We know how fun, exciting and tricky planning a hen party can be. For tips on everything from choosing something the bride would love, to how best to collect money from all the hens read on...
Hen Party Planning
How do I choose what to do?
Firstly, it's all about pleasing the bride and making sure your hen party ideas are something she'll love. The hen do is part of her wedding and it is something she will remember for ever so it's got to be perfect. Deciding on hen party ideas can be tricky but focusing on the bride is a good way to make decisions. Brainstorm things that you think the bride adores and ask yourself these questions:
About the Bride
Is there a theme to the Wedding?
Is there a particular style she loves e.g. does she always wear 50s make up?
What posters did she have on her walls growing up?
Which pop idols songs would you catch her singing to at the top of her lungs whilst getting ready to go out?
Who are her fashion or style icons?
What were her favourite films growing up?
What or who did she like to dress up as in fancy dress?
Who’s her favourite author / What’s her favourite book?
What hobbies does she have?
Once you've thought about these things, personalise and really think about what the bride will LOVE! Our advice is that you ask yourselves the following questions:
1.) What would the bride actually enjoy doing?
2.) What will put a huge smile on her face / or make her laugh?
3.) What has she always wanted to do?
4.) What does she feel passionately about?
Trust your instincts!
You know your bride well, so if there is a top hen party idea that excites you, chances are it's probably the right one! Trust your instincts and the logistics can be ironed out later. Focus on creating something unique, memorable and different, not just your normal girls night out! Remember it's fun to do something you wouldn't normally do.
Don’t forget the Don’ts
Be sure to think about anything the bride has specifically said she doesn't want to do, as the last thing you want is to make her feel uncomfortable. Take note of her Do's and Don'ts list. The aim is to create the best hen party for her special day.
How do i keep everyone happy?
In our experience, as long as you choose a hen activity that the bride loves, the rest of the group will happily go along with it because they will enjoy seeing the bride happy.
But it's still a good idea to bear in mind the other guests when choosing a hen do activity because the bride will have more fun if she sees all of her friends & family laughing and enjoying themselves.
Things to Consider
To keep everyone happy, think about whether the activity or plans for the day will be a fun talking point to help get people chatting. You’ll also want to consider key factors like whether all ages and abilities can enjoy the activities. It’s a good idea to make it exciting and it’s best to intersperse all the eating and drinking with a fun activity to bond everyone and create a talking point over lunch or dinner.
Too many hens
Another piece of advice is to keep the hen party committee to a minimum. If you give everyone a say you will never please them all and it will end up feeling stressful. (so if you can't decide on which restaurant to go to or which dance style to do, then offer up a shortlist of 2/3 and then vote). Or if you'd rather, we think it's a good idea to wait until you've made final decisions about the hen party before telling everyone the plan. You can then send them a fun invitation to get them excited about the idea and that way you avoid the problem of too many cooks!
It's a good idea to consult the bride on the basics; dates, times, where to start, who to invite and what NOT to do. However surprises make the party a whole lot more fun and exciting! Depending on the brides personality, we think it's great to let her go with flow with elements of surprise, that's what a Hen Party is all about!
For the guests it's a good idea for them all to know what's going on. They may have great suggestions to add (which might make your life easier). They are also more inclined to pay if they know what they are doing, and perhaps cover the costs of the bride and/or extras.
How far in advance do I need to organise things?
Choose a day or weekend at least 3 weeks before the wedding, even 4-8 weeks! Then you can encourage the groom to have his stag do on the same date, meaning he has more time to recover from shaved heads or nasty paint ball bruises, excellent ulterior motive!!
Under no circumstances should you hold the hen do the night before the big day (even though some grooms are tempted to do this for the stag do)! Plan well in advance so that you can maximise the numbers who are able to attend, people are busy, and early organisation means the bride is more likely to have all her special people there to celebrate!
Save the date for 2/3 potential dates for the hen weekend
It's a good idea to offer up a choice of 2/3 potential hen weekend dates ideally at least 6 months before the potential hen weekend; we'd suggest 9 months or so before, but that's just because we are organised!
Ask the guests to save the date for all of the potential hen weekend dates. This will give you more freedom if other factors limit the choice of dates such as hotels already being fully booked up! It’s a good idea to check accommodation is available before finalising the date.
The more organised you are the less stress you place on yourselves and the bride!
How do I collect money from the other hens?
Money can become a deal breaker for people and create tension within the group. Ensure you set a realistic budget while retaining the feel of making a special effort for the big day. This can be a difficult balance, and can sometimes effect who attends.
