Hen party selfie, Getty

How to plan a hen party

With so many fabulous hen party options out there it can be tricky to know where to start. Follow our guide for guaranteed hen party heaven!

After months of wedding planning, you’ll be more than ready to let loose with your girls and enjoy a hen party to remember!

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Whether you’re dreaming of a pampering hen party or something simply filled with bubbles and hen party games, there are plenty of things you need to consider before booking. From deciding who to put on your guestlist to choosing from a night out in the city or a few days away, you’ll need to start thinking about what you would like.

Gone are the days where a hen or stag do took place in your local just a few nights before the wedding, these days hens, stags and even sten parties are stand out events that are often hotly anticipated by the bridal party.

To ensure your farewell to single life goes off with a bang, we’ve created an essential guide letting you in on everything you need to know before you start planning and some ideas to get you started off.

It’s your party and you should have plenty of influence on how the event goes, despite the hen do traditionally being organised by the maid of honour. To help your best girl along, make sure you share this guide with her so she knows exactly how to get started and you can start dropping a few hints too!

Every bride is different and while one may be craving a relaxing break in the country, another may be looking for some serious partying abroad. Make sure your girls know exactly which camp you fall into and then let them have some fun planning the perfect party.

Read on to find out how you can start planning the ultimate hen party, whatever your style!

When to start planning the hen party

Start looking into a date as soon as possible or at least a year before the wedding as many people book holidays well in advance or will be going to other hen parties or weddings at the weekends. Once you have a date and know what you would like to do, book as soon as you can to get your first choice in the bag.

Who to invite to the hen party

The bride should give the maid of honour a list of people she would like to attend along with their contact details. Usually the bride invites her bridesmaids, long standing friends and some family members. If the bride would like to invite her mother and mother-in-law, bear this in mind when deciding on hen party games and certain activities!

How to organise the hen party

Set up a Whatsapp or Facebook group without the bride, so that you can all share ideas and booking details. This is also an ideal place to swap details for payments and discuss budget.

Research accommodation (if needed) and activities and share links with the group so that you can agree on something suitable for everyone. Once you have found suitable accommodation and settled on activities, put the final plan to the group for approval. Finally, book it and collect the money from the other hens.

Do some delegating

Once the bulk of the planning is out of the way, you can begin to think of the finishing touches! For an Instagram-worthy hen house or room, ask a creative hen to decorate the space, and for some added fun ask someone to volunteer to come up with some fun games or silly dares for the night out. Just because you may be the one tasked with organising the event, it doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself.

Still looking for hen party inspiration? Here are some of our favourite ideas to get you started.

1

Dress the part

Matching gear is a hen-party staple — but it doesn’t have to be tacky! Think personalised bathrobes for a spa day, flip-flops for a beach break, or cheesy customised tees for a girly night in.

2

Turn back time

Pull on your PJs and turn back time with a girly sleepover. Search Netflix and Amazon Prime for your old favourite movies (Mean Girls followed by Bridesmaids, anyone?) and throw some silly games and old school snacks into the mix.

3

Get it in on record

Utilise the video feature on your iPhone and record ‘This is Your Life’ style clips with messages from the bride to be’s friends and family — add a sentimental touch by asking each interviewee to share their sweetest memory of the bride.

4

Money maker

The fastest way to top up your bride’s honeymoon fund? A night-long round of Banned Words. It might seem easy not to talk about her groom at seven o’clock, but you’ll be shelling out the fines a few cocktails later…

5

Mini makeover

Treat the team to a pre-game mini makeover so you’re all primped and polished before a big night out. Companies like the thepamperparty.co.uk provide group packages of manis, pedis or facials from £29pp.

6

Return to school days

DJ your night-in à la Nineties/Noughties school and uni days with a mix-tape (Ok, Spotify playlist) of meaningful tunes that you’ve grooved to together through the years.

7

Put yourself to the test

Confirm your MOH status with a perfect score at How Well Do You Know The Bride? Ask her to write down everything from her dream honeymoon hideaway to her celebrity crush, then compare everyone’s answers.

8

Adult pass the parcel

Get the girls to wrap risqué pressies, then guess who bought each one — before they confess the story behind them…

9

Awards ceremony

Immortalise your night in photo collages, notes and awards like Most Likely to Snog a Random at the After Party…

10

Little black book

Have the girls share words of wisdom for a hot first night compiled into a little black book – make sure she opens it later if her mum or mother-in-law is present!

11

Cocktail party

Kick-start the party with a custom cocktail. (Our pick? The Bridal Buzz — elderflower cordial topped with cava, and garnished with a cheeky raspberry. Yum.)

12

Delicious delivery

Book the morning-after brunch to be delivered straight to your door!

13

Hangover SOS

Hand out hangover kits before bed, so you wake up next to water, painkillers and a Berocca (you’ll need it!).

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14

Strike a pose

Get hold of an Instax camera and create an amateur photo booth. You’ll find all kinds of fun and silly props at places like Primark, Ginger Ray and charity shops.