Their old traditions have mostly gone, the L-plates, the veils, something old, something new. We’ve all moved on a little bit. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start a few hen party traditions of your own. Laughing, singing, dancing, drinking too many cocktails, these are the rites of passage for any pre-wedding sisterhood. Here’s GoHen’s checklist of party pleasures that make every pre-wedding weekend complete.
Keep an Eye on The Budget
After you’ve sorted out the initial budget and pricing for the group, make sure to keep an eye on the last minute finances in the days leading up to the hen, as well as on the day. It’s easy to go overboard when it’s your first time, and you’re excited to add in little extras.
It’s not fair to ask the guests to cough up any more dough, and you don’t want to be left with a credit card bill for 20 baby Guinnesses, and an extra two hours of karaoke. This is one reason we highly suggest you have a contingency plan in place!
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.
Limit Your Money Worries – Set your budget
Ask your guests to have all their money paid up in advance rather than fixing you up with the remainder of cash on the day of the hen. Break up each element of the day (activities, food, transport etc.) and put the funds for each in separate envelopes, so everything is ready to hand over, and you can have peace of mind on the day (and enjoy yourself!).
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.
Timing is Key
It may seem a little Monica from Friends (no clipboard and earpiece now), but when it comes to organising 15-20 gals all looking at you for direction, it’s so helpful to have a schedule down on paper – just something simple outlining key times and locations. This is particularly important if you’ve people joining at different times during the day or evening.
Sort the Transport
A straightforward thing to do (but one that often gets forgotten) is organising transport from A to B – and making sure it’s factored into the original cost you sent the hens. This cuts out any confusion on where people need to be, there’s less risk of losing guests (trust me, it happens!) and everyone will appreciate when an all-in price means all-in.
Pick a hen party theme
If you plan on having a themed hen party, decide now, as your accommodation and choice of activities can add to a theme. For example, glamping and a flower-crown workshop would add to a festival-themed hen, while a 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.
Choose a hen party 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?
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 any event more intimate and personal.
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 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.
Break the Ice
Get everyone talking with an ice-breaker. For example, ask everyone in the group to bring a photograph of themselves and the bride-to-be, and ask each of them to share a personal story about the bride. This will give everyone the heads-up on who’s who, and get people mixing.
Cosmos and chats
You can go the pre-mix cocktail bucket and blender at home, or splurge a bit and venture out to a venue near you.
Or you could go with a company like Liquid Infusion, who specialise in hen’s parties and send their most dashing young barmen in for the occasion.
The best part about the latter option is there is no clean-up, and you can spend the evening in one spot or use your cocktail event as a prequel to other adventures later in the night.
Look After Everyone
The bride is the lady of the hour, but don’t forget to make a fuss of the guests too – you’re the host after all! Many of the guests might know each other and be best buds, but there are usually some guests who are coming solo. Make sure to get talking to each guest and help along with those shy gals – there is nothing worse than the feeling that everyone at the party is pals and you don’t know anyone! This goes for mums and older guests too.
Know your Audience
We hope that while planning the party, you kept your bride in mind. So when it comes to the actual hen do, don’t produce any rude props or jokes unless you know she’s up for it. Many hens these days are decidedly low-key on things like willy straws and strippers, while others will expect them, so suss out where your gal (and the other guests!) are at.
Likewise, when it comes to party games like the Mr & Mrs game, keep the tone light and limit the embarrassing questions, especially if the mum or mum-in-law is present!
Things to do on a hens night
We have put together ideas that will make your hen weekend a success and some ‘must do’s’ on a hen night.
Whether you’re a group of girls going away for a whole weekend, celebrating on a night out or a stay at home hen party you will find many of these fun suggestions helpful.
Bake up a storm
If you like things a little sweet and more subdued, you can enjoy a cooking class with your gals. The smell of freshly baked goodies invokes a sense of fun, adventure and nostalgia in everyone, so make sure you pack a camera to capture all of the fun.
Plan Party Packs
If you have allowed for some extras in the budget (you really should!) make sure to have your party packs or goodie bags ready to hand over to the guests – it works as a nice ice-breaker and shows your bride from the outset that you’ve put lots of thought into her hen. Make sure to include anything they might need for any activities you have planned, as well as any random dressing up bits. They can also have ‘DayDay After the Night Before’ items such as painkillers, crisps, a can of Coke or bottle of water – food and beverage items are always gladly received! Here’s some idea
Make flower crowns
Flower Crown Parties are perfect for enjoying some quality time with your family and friends. Unleash your creativity and spark your inspiration to learn all the skills you need to make your Flower Crowns. Among the latest trends in hen’s parties, they are truly unique and will create awesome lifelong memories.
Make up a fun hat for the hen to wear.
The hen hat should have lots of funny and embarrassing things attached to it. Old photos of the hen, streamers etc.
Makeup party bags full of great surprises
This is a super idea for a hen weekend, and you could just make a goodie bag for the hen or one for each of the guests. Try to add some fun gifts which can be purchased for just a few pounds. Think party bubbles or poppers, small chocs, cheeky straws. You get the idea.
Have afternoon tea at a posh hotel or tea rooms
Vintage tea rooms are a novel way to enjoy an afternoon, and with many new ones around the UK, you should be able to find one at your choice of destination. Some venues now offer a beauty salon experience so you can have your hair, nails, makeup or beauty treatment at the same time as you enjoy your tea and cakes. Now that is a great idea!
Go horse racing
The UK has some great horse racing tracks, and most offer VIP packages that include meals, racecards etc. You could even hire a limo to take everyone there and home again. Or Greyhound racing is a great idea if you want to do something in the evening. These are exciting, and there are packages on offer that include a race card, vouchers, food and drinks.
Comedy clubs have become a hen party favourite
Add a meal and some drinks to make it an extra fun evening. Some brilliant new acts are hitting the UK comedy scene at present, and the quality of entertainment is now the best it has been for years. There is usually a disco or nightclub at the end of the evening as well, so the party does stop until much later.
Most brides have at least two bridesmaids, so work as a team and delegate jobs on the day or for the weekend so that everyone has a role to play. It’s important that all the girls feel involved, especially if one of you is based abroad. Have this all planned out before the day or weekend, so everyone knows who is doing what, from decorating and keeping guests entertained, to tidying and cleaning up.
Decorations help make a hen party special – Try ideas like balloons, streamers and banners to decorate the room for the party or the hen’s hotel room for the weekend. Very important if staying at home.
While it’s important to have a loose schedule and plans in place, don’t forget that your guests are all adults and don’t like to be ordered around every minute of the day with back-to-back activities. Leave a little room in the schedule for chilling out.
Be flexible with your hen’s party
Find someone that offers a range of relaxing, fun, and wine and dine packages to send you off into married life with a smile. Offering dancing, yoga, massage, beauty, acupuncture, manicures, cheese making, flower crowns, healthy high tea, a personal chef, and so much more. More and more brides-to-be are health-conscious and would love nothing more than connecting with their friends in a spiritual kind of way, like through yoga.
Get The Party Started
Ok, so the Monica-madness is over, and it’s time for everyone to let their hair down, while you have to keep everyone on track, don’t forget to enjoy a glass (or two!) of champers and celebrate your best girl. She chose you as your bridesmaid because her fave person to hit the dance floor with, so make sure you do!
Relax, enjoy the day and have fun!
Remember a hen party is all about having fun, so do it! If you’re planning your hen night for you and your girlies Adonis Cabaret organise amazing evenings all year round, so you know they know how to throw a good party! If you’re still looking for more ways to plan your last night of freedom, our Hen and Stag Parties section has everything you need!