Hen Do: Things Brides Should Consider

Nu Bride

Image source: Pinterest
Hello my lovely!

You hear a lot of conversations as a bride-to-be, starting with the common tag line: “it’s your day, it’s all about you”.

Well I’m about to burst that little bubble right now, because that bubble does nothing other than create unattractive bridezilla type behaviours and unrealistic expectations…. and no-one likes bridezilla.

It’s not ALL about the bride. I know I know! How dare I? Completely unacceptable!

So, lets talk about hen do’s (which I sometimes like to refer to as a classy bird do).

There are a myriad of little factors to consider when thinking about celebrating your hen do with your girls and guys (we’re in the 21st century peeps – we can have men at our hen do’s if we choose to!), so pick who you want to plan this for you wisely!

It is so easy to get carried away in the world of weddings, lets face it, traditional hen and stag do’s used to be good old ‘one nighters’. Often associated with ridiculous phallic shaped objects and people behaving like neanderthals in the middle of town to celebrate one last night of ‘freedom’…..(Still not entirely sure what one last night of freedom means! )

But now, hen and stag celebrations seem to have morphed. Some girls n’ guys still behaving like neanderthals of course, but there’s been a definite shift. Some of us want something different, something more. Class, fun, extravagance or just quality time! With celebrations commonly extending to weekend breaks and sometimes full-blown week-long holidays in Europe or Vegas!

Nu Bride: Hen doClassy bird do in Paris demonstrated by Martine McCutcheon via Pinterest and The Daily Mail

In western UK, marriage is no longer a pre-requisite to enable a stable and loving foundation. Marriage is a choice.

For those of us who are choosing marriage, many are getting married a lot later in life. In general we’re not all 21 year olds wanting to have a boozy session down our local high street anymore. Most of us have grown out of that stage. Well Most. (Tee hee) So we tend to want something, well, MORE and I think this is reflected in the type of hen do celebrations we want and the type of celebrations we are invited to.

So, what am I wittering on about? (Get to the point woman!) My point is, if you want your girls n’ guys to be able to celebrate with you, you and your hens do have to consider their needs (within reason of course).

To help with your hen do planning, I have conjured up a few tips:

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION : If most of your friends are all based in or around London and you want them to take trip in the middle of a field in the Lake District, you’ve already created a barrier. Think about ease of travel – the easier to get to the better. Also think about ‘hidden costs’ like the cost of travel for example.

NOTICE – a bit like with your wedding invites, too much notice and you run the risk that guests may behave ‘flaky’ or perhaps feel uncomfortable to committing financially that far in advanced. Or, your date could be forgotten about. Too little notice and your guests may already have plans or may struggle to put some money aside.

So ideally you want to consider somewhere in the middle. My girls n guys were given a “Classy Bird do save the date with rough costings” email about 3 months before, followed by specific details closer to the event, to those who showed interest.

MONEY – Boring, Boring, Boring, I know. The bane of all evil.

But you have to be realistic, unless of course you are in the position to be able to shower your girls and guys with cute fluffy puppies and trips to Paris.

Remember – as much as your girls n’ guys might want to celebrate with you, their lives, bills and mortgage commitments still exist. The more your celebration will cost, the more notice you should give your girls and/or guys. However, try not to take offence if people say no, attending weddings alone are a financial investment and if I had to choose between attending an expensive hen do or a wedding, I will always choose a wedding.

TIME: – Most of us are getting old and boring with mortgages, jobs, kiddies and other influences which consume a lot of our money and time. Time is precious. We are all busy, constantly pulled like a rubber band in different directions. It’s always like a military operation trying to plan catch ups with my gorgeous girls n guys. We have to coordinate the diary months in advance, otherwise we just don’t see each other.

If you are having a weekend or week-long celebration, acknowledge that time is precious, there is not enough of it to go round! You are asking your guests, to give some of their precious time to you, you have to make it worth their while. What a cheek! I know – Surely they should be desperate to spend their time with you during such a momentous occasion!! Of course! And most will be delighted, but life gets in the way sometimes and is a constant juggling act. If we could always do what we always wanted. Well. I’d be in a Caribbean beach right now sipping rum punch!

MAKE YOUR HEN DO BITE SIZED – Consider chunking your celebration. What do I mean by chunking? Breaking your day/ weekend / week into small bite sized chunks works really well to allow your girls and guys to dip in and out of the celebration and do parts they enjoy and can afford with no obligation or expectation to do everything.

For my hen do (a year ago! Where has the time gone!), I wanted something classy to celebrate and my maid of honour (MOH) arranged a gorgeous weekend package at the Wyndham Grand on Chelsea harbour! Beautiful! (The package is no longer available sadly!) To make the weekend accessible, my MOH broke my weekend into 6 separate chunks. For example over the weekend, friends were invited to celebrate in full, or dip in and out of the following:

* Chilled afternoon drinks at the hotel, catch up and some classy games of course

* Posh Dinner

* Posh Drinks

* Breakfast

* Full Spa Day and treatments

*Spa day use of facilities only

VARIETY: Having variety and flexibility can work really well. For my class bird do, I got to celebrate with all the people who are important to me without them having to break the bank, without expecting people to do parts of the day they didn’t feel comfortable doing and without having to fight for time to do all of it, especially if their finances were dwindling.

I’m not suggesting you please everyone and plan your hen do entirely around your guests, that IS and impossible feat! But try where possible to consider the majority. The more flexibility there is, the more attractive it will be for your friends. Try not to take it personally if everyone you want to be there can’t make it, most will and for those that can’t sometimes it’s not all about the bride, it’s simply just another ball missing from the never-ending juggling act.

Happy Planning!

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