Planning a Hen Party can be rather daunting, and we at Hen Party Superstore understand this fact, which is why we have prepared a nifty A-Z Hen Party guide for you to consult as your first port of call. We’ve whittled it down to 26 Hen Party must-haves, one for each letter of the alphabet, in an attempt to both inspire you, and to ensure that you don’t miss anything out of your Hen Party preparation.
From advice on where to go and what to do, how to prepare and organise budgets, and any additional extras you might need, we are taking you on a whistle-stop tour of the alphabet, devoted entirely to Hen Parties. For us, Alcohol, Beauty, and Celebration, are as simple as A-B-C, so take a look at our essential A-Z pointers for Hen Party advice, ideas and invaluable guidance from the Hen Party experts.
At the top of the list, alcohol is one of the main ingredients for your Hen Night. Whether it's a home Hen Party with drinks, games, and nibbles, or a wild night in town, you'rd be missing out if you didn't include this vital ingredient. If you enjoy getting tiddly, try and sort some drinks offers for a cheap but chirpy night, or consider a wine tasting session or cocktail-making class.
The key to any Hen Party is preparation, and by this, we don’t mean venues, budgets, and reservations. Preparing yourself for the big night is the best way to enjoy the build up. We’re talking pampering; manicures, pedicures, facials, a massage, a haircut, the works. You could plan a day in your local salon, or a spa retreat, for some well deserved, pre-party relaxation (Maids of Honour will appreciate this, for sure).
Don't let the stress of planning and organisation get the better of you. Remember that a Hen Party is a cause for celebration. You're celebrating the last night of freedom, a soon-to-be marriage, a loving, committed relationship, and celebrating the fact that you have a great social circle to share this excitement with. In honour of the Bride-to-Be, raise your glasses and crack out those party poppers!
Buy some banners and balloons to take to your venue or kit out your home, to really make the Hen Party your own. You can even invest in some tableware and disposable drinking accessories to save on the washing up. This is a great idea for home Hen Dos and for pre-Hen Party gatherings at home, especially if there are lots of attendees. Oh, and you'll definitely need an Groom balloon on show somewhere!
Have a browse at our DECORATIONS SECTION for a huge range of decorative Hen Party accessories, from bunting, to centrepieces, balloons and serviettes, we’ve got it all.
E: Edible Treats
After buying all the tableware, it would be a pity not to offer some delicious light bites as well. You can play it safe with sausage rolls, pizza, finger sandwiches and crisps, or be a little more inventive. Head to the supermarket a day before your party and buy some extravagant nibbles. Make sure you've got some desserts too, for those with a sweet tooth. You can buy readymade canapés or bite-sized confectionary, or perhaps try making them?
There's a common assumption that the Maid of Honour should organize the whole Hen Do. However, we believe that, given the scale of many Hen Parties and Hen weekends of the modern day, it is near enough impossible for one person to take it all on themselves. Remember that the Hen Do is supposed to be enjoyable for everyone. Don't leave planning to one person, as this wouldn't be fair. All chip in on the organisation by dividing roles and jobs between you all.
As a token gesture for the Hens, prepare some gift bags filled with standard Hen Party goodies, such as sweets, straws, and dare cards, as well as some unexpected luxuries. All women love TLC, so popping in a few mini cosmetics like nail varnishes, lotions, and eye lashes would be a lovely and slightly classier way of surprising your Hens, especially if you're having a Hen Party at Home or a spa weekend.
For a variety of gift bags including personalised ones, see our Hen Party Gift Bags page, and for bag filler ideas, take a look at our Beauty and Sweetie fillers, all of which you’ll find under the ‘Gifts & Bags’ tab on our website at HenPartySuperstore.co.uk.
If you're planning a Hen Party abroad or out of town, you'll need to book your overnight stay. Planning ahead goes hand-in-hand with booking accommodation, so for the best deals and cheapest prices, make sure you book your hotel in advance. Look on price comparison websites for an instantaneous way of assessing whether your overnight stay will meet your Hen Do budget. Don't leave it until the night before, as you'll end up paying extortionate prices, especially in big cities.
Given the nature of contemporary social relations, Facebook is a great tool for informing people of your Hen Party, particularly people who you don't see every day. Set up a Facebook event in the early stages of planning to get a rough idea of numbers and to make sure people keep the date clear. At a later stage, and for a more personalized touch, you can send out hard copies of pretty invitations that people can keep as a memento.
We have a stunning selection of free, printable Hen Party Invitations designed especially for you at HenPartySuperstore.co.uk. Simply choose one that matches your theme or colour scheme, click download, and the invitations are yours to print.
Sort out the logistics; where you're travelling to, how long the journey will take, public transport reservations, all of these factors need to be considered. If it's a local night on the town, you might want to pre-book a taxi just to make sure you're not waiting around at the end of the night. For overseas Hen Dos, booking flights early in advance can save you a lot of money. Make sure you give yourselves enough time to arrive and settle down, before you head out. Don't arrive in your destination at 8pm after a 4 hour bus journey, because that won't leave you much time to get ready.
K: Know The Plan
Have a meeting the week before the Hen Night, just to make sure everyone is clear on the itinerary for the night. For example, everybody needs to know what time to meet, and where. Are you meeting in a bar, or at someone's house? Is there a curfew for the minibus back home? Does everyone know the route of the bar crawl, in case you split up along the way? Keep each others& numbers on speed dial.
Download your free Hen Party Checklist at HenPartySuperstore.co.uk, a handy pre-Hen Do 6 month To-Do record. Consult this document for pointers when planning your party and to ensure you don’t miss anything important!
