Hen party planning can be quite tricky, with so many aspects to think about and angles to cover, it's easy to overlook something, or someone, when starting out. This article covers each and every aspect of hen party planning and should provide invaluable reading to all Chief Bridesmaids out there.
First things first, if you're a Bride-to-be, then stop reading this article right now. Hen party planning is the sole domain of the Chief Bridesmaid - sure you can have an input, but when it comes to organising the whole thing, this is one task you can take a back seat on. So be a good girl, and leave this bit of the wedding to your trusted friend to sort out!
Assuming, that we're now left with just the Maid's of Honour, let's push on.
The key to organising any top-notch hen party is planning and preparation. A chat with the Bride-to-be is the only real place to start - the party is for them after all, and the last thing you want is something that they hate every minute of. The chat should be nothing formal, in fact in can be done quite deviously with several off-the-cuff questions spread over a few weeks that extracts all the information you need.
Essentially, you need three bits of info to begin your hen party planning quest - let's take a look at each one in turn...
Who to invite?
As the Chief Bridesmaid you will know your friend better than anyone, but chances are that they will have some friends, colleagues or realtives tucked away somewhere you don't know about. Likewise, there may be some folk who you would love to have attend, but perhaps the Bride-to-be is not so keen on spending their 'last night of freedom' with. With all this in mind, when it comes to the hen party guest list, it may pay to be less sneaky and more up front with the Bride-to-be.
You may want to remind the Bride that the attendance of certain guests can inhibit certain activities from taking place or specific locations from being attended. How keen would her Gran be having a pole dancing lesson, and would her 10 year old niece really be the ideal candidate for a hen weekend in Amsterdam, for example. Additionally, 'the more the merrier' is a commonly used phrase, but typically hen do's with huge turnouts are notoriously difficult to manage, and it's often that case that budget per head is lower.
So, whilst there isn't any magic formula when it comes to this aspect of hen party planning, you can see that there are some things to bear in mind.
Whatever the final decision with regards the hen party invitees, you should remember that you'll need to get in touch with them all well in advance with as much information as possible. If there are alot of people to contact, it may be wise to prioritise the list of attendees and rope one of the other Bridesmaids to help. Alternatively, segment the invitees into sensible groups (friends from school, friends from work, family etc.) and liaise with a lead contact from each group to head the recruiting.
Hen party invites aren't that expensive, add a lovely personal touch, and can act as a nice keepsake for everyone. So, in order to formally announce the hen do and invite guests along, you may wish to consider investing in some.