Hens Do, Hens Don’t
Although the name need’s an upgrade (while the male species got the terms ‘Bucks’ and ‘Stag’ and we got left with ‘Hens’ which is a little lame) – the day where the Bride gets to be with her favourite gal pals is often the most enjoyable day for a bride pre-wedding. She can forget about her bride diet, spend time with her favourite people and leave all the planning completely up to someone else.
We are all so very different — from the bride-to-be who loves to punch 20 vodkas, slap the dancefloor, end up on an IV drip in the emergency ward and forget everything that happened the night before but swears she had the best time of her life – through to the peace loving smoothie sucking babe who wants to sit in a circle, chant affirmations of love, enjoy a vegan picnic and do a full moon cleansing — however regardless of who the Bride-to-Be is, there are some things you need to consider that relate to every one of them when planning their Hens.
I have had the honour of being a bridesmaid twice, and am going to be making that special guest appearance again in July for one of my best friends – I also have attended many hens parties and hear all about my clients celebrations so feel like I can shed some experienced light on this for you. And seeings as my job is in the ‘organising epic events’ arena, I take a lot of pride in being a part of the team that arranges a pretty sweet hens.
If you have been given the super important title of ‘Bridesbabe’ then pay close attention to these cardinal rules of planning a hens.
AKA It’s not about you. What would light the bride up? What would make her feel special? When do you see her smile the brightest? When is she happiest? What are her passions and how does she love to celebrate? I find it useful to write down 5 words that describes the bride and 5 feelings she would want to feel to use as a barometer to refer to throughout the planning process. Always make sure she looks amazing. If you choose to put her in a costume, make sure she still looks sexy / beautiful /hot / insert adjective that makes her feel her best and choose something you know she would feel great in. I also love to keep it all a surprise for the bride. Especially if she is a control freak. You don’t get many true surprises in life and the less she knows, the more she will feel everything has been planned with thought and care.
Make sure she is the one choosing the people she will be surrounded by. For the bride – as a general rule, unless you are eloping or having a very small / family only wedding, only invite those guests invited to your wedding to the hens party. It is up to the bride if she wants to include her mum, future mother in law, family and older family friends and who makes the cut in general.
It’s better to do a few things to completion and properly than 10 smaller things that fall short. I love to think of a lot of ideas wiht the other Bridesmaids, then narrow it down to just the top few. It might not come to you in the first session of discussing the day, it’s a process, so keep going until you are happy with what you are producing. Think about what will create the most impact.
The price per head for hens parties these days can get out of control. Choose a budget when you start planning and stick to it. As a general rule, if the wedding is a destination wedding, consider having something local or something that doesn’t require paying for accommodation to keep costs down. I recommend one reliable bridesmaid looks after the budget, collecting money and paying all bills so nothing gets overlooked and budgets don’t get blown.
Great Auntie Sue might not appreciate a phallus in her face. Yep. I went there. If you are going down that avenue, depending on what her family is like, consider inviting the mother of the bride, mother of the groom and older family friends and relatives to the more civilised parts of the day. Also consider the timing of the event – if it falls around a meal time, make sure you feed them. Send a save the date 6+ weeks out with a follow up email with more information shortly after (length/timing of the hens, price, general location, dress code and transfer details for collecting funds prior), along with a reminder email the week before. Let them know what is included in their price per head (for example, if drinks are not included then let them know they will need cash for that). If you want to keep certain elements a surprise, that’s fine, however keep people informed and make sure you give them a general idea of the schedule.
I couldn’t help but geek out. Everything actually takes a little longer than you think and it is best to step out how you think the day will run. A master to-do list doesn’t hurt either! Then you can delegate tasks evenly amongst the bridesmaids to keep the planning momentum and to make sure everyone has their part in the process. It will make you relax more on the day and make sure you don’t forget to do anything. Know that it will take a bit of time to pull this all together. But it will be worth it!
So what’s in and what’s out for the 2017 Hens?
Some in. All In. Starting the day with just the bridesmaids and bride then meeting up with the rest of the party for the rest of the day/weekend is a nice way to make the most of the hens and give the bride more time with her favourite people.
Include the Groom.I am definitely not saying invite him along – however it’s a nice touch to have him involved in the day in some way. For example, my favourite part of a recent hens was seeing the groom on screen answering questions in a ‘how well do you know each other’ Q and A.
Enjoy the Day, Not Slaving Away. You are who she has chosen to stand beside her on her special day. Make sure you don’t get too caught up in the planning and executing on the day that you miss out on enjoying it all with the Bride.
Flower crowns.There seems to be this new unofficial ‘hens party dress code where every bride-to-be wears a flower crown. That one can stay in 2016. It is nice to have the bride stand out – so why not try a single flower on a velvet ribbon worn as a choker. A beautiful crown or headpiece. A special outfit – like the bride wearing black and asking all the guests to wear white. Or some amazing make up that makes her stand out as the bride.
Penis Straws. In the age of social media, nobody needs a tiny malformed nude coloured mini P in their mouth, on social media, for all of eternity.
Strippers. It’s quite rare to see a stripper these days at a hens. They are not cheap and can be pretty terrible if you don’t do your research or have been referred by someone. And let’s be honest, most bride to be’s have seen the big D before the wedding day (sorry mum), so it’s not always that exciting and can get plain awkward if it goes for longer than 5 minutes, especially if the soon-to-be mother-in-law is watching some naked man rub himself up against her soon to be daughter-in-law. Think outside the box if you think the bride would be in to something in that category. BJ workshop, puppetry of the penis, tantric sex lesson, a butler in the buff… let the mind wander.
Please Note: No judgies, if you have already organised your gal pals hens and it falls under a ‘what’s out’ category. Before you change any plans, refer back to rule no. 1.