Before the hen do
Speak to the Hen! It is her hen day / hen night / hen weekend after all. Some Hens are comfortable knowing nothing about the hen do and some want to know exactly what they are doing. The Hen may want to do the organising with bridesmaid help (leaving room for at least a small, nice surprise for the Hen). Always make sure it is the Hen that dictates the guest list for the hen do.
Save the date well in advance. Discuss a suitable date with the Hen (a couple of weeks or more in advance of the wedding is normal), communicate it to the guests and stick to that date.
Research any ideas well in advance so that you have an idea of cost, feasibility and availability before suggesting such ideas to the guests. For hen do ideas see Hen Planning.
The initial communication to the guests with the dates and asking for commitment should give some basic details of budget per person (a guide amount, e.g. £80-£100 each), an idea of potential location (at least an indication of whether passports will be required but ideally something along the lines of ‘no more than X miles from the Hen’s home town’) and length of hen party (day, evening or weekend). This allows the guests to make an informed decision and will help to avoid drop outs.
Continually communicate important and relevant information, but do not inundate the guests with emails. Get all important planning points across clearly and store up the less important details to work into a clear
Set a detailed budget and be very clear with guests what is and is not included. If you are going out for dinner and the cost of the drinks is on top, say so. It the travel costs are not included and people are expected to get somewhere themselves, say so. Be considerate of those you know are on very low budgets. Ask each guest for a deposit well in advance to secure their place and ensure commitment. Download our budget planner use it to keep your costs in check.
An itinerary is a useful tool to set out the events of the hen do, timings, who needs to be where when, what the guests need to bring in terms of
games, fancy dress and Hen Kit. But do let the guests know any fancy dress detail, game preparation and small gift buying well in advance so that there is plenty of time to organise these things.