It’s a military operation involving months of planning and negotiations. No, we’re not talking about the wedding; we’re talking about the hen party! From the moment you’re bestowed with the honour of Chief Bridesmaid, all thoughts turn to giving the bride-to-be the perfect send off. Plan it right and you’ll be well on your way to earning your Maid of Honour stripes in no time, but get it wrong and you’ll say goodbye to the bride in a haze of questionable fancy dress, bizarre inflatables and more learner plates than you can shake a stick at.
Read on for our ten tips on planning a hen party like a pro.
1. Save The Date
Diaries book up fast, especially when you’re trying to coordinate one date to suit friends, family and colleagues. Pick a date 4-6 weeks before the big day and make sure it is penned, not pencilled, in everyone’s diary. This way, you’ll give those with children plenty of time to arrange childcare and you’ll avoid the stars of the show missing out due to holidays and clashing dates.
2. Girl Talk
If the bride-to-be usually favours afternoon tea over wild nights out, chances are she won’t be too comfortable when you unveil plans for a raucous weekend in Amsterdam. Make an excuse to meet up for cocktails and find out anything she absolutely does not want involved when it comes to her hen party. Just because she knows what isn’t occurring, doesn’t mean she knows what is; you’re not ruining the surprise, you’re just making sure it’s a good one!
3. Call For Backup
Use your Maid of Honour status to rally the troops. A problem shared is a problem halved, or so the saying goes, so grab the rest of the girls and get your heads together to come up with a few different ideas. Decide where you’ll hold the main event and research the local area to find out what is on offer.
4. Don’t Break The Budget
Wedding and hen parties can be costly affairs, but it is important to work to a budget that is realistic for the whole party. While sun-soaked weekends in Ibiza are incredible, they’re also expensive once you’ve factored in flights, accommodation and spending money for the weekend. What works for Kate Moss and crew doesn’t always work for us mere mortals!
5. Cater For All
When planning a hen party, it is important to take into consideration who is coming. An evening with the Dreamboys might be great for the girls, but even the tipsiest bride will cringe that her future Mother-in-Law is sat watching beside her. Try to combine activities that appeal to all, such as a Nana-friendly afternoon tea followed by dinner, cocktails and dancing for those who want to carry on late into the night. Hair and beauty master classes are another great idea; spend the day getting pampered, before heading out for the night looking glam.
6. Keep Them Informed
There’s nothing worse than handing over your cold, hard cash when you’re not 100% sure what you’re even doing and what the cash covers. Channel your inner Monica Geller and let lists into your life. Give everyone a breakdown of how much everything costs, from the transport to the hotel and pre-drinks, and make sure your sums are right from the outset. You don’t want to be having to ask people for more cash later on if you can avoid it.
7. Build Anticipation
Start a Facebook or email group and get everyone involved. Start building anticipation a month or so before the big event and you’ll encourage everyone to interact and share the excitement. By the time you all finally meet, it’ll be like you’ve known each other forever.
8. What Not To Wear
We women are a strange breed, not that we would ever admit that to the men in our life. We can be more excited than we’ve ever been before, but if we can’t plan our outfit in good time, you might as well not bother. Afternoon tea calls for cute sundresses, while a hair and beauty master class and photo shoot calls for all out glamour; let everyone know in plenty of time so they can start planning what to wear and feel their best on the day.
9. The Bride Knows Best
With friends and family from all sides coming together, hen weekends can be hard work for a bride who feels like she has to play host. Make sure this isn’t the case by making sure she’s centre of attention all the way. Make sure everyone knows all the practicalities beforehand, so all that is left is for everyone to enjoy themselves and give her a good send off.
10. Remember The Little Things
Little added touches will make the weekend special. Get mum or sister to dig out some photos from the bride-to-be’s awkward teenage phase, make goodie bags for everyone attending and make sure the bride stands out with a sash or pretty but discreet garter. Ask everyone to take plenty of photographs on the day and have them made into photo book as an extra present from the hens to the bride on her big day. Just like the wedding itself, hen parties fly by and she will appreciate the token gift of something to remember it by.
Feeling inspired? Speak to us today to find out more about the fabulous vintage hen party packages we offer here at The Beauty Artist.