The Ultimate Hen Party Planning Guide

The Ultimate Hen Party Planning Guide by Life Drawing Hen Parties

Have you been tasked with planning the ultimate hen party? Whether you’re a seasoned expert or a complete beginner, planning the perfect weekend for the bride-to-be can feel daunting at times, but don’t panic - We’ve got you covered! With our Hen Party Playbook, packed full of helpful tips, tricks and information, you’ll become a party planning expert in no time!

The Origins of the Hen Party

The origins of the hen party we know today can be traced back thousands of years. Ancient Greek pre-wedding traditions involved preparation and offerings to the gods by the bride-to-be, similar to today's hen parties.

However, the term 'hen party' originated in the 1800s to describe any all-female gathering. It was first used about pre-wedding celebrations by The Times in 1976. Modern hen parties in the UK emerged in the 1970s as a result of the sexual revolution, often involving humorous and sexually suggestive public celebrations of the bride's upcoming marriage and transition into domestic life.

What is a Hen Party?

A ‘hen party’ or ‘hen do’ (or ‘bachelorette party’ if you’re in the US) is a celebration hosted by the bride-to-be that typically involves her and her closest friends, family and colleagues before the bride’s upcoming marriage. It is generally held over a long weekend and involves plenty of fun and laughter, whilst also being a great opportunity for the bride and her friends to have a great time and make lasting memories together.

The Hen Party Guestlist

Arguably, one of the most important aspects of planning a hen party is choosing who to invite! So, to avoid any mishaps or drama, we recommend that the first thing you do is discuss with the bride-to-be who she’d like to celebrate with.

Not only that, but you should also use this time to gauge who not to invite to the hen party, as there may be certain family members or colleagues that the bride simply wouldn’t want to attend her last weekend of freedom. Then, once you’ve managed to compile a list of potential guests, we recommend double-checking them with the bride before sending out the invites!

Choosing the Right Location for a Hen Party

Without a doubt, choosing the right hen party destination is key to planning an unforgettable celebration. When it comes to deciding where to go, you should first gain some insight from the bride herself to find out where she’d like to spend her last weekend of freedom.

Another important factor to take into consideration is when the hen party is going to take place. For example, if the event is due to take place in the spring or summer, then a sunny destination like Spain or Portugal would be perfect. Likewise, if you’re planning the hen party around the end of the year, then staying in the UK or heading to a city like Munich or Prague would be great options to consider.

And lastly, another huge aspect of choosing where to celebrate the hen party is the budget. Whilst it's all good and well planning a wild weekend abroad for the bride-to-be, not all the girls may be able to stretch their hen party budgets that far. Remember, you can have as good of a time celebrating in the UK as you can in Europe!

What Activities to Have at a Hen Party

Without a doubt, the hen party activities you choose to book for the last weekend of freedom can make or break the celebrations. When planning this part of the hen do, it’s important to keep everyone’s budgets in mind whilst also making sure that what you book will be both enjoyable and memorable for the bride-to-be and the rest of the girls attending.

💡Top Tip - We sought advice on selecting activities from Eleanor, one of our experienced hen party sales executives at Life Drawing Hen Parties.  She emphasises the importance of "maintaining a balance between entertainment and relaxation - it's key to keep everyone involved without overloading the schedule."  She also advises, "Be sure to check the location of your activities - you wouldn't want to spend an hour travelling just to reach a cocktail bar."

Top Hen Party Ideas and Activities

No matter if you choose to stay in the UK or jet off abroad for the last weekend of freedom, we’ve handpicked a selection of the best hen party ideas and activities that can make your celebration an occasion to remember.

❤ Life Drawing - Perfect for all the creative hens out there, a life drawing hen do gives you the unique opportunity to learn how to sketch and draw the human body. With a male model to pose for you and an art tutor to lead the session, this is an activity that none of you will forget any time soon… trust us!

