I can’t quiet believe last year I was on the last day of my Hen Weekend Antics. In true Charlotte form I didn’t stop at just one weekend of fun, I was lucky enough to carry my celebrations over several weeks and included a gorgeous Garden party too!
Yes, one year ago I was having the BEST weekend with my girls. And whilst I have shared with you my ultimate weekend away and my gorgeous Bridal Shower before, this post is to help you plan something similar.
Whether it’s your bridal celebrations, your sisters, cousins or best friends, I have all the hot tips to help you plan the ultimate celebration, whatever the budget, whatever the age!
So where to start?
Is it your bridal celebrations? Congrats! Now gather your troops. You really can’t be planning this one on your own, and nor should you!
The best place to start is a good old brainstorm. Grab a pen and paper and truly explore viable options and possible ideas for you and the hens.
For this you will of course require a guest list and budget the bride / yourself would like to stick to.
As many brides will be paying their own way, they will have a budget in mind for themselves, as well as what they want their guests to contribute, if anything!
Also consider how long you’d like it to be?
Traditional Hen Do’s are a night on the town with some laughs thrown in. More popular celebrations include a entire weekend away with a variety of activities. Of course, much of this depends on budget but it’s well worth getting the verdict of the Bride before looking into anything.
Struggling for ideas?
- Keep it simple and host a Bridal shower. It’s a pretty american idea but can be completely personal to the bride. Can include games, tea and cake and even gifts!
- Pamper trips to a local spa or hotel is a great relaxing affair that will get the bride in tip top condition for her wedding, and enjoy a afternoon with friends and family. Of course, this could be follower by a night on the town.
- A night on the town is a classic hen-do tradition. Start with a nice dinner and cocktails. You could even head to a Karaoke bar before hitting a VIP section of a local club.
- Why not a weekend away to a UK City featuring afternoon tea and nights out. Cities great for Hens include : Brighton, London, Edinborough, Manchester, Dublin.
- Or go all out and take it beach side. Resorts like Marbella, Magaluf, and even Barcelona are great Hen Do destinations for a hard core, fun filled, sun kissed weekend away.
psssst. these are just some of my ideas to host a fantastic hen do….I have a whole printable below.
Now the research
Now you’ve got the basic info required to gather some research – guest list, budget, brides ideas, you can get on the internet!
There are TONNES of companies that can help plan a package hen do weekend, or you can go all out and do it yourself. With resources coming out your ears, here’s what to consider whether keeping it local or heading away.
Get onto the web and find some companies that can help package your weekend up. This is a great way to plan an entire weekend that will include food and drinks too! My hen do weekend was a set price for everyone and included our hotel stay, all activities and all food and drinks across the weekend! This is great if you want to keep it stress free and within a budget for your hens.
Tip : If you want to use a company, choose one that manages the money for you. There is nothing worse than having to chase others for money!
If you want to try and do it yourself, be aware it will cause more stress. Although, you can tailor the weekend to your bride – swings and roundabouts.
Using sites like Airbnb and getting in touch directly to activity centres and night clubs, you can get better deals and a weekend that will suit your Bride to the T!
Factor in food. Whether you are booking your own hen house, or staying in a hotel, be sure to consider food. This may become a extra cost for your guests, or you could tag the food onto the overall price and purchase bulk food for your private house.
Keeping it local…..
Okay, so you’ve decided to do something locally. Whether it is the Bridal swuaree, night out on the town, or a local trip to a spa resort / hotel, there is still plenty of research to conduct.
Get some activities penned down. Even if you’re keeping it local, you want plenty organised. Making it an all day affair that guests can dip in and dip out of will suit all needs, interests and even budgets.
Consider travel arrangements when looking at venues. Be sure to keep it fairly central and bear in mind nights out do include taxi’s home!
Think about the sleeping arrangements too. Whilst you may not be heading elsewhere, there may be guests that will travel to participate. Check with the bride whether she is able to house guests if needed. If not, it’s another thing to consider.
Contact early. Places like clubs and even afternoon tea locations can book up early, especially on a busy weekend like a bank holiday. Be sure to ask if they need a deposit too. This is something you’ll need to know when reaching out to your guests too.
Whatever you are planning, be sure to seek opinions. Don’t ask too many people, but the nearest and dearest. Getting a general consensus, even if it’s from the bride herself.
Notify & Book
Hopefully you have a rough idea on what you are organising. You’ve possibly got a general consensus and you’re happy with the plan. Now it’s time to notify and book.
Get that guest list organised and send on out the invites. A great way to organise everyone and everything is a Facebook Event Page. You can notify all attendees at one via a post and you can all converse on other ideas too.
If you have numerous guests without the access to Facebook, posting out invites with info packages may be a good idea too.
Tip: Give a Respond by date. This will help you know numbers early and hopefully lower the risk of chasing people to whether they are attending or not.
You’re nearly there I promise. Everything is organised, your guests have paid their way and now it’s the fun bit. Prepping with gifts, novelty items and games. As Hen Do’s have become bigger and better over the years, so have the game ideas and novelty items that hens are gifted upon arrival.
Whether you are looking to gift your hens with pjs, bath robes, slippers, sash’s, wristbands , personalised glasses or anything else that pinterest flies your way, there are plenty of options to suit any budget.
If you do have a strict budget to adhere to, consider DIY’ing some of the decorations and gifts.
This the last hurrah before the big celebration. You may have already had a tonne of questions ( what should I wear, when shall we get there, what time are we leaving?). Curb the qs and create a fully fledge itinerary all guests can navigate and abide by.
Make them printable and even accessible on phones to ensure all your hens are aware of the celebrations.
There are so many things to consider when planning the perfect hen weekend / night out / night in / pamper session. Whether you have a packed boozy weekend planner, or a civilized afternoon tea, be sure to be fully prepped, planned and organised with these helpful tips.
Some last minute do’s and don’ts…..
Think about the Hen – Will she enjoy the activities, is it to her taste or mine? It is all about her after all.
Choose your location wisely – Especially if you want to make it a fun packed weekend away. Location is important and you want to make sure it will suit the bride, what you want to plan and the budget you have in mind. You really don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do, unless that’s the plan!
Don’t leave the booking too late – It’s a huge thing to organise a hen do, so don’t leave anything too late. You may get stumped and stung with hikes in prices or even lack of availability. Avoid disappointment and get in early.
Or telling your guests the prices – Money is always awkward, but telling the hens the full price early will give them plenty of time to put buy, save and pay. Be honest and chat money right on the offset – it will save a whole load of hassle later down the line!
Be realistic – Hen Do’s can get out of hand and it really boils down to the cost and what the guests can ultimately afford. Whilst a week on French Riveria is something everyone wants, sometimes it’s just not viable. Getting chatting, discussing and be honest. There will always be something to do together, that the bride will love and cherish.