‘The Hen Do’: an experience that you may have little or no control over and potentially, not even have the faintest inkling of what’s to come.
For those willing to embrace whatever is thrown at them, this is probably a thrilling notion. To the rest of us, not having the first clue of what to expect can be rather daunting. We gathered the top 5 concerns from brides-to-be about their impending hen do, and how best to handle each situation.
At Chillisauce.co.uk, they organise and oversee thousands of hen dos a year, so it’s safe to say, they’ve seen it all. So if you’re worried, take comfort in knowing you’re not alone, and their may just be the answer you’ve been looking for right here…
Will people turn up?
When it comes to stag dos, men are up for everything and go all in, no matter what the cost. You can often find groups of 20, abroad, throwing money around like it’s possibly the groom’s last night on earth, never mind his ‘last night of freedom’. Women, however, seem less inclined to show the same commitment to a hen do. Many drop out before the event, not willing to justify the cost of time to attend.
Give plenty of advanced notice, agree a date that suits everyone, set a maximum budget, expand your original invite list and take a deposit from everyone at the start so you know they’re committed! Don’t book anything till you have this, otherwise you might end up out of pocket.
I want everyone to feel comfortable
Hen dos tend to come with a stigma, a stigma that you may find uncomfortable experiencing with some of your more elderly or refined friends and family. The idea of mixing your future Mother-in-law with the bridesmaid that likes to streak after a few cosmopolitans could be enough to make you want to skip the whole thing.
A popular solution is to have two separate hen dos or a day-to-night event. Ask for a variety of activities so something suits everyone on the day and people can choose to attend part or all of them. Another idea is to encourage your maid of honour to run things by the other guests first to see what they are comfortable with.
What if it’s a tacky affair?
We all know the stereotypical image that comes to mind when hen dos are mentioned. Pink, feathers, tutus, L-plates, and for some unknown reason, a fascination to have everything phallic-shaped: a nightmare for most conservative and classy brides.
If these must be part of your evening, suggest a pre-drink at a private location and use that opportunity to have fun taking silly photos and making the most of it. You can then leave them behind when you finally venture out.
A high proportion of brides-to-be also seem to fear the ultimate hen do activity – strippers. Don’t be concerned if your friends do surprise you with this, it’s usually not as horrifying as people imagine. The guys are respectful to what you want and allow you to be as involved or uninvolved as you like. You never know, the whipped cream might start to look appealing! It’s important to remember that it’s just a small part of the evening and can be a giggle for the girls.
What if it’s boring or people don’t get along?
On the opposite side of the scale, there is always the concern that it might be a bit of a snooze-fest. The scenario: no one is mixing, there is no atmosphere and you actually heard a pin drop. Bringing people from different aspects of your life that have maybe never even met could be awkward.
Even if you don’t know where or what situation you are going to be in, you can always go prepared. Put together a few ice-breakers and research some fun games and activities that will get everyone involved and relaxed. Take your iPod with your best playlist on along with a travel speaker. Create goodie bags with a few little treats in to start conversation and get people feeling good!
I don’t want to get too drunk or embarrass myself
Hopefully your hen do will be a long day of fun and celebration with those closest to you. This could involve a tipple or two, or three…or four. So, how can you ensure you make the most of the day and still have wonderful memories the next morning?
With everything going on make sure you remember to have a good meal. To keep in with the wedding diet, consider quinoa, whole wheat pasta or bulgur and keep unsalted popcorn on you for a snack.
For your drinks, try to stick to vodka and Champagne, pace yourself and top up regularly with water. Have a friend’s partner as an on-call driver, just in case you or someone else needs an earlier exit! If you are particularly concerned, set ground rules with your maid of honour early on, like okaying the photos before uploaded and so on. You’re the bride so you’re the boss!
That’s the hen party solved, but what about the actual big day. Check out the 6 things bridesmaids do that really annoy the bride…