Here are our top Money solveing tips:
It’s a good idea to have one thing eg a meal or activity as the crux of the hen do. Then those on a budget can opt in or out of the rest of the day/evening, whilst you can still throw the hen party of the bride's dreams.
Collecting money off the other hens can be tricky! It’s hard to collect money of someone else’s friends. We strongly advise that you don’t book anything for anyone unless they’ve paid you. Don't settle for 'I will pay you later'. This can lead to difficulties if their situation changes and you may be left out of pocket! Collect all the money - not just deposits,.
Buy yourself time - Give false deadlines
With the best of intentions many people accidentally pay late. To avoid this having a knock on effect to the hen party we suggest you give a false deadline of 1 week earlier than you need the money.
Unfortunately the main reason for fall outs of friendships during organising of hen parties tends to be money related or bridesmaid dress related. Now we can’t help with the dress situations but we can advise on how to avoid those pesky money fallouts. Just follow these 3 tips:
1. Research payment T's & C's before booking anything. Find out what happens and what payments are due even if your numbers change.
2. Be clear to the hens about what happens if they drop out or can no longer attend. Will they lose their deposits if they drop out? In most cases the answer is yes.
3. Be clear to the hens about whether they will need to pay the balance even if they drop out? They may well need to pay in full even if they drop out so make sure you check and tell them the situation before they give you their money.
4. Be Organised and keep a record of all payments. We suggest creating a spreadsheet this helps you keep track of who has paid what, when and who is doing what activity etc, this creates an easy check list for you.
Also make sure the bride doesn't get involved with collecting money, as she has enough wedding stress to deal with!
Who pays for the bride?
There is no set rule on who pays for the bride, but etiquette dictates that the bride never pays! Here are suggestions for covering the cost…
• The organisers/bridesmaids could split the price of the bride between each other.
• You could ask all the guests to contribute something to the brides costs, even if they all contribute £5 it takes some financial pressure off the hens.
• The mother of the bride or a close family member may be willing to contribute or cover the cost of the bride to help make the day extra special!
• But don't forget the Groom!! He may well want to contribute or cover the cost in full as a touching and thoughtful present for his wife to be, he could even write her a lovely card explaining he’s treating her to the perfect hen do.
How much time do I need on the day?
One thing you will discover is, you will NEVER have enough time!! Girls being girls love to chat and can find ways to pass time without even meaning to...
You should plan to be early for everything! We advise you aim to arrive 10mins early for every activity or part of the day and allow ample time for delays, that way the day will run smoothly.
Top things to plan time in your schedule for are:
• Traffic allow extra time for traffic (people often forget to do this)
• Public transport delays. Let’s face it we are used to seeing those delayed signs when waiting for a train, bus or tube. There always diversions or engineering works so add in time for this.
• Allow extra time for lateness from other hens. Even though you’ve been conscientious in the organising and added extra traffic time etc doesn’t mean everyone else has so make sure you plan for this for the initial meeting time. Perhaps organise to meet 20mins earlier than you actually need to and everyone can grab a coffee and get to know each other.
• During the day you should Add an extra 5 mins on to your walking time, for everywhere that you need to walk to. Hen walking times are slow, bear in mind you may be wearing high heels, chatting etc and you don’t want to feel stressed.
• Allow extra time for getting ready/changing outfits between activities.
• Don’t forget to Allow for toilet time! Oh yes the moment you want to leave a venue or start an activity someone will need the loo so always arrive early to allow time for this.
• Ask the Restaurant that you’re planning to book with if they’ll need longer preparing food for a big group.
Lastly but importantly, always read the reviews on the companies you are looking at planning your activities, bookings and meals with. You want to do an activity with a punctual and organised company to avoid any disappointment and a snowball timing effect.
Hen Party Locations
Can’t decide where to have the hen party?
It's a good idea when thinking of your hen party location to decide the type of hen weekend you want. What theme are you going with? What activities does she love? Does she enjoy being outdoors? Is she a 5 star girl or a country loving free spirit? Where are the majority of her friends and family based?
Hen in the historic city
If you think the bride to be would like classy hen party ideas then we'd go for the UK's more historic spa cities. Bath, Cheltenham or Exeter in the South West or Harrogate and York in the North. Stylish bars, beautiful hotels, rich in architecture and relaxing spas. These cities have stunning architecture and are perfect for pampering your bride to be.
Oxford and Cambridge are both beautiful and traditional cities for a classy hen party. If you are after a Chic getaway with quaint cottages, medieval castles and cosy afternoon teas then these historical university cities are perfect!
