Tips for organising a successful Hens/Bachelorette Party

I recently returned from a whirlwind week-long trip to Singapore for my brother in law’s wedding. There were a number of preceding events leading up to the big day and my job was to make sure that the bride and her girlfriends had as much fun as possible.

Glittery hens photo shoot | The Maharani Diaries

IMAGE: PAIGE WINN PHOTOGRAPHY

Organizing hens or pre-wedding festivities are often daunting tasks and brides may feel that these parties are more difficult to plan than their actual wedding day itself.

The stressed bride | The Maharani Diaries (http://www.gabridal.com/wedding-tips-weddings-stress/)

A few brides will opt to organize these special events themselves, however, expectations are always high and it would be safe to say that hiring a planner or handing the job over to a bridesmaid or friend is your best bet. After all, the bride probably has a million and one other things on her mind!

So, what does it take to organize the perfect hen’s party?

Before jumping ahead, the first and foremost step is to decide on a date and place to host the events. This should be discussed and sorted with the bride a few weeks prior to the big day. If it is a destination wedding and the festivities are taking place overseas, then you could probably plan to hold it a few days before the wedding, giving everybody enough recovery time.

Hens Party Planning | The Maharani Diaries (http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/world_news/Asia/article462540.ece)

Deciding on who to invite is often problematic, but the bride has the final call. If there are certain people (i.e. mother-in-laws to be) who you think may clash (or may not approve of certain games or activities), you could advise her to save herself the trouble and avoid inviting them all together.

Next, inform guests about what’s taking place at least one month in advance, so that they can take time off accordingly. Ask the bride and groom for contact details and email a ‘save the date’ invitation.

Paperless-Post logo | The Maharani Diaries

Screenshot 2015-08-30 17.18.07

 

Snail mail invitations are always a fun idea, but are often costly. E-invite websites such as paperlesspost.com allow you to custom design your invitations and there are so many gorgeous designs and templates to choose from. Depending on the number of guests, the website may charge you a small fee, but shop around for the best deal. Simply think about the theme of your event, select the design, customise and personalise it and then email away.

After sending out the invites, follow up with a general email, introducing yourself to the guests and let them all know to RSVP by a particular date. It is also a good idea to request dietary requirements in case food is involved as well as find out where guests are staying or living in order to coordinate the festivities in a central or convenient location.

Keep in mind, that there is a certain etiquette when it comes to sending emails. It is nice to build excitement, but try to keep communication clear and concise and don’t bombard the guests with thousands of emails. If possible, limit the amount of correspondence you send. If you find guests are not responding, try Facebook or as a last resort ask the bride and groom to help contact them for you.

Meme | The Maharani Diaries (http://www.someecards.com)

A hens party should be enjoyed by all. It’s a good idea to devise a rough itinerary of events and gauge everybody’s reaction toward it beforehand. Also, include the break down of costs. If everyone sounds happy, precede with making enquiries and reservations. Of course, you can’t please everybody. If some guests don’t want to participate in all activities, that’s fine. Keep in mind that the most important person on this day is the bride herself. Know what her likes and dislikes are and plan appropriately. Most importantly, try to be realistic about the activities and timings. Give people ample time to glam up between events and factor in travel time as well.

Save everybody’s mobile phone numbers and have their emails on hand. This also applies not just to the attendees but also the venue and emergency contacts (eg. spouses, boyfriends, partners). For attendees who don’t have access to a phone (if you’re overseas) or if their mobile battery has died, you could possibly use Facebook messenger to make contact assuming they have network connectivity.

Hens Party Planning | The Maharani Diaries (http://mytrueblu.com/a-spa-dinner-bachelorette-party/)

A hens party doesn’t always have to be raunchy. Keep the party tasteful and classy. Gone are the days of pole dancing and strippers. Try to celebrate the bride’s life and take her out to see and do things that perhaps she’s never done before. If you absolutely have no idea where to start, make it simple and opt for a theme party. Believe it or not, Great Gatsby and Sex And The City theme parties are still trending. Create a lolly buffet, dress up, share some cocktails and then take the girls out to a classy bar. You could even personalise the party in the form of t-shirts and accessories featuring a picture of the bride or each guest on them.

