We’ve rounded up the best hen party advice from years of planning and attending them, and these are the golden rules for a great hen
2022 is the year of the weddings, with so many couples opting to postpone their celebration over the last 24 months, which means there are plenty of hen parties being planned up and down the country. So, we asked around the team, our friends and family for their top pieces of hen party advice. Just like weddings, hen parties hugely vary. In size, location, type of activity and more. It really all comes down the the hen being celebrated – their vibe should typically lead the way.
Tip # 1: Keep some things a secret
“The less your hen knows the better, I say. If they’re really particular about what they want/don’t want then have a meeting with them and the other party planners early on and decipher the big things that will dictate the hen party, such as locations (Ireland or abroad, local or a road trip?), time length (some people want a three-day weekend, others are happy with an afternoon tea), and the guestlist. Give them a chance to set some ground rules too – if they’re really against certain things take note. But after that you can keep most details secret until closer to the time. Wedding planning is stressful enough without thinking about the hen too, and if everything is kept a surprise then the hen is very rarely disappointed with the outcome!” – Laura, Art Director Irish Country Magazine.
Tip #2: Give clear expectations
“When I planned my sister’s hen, we included everyone’s meal and drinks (until the nightclub part) in the overall amount. That way, everyone knew they didn’t need to worry about money or splitting bills as the day went on, and because they had paid months in advance, it’s a really nice way to let everyone to relax and enjoy the day.” – Eve, Dublin.
Tip #3: Plan a unique activity
“Activities can be a cheesy part of a hen, but they are often the part where a lot of new memories are made. Put people into teams, introduce costumes, and give them something fun to do – there’s nothing like pushing people slightly outside their comfort zones to unite a group and let loose!
“If you’re looking for something truly unique and great fun, I recently booked a Twerkfit Class for my sister’s hen and would recommend to a friend. Not sure what to expect, we couldn’t have been more blown away by instructor Nikki and her moves! The class starts with some basic dance moves and as Nikki’s epic playlist goes on, you learn a series of fun routines. You can guarantee a lot of craic with this – everyone absolutely loved the music and the moves, from age 30 to 66! Nikki also provides the hen with a cute pair of shorts, neon face and body paint, and a t-shirt that everyone can sign.
“We also booked the video add-on as a gift for the hen – whereby Nikki arranged for a videographer to film all the fun from the 90-minute class, and when it arrived a week later it was such a fun surprise! My sister was absolutely thrilled to have such a brilliant keepsake of the day! The whole group agreed it was great craic. I cannot recommend the class and Nikki enough.” – Editor, Klara Heron.
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Tip #4: Have a schedule
“I’ve yet to plan a hen party, but I’ve been to a fair few in my day, and one thing I always appreciate is a schedule of what’s happening. When I’m expected to be there, when meals are happening (can make or break a weekend away for me if the hanger kicks in!), and most of all when the party is wrapping up – I love a hen as much as the next person but it’s always so good to know if I can plan something else for my weekend, or when to arrange a taxi home.” – Sarah, Dublin.
Tip #5: Do the silly hen things
“The best hen party advice I can give you is that as much as a bride might say she isn’t interested in any of the tacky hen things, don’t listen to her and get a few surprises. I got married a few years ago and protested that I didn’t want any of the straws, sashes, the lot. But thankfully my bridesmaids didn’t listen and had a good laugh dressing me up and making a show of me for a few hours, and it was gas! It’s a right of passage and even if you think you won’t be into it, the sense of occasion takes over and it does feel really special to be with your closest friends and family at this totally unique event. And the Mr & Mrs game is a must.” – Emily, Galway.
For more wedding advice, including romantic mini-moon destinations, guest style and bridal accessories, see the March/April issue of Irish Country Magazine.