So, you've been trusted with the responsibility of planning a hen party; congratulations! At first, you'll probably be pleased to have been given such an important role, but after a while, you may start to regret your approval after realising the amount of work that you've taken on...
The reality of planning a hen do is often far more stressful than you would think at first, it's more than just ordering Hen Party Essentials (although this IS very important) but with a bit of determination and forethought, you can make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible for everyone involved. Here are our tips for planning a great hen do, that won't be a flop for any of your guests:
Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More!
Naturally the extent of your planning will depend upon the length and location of the hen, but it's still important to keep on top of all your tasks, whether you're planning a night out in your local city or a long weekend overseas. Your first priority should be to finalise the guest list, so you can have definite numbers to plan with when booking transportation, venues and activities. Once that's done, you can then move on to the booking process itself, and finalise your plans for the party. If you're hoping to fit in a variety of activities, you may want to draw up an itinerary to make sure everyone is clear on the plans, and to ensure that you are able to fit everything within your time frame. To make it easier for you, we've created this free hen party itinerary printable to help you plan out the running order of the days.
Involve Your Bride Without Being a Nag
It's highly likely that by the time the hen party arrives, your bride will be sick to death of making plans and checking bookings, thanks to months of pre-wedding stress. That means it's important to take on as much of the responsibility as possible, so that she can truly enjoy herself without having to worry about the little details. Having said that, it's also important that you ask for her input when needed, or at least get a good idea of what she wants before you start planning. A good way to do this is to plan a relaxing day out such as a shopping trip or a lunch date, so you can get a good idea of what the bride wants in a chilled out, stress-free atmosphere.
Keep All Your Guests in Mind
"So I have to keep in mind what the bride wants as well as everyone else?" Yep, pretty much.. We understand that it isn't the simplest of tasks to keep all the guests happy, and if your try to please everyone you'll end up driving yourself mad, however, it's important that you avoid making people feel left out at all costs. One case where this issue often arises is when there is a diverse age group attending the hen, or if you have invited a friend of the bride who isn't familiar with the rest of the attendees.
A great way to solve the issue of age and demographic, is simply by making sure that your plans are diverse enough to suit a range of tastes, so that everyone will find something to enjoy throughout the weekend. Another idea is to split the hen into a distinct day/night affair, so that those who aren't a fan of clubbing don't feel obliged to spend hours out dancing. If you're concerned about an individual feeling left out from the rest of the group, you may want to reach out to them before the hen to help them feel welcome. You could add them on social media or get their phone number from the bride, so that you can introduce yourself and help them feel included before you go away.
Why not get the girls matching with these sashes:
We have another food-related post for you today, as we're talking about setting up a sweet station at your hen party! This is perfect for hens who are celebrating at home, have hired a private venue, or are staying in an apartment.
While there are many companies who provide hire services of this kind, it can become a little pricey for hens who are looking to stick to a particular budget. After all, if you've already spend lots of money on accommodation, activities etc, it can seem a bit of a stretch to spend money on added extras.
The good news, is that it is super simple to plan a candy buffet or sweet station yourself, buy buying your own sweets and doing a little DIY work!
Step 1 - Stock up on Sweeties!
Here at HenStuff, we supply lots of sweet goodies for your hen night, so it won't be difficult to find lots of old favourites and hen-themed candies for your spread.
Will you pick something naughty or nice? Why not have both! Shop sweets here.
Step 2 - Get Crafty in the Kitchen!
We recently shared a few recipes for yummy bakes and treats to serve up at your hen party, which you can find here if you missed it. Another great idea is to make some marshmallow pops, which have become very popular in recent years, due to the fact that they look great and are easy to make. There is a super easy demonstration image here, but essentially, all you will need is: lollypop sticks, chocolate, cake decorations and maybe food colouring if desired.
If you're feeling a bit more ambitious, then why not try making some pretty macaroons? Not only will they add a touch of French bakery chic to your table, they also present you with the opportunity to try a range of different flavours and colours! Check out this strawberry macaroons recipe to get you started.
Step 3 - Set the Scene!
You'll want to make sure that the sweet station looks as good as it tastes, so it's important to think about the layout. Luckily, you can buy lots of plastic sweet jars online, which emulate the look of glass at a much lower price. Experiment with pretty jars, cake stands and bowls until you get your desired effect. For extra impact, try sticking to sweets and storage of the same colour(s), to make your arrangement look even more stylish and put-together. For the table or stand, you may want to add extra elements of decoration, which you can easily make yourself with some pretty card and paper. Check out this awesome hen party bunting idea from Brideas!
