6 Highs & Lows of my Budget Hen Do


My Budget Hen

I realised a couple weeks ago that I’ve never done a blog post about my hen do!

Perhaps I didn’t rush to write a post about it because it actually wasn’t all that note worthy. But I think it’s still worth sharing with you so you can perhaps learn from the errors made in the planning of mine.

Date: Saturday 24th September 2016
Location: Brighton, UK
Accommodation: Brighton YHA

Main Activity: Proud Cabaret Brighton
Number of Hens: 6 plus me
Overall cost per Hen: £140 (included entrance into the Cabaret with 3 course meal, accommodation and travel & parking). Drinks and other food on top.

Here is a list of my 3 Hen Disappointments and 3 Hen Satisfactions…

Hen Do Disappointment Number 1:
Not a Big Guest List

Being a couple on a budget one of the things we did to reduce our wedding costs was make cuts to the guest list. We had most of our family there (we invited all family we were close to and only a couple RSVP’d saying they could make it for different reasons) But we really didn’t invite many non-family members to the wedding. Non-related friends invited to our wedding totalled 16, half of which were either male or children. We’d have loved to have invited more buy our budget just wouldn’t allow it.

I didn’t not feel comfortable with inviting people to my hen do that I hadn’t invited to the wedding. This meant the list of people I could invite to my Hen wasn’t that big to start with.

Add to this that some wedding guests weren’t able to come on the hen do due to being either heavily pregnant or having newborns.

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That’s why Brides go to Asda…


AsdaCover

The high street can be one of the best places to get pretty much everything for your big day. Clothes shops, craft stores and department stores are the most commonly visited shops on the high street for bridesmaids dress, suits for the groomsmen, supplies to make invitations and everything in between. 

However, what if I said you could get some of the fun little clothing extras you might want for your hen party or wedding morning? 

Asda now have a small range of wedding clothing items that beat most prices I’ve seen any where else! 

The Asda wedding range is very small, so don’t think you’ll be able to get half your list of goodies from the supermarket chain, but you will be able to pick up ‘Father of the Bride’ socks for £2, a ‘ Bride to be’ dressing gown for £8 and swimming costumes for the Hen do for £10.

 

Happy Hanky


TheHankyShop
Any stylish Groom will have a handkerchief as part of his Groomswear whether it be tucked into his jacket pocket or his waistcoat pocket; however all too often the hanky is part of the hire set or simply matches the tie or cravat BUT the hanky can be a statement piece on it’s own.

The handkerchief doesn’t need to be a block colour to tie in with the rest of the outfit. The Grooms hanky can even be different to the rest of the groomsmen’s. Think fun patterns, stripes, paisley and polka dots to bring an element of fun to the outfits and to bring a bit of personality and a bespoke feel to a suit that is likely to otherwise be “off the rack”.

The Handkerchief Shop

I’m always drawn to grooms outfits where personality is shown whether that be in quirky socks or retro braces, but the hanky is where it is at right now.

you-are-my-anchor-embroidered-handkerchief.jpgThe Handkerchief Shop was created in 2008 by Colleen Corcoran with two main ranges – The Happy Hanky (think one to mop up the MOTBs happy tears) and The Hank which couldn’t be more perfect for men two wear as part of their wedding suit outfits as well as to be given as wedding gifts. The Handkerchief Shop gives you the option to monogram each hanky or to have a personal message embroidered onto the hanky as the perfect keepsake.

For the pocket happy price of $12 (on average, some are cheaper, some are more) you can bring new life, colour and extra style to the groomsmen’s outfits giving a feel of bespoke luxury without breaking the wedding budget.

If you’re in the UK, I think the import tax would definitely be worth it, especially if you’re buying one for each member of the bridal party.

Find The Handkerchief Shop on twitter 

TheHankyShop

Hen & Stag Party Ideas


Bored of Go-karting or Paintballing? Want something more unique than going for a meal, to a club and spa the next day? Are you a Hen, Groom, Chief Bridesmaid or Best man planning a Hen or Stag party wanting to wow your group? I can help you find the perfect activity to book.

Recently I posted about a Hen party I arranged for a friend of mine where we did a cocktail making masterclass in the city of Oxford, and since then I’ve been collecting unique ideas to share with you.

Crafty Crafty Crafty
Bunting Making with The Crafty Hen

With The Crafty Hen you and your party can book an array of craft activities including bunting making to be used at the wedding giving your hens/stags the opportunity to truly help with wedding planning. How about getting the Hen/Stag party create props for your wedding photobooth? The Crafty Hen cover the whole of England, Scotland and Wales and are in Norther Ireland too.

Bunting making

Crafty Crafty Crafty
Jewelry Making with Tea & Crafting 

Tea & Crafting is based in Camden although you can have a mobile tutor come to you. Tea, coffee and muffins are always provided as part of the party package giving you and your hens/stags nothing to worry about except for having a giggle learning something new. Each of you can create a piece of jewelry to wear to the wedding. Tea & Crafting provide a range of other crafting activities as well as jewelry making.

Crafty Crafty Crafty
Macaron Baking Classes with Ganache Macaron

Get messy learning the coveted art of making macarons before the enjoyable task of tasting your creation with Ganache Macaron in Hackney. If you book the hen party close enough to the wedding, the macarons baked can be used as the favours! This idea is a fresh take on cupcake making that your whole party will love.

Crafty Crafty Crafty
Knicker Decorating with Hand Made Hen

All you need to bring with you is knickers then you start pimping your pants with ribbons, lace, pearls and sequins – you can customise as many pairs as you like and your hen party can be anywhere you are as the party comes to you! You can book an array of crafty activities with Handmade Hen including garter making classes.

