A hen party is a celebration for a bride-to-be and her closest friends. It’s a chance for the bride to let loose and have fun before her big day. Planning the perfect hen party takes work, but the payoff is an unforgettable experience for the bride and her inner circle. This ultimate guide covers everything you need to know to throw a hen party that the bride will never forget.

When to Have the Hen Party

The first step in planning a hen party is choosing when. The timing largely depends on the bride’s schedule and preferences. Some common times for hen parties include:

  • One month before the wedding: This is a popular time for the bride to relax before the final wedding preparations ramp up. It also prevents the party from being too close to the wedding day.
  • Two weeks before the wedding: This timeline allows the party to be a final celebration before the bride becomes a wife. However, it also leaves less time to recover from a big night out.
  • The night before the wedding: Also known as a “hen night,” this option suits smaller parties. However, the bride may be too tired to enjoy herself fully.
  • The weekend before the wedding: Having the party on a Friday or Saturday night allows guests to travel and stay over if needed. But it also leaves less time for final preparations.

Discuss timing options with the bride to determine her preference based on her schedule and expectations. Many brides have their hen party 1-2 months in advance. This gives everyone enough notice to request time off and make travel arrangements while allowing the bride to relax before the wedding planning intensifies.

Choosing a Hen Party Theme

Themes add an extra element of fun to a hen party. Your chosen theme can align with the bride’s personality, hobbies, favorite color, travel destination, or other interests. Some popular hen party theme ideas include:

  • Bachelorette party: A classic theme playing up the bride-to-be status.
  • 90s party: For a nostalgic bride who came of age in the 90s.
  • Boho chic: A laidback theme for the free-spirited bride.
  • Cocktails and mocktails: A sophisticated theme with a bar cart or cocktail-making class.
  • Wine tasting: Ideal for brides who love wine.
  • Spa retreat: Pamper the bride with facials, massages, and relaxation.
  • Beach party: Bring tropical vibes with bright colors, pineapple decor, and pool floats.
  • Camping trip: For outdoor-loving brides.
  • Pub crawl: A fun theme involving bar hopping and party buses.
  • Karaoke night: Get the gang together for singing and dancing.
  • Disco fever: A 70 ‘s-inspired theme with disco balls, neon lights, and funky prints.

The bride’s close friends who are planning the hen party can pick a theme that aligns with the guest of honor’s personality and interests. Just be wary of themes that may make the bride uncomfortable, like anything too risqué.

Picking the Perfect Hen Party Activity

Along with a theme, plan activities that correspond with the bride’s interests and comfort level. Make sure to keep the itinerary manageable to allow time for eating, drinking, socializing, spa sessions, outfit changes, and anything else. Here are some fun hen party activity ideas:

  • Dance class: Learn new moves together like salsa dancing or pole dancing.
  • Cocktail-making class: Bond while shaking up drinks under a pro mixologist’s guidance.
  • Cooking class: Cook a delicious meal alongside a chef.
  • Wine tasting: Sip flights of wine and learn about the tasting process.
  • Beer tasting: Sample local brews and tour a craft brewery.
  • Pottery class: Get creative and make memorable keepsakes.
  • Spa treatments: Unwind with massages, facials, mani-pedis and more.
  • Sightseeing: Explore new places together, like museums, landmarks, or wineries.
  • Hiking or beach trip: Soak up scenic nature in a relaxed setting.
  • Pool party: Make a splash with floating unicorns and pool noodles at a hotel pool party.
  • Game night: Get competitive with trivia, karaoke, arcade, or casino games.
  • Hen party games: Play classic hen games like pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey and wedding dress toilet paper races.

Mix and match activities to design a day full of bonding and laughter without being too packed. Be bold and give everyone some chill time to socialize and relax.

Picking the Hen Party Destination

Where you have the hen party is another big choice. Consider these factors when deciding on a destination:

  • Budget: How much can attendees spend on activities, transportation, and lodging?
  • Travel: How far are guests willing to travel? Is the destination easy to reach?
  • Timing: Does the destination have weather or activities suited to the date?
  • Accommodations: Is there hen party accommodation suitable for the whole group?
  • Activities/nightlife: Does the destination offer activities, restaurants, and nightlife to entertain the group?

