So, you’ve been tasked with organising a Hen Do? As if that’s not hard enough, I’ve watched thousands of groups over ten years of running hen party activities and can understand its akin to herding cats, or to stuffing an octopus into a net bag. You think you’ve got it all ‘in’, then something escapes the plan. If you have a friend (or are a Bride-To-Be) who loves Nature, a Boho bride who doesn’t want their ‘do’ to cost the Earth what can you create that is fun, memorable, affordable and doesn’t leave a carbon footprint the Bride will be repaying long after the Hen Party?
Here are some tips and ideas.
Firstly create one channel of communication and pin payment details at the top with amounts and due dates. Be ruthless with due dates, you can always add people on after if needed. Intermediate technology means its ok to use your existing gadgets to save using paper – you don’t need paper/post invites when everything can be planned simply and efficiently online. Choose your communication tool and make one forum whether its a Facebook group, Whats App chat or other.
Accommodation choice – you could go the whole crazy holiday abroad route but there are so many cool alternatives for hen weekends in the UK that jet fuel doesn’t need to be dirtying your concsience. For your accommodation choose canvas or wooden structures in a field on a farm. Some glamping venues offer exclusive use so you dont have to tip toe around at midnight stifling giggles, can be in your skimpies in a wood fired hot tub without an audience, have sole use of the loos and no crying children at 6am when you have only gone to bed at 3am. Impact level is low whilst fun is maximum. Catch up with old friends and make new ones drinking wine out of mugs around a campfire, cooking your BBQ or pizza over wood-fires and eat with your fingers. No plastic forks or wine glasses and willy straws necessary.
Venue Choice – if you are gathering on a daytime how about choosing venues like craft workshops where you make and take away a natural craft, or do a ‘no materials’ activity like wild food foraging, bushcraft or archery at a local outdoors centre. Think about foodie venues where you can make something like sushi, chocolates or pizza then eat it so you have an activity and meal combined. Trying to build in food as an activity will save pennies and, if you think as local as you can such as a wild food foraged food pizza making session, the food miles are reduced to metres!
Dressing the Bride – We have seen seven toilet rolls go to dress a bog-roll-bride just to be flushed down the loo five minutes later; creative, yes but the trees and the water systems won’t be grateful for your party antics. Instead of buying a single use polyester (yes, thats plastic) veil on a naff acrylic (yes, another plastic) headband why not choose a second-hand wedding outfit from a charity shop (then hand it back as a re-donation). You could even do a fancy dress wedding as an activity getting the most crazy charity shop wedding outfits and donating everything back after use, helping the charity in two ways. A simple discarded net curtain can make a great pretend veil with some metal hair clips. Make the sash out of hessian fabric or old pink cotton pillow cases, or by simply cutting a long rectangle 12.cm x approx 150 cm and sewing it with simple running stitch at one end to make a loop and then cut-out and tack or glue on pretty cotton print fabric letters ‘Bride to Be’.
Transport – limos are so 1990’s, todays savvy, planet-saving hens are car-sharing. Wack some tunes on and have a good sing along and catch up in the car.
Bake-Offs – another way of eating cheaply and wholesomely is to have an organic bake off where each hen brings sweet or savoury organic home made item to a pot-luck buffet. Remember to stipulate only free range eggs!
Party Bags – plastic party bags filled with single use plastic rude objects are pretty underwhelming to be honest, like getting that plastic thimble in the Christmas cracker – you know you’ve just acquired more useless crap but have to smile sweetly and pretend its all fun. Instead go for brown paper bags that can be used to light the campfire if the goodies inside are used up, fill them with fair trade chocolates, cardboard quiz card each (you can make this), a note book and pencil, or if you do a craft session add what you make combining an activity with filling the party bags. Make Beeswax candles, bath bombs, natural lip balm, soap etc.and fill the party bags with these.
We have created a FREE 20 Page, Fillable Hen Party Planner for you to download, print off and complete. with guest lists, food ideas, accommodation options, to do checklists and tips for making the whole process easier. The planner is designed to help you be organised upfront so you can relax sooner and enjoy this precious time! Happy Planning Team Bride!