So, you’re planning your friend’s hen party? Prepare yourself for a big job: from the guests, to the venue, to the activities…the hen party needs to be as unforgettable as the wedding itself! That’s why Ceremonize are here today to offer you some tips on organising the best possible hen party, one that will make your bride-to-be the happiest girl in the world!
Who to invite ?
First of all, you need to ask yourself which guests the bride will want at her special day. For this type of party, usually only women are invited. Try and suss out from your friend whether she would rather it be just friends or also family. The key guests will be the bride’s closest friends and her sisters, if she has any. It’s normally not difficult to round up a dozen or so guests.
Don’t forget that a hen party is an emotional experience – this is the time to get in touch with the bride’s oldest childhood friend to see if she wants to come. The bride-to-be will want to spend her last days as a single woman with the people who are dearest to her. That said, the bride’s mother is often not included in the hen party as the atmosphere can be at odds with slightly older guests.
A word of advice: make sure to only invite people who will also be invited to the wedding. You don’t want to create tension by having someone at the hen party who has been left off the wedding guest list!
It’s time for an emotional rollercoaster! First of all, prepare personalised t-shirts or badges for the party. You could choose to put a funny picture of the bride on it – something to let people know that you are all part of a hen party. But obviously the most decked-out person needs to be the bride – our belle of the ball! Give her a special costume that she can wear throughout the entire day – it could have something to do with her job, her interests, her future husband, or it could simply be something wacky! Although do exercise caution – if your bride is on the shy side, don’t force her to wear a costume if she doesn’t want to.
Next, you need a plan for the day. The morning should be packed with emotions (not necessarily tears). If you have managed to track down a long lost friend, now is the time to unveil them!
Bring the future bride somewhere linked to her past: her first workplace, the spot where she first met her husband-to-be, a bar she used to go with her friends, or another place that means something special. There, you can introduce the first activity of the day. For example, if she did horse-riding when she was young, bring her to her old club and have the party go riding for half an hour. It’s sure to be nostalgic, while also creating great new memories. You’re showing your bride that you care about her interests by offering her an activity that she loves, but wouldn’t necessarily have thought to do herself. She can have a great time surrounded by her closest friends, all while enjoying a challenge! (Has she even ridden a horse since she was a child?)
After the day has started off on a calm note, it’s time for lunch. Bring the party to a restaurant or prepare a picnic. Spice up the meal by going backwards – start with dessert, and finish with the starter. It will be a total surprise, and a fun way to see the bride’s true colours before she settles into married life!
Once lunch is finished, let’s give our bride a challenge. In a town of your choice, choose a series of little challenges for your bride-to-be. If she fails, think of forfeits!
Prepare a basket full of sweets and give them to your friend. Her task: try to sell them to passers-by to raise money for hen party drinks! It’s often quite a funny sight, and passers-by are generally game to give a little money.
Another challenge: make a list of criteria that the bride-to-be has to spot in passers-by. For example, a bald man with glasses, a retired woman, a group of teenagers, a baker…to prove that she has actually met these people, the bride has to take a photograph with them! If she doesn’t manage to find all the people on her list, she has to do a forfeit – for example, singing a song in the middle of the street. Lots of laughter and great memories guaranteed.
Her last challenge of the afternoon is to find 8 men with the same name as her future husband. If she fails, she has to buy everyone in the hen party a drink!
After a day filled with laughs and challenges, the bride will need a little rest. Prepare some relaxing activities for the evening – you could hire a masseuse or a beautician to take care of the blushing bride.
It should feel like a sleepover with friends! You can paint your nails and watch chick flicks, or drink cocktails and gossip – the idea is to finish off a crazy day with some quality time with the girls.
It’s also likely to be the most emotional part of the day. Give the bride a special wedding “advent calendar”. Work out the number of days between the hen party and the wedding, and in each box get one of the guests to write a few words, or attach a photo or special object that holds significance for the bride. That way, each morning in the run-up to her wedding, the bride can open a box and have a lovely surprise – from a nostalgic picture to some words of advice for her married life.
You could also prepare a future husband questionnaire to see how well she really knows the man she’s about to marry! Ask the groom some questions, and get his responses. Then, on the night of the hen party, you can quiz the bride and compare notes!
It’s up to you to choose the activities that you think your friend will enjoy. But one thing’s for sure – there’s no escaping the hen party antics!