One of my lovely friends asked me the other day for some advice about planning a hen do so I thought I would I’d do a slight detour from Wedmin this week and give some tips on Henmin! So for all of you out there with the task of planning a Hen Do or for that matter a Stag Do or Sten Do this applies for all of you! Maybe if you’re reading this as the Bride or Groom you might decide to subtly share this with your bridal entourage as a gentle hint of how to plan yours!
Ok, I’ll begin…
It’s not an easy job planning a Hen/Stag/Sten Do and most likely you’ll have people in the group who’ll think they could have planned it better, I’m afraid there’s not a lot I can do about.
Here’s my top tips to help give the Bride or Groom the send off they deserve.
It’s always a bit awkward at the beginning, but someone needs to take charge or nothing will get done. Set up a whatsapp, facebook or email group with all those involved in the planning included so that you can share information and ideas, discuss options and keep everyone up to date.
Give Everyone A Role
Just because one person is in charge doesn’t mean than everyone can’t play their part. Also planning a Hen/Stag/Sten Do is a lot of work to do all by yourself. Agree on what needs to be done and then ask the group to volunteer to take responsibility for each task, it will make organising so much easier and everyone will feel like they’re contributing.
Give Plenty Of Notice
The more notice you give the more likely that everyone being invited will be able to attend, not just because they will have the date free in their diaries but it will give them more time to save. Plus it is more likely that the activities and/or accommodation you want to book with have the availability.
Be Really Clear About Money
Money can be an awkward topic and it’s often the subject that can cause a lot of negativity and tension. Try to be upfront about how much you think things will cost and what they are getting for their money. You might not know all the exact costs but people will appreciate the guide to what they need to save and keep people updated as and when you know more. If you’re dividing up the cost for the Bride/Groom to attend (which is normally the case) then tell the group that, if you’re going to buy bits for everyone to wear tell them about it. They will find it hard to argue with the costs if they are transparent, it’s when they feel they are being charge for more that they think they are getting that people can get their backs up.
Don’t Rush In
It’s a bit of a juggling act…putting out the initial feelers to see if people are available, then trying to find something to do that’s available and then checking everyone is still happy to commit to it but I would always say to check and double check with everyone before you commit to anything. I’ve heard so many stories about hen and stag dos where someone attending was asked if they were available to attend and then next thing they know they’d been committed to paying a couple of hundred pounds and they never agreed to spending that much. You don’t know what everyones financial situation is as weddings are expensive for guests as well as the couple, so be sure to check they are comfortable with what your expecting them to spend before you start paying deposits. The last thing you want is for people to pull out and then to have to go back to everyone else and tell them it’s now more money each to make up the difference.
If your plans are to all go away be mindful that this may mean the number of people that can attend is less. It’s always nice if you do go abroad to also hold a local celebration especially for those who couldn’t come abroad, but be understanding if people decide to attend one and not another. One hen or stag do is expensive enough let alone two.
Consider A Kitty
You could set up a kitty for everyone to contribute to and collectively use to buy drinks for the group but if you do, make it optional so those who would rather just pay for what they have can do that.
Games are a great way to get everyone interacting and can be so much fun! They also don’t need to cost a lot which is a bonus. If you’re planning to go out why not have everyone gather a bit earlier so you can play a game or two before you head out.
You will most likely have people who have not met each other before so start with some ice breakers. Split up groups and get them into team with someone they don’t know. It’ll really help break the ice and get everyone talking.
Being the Host or Hostess
Being the Host/Hostess has it’s pros and cons. You want to make sure the Bride or Groom is having a great time but you also might want to relax and enjoy the festivities. Why not divide up the day or days between those of you organising so all the hosting responsibilities don’t all fall on one person’s shoulders.
Keep People Informed
It’s always best to keep talking to everyone and telling them what’s going on even if you don’t necessarily have much to update them on. We all know we like to know what’s happening so keep everyone informed. With this in mind I’ve created a Hen Party Final Details Checklist to help you pull together all the information you need to pass on to the hens (or stags). Make sure you send this to everyone with plenty of notice especially if they need to go out and do a bit of shopping in preparation.
The main thing to remember is who you’re planning it for and ensuring they have a really special time!
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