It’s a horrible word and a total PAIN to do, but one of the big essentials when you start planning a hen party is to set your budget. It’s one of the first things people do before deciding on wedding venues and suppliers, so treat your hen party in the same way. If your figures don’t add up, the bride-to-be’s big night could descend into chaos.
As always, The Hen Planner is here to help. We’ve drawn up a comprehensive list of EVERYTHING you should include in your hen party budget to get you on the right track.
Before we get started, there are a couple of things to consider. What are your numbers? If you have a big group, remember that the cost of activities and accommodation could be a lot cheaper as suppliers tend to bargain better with bigger groups. The cost of the bride’s expenses will be much easier spread out over a big group aswell! However, if you are considering making up party bags for 20 or more people, bear in mind that each item you put in has to be bought 20 or more times, and even the cheapest item could end up hitting your budget hard. On the other hand, if you are organising a party for a much smaller group of, say, the bride’s very best friends, the group might be willing to spend a little bit extra to get a more luxurious package.
In both cases, consider your guests’ limits at all times when preparing your budget. It would be horrible to have people pulling out of the night because they simply can’t afford it.
Here are some of the basic things to factor in to your budget. We have based this on a per-person rate for a one-night hen, so remember, double up if you’re making a weekend out of it.
Decide how many people will be sharing rooms. If you are considering putting three people into a room to lower the cost, remember that this, more often than not, means two people having to share a double bed. Make sure this is something your guests would be agreeable with before budgeting for this option.
Estimates per person
€40 for hostel
€150 for hotel suite
Packages, like the great variety we have on offer at myhenplanner.com, can start from as little as €20, and after that, the sky’s the limit. Remember, the price doesn’t determine how much fun you will have, that’s all down to your group on the day, so set a limit that won’t push your guests out of the running. In fact, we’d use this nugget of wisdom when deciding on all aspects of your hen party budget.
Estimates per person
A budget activity like €20 for hula hooping or chocolate making party
Or a more expensive activity for €70 like a recording studio session or makeover and photoshoot
Divide this section into three parts: lunch/arrival food (especially if you are hoping to fit in a day-time activity), snacks (eg cupcakes/sweets/crisps that you might purchase in advance to bring to the party for when the guests are playing games etc), and dinner. Dinner may be included in your accommodation package, particularly if you choose a hotel, but if you are planning on renting a country house, for example, a caterer could be a cost than you might not have considered. If breakfast won’t be included in your accommodation price, factor it in to your snacks budget to make sure your hungover hens get fed the morning after the big night before.
Estimates per person
Once the three big budget items are sorted, you can decide whether or not to include some of the following items in your package for guests.
If you are organising group transport, eg by bus/train/plane.
Are you planning to bring bottles of Prosecco or the bride’s favourite tipple? Will there be a drink (or more!) included in the price of your dinner menu or will this have to be covered on the night?
If you decide to have one, think about the spend involved. Will your guests need to fork out for costumes?
Fee for nightclub or reserving bar area
Some accommodation options will include free entry to particular venues or you can decide whether to let people pay on the night.
As discussed earlier, beware of numbers when you are deciding on a cost per bag.
Presents for the bride
From sashes and badges, to hair and make-up, to Polaroid cameras and jewellery, this section could leave you hen planners out of pocket if not factored carefully into your budget.
Balloons, bunting, and pretty paper plates, cups and napkins can really make a big difference at a hen party, so consider whether you can squeeze in something special from The Hen Planner Boutique into your budget.
One thing to try and include in your budget is the bride’s costs. Although some bride’s will insist on paying their way, particularly if it’s a smaller hen, paying for some or all of the bride’s expenses is a gift that won’t be forgotten in a hurry and will make her feel truly spoilt.
And finally….don’t forget to include a small contingency fund. Even if you’ve budgeted your whole night down to the smallest detail, sometimes things just don’t go to plan. But if everyone contributes a small amount (we recommend €10 per person), then there’s a good chance that anything that does pop up won’t be a reason to panic.
If you add it all up and your price sounds a little bit daunting to you, go back to the drawing board. But when you do get to a more palatable sum, pat yourself on the back and tick a HUGE part of your hen planning off the list.
And further down the line, after you’ve chosen all the finer details within your budget, be sure to tell your guests exactly what they are getting for their money to show just how good a job you’ve done on getting them the best value for their hard-earned cash.
Phew. That’s it! If you take the above on board we promise it will make it a little easier. If you haven’t read our 8 steps of hen party planning, this is essential hen party organisation reading too. Happy planning x
Image from Wildfox.com