Planning a hen do can be tricky; it's hard to find the balance between recognising all the traditional elements of a hen do without it venturing into the land of tack. I recently planned a hen do, and here are my 4 top tips for trying to plan the perfect one...
Get Inside Your Hen's Brain
I was lucky with the recent hen do as I had known the bride-to-be since we were bubbas. However, it isn't always this easy and there will usually be people there that have known the hen at various stages of her life. Even though the bride has chosen you to do all the big arranging, don't be afraid to ask for help or advice from everyone else. She will have asked you not just because she thinks you'll arrange something awesome, but also because she isn't worried about you getting on with all her other friends, even if you've not met them before. If you think it would be nice to have something to remind her of her teenage years when you didn't know her, then just ask those who did. The best types of hen dos are always those that have managed to reflect the hen from all the best moments of her life.
Know Your Audience
Although the main purpose of a hen do is to ensure the bride-to-be has an amazing time, you have to also keep in mind who else is going to be attending. If you know the mother of the bride is going to feel uncomfortable drinking through a penis straw then you also know that this is only going to make the bride-to-be uncomfortable too. There are always ways to tone down (or up!) the activities you want to do without it meaning nobody has any fun - on our recent hen do we played Mr and Mrs but stuck to the 'first kiss' questions rather than the 'first hump' questions. Another important one is to remember if there are going to be any under-18s attending (pesky sisters!) - nobody is going to feel more awkward than you if you lead everyone to a bar only to find that not everyone can get in.
Personalise, Personalise, Personalise
The best hen dos are always the ones where the bride-to-be feels like the entire thing, non-stop, from start to finish has revolved around her. The smallest of touches can make this happen - whether it's putting together the best photos of her with all the other attendees, making a playlist of all her favourite songs or bringing a couple of her favourite films in case a pyjama party beckons - and will absolutely make her feel like the queen bee of the event.
Think Outside the Box
When I questioned my friend about the type of thing she wanted to do on her hen do she gave the very standard response - afternoon tea, exploring the town, dinner... All these things are popular hen do activities because they are brilliant things to do, however this doesn't mean that there's no room for a bit of imagination. We did afternoon tea on a river cruise, explored the area by geocaching and had caterers at the cottage rather than going out for dinner. None of these ideas are particularly revolutionary (let's not flatter ourselves here) but were all just different enough to the norm to make it feel like it was a personalised hen do that still ticked all the boxes of things she'd loved on other hen dos she'd been on.
Generally though, the best advice is always just going to be to relax! You've been chosen to organise it for a reason - just keep this in mind and everything will go swimmingly.