Recently I received a video clip of all of my bridesmaids video-calling one another, organising my hen do. Honestly, it made me well up! Seeing three of my best friends, plus my younger sister planning my hen do was so heart-warming, I didn’t know what to do with myself! Ha!
Whilst my quad of amazing bridesmaids are planning my hen do, I’ve also been talking to friends and readers who are currently going through the same process.
Since I’ve now planned two hen dos myself, and I’m in the middle of being the bride for one (still SUCH a surreal feeling!) I wanted to share five tips which really helped me when piecing together my previous hen dos.
If you’re currently in prep mode yourself, I hope that these tips are helpful!
5 Tips For Planning An Amazing Hen Do
1 – Ask The Bride What She Wants To Do
Once you’re given the duty of planning a hen do, it’s so easy to start listening to what everyone else wants to do (Magic Mike anyone?!) without going straight to the source.
Before anything else, ask your bride what she fancies doing. (Hopefully she’ll say Magic Mike too haha!)
Questions which my bridesmaids asked me (and which I asked my respective brides too), included:
Any absolute nos?
Dates? (NB: GET THIS IN EARLY)
Budget? (Find out what the budget is per person, realistically, from the beginning.)
Guest List? (Including contact details)
How much involvement would you like to have in the hen do planning process?
Once all of those questions are answered, you have your framework for the hen do. And so the planning can begin – whoop!
2 – Get Friendly With A Spreadsheet
Planning a hen do is SUPER fun, but it’s undeniably hard work.
You have lots of people to organise, multiple elements to account for and payments coming in left, right and centre.
Getting friendly with a spreadsheet/multiple spreadsheets is a life saver.
I’ve historically used these for keeping track of venue details, travel bookings and activities. As well as payments from hen do attendees.
Bonus tip! Ask hen do attendees to pay into a kitty. This means that one person is then responsible for paying for things whilst you’re out with the group, and saves SO much time and organisation.
3 – Create An Itinerary
I bloody love an itinerary be it a hen do or not haha!
If you’re going about it for the first time, an itinerary is essentially a list of everything you’re doing, broken down chronologically.
I also like to include the contact details and address for venues on my itineraries, as well as some pretty photos.
If you’re struggling to put together a plan, you may want to think of this as a ‘work do’. I found that as soon as I started thinking of the hen dos I organised as a ‘press trip’, I was able to organise everything so much more easily. Random but it worked!
4 – Start A Mailchimp List For Hen Do Attendees
I use Mailchimp for all of my work-related newsletters, and as it turns out, it’s perfect for hen do organisation too!
You can pop all of the email addresses for the people attending the hen do into one list, and you only need to send out one newsletter with all of the hen do information.
5 – Collaborate With Other Bridesmaids & Friends Who Are Helping
It’s SO important to collaborate with your fellow bridesmaids/friends of the bride/even the bride herself (if she wants to take part!). Organising a hen do is no easy feat and you shouldn’t bear the weight of it by yourself.
Make a list of everything that needs to be done for the hen do, and divvy up responsibilities.
If one person is booking the accommodation, could another book the travel?
Can someone be in charge of collecting payments, whilst one is tasked with evening activities?
Divvying up the responsibilities will help to sort things out more quickly, and more efficiently. Plus it means that everyone is chipping in, and there’s a real sense of camaraderie in that itself!
Oh and top tip! My bridesmaids told me that they were able to use Facebook Messenger to video call one another. How amazing is that? Since they all live in different places this made it so much easier for them to be able to organise the hen do, without having to travel long distances.
If you’re planning a hen do, or are having a hen do planned for you(!!!), I hope that these tips are of help!
As a bridesmaid, the most important thing for me was that the bride had an amazing time and was surrounded by people she loved.
As an almost-bride myself, I can confirm that that’s exactly what I’m looking forward to too!
What’s Your Take?
Are you planning a hen do? Have you done so in the past?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and any tips you have!
Love, Monica x
Photography by Brandon Hill