When is the Right Time to Start Planning a Hen Do?

Start Planning a Hen Do

A hen do is a celebratory party held for a bride-to-be shortly before her wedding day. Planning a hen do takes time and organisation to pull off properly. Knowing when to start the planning process is key to throwing a hen party that the bride and all of her friends will enjoy. Starting the planning too late can lead to a rushed and disorganised event, while beginning too early runs the risk of details changing before the big day. Here is guidance on when to kick off the hen do planning to strike the right balance.

Set a Date

The first step in planning any party is choosing a date. For a hen do, you’ll want to schedule it about 1-2 weeks before the wedding date. This gives the bride time to recover from the hen festivities before her big day arrives. Consult the bride and bridesmaids on their availability before settling on a day. Weekends usually work best for hen dos so guests don’t have to take time off work. However, some brides may prefer a weekday hen if they have friends travelling in from out of town. Once you land on a day, secure a venue and send out save-the-date notices or hen do invites to the party guests. This will allow everyone to mark their calendars.

Choose Key Collaborators

While one person may serve as the official hen planner, it helps to have a team supporting you. Recruit 1-2 bridesmaids or close friends of the bride to collaborate on hen party planning. Choose collaborators who know the bride well and can offer insight into her style and preferences. They can also help get the word out about the hen do and assist with tasks like decorating, food, and handling RSVPs. Having a small planning committee shares the workload and leads to a better hen party overall.

Research Ideas and Venues

Now it’s time for the fun part – coming up with hen do ideas! Spend time brainstorming themes, activities, decor, food and drinks that fit the bride’s personality. Pinterest, Facebook groups, and hen blogs offer tons of inspiration.

Research which local venues will be suitable for the type of hen do you want to host. For example, look at wine bars for a classy wine tasting hen or jet skis if the bride likes adventure. See if the venue’s availability aligns with your planned date and draw up a shortlist of options.

Visit the venues in person before booking anything. This will help you get a feel for the layout, space, atmosphere and other factors that will impact the hen experience.

Plan Activities and Games

No hen do is complete without fun games and activities centred around the bride-to-be. Plan these in the last few weeks leading up to the big day. Popular hen activities include karaoke, crafting bride tribe shirts or sashes, a photo scavenger hunt around town, trivia games about the bride, and racy newlywed games. Play ‘Pin the Junk on the Hunk’ or ‘Toilet Paper Wedding Dress’ if you want laugh-out-loud moments.

Purchase any supplies needed for activities like printed quizzes, craft materials, and prizes. Test out the games ahead of time to work out any kinks. Get help from the hen planning team to run the activities smoothly on the party day.

Handle Logistics

Now is the time to handle boring but essential logistical tasks for a smooth hen celebration. Confirm headcounts with vendors, create day-of schedules and timelines, designate drivers for transportation, purchase decorations and party supplies, arrange food and beverages, and assign volunteer roles like photographer or game leader.

Print out any games, quizzes or activity instructions you’ll need. Make playlists for during the party and arrange AV needs. Gather bride tribe t-shirts or other gear so it’s ready to go for the big day.

Handling logistics weeks ahead reduces stress leading up to the party. It also helps ensure you throw an epic, unforgettable hen do for the special bride in your life!

The Perfect Time is Now! 

Start planning a hen do 6-12 months before the wedding so you can properly pull off a party to remember. Research ideas, lock in a venue, and send invites with ample lead time. Get creative with activities and decor. Handle logistics in the final weeks.

Most importantly, have fun celebrating your dear friend on her last night of freedom before marriage! Follow this timeline, and you’ll throw a hen party even the bride won’t want to end.


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