Time to ditch those L-Plates: here's 8 top tips to planning the perfect hen party
No one wants a bridesmaid-zilla taking control of the all-important hen weekend. Here's how to ensure the big bash is memorable for all the right reasons.
Siobhan Scanlon (below), sister of tv presenter and stylist Angela, is the woman behind hip new online venture The Peacock Bride.
The Peacock Bride is a webstore chock full of quirky bits and bobs sure to get any hen party of to a flying start.
Scanlon created the site to "ensure every bride-to-be is catapulted into marital bliss with a whoop ass party and an unforgettable ensemble to boot."
From strippers to naughty props - the traditional hen party is often a cliché affair, but Siobhan is on a mission to change things.
Here she shares her top tips on planning the perfect fun occasion that no blushing bride will forget.
Who let the hens out?
"Naturally the bridesmaids should plan the hen party," Siobhan says. "But depending on how many bridesmaids on duty this can turn ugly."
"I think it’s important for one person to take the reigns because otherwise it can be take time to get anything done. Nobody likes a dictator so I’d suggest keeping a sane mind and considering the hens are indeed adults! If all the bridesmaids want to get involved it’s always good to assign tasks (as militant as that sounds), that way you don’t end up arguing about the colour of the brides tiara for the sake of it."
What to consider?
"The three most important things for the party planner to consider are location, group size and audience," advises Siobhan.
"It’s preferable to get somewhere that’s convenient to most if possible. Somewhere that has good transport links and won’t take a day to get it."
"The group size determines the type of party you can have," she states. "Trying to co-ordinate 30 people to go to Marbs for a weekend would not only be a nightmare but could end in death."
"Always consider whether the brood is more inclined towards laughter yoga at dawn or clubbing at dusk? If it’s the former then a festival hen probably isn’t the way to go," Siobhan laughs. "Be mindful of what people want within reason, there’s no point doing things 100 per cent the brides way if people begrudgingly go with it. After all it’s the group that makes the weekend."
What are the common pitfalls?
"I think being too rigid about plans is a bit of a killer," Siobhan offers. "It’s good to have a plan, necessary in fact, but it’s important to allow for a bit of flexibility."
"Sure it’s a party for the bride but at the end of the day people are paying good money and making the effort to be there so they should have a certain amount of say."
"Don't let power go to one person's head - I’ve seen it a couple of times where the bridesmaid(zilla) had gone off the wall throwing her newfound power around. You’re dealing with a bunch of adults so treat them that way!"
Don't let guests be stuck with hidden costs, insists Siobhan.
"People need to know what they’re getting into and what the total costs are. Being hit with an unexpected €100 while away is not cool and leaves a bad taste in people's mouths. Countless times I’ve heard hens wonder ‘What exactly did we pay for?’ because the price didn’t match the weekend. Being transparent gets everyone on board and set the tone for a kick ass weekend."
Make it memorable
Siobhan's rule: make is silly!
"I honestly think that silliness is the best way to make a party memorable," she admits. "Whether that be fancy dress, inflatable props or hen party games."
"At a friends hen party recently we played a game - everyone who knew the bride had to think of a funny experience they had with the bride, write a couple of key words about it and the bride had to guess the story and tell it to the group. It was hilarious - so revealing and really got the group going!"
"A piñata is another great way to get the night into full swing. There is nothing quite like seeing a grown woman beat the living daylights out of a piñata. It’s pee inducing laughter right there, the kind of stuff you can’t write."
Strippers - yay or nay?
"Personally, it’s a nay for me but each to their own," the party-planning pro states. "If the bride is for it then I think it’s cool but there’s nothing worse than seeing a stripper dance on a reluctant bride as the bridesmaids awkwardly wish the remaining minutes away."
Siobhan's ideal hen?
"My ideal hen would be pretty low key with a night on the tiles throw in," admits Siobhan.
"I’d go down the self-serve route and get my closest friends together. Grab take away and vino for the first night and chill and chat and get the group mixing, after all it’s rare you have all your favourite people together so it’s a great opportunity for cross group bonding!"
"I quite fancy the idea of nude life drawing although I’m not sure my mother would approve and the following night it would be heels on and hit the tiles. I like to string out celebrations so would definitely make a weekend of it followed by some sub groups parties like a work hen, a family hen, a school friends hen, a college friends hen, a cousins hen and so on. I’m not one to miss an opportunity for celebration."
Emerging hen party trends
"More and more people are going down the self-serve route which I think is great. Rent a house, go glamping and get the gang together. It’s cheaper, more intimate and you have control over the time you wish to eat breakfast which is especially important after a night of dancing!"
"In terms of accessories I think people are going away from the sash / garter trend and looking for stylish alternatives," Siobhan says. "Hens are choosing understated more and more with 1920’s and florals remaining really popular. Thanks to social media photo-props have also gained huge popularity. Whether we like to admit it or not everyone wants some fun pictures with the brood and nothing says fun like pineapple shades and a glitter wig!"
Follow @peacockbride on Instagram.