If your bride is a beach bunny then how about a little slice of Mediterranean on the English Channel. Bournemouth is a unique and stylish city, perfect for vibrant and party loving hens. If your after sun soaked boutique stores, waterfront bars, and a dip after your dance class then try Southampton, Brighton or Blackpool for a weekend of sun, sea and sand, and also pebbles.
Dance the night away!
If the idea for your hen group is to find somewhere to strut your stuff on the dance floor after your dance session with us, then we'd recommend the more metropolitan cities. For lively hen do celebrations with some serious clubbing then Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol and Brighton are good locations.
London really does tick all the boxes for every hen party idea you could possibly come up with (with the exception of beach) although it is one of the more costly locations. A London hen party can be done cheaply but it's not the easiest if you're on a really tight budget. If your bride is after a wild roller coaster of activities, events and awesome night life then London is the place to be!
But remember - there's no place like home! If the bride wants everyone to come, then having her hen party in the city where she lives makes it more likely that people will be able to attend. Not having to worry about hotels & travel makes life so much easier for the organisers and means that you can focus on making the actual hen party activities, dance class, costumes, food...etc amazing!
Wherever you are, we highly recommend being within 30 minutes of a train station, you don't want to spend all your time travelling, and you want to be nearby activities and action.
All of our dance hen parties can tie in to any style hen party you like in almost any location. From a shopping, city weekend, to a traditional, cute & cosy cottage weekend, or soaking up the sun at the beach, we have over 40 locations across the UK and we can also come to you!
Bath - Hen Party Ideas
Birmingham - Hen Party Ideas
Blackpool - Hen Party Ideas
Bournemouth - Hen Party Ideas
Brighton - Hen Party Ideas
Bristol - Hen Party Ideas
Cambridge - Hen Party Ideas
Cardiff - Hen Party Ideas
Cheltenham - Hen Party Ideas
Chester - Hen Party Ideas
Durham - Hen Party Ideas
Edinburgh - Hen Party Ideas
Essex - Hen Party Ideas
Exeter - Hen Party Ideas
Glasgow - Hen Party Ideas
Harrogate - Hen Party Ideas
Leeds - Hen Party Ideas
Liverpool - Hen Party Ideas
London - Hen Party Ideas
Manchester - Hen Party Ideas
Milton Keynes - Hen Party Ideas
Newcastle - Hen Party Ideas
Nottingham - Hen Party Ideas
Oxford - Hen Party Ideas
Reading - Hen Party Ideas
Sheffield - Hen Party Ideas
Southampton - Hen Party Ideas
Stratford-upon-Avon - Hen Party Ideas
Windsor - Hen Party Ideas
York - Hen Party Ideas
Hen Party Dance Class
Would a dance class be a good idea for a Hen Party?
When choosing between hen party ideas we honestly do feel that Dance is the best option as dancing has always been a form of celebration. Our Dance classes for hen parties are great fun and a unique idea for a hen do. They are the perfect hen do idea if you want a hen do activity that's fun and a little bit different. And they are the perfect hen party idea if the bride loves to dance, whether in public or not or if she loves one of the themes we offer!
A dance class with The Cheerleading Company gives the bride the chance to re live those days of dancing around with her hair brush screaming at the top of her lungs to her favourite pop idol in front of the mirror! Often her hens were those girls she did this with! It's a special way to transport you back to 'good old days' and relive those embarrassing and silly moments.
What about her university days, did she have a style icon she adored that influenced her every piece of clothing? Does she have a movie she knows almost every line to? A band she rocked out to at every party?
A dance class can be customised to suit all of these memories and all of her favourite idols. After all there's nothing wrong with cutting a few shapes in your living room pretending to be Baby from Dirty Dancing or Michelle Phiffer from Grease 2. Ahem we admit it, that's exactly how we started ; )
What if i can't dance?
All of our hen party dance lessons are designed specifically for hen groups so the dance teachers can easily adapt them for different abilities, and accommodate people of all ages, fineness levels and even pregnant guests. It's a low impact class so you can even bring Gran along! Experienced or beginner, we make sure you feel welcomed, comfortable and leave with sore cheeks from laughter.
Will it be fun?
Our dance hen parties have a fantastic structure and they are set up to encourage lots of laughs so that people can get to know each other and have something fun to talk about afterwards. We also include a big group routine in every party which can be re-enacted later on the dance floor or even at the wedding as a flash dance- so the hen party fun carries on long after you've left the dance studio. And, of course, there are plenty of photo & video opps!
