Guest blog written by TV wedding expert … The Wedding Fairy!
The shots of tequila are fully loaded, the party regalia has been packed and is good to go, the stag is bracing himself for the messy road ahead while the hen is already paralytic courtesy of those cheeky Jaeger bombs on mass pre take-off… turns out that last shot may have been a bad idea! Yes the wagon with the troops is ready to rock n roll out the local NCP car park for a weekend of hedonistic mayhem but, the event logistics of what, where, when and how are all still a little bit fuzzy. Did anyone remember to print the hotel reservations? Does anyone have directions? In fact has anyone even thought about what to do when we get there? Yes ladies and gents welcome to the chaotic world of a classic stag n hen weekend. A haze of drunken drama that often leaves the bride-to-be in tears and the groom-to-be in A&E. What is supposed to be the biggest weekend of their lives can quickly turn into a hideous nightmare or worse still an unmemorable nightmare if the party is not properly prepped pre lift-off. When it comes to the stag and hen party, spontaneity is just too big a risk to take and this is where your Wedding Fairy steps in with a few pearls of wisdom to set you off on the road ahead. Ultimately of course you have made the right decision turning to my friends at goweekend.com to help you plan out said adventure but, in conjunction with their super fabulous skills, I am going to run over some pre-planning tips to ease the road ahead and ensure your celebration goes with that all important bang as they say!
get yourself a planner!
Right so where do we start? Well, if you are the stag or hen-to-be reading this rundown your first priority is to bag yourself a party planner a-sap. Now this could be the best man or maid of honour but, in most cases it is more sensible to select the friend or family member that thrives on planning people – we all have one! Yes this is about picking the best man or woman for the job at hand – who would Sir Alan go for? If they get turned on by excel spreadsheet formulas and tally weekly spending costs to stay ahead of their allocated budget – book em! After all this is the person you will hand the keys of responsibility for putting together your last weekend of freedom so choose wisely… once that vital decision has been made – or if you are indeed the chosen one, we can of course move forward.
what, where, when!
So next step for the organiser is to start thinking about the what, where, why and when! What makes our bride or groom-to-be tick? Are they action adventure types or more about heading for a tipple in the country? Do they want a full on party packed weekend or maybe a few light daytime activities mixed in too? It’s essential to consider the likes and dislikes of our individual stag n hen, otherwise the whole thing will be a total disappointment and at the end of the day we do want to make sure this event is utterly spectacular for them. Think about all their interests and hobbies that you could also integrate into proceedings. Is fancy dress a total turn on or turn off? Are they hardcore adrenaline junkies? Maybe a light sports based activity is more their addiction? Use individual personality traits as a starting point for planning the entire event – DON’T just go with what you fancy doing! Ok, so we need to throw in a few twists and turns along the way to spice things up, but don’t make this celebration a total nightmare for them – take note boys!
At this junction and for inspirational purposes, I feel it best to highlight some of our top party packages for both stag and hen celebrations here in the UK and abroad… there is literally something for all tastes and desires with this little lot!
GoHen – See GoHen’s fabulous hen party packages including activities, nightlife and accommodation.
Now the research is really under way, you can seriously start putting some ideas together and mash-up the itinerary. Pick your favourite four packages at varying budget points and organise a summit meeting with some of the team to choose a winner. Where possible include a good mix of invitees to the selection process to ensure the entire pack is happy with your plans. I know you always get one moaner that will disagree, but hey majority rules! And if that doesn’t work remember you are the final decision maker. Do not go into this first meeting cold otherwise you will all just end up going round and round in circles discussing a million potential ideas without any decisions actually being made. Bite the bull by the horns and pitch what you believe will work.
This is also an ideal opportunity to discuss costs per head and the budget in general. How much cash have peeps got to splash? In my experience everyone understands a stag or hen party is going to cost them at least a few hundred quid so the more notice you can give the better. Remember, majority rules. No-one can ever disagree with democracy. As long as this whole process is inclusive none of the team can complain. As a general rule, once the final decision has been made, simply advise the groom or bride-to-be the total event cost so they can make a payment to you directly without having to reveal all your plans. It is not necessary for the group to cover all groom or bride-to-be expenses unless this has already been agreed.
keeping the group in order
Set up a facebook page right from the beginning of this process to keep everyone updated and interacting leading up to the event itself. This is also a great way for you to introduce all those that have not met each other before. If you have enough time and are super organised, set up a monthly payment scheme so attendees can pay a fixed monthly sum into your account pre-booking. This always makes the financial impact much easier to handle. With goweekend.com packages, only a deposit is needed initially – the balance is paid off 5 weeks prior to the holiday. Remember to also add-in a budget per head for the evening’s entertainment and by that I mean a kitty for the alcoholic beverages. If it’s £30 per head per night attach this to the monthly payment scheme or allocate as a separate one off cost. Don’t forget to also include the stag or hens alcohol allocation which is generally covered by the team as well. A stag and hen must never buy a drink if tradition rules! I always recommend organising a kitty primarily so the first night doesn’t wipe out everyone’s entire bank account – leaving the next day as one messy hysterical hangover, and secondly so you can monitor the alcoholic intake of said stag or hen. If they are in a hideous state after day one they will only lounge around in bed all day which is no good to man or beast!
Once the package has been decided, the payment plan is in place and the alcoholic spend per head has been confirmed, we are good to go on planning the biggest weekend of your lives! Finally remember to issue a countdown checklist via email to each guest detailing fancy dress requirements and any specific party regalia they may require to complete said stag n hen challenges along the way.
The drinking games and party regalia is of course another story… Enjoy the journey!
Drink Aware – Always drink responsibly!