Previously, Claire from Lacey in Places blog shared her top tips for planning a hen party (read the article here) and today she continues to share her experiences of organising a vintage hen party for her friend Becky. This week’s post contains a downloadable budget spreadsheet and even invitation templates to make it super-easy to keep track of your hens and costs! If you’ve been reading my blog over the past month, you’ll know that I’ve been running a series of blog posts all about on hen parties – I’ve invited other lovely bloggers to share their ideas for creating the perfect hen do, with Ellen sharing her article on personalising a hen party and a guest blog on hen party activities, I’ve written a couple of articles sharing ideas for party themes (check out the links below!) and soon I will be bringing you 50s costume sewing tips from Kat. But for today, Claire is discussing the essentials of planning a great hen party – the accommodation and activities, and getting all the hens invited:
Accommodation and activities – it always pays to shop around and haggle
As soon as I had a rough idea of numbers I started to provisionally book activities. I started with the crafting activity as thought this would be the most challenging item to book and wanted to do something a bit different from cupcake, fascinator or jewellery making and something a bit more cheeky so found a knicker-making class. This gave the hens an opportunity to drink bubbles, eat cake and make Becky a garter to wear on her wedding day.
Once that was sorted I started to plan the rest of the weekend around games, making sure the hen party had enough to eat to line their stomachs, drinking and dancing – as per the Brides specification. I managed to negotiate deals on a couple of items with the help my Bristol Hen to get discounted hire and extra alcohol thrown in. This provided me with an estimate of cost per head for activities and accommodation. I then had to factor in a grocery shop for the apartment for the activities on the Friday night and feeding those who were staying over the weekend. Along with the cost of taxis (luckily I found accommodation near to majority of activities on laterooms.com which had the most bargianous prices out of the dozens of website I used) prizes for games and finally Becky’s outfit for the Saturday night.
I looked everyone online to try to find a free hen party budget planner template but couldn’t find anything – and I thought that other hens might be struggling too – so I created the following budget planner spreadsheet to work out cost per head – you can download and use it for free here: Cost tracker and shopping list.
Confirm who’s in or out
In parallel to me making provisional bookings for activities – I first spoke to several of the hen party to make sure they were happy with the proposed plans and cost to check it was realistic. Then sent an email to all the hens providing a rough plan for the weekend and costs – emphasising I was trying to make it as value for money as possible – whilst at the same time making sure Becky was doing everything she wanted to do – and ensuring everyone has a smashing time.
I set a five-day deadline for who was in or out, as many of the bookings made required a deposit upfront to confirm the booking.
Here’s an invitation template for you to use when emailing around all the hens: Email1 intro and confirm nos
This email got a great response and once all the guests had confirmed it allowed me to put deposits on my credit card to book activities. I then sent the another email to confirm the itinerary for the weekend, costs and when I needed payment by – here is the template for the second email: Email2 Final plans and costs
Although I got a great response and payment from most of the hens straight away, this final email served as a gentle reminder to make sure everyone was onboard and fully paid up: Email3 Reminder
Next week I will share some photos of our fun crafting session to make decorations for Becky’s hen do (here’s a sneaky peek!), so check back soon!
More hen party series articles
- Hen party series ~ Planning a vintage hen party (LaceyinPlaces on cassiefairy.com)
- Hen party series – ideas for fun activities (cassiefairy.com)
- Hen party series ~ ideas for personalising your party (cassiefairy.com)
- Hen parties on a budget ~ 5 essential tips (cassiefairy.com)
- Anyone for afternoon tea? Ideas for a thrifty party (cassiefairy.com)