We offer fantastic dance class hen parties in over 20 different dance styles and themes offered all around the UK. Most importantly our Dance classes for hen parties are well thought out, planned, choreographed and taught by a team of the country's best dance teachers, who unlike a lot of companies out there, we've actually auditioned and trained personally. Look through our different dance parties and see which of our dance hen party ideas the bride to be would love! Can't find the theme you want? Not to worry, we can create one to your dreams with our Bespoke package. Let us know your brides favourite songs, idols and style and we can customise something personal and original for the bride to be.
Hen Party Games
If you're looking for classy hen party game ideas then here are our favourites:
1.) The Mr & Mrs Game
This is a must do on the Hen Party Games list! Before the hen party ask the groom 20 questions about himself, the bride and their relationship. The questions can be as innocent or risqué as you like. Then, at the hen party, ask the same questions to the bride and get her to guess what her groom-to-be's answers were! Some fun questions could be: How did you meet? What was your first date? What's your favourite thing about the bride? etc...
2.) The Memory/thought guessing game
We love this hen party game because it's personal. It does require some organisation in advance though it's really easy. Before the hen party ask all of the hens to write a specific thought / memory / experience all to do with the bride of course. Then someone reads the thoughts out one by one and the bride has to guess whose memory/thought it is. The person whose memory it was can elaborate on it which is a good way to get to know each other.
3.) Dress The Bride
Make fancy dress a hen party game! All the hens need to bring an item of fancy dress for the bride to wear. You can base the fancy dress around a theme, this can tie in perfectly with your dance class or the overall theme of the party. Before the hen do decide on the outfits theme. For example you may want to dress her up as a bride gone wrong, this could fit perfectly into a thriller dance party. Or what about 50's pin up to suit our Grease or 50s swing hen party dance class. At the hen party arrange all items into the treasure box (memorable present for the bride at the end), dress the bride in her outfit one item at a time while making the bride guess which guest brought what item. When she is fully dressed the bride can award a small prize to the hen who brought the best fancy dress item. Then it's time for the bride to wear her embarrassing or glamorous outfit for the rest of the hen do.
4.) Toilet Paper Couture
Toilet paper couture is our all time favourite ice breaker. Split your hen party into different teams and nominate a bride for each team. Set the timer and watch your teams race to create the most stylish wedding dress out of toilet paper! The teams must explain to the group their inspiration behind the wedding dress design and why they think they should win. The real bride then picks a winner, it's a great idea to give the winners a hen party gift bag, this can be full of items to help them survive the hen party.
5.) Knickers Game
Each hen decorates a pair of knickers with the bride judging which pair is the best. Before the hen party each guest needs to buy a pair of knickers for the bride they then need to get creative and decorate the knickers. When they arrive at the hen party the guests need to hang the knickers on a clothes line or bunting ( bunting can be used as a fun decoration throughout the party). The bride then gets to choose her favourite pair with the winner getting a hen party gift bag!
Hen Party Extras
Add a personal touch to your hen party by including decorations. It could be something fun for the table at the restaurant like coloured rose petals, pretty place cards or nostalgic children's party poppers. Or, you could have a theme like little USA flags at each place setting if you're doing a cheerleading hen party. Try a soda or milkshake bar if you're doing a Grease or 50s party to run with the retro theme.
It is a nice hen party idea to include a gift for the bride. Again, we recommend something personal. Get all of the guests to send you their photos of the bride and make a photo book for her. Everyone could sign it on the night as a fun memento. Or, make the gift a puzzle which she has to solve to find out what she is doing, e.g. if you're doing a Charleston hen party, you could give her a string of beads, a packet of false eyelashes and a sequinned headband then ask her to guess what she is going to be doing for her hen do.
Some lovely hen party organisers even organise gifts for the rest of the hens. It's a lovely touch and can be something small like a little thank you card or fun like a children's party bag with sweets and a badge etc. You could include something that they could wear as part of their costume e.g. fluorescent sweat bands if you're doing an 80's hen party or a fame hen party.
L-Plates, Sashes & veils
We've left this until last because it's such a cliché but most hen parties include the obligatory Bride to be sash & tacky veil. It's all part of the fun and if you think your bride will like it then we say go for it. Personalised name sashes are also a good way of showing who everyone is & helping guests remember each other's names so that's an added bonus.
But, we recommend giving it some thought & maybe making your hen party paraphernalia a bit more special and unique by making the sashes yourselves! You could let everyone decorate their own as part of the fun. Or, if that's a bit too much, then shop around and see if you can get something really personal for the bride e.g. if she's into vintage then maybe a pretty cotton one with lace trim, or if she likes fashion then what about a Roberto Carvelli inspired animal print one?