Another vital ingredient for your Hen Party recipe is laughter, and an easy way to get the girls giggling is with Hen Party games. Whether you're teetotal or you like a few drinks, some fun and naughty games are a winner for all. Be the laughing stock of the group as you perform a dare, or laugh at someone else as they down an obligatory shot! Oh, and Pin the Junk on the Hunk, an adaptation of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, is uhm... amusing to say the least!
M: Money Management
You'll need to discuss your funds early on with all of the Hens, because a Hen Do abroad, for example, might not match everyone's budget. Think about standard overheads like taxi cost, entry fees, any themed accessories that will need to be bought, the cost of activities like going for meals or spa treatments, and general Hen Party expenses. Everyone needs a rough idea of how much to save up for, so an initial meeting with the Hens to negotiate a sensible budget is important.
N: Not Going Out
For some, a night out is a fairly average or overrated occurrence, or just simply not their cup of tea. A popular choice tends to be a spa weekend, or a pamper package at a local salon, which is often cheaper. You might prefer to have some retail therapy during the day, finished off with a lovely meal and some innocent cocktails at a posh restaurant. For an alternative Hen Do, why not do everything you would at a venue, but in the comfort of your own home? Make some food, drinks, and play games, without having to brave the cold outdoors. Great for winter Hen Dos.
Let's say you've traveled to one of the UK's top cities for your Hen weekend. You have reserved a booth for the evening in a swanky bar, but you're struggling to decide what to do in the daytime. Some interactive activities like Hen Party dance lessons or flirting workshops would be perfect for raising everybody's spirits. For something slightly more sophisticated, try a perfume making session or a group makeover and photo shoot. If you enjoy entertainment, why not get theatre tickets or see a comedy show? There's plenty of choice out there to fill out your day.
Make your Hen Party your own by putting an official stamp on your night. How will you do this? With personalised goods, of course! From personalised t-shirts, to your own branded gift bags, put your name in flashing lights! This Hen Do is all about you, so make that clear. Personalised t-shirts are a lovely souvenir to keep as a reminder of the fantastic memories you made for your Hen.
Imagine being dolled up and ready for your night on the town, only to have to wait in a huge queue outside your favourite club, in the cold and rain. It doesn't have to be this way! Call the venue a few weeks in advance and ask for an exclusive Hen Do queue jump to avoid inconvenience on the night. If you're lucky, and friendly enough, you may even be able to get free entry.
After what is likely to be an alcohol fuelled night, you will need to cure your hangover. Drink plenty of water and some dissolvable vitamin and mineral drinks to replenish your bodily salts and minerals. Rehydration is key for curing thirst, dizziness and dry mouth associated with hangovers. For a detox water-based recipe, add cucumber, lemon and mint to a pint of water, or some chopped apple and cinnamon to add extra detoxifying benefits to the water.
Polaroid print outs, disposables, digital snaps; have your cameras at the ready, because photographs are the best way to make memories. You could have a rule that each person has to take 5 photos during the night, and at least 2 group photos are compulsory. Afterwards, you could use the snaps to make a scrapbook. If you can get a cheap photographer for the night, this would make your life easier, and is a great way of getting spontaneous groups shots.
Themed hen parties are a popular choice, as there's no better way of establishing yourselves as a group of hens than to look homogeneous. It's also a great way to avoid losing one another. Deciding on your theme early on is important because you will need time to buy fancy dress costumes and accessories. You could dress up as the cast of your favourite movie, or members of a classic girl group. Fancy dress always attracts attention, and could win you some complimentary drinks if you're lucky!
To see our range of fancy dress themes click below.
Remember that you're all part of the same group, and that you should stick together for the better of the Hen Do. Try to stay as part of a group for the duration of the night, even though this can be difficult, especially when alcohol is involved. Look after one another and make it a group responsibility to try not to lose anyone. Always be in twos, minimum. Never go off by yourself.
Contact the venue a few weeks before the Hen Do or go and speak with management in person, to discuss the possibility of group deals. Most venues are quite generous when it comes to large groups, especially Hen Dos. You can inquire about free drinks upon arrival, a free bottle of bubbly, or perhaps a discounted booth reservation. If you&'re a large Hen Party, ask if there's any possibility of table service, to save you going to the bar and potentially losing each other.
These are an obligatory Hen Night accessory, and should definitely be included in gift bags. They come in many forms; from Willy straws, to Willy whistles, Willy shot glasses and Willy table confetti, this crude yet inoffensive accessory brings lots of laughs and, whether you like it or not, it's part of Hen Party tradition! Other accessories such as L-Plates, sashes, and badges, are also popular bag fillers.
X: Xtra Special
There's a well recognised female consensus that looking great and feeling great work in harmony. Make a trip to your local department store to have your make-up done for your big night out. This will save you time and make you feel extra special for your big night; it's always nice to be pampered. Also, spend a little extra on your dress. It's a special occasion, and you'll be taking a lot of pictures, so you want to look back at them fondly.
Y: You Ready?
Make sure you've collected money from your hens and received RSVPs a few of weeks in advance, in order to finalise numbers with the venue and pay any outstanding balances. If you're not dressing up in fancy dress, make sure you've chosen your outfit. Book any hair and make-up appointments and make table reservations ahead of time, because you don';t want to be disappointed! Ladies, this will be a Hen Party to remember!
Sleep is important, both before and after the Hen Do. Be sure to take time to de-stress and relax after all the preparation, which can be more demanding than you might foresee! Have an early night the day before, especially if your day will be jam-packed. The day after the Hen should be reserved for chilling out in front of the telly, with comfort food, plenty lots of water, and a well deserved early night.