He asked, she said yes; she asked, you said yes… And now, as a bridesmaid, one of your most important jobs is to make sure the bride-to-be has a hen to remember – but for all the right reasons! If you’re currently hen planning, follow our guide below for some essential tips for making sure it’s the best do ever. Read on for 10 ideas for how to plan the best hen do ever!
1. Guest list
Ask the bride exactly who she wants to invite (ie. family, sisters-in-law, colleagues). Guesswork here could be dangerous, so it’s very important to have her input. Bear in mind some of the guests might not know anybody else apart from the bride, so make them feel included and ideally put them in touch with other guests before the hen party so they can travel together etc.
It’s important to keep the troops in the loop, so when you have decided on a location, maybe start with a ‘save the date’, details of the location and the guide price, followed by an update with more detailed information, and finally a reminder coming up to the event to get everyone in the mood! Make sure to let people know if they need a change of clothes, swimwear, yoga gear etc. For those who like to go the extra mile, you can forward an itinerary so guests know who they’re sharing with, what time they’ll be eating, what to pack, etc. Make sure you’ve given your contact details so any hens can get in touch with queries but avoid bombarding the gang with emails or WhatsApps as people will stop reading and might miss some crucial deets!
This can be a tricky one, especially if the bride is dreaming of a Vegas bash or a week in the sun while the squad are struggling with overdrafts. It’s important to manage the bride’s expectations and try to come up with a price point and location that ensures as many of her crew can come and celebrate with her as possible. A rough guideline for a one-day hen with an overnight stay is usually €150 per person. Apart from the budget constraints, travel factors can also rule out friends with kids or certain work commitments, so you may want to bear this in mind too. Remember, you can adapt most hen ideas to suit any budget. Maybe try a BYOB restaurant or ask the guests to bring a bottle of bubbles with them if you’re trying to keep costs down.
4. Water, water everywhere!
Hydration is essential, so make sure to stock up on H2O bottles in advance and have plenty available for the crew throughout the day. Leave it in the bedrooms, put it in the goodie bags and bring bottles to any activities. Ask any restaurants you book to give you lots of jugs for the table and frequent refills. You won’t regret it!
5. Surprises for the bride
Even if your bride wants to take an active role in hen planning, try and keep some bits under wraps. Perhaps keep the location or the activity secret and when you’re collecting her for the hen, leave some clues for her to figure out. Even better, send a taxi to collect her and take her to a mystery location, or have a secret theme she only discovers when she arrives at her destination and sees the squad in costume!
6. Hair and make-up for the bride
The ultimate treat for the bride-to-be is to book her in for a makeover on the morning of her hen so she’s looking and feeling fabulous. Lots of salons have hair and make-up packages available. Or book her in at the make-up counter of her favourite brand and she can take some products with her to top up her new look.
7. Hen party games
You don’t have to go OTT, but a few hen party games are essential and can be a good way to get some group bonding under way! The classic is the Mr and Mrs Quiz, and we’re particular fans of playing the groom’s video-recorded answers to a captive audience. Another simple but effective one is to ask all guests to bring a small gift that reminds them of the bride and she guesses who brought each one and why. Check out the list of ultimate hen party games here.
8. Keep it personal
The hen party is ALL about the bride, so make sure to include lots of personal touches throughout the day. Make a playlist of her favourite music (include some embarrassing teenage choices!), stock up on her favourite cocktail or beverage and choose an activity or restaurant that just screams her.
A nice touch is to get all the guests to add to a photo scrapbook for the bride with photos and personal messages that you can present to her at the hen.
9. Make sure everyone knows who the bride is!
The aim of the game is to accessorise your bride while sparing her fears of looking tacky. Draw attention to the lady of the hour but keep her looking gorgeous by stocking up on some stylish and fashionable hen accessories. Our hen party shop has gorgeous, classy, fun and different hen party accessories and hen party decorations available in our online store with a stylish option to suit all themes!
Snaps are very important. You can designate a bridesmaid to be the chief photographer for the day or rotate the job. Make sure and get plenty of photos of the VVIP, and some with her and the bridesmaids. Also, take the opportunity to get a few nice group shots of her with all her mates, preferably when everyone is dolled up! Instax or Polaroids are a fun touch and you can put these together in a photobook as a keepsake. But remember to put the camera away when the late-night fun kicks off. What happens at that stage of the hen STAYS on the hen!
Happy Hen Planning!
Image from Show Me Your Mumu