Sex And The City lolly buffet | The Maharani Diaries (http://verlockendes.blogspot.de/2012/04/sex-and-city-die-party.html#.VQr7VBCsUYc) Cocktail party | The Maharani Diaries (http://www.100layercake.com/blog/2013/02/11/pink-gold-glittery-valentines-party-ideas/)

These days the average hens party costs approximately $200AUD. Unfortunately, not everybody has that sort of money. That being said, it is possible to organise a great party within an acceptable budget. Ideas that won’t break the budget could include afternoon tea at a hotel no one has ever visited, a hip hop dancing class, wine tasting at home, a pot luck dinner party, mini-golf or a pottery making class. Don’t forget that you have to pay for the bride’s activities too. This day is all about her, so she isn’t paying for anything!

Afternoon Tea | The Maharani Diaries

It is entirely up to you as the host to decide on how you would like to collect the money for the activities. My advice is to try your best to select venues that don’t require reservation fees and sort out payment on the day of the party. Ensure that everybody is aware of how much everything costs and let them know to always carry extra change for unexpected extras such as party accessories, taxi fares, drinks, service charge and GST fees.

If you are planning travel between venues on the day, ensure you organise transport. In some countries, public transport can be problematic, hence the safest bet would be to book a taxi or minibus well in advance. There’s nothing worse than waiting for a taxi and then hailing 3 or 4 down later and getting lost. Try to keep the group together at all times.

One thing that’s becoming very popular with hens parties, are party favour bags or ‘goodie bags.’ It’s almost like you’re a little girl all over again.

Hens party favour bags | The Maharani Diaries

There’s something nostalgic and fun about receiving a gift for attending a party. Keep the items tasteful, but not tacky. Think of including items that all the girls could actually use on the night or the day after. It’s up to you as to how you would like customise them. One example could be to purchase medium sized pink gift bags, fill it up with pretty pink tissue paper and place a cute colour printed picture of the bride on each bag. Discount stores and Amazon are great for picking up little trinkets.

Inside the bag that I made for my sister-in law, I included a variety of different items such as a compact mirror, nail file, make up wipes, dental floss, hens party theme badge and an energy bar. If you like to add a bit of fun factor to the party, make the bride wear the obligatory hens party sash and giant party glasses. Later on as the festivities draw to a close, hand out ‘willy’ straws to every girl. A little ‘naughtyness’ is perfectly fine, so long as the bride isn’t put off by the antics.

Hens Party Planning | The Maharani Diaries

Many of the girls attending the hens party may not know the bride or groom very well. In this case, a great ice-breaker game to play is ‘The Newlywed Game’ which is a guessing game for the bride and also gets the rest of the guests talking. Before the party, ask the groom a series of questions about himself, the bride and their relationship. For example, “when and where was your first date?” Ask the bride to answer the questions and check if she is correct or not. There are numerous other hens party games you could play.

Hope these tips are useful to you. Remember, for more hens party inspiration visit our Pinterest board.

At the end of the day, the important thing to remember is that the bride must have fun and she should remember the day. Well…at least most of it!

In summary, here are a few tips for you to take away:

  • Consult the bride before any planning and if she gives you the go ahead, start planning away!
  • Do your research. Find out what’s hot and what’s not and know what the bride likes to do.
  • Jot down a few ideas and a rough schedule of events and run them past the guests.
  • Keep on top of emails. If it’s difficult to keep track, create a folder in your inbox relating to hens party correspondence.
  • Be realistic about events or activities. Don’t try to pack too much into the day.
  • Dress comfortably. This all depends with where you’re going, what the plans are and what the weather will be like.
  • Save everybody’s contact details. If need be, create a spreadsheet and print it out in case your mobile phone dies.
  • Devise a schedule and establish meeting points. This is useful for guests who are not attending all activities.
  • As far as payment is concerned, don’t settle for ‘I’ll pay you later.’ Ensure that you break down costs in your initial emails or messages.
  • Prepare some party bags and games, so that it makes for a great ice-breaker conversation between guests who have never met.

Remember that your party doesn’t have to be super expensive in order for people to have a good time.

Enjoy the day!

Have you ever had to organise a hens party? Did you do anything differently? Let us know how you went in the comments feed below. 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterestshare on TumblrEmail to someone
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *