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Hen Do Ideas; the Ultimate Guide to Hen Dos!

three woman sitting on a bed smiling holding champagne glasses having a pedicure on a hen party
Hen's Enjoying a Spa Day

What Does the Hen Want?

The first big question is whether the bride wants it to be a surprise…you must consult with her before this as otherwise you may find yourself in a double hen do situation as the bride has thought no one is planning anything and has planned her own, as well as the surprise one!

Speak with her to find out what she hopes to have at the hen party. If she wants a surprise then get some general ideas about what it is she’d love; think general talk about afternoon teas, spa days, bungee jumping, hot air balloon rides and much more!

A few questions you need answers to would be:

  • Does she want the hen do abroad?
  • What’s the budget?
  • What does she really NOT want to do?
  • How long should it be?
  • Does she want one hen do, or two for friends and then older family members?

Once you have an idea of what the bride to be wants, you need to get together with the other bridesmaids and friends that want to help and start brainstorming some hen do ideas (prosecco always helps the suggestions flow we find!). This needs to be done quite early on incase of seasonal plans or very popular events that get booked up.

Who to Invite

This is an element of the hen do that needs the brides input as she will need to tell you who she does and doesn’t want at her do! There will be a range of people she needs to choose from university friends, work colleagues, old school friends, new friends and family friends that she’ll need to consider.

A growing trend is to have a ‘sten’ do or a stag doe, which combines both the hen and stag parties! If the couple getting married share a lot of the same friends then it makes sense to combine, regardless of the sex.

Think about the guests you have when considering what accommodation you will have to choose as you may have different ages and abilities as well as family members who do (or do not!) want to share the same space!

Who do i invite

When Do You Have a Hen Party in the UK?

The best person to decide when you’re going to have the hen do is the bride to be herself! You’ll need to find out the dates that suit the bride as she may have child commitments, or work commitments that stop her dropping everything last minute to go partying in Ibiza!

You’ll need to consider the time of year that the wedding is being held as there’s no point having a winter wedding, then hoping all your mates are going to want to go coasteering in Wales!

Having the hen party a few months before the wedding is perfectly acceptable but generally, the hen do is held approximately six weeks before the big day as it gives everyone the chance to recover, yet the wedding is still close enough for everyone to be very excited!

Once you have a guest list sorted, there are a number of apps that can help you easily collate everyone’s availability by selecting which dates work from a selected few.

What’s the Budget?

Sorting the finances and getting everyone to pay on time can be a bit of a nightmare if there’s no forward planning!

Firstly, working out how much everyone can realistically afford before you start booking anything is essential. This is so you don’t upset the friends and families on the hen do but also so you don’t lose deposits or book activities people just are not going to pay for.

The average stag and hen party now costs each guest an average of £242 – according to hotels.com, 61 percent more than a decade ago. This is a steep rise so its important to get it right!

Make sure you’re open about money with the whole party as the number one complaint with hen party organising is the fact that that the participants don’t now how much the activities will cost and whether it could be afforded by all in the first place.

Should you find that 2 thirds of the group, for example, cant afford the hen do trip that’s been suggested, then a second more affordable event could be planned round someone’s house or in the local town. This means nobody gets let out over money.

What’s Your Hen Do Destination?

From the initial conversations that were had with the hen about what she hoped to do for her party, you’ll know whether you’re looking at trips abroad or in the UK.

The first consideration is where the wedding is being held as if the location is abroad, then it’s not ok to ask the guests to pay for flights to the hen do and then a few weeks later, flights to the wedding!

If you do want to go abroad, then flexibility is the key as the more open you are to destinations, the cheaper the deals will be. For example, choose Lisbon over Barcelona, Riga over Budapest and Bratislava over Prague and you’ll save money but still have a great time!

Making sure that the location of the hen do, if based in the UK, is as central as can be for the guests. You don’t want to find some hen’s having to travel hours on a bus just to get somewhere for one night!

Book the Hen Do Accommodation

Your accommodation will really depend on how much you plan to use it as a group. If you’re planning long walks and chilling out by the fire with nice home cooked meals, then a cheap apartment isn’t going to cut the mustard! Whereas if you are just using the hotel as a base to sleep and get ready, then a Travelodge or Premier Inn will hit the spot!

Hen Do Experience Day Ideas

Once you have the date, the people and the location sorted, the best part is yet to be planned…the activities! Getting ideas for hen do parties is the fun part of planning the trip as the world is your oyster! And the best place to find lots of cool things to do in one place is an experience day company!

Experience day companies are perfect for hen do ideas as there’s such a different range of experiences for different group sizes and price brackets.

Hen do fun and pampering

Escape Room Experience

Grab your girls and work together to complete this awesome breakout experience. You will all have an hour to solve puzzles, lateral thinking and team working skills as the game is purely mental, no mental strength required here!

There are a huge range of different story lines, challenges and difficulty levels so whether you want to escape from a Mad Scientist or save the world from a Zombie Apocalypse, this is truly an unforgettable experience for you and your hens!

Afternoon Tea Bus Tour in London

The perfect way to see the sights of London with your girls, this is an afternoon tea with a difference! We offer you the chance to discover the most famous landmarks in the capital while sat on a double decker route master bus enjoying savouries, sandwiches, cakes, tarts scones and muffins!

The bus takes you from historical sights and famous buildings for approximately 90 minutes which include Big Ben and Downing Street.

Learn more: Afternoon tea bus London

Design Your Own Fragrance Experience

Create your own fragrance for a truly memorable Hen Do experience. Discover the world of perfumery and learn the process of blending your very own signature fragrance. Not only will you have a fabulous day spent with your closest friends but you'll have a scented keepsake to take away and treasure.

Thames Lates Speedboat Adventure

Get the wind through your hair with this exhilarating hen do idea…a speedboat ride down the Thames for 50 minutes!

As the sun goes down, create memories with your squad by seeing 14 London landmarks by night in a 880hp speedboat! You can bop along to party tunes whilst twisting and turning at speed down the river!

Just for Fun Forging Experience

Do something really different on your hen do and head over to Herefordshire to create a take home piece of ironmongery.

Enjoy three or five hours of a blacksmithing experience with a fully trained member of the team and have lots of fun in the process doing something complete unique.

Planning a hen do is such fun. It can get stressful when trying to pin down everybody’s availability and what the bride to be wants and who they want there, but once you’re actually at the party, all the hen do ideas in this guide will have hopefully guided you to create a time your hen will remember forever.

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