All your hen party queries ANSWERED by the EXPERTS
24 Sep 2018
Whether you're a bride or a bride's best friend, the hen party experts over at Chillisauce answer your most burning questions and share some shocking stories
With reams of experience in crafting hen parties for thousands of bride tribes across the country, the experts at Chillsauce are the go-to gurus for all your hen party needs. They've heard it all, from drunken tattoos to a goat on a speedboat (read on for more about that). Here, we pose some of your most pressing questions to get the answers you need and share the disaster stories to learn from.
What are your 5 essential tips for a new maid of honour?
1. Don’t organise your hen do for the night before the wedding, or even a few days before...the bride will be too drunk to say "I do". Last year, we booked a hen do to Marbella, which the hen loved and claimed was the best weekend of her life, however her wedding was the following day. She accidently left her husband-to-be standing alone at the altar.
2. Look after the bride to ensure she doesn’t make any mistakes. One bride-to-be got a tattoo on her bum while she was drunk on her hen night. The next day when she woke up, her mum saw the tattoo and got so angry that she ripped the bride’s wedding dress into pieces. Thankfully, after she calmed down, her mum went out to buy her a new dress.
3. Whatever happens, stay calm. A stripper once did a move where he spins on the floor and his legs would go over the hen's head, but he ended up kicking her in the face. Everyone was shocked, as you can imagine, but because the maid of honour stayed calm and took her to get checked out the hen was fine and didn’t even cry.
4. Make sure everybody knows where they need to be, at the right time. Recently, a hen group of ours were on their way to the airport, flying to Barcelona. One of the bridesmaids was in charge of booking their flights and 14 out of the 16 ladies ended up missing their flight due to a lack of communication. As funny as it sounds now, a two-person hen party doesn't scream excitement.
5. Early organisation is key. All the best apartments and activities go quickly. Often, we get maid of honours holding back to get everyone’s approval, but you’ll miss out on the preferred options and time slots... and you’ll end up settling for second best. It’s like going to the airport and the hen party being scattered all over the place on the plane, but when booking early you can all sit together in the best seats for the same price. We know what we’d prefer.
Where should you start when choosing and booking your hen do location and activities?
The first step would be to speak to the bride. You can get an understanding of what she wants and what she definitely doesn’t want. Some brides will have very specific requests, which makes planning so much easier. If she isn't set on a hen destination, try to gauge how much money she's expecting guests to pay, particularly if you're planning to go abroad or choosing a peak bank holiday weekend. Having a rough budget in mind will help you decide where you can afford to go and roughly how many activities you can include across the weekend.
What sort of budget should hens realistically look to pay for a hen party and/or specific activity?
Chillisauce’s biggest hen package this year has been a £622 per person package to Ibiza, excluding flights. This was for a five-night stay in the four-star Palmyra Hotel, the VIP treatment and club entries and drinks packages for each night. Some groups get creative and organise a daytime hen do with a couple of activities for as little as £50, which - for example - could get you a cocktail class followed by a three-course meal. Others will agree in advance and spend hundreds each. It’s important to understand the group invited. Do most of the group have children? Do they have a mortgage to pay?
In general, a weekend away in the UK with a couple of activities and a night out will be under £250 per person. A city like London has a lot to offer in terms of activities and nightlife, however you’ll be able to get much more for your money in cities like Liverpool and Brighton. Keep this in mind and work towards budget-friendly options to ensure guests can comfortably RSVP and budget for the trip.
How can hens ensure a stress-free hen party?
Don’t leave it all to the last minute - no-one benefits from that. The later you leave it, the more risk there is of disappointing the bride-to-be, and that’s the last thing you want. We recommend booking around one year in advance. It will come around a lot quicker than you think; early organisation is key.
Ensure you know what you’re booking. It’s really important to us at Chillisauce that we constantly review the activities and accommodation we sell to ensure we maintain our high quality service. We maintain a high rating on Trustpilot which you can see here.
Don’t leave yourself out of pocket. Constantly having to chase your guests may lead to you paying for them or even having to pay upfront is only going to put more stress on your hands. At Chillisauce, each person can pay for themselves online, in instalments up until six weeks before your event date, so all you need to worry about is yourself.
How can the hen party organiser ensure there is plenty to do throughout a hen party?
The best way is to logically think about the weekend from start to finish, planning out the morning, afternoon and evening for each day. That’s what we do. Here are some example itineraries for a London hen do:
You don't need a jam-packed schedule as this will become both stressful and expensive across the weekend, but careful planning and timing will mean that there's always enough going on to keep the group entertained and excited for what's to come. Spread out your chosen activities, allowing time for meals, breaks and getting ready; everyone wants enough time to relax and eat. For more inspiration, check out the range of hen party ideas you can do all over the UK and Europe.
Have you noticed an increase in demand for any activities recently?
We’ve noticed a number of people asking for specialist mobile activities as they want entertainment to come to them. In the past, people would have had very straightforward nights on the town to toast the hen but now they request everything from mixologists, life drawing classes and butlers in the buff to beauty therapists who can help them create their desired atmosphere from the comfort of their own lounge.
Finally, can you tell us the most random request you’ve had from a hen group?
We were once asked if we could organise a goat on a boat. The maid of honour wanted to take a goat on a speed boat as the bride had an obsession with them. As you can imagine, this wasn’t something we could arrange, so instead we organised the bride to be dressed up in a goat costume. She looked great, but sometimes you have to compromise.