1. DO sit the bride down for a chat
This is her last night of freedom after all, not yours. Forget what you would want and speak to her about the level of debauchery she would feel comfortable with.
If she thinks spas are a waste of time, then a soothing massage is not going to be a winner. Likewise if she’s not a podium dancing, jäger bomb kind of lass – we'd cancel that trip to Gatecrasher.
2. DO then ignore her (to a degree)
No bride is going to be completely honest with you. They’re not going to say ‘actually, can you go all out, I know it will be lots of work – but I want a massive fuss. I want penis straws and inflatable dolls, the whole shabang.’
Regardless of what type of night you are planning, make sure you surprise the bride-to-be with a bit of cheesy fun. She is only going to do this once after all.
3. DO think about who is on your guest list
The guest list will determine where you need to pitch the tone of your bash. Speak to your friend and find out if she wants it to be just mates, or if she thinks her mum and future mother-in-law should be invited (in which case, you might want to cancel that stripper).
It may be appropriate to suggest either splitting up the day, or having two events – a nice meal with the mums and then your drunken night at Buns of Steel.
4. DON’T hit the hens with secret costs
Make a budget at the beginning and stick to it. Be up front with everyone about how much things are going to cost. Nothing will infuriate your friends and set a bad tone for the day if no one knows how much everything is going to set them back.
Ideally, get the money off them in advance for all the activities, and some contingency cash for the first round of drinks or any props you plan to buy.
It will make your bride feel very awkward if you have to talk about costs and owing people money in front of her.
5. DON’T forget that it isn’t a level playing field
Usually on a hen night, everyone will earn different amounts and you need to be respectful of what people can afford.
It is a political minefield, but ignoring it will make the issue worse. Think about how much is an acceptable amount to spend for everyone – and make sure you check with people first that they are happy with the costs. They will soon pipe up if they’re not.
6. DO decide upon your level of responsibility (and inform everyone from the start)
As hen night leader, the other guests will look to you to be the pied piper of fun. They will come expecting to make no decisions whatsoever, unless you tell them otherwise.
Decide in advance where you draw the line, and then tell them.
Are you arranging everyone’s transport or do they have to sort themselves out? Have you worked out exactly which bars you will be hitting or are you going to wing it on the night? People will expect that you have sorted everything – so if you haven’t – tell them and let them help.
7. DON’T forget the little things
No detail is too small when it comes to hen doo planning. If you take everything into consideration in advance, it will not only mean it runs without a hitch – but that your stress levels will be low on the day.
- Where are you eating?
- Do people need to bring booze with them if you are getting ready together?
- Are you allowed to wear fancy dress in the nightclub you plan to go to?
- If everything is a surprise – have you told the bride what she needs to pack?
- Are you doing a kitty or are people responsible for buying their own drinks?
- Will you split the restaurant bill or will people pay for what they’ve had?
Your bride will not thank you for winging it.
8. DON’T leave everything to the last minute
Unless your friend is turning her wedding around in a week, you should have plenty of notice to plan a hen doo. Get on with it.
It takes a lot of organisation and you need to give people notice to get dosh together, especially if you are planning something extravagant like a trip abroad.
Do everything as soon as possible, make sure everyone is up to speed, and then you can relax and enjoy all the praise!