Planning a hen party is no easy feat, but it’s okay because Tess Elford is here to tell you how to help make sure the process is stress-free and fabulous for your fave girls!
So you’ve picked a date and a venue already, sent the invitations and found The Dress. Maybe you’ve had a trial photoshoot and tried ten different kinds of cake (oh, the hardship).
After all that hard work, it’s time to think about your hen do and breathe a little sigh of relief that this party doesn’t require much planning from you. Hooray! You’ve got some girls you love and trust, and handing them the reins feels just right – they know you, you know them, and let’s face it, you’ve talked about this for years.
But we’re willing to bet you don’t want the planning stage to be a headache for them, so there are few little things you can do to make sure the night goes off with a bang…
What do you want to do?
This is the big question and you might want it to be a total surprise, but if you have a vague idea make sure your maids know about it. Day event or evening? One night or a whole weekend? Home town or big city? What about abroad? These things have an impact on the number of people you’ll want to invite an the potential budget, so giving this a little bit of thought is a good plan.
Come up with a date and a timeframe
Decide whether you want to try to find a date by working around your guest list. This could be easy enough if you aren’t inviting too many people, but you run the risk of accidentally hurting feelings if you then have to choose a date you know someone can’t make. Alternatively, you can just pick a date way in advance and hope all your guests can make it. If it’s six weeks before the event, don’t still be wondering whether you might like to hire a nice cottage in the Cotswolds, because by that point you may not be able to get one.
Who do you want to be there?
This could change a little bit depending on your plan. A delightful afternoon tea and parlour games will be lovely with your granny, but a trip to Vegas might not be. Consider a tiered system if you’re doing a mixture of activities: an ‘everyone’ list for mum or in-law appropriate activities, an ‘evening’ list for those up for one too many cocktails, or ‘core’ list if you’re asking people to travel significantly for a part of your big celebration.
What’s the best way to contact them?
Facebook can be good but not everyone uses it or checks it regularly so if you’re not sure, double check with your friends for their preferred contact method. If you provide email addresses, make sure they’re still definitely in use, and be prepared to send follow-up texts to anyone not responding!
Stay in touch!
Not only will regular contact with your bridesmaids give you peace of mind about how the planning is going, it means they can let you know ASAP if they hit any roadblocks.
Consider the non-drinkers
If ‘getting drunk’ is a fun evening activity for everyone, brilliant – but be mindful of anyone who might have a slightly different experience if they’re the only sober person surrounded by emotional, hiccuping vodka fiends. It’s also worth remembering if you’re not going for a full weekend that not everyone can manage two boozy nights out in a row. Being super hungover or tired can really put a downer on creating the perfect loo-roll wedding dress after all.
Limit fancy dress to one costume per person!
Hen party spends can get very big very quickly once you factor in travel, accommodation, food and drinks! So needing to buy extra clothes on top of that can be tricky, especially if it’s not something your hens will want to wear again. Try to think if there’s anyone who might not be comfortable wearing what you’re asking them to, because while matching sailor playsuits on Instagram, nothing looks better in real life than a group of your very best friends feeling comfortable and having an awesome time.
Short on ideas for your hen party? Well, we’ve got a whole alphabet full of fun things to do with your hens right here!