Updated: Sep 18, 2020
You are planning a Hen Party for yourself or someone else.. it can be abit daunting with so many options to choose from.. well from experience of having my own Hen Party, we have got you covered with these tips to make sure you have the best Bridal Shower!
I live in Sydney with my husband Anthony. We would have loved an Australian wedding and hen party in Sydney but we are originally from England and most of our family and friends live there. We decided to get married in the beautiful countryside location of Dorset where I grew up.
For my hen party, my bridesmaids kept what we were doing a surprise but I did give them some guidelines (really did not want a hen party stripper!!). They booked a terrace house in Bath city centre (South West of England) for the weekend with about 10 beds. It felt great to have a couple nights away with the girls to get time with each of them. We had a mix of activities which allows everyone to have fun. We made homemade pizzas, to connect with my creative side everyone hand stitched a patch to come together as a blanket. I love my English curries so they took me to a fantastic curry house. I love to be silly and dance so they booked us in for an 80s dance session where we developed dance routines wearing florescent outfits to tracks such as Micheal Jackson - Thriller. Had kareoke and a boozy night out! Really great choices and to give options for those involved. I had the best hen party weekend!!
Here are my top tips..
1. Remember the Bride-to-be!
Whether you are planning your own bride tribe gathering or planning one for someone else this is crucial with your choices. The bride-to-be has enough stress as it is without having a Hen Party that really is not what she enjoys or fits with her style. My bridesmaids did a great job to pick things that suited me, involving creativity, silliness and a good night out. The things we did were also optional for people to be involved in. For the night out I had, mums and aunties left me and friends to it whilst they relaxed in the house we had rented for the weekend.
2. Who to invite to the Bridal Shower?
This can be a hard one.. do you have just friends or plan two separate parties or gather everyone together?.. this depends on your situation. When I got married, I wanted to include my mum, mother-in-law and other family members. My bridesmaids organised a surprise for me but with activities suitable. It felt lovely to have family apart of the weekend.
3. When to have it?
This depends on how much time you have until the wedding. Some bride-to-be's prefer their hen party a year in advance to the weekend before the wedding (or night before, but I think this is rare!). Another thing to bear in mind is what activities you want to do and if weather is a factor. You might want to include a picnic or going to a destination for the hens so check out the weather at the time of year you would like the bridal shower,
4. Who's paying?
This one can be a tricky one as different people are involved and how much one person can afford will be different to what someone else can afford.
Everyone will expect something abit special and a way of celebrating so they will know that an expense will be involved. But, saying this, you can do alot of fun things without a huge expense. It depends what you feel is most important for the bride-to-be and put the main expense (if there is one) on that. Ie. if she loves dancing and nights out then you can look to get everyone in a venue before they charge a door fee (if you pay a door fee it is usually not that much).
Bridesmaids are best informing the group early about the approx cost so that the group can decide if they can attend before they confirm and then have to cancel when you might have already booked activities etc. Best to keep everyone in the loop.
And... you are not going to please everyone but go with the majority and that's all you can do. For my hens, everyone chipped in a bit more so that I did not pay for anything! But, this might not suit everyone.
5. Invites and Communication
Really good to keep everyone informed of the plans, the bride-to-be might want to know all but it could also be nice for her not to have to be involved in the planning process so that she can focus on wedding planning. However, depending on what she is like she might like to know a few details!
For my Bridal Shower, my bridesmaids got everyone's emails from me and contacted them that way. You could also setup a WhatsApp or Facebook group.
For the invites you can use online sites like Paperless Post or do it old fashioned and send out invites via post.
6. What's the theme?
There are so many options am I right? Do you go cheesy, classy, adventurous, silly, alternative or a mix? These are just some of the options.
This one depends on the bride-to-be. Whether it is a surprise or not, it is good to find out her opinion and also the what not to do's! If you know her well then you will have a good idea but always good to run main things with her. For my hen's I had a mixed theme which also gives something for everyone to enjoy.
7. What activities?
If it is something alternative and creative you are after then book with Enjoy And Paint! We run Canvas Painting sessions in Sydney for Bridal Showers or choose our new package Ceramic Painting in Sydney for Bridal Showers. We can come to you* or organise a venue in Surry Hills, Paddington, or Sydney CBD *addition travel cost if location is out of Sydney CBD. Even if the group is not that creative, you will be surprised with what can be created. It allows for a mixed group to get together, bond, laugh and celebrate the bride-to-be in an alternative way to create lasting memories. Just send through an inquiry and I will be happy to help! Check out our feedback!
8. Do you need to give a gift?