Imagine trying to get the girls together for a really big night out. Now imagine that you need to invite your best mate’s in-laws, mother-in-law included. And you’ll need to plan activities too, nothing too kinky – you don’t want to upset mum – and nothing too vanilla (it’s the last fling before the ring, after all). Oh, and there’s a budget to bear in mind. And everyone’s is different. Feeling the pressure yet?
The road to the perfect hen party rarely runs smooth and while we don’t have the magic key to pleasing everyone on the bride-to-be’s ‘must be there’ list – just getting them all there is hard enough – we can help you with two of the most painful hen party problems.
You’re Playing Budget Roulette
Auntie Jo isn’t happy when Primark put their prices up, whilst the bride’s fancy friend Fiona doesn’t bat an eye-lid at splashing the cash in Selfridges every Saturday. Welcome, hen party planner, to budget roulette.
You’re about to learn exactly what your mum meant when she said: “You can’t please everyone!”. The beauty of a hen party is that it brings together all of the bride-to-be’s nearest and dearest. Friends, family, workmates; they’re all on the guest list. While this is a recipe for an unforgettable weekend, it tends to play havoc with the organisational side of things.
Firstly, start the planning process as soon as possible. The more notice people have, the more time they have to save. Trying to spring a costly weekend away on everybody eight weeks before the wedding isn’t going to end well for anyone. Start planning early and you won’t only help everybody’s budgets, you’ll also give people to save the date and make sure they can be there.
Secondly, think frugal and plan as much as you can for your money. For one example of making the money go further, take our very own vintage makeover. They’re pretty darn good alone, but it is cheaper than you think to add on a photo shoot and afternoon tea, turning a hair and beauty transformation into an all-out Hollywood star experience. You’ll even get mementos of the day in the form of photos or a documentary style video, ticking a gift for the bride-to-be off your list too.
Fancy Dress Has Been Vetoed
Fancy dress isn’t for everyone. Consider it like marmite, or karaoke even, you either love it or your HATE it. For those who lived through the 80’s, being asked to re-enact the era in Madonna-esque pearls and tutus has a tendency to open old wounds. Plus, nobody ever suited neon.
If fancy dress has been vetoed and you’re reluctant to rock the boat, especially if it is the bride-to-be doing the vetoing, there are subtler approaches to take. Matching hats for the hens and a veil for the bride will show your hen party credentials, whilst letting everyone wear their fanciest frocks. Similarly, all black outfits for the hens and a white one for the bride is a great way to make sure she stands out.
Alternatively, the beauty of a vintage hen party is that most of our hens tend to opt for looks that they can wear again. Think tea dresses rather than French maids and polka dots instead of risqué police uniforms. Even true fancy dress themes can be better received when they’re given a classy vintage spin; we never did come across a gal who didn’t appreciate a Forces Sweetheart look, complete with victory rolls and hats.