How to throw a hen party on a budgetNovember 7, 2022
Whether you’re organising a hen do – or simply part of the dreaded WhatsApp group – you know that at some point, it’s going to involve spending a lot of money.
From travel and accommodation to those all-important activities, you’re looking at forking out at least £200.
And that doesn’t count the brides that want to celebrate on foreign shores.
When the cost-of-living is already spiraling, it’s hard to organise a weekend that the bride will love – but that her hens can actually afford to attend.
We spoke to Ellie Silk, head of events at Go Hen, who shared her advice on how to plan an unforgettable party for your friend – that won’t break the bank.
Get an idea of budget
‘First things first, it’s important to speak with the bridesmaids to get a gauge on what people can afford,’ says Ellie. ‘Make sure you have a ballpark figure to work with.’
Tell everyone what the budget is as soon as possible and then consider destinations accordingly.
Ellie says: ‘Places like Liverpool, Manchester, and even hen party favourites, such as Bath have a load of cracking budget-friendly options available to groups.
Average cost of a hen do per city:
‘In a lot of these typical hen do destinations, you do get a lot of bang for your buck, so don’t just assume that a smaller budget means you have to miss out on a load of activities.
‘Popular activities are generally the cheapest, so things like cocktail making masterclasses, bottomless brunches, and dance classes are all pretty affordable.’
And what if the bride wants to party on foreign shores?
Ellie says: ‘Marbella is a hugely popular choice, for example, but it can be on the pricey side. We’d recommend checking out cheaper alternatives like Ibiza, Albufeira or Lisbon.’
You might be tempted to stick to UK destinations – but staying on home soil doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be saving money.
Ellie says: ‘With the boom in cheap air travel, it can be more affordable to fly to a destination where accommodation, drinks, and food are cheap – compared to getting a train to a city in the UK and paying through the nose when you get there.’
Cost up your options – including those outside of the UK, and see what you can afford.
‘If you do decide to head abroad, book your flights separately,’ says Ellie. ‘Airlines have been known to slap on big commissions for groups.’
Consider a one-day event
If a full weekend is too much, you can always consider a one-day hen do.
Ellie says: ‘This is a great idea if you want to save on the accommodation costs, however, it might be better to do this in a location closer to home, as you would still need to consider day travel costs and potentially forgoing the night out if you didn’t have anywhere to stay.
“If you do decide on a one-day event, bear in mind the expectations might be quite high as there might be the added pressure of having to make up for a shortened celebration.’
How many times have you arrived home with a sash and goody bag that goes straight in the bin? Ellie says you should only buy the things that matter.
She says: ‘Don’t spend too much on all the extras like banners, sashes and the like, go for experiences instead – that’s what people remember.’
Talk to the bridesmaids – and of course, the bride – and work out what her non-negotiables are. Is she set on a bottomless brunch? Or maybe she can’t have a proper send off without a scantily clad butler. Get a list together and work out where you need to allocate your budget.
And Ellie says that if your bride doesn’t have any specific expectations when it comes to accommodation, you can save costs there too.
She says: ‘Hen party houses usually have a minimum of a two-night stay across the board, but if you’re looking to save some money by doing a one-night stay, look at mid-range or budget-hotel options.’
Go to an expert
Ellie says: ‘It’s definitely worth going with a hen party provider as you can usually secure your event with one small deposit and then spread the cost out in instalments over time, rather than paying everything upfront.
‘If you are going with a provider, see if you can get a discount on the bride’s place, too. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.’
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