Ladies, hopefully you don’t need me to tell you this but: It’s ok if you don’t want willy straws, ‘L’ plates, ‘Bride-to-be’ sashes and strippers at your hen do. PHEW…
If that’s your bag then good for you. This is a judging free zone; I’m just a fan of everyone having the hen do that they want. And though other friends’ hen parties are pretty great, ohmygad there’s nothing like your own. All your friends in one place, so much love around, and whatever activity you’re up to is amazing – because all your mates are there.
For me, I think I was more of a control freak for my hen do than anything else. I was so clear on what I wanted that I actually booked part of it myself. OOPS.
I just knew that I didn’t want to go abroad or force my pals to pay crazy money when all I wanted was to hang out with them. I also didn’t want it to be an overnight thing, as lots of my friends have babies (I’m so selfless), and there would be no L-plates or strippers. Amen. Again, if you’re into this then good for you. Personally it is my idea of being at the gates of hell with no return and a 100-mile hold-up to get through.
Where to start?
- When? First thing’s first; figure out when you want to go. I would give your organising squad two or three weekends/days/nights you can make and then let them decide. Don’t send out endless Doodle polls – just accept that not everyone will be able to make your hen do. Soz. If the non-attendance list is like 80% then maybe re-think. Otherwise, just go with it and save your mates a zillion emails to their inboxes before you’ve even found a date.
- Leave…the….whatsapp…alone: Keeping up with Whatsapp in 2016 has actually become a full-time job. Fact. So I would strongly recommend that your mates don’t turn to Whatsapp to organise your hen. A zillion messages a day from people you’ve never even met asking ‘what are the bank details again’ is no-one’s idea of fun.
- Budget: Figure out a rough amount you want people to spend and tell your squad. Having organised other hen parties, this is super helpful. Otherwise you’re all starting on the wrong page and trying to manage lots of different expectations. Hen parties always end up being a tad bit more than you expect them to in my experience, so factor that in. FYI: Your hen do is not the only one ever, so be kind to your mates. No-one wants a hen do budget of £1,000 each (unless you’re super rich, in which case go forth and wild).
- Invitation list: Give your squad a list of people you want to invite. I also told them how I knew each person just as a bit of background, and as my mates are all from different parts of my life.
- Ideas: If you know what you want to do then wonderful. Your squad will be SO happy they don’t have to have 10 brainstorming sessions before they figure out which city/county to even start with. If not then no worries, yo – who doesn’t love a surprise? Leave it to your squad and go forth to plan your hen do outfit and get excited. They’re your mates – of course they’ll organise the perfect party for you! Right…??
The best hen do parties I’ve been to:
- London (mine): Drink Shop Do (afternoon tea), followed by cocktails in Simmons King’s Cross, followed by dancing and more drinks and games in Drink Shop Do.
- Bath: Dance class, followed by cocktail-making class in our cottage (WINNER) followed by dinner and dancing in a cheesy club.
- Cambridge: Cottage stay, followed by punting on the river (gorgeous, dahling) and then lunch nearby at The Anchor, right by the river, then dinner and games back at the cottage.
- Barcelona: Not as expensive as you might think however quite a trek away! It was such a blast, and our trip included segways, cava, tapas, sangria, beach, cava, tapas, cava, tapas….
Top tip: Book your flights early and when you get there it’s mega cheap. We booked our flights with Norwegian Airlines.
Busy hens? Why not get someone to organise it for you…?
You don’t have to do something totally wild for it to be a great hen, but the list of hen do activities, venues and locations is MAHOOSIVE! This can be overwhelming and I am all about making life easy and uncomplicated.
If your mates are mega busy or just aren’t the super organised types then there are some amazing companies now who can organise the whole thing for you, or give you ideas to help you on your way. Some have special packages and also work to your budgets which is pretty dang cool. More on my recommendations soon…