Organising a hen party can be pretty stressful. Let’s not pretend it’s going to be a walk in the park – it’s going to be tough and a lot of hard work. If you’re the chief bridesmaid and party leader you may feel like all the responsibilities will fall on your head. But don’t worry, I have prepared some basic tips to help make sure the weekend goes to plan.

Ladies on hen party with glasses of champagne

The main areas where you have to keep your hen group happy are:

  • Budget
  • Location
  • Duration
  • Activities
  • Accommodation

Communication

First of all, communication is extremely important. Even though you cannot please everyone, the most important members of the group (the bride-to-be’s best friends/bridesmaids) will all want to give their input. So, put together a private message group on Facebook or a WhatsApp group to get everyone’s feedback and ask the questions…

Try not to give too many options so people can duck in and out when they want to, as this will only wind you up. For example, if you are going for two nights and doing a fair few activities give people a one or two night option. If you give too many options and break the whole weekend down, more people will just do what they want and not take into consideration the hen. So, try and keep the group together as much as you can.

It’s the Hen’s Weekend

Remember, if you want to keep it quiet from the hen then leave her out of the Facebook or WhatsApp group, but try and organise something that she will enjoy. For example, if she likes adventure, book her an activity right up her street like canyoning, coasteering or quad biking. If she prefers to sip champagne and get pampered then a spa day is the perfect activity; you know where I am going with this.

Always check with the bride-to-be before inviting people as you do not want any friction on the weekend. Don’t forget to invite important family members on both sides. They may not come but it is always nice to be courteous.

Split the Cost?

If you think it’s appropriate, try and share the hen’s cost amongst the group. This happens a lot with stag dos, where the best man will add a stag contribution onto everyone’s price so the stag pays nothing. Remember, the happy couple have a lot to pay for, so a little financial help wouldn’t go a miss, and also you will be a hero to the hen for thinking of it!

Booking

Once you have been given the green light, book the hen weekend as soon as possible. You will not gain anything from booking late and you might miss out and end up disappointed.

Some companies let you remove people from the booking up until 28 days before the hen party, but you should always check terms and conditions thoroughly before booking. A full understanding of these boring terms and conditions will save you from losing money if people drop out.

If you book with a stag and hen organiser everything is taken care of. You can even pay individually online, taking the hassle out of having to collect the money from everyone…

Asking for Payment

When asking for payment from the hens, give everyone a payment date at least seven days before the actual payment is due. This will give you time to get any cheques cleared.

If you intend to hire a big house make sure you get deposits off everyone, otherwise if people drop out you may be left with quite a big bill. In fact, getting deposits out of people when they commit is a good way of keeping the numbers up. Otherwise, if a few flaky friends don’t financially commit, they may drop out nearer the time.

Kitty

On the hen weekend, again if appropriate, arrange a kitty for drinks. If there are pregnant women in the group they will obviously put in less as they won’t be drinking. A kitty will stop people wandering off and squabbles over who’s round it is.

Most importantly, don’t stress. You cannot please everyone; just make sure that you and the hen have a good time! Also, if you are organising a hen party for a large group these additional tips should come in handy.

Guest post by Marco Walker of Designaventure

Image from Designaventure