❤ Treasure Hunt - Great for those who are up for a bit of exploration, taking on one of our interactive treasure hunts gives you and the girls the chance to bring out your competitive spirits as you compete in teams to complete a range of wacky photo/video challenges and trivia questions, all in an attempt to win as many points as possible!

❤ Cocktail Making - Bring about lots of boozy fun and kickstart your big night out with a mouth-watering cocktail making class! Taking place at a city centre bar, you and the girls will get to take it in turns to make your favourite drinks and play tonnes of hilarious games from start to finish.

❤ Boat Party - A typically European hen party activity, embarking on a boat party during the last weekend of freedom is brilliant for making lasting memories with the girls. After all… what could be better than partying on the Mediterranean with a few cocktails as you watch the sun go down?

❤ Spa Day - Perfect for spending some quality time with the bride and the rest of the hens, a spa day experience gives you the chance to rest, relax and rejuvenate, making it an ideal activity to book the day after a big night out!

❤ Comedy Club - For those of you that love a good chuckle, organising a trip to a nearby comedy club can prove to be a wonderful way to kick off a big night of celebrating with the girls. Who knows... you might even discover your new favourite stand-up comedian!

Hen Party Games

If you’re looking to make the upcoming hen party a truly memorable occasion, then arranging to play some hilarious hen party games during the weekend would be a brilliant idea. Not only do they add an extra element of hilarity to the hen do, but bringing the girls together to play fun hen party games can act as a useful icebreaker, providing the opportunity for any hens that aren’t familiar with each other to get talking.

Here is just a handful of our favourite hen party games:

❤ Mr & Mrs Questions - See how well the bride and groom truly know each other by getting them to answer as many questions as they can about the other!

❤ Hen Party Dares - The perfect way to spice up your big night out, including some hilarious hen party dares will be sure to make it an evening to remember for all the right reasons.

❤ Drinking Jenga - One of the nation’s favourite tabletop games, turning Jenga into a boozy drinking game can make for a great way to celebrate pre-drinks before hitting the bars and clubs.

❤ Pin the Pants - A printable hen party game, grab a blindfold and see which hens manage to pin the pants on a picture of a hunky bloke!

Setting the Scene for Your Hen Party

Once you’ve reached a point where you and the girls have decided on where you’re going to celebrate the hen party and what activities you’re going to take part in, the next step to consider is setting the scene for your hen party… and that means choosing a theme and sourcing some accessories to complete it!

Hen Party Accessories

Hen party accessories make for the perfect way to add a touch of sparkle and glamour to the last weekend of freedom. From sassy sashes to flashing tiaras, accessories will ensure that you, the girls and the bride-to-be stand out from the crowd, especially on the big night out! Not only that, but they make great keepsakes to remember the hen party in years to come.

Organisation Tips for Your Hen Party

Organising a hen party can be daunting, but with careful planning and a touch of creativity, you can create an unforgettable event for the bride-to-be and the rest of the girls. Here are a few tips to remember when organising your hen party:

1. Understand the Bride-to-be's Preferences - Before you start planning, it's important to understand what the bride-to-be wants. Is she an outdoor adventure fan or prefers a relaxed spa day? Does she want a small gathering or a big party? Understanding her preferences will help you plan a party she will enjoy.

2. Choose a Theme - A unique theme can turn a simple hen party into an unforgettable event. Choose a theme that suits the bride-to-be's personality and interests.

3. Plan Ahead - Start planning as early as possible. This will give you enough time to book venues, arrange accommodations, and organise activities.

4. Delegate Tasks - Don't try to do everything yourself. Delegate tasks among the bridesmaids. This will lighten your workload and ensure that everything is taken care of.

5. Keep Everyone Informed - Keep all the attendees informed about the plans. This can be done through a group chat or email. Also, don't forget to send reminders as the date approaches.