For more hen party inspiration, check out our Pinterest page!
You can also find lots of news, ideas and competitions over on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Staying in the UK for your hen weekend? Here's our round-up of the best hen party cities, with plenty of ideas for things to do in each one!
The seaside city has become one of the most popular destinations for UK hens over the past few years, and it isn't difficult to see why! There are a diverse range of activities available to suit all tastes, from quirky vintage tea parties to all night parties. Whether you're looking for a relaxing getaway or all-out action, you can guarantee that you won't be short of things to do!
Best for: Variety
Edinburgh isn't the obvious choice for a hen weekend, but it has all the ingredients needed to make the trip a success for hens of all ages. If you're planning a wedding with a touch of bookish inspiration, then there really is no better place to get some ideas before the big day! As one of the most literary cities in UK, you won't be short of places to visit if books are your bag! It also has a selection of friendly, lively bars that are frequented by both locals and tourists alike, as well as a host of unusual activities, including ghost tours! If you're planning a summer hen, be sure to hit the famous Edinburgh festival, and make sure you book way in advance!
Known for its excellent choice of party hotspots and restaurants, Newcastle is a great choice for hens who are all about the nightlife! Easy to navigate, and packed with a fantastic selection of shops, Newcastle has everything that a group of hens need for a fun-packed and hassle-free weekend. If Geordie Shore
is your thing, there will certainly be plenty of opportunities to get 'mortal', especially if you take out a Geordie Tours
package. Don't be fooled by the city's party mad rep, however, there are just as many options in the city for a more laid-back hen too!
As the European Capital of Culture, Liverpool has bags of charm, with lots of interesting things to see and do. With an eclectic mix of modern architecture and listed buildings, it's a fantastic city to look at, so a bus tour is definitely a must if you decide go here. With a fantastic selection for bars, restaurants and music venues, you certainly won't be stuck for things to do at night, plus you'll also have an array of tourist spots and activities to choose from during the day!
'It is a truth universally acknowledged', that Bath is a fantastic up-and-coming hen party location! Once a weekend retreat for London's elite, Bath is the perfect place for an up-market hen do with fun and relaxation in equal measures. With breath-taking architecture and beautiful gardens, it's the perfect city to visit if you want to avoid the hustle and bustle, but still have plenty to do. With it's own rooftop spa, a newly renovated shopping centre and an array of quaint, vintage tea rooms, Bath is the perfect place for chilled-out hen do that will leave you feeling refreshed and revived, as opposed to giving you a sore head!
Voted the best night out in the UK, there's a reason why Leeds ranks as one of the top UK hen party destinations. Home to a vibrant selection of clubs and restaurants, known for their quality and endless array of choice; this is definitely a great option for foodie hens. A visit to the Electric Press is a must; offering a selection of cuisines and and array of drinking options, including big names such as Revolution.
Best for: Food
Something Different: Vintage Makeovers at Le Keux
If you're planning a hen in summer, Nottingham has lots to keep you and your hens on your toes! From food festivals to live entertainment at the Riverside Festival, this is a city that really comes alive in the warmer months! Despite this, it's also a great city to visit all year round, particularly if you're a girl who likes to shop! With a fantastic mix of independant shops, big name brands and bustling markets, you'll be spoilt for choice when exploring this beautiful city. If you're looking for a place to enjoy a relaxing drink after all that shopping, head to the waterfront for a selection of lively venues.
For more hen party inspiration, follow us on Twitter
Get your Hen Party drinking accessories here:
You start off feeling like a super organised girl boss!
Then someone mentions 'responsibility' and you start feeling a little unsure..
But hey, you can sooo do this, right?..
You start doing research on things to do and places to stay, and feel super productive...
Until you realise that you've been looking at hen party stuff for HOURS.
You're starting to feel a little frazzled so you call in some of the other girls for help... Then realize you're more confused than ever! Just too many opinions!
The invite list proves to be the most difficult part of all! I mean, does the bride really want the cousin she hardly ever sees there?
And you think that you might just snap when someone suggests that they 'might not be able to make it'...
Or that they were 'sure they'd given you the money for that already'...
Eventually, things slowly start coming together, and you think you might just pull it off...
You rush around in a last minute panic to make sure you've thought of everything!
Eventually, you realise that you've done a pretty good job, and can finally relax and and unwind a little!