So, you’ve been asked to be your best friend’s maid of honour, what an honour! But with this privilege comes big responsibility: organising the hen do. This is a fun but momentous task - good job there’s plenty of options when it comes to planning a hen do in the UK.
Organising and entertaining a gaggle of girls who may only have the bride in common can seem a bit daunting, but with our top tips you’ll be planning the hen do like a pro!
Wherever you decide to book your UK hen do, buy Advance tickets with CrossCountry for great prices.
Step 1 – Chat to the Bride
First thing’s first, you need to have some idea of what your bride wants for her last hurrah! Some will expect clubbing and jägerbombs, others will prefer a spa day and delicious meal. It’s likely you’ll want to keep the celebrations a surprise but it’s important to have a rough idea of what your BFF is expecting. You’ll also need to find out who she wants to invite, a list of possible dates and a rough budget for the celebration.
Step 2 – Set up a Group Chat
Now you know who your bride wants on her guestlist, it’s a good idea to set up a group chat dedicated to the hen party. The logistics of organising a hen can be tricky, so having everyone in one place is very handy. Let the hens know the preferred date and give them a rough indication of the budget you are working towards, that way anyone that can’t make it or afford to come can drop out straight away.
Step 3 – Location, Location, Location
Once you’ve got a rough idea of how many people can make your chosen date, it’s time to start researching locations and accommodation for your hen weekend. From your initial chat with the bride, you should have some idea of where she’d like to go and where the group can afford. Scroll down for some suggestions of where to choose!
Step 4 – Plan Activities
Once you’ve decided on a location, it’s time for the fun stuff! Group activities are an essential part of a hen do – think about what the bride would enjoy but also how inclusive the activity is for the group. You might have a pregnant hen or an older hen who can’t participate in certain activities, so always have the groups needs in mind. Creating an itinerary for the weekend will make you feel more organised and will give the hens some idea of what to expect. From afternoon tea to indoor skydiving, from cocktail making classes to hot stone massages, the options are endless.
Step 5 – Organise Travel
Once you’ve confirmed your location and sorted accommodation, it’s time to figure out travel. Travelling by train is a great option for hens, as the group can bond and start getting excited about the weekend ahead. You don’t need to allocate drivers, or stress about traffic or parking – you can just meet at the station and board the train. You could even order a cheeky prosecco from the at-seat service to kick start the celebrations in style.
Organising the train tickets doesn’t have to be stressful. Book with CrossCountry and take advantage of our Group Booking service. If your party contains 10 people or more, our Group Travel team can help you find the right train at the right time, for the right price. Just fill in the Group booking form and one of our team will be in touch.
Step 6 – Send Out Invites
Once you’ve booked everything, you can send out the official invites. Be transparent with the hens and give a breakdown of costs so everyone knows what they’re paying for. You can keep some surprises though, like listing £150 for a ‘surprise activity’ instead of listing what the activity is. Include a rough itinerary and packing list within the invite, as well as all your contact information.
Step 7 – Hype it Up
Make sure you send an occasional message out to the hens to keep up excitement and ensure everyone’s up to speed on the plans. Get some of the hens involved in the smaller tasks like organising games and any surprises for the bride.
Step 8 – Enjoy Yourself!
When the hen party finally arrives, it’s time to let your hair down! You’ve done all the hard work and now it’s your chance to enjoy all those plans you made. Don’t sweat the small stuff, no one else knows the limo was supposed to leave at 8.15 not 8.30, so relax and have fun!
The perfect location for your bride:
- For the Party Girl
If your bride’s always been a party animal, she’ll probably want a big blow out before she ties the knot. Choosing a big city with plenty to do and an awesome nightlife is key. Newcastle isn’t just the party capital of the north – it’s one of Europe’s biggest party cities. Newcastle hen weekends offer buzzing clubs, secret bars, Michelin starred restaurants and loads of fun activities.
- For the Pampered Princess
If your friend loves living in the lap of luxury, Newcastle may not be the city break choice for you. How about organising a spa weekend instead? A great way to bond the group together and treat yourselves at the same time. Pamper yourselves with spa treatments, enjoy delicious meals and organise some games to play in your chosen accommodation.
- For the Nature Lover
If your bride loves the outdoors, renting a big house somewhere near the countryside could be a great option. Long walks, country pubs and games by a roaring fire could be exactly what your bride needs before she walks down the aisle. York has all the fun of a big city combined with the beauty of the countryside. Check out these walks in York and add one to your itinerary.
- For the Adventurer
For the bride that loves to travel, you might be tempted to organise her hen do abroad. Sun, sea and her best friends is certainly a tempting option. But with big adventure comes big budgets and you may find that not everyone can make it.
If you do choose to plan the hen do abroad, eliminate the stress of travelling to the airport by taking the train.
Written by Julia