Hen Do’s can be a fantastic source of excitement in the run up to your wedding day. A time to get together with your very best friends and celebrate one of the most important events of your life. Whether you decide to hand over the planning of the hen do to your bridesmaids / best friend or run the whole thing yourself, your hen do should be an expression of who you are and a celebration of the end of your single life and imminent start of a newly married life together with your partner.
As a party girl through and through, I absolutely adore receiving hen do invitations. All the better if there is a theme or some way to completely throw myself into the day, evening or weekend. But I understand that every girl about to be married has very, very different ideas of what fun is and what makes a good hen do. There was a time (not very long ago!) when hen do’s were getting more and more extravagant. What started as a few drinks with friends in a cosy local pub soon became a weekend city break away, then a mini break to Ibiza and then a weeks holiday in Vegas! It became the norm for hen do’s to be all out extravaganzas – an excuse for a no holds barred party wherever it might be and however much it might cost.
Times have changed. Unless you are very fortunate, Hen Do’s including long haul flights really just aren’t a realistic option. So, it’s definitely time to really think about what you want from a hen do and how you can achieve what you want on budget.
Here are some low budget hen do ideas to get your planning off to a budget friendly start!
1. Keep it Simple…
We absolutely love the idea of the old fashioned hen do. Keep it as simple as you possibly can – invite your very best friends round to yours, get ready at home together with some wine and then head out to your local pub or a couple of bars. Girly giggles, minimum spend and easy to get home afterwards – what’s not to like?! Just make sure your other half is out of bounds from your chosen pub for the evening!
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2. Party Nights…
Book a party evening at your house or one of your bridesmaids. From Body Shop at Home to Partylite and Ann Summers using your own home as a base for a party night is a great cost effective idea. Usually as the host, you will also get some kind of bonus dependant on what your fellow hens buy from the Party Night Company which makes it extra rewarding for you. The representative will bring along the products for you and your hens to trial and you just then need to add a little bit of food and get your hens to bring along a bottle each and you’ve got a fun night sorted without having to leave your front door!
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3. Get away the cheap way…
This is a great one if you have tonnes of friends. Instead of forking out for expensive hotels or B&Bs, why not hire out a country house or apartment that is able to sleep lots of people. What is an unachievable cost for one can be a really reasonable amount when there is a crowd of you. Have a look at websites such as Bath Hen Weekend, Hen Party Venues and The Big Domain for ideas.
Options for entertainment when you arrive are endless – have a themed fancy dress dinner, go for long walks in the country or organise treasure hunts in the garden! Fun guaranteed.
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4. Book a class
Lots of local councils now run leisure courses for adult learning. From Indian head massage to one off trampolining courses, there can be an incredible array of fun activities that you could book you and your hens on to for around £40 per person. Learn how to cook a French three course dinner or take a creative writing one day course – you can learn a new skill and sort out your hen do in one go. Enquire with your local council to find out what courses they run. Northampton offer an excellent selection that you can have a look at here.
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5. Run your own wine tasting or cocktail making evening
Arrange with your hens who will bring along which bottles, and then you can get in the necessary accompaniments. For a wine tasting evening, buy in some olives, cheese and biscuits and grapes and get your wine glasses ready. For a fun cocktail evening, buy in a selection of fruit and some fun straws and mini sparklers. You can find endless recipes on line for all of the cocktails under the sun, however, it might be best to choose 4 or 5 recipes that you like the sound of and then create all of the different variations you like dependant on the bottle of spirits that have been brought along.
Have a great time whatever you choose to do! How will you be celebrating your hen do?