2. Nail the budget. Make sure the budget for the evening or weekend is accurate – money can cause rifts so it is vital that realistic expectations are set on things like travel, drinks, accommodation and activities. When we organise parties at Hen Heaven, hens are able to pay individually online in instalments, which saves the chief bridesmaid the trouble of chasing everyone. Another great approach is to set up an account and request that members pay money in each month so that when the hen party arrives, it is fully paid for.
3. Break the ice with action. Hen parties normally include a number of different friend groups – colleagues, family, school, uni friends. Not everyone will know each other in advance, so a great strategy is to pack the weekend with activities … things that will get everyone talking and create a shared experience to bond over. But DO remember to take all guests into consideration, eg, if someone is pregnant or Great Aunt Shelia is coming, you may need to modify. There are so many great options out there (we offer everything from cocktail making to life drawing to dance) to suit all tastes.
4. Swot up on the guest list. Prior to the weekend make sure as the organiser/host you do your research and know the names of all the guests and their relationship/friendship to the hen.
5. Be strategic on rooms. When planning the sleeping arrangements for the weekend, be conscious of which guests know each other, or ask the bride-to-be which girls are most likely to get on well. Good room assignments will make everyone feel more comfortable and help avoid conflicts.
6. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Everyone needs to be in the loop with the weekend plans, meeting points, travel arrangements, dress code (if needed), contact numbers, etc. It’s advisable that everyone is given lots of notice, especially if they need to source fancy dress outfits or book their own transport (the earlier tickets are purchased the better the rates are, of course).
7. Prioritise the bride. The hen’s emotions will be extremely high during the weekend and it’s vital that she doesn’t feel pressure to organise anything or play host. Make sure she has a drink in her hand at all times and isn’t on her own at any point.
8. Downplay any dramas. Due to the average amount of alcohol consumed during most hen parties, I’m afraid there is often some sort of drama! (Think lost purses and phones, disagreements, etc.) The best approach is to make sure that, whatever happens, the hen is happy. Keep her away from any disputes, make sure someone is looking after her bag and if she's had a few too many cocktails and looks like she needs her bed, get her home.
9. Make brunch plans. The morning after can be the highlight of the party and is an ideal opportunity for everyone to share anecdotes from the night before. If you’re in self-catering accommodation it’s a good idea to host a breakfast in one of the apartments or, alternatively, reserve a table in a local café or brasserie.
10. Document everything! Don’t forget your camera and take videos too – they capture the party antics far more vividly than pictures. You’ll be able to look back on them in years to come and laugh at exactly what you got up to. Just make sure you edit them prior to sharing on Facebook!
For more fabulous hen party planning ideas, visit henheaven.co.uk