Planning a hen do? These days, a lot more goes into a bachelorette party than a few pink sashes and a night on the town – and if you're planning a few days away, it takes much more organising than you might first imagine. For a start, if you have numerous guests on the invitation list, it can be quite the task just to nail down a date that everyone's happy with! Stick to our strict dos and don'ts to ensure you won't find yourself in hen hysteria.
And we mean way ahead – especially if you're looking to organise something in June, July or August, as they tend to be the busiest months in people’s schedules. There's no need to worry too much about smaller details months and months before, but deciding where you're going, how many hens, a rough budget and when you want to go is a good idea, so you aren't disappointed when things are booked up.
As the old saying goes, you can't please everyone, so depending on guest numbers you need to exercise a little firmness when it comes to group-based decisions like setting a date and choosing activities. Go with the majority – and then prioritise if you have to. If the mother of the bride is the guest of honour, ask for her best diary dates first!
While hen dos are often considered to be party, party, party, some brides-to-be prefer to have a few more low-key activities on the weekend's schedule – an afternoon tea, sight-seeing or something more active for example. A spa day or afternoon could be the perfect option to break-up the weekend – starting with some treatments, a light lunch or afternoon tea and even a yoga session in the afternoon. You'll be fresh as ever for a night on the town – or ready to chill-out after the night before! Plenty of spas offer a hen party package; try the Hallmark Hotel Manchester for the perfect balance between city and country.
A jam-packed hen do can feel a bit like a whistle-stop tour – and quickly get very pricey. Allow for some down-time so everyone has time to relax and get to know each other (and perhaps even enjoy a glass of fizz!). Too many activities may leave you feeling rushed or stressed, so choose a select few to do as a group over the weekend. The vibe will be much more relaxed, and you'll save money, too.
Make sure you get a good idea of everybody's budget from the outset - a hen weekend is always going to cost more than a day or night out, but of course you don't want anyone to be left out because of money. It's often a good idea to factor in a bit of a 'buffer' when talking costs – so there's a kitty for little extras like taxis, activities or tips that may crop up during the weekend. Even an extra few pounds per head can go a long way. If you need to pay a deposit by a specific time, don't be afraid to tell a white lie or two to push the date forward and ensure everyone pays on time.
Always ask for help. Delegate different tasks to different hens – somebody could be in charge of planning the games, while another could look at putting together a party playlist, helping with transport or getting some decorations. Set up a Whatsapp or Facebook group so everyone can chat and share their ideas – you are not alone!
Think about who you're planning for – a large group of twenty-somethings may want a night-out or party (perhaps on a lower budget), for example, while ladies in their thirties or forties may be more open to spending a little more on a variety of activities. If you have a mixed group, be sure to plan a few different options – perhaps something that people can dip in and out of if preferred. Spa treatments can even be tailored this way – you could offer a choice between a party pedicure and something more relaxing like a massage or facial. Try the 1 Night Hen Party Break at The Malvern Spa, where each guest can choose two treatments for up to an hour.