How to plan the perfect Hen Party x Gigi & OliveBy Georgie Le Roux, Gigi & Olive
Your best friend just got engaged, she’s invited you to lunch and now she has asked you to organise the Hen party celebrations! Need some advice? Don’t panic we are here to help.
The Bride: Before you start the planning, our advice would be to take the Bride to be for a drink and get an idea about what she is thinking. Does she want a big party, something abroad, a weekend in the English countryside or a pampering retreat? Of course, keep somethings as a surprise, but it's excellent to clarify her hopes and dreams, especially if you're the one who is going to try and deliver them. No pressure.
Golden Rule - This is not a Stag; the aim here is not to humiliate the Bride. The objective is to make it an incredible, unforgettable weekend amongst great friends.
The Group: Where do you start with the guest list? Is the Bride close with her work colleagues, does she have a group of school friends you need to include and what about her female relatives? It's hard, but keeping the group small(ish) is the best advice we can offer. When we say "small", we still mean 8-12 people. Logistically it all works better; 8 people can fit into two cabs, 12 people is often how many a large villa sleeps, an even number of people equals double rooms. These details may not seem important at the beginning, but being the 1 person left out the car rental situation can be a bit of a nightmare. The other benefit of keeping it smaller is that the Bride can actually spend time with everyone. It's essential to include those closest to the Bride but don't feel you have to invite anyone just for the sake of it, if it's a bore for you it's probably a bore for them too, and no one wants that. What to do about the Bride's Mother or Mothers-in-law?. This is a trickier subject, and of course, everyone is different, we think this is the one decision that definitely needs to be made by the Bride. It also comes down to Itinerary: If your Bride wants a relaxed, beautiful lunch with flowers, food, champagne and sweet treats, this sounds like something that any Mother may love. But if your Bride wants to go to Ibiza, drink the night away while friends retell stories of yesteryears with the aim for your head to hit your pillow at sunrise, perhaps leave Mum at home. (Sorry)
Golden rule - no you can't invite anyone on the Hen that you won't invite to the wedding. 2 22.01.20
The Budget: Although this may be the least fun topic, it's a crucial factor to get right from the beginning. Everyone has different budgets, and everyone has a different opinion on what a weekend like this should cost. It often varies based on the relationship that person has with the Bride - if you're a sister or best friend you want to go all out if it's your 2nd cousin's Hen you may be less inclined to splash the cash. The key is to be clear with the group with how much you are estimating it will all cost. Value for money is the most important thing! Having everyone in a good mood and excited for the event is so much better than having whispers of annoyance because someone wasn't told about the cab fee from the airport. It's also fine to have a few optional add ons that people can join in on or not, such as beauty treatments. Should the Bride contribute? Although it's lovely to be treated like the Queen that you are for the weekend, we also think that if you're asking your nearest and dearest to dedicate a whole weekend to celebrate your love, then you can definitely buy everyone a drink to say cheers and thank you. A round of tequila's to start the weekend or a little gift such as Carry On Cocktail Kits (gigiandolive.com) for everyone as they board the plane will do wonders for the vibe.
Golden rule - Don't assume everyone is on the same budget, they’re not.
The Itinerary: How close should the Hen party be to the wedding and where to go, what to plan? There isn't a set time of exactly when you should have the Hen Party. It is fun to have it close-ish to the wedding, but we would advise at least 2 months prior. Your Bride might be doing a little bit of wed shed, or she may not want to feel hungover close to the wedding. Try to avoid asking the whole group what dates they can do. We advise picking 2 weekends that work and then put it to the group. Having an Itinerary for the weekend is helpful when trying to organise everything. It doesn't have to jam-packed with endless activities; it's just great to have a plan that people can follow. Our favourite Hen party weekends revolve around eating and drinking and being in whichever city you're in. But remember to put in a few key surprises for the Bride such as a dive bar for Karaoke if she's a fan or gin tasting if she is a G&T lover. Be clear on dress codes or themes - no one wants to turn up unprepared or underdressed.
Golden Rule: Don't overpack the weekend. People are there to have a good time, celebrate their friend and relax. Take it from us, the best times can come from hanging out with a few sundowners or a bottle of rosé.