Physical Physical Physical
Zip Lining with 3 others in Wales with Zip World

The Titan zip line experience at Zip World is the only 4 person zip line experience in Europe. Not only can you descend over moor mountain and mine with your mates but you will be doing it at speeds up to 70MPH. There are three zip lines included in the Titan experience; Anarchy (the longest), Bedlam and Chaos.

Physical Physical Physical
Cavern Adventure Course and zip lining in Wales with Zip World

Home to exhilarating underground zip lines, rope bridges, obstacles and tunnels based in an underground cavern in Blaenau Ffestiniog, Wales. 

Physical Physical Physical
Zombie Survival Experience with Zombie Experiences 

Battle the undead, thwart the apocalypse, defeat the demons and save the day! With a range of experiences in Droitwich, London, Reading and Warrington you and your stags will have the time of your lives living out all the drunken conversations of which of you would survive longest if the zombie apocalypse happened. *change of underwear not iincluded

Physical Physical Physical
Burlesque Dancing with Burlesque Baby 

Burlesque Baby host Burlesque dance classes at locations across England where all props are provided for you and your hens to learn some classic showgirl dance moves. Your experience can be topped up with a dinner cabaret show to watch women do what you’ve just been doing.

burlesque hen 8

Activity Experience
Victorian Themed Day with Victorian Escapades 

Book through HenorStag and “you will start the afternoon dressed as servants and carrying out household chores from Victorian times. After all that “hard work” you will compete against your hens in a range of Victorian themed challenges! It’s then time to change into classy Victorian attire and make your way into the drawing room to play some fun parlour games and enjoy the photoshoot” before having a Victorian dance class and a 4 course meal.

Unique Places To Stay
The Lake House – Somerset

The Lake house is your secret hideaway that sleeps up to 12 in a ‘boutique and funky’ yet chilled  environment with chic luxury and exclusive use in the form of a spacious thatched barn.

lake house

 

Unique Places To Stay
Teapot Lane Glamping – North Leitrim, Ireland

In North Leitrim, Ireland you can choose between Yurts, a tree house, a caravan or a cottage for your Teapot Lane Glamping experience (perfect for small hen parties) where you can sit around a camp fire enjoying a festival vibe. All Teapot Lane Hen Packages include professional catering on one night where a qualified chef will cook your evening meal using a delicious selection of locally sourced produce, with lots of fun activities to keep you entertained for your night/s away.

Hen Party Bags


Here are the Hen Party Bags I ordered from ‘vintage*dotty’ on eBay.

The personalisation service they offer is second to none. For only £2.95 per bag you choose the colour of the bag, the design and information on the label, the colour of the tissue paper inside the bags and you choose 8 items out of a large list to fill the bags with. The 8 bag fillers I decided upon are: Willy Sucking Straw; Mini Survival Kit; Scavenger Hunt Game Sheet; Strip of 10 Diamanté Face Jewels; Love Heart Sweets; Red Juicy Lip Sweets; Neon Pink Bracelet and Stiletto Fashion Foot Cushions.

I also put the sashes I ordered from PartySashesGalore.co.uk in the bags and wrote each hens name on the bag so the process of handing them out is easy.

Sitting out in the sun this afternoon to assemble the bags was very enjoyable.

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Anniversary Dance


Ideas that include all of the wedding guests really appeal to me, from big ideas to smaller ideas that when added together create an inclusive atmosphere your guests will remember for a long time.

I plan to pick an ‘anniversary song’ that when the DJ is due to play it he will advise all the married couples to get on the dance floor. As the song goes on the DJ asks for all those for have been arrived for less than a year to leave the floor, and then all the couples married less than five years and so on until the couple who have been married the longest are left on the dance floor.

A wedding day is to celebrate the union and marriage of two people so why not take a small moment to celebrate all the other married couples, and especially the couple who have been married the longest.

What do you think?

Hen Party Honor


Today my friend and colleague asked me if I would plan her Hen Do! I’ve never planned a Hen Do before and have only ever attended one in the past. I take being asked to plan someones Hen Do as a great honor that they trust me to plan their Hen Do successfully as well as an honor all round, and I will be taking this honor very seriously.

My friend is Slovakian but has been living and working in the UK for a number of years. Although her fiancé is British they are getting married in Slovakia which has meant regular trips to Slovakia during the wedding planning. Only the Groom-2-Bs close friends and family are attending the wedding in Slovakia. Which means the Hen Party is our only chance to be a part of the wedding.

A number of the ladies that will be invited to attend the Hen Party are mothers to young children so the Bride-2-B asked me to plan it as a day/evening thing (as opposed to a weekend Hen) and to keep it local. The wedding is in August and I am planning the Hen for early July which means I only have a few weeks to plan before I have to start booking! *scared*

At the moment we are thinking of going for a meal followed by an activity, such as a cocktail making class or a comedy night, then out on the town for drinkies afterwards. As I’ve only started planning today I don’t have many of the details decided upon yet, but I definitely think we will get Hen Party t-shirts from ‘Hen Party Superstore’.

Lauren-conrad-tattoos

I am a regular attendee of the #weddinhour on Twitter every Wednesday and this evening a fellow #weddinghour attendee has provided me with a great website that will help me in planning the Hen Party. With how nervous I feel I will definitely be glued to ‘The Hen Planner‘, as there is no question on planning a hen party that this website doesn’t answer. The picture above is taken from The Hen Planner Blog where there is no shortage of ultra-original ideas your Hens will LOVE!

Have you ever planned a Hen party before? What did you do, and how long did you have to plan it? What advice can you give me?