It’s time to plan the hen’s night, the bride’s last “hoorah” and you want it to be perfect. You’ve been asked to be part of the bridal party and you have no idea where to start!….. well, actually you have an idea of how the night should be planned but there are so many things you need to consider. Firstly, it’s likely that you don’t know all of the bridesmaids as well as the bride does. Your idea of the perfect day might include a morning of pampering followed by a day at the races where someone else might think that a show-boat full of strippers followed by a cocktail bar might be the best way to go. And then, there are the guests to think about… how would the bride’s mother feel about “dick straws” in her drink?
No need to panic, we’ve been doing some research on how to pull off a hen’s do that accommodates the bride’s interests and considers the bridal party and your guests. Here are the top ways we think you should tackle organising the most awesome hen’s night out!
Get together with the bridal party – If you don’t know the other bridesmaids very well, organising the hens night is a great way to get to know each other. Suggest meeting up for lunch or dinner where you can brainstorm ideas. It’s really important that you all ask each other’s opinion and give each other a chance to contribute. It’s also good to ask the girls whether the bride has specifically mentioned anything in the past that you might be able to include in your plans. Make sure you take notes and don’t forget to exchange contact details.
Ask the bride – There will be some other things that collectively, you aren’t sure about, especially when it comes the different guests that will be invited. You might be certain that the bride wants a stripper but do you know whether her aunty Doris will suffer a mild heart attack at the sight of a chiseled male torso? You can speak to the bride without giving anything away. For example, if you are planning male entertainment, would the full nude be too much for the crowd or would it be safer to split the evening into 2 sections? An earlier dinner for everyone and then a cheeky party for the crowd that would enjoy a bit of naughty-ness. It’s really important that you cater for all people so getting an idea from the bride is a great way help you plan the evening.
Do your research – Once you and the other bridesmaids have had a chance to talk about some ideas and the bride has given you a little more direction, start doing your research. The bridal party should share the load and make some enquiries. The main objective is to gather quotes and availability as well as other important factors like operating hours, wheelchair access and flexibility on dietary requirements. Once everyone has made some phone calls and gathered information, catch up again to go through the options.
Get the guest list from the bride – Understanding your estimated numbers is always important to figure out before you set a budget; if you know the total number of people expected to attend, then it’s likely that you’ll have an easier time allocating the cost per head. Ask the bride to provide you with a list of guests she would like to invite; encourage her to include people like her grandmother or the groom’s younger sister; this ensures that everyone feels they are included and are welcome to join the party. It also gives them the chance to decline the invite rather than not be invited at all.
Take budget into account – There are a few things to consider when it comes to putting together a budget; is the bride also planning on any other events that may mean that guests would contribute money or gifts? i.e. kitchen tea, bridal shower or a bridal lunch. As a rule of thumb, most hens do’s place a budget of about $100 per head, this would include covering the cost of the bride as well, as usually, she’s expected not to pay anything on the night. This per head amount must only account for anything that the guests will be involved in. If the bridal party decide to do something intimate beforehand or organise accommodation, this should be covered by the bridesmaids and not by the guests who won’t be included in that part of the day.
Leave some wriggle room in your schedule – You want everyone to have a great night out and feel relaxed during the party. Unfortunately things happen that are out of your control such as traffic, weather and general delays… we do like a good chat! Make sure that you leave enough time in the night’s schedule to ensure you’re not rushing around and feel like you’re herding cats; if you need people to arrive at a venue by 7pm, put 6.30pm on the invite so that the stragglers don’t miss anything. If you’re moving from one venue to another, allow time for transport over to the next place, it’s also a really good idea for one of the bridesmaids to head over a little earlier than the rest of the group to secure the booking if applicable. By leaving some room to move in your schedule you’ll ensure that everyone is having a great time and the bridal party can also enjoy the evening without feeling the stress of rushing.
Keep these 6 tips in mind and once you have these lined up and organised, the other details will fall into place such as any decorating you choose to do, collection of the funds to pay venues etc. The key thing to remember is to be relaxed about your approach. If you’re Maid of Honour, don’t feel like you need to take on all the responsibility, share the load and allow others to contribute.
Good luck and happy planning!
The POB team