It is difficult to write a no nonsense guide to running a hen’s night/bachelorette party because honestly, hen’s parties are designed to be nonsense. My sister, who was my maid of honour, did a great job organising the night in just a couple of months and I had about 8 friends and family at my bridal shower and nearly 20 for my hen’s night.
My advice is to be realistic with your expectations for the night, and offer to give your bridesmaids a hand with planning the event. Have a reasonable idea about what you want to do for the party and a list of names and numbers of those you want to attend.
I had my bridal shower/kitchen tea and hen’s party on the same day. Parents and relatives were invited to the bridal shower which my mum hosted at her house and did a great job. We had tea, sandwiches, cake and champagne and played a few games. It was very relaxed.
More cake please!
We hired an apartment near the beach for the weekend and friends could choose whether they wanted to stay over and split the cost of the room or join us for dinner. From memory my sister organised a set menu at a BYO Thai restaurant and everyone paid around $25 each.
Costs can easily get out of control so I would recommend just one event for the weekend – we did a one hour fire twirling class which was I think around $15 each.
My partner told me about a week before my hen’s night that my sister had booked a stripper and I begged her to cancel it because I would have been mortified if one had shown up. I think she was a bit grumpy about Phil ruining the surprise and losing her deposit, but I will be forever thankful that I never had to experience some tattooed meat head gyrating all over me in front of my horrified friends.
The girls screamed in delight when he said he was leaving
If you have a small bridal party with only a maid of honour or 1 or 2 bridesmaids, be prepared to put in a lot of work yourself or have another friend available who can help with organising your friends, asking for money, buying snacks and setting up for the party. Planning a bridal shower and/or hen’s night is a huge amount of work so don’t place too many demands on your maid of honour or she will be totally exhausted by your wedding day.
I would recommend doing the buck’s and hen’s parties on the same weekend so you are both out having fun at the same time. Unless of course, all of your friends have kids then alternate weekends might be a good idea so partners can take turns to babysit. I still don’t have any idea what happened at my partner’s buck’s night but he came home with both eyebrows and no broken bones so I assume it was good clean fun.