Every Chief Bridesmaid wants to give their bride-to-be the ultimate hens do that she’ll never forget. But where do you start? And how do you find something original? Here’s a few tips every bridesmaid should read before organising the ultimate hens night…
Step 1: Talk to the bride - There’s nothing worse than planning a great night out, only to realise it’s everything your friend hoped you wouldn’t do. Forget the surprise element for now. Talk to the bride and be clear about what she would like. Things like: intimate versus jam-packed with friends and family, strippers – yay or nay, restaurant or house party and the date.
Step 2: Do your research – Once you’ve locked in a date that suits you, the bride and the rest of the bridesmaids, get the bride to give you a list of people she’d like to invite. This should be the only thing she has to do! Then get started on calling around a few places that will suit the type of night/day she said she liked. Restaurants, bars, life-painting classes etc. Ask if they have any hens night packages or if they can throw in anything extra special (most places will offer a complimentary bottle of champagne or give you a private room).
Step 3: Send the invite – Once you’ve settled on the place and confirmed the booking, send out your invites to all the bride’s selected guests. Try and get in as early as possible, so everyone can make it for your bride. As well as listing the essential details like date, time and location, make sure you tell guests a rough cost for the evening/day, and payment options - either to you in advance or payment on the day.
MAKE IT HEN-TASTIC
Coming up with a fun, unique and memorable hens night can be tricky. But knowing your bride’s personality and what she enjoys doing is always the best research, and it will help you immensely when trying to think of something creative. A few tips for different brides:
The Girly Bride: The idea of dancing and drinking ‘til the early hours isn’t for everyone. Enter the girly bride-to-be. Something more suitable for this bride would be a brunch with her favourite girls, a high tea (that way Mum and Grandma can also join in) or a day at the local day spa – who can pass up a relaxing massage and facial when all you’ve been worried about is wedding stuff!
The Outdoor/Sporty Bride: While not everyone is into the outdoors and getting active, adventure is key for this bride-to-be, and it is after all, her big day. The key for this bride is to keep it fun and action-packed. A boat charter or cruise where you can enjoy canapés and champagne is one idea, otherwise there’s always a hike (if you’re game to suggest it), a girly picnic by the beach, or a group sailing or surf lesson.
The Romantic Bride: If your bride enjoys good food and wine, treating her to an intimate dinner at her favourite five-star restaurant would be a safe bet. Most restaurants offer set menus for big parties, making it easier on you to organise. Follow on with the romantic theme by enjoying cocktails at her favourite bar. You can even host the party at home, giving it a theme and fancy dress code.
The Wild Bride: OK, so let’s be clear here. This bride will want nothing but alcohol (and lots of it) and male strippers, so best to leave the oldies at home for this one. Organising a private room at a restaurant or bar would be ideal and make sure you let the manager know your plans so there’s no rude surprises. Other fun options for a wild bride-to-be would be a naughty cruise with scantily clad waiters, or pole dancing and belly dancing lessons.
:: Substitute strippers for topless waiters with bow ties.
:: Instead of a home-made tulle veil, have a bride-to-be crown.
:: Instead of one-night-only shenanigans, go away for the weekend.
:: Have a mixed hens/bucks weekend and combine festivities with the boys – Eva Longoria did this before marrying Tony Parker.