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If you’re a first-time bridesmaid facing into the hen party gauntlet right now, you’ve come to the right place. Here at The Hen Planner, we’ll show you what you need to do (and when), we’ll take you through budgets, the pros and cons of different activities and accommodation, we’ll give you unique ideas for hen party themes AND we’ll even throw in THE best Mr & Mrs questions. To get you on the right track, we’ve put together a guide with everything you need to know about how to start planning a hen party. So gather all the bridesmaids, pop open some Prosecco, get out your hen planner notebooks and let us help you make those first important decisions. Once the hard stuff is done, it all becomes so much fun! Remember, the more you put in, the more you, and the bride, will get out of her big night. Here how to plan a hen party in 8 steps!
Step 1. Numbers and nights
Get the bride to make up a list of exactly who she wants to attend her hen party. This means you won’t forget about that second cousin or school friend that you’ve never heard of. Once you have the numbers settled, decide whether the hen party will take place over one night or two (or more if you’re thinking of heading to sunnier climes!) There are advantages and disadvantages to both, so think carefully about this one and involve the bride. She will probably have a preference.
Step 2. Set your budget
Budget is THE most important thing to decide on and should be done before any research goes into activities and locations. Everything that happens on the hen will depend on how much you can spend. Most one-night hen parties will probably come in under the €150pp mark. But there are big discounts to be had by staying two nights, putting three people into hotel rooms, and doing lots of DIY. Larger numbers can mean much better deals also. Check out our more detailed blog on this here
Step 3. Pick a theme
If you plan on having a themed hen party, decide now, as your accommodation and choice of activities can really add to a theme. For example, glamping and a flower-crown workshop would really add to a festival-themed hen, while a really quirky hotel and 1960s makeover would be perfect for a vintage hen. There are so many options, from Gatsby to glitter balls. A theme can make a hen party much more memorable.
Step 4. Choose a location
In your local town, elsewhere in Ireland or the UK, or jetting off further afield, the choice is endless. Consider those attending the hen party, like people with children, anyone who is pregnant or those with weekend work schedules. It’s lovely to go far away, but if it means some important people won’t be able to come, how will the bride feel?
Step 5. Pick suitable accommodation
From hotels and B&Bs to renting out a big house in the country, glamping and traditional camping, there is something to suit all tastes and budgets. A hotel can be very convenient, but self-catering options can make an event more intimate and personal.
Step 6. Start researching activities
Keep your audience in mind when you are deciding on what activities to do. Again, the choice is vast, from craft, dance and beauty treats to high-adrenaline adventure and dress-up photoshoots. Check out myhenplanner.com for the most modern and unique range of hen party activities that will keep your hen party bang on trend.
Step 7. Factor in food
This is SO important if a night of drinking is ahead. When putting together the first draft of your hen party itinerary, make sure you include a lunch or snacks on arrival, and dinner. Make a note to check with the guests if anyone has specific dietary requirements before booking a restaurant to avoid embarrassment/unhappy and unfed hens on the night.
Step 8. Don’t forget the extras
If you’ve made it this far, well done — you are almost there. This section will depend on what’s left in your budget, but the little extras (we call them ESSENTIALS here at The Hen Planner!) can really make a hen party. Sashes, tattoos, scrap books, party bags, badges, bunting and balloons will really make your hen party stand out from the crowd.
Happy hen planning