When you first start planning a hen do, it’s all very, very exciting and then the reality hits. Not only is there the potential disappointment of the bride if you didn’t read their mind well enough (or sneak on their Pinterest boards), but also the rest of the hens who have invested their hard earned cash with you.
I’ve planned two hen do’s in my time, the first was way back in 2013 when I planned a weekend away for my sister. We stayed at Eaton Manor and I had two themes for the weekend; ‘hen hell’ and ‘hen heaven’. Hen hell was all about those penis straws, the games, beige food and a naked butler… Whereas hen heaven included a dance class, a spa treatment, a murder mystery and a private chef. The weekend was epic but it took about 8 months to plan the weekend for 13 ladies.
Fast forward 5 years and it was time to plan another hen do for my friend Laura, this time I only had 8 weeks to plan (wah), a tight budget (£100) and twenty hens. I wanted it to involve a night away, I love a night away for a hen, not only does it feel more special but it means you’re not trashing a friend or family members house. With such short notice, I needed a location that wasn’t too tricky to get to and that would work for a party, oh and it needed to be on Easter Sunday.
I found Off The Wall’s ‘The Loft’ in Liverpool after some extensive googling and a few tears when I realised I couldn’t afford The Shankly. It was a great party space and looked great but I can’t lie to you, it was a little rough around the edges.
This was one of my main focuses when planning, I wanted to ensure that the main room screamed hen so I shopped around for great value decs that fitted the pink and gold colour scheme. Poundland is fab for hen party planning but you can also get a lot of brilliant stuff on ebay (if you buy early) that many people are selling on Etsy for 10 times the price.
I put some hen bags together with little treats in like penis straws, glow sticks water and chocolate! Shot glasses were also a great addition for when we needed to get people a little more drunk before the quiz and the arrival of the naked butler.
I also created some bedroom signs, a cocktail menu and thank you cards in the same pink and cold design that I used to give the hens details and to invite Laura to the hen itself. You don’t need to be a super skilled graphic designer but spending a little time on this type of thing can really make a difference to the details.
I wanted a party and my god, we had a party. We didn’t even go out in Liverpool, instead things got a little wild in the apartment until we went to bed at about 4am.
It started very civilised, I hired a brilliant bartender from Flirtina Events (£120). I provided the booze for three cocktails and they provided the glasses and skills! He also let the hens make their own cocktails if they fancied it.
For games we had prosecco pong, Mr and Mrs and another bridesmaid created a Kahoot quiz. If you’ve not heard of it before, it’s a website that allows you to make a multiple choice quiz and people can log on with their own phone to take part. Obviously we embarrassed the bride immensely with this.
The final piece of entertainment was the naked butler who ended up becoming a stripper… it wasn’t exactly what I ordered but luckily the hens loved it!
The Day After
We started with a lazy morning and some sausage butties to soak up the alcohol before heading into Liverpool to complete ‘Laura’s Hen Hunt’. For this I created a series of clues that would direct the hens to Liverpool landmarks. When they got there, they had to take a picture holding up their Laura masks.
The Hen ended with an Easter themed afternoon tea at Oh Me Oh My which was a perfect and relaxing end to a busy couple of days. I’d highly recommend that you book into one of their secret sessions if you’re ever in Liverpool.
Whilst there were definitely things that went wrong across the weekend, the Bride had a great time which made every stress of planning completely worth it.
My top tips for planning a hen:
- Find out what the bride wants
- Get money off hens up front to secure their place (dropouts ruin budgets and plans!)
- Keep a few suprises for the hens and a lot of surprises for the Bride
- Don’t forget about the details, it’s the decorations and little touches that really help lift a room and they don’t need to be pricey
- Make sure that there is plenty to eat and drink
- In between the running around, remember to enjoy it night yourself!
Also, don’t forget the main thing, everyone is there to have a great time for the bride so try not to worry too much. Laura had a fab time and that made all the stress completely worth it.