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How To Plan A Memorable Hen Night

Dec 20, 2007
If the hundreds of choices associated with the wedding weren't bad enough, then comes the problem of planning the hen night. How hard can it be? So you start looking around and realize how many more decisions you're going to have to make...

There are thousands of choices. Long weekends or just a night? Have the hen night plenty of time before the big day or just a few days? Big group or small and intimate?

Worse still is the major decision: will you organize it or leave it to your maid of honor or group of friends? Both have their advantages. If you organize it, you will get exactly what you want but you also get all the associated stress. With someone else organizing it you have no direct stress except for the stress of the unknown!

So, if you're anything like me, you end up planning your own. Here are a few of your options:

1) A weekend city break in Europe gives you alternative culture, great food and absolutely minimal chances of running into anyone you know whilst doing something embarrassing!

However, it can be expensive and occasionally the language barrier can put the odd hen party into tricky situations. Popular destinations include Prague, Spain, Italy and France. Dublin provides a compromise but is very expensive.

2) A weekend break in a city in the UK allows you to do whatever tickles your fancy - spa treatments, clubbing, shopping or even an adventure weekend (for the more adventurous bride to be!) in reasonably familiar surroundings.

However, these weekends can work out more expensive than going abroad, particularly once food and drink expenses are factored in! Popular destinations include Edinburgh, York, Manchester and London.

The problem with planning for a weekend can be coordinating a convenient time for everyone and of course, summoning the money from everyone in good time to book! So it may be that just an evening would be better. Your choices with that are also endless!

1) A meal with friends. It's nice, it's civilized and you can more or less guarantee a good time... it doesn't exactly scream last hurrah does it!

2) A night on the town with good friends can provide loads of fun. However, the downsides are that it isn't something you've never done before, particularly if it's somewhere local to you (which also means any 'final transgressions' are unlikely to go unnoticed...)

3) Bowling...fun but only when combined with other activities, definitely NOT an entire hen night.

4) A day at a theme park. Ok, it's childish but hey! It's your day and there is no denying the fun! A day of rides and junk food is great for large groups.

4) A day of shopping followed by a few cocktails will always go down well, so maybe heading to the nearest large city for a wide variety of shops and bars could be the answer.

5) Spa days! And there is no rule claiming it has to be total detox so one or two glasses of wine are allowed as you get massaged, groomed and pampered to perfection!

Unfortunately the decisions don't stop there because there will always be the question of theme. From here comes a big choice, tacky or classy?

Tacky themes include army theme, emergency services, Barbie, devils and angels, 60's/ 70's, doctors and nurses, beach party, school girls... the list goes on and on.

There is nothing wrong with taking the tacky route; it provides fun preparing and getting ready. It also makes your fellow hens instantly recognizable over a crowded bar!

Classy themes include, black and white (or any color combo of your choice), dresses to impress (ball gowns and cocktail dresses), 1920's glam, masked ball or even (if done right!) a toga theme! These give less of a chance to be massively creative but they do also mean less embarrassment at the photos the next day!

So, you have a thousand choices, each all easy to combine with a thousand others. How do you decide? Well, one way to keep everyone happy is have an evening where everyone gets together and makes suggestions. Obviously bride has final veto, that's a given, but it allows a free flow of ideas that people may not have come up with alone.

Also, by getting everyone to bring their diary, you can choose a time convenient for everybody. Problem solved! And a few bottles of wine should really help to get those creative juices flowing. Enjoy!
About the Author
Sarah McCormack works for Simply Wedding Planners, where UK couples can receive quotes from up to 4 wedding planning firms. Learn more about the available wedding planning services .
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