1. Expect to be out of pocket
For a while at least. Hen parties often require deposits or payments upfront, and it’s nigh-on impossible to get the money from everyone in a timely fashion. This said, be wary of forking out for someone you don’t know. It’s easy to make the mistake of paying a non-refundable deposit for someone you don’t know because they are a friend of the bride, when it’s just as easy for them to pull out at the final minute, leaving you at a loss and looking for someone to fill their space.
2. Be prepared to nag
There is a lot involved with organising a Hen Do and if there are a lot of you, it’s not always as simple as asking for some money and receiving it right away. Likewise, try and be firm with your cut-off dates. If people have failed to get back to you in time, they risk missing out on a good night. It may be the case that you ask one person a few times for their response and risk becoming the bad guy for a while, but then again someone must get it all sorted.
3. Sit down and consult the bride
This is her last night of freedom after all, not yours. Forget what you would want and speak to her about the level of immorality she would feel comfortable with. If she feels that spas are a waste of time, then a massage is not going to work.
4. Your Research
Hopefully (if you’ve sat down with the bride) you’ll have a list of things she fancies doing, because once you have that then it’s time to do your research. Ask friends if they’ve done anything on the list (or know anyone who has) and find out what they thought, as word of mouth is incredibly important when it comes to booking activities. You can also search what hen friendly activities are available for the dates you want.
5. Keep a financial spreadsheet
Hotel rooms, activities, drinks packages… it soon all adds up. With money flying in and out of your account or credit card, keeping on top of who’s paid what, which bills have been paid and what’s yet to be paid for can help ease the inevitable headache.
6. Wing the guest list
Even as the bride’s best friend you’ll struggle to get this right without her input, you don’t want to invite her mum if she’s planning on having tequila in her eyes. Or maybe you do. Best to clarify. Once you’ve nailed down your guest list you can start planning suitable activities.
7. Complain to the bride
She will have enough going on with her impending wedding. If you hit a roadblock with the party planning, scream down the phone to a trusted friend instead.
8. Forget the little things
Will there be a theme? What outfits will you wear? Are guests expected to bring booze with them if you’re getting ready together? I know these things may seem unnecessary, but it’s these little details that could make or break the hen’s evening. If you truly care about giving the bride a memorable send off, then these minor details become important.
9. Leave it all to the last minute
Unless your friend is throwing her wedding together in a week, you should have plenty of time to plan a hen do. It takes a lot of organisation and you need to give people as much notice as possible to gather their money, especially if you are planning something extravagant like a trip abroad.
Traditionally, the hen do is the last night before the wedding, however more recent parties have seen an increase in drinking, leading to hangovers and late nights. Therefore, it’s best to arrange the hen for a couple of weeks before (allowing for a complete bridal makeover!)
10. Take on too much
Organising a hen do can often seem overwhelming, especially if you’ve been tasked with putting it all together. Sometimes the very best hen parties are spontaneous. If it’s going to take place over the course of a weekend, it’s best to leave the second day free for leisurely lunches and maybe a spontaneous sing-song in a local pub, as opposed to back-to-back activities.