So you’re absolutely thrilled and very honoured to be a first time bridesmaid and you just can’t wait for the big day, but there’s something very important that needs to be done first. The Hens’ Party! It has to be perfect, but where to start and what to do?
In this guide we’re going to share some important tips keep the first time bridesmaid on the yellow brick road to a fabulous hens’ party.
Know your budget and stick to it
Once the budget has been set make sure you regularly check on things to make sure the budget isn’t blowing out. Those adorable little extras can very soon add up to big costs and last minute items that you didn’t expect always come up.
It’s really hard to have to go back to the group to ask for more money and as much as you want to show the bride how much you love her by giving her the most awesome hens’ party ever, you don’t want to be left holding the bill.
Get commitment up front
Ask your guests to pay in advance rather than on the day. Each element of the hens’ party (decorations, food, drink, etc) will generally have a cost associated, an easy way to keep track is to have separate envelopes identified for each, this way you’ll be able to allocate money into each envelope as you receive it so you can be confident you can cover costs. You’re also less likely to have last minute pull-outs and no shows if you ask for the money up front.
Make a mud map
It may seem a little OCD but it’s a great idea to have a written schedule. You don’t need a down to the minute itinerary, just outline key times and locations and share this with the group in advance.
Remember to be realistic with timings because as much as you love the girls, sometimes getting them all moving in the same direction can be a little like “herding cats”.
Give yourself some wiggle room
Don’t over plan, it’s the spontaneous moments that really take a great hens’ party to the next level and you can’t plan these because…..well, because if you could they wouldn’t be spontaneous. Your hens’ party plan is what makes the spontaneous moments possible, it needs to bring everyone together so they can do their thing, not tell them what their thing is.
Most brides have more that one bridesmaid so it’s important that responsibilities are shared and all are included. The hens’ party is after all a celebration of the bride and everyone wants to feel they have been involved and contributed to making it a success.
You have your hens’ party plan so you know what needs to be done, the next step is getting commitment on who is going to what.
Sort the transport in advance
Make sure the cost of moving the group around is in your budget and be sure to book the transport early. This may seem like really simple thing, but it regularly gets overlooked and the last thing you want is to be frantically trying to organise last minute transport for 15 or 20 girls.
Arranging transport in advance keeps things organised, prevents confusion and reduces the risk or loosing people, and it does happen. Remember “herding cats”.
Get a feel for your audience
When selecting activities, entertainment and venues for your hens’ party you need to consider if they are appropriate for the guests, you don’t want to offend Grandma Beryl because the bride will never hear the end of it.
Run through the guest list with the bride to and get feedback about your plans.
Also consider the location and what is appropriate, a giant inflatable willy might not be well received if you were to pop it out at an up market winery.
Providing each guest with a goodie bag is a great way to get the party started, they should include items to bring your hens’ party plan together like anything needed for planned activities or games, novelty items or dress ups.
Depending on the group you might want to consider hens’ party survival or day after kits, think paracetamol and vitamin B.
Handing out the show bags to get things going is also a great ice breaker and the perfect opportunity to set the tone for the day or night….or both.
Hostess with the mostess
Most of the guests will know each other but there are usually a few that don’t know anyone other than the bride. This is your time to shine, you have a plan, switch into hostess mode and do the rounds making sure to talk with each guest, keep an eye out for the quiet ones and bring them into the conversation. It’s easy to include them, you all have the bride in common so you have at least one topic of conversation to start with.
Let’s get the party started
You’ve got everything covered so time to grab some bubbles and celebrate with your best girl!