Essential Hen Party Planning tips
CONGRATULATIONS is in the air! Your favourite girl is getting hitched and she wants you her BFF to organise the bash of the year – THE HEN PARTY
Planning a hen party can seem quite a daunting task. It can feel like you need a degree in event planning and management to just get started. As well as the pressure of delivering a life changing ‘see you off ’ for your best pal, your choices will have to appeal to her works colleagues, friends and family.
As a beauty and massage therapist as well as an event organiser, I have worked at spa’s, hotels and holiday lets and have listened to hen’s conversations and thoughts, good and not so, for many years.
With my business of hen party organising and these first hand experiences I have put together a selection of ideas and check lists to help guide you through your preparations.
This is my first blog of two where I will be sharing my hen party inside information, gathered over 800 hen parties since 2012.
Where do you start?
1. Pick a Date -Get a date in the diary. Are you going for a one day or a weekend? Ensure your date is at least 4 – 6 weeks before the big day – Give yourselves time to recover.
2. Hens – Compile the list of your brides hens on a excel spread sheet with – Names – Phone numbers – Email address. Send out a ‘Save the date email’ Do this as earliest as possible. Get your hen party in peoples diary pronto before they get booked up.
3. The Bride knows best – Get the kettle on or pour yourselves a glass of vino.
Establish at the beginning what activities are a complete no no. Is she an indoor or out kind of girl. Is she a foodie? Does she want to be pampered? She has chosen you to organise her event so ultimately she will have trust in your decisions. Now, Maybe you have some amazing off the wall ideas but you may want reign it in a bit, your bride may not thank you if you choose activities that you know she might not enjoy.
4. Know your fellow hens – Hen parties are the coming together of your hens friends from all corners from her life. School – Uni – Work – Mums from school and family. Many Brides will want older generations of women to come along and enjoy the fun so it’s important to choose activites that they can feel included in. You may want to re think Zorbing if Great Aunt Bessie has confirmed she’s coming.
Send a warm email to your hens introducing yourself. Write a paragraph on your relationship with the bride and encourage them to do the same, great ice breaker.
Budget – The average amount of money spent on activities and accommodation is about £200.00 with spending money on top. Your budget amount will depend whether you would like a hen day, hen night or weekend. Not everyone will have the same amount of money to spend or time to give. New Mum’s, pregnant pals & grandparents may want to swerve a full weekend. I advise planning the event and then giving people the option of joining your bride on specific activities or joining the group for lunch or dinner.
5. Where to stay
If you are booking a weekend away, your going to need somewhere to put your head down.
Since my last blog on hen party accommodation we have a few new players that have come on board in the hen party market to help you find affordable digs.
Booking.com – Cheap hotel bookings – Air B& B – Booking an apartment/house through a local holiday rental company.
- Hen party houses in my opinion are the best option for accommodation, here’s why:
- Your group will be together all under one roof.
- Communal area where you can hang out as a group
- Save heaps of money by cooking your meals at your house
- Save more money by staying in on the Friday and playing games in your Pj’s
- Arrange hen activities from and in the house
- These properties are dedicated to catering for large numbers, including hen parties.
6. Location, location, location
In my experience choosing a destination that the Bride has never been to but has mentioned would love to is a really good idea, within your budget.
Top UK Destinations: Brighton.. Obvs -Bournemouth – Bristol – London –Newcastle – Cardiff – Liverpool – Edinburgh – Nottingham – Manchester
European destinations: Budapest – Prague – Amsterdam – Krakow – Berlin – Barcelona – Dublin
Hamburg – Riga – Marbella
If you are choosing a destination abroad, keep an keen eye on Ryanair or EasyJet for the quarterly sales, pick yourself up a bargain flight. Same goes for the rail deals, book in advance and get those sweet deals. A mini bus can be a great idea for you all to travel as a complete group to ensure all your hens arrive together. Plus you can pic the hen’s fav tunes and enjoy fun games on the journey.
7. Choosing Activities – Where to spend the money.
- Stylish, fun, dancing, adventurous, arty, crafty – All fabulous ideas. Here a few of that I know personally are very popular.
- Pampering – I know I maybe be biased but everyone likes to be pampered. Perfect for all ages and you can choose your budget. Relax in Spa for the day or have the Spa come to you at your accommodation. Hair and Make up makeovers are a great idea for a themed party such as vintage or go for glamour for that big night out on the tiles!
- Dance Class – Choose an iconic dance routine that your bride will love
- Afternoon tea – Vintage afternoon tea is a lovely mid afternoon treat
- Karaoke – Choose your fav tunes and sing to your hears content. Karaoke rooms have popped up all over the UK. Great evening activity, lots of fun
- Adventure outdoor pursuits – Treasure hunt, Survival days, Go carting & paint balling to name a few.
- Workshops – Chocolate making, Cocktail making, Hair facinator work shops & Pottery classes.
- Pubs & Night clubs – Make sure you book in advance. (1.) They may not accept hen parties. (2.) You may well get a VIP pass if you have a large group.
There are many free activities that you can organise which are great time fillers. I will be going into these in my next blog. It’s important to choose your main expenses in advance and then fit the free stuff around them.
I have covered the basic set up of a hen party. This is my first of two blogs. In my next blog in March I will cover all the finer details to help with your preperations and essential tips for the actual weekend including:
- Brilliant hen party games
- Create memories
- Hen safety
- Organising people and personalities
See you in March!
Therapist & Founder
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