A question was asked. The answer was yes. In no time you will be watching a beautiful bride marry the man of her dreams! And because this lovely lady also happens to be your best friend, you have an important role in not only the wedding, but also the pre-wedding shenanigans.
In other words, you’re planning the hen’s party.
To make sure it’s a great success, here are my top tips for creating an unforgettable celebration!
Start planning early
Planning a hen’s party is quite a time-consuming job. It will be obvious to everyone involved if the event is thrown together last minute. Rather than putting immense pressure on yourself to plan something amazing in only a couple of weeks (or risk disappointing your beautiful best friend), it’s best to get started early.
So if you haven’t already, put together a group conversation (or email thread) with the other bridesmaids and get brainstorming. This will result in a well thought out, meaningful event that will be remembered for all of the right reasons!
Talk to the Bride
These days we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to hen parties and how we choose to celebrate. And whilst being part of the bridal party means you know the bride extremely well (her likes, dislikes, etc.); before planning anything it’s worth having a chat and making sure you’re both on the same page. After all, you don’t want to put all of your time and effort into creating the party you thought she wanted only to discover that she was hoping for something else.
When does she want to have the party?
Let the bride pick a date that suits her. If possible, make sure the celebration is at least a couple of weeks before the big day. She’ll need this time up her sleeve in case there’s any last minute decisions, orders, wedding dress fittings, etc. It also gives her time to recover from an incredible night with the girls!
Who does she want to invite?
This is an important one. You want to make sure that everyone she cares about has the opportunity to share in this special day; so rather than guessing who the bride-to-be would like to attend, have her write out a guest list for you.
What type of celebration is she after?
Get an idea of the type of party the bride is after so that you have a starting point for your planning. Whether she gives you very specific instructions (e.g. ‘I want a weekend away full of pampering, cocktails and fancy dinners’) or a vague outline of events (e.g. ‘I’m after a more casual celebration during the day that my grandparents can attend, before some mischief at night with my friends’) is up to her. Either way, you’ll have a great base to work from – making your job that much easier!
Save the date
Once you have all of the details outlined above, send out a ‘Save the Date’ with a note that more information is to come. This can be done via Facebook (create an event), email or physical post.
Getting a group of adults together on the same day can be quite difficult. But planning in advance like this is one way to get around the business of everyday life. Being notified early also means more guests will be able to attend, and the more that attend, the more likely it is that the bride will have a fantastic time (I mean, is it possible to catch up with your closest friends and NOT enjoy yourself?!).
Set a budget
Hen parties can add up quite quickly, so you need to be on top of your spending. You also have to be mindful that guests may not be in the financial position to fork out loads of cash for just one night.
So, set a realistic budget and stick to it as best you can!
Set a theme
A themed celebration/dress-code is a great way to bring your group together and make the event even more memorable (think of the fantastic photo ops!).
Does the bride love a bit of fancy dress? Incorporate some sort of costume with anything from a simple headpiece (e.g. every guest wears a matching flower crown) to elaborate outfits (e.g. every guest arrives in devil horns and black/red clothing, whilst the bride arrives in all white and is turned into an ‘angel’ complete with halo and wings). You can find some fun yet extravagant wedding themes here that are easily adaptable to hen parties!
For those who don’t enjoy costumes, consider a pre-defined colour palette instead. A black and gold party, for example, would allow for classy decor, delicious champagne, delectable desserts, etc. You could even ask guests to arrive in black and have the bride arrive in gold (thus making her stand out without the need for additional pariphenalia). For some great tips on choosing your colour palette, click here.
Select some activities
From wine tours, pamper parties and hilarious dance classes, to hypnotists, caricature artists and topless waiters – there’s a vast array of choices out there when it comes to hen party activities. The trick is to select those that cater to your bride’s interests and requests.
It’s also important to remember the rule ‘less is more’. Rather than rushing through a day jam packed with exciting outings (which would not only be expensive, but also exhausting), it’s better to stick to two (maybe three) activities that everyone can fully enjoy.
Make a schedule and send invites
Plan out the day!
How much does it cost? Where is the meeting point (i.e. bridesmaid’s house, hotel in the city, a restaurant)? What is the first activity of the day? What’s the second activity? What happens when the pre-planned activities are over (i.e. are you going out dancing, eating, going home)? Will there be food, drinks and/or transport included? Etc.
Map out the entire event, making sure you include all of the important details. You can then transfer the information onto invitations so that guests know what to expect from the event and whether or not they have to make arrangements for the night (such as a lift home or extra cash for meals).
Handy Hint: When it comes to the schedule, I like to provide different options for guests. This means those who can’t afford the entire event can still be part of the celebration; or those who don’t want to attend part of the event can go only to the sections that they’re comfortable with (for example: Phase 1 $25: Games, drinks and nibbles at Bec’s house, Phase 2: $70: Mini bus to the city where we take part in a burlesque dance class, Phase 3 $55: Dinner, drinks and dancing).
Have some games up your sleeve
Whether they’re classy, thoughtful, hilarious or a little bit cheeky, hen party games are not only great ice-breakers, but also fantastic for any lulls in the celebration (when you’re waiting for food or travelling between locations, for example). Just make sure you don’t overdo it; aim to play two or three (with a few extra up your sleeve in case of emergencies!).
Make the bride feel special
This is a day to celebrate your best friend – so making her feel extra special is a must!
There’s plenty of ways you can do this; from serving her favourite foods/drinks, playing her favourite music and creating thoughtful keepsakes (e.g. sticking polaroid photos from the party into an album along with memories, quotes and messages written throughout the day), to spoiling her with an experience she’s always spoken about but never tried. Put your heads together and think of things that will mean the world to her, and then incorporate them into the day.
It’s the little things that count.
Have an amazing time!
It can be a big job, but seeing the pure joy on the bride’s face when you surprise her with this well thought-out celebration will be worth every second of your time!
If you’re ready to plan the details of your event, a free resource called For Every Hen is a great place to start. With activity ideas, game instructions, party hacks and more, you’ll have all the information and inspiration needed to create an amazing party for YOUR hen!
Full of game instructions, activity ideas, party hacks, styling inspiration, DIY projects and more; For Every Hen has all the information you need to create a truly memorable hen party, bridal shower and/or kitchen tea for your best friend!
Main Photo by Kas Richards
If you would like to join our exclusive mailing list for the O.D brides-to-be, who are the first to receive our blogs, offers or announcements direct to your inbox please sign up to our exclusive subscription list.