Is it okay to plan your own Hen Party?
When it comes to matrimonial traditions, one that’s up there is that the bride hands over all Hen Party planning duties to her Maid of Honour and Bridesmaids…and turns up on the appointed day, ready to join in with whatever is thrown at her - sometimes literally!
Increasingly though, more and more Brides are taking on the planning of their Hen Parties, and organising themselves. Sometimes this is out of necessity, and sometimes out of a preference to not end up with a Hen Party that’s not to their liking - whether that’s being shackled to an inflatable naked man in a karaoke bar downing shots from phallic vessels, or a more refined day of floristry and gin cocktails from vintage tea cups.
For some Brides, they’ll be planning their own Hen because there’s no one else they feel they can ask to do it. Maybe your Maid of Honour has just had a new baby, or is living abroad and the logistics just don’t work - or maybe you’ve not got a Maid of Honour! A lot of Brides are also now choosing not to have adult Bridesmaids - and some may not have any Bridesmaids at all. If this is you - don’t feel you HAVE to take on all the planning if you don’t want to! People will be more than willing to help but if they know you’re planning it yourself, may not think to ask! You’re planning a wedding as well don’t forget, and the last thing you need is to burn out before the big day!
A quick poll on Instagram revealed that for the majority of Brides who planned their own Hen Party, they all described themselves the same way - control freaks! Whereas some people may relish the idea of turning up at a prescribed place with no idea of what’s about to unfold, for a lot of people this is their idea of hell - one respondent told us that “I wish I had as mine was planned for me, nothing given away at all about what I was doing. I had a massive panic attack, threw up over myself at work in the lead up to it and cancelled it.” Whilst planning your own may lead to more organisational stress, if it means you’re calmer overall about the whole process, the pay off has to be worth it. Grania’s sister was her MOH, but hadn’t planned a Hen Party before, so Grania took the lead; “I don’t think people minded - my sister was my MOH and she was clueless on what to do was happy that I’d taken the pressure off her. She organised a wine tasting when we were there, but it was more like a holiday with friends than a hen, which is what I wanted!”
A couple of people responded to say that whilst someone else took the brunt of the organisation on, they made sure they knew what was going on - for Leanne, it was less about control and more about making sure everyone was included - “it was more important to me to make sure what we did was accessible to everyone I wanted there in terms of cost.”
Kate responded that as well as having firm ideas about what she wanted to do (spa hotel weekend!) she “…felt bad asking other people to organise stuff for me, like who am I to sit back and expect people to do all that stuff if that makes sense? So a mix of being a bit of a control freak but also not wanting to put people out!” Meg didn’t have a MOH, but also wanted to make sure her Hen was exactly what she wanted “ all I wanted was afternoon tea at F&M. (I am also not a surprise party person so would recommend it if you fear surprise activities!)”
Of course, some Brides may want to plan with the other main person in the wedding party - their Husband to be. Sarah and her now husband had been together for almost a decade and found that their friendship groups had merged so much that the idea of separate Hen and Stag parties didn’t work for them - “We didn’t have a traditional wedding at all really, and didn’t have groups of bridesmaids and groomsmen. So it made sense for us to plan things ourselves, and hold one big pre-wedding event for all of our friends. We’ve always loved music and pub quizzes, so for our hen/stag do, we booked a pub and a quiz master and got everyone together for a quiz. Probably not what anyone would usually think of for this kind of event, but it worked for us!”
From talking to you all, it’s increasingly obvious it’s not one size fits all, and Hen Party planning is no exception. Your Hen Party should be a celebration of you, and if planning it yourself is what you want to do, break out another section in your planner, and plan away! Remember to delegate though , and consider passing over the coordination on the actual night to someone else, so you can really let your hair down, and actually enjoy the fruits of all your hard work.
As a last point - a lot of people also responded that they planned their own Hen Party because they didn’t want to risk ‘willy straws’ or ‘inflatable cocks’- if this is your main reason for wanting to plan yours, point them at us - we promise there’s not a willy straw in sight!