See the details of this gorgeous seaside soiree on Green Wedding Shoes
Being in charge of organising someone’s Hens party – or ‘Bachelorette’ party as they’re called in the US – is truly an honour BUT it also comes with a certain amount of pressure and responsibilities. From pleasing the (sometimes fussy) bride-to-be, to coordinating the guests, and managing all of the party’s little details – you’d be forgiven for wanting to pass this great ‘honour’ onto someone else.
The great news is that with a bit of organisation and a solid party plan, it’s totally possible to host an amazing hens/bachelorette party without losing your mind – hooray!
Here’s how to pull it all off:
Focus On The Bride-To-Be
If you’ve already started to plan the party, you probably would have realised by now that EVERYONE has an opinion on how the big event should unfold. The thing is, it’s not about any of the guests – or about you for that matter – it’s all about the bride-to-be! It’s her big day/night so ultimately, she’s the only one you should be aiming to please when planning the party.
Here are a few ways to make sure the lady of honour will be happy on the day:
- Before planning the event, ask her what her ideal party would look like. There’s no need to go into great details but she should at least provide you with some basic guidelines such as: does she want a wild night on the town or a more classy bridal shower? How does she feel about certain hens party ‘activities’ (i.e. is a stripper an option or does she want nothing penis-related at all?) This info will already help you narrow the ideas down. Another great option is to make her create an inspiration board on Pinterest so that you can truly see what she likes.
- Make sure to also discuss the guest list with her as you don’t want to invite someone she doesn’t like or miss anyone important.
- Once you’ve gathered this basic info, try and leave the bride out of the party plans – she probably has enough to deal with her wedding plans and it’s always nice to leave some elements of surprise for the day of party!
Set A Reasonable Budget
Once you’ve spoken with the bride, meet with the rest of the bridal party to discuss the theme/party requirements as well as the budget. It’s common to have each guest contribute to the party so make sure your chosen activities meet their budget too.
Sometimes, the bride will have lavish taste and will want to do things that are not always financially viable for everyone. A good compromise in this case is to break the day into different activities/blocks and to let people join in when they choose. For example they may choose to skip the wine tasting during the day but to join the party later at night. Just ensure people tell you their plans ahead of time.
You could also use an anonymous survey with Survey Monkey (free!) to get a feel for people’s budgets and preferences and go from there.
Pick A Theme
Pretty Mayhem’s Nautical Party Kit
I’ve said this many times before but I’ll say it again anyway – picking a theme makes party planning so much easier! It doesn’t need to be super specific, even choosing a color scheme will already help you choose decorations and food.
If you’re stuck as to which theme you should choose for your party, you’re in luck as I previousy shared these 35 top Bachelorette ideas.
And if decorating is not your thing (and you live in Australia) then check out my range of ready-made hens party kits!
Whilst it’s a good idea to have one person in charge of overseeing the party plans, it’s also important that the whole bridal party be involved in the planning process. Not only will it be good team-working practice for the wedding day but it will also save you a lot of time and stress as the party ‘project manager’.
Play to people strengths and delegate tasks amongst people accordingly. Is someone a whizz in the kitchen? Then perhaps they could take care of the food. Someone’s really good at crafting or design? Let them design the invites! – you get the gist.
Send Out The Invitations Early
These cute invitations are free to download on Bespoke Bride‘s website!
People are very busy these days, especially during wedding season. As such, it’s a good idea to give guests between 4 to 6 weeks notice and to also send them a reminder two weeks before the party.
Invitations set up the tone for the party so whilst Facebook invites are quick and easy and fine for low key events, paper stationary or pretty e-invites might be better suited for more formal affairs.
When I worked in the film industry, my costume manager always used to say ‘assumption is the mother of all f*** ups’ – something which I feel definitely applies to party planning as well.
Always communicate clearly with both the bridal team and the guests and never assume that they already know something you haven’t actually told them. What you think is ‘common sense’ or ‘obvious’ might not be for someone else.
Be clear in your invitations about things like the dress code, party costs, locations etc. so that everyone is exactly on the same page. A good way is to keep the lines of communication open and to make sure everyone knows what’s happening is to create an event wall on Facebook. An email sent 2 days prior to the event with all of the important party details is also a good idea.
Don’t Forget About Entertainment
See how to create a fun hens/bachelorette party photobooth on MyTrublu
Hen parties often bring together people who don’t know each other well so start the day with an ice breaking game or an activity that will encourage people are encouraged to mingle and chat. Make sure to pick activities that suit your crowd – perhaps leave the stripper and other risque activities for when the mother-of-the-bride has gone home for example.
Another important thing to consider is the music – prepare an awesome playlist ahead of time and make sure to include some of the bride’s favourites in there! Spotify is also full of ready-made playlists.
Finally, think about a little WOW factor. Something that will stick in the mind of the guests and take the party to the next level. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, it could simply be a DIY photobooth with silly props, a surprise lesson (i.e. a burlesque lesson, cocktail making, belly dancing,), a fancy DIY bar, the list goes on!
Have A (Loose) Schedule
Prepare a run simple sheet ahead of time and give a copy of it to each bridesmaids. I know it sounds boring but trust me, when people start getting ‘merry’ and unruly you’ll be happy you have a schedule in place.
Don’t try and pack too much into one day (there’s nothing worse than having to rally up a group of people every 10 mins) and allow for ‘down times’ so that people can just chat and enjoy each other’s company.
Sure hens/bachelorette parties are about celebrating and toasting the bride-to-be, but as the party organiser it’s also partly your responsibility to make sure that no one gets so drunk that they become a danger (or an embarrassment) to themselves or others.
Though you can’t really control what other people do, you can however make sure that they have access to plenty of food and water throughout the party. If the party is taking place over a whole day then it might be a good idea to sneak in some activities that don’t include alcohol.
Carry a small ‘hens survival kit’ filled with handy items such as paracetamol (or advil), small bandages (even if it’s just to cure blisters from over-dancing), tampons, safety pins, mints, etc. Or make one for each guest as a cute gift!
Also, arrange for safe transportation prior to the evening so that everyone gets home safe.
Finally, enjoy yourself! You’ve worked so hard on planning this big event – you might as well enjoy it too ;) Guests always look up to their hostess to set the tone so if you’re happy, they’ll most likely be too!
Happy partying xx