Popular hen party destinations include:

  • A fun major city: New York, Miami, Las Vegas, Nashville, Austin, and New Orleans offer endless nightlife, activities, restaurants, and more.
  • Beach destination: Relax oceanside in Hawaii, Mexico, Florida, California, or the Caribbean.
  • Mountain retreat: Head to mountain towns for stunning views, hiking, wineries, and a peaceful vibe.
  • Domestic road trip: Rent a party bus or camper van for a memorable road trip.
  • Overseas getaway: London, Spain, Greece, and other European destinations are trendy international picks.

The bride’s favorite places are always a safe choice too. Think about destinations she’s always raving about or has on her bucket list for a meaningful hen trip.

Send Out Hen Party Invitations

Once you’ve covered the key details, it’s time to send invitations to the hen party guests. Make sure the invitation includes:

  • Hen party date and time
  • Location
  • Planned activities
  • Attire – say if guests should dress up for a classy dinner or down for a pool party
  • Lodging details if guests will stay over
  • RSVP date

Some fun hen party invitation ideas include:

  • Paper suite with matching envelopes
  • Custom coozies or beer koozies
  • Electronic invitations with a custom graphic
  • Evites or Punchbowl online invitations
  • Photo invitations with a snapshot of the bride
  • Handwritten notes in fun cards or postcards

Give guests plenty of advance notice – at least 6-8 weeks if significant travel is involved. Be prepared to send email or text reminders as the RSVP cutoff date nears.

Plan Transport, Lodging, and Meals

After invitees RSVP, finalize the logistics for getting everyone to the destination and where they will stay.

For transportation, you have several options:

  • Renting a party bus or limo for everyone to ride together
  • Using a ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft
  • Caravanning if driving to a domestic destination
  • Booking group flights to reach an overseas spot

In terms of lodging, look for a large vacation rental, hotel suite, or block of rooms at a smaller hotel. Make sure the accommodation for a hen party has enough beds for all guests, plus amenities like a kitchen, pool, and gathering areas.

For meals: You can dine out at restaurants, order catering, or grocery shop and cook meals together at home. Mixing dining in and out provides both variety and convenience.

Plan the Hen Party Budget

A big part of planning is setting a budget and collecting money from guests. Estimate costs for things like:

  • Activities and entertainment
  • Decor, supplies, and favors
  • Food and beverages
  • Outfits or custom shirts
  • Lodging
  • Transportation and gas
  • Gratuities

Then divide by the number of guests and collect cash or Venmo payments in advance to fund the fun. Make sure the maid of honor and bride don’t bear the full brunt of costs.

Pick Out The Hen Party Outfits

A signature hen party look adds to the fun. The bride may opt for a classic “Bride To Be” sash and tiara/veil combo. Matching PJs, tank tops, t-shirts, denim jackets, robes, or swim coverups are great options for guests.

Look for pieces in the hen party theme colors or printed with fun sayings like “Bridesmaid for a Day” or the bride’s name. The bride can even design custom shirts through online shops. Consider satin robes, floral PJs, or monogrammed button-downs if going for a classier look.

For an active party, pack athleisure pieces like bike shorts, sports bras, and sweatshirts bearing the bride’s wedding date or a cute phrase. Accessorize the outfits with sashes, fun sunglasses, heels, slippers, baseball caps, and more.

Add Fun Hen Party Touches

From shot glasses to balloons, decorative touches make the event even more special.

  • Custom swag: Think custom cups,shot glasses, koozies, tanks, hats, sunglasses and other personalized pieces with the bride’s name or wedding date.
  • Party props: Get cheeky with phallic straws, necklaces, and gags. Or opt for props like capes, masks, boas, flower crowns and photo booth accessories.
  • Decorations: Liven up the house or hotel suite with streamers, balloons, banners, lanterns, string lights and signs.
  • Favors: Treat guests to candies, mini hangover kits, temporary tattoos, jewelry, mini champagne bottles, and other take-home gifts.
  • Disposable camera: Capture candid moments to gift to the bride.
  • Playlist: Set the mood with the bride’s favorite songs or throwbacks to her youth.


With attention to all these details, the bride and her inner circle are guaranteed to have an incredible time making memories together at the hen party. The bride enters marriage knowing she has a solid support system by her side during this exciting new chapter.

Planning a hen party is a big undertaking, but the payoff is an unforgettable celebration for the bride-to-be. The Foxy Hen offers fantastic ideas and planning resources if you need help pulling off the perfect Hen Do party.