Welcome to February! This month the majority of my blogs will be linked to matters of the heart because after all this is the month for lurve! I’m starting with a little guide for how to plan a hen do for your friend. I have been lucky enough to help organise and plan three hen dos for my friends – all of them different but equally fun and memorable. To start with here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way!
Tip One: Audience. You have to always bear in mind who you are planning the night/weekend for. It’s not your hen do so what you will enjoy may not be their idea of fun! This is for one of the people you care about most so make sure they are always at the front of your mind when planning.
Tip Two: Cost. Hen dos have become increasingly more expensive in recent years. Remember – you are planning a celebration for someone who is getting married. Weddings are expensive for the bride and groom but also for the hen party. If you’re going to the wedding you will often want a new outfit, will stay at the venue or need to pay for a taxi, you will want to buy a gift and pay for drinks at the bar SO adding into that an extortionately priced hen do just isn’t a great idea. You can execute a fab hen do with great planning so get your creative hats on! By having a pricey hen do it often mean that some people won’t be able to come so you have to weigh up money or memories with people the hen loves.
Tip Three: Include your hen in the planning. Ask them what they do and don’t want. The last thing you want is for them to feel embarrassed or hate the event. They don’t need to know the exact details if you want it to be a surprise but knowing a few preferences will help.
Tip Four: Games. Not everyone loves a game but they can make for fun times! Not all hen games have to include stereotypical items, wink wink, but again, you can be clever with it! Get the groom involved and organise a game or Mr and Mrs or a game of ‘which body part belongs to your man?’ These don’t include much money as they can be homemade.
Tip Five: Location. Do you want to get away, have a night out, start in one place and move onto somewhere else or does your hen just want a daytime activity? Some people may need to travel to get to the hen do so try and organise places for them to stay to make them feel like they are wanted.
Tip Six: Communication. Often it isn’t just one person organising the hen do. Sometimes bridesmaids don’t know each other that well and will have conflicting ideas and tensions can run high. Don’t do everything via WhatsApp group chats – things get misconstrued and it will only end in tears. Get to know each other face-to-face with one get together where you can hash it all out in one go and delegate jobs. That way you don’t need anymore back and forths, you will each have jobs to do and you can have a second catch up a week or so before to make sure nothing else is needed. Job done.
Tip Seven: Be prompt and fair. Hen dos will incur a cost at some point and that will mean that one person will often be the one paying and will then end up chasing people for what’s owing. Having been that person, it is so frustrating having to remind people to pay up or even the worst thing, having people pull out once they’ve agreed and you’ve paid for them! BE FAIR! If you’ve said yes and then you decide you can’t go, you still need to pay otherwise someone ends up out of pocket.
I’ve helped plan three hen dos for friends and all have been different. Number one was a two part hen do, part one at Centre Parks for a weekend and part two in London for the evening at an Adonis night! Number two was a roller disco hen do that started at mine for dinner and a few games and then up to London for a Roller Disco and number three was a Toy Story themed hen do which started at mine and ended up in London on a party boat going up and down the Thames.
Hen Do 1.
If you plan far enough in advance you can get good deals for places like Centre Parks. We had such a fun weekend, there are so many choices and you can pay as much or as little as you want when there. You do this by choosing as many extra activities as you want, by taking food with you for breakfasts etc and planning carefully. We ate out one evening, had a take away another and cooked for the third. We took games and accessories – it always helps to have creative friends who will be happy to make a penis pinata! It was a really fun weekend.
The part in London was something that wasn’t up my street but what the hen wanted. I have to say it really was a good laugh but a once in a lifetime experience for me. It was nice to have the food included and it turned into a club after so we could have a good dance. Afraid I can’t really post photos from this hen night!
Hen Do 2.
We knew that the hen wanted to go to a roller disco which solved the big debate of what to do and where to go! We didn’t book a mini bus, we just ordered taxis from my flat after comparing which would be cheapest. I had everyone round to mine first where we played some games, took photos in our neon outfits and had some food which again, lowered the price as we didn’t go to a restaurant. Then we headed to the roller disco and had an absolute blast! We skated, danced, sang, drank and made the best memories. It was affordable and the only real cost was sorting outfits! Perfect hen night.
Hen Do 3.
This hen do I have to say took a little bit more organising. It was organised in partnership with the other third of our little gang which made it so much easier! The three of us had met at uni so this was a special wedding and Sarah didn’t want a “normal” hen do as she isn’t one for being embarrassed or having penis straws everywhere (we did manage to get as far as pin the hose on the fireman though which she actually quite enjoyed!).
The hen had absolutely no involvement what so ever in this hen do – some would say we possibly know each other too well! The morning of the hen do we took ourselves to her house and organised, just for the three of us to have a pamper morning. We bought light food and foot baths but also organised for a lady to come and do our nails etc. Deborah and I planned the rest of it in accordance to her favourite film – Toy Story. We decided again to start at my flat which I transformed into Andy’s Room – that was no mean feat I can tell you! But we knew the three of us were coming back for a sleepover after so we wanted Sarah to spend the night in the Tou Story room to finish the night off perfectly.
The invites were sent out asking people to choose a character from Toy Story they wanted to come as and let us know ASAP so that we didn’t end up with five Buzz Lightyears. Everyone was fab and we didn’t have any double ups, just the entire Toy Story Gang – we looked incredible even if I do say so myself! We roped the hens mum into making her outfit and as the hen arrived at my flat, we all stayed quiet whilst Deborah and I dressed a blindfolded hen in my room and led her to Andy’s Room for the big reveal! I think she really was surprised and loved it. We had themed the food around Toy Story too with Mr Potato Head jackets, cup cakes and snacks. We set up a photo booth in my spare room which was a real hit and played Mr and Mrs which revealed quite a lot too!
Although the hen wasn’t a real clubber, she does LOVE a dance and so we booked a party boat up in London on the Thames. We did almost miss boarding (!) but once we were on it we had such a fun time. Dancing, drinks and views made for a real giggle and the hen had a really fun time – even doing tequila shots! It was a hen do that the mother of the bride/groom could enjoy too and again, wasn’t too expensive because we did most of it ourselves. I will never forget walking through London and us all being asked for photos by tourists – everyone loves a bit of Toy Story! That was the hen do that made me think I’d love to go into events organising because I just loved setting it all up and seeing how happy the hen was.
Hen dos really don’t have to be expensive and hard to plan, if you do it right then it’s actually really good fun. Make your own props, do your own food, book in advance, find discounts and you’ll be fine and dandy.
I hope you’ve picked up some ideas, hints and tips for planning a hen do – I’d love to hear about any unusual hen dos you’ve planned so don’t forget to comment below.
Happy Friday loved up people!