Pumped to be asked to organise the bride's big celebration?
Slightly (massively!) stressed about having to organise the bride's big celebration?
Don't sweat it!
We get planning a hen party for the first time can be overwhelming, but it's actually a breeze (and pretty damn fun) when you break it down into easy, manageable chunks.
Here at GoHen, we've helped over 600,000 people head off on their amazing pre-wedding parties, so it's fair to say we know how to plan a hen do that will put all others to shame.
But enough faffing, let's get cracking!
Even if you want to keep the event a complete surprise, it's always a good idea to have a chat with the bride just to get an idea of where she'd like to go (sunny, city, beach break – whatever), what she'd like to do, etc.
The build-up to a wedding is usually a pretty hectic time, so be sure to check with the bride what dates work for her before you go ahead and book your weekend in, otherwise, you'll end up with egg on your face and hens in a rage.
Definitely get the bride to give you an invite list. It would be super awkward if you forgot to invite someone she really wanted to be there or, even worse, invited someone she really doesn't want to be there.
Once you've got the guest list, have a scan through and gauge what sort of party is going to suit your audience. If grandma is invited, maybe go easy on the strippers (or maybe not – grandma might be a party animal!); if there are pregnant hens, think about what activities might suit them.
Get a ballpark idea of a budget in mind. Think about what the group will be able to afford – you don't want to go alienating anyone who's really strapped for cash, but at the same time, you don't want to change your plans for a few people.
These 4 hen do planning mistakes could spoil your whole weekend...
First things first, you've got to know where you're going. Has the bride given you an idea (or an exact location), does she want somewhere sunny, somewhere snowy, somewhere city-y, or somewhere that's a complete surprise
Next, you need to know if you're heading off on a day trip, a one-nighter, a weekend celebration or a week-long bash. This will help you narrow down how many activities, nights out, meals and everything else you need to plan.
Activities are the cornerstone of every memorable hen celebration – this is your chance to do something unique and certifiably special. Check out our range of incredible hen party activities for more inspo.
Are you having a big night out or a big night in (or a big night out and a big night in)? Are you going to cook, get a takeaway or dine out? What about pre-drinks? What bars allow hen parties in? There's more to think about than you probably thought. Check out our hen night ideas here.
Fab hotel or self-catering house? Country getaway or city apartment? Hot tub or swimming pool? Home cinema or rooftop terrace? Whatever you're after, GoHen have it all, including the best selection of hen party houses on the market. See them here.
Please Note: Many hens who book a self-catering property solo end up being stung after not reading the small print, only to find out the house they're booking doesn't accept hen parties (bye-bye deposits). Don't get caught out, book through GoHen to avoid a whole heap of hassle.
The first thing you're going to want to do once you've got your plan in place is to set up a WhatsApp Group and invite the hens. The WhatsApp Group is your opportunity to get everyone pumped up for the big weekend, so make sure you're positive and getting the party started.
Check out 18 Hilarious Hen Party WhatsApp Group Names to get everyone in the party mood.
Once you've set up your group and welcomed everyone to the greatest pre-wedding celebration they'll ever attend in their lives, put forward the ideas you've put together and let them digest them.
Whilst their opinions matter, don't let everyone have their say or you'll never get anything sorted. You know what the bride wants – she wouldn't have chosen you to organise it otherwise – so stand firm and trust your judgement.
Between you, you'll need to decide if you're covering the bride's portion of the weekend. This can be a nice gesture, plus it's usually pretty cheap when split amongst the group. However, if it's already getting pretty expensive, she may be happy to pay for herself.
Once that's sorted, get it booked! You don't want to waste too much time and run the risk of your preferred choices being booked up. Avoid disappointment and get it locked in as soon as you possibly can.
If you're staying in a self-catering property and having a few drinks at the house before you hit the town, be sure to put together a playlist of the bride's favourite tunes to get everyone in the party mood. Check out our Hen Party Playlist for inspo.
Get the party started with our FREE games and dares. Our Mr and Mrs Questions remains our most popular game by far, but we also have some other belters including How Well Do You Know the Bride and Hen Party Bingo.
Hen Party Themes are a great way to get everyone in unison and looking fab for the bride's big celebration. Whether you go for a colour theme, film theme, horror, vintage – whatever – it's the little things that elevate the weekend.
Check out our Hen Party T-shirts page for some ideas to get everyone looking on point for that big night out.
Use our Hen Nickname Generator to up the ante on the bride's big weekend with your own hilarious alter-egos.
We'd advise having the actual hen party around at least a month before the wedding, to allow everyone time to recover and be on top form for the big day, but you should definitely start planning the hen do as far in advance as possible to secure your preferred options such as activities, accommodation and nights out.
Ask the bride. Whilst you may want it to be a surprise, you don't want to go inviting people she absolutely doesn't want to be there or forget to invite someone she really wanted to attend.
Each hen will pay for themselves, whilst some groups also split the cost of the bride between them. However, if things are already getting a little bit pricey, maybe speak to the bride – she may be happy to pay for her place.
For information on staying safe and healthy while travelling abroad as well as local laws and latest government advice on destinations visit the FCO Travel Aware website.