Not all Brides want a big, expensive long weekend party for their Hen Do. There are lots of different reasons why a Bride may opt for a 1 night celebration or a low cost weekend party with their favourite ladies. Some Brides may know that their friends aren’t able to splash out on a long weekend far away from home. Some Brides have young children or other responsibilities that mean they can’t be away from home for a long time which mean they want a at home hen or a low cost local hen celebration. I opted for a low cost Hen weekend myself when my hens and I went to Brighton for 1 night and stayed in a hostel! It is for this reason I thought the US based oracle for Bridesmaids and the expert of Hen parties, Theresa of Bridesmaids Confession would be the perfect person to share some tips on how to plan a wonderful, low cost celebration for the Bride in your life!
“It’s a day your best friend has been waiting for, the one where he pops the question. After the shock of the proposal fades, she’s asked you to stand by her side and you’ll gleefully say yes. Once you step into the role of Bridesmaid you’ll have a full checklist of responsibilities. The one you can have the most fun with is planning the hen party. These types of things can cost a fortune, but they don’t have to. Here are 3 easy ways to save when planning a hen party.
If your Bride likes to kick back and have a drink, why not do it at home? Her home, or yours. It surely doesn’t have to be boring or like any normal night in. Ask everyone invited to bring two bottles of wine or bubbly. One bottle they bring is fair game to open that night and celebrate.
The other bottle of wine is a gift for the Bride. Have everyone make tags saying when during the first year of marriage the couple can open the gifted bottle. You can make them serious or be a little silly. Here are a few examples:
First Big Purchase
First Holiday (Christmas, New Years, etc)
First Time You Fall Out Because He Didn’t Put The Seat Down
First Time He Does The Laundry Without You Asking
You get the idea! Have fun with it. Make it personal to your experience with the couple. They will appreciate it and hopefully get a good laugh. To up the giggles that night, have the Bride try to guess who brought each bottle.
This type of hen do activity is a fun way to have a celebratory drink and not break the bank. Buying two bottles of wine is much cheaper than a round of drinks for your crew at the bar. Take some of the money you saved and order take out from the Bride’s favorite restaurant.
To make sure everyone can celebrate and be safe, make it an old fashioned sleepover. Don’t want to pay for a hotel? Have everyone bring lots of pillows, blankets, and maybe even an air mattress. It will feel like you’re back in your school days all over again.
Focus on the Bride’s Favourite Things
If your Bride-to-be isn’t a big drinker, go ahead and get creative. Rather than plan a spa day, which has the potential to blow your budget, think about her interests. Plan the hen party based on the things she loves to do most. Consider this list of ideas:
Have a friendly bowling while bowling
Brush up on your skills and take a cooking class
Find a fun workshop like this one that teaches you to make fascinators
Relive your school days and go to the Roller / ice-skating Rink
Create an at home theatre with popcorn, sweets, and the Bride’s favourite movies!
Rent a karaoke machine and re-enact a lip sync battle
These are just a few suggestions. You know the Bride better than anyone so make it the perfect friend day. If the bride loves a particular show, like Friends or Doctor Who, have a night in themed around it. If everyone attending splits the cost, it should be budget friendly.
If the Bride still wants a weekend away there are ways to do it on a budget. The key here is to be realistic. Recognize that not everyone invited will be able to attend. Keeping that in mind, here are some tips to minimize your cost:
Rent a house instead of multiple hotel rooms
Consider spending a little extra to get amenities like a hot tub
Bring your own booze and food
Split all costs among invited guests (except the Bride!)
Renting a larger house will allow you to keep costs lower. Spending a little extra to find a place with a hot tub or game room will actually save you money. You will have fun activities to do at your rental and won’t need to go out at night.
Divide the house duties up amongst the guests. Is someone a fantastic chef? Let them prepare a few meals. Is the Bride’s sister great at mixing drinks? Let her create a specialty cocktail for the evening. Even better, let everyone have the night off and do a make your own mimosa bar. All you need are a few bottles of champagne and some fruit juice mixers. Then order some pizza!
Focus on the Bride
Regardless of what you decide to do, keep the ride at the center of all your planning. Run a few ideas by her to see her reaction and be honest about your budget. It’s best for her to have a general idea of what to expect. You don’t want her to be disappointed after all. Just make sure you don’t share every last detail. It’s important to have a few surprises.“