So, you’ve been graced with the responsibility of planning an epic hen party for your bride. We’ve lots of Ideas for a Unique Hen Party and Reasons to have your Party at The Courtyard Apartments, but now it’s on to the Ultimate Hen Party Planning Checklist!
There’s lots to think about when planning a hen party. Getting together a guest list, planning the activities, making bookings etc. but there’s no need to fret – we’ve got you sorted with this very handy and easy to follow hen party checklist.
Discussion with Your Bride to Be
First things first, you need to have a quick chat with the bride-to-be. Unless your bride has explicitly said she wants a complete surprise event, it’s definitely worth checking out what she has in mind first. Has she any definite no, no’s? Has she been envisioning something specific? Who does she want to invite? What date suits her?
Get the basics agreed with your bride before moving on to anything else. We recommend getting started about 4-5 months prior to the wedding.
Send the Save the Date Cards
Next, you need to lock in those hens! Put together a list of who needs to be invited. It’s a good idea to get the save the date cards out about 4 months in advance of the party date. This will give people a chance to make sure they can attend and also allows you to be flexible with the date if the initial one isn’t suitable for some of your hens.
Set a Budget
At this point, it’s worth having a think about what might be an ideal budget for the Hen party. It doesn’t have to be exact but a rough estimate helps. You will need to consider how much money you’re going to need to ask the Hens to contribute and don’t forget to ask for a little extra to cover the bride-to-be. It’s usually custom that the Hen doesn’t pay on the night. Booking a package deal can make this step a whole lot easier, otherwise think about accommodation, transport, food and drinks, activities, entry costs and the fun extra bits like badges, fancy dress etc!
Set up a Hen Party What’s App/Chat Group
It’s great to have a platform to check in with the other Hens if you or they have any questions, ideas or concerns. Setting up a message group will also help build a bit of momentum and excitement for the big event. Here, you might decide if you want to have a theme for the party as this is likely to influence the activities and accommodation you will choose. There are plenty of options if you like this idea, fancy dress, 90’s, Great Gatsby, vintage or even a Father Ted themed weekend!
Decide on a Location & Accommodation
Will you stay local or take the hens further afield? There are so many options but also quite a few considerations – is the hen a bit of a home bird? Are there Hens who might struggle to travel due to work commitments or children? You might need to get creative here in trying to include as many Hens as possible.
In terms of accommodation, if you’re not staying local this is one of the bigger decisions. Again, there’s plenty of choice – you could rent a house in the country, go glamping, stay at a hotel or go for a self-catering apartment. We might be a little biased, but we reckon self-catering packages make for the most convenient, stress-free and craic-filled Hen parties! We recommend you get the bookings organised about 3 months before the event.
Decide on the Activities
It makes sense to decide on the activities you want to organise as part of the Hen Do at the same time as you’re considering your accommodation and location. Keep your guestlist in mind when planning this part. While this weekend is all about your bride-to-be, there may be some activities that may not suit all of your hens! Check out our list of hen party activities for some fab ideas.
Collect Money from the Hens
Now that you’ve made some bookings, it’s likely you’ll need to start putting some money down for deposits. Asking your hens for their contributions shouldn’t be too awkward, as long as you’ve included then in initial budget discussion and they know what to expect. An email reminding them of the cost breakdown and how to pay you should do the trick.
Purchase any Accessories or Props!
Customised t-shirts and sashes can sometimes take a little while to be organised, so try to get these sorted 1-2 months before your party. If you’ve gone for a fancy dress theme don’t forget to order your outfits and any other fun props you might want to take along for a laugh.
Plan any Final Party Highlights & Send Reminders
Don’t forget to plan any additional personalised games you may want to include for your bride. Maybe a quiz based around your bride-to-be, a playlist of her favourite songs, or some ice breakers if you feel a bit of a getting-to-know-each-other session is required. Finally, it’s a good idea to send out a reminder email/message to your guests. We suggest one at a month to the party and then another with a few days to go, just to make sure no one’s circumstances have changed.
Have the Party!
Sorted - now all you and your hens need to do is have a great time. Congratulations we bet you’ve planned an amazing night out for your beloved bride-to-be!