Walking down the aisle to promise to be together for better or for worse can be a little daunting for your best friend, so help her celebrate her last day as a single gal by partying like rock stars! Planning the party can be as stressful as the wedding itself but with this helpful guide, your obligation as Maid of Honour will be easier than you could ever imagine. Although the bride should not be an active planner in this party, be sure to run the ideas by her as to avoid going over the top and embarrassing her instead of showing her a good time. Feel free to distribute the tasks between the bridesmaids--that's what they're there for!
Planning the guest list is the only thing (besides the date of the party) in which the bride should partake. Not every female from the wedding guest list should be invited, rather just the close friends of the bride. Grandma Pearl and Aunt Ruthie should NOT be on the Hen Night guest list. Keep the party to about ten guests: the bride, the bridesmaids and sometimes other close female guests. However a bigger party of twenty is not unheard of, especially in the case of house parties.
Although Hen Parties are traditionally a night-time event, many are now opting for a full day celebration and why not? An all day party with just the girls will rejuvenate the bride for the oncoming and probably overwhelming festivities. The date of the party should be the only detail besides the guest list that the bride should have a say in. The party should be a week to a couple days before the wedding date.
A brunch with the girls and then a day at the spa will get the bride-to-be ready and glowing for her big day. Make sure the spa day is at least three to four days before the wedding in case any allergic reactions do occur from any of the treatments. Other fun day trip ideas could be a paintballing trip for the die-hard brides (wearing lots of layers and protection would be recommended, especially for the bride, since bruises might ruin wedding photos), or maybe a nurturing hike in the countryside to reconnect with nature and serenity before a night of complete mayhem. A picnic at a nearby beach complete with games is another relaxing option for those wanting to save their strength for the night celebration.
The main event of the party should be at night and should include a intimate meal. After all, the party is about the bride and her friends, not necessarily just drinking the night away. Some brides may opt for just a small get together, à la the Sex and the City
|Hen Night Costumes and Decorations|
As an additional factor to spice up the night, themes can be incorporated into the party. Naughty policewomen, sexy golfers (as seen in Wedding Date
If you already have a venue in mind with a bar, you and the bride should meet the bartender and concoct a signature drink for the night. This will give the party a unique personality and the drink will be the bride's secret drink recipe for years to come! Speaking with the venue in advance may also lead to drink specials for the party...which means more drinks for everyone!
Games are great for any activity you might be planning since most venues will usually correspond to a particular game.
Despite what you think, strippers are actually not too popular at hen parties. A male stripper pouncing on the bride could seriously backfire, especially if she and the groom agreed not have have any at the hens/stags. Not everyone enjoys strippers and some can be extremely uncomfortable with the idea so before hiring one, make sure that the bride and guests are okay with it. The same goes for sex toys, so do not book that demonstrator until you check with the bride.
If the budget is a problem, a house party is just as appropriate, especially since house-made drinks will cost half of what they would at a bar. Home is also a great place to play embarrassing games that would be otherwise inappropriate.
Dinner at the bride's favourite restaurant is always a reliable option for good food and good fun. Unwrapping presents there will also lighten the mood since the bride is bound to get some funny presents!
Dancing the night away is great for releasing some nuptial-planning tension. Have the guests each bring a piece of clothing for the bride to wear as she shakes her booty; this will give you endless laughs as she struts her stuff on the dance floor.
Bar hopping is a tradition for hen parties. If you choose to do this, it's a great idea to expand on the personal drink idea from above and create a different drink for each bar you plan on stopping by. The goal then would be to try each and everyone of these drinks by the end of the night. If stopping by more than a dozen bars to create personalised drinks sounds like too much advance planning and work, just ordering the signature drink/cocktail at each of these bars will suffice. Again, advance planning and coordination can lead to drink specials that can either save you and your guests money or leave more for the bride's drink fund!
A weekend trip to Paris or Amsterdam is a great option for a bride who prefers exotic locales. A weekend in Prague with just the girls will undoubtedly create great memories, if not some hallucinations from the absinthe
Renting out a yacht or a boat for the hen party would certainly be a treat for the bride. Many boats now have ridiculously luxurious amenities and a night on one of these babies could blow even the honeymoon away! Sailing around while being impeccably serviced at sunset will leave you dreaming for more.
A stretch limo rushing the hen party off to its (many) destinations throughout the night is not a luxury, but a necessity. Giving the limo driver everyone's address (the bride should be dropped off first, of course) will also be convenient at the end of the night when the ladies are too inebriated to get home themselves. Another option is the party bus, which will give you a plenty to do while cruising from venue to venue. With a state of the art sound system and servers to wait on you, its like having your own VIP club to party in while getting to the next bar.
A toast by the Maid of Honour/hen night planners is tradition and requires the most planning out of everything mentioned in this guide. The toast will not only set the mood for the rest of the night, but will do exactly what a hen party is supposed to do, assure the bride that you will always be there for her. Make it a memorable toast that will bring tears (of joy) to her eyes. Because the reception toast will be more general and heard by everyone, take this time to really let the bride and the hen party attendees know that girls have to stick together. The big toast is to the bride and groom, but this toast is specifically for the bride and your friendship.
The wild night should be paid by everyone except for the bride. It is tradition for each guest to pay for their share of the event and little extra towards drinks for the bride. The Maid of Honour should figure out early on how much each guest should contribute towards the party depending on the events planned. A wiser method is to first see how much each guest would be willing to spend and then plan accordingly.
Because a hen party is really just for the girls, raunchy gag gifts are totally appropriate and are highly encouraged. Anything that will heat up the honeymoon is also welcome.