Organising a hen weekend might seem like a daunting task and if it's up to you to get it sorted, don't worry, it's not so hard! So how do you organise a hen weekend? Well we've pulled together an easy to follow list of the things we think you need to think about to get you started!
1. Choose your dates. It's not a great idea to have a hen night or a hen weekend right before the wedding just in case someone in your party might overindulge slightly (*cough*). Best to have it a couple of weeks before at least.
2. Sort out who is going. This is easy. The bride should decide who is going to be invited. The best thing about hen weekends and hen nights is that you have a choice to bring together different generations who wouldn't normally mix. A lot of older people have forgotten how much fun they can have when they go out on the town but they don't go because they feel too self-conscious hen doamongst young people. Well, a hen weekend is a license for ANYONE to go on the razz so take this opportunity to get grannies, aunties, in fact everyone who is a close friend or family member to come along. People can always to go bed early if they can't take the pace but a hen weekend is all about togetherness so make the most of this opportunity to bring the different generations together. Trust us it will be more fun for doing it! You really want to avoid frostiness at the actual wedding caused by disgruntled female family members and friends who weren't invited to the hen party. They might think that you consider them to be too dull and boring. Even if you think that someone won't be able to make it, don't make that decision for them - invite EVERYONE and let them make their excuses if they don't like the sound of a hen weekend or hen party.
3. Choose your destination. Now the thing is, on the one hand you could go anywhere for a hen party or hen weekend with the right group of women and you would have a great time so a lot of this depends on people's budgets and how much time they have. Whether they have kids and someone to look after them etc. If money is no object then go somewhere abroad. It doesn't have to be mega expensive. For UK hen parties, places like Benidorm are brilliant fun for hen weekends even though you might turn your nose up at going there for a family holiday (not saying you should as I personally really like it there!) However, a hen weekend is all about fun so go somewhere that is going to welcome you rather than be full of dried up snooty holidaymakers all horrified at the sight of your hen party! Choosing where to go is a difficult one and the hen might need some encouragement to look further afield than the local nightclub. This might be because she feels guilty about other people having to spend their hard earned cash on HER hen weekend but you must persuade her to forget about that because people will only go if they can and want to. Float some ideas of places to go and make sure you include some overseas options as well as some resorts in the your own country that are safely away from where you live because the hen party will want to get a little bit tipsy no doubt, and probably won't want to be carrying on in front of employers and family friends. Keep a safe distance from home wherever your hen party ends up!
4. Stay in a half decent hotel. Is is vital for a hen weekend that the hen party can prepare themselves in some sort of comfort and sleep off the night before in comfort. It is also important that the place where you stay is big enough to absorb you otherwise you might be going down for breakfast in a dining room with two other families who spend the whole meal looking at you with disgust because you came home shrieking with laughter at 5am. A big hotel will mean you can blend in more easily and there will be more going on. The facilities will be better, the breakfast will be more relaxing and you won't have any battleaxe landlady raising her eyebrows at you. Also make sure you have a hotel with ensuite bathrooms just in case of any ill effects. You really don't want to be sharing a bathroom with three other families! Again, you don't have to stay at the ritz but avoid 5 bedroomed B&B's.
5. Sort the money out up front. If you are the hen party or hen weekend organiser, make sure that you find out how much the accommodation or hen weekend is going to cost and get the money off everyone up front including travel costs if you are also going to be booking those. What you really don't want is to get on the hen weekend and spend the whole weekend pestering the brides friend from University who you have never met before because she owes you £200. In order to get the money side organised you need to be planning ahead and hen party members need to understand that if they don't come up with the money well in advance then they won't have a place booked in the hotel or on the train/plain/minibus or however you are getting there. Unless of course you are so rich that you can afford to pay for everyone! If people are also chipping in for the cost of accessories like hats, sashes, angel wings etc (see below) then make sure you get some money for those as well - they're not expensive on their own but the costs will add up if you are dressing 10 people in four items costing £2.50 each!
6. Be prepared for your hen weekend. If you are organising a hen weekend you simply MUST buy hen party accessories to take with you! We can't stress strongly enough how absolutely vital it is that the hen party go out as a team and that means that you all wear either matching badges, t-shirts, hats etc. and the hen MUST be dressed up in hen type things like L plates, mock wedding veils etc. Apart from making you all bond as a group, getting all dressed up as a hen party gives you a license to get away with murder when you are out! The sort of antics that a normally dressed group of women will get thrown out of nightclubs for will be forgiven if you are a hen party. Trust us. Also, getting dressed up in silly outfits will upset some people who won't see themselves as "those sort of people". However, hen dowe guarantee that once they are out on the town in their silly outfits with a few drinks down them they will love their new found freedom to be as silly as they like. Hen weekends are all about having fun and dropping your usual inhibitions so nobody should feel uptight. Just go with the flow and the people you meet will not be judging you because you're having fun and if they do, then who cares!