Planning the Perfect Hen Party

Planning a hen party can be pretty stressful particularly if you have never planned a large event before as Chief Bridesmaid.

If you have been asked to plan your best friend’s hen party then the first thing you need to do is talk to her and find out what the bride is expecting. It is likely that you want to keep the celebrations a surprise but it is also important to have an idea of what she likes and dislikes.

  1. Find out if she would like to go abroad, what budget should you work with, any favourite cities she would like to visit or stay in Ireland. Check with her also if she has anything that is her idea of a nightmare! Maybe she is afraid of heights, not into skydiving or afraid of water!
    Would she like a one or two night away, if she only wants to go away for one night then your budget could stretch further.
  2. What is important to the bride: something low key and budget-friendly so everyone can come?
  3. Create an invite list and work with the bride to create this. Make sure you have the bride’s input so you won't miss anyone vital from the list.
  4. Come up with a list of possible dates and the more date options the better so you can choose a time that suits most of the hens. It is also worth getting a list of priority guests that the bride really wants to ensure can come to her hen party.
  5. Set up a What’s app group or a Facebook group and get chatting with the hens. Let them know the dates available and an indication of the budget.
  6. Decide on the location and get accommodation organised as you will have a rough idea of how many people can make the chosen date.
  7. Plan activities for the group and check if you have anyone with any limitations or anyone who is pregnant. It may have an effect on the type of activities you choose.
  8. Give the final details, dates and prices to the other hens.
  9. Confirm the booking: you might get a few dropouts once you have the date set, as things can change.
  10. Collect the money: Let the hens know how to pay their share and the deadline date. This will also give you a definite number of who is attending the hen party, once the money is paid.
  11. Transport: Think about how you are getting to your location. If you are located in the same area everyone can organise travel together, should you be located in different areas of the country, it may be easier that everyone is responsible for getting themselves to the location.
  12. Plan the finer details: Its time now to plan for the party games, getting the accessories for the bride, decorating the hotel room or place of stay, ordering any t-shirts or sashes and creating some hen party bags. There are so many ideas out there for hen party inspiration, cocktail popsicles, doughnut party, wine glass tags and any handbag essentials.

Exhilarating water activities and lively nightclubs aren’t everybody’s cup of tea. A more relaxed and sophisticated weekend is a much better option for any brides-to-be who cringe at the sight of a feather boa and shots.
Some ideas for a more sophisticated affair:

Afternoon Tea: Treat your bride to be with her nearest and dearest by her side. You may choose a theme for your afternoon tea such as a vintage or a mad hatters tea party. Relax with a glass of champagne and a great selection of sweet treats. If you wish to go away from Galway, try out Social Bee in Dublin who offer everything you need for a fabulous luncheon.

Spa Day: A tranquil spa day is always an ideal choice if the bride happens to enjoy the finer things in life! You can choose from a wide range of spa treatments with the ladies and then relax, feeling refreshed for the remainder of the celebrations.

Cookery Class: Learn a new skill with super fun and inspiring cookery class. Orchard Acre Farm in Fermanagh offers spectacular cookery classes with a vast variety of themes to choose from, including Thai and Italian. With an experienced cook at hand, you will learn useful tips and the whole party will enjoy a well-deserved catch up as they taste their masterpieces afterwards.

Pottery making: That famous scene from Ghost made everyone want to try their hand at pottery classes. The Slieve Aughty Centre in Galway is a great location for the bride to be to unwind with a super relaxing pottery class followed by a range of creative and fun activities.

Pamper Makeover: Treat your bride and her besties to a glamorous makeover with your very own makeup artist and hairstylist. You may even decide to opt for a theme such as retro vintage.

A day at the races: A day at the races is the perfect opportunity to wine and dine your girls, maybe hire a private bar, some betting on the horses. Galway Races or the Fairy House Racecourse in Meath are the places to be. Any excuse to get dolled up!

Tip of the week

Confirming all details with the group: I would advise a week before to send an overview of the location and timings to all hens and confirm everything with them.

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