Hen Party Themes

Without a doubt, choosing the right hen party theme can turn a night into an amazing event. From subtle and classy themes to the weird and wonderful, there are thousands of unique and exciting themes to suit any bride-to-be.

❤ Select a Theme Early - Deciding on your theme early in the planning process allows you to align all other aspects of the party accordingly. This includes invitations, decorations, games, and even food and drinks.

❤ Communicate the Theme - Once you have decided on a theme, communicate it to all attendees. This can be done through creative invitations or a simple group message. This gives guests ample time to prepare, especially if costumes or themed attire are involved.

❤ Flexibility - While sticking to a theme can make the party more memorable, it's important to ensure that it doesn't limit the fun. Stay flexible and open to ideas that might not perfectly match the theme but contribute to the overall enjoyment.

Hen Party Theme Guide »

Hen Party Playlist Song Ideas

A hen party isn't complete without a killer playlist to set the mood and get everyone on the dance floor. Start with classic party anthems like "Dancing Queen" by ABBA or "Wannabe" by Spice Girls, which everyone knows and loves. Be sure to mix in some fun throwback tunes from the bride's teenage years for nostalgia, too!

Also, don't forget to include some current pop hits - think Dua Lipa's "Levitating" or The Weeknd's "Blinding Lights". Of course, sentimental songs about friendship such as "You've Got a Friend in Me" by Randy Newman, can be a sweet addition. For a personal touch, include the bride-to-be's favourite songs or tunes that have special meaning for your group of friends. With a well-curated playlist, you'll keep the energy high and the memories flowing all night.

Further Help and Inspiration

Funny Hen Party Stories

Capturing funny hen party stories is a fantastic way to keep the memories alive long after the weekend has finished. Taking lots of photos and videos and recounting those hilarious moments can turn into cherished stories that are shared and remembered for years.

These unforgettable tales often find their way into wedding speeches and future gatherings, sparking laughter and nostalgia among friends. Creating a scrapbook filled with photos, ticket stubs and other mementoes is a wonderful way to capture these moments. These tangible keepsakes will serve as a delightful reminder of your hen party, ensuring that the fun and laughter of the day can be relived time and time again. So, keep those cameras ready and embrace the hilarity - you're creating future classics!

STEN Parties - Everything You Need to Know

STEN parties are the latest trend in pre-wedding celebrations, offering a unique twist on traditional stag and hen parties. They bring together the bride and groom and their friends for a joint celebration before the big day. Instead of splitting into two groups, everyone gets to join in the fun together, which can be an especially good idea if the soon-to-be-married couple shares the same group of friends.

This inclusive, gender-neutral party is not only a great way to break down traditional gender roles, but it's also a fantastic opportunity for your entire circle of friends to bond and create lasting memories.

Fancy a Life Drawing Hen Do

Start Here »

We organise 1000's of hen parties each year

Trustpilot Ratings

Fun Hen Party Games

Fun Hen Party Games

Looking to keep everyone entertained during the hen party? We have put together our most fun hen party game ideas for you to try. View them all here…
Hen Party Travel Advice

Hen Party Travel Advice

Unleash your wanderlust with our hen party travel ideas! Discover unique destinations for the ultimate girls' getaway. Let the hen party adventures begin!
Hen Party Guestlist

Hen Party Guestlist

Discover how to create the perfect hen party guestlist with our practical guide. Get tips on who to invite, managing budgets and plenty more - Take a look!
Hen Party Budgeting

Hen Party Budgeting

Master hen party budgeting with our strategic guide and learn to plan a memorable, fun-filled event without breaking the bank - Your wallet will thank you!
Hen Party Themes

Hen Party Themes

Get ready for a memorable hen do with our fantastic range of hen party themes, guaranteed to make your celebration uniquely unforgettable - Take a look!
Hen Party Games

Hen Party Games

Discover our awesome hen party games to keep the laughter going all night. Trust us when we say that all the girls will love these unique and hilarious games!