If you’ve been tasked with organising a hen do for your best friend, don’t panic.
Follow our fool proof guide to the best send off from singledom your bestie can possibly have (and earn yourself huge brownie/macaron points in the process).
Got your pen and paper ready to take notes? Let’s go:
1. Speak to the bride.
Without a shadow of a doubt, clarify what the bride is expecting.
Don’t accept ‘surprise me’ as an answer (unless you are really sure she won’t mind what happens).
This is her send off, don’t make her spend a ridiculous amount of money on a lavish weekend away with expensive cocktails, naked waiters and all the girls she’s ever known, when actually all she wants is a fun afternoon at the circus followed by a cosy evening in a cottage with her mum and a close group of girl friends.
It doesn’t mean spoiling the surprise by talking to her about it, it should enhance the experience by getting her hen do spot on.
Questions to ask:
- Home or away?
- Lowkey or wild extravaganza?
- Low budget or blow the budget?
- Any activities to steer clear of?
2. Collaborate on the guest list.
Ask the bride to give you a list of people:
- Who absolutely have to come,
- Who she would like to come and,
- Who (if there’s room) she’d like to invite.
It will help with your planning if you know rough numbers and if there’s a degree of flexibility with invitations.
3. Set the date.
Have the bride give you her definite can do and can’t do dates.
Then check with the priority guests their availability and whittle the weekends down until you feel you have accommodated as best you can.
4. Sort out communication channels.
The easiest way to organise a group event is via whatsapp or a similar platform. Choose somewhere easy where everyone can see what has been said and can contribute quickly.
Just make sure the bride isn’t invited - you don’t want to accidentally ruin any surprises.
Also now is the time to let everyone involved know the preferred date of the hen do and the estimated budget, so they have time to bow out if it doesn’t suit them.
5. Choose the venue and pick the activities.
Here comes the fun part. Deciding what to do and where given the budget you’ve allowed.
Will it be a traditional hen do with a macaron and martini masterclass or a bungee jumping in Magaluf affair?
Try and select something that everyone will enjoy - that includes those with limited mobility or pregnant friends.
Book the accommodation, transport and main activities now so you don’t miss out.
Let everyone know the arrangements, the dates, timings and how much they need to chip in.
Will you be subbing the bride or each paying your share equally?
You will get a few dropouts, so make sure once you’ve gone firm with a plan that everyone knows they’re committed now.
You can either collect money together before you book or you can pay it in a oner on your credit card and then collect money from everyone afterwards.
Just make sure you give everyone an earlier deadline than is required to pay, so you don’t end up out of pocket.
8. And relax.
Send out the finer details nearer the time and delegate the smaller tasks, like transport to the local pub and party games, to the other hens.
But for now, just relax and enjoy the lull between the planning and partying.
You’ve earned a glass of champagne.