Have you been given the honour of being the maid of dishonour? Got the pressure of trying to arrange the best hen do ever? We’ve got some tips to get you started.
Make sure the Bride gives you the contacts of all the guests. Ask her what is the best way to contact everyone at the same time. Are they all on WhatsApp, do they regularly check Facebook or is email going to be best? Sadly, there will always be one person who will be tricky to get in touch with but ask the Bride to suggest what is best to keep your correspondences to a minimum.
Send out a Save the Date
Arrange this with the Bride (because you know, it’s quite important she’s there) and get this out ASAP. This will give you a good idea of numbers early on, make sure as many people can make it as possible and will give you plenty of time to book some activities for the hen do. The earlier you book, the more things will be available and you’ll get better prices on things.
In the Save the Date, give the guests an idea of what will be planned and a vague idea of costs – so they can put money aside for the hen do.
Keep the plan simple
There’s no need to overdo things. If you’re arranging a day hen – stick to the basic formula of food, activity and dancing. If you’re going for a weekend away, remember guests will most probably be travelling after work so no need to push them straight into activities when they arrive. Again, sticking to the simple formula of food, activity and dancing seems to be failproof.
Ideas to keep the costs down
The hardest thing about arranging a hen do is being sensitive to everyone’s financial circumstances. The cost of things can easily creep up, so it’s worth planning things that cost little to nothing. here are a few ideas to keep costs down;
- Scavenger Hunt – This is basically a treasure hunt in the area you’re in. You can write the clues yourself, get guests to take a photo to prove they’ve found the locations and race back to meet you. Winning team can get a bottle of Prosecco, and this is a great way for the party to get to know each other.
- Mr & Mrs/ Mrs & Mrs – A hen do favourite! And this is free! Film the hen’s partner answering question prior to the hen do, and play it during the event testing the hen’s knowledge.
- Make sure every activity is local to each other – Think about your iteniery in turns of geography, are guests going to have to pay £15 cab fair to get from one place to the next? Try and keep everything in walking distance.
- If you’re renting accommodation for the hen do, cook most meals at home as this will save the pennies.
Give guests mini payment plans to make sure they know when to pay and when. Message saying they will have to pay X amount on these X dates. Make sure they have a payday in-between payment dates so they can budget for this. Keep a spreadsheet to keep on track of who’s paid and who hasn’t.
It is sometimes worth overcharging guests by £5-10 just in case there’s last minute dropout – this should make sure you don’t have to cough up any extra cash out of your own pocket. If this money isn’t used by the date of the event you can use this to buy a round for all the guests. Again, use a spreadsheet to keep your finances up to date.
So it’s becoming a tradition to give guests goody bags for the hen do. This is a lovely touch, but think about how useful or fun the items are inside the bag. Is buying everyone ‘willy’ straws worth the money if they’re just going to be used for one photo opportunity? Also think about your carbon footprint, should we really use plastic so unnecessarily?
If you do want to take goody bags – try and fill it with things that will be kept or can be recycled. Sweets and drinks are normally always used (think about their packaging though). You can make paper masks of the bride’s partner – which can be recycled and are fun to use on the day.
It’s very important to spend a bit of time researching dress codes for your various activities before the day. You don’t want everyone turning up to a club in trainers when it’s shoes only, or doing a tough mudder activity when everyone is wearing dresses. Also check rules on fancy dress for your venues – a few places don’t allow this.
….Aaand have fun! Don’t worry too much if things don’t go completely to plan, the party is just about enjoying yourself! Laugh, dance and get to know everyone! Remember to take lots of photos.