Walsh’s Hotel through the years has become a massive Hen Party destination with our vibrant and fun Jack’s Bar & Gravity Nightclub open every weekend. However, with this we are very aware of the stress and worry the chief bridesmaid or party planner faces when trying to organise the big occasion. The stress of dealing with everyone else’s stress and uncertainty is not a fun situation.. Therefore, we have decided to provide some tips to help all you reading who are planning on organising the biggest day for the Bride to Be (apart from the wedding of course) no pressure…
Tip 1: Keep an Eye on The Budget
After you’ve sorted out the initial budget and pricing for the group, its important that you make sure to keep an eye on any of the last minute finances in the days leading up to the hen, as well as on the day. It’s easy to go overboard when it’s your first time and you’re excited to add in little extras.
It’s not fair to ask the guests to cough up any more dough and you realistically you don’t want to be left with a credit card bill for 20 Sambuca Shots, and a bunch of extra sides during the meal. This is one reason we highly suggest you have a contingency plan in place.
With ourselves at Walsh’s this is why we have set packages with everything included e.g. our Coyote Ugly Package which consists of Bed & Breakfast, 3 Course Evening Meal, Champagne Reception, a round of shots for the group, a Cocktail Masterclass, Decorations & VIP Access to our Entertainment all for only £105pp.. what more could you ask for?
Tip 2: Limit Your Money Worries
Ask your guests to have all their money paid up in advance rather than fixing you up with the remainder of cash on the day of the hen. Break up each element of the day ( food, activities, transport etc.) and put the funds for each in separate envelopes so everything is ready to hand over, and you can have peace of mind on the day (and enjoy yourself!).
Again, with ourselves we require a £20.00 per person deposit 2 weeks from the initial booking, this allows us to confirm your booking but also allows all the hens to start paying towards the hen party. Full payment is then required two weeks before arrival meaning that on the day of the hen the organiser can enjoy the day like all the other hens.. all that’s needed is spending money (and a carry out) to get the day started.
Tip 3: Timing is Key
It may seem a little Monica from Friends (no clipboard and earpiece now) but when it comes to organising 15-20 gal pals all looking at you for direction, it’s helpful to have a schedule down on paper – just something simple outlining key times and locations. This is particularly important if you’ve people joining at different times during the day or evening.
Tip 4: Sort the Transport
A simple thing to do (but one that often gets forgotten) is organising transport from A to B – and making sure it’s factored into the original cost you sent the hens. This cuts out any confusion on where people need to be, there’s less risk of losing guests (trust me, it happens!) and everyone will appreciate when an all-in price really means all-in.
We even have our very own shuttle bus here at Walsh’s to provide transport for hens to and from venues for different activities such as a fun filled day at The Jungle NI, we really do work hard to provide all options for our guests.
Tip 5: Break the Ice
Get everyone talking with an ice-breaker. For example, ask everyone in the group to bring a photograph of themselves and the bride-to-be, and ask each of them to share a personal story about the bride. This will give everyone the heads-up on who’s who, and get people mixing.
With our apartments out tower room available you can all do this in the privacy of each other’s company to break the ice, just in time for heading out to boogie later that night together.
Tip 6: Look After Everyone
The bride is the lady of the hour, but don’t forget to make a fuss of the guests too – you’re the host after all! Many of the guests might know each other and be best buds, but there are usually some guests who are coming solo. Make sure to get talking to each guest and help along those shy gals – there is nothing worse than the feeling that everyone at the party is pals and you don’t know anyone! This also goes for mums and older guests too.
Tip 7: Know your Audience
We hope that while planning the party you kept your bride in mind, ultimately this is her day. So when it comes to the actual hen do, don’t produce any rude props or jokes unless you know she’s up for it. Many hens these days are decidedly low-key on things like willy straws and strippers, while others will expect them, so suss out where your gal (and the other guests!) are at.
Likewise, when it comes to party games like the Mr & Mrs game, keep the tone light and limit the embarrassing questions, especially if the mum or mum-in-law are present! If you’re the party planner we are sure you’ll know the bride to be best, so don’t go by what is expected and instead what they’ll enjoy, make it a night to remember for all the right reasons.
Tip 8: Plan Party Packs
If you have allowed for some extras in the budget (you really should!) make sure to have your party packs or goodie bags ready to hand over to the guests – it works as a nice ice-breaker, and shows your bride from the outset that you’ve put lots of thought into her hen. Ultimately your going to be the one she is grateful (or ungrateful in some iffy circumstances) so try and make it extra special. Make sure to include anything they might need for any activities you have planned, as well as any random dressing up bits. They can also have ‘Day After the Night Before’ items such as chocolate, painkillers, an energy drink or bottle of water – food and beverage items are always gladly received! (me personally Lucozade is a life saver after a night of hard drinking).
Tip 9: Work Together
Most brides have at least two bridesmaids, so work as a team and delegate jobs on the day or for the weekend so that everyone has a role to play. It’s important that all the girls feel involved, especially if one of you is based abroad. Have this all planned out before the day or weekend so everyone knows who is doing what, from decorating and keeping guests entertained, to tidying and cleaning up, and keeping the bride to be occupied whilst the others are setting up surprises.
Tip 10: Don’t Over-Plan (or Be Too Bossy!)
While it’s important to have a loose schedule and plans in place, don’t forget that your guests are all adults and don’t like to be ordered around every minute of the day with back-to-back activities. Leave a little room in the schedule for chilling out, or more importantly getting down to the bar and drinking.. it is a hen party after all!
Finally… Get The Party Started
Ok, so the Monica-madness is over and it’s time for everyone to let their hair down, while you have to keep everyone on track, don’t forget to enjoy a glass (or two!) of champers and celebrate your best girl. She chose you as your bridesmaid because her her fave person to hit the dance floor with, so make sure you do!
Now you’re all set to throw your first (epic!) hen, so enjoy! (Wish I was coming!)
Hen Party Coordinator