 
2.    Hen party weekend on the coast: Rent a house for the weekend and enjoy all things associated with being near a coastal town. 
3.    Rent a cosy cottage in the country hen party: get a food delivery and enjoy the cosiness of the country side. 
4.    A day and night out in the closest city to you: easy to plan and people can come and go as they please.
5.    A luxury spa weekend hen party: everyone will enjoy a pampering session. 
6.    A surprise hen party at home: for the bride who doesn’t want a fuss – but go all out with décor and maybe book a surprise butler in the buff to serve the drinks! 
7.    Tickets to see a show such as the Dream Boys: a fun and memorable night out for you all. 
8.    Book a private dinner at an expensive restaurant: Splash the cash on a delicious night out, starting with cocktails, of course! 
9.    Theme park hen party: give the bride the thrill of her life. 
10.    Hen party on a boat: Rent a party boat and enjoy the night sailing up and down as you drink and dance the night away.