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Hen Ideas

I’m an expert at planning hen dos – but now I’ve got to plan my own

Red7 , September 16, 2014

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By Sophia Mainwaring

Red 7 reservations agent

 The diet starts now!

My time had finally arrived. It was my turn to say yes – and it was the easiest yes of my life.

Then panic sets in – how will I find time to arrange the wedding? How do I get time to arrange the hen weekend? How do I find time to contact each and everyone of the 22 girls I was inviting on my hen weekend,then  find out what each and everyone of the girls wanted to do, where they wanted to go and what dates worked best for them?

But I had a head start. I spend all day, talking to hens, talking about the dress, the venues, the bridesmaids. So now it was me, I was the hen: what was my dress going to look like, where would I get married, who was going to be my bridesmaid? So much to consider, so exciting, but so much to do!

Before any of that could be decided, there was one thing I knew exactly how to arrange – my Red 7 hen weekend! How to book it? Easy. How to pay for it? Easy. Who to invite? Easy.

Where to go? Not so easy!

There are so many affordable destinations and I knew every one of them offered activities that would be great fun and would provide so much laughing material as we re told our memories at the wedding  (oh my goodness!  Eeeek!  Thats my wedding!)

With ten sisters to please, mixed age ranges, drinkers, non-drinkers,and friends attending that had rarely met, I struggled to decide what activities and what destination. The majority of my friends all have young children or mortgages or holidays already planned, so I knew i had to give them as much notice as possible , so they could not only be available but also afford it.

It is impossible to please everyone. But what do most people forget with hen weekends?

It’s about the bride! What does the bride want? Surely, if its what the bride wants, everyone who matters will be there…

So, I didn’t even ask my bridesmaids! Or my maid of honour! Or one of my ten sisters!

After all, I do this for a living, I plan hundreds and thousands of hen and stag weekends, I make the bookings, I take care of the booking right up until the day my hens and stags travel so why wouldn’t I plan my own?

So that’s what I did. I booked the apartments that I wanted;  I booked the all day cruise along the Algarve – that I wanted;  the VIP booth in the club with all the spirits – that I wanted; and to round my weekend off, I booked the restaurant on the ocean front  – that I wanted!

Something that should have taken me a good couple of months to put together, took me less than 30 minutes .It was effortless.

Within another 30 minutes, all of my girls had received the invite detailing the whole plan.  It was right in front of them, in detail, what they were paying for and I didn’t choose how they would pay to come.  I don’t know their financial situations so how could I make that choice for them?  They all got to choose options one, two or three  – and that was it.

No stress. No hours spent on the phone checking details with all my hens, My hen weekend was booked, and within the two-week period All of the girls were given to confirm their places which had been taken off sale for them? All confirmed in the first seven days!

My biggest tip to fellow brides, maids of honour and chief bridesmaids?

Don’t over complicate it . What does your bride want? Once you know that – book it before someone else does!

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