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stag or hen do

10 steps to planning a Stag or Hen Do

AD – Blog post shared as part of a paid collaboration with Zopa Bank.

So your best friend has just got engaged and you’ve been asked to be best man, maid of honour, or a bridesmaid – congrats! But now the hard work starts…

It’s safe to say one of the biggest jobs and responsibilities of being part of the wedding party is planning the Stag or Hen Party for the Bride or Groom-To-Be. This article outlines some of the things to consider when planning a Stag or Hen.

#ad We’re big believers in talking more openly about money so that’s why we’ve teamed up with Zopa Bank, one of the UK’s leading digital banks, who are leading the way in the #LetsTalkMoney conversation. It’s important we let you know that some of the links in this post are sponsored.

10 things to consider when planning a Stag or Hen Do: 

1. Bride or Groom Preferences and Interests

Firstly you need to consider the interests, preferences, and personalities of the Bride or Groom. This event is all about them, so what kind of vibe would suit them for their Stag or Hen? This will really test how well you think you know them, so you may want to get a helping hand and ask them for a bit of inspiration and some ideas to go off before getting stuck in with planning. 

2. Guest List

Next you need to create a guest list based on the preferences of the Bride or Groom and their close friends. Speak to your Bride or Groom and ask them who they would like to have there. Are Mums of the Bride and Groom invited? Is everyone invited also going to the wedding? Ensure that the group size is manageable and that everyone gets along well, we’ve all heard the horror stories of Stag and Hens gone wrong!

3. Budget

Next step is to determine the overall budget for the event. Consider what each participant might be willing to spend and establish a fair amount that accommodates everyone’s financial situation. You might also like to consider whether your Bride or Groom will pay for their part of the weekend. Most Brides or Grooms would want to contribute financially but, if what you’re planning is a surprise, you may want to split the cost of their stay and the activities amongst the rest of the group.

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4. Location

This is the fun part! Where will the Stag/Hen take place? Choose a suitable location based on the desired activities and the accessibility for all that plan to attend. It may be a local event or require travel to another city or country. There are specific cities both in the UK and abroad that are more popular and welcoming to Hen and Stag parties – bear these in mind when planning. 

5. Duration 

How long do you want the Hen/Stag party to be? It can range from a single day to a weekend or even longer. Consider the availability and schedules of the participants and remember it takes a lot to plan and fill even one day’s worth of time, especially with a lot of people involved, so don’t go for too long! On the other hand, this is a once in a lifetime (hopefully) for your Bride or Groom so you want to make sure it is memorable! 

6. Activities

Now it’s time to plan your activities! Try to cater to different interests and energy levels. Your Bride or Groom may enjoy outdoor activities, so you could think about planning a day of adventure sports. If they prefer a relaxed spa day, you could organize a pampering session. If they love a party, you could plan a bar crawl. Ensure there is a good balance between group activities and free time for participants to relax or explore on their own. 

7. Accommodation 

Finding somewhere for your group to stay is usually one of the bigger tasks needed when planning a Hen/Stag party. How many beds and rooms will you need? What will the sleeping arrangements be? How long will you be spending at the accommodation? These are all the questions you should be asking yourself. You may also want to make sure that the accommodation you choose is Stag/Hen party friendly. By this, we mean that the accommodation hosts  are happy with lots of people, potential noise, and alcohol being consumed (if that’s your thing). The last thing you want is to turn up at the venue in a silly outfit and be turned away. 

As well as accommodation you may need to plan transport. How will everyone get to the Hen/Stag party location? If you’re all heading from the same place to another place you may want to think about hiring a minibus. If you’re traveling abroad you will need to think about flights and transfers quite early. 

8. Communication and Invitations

Set up a communication channel to keep everyone informed and involved in the planning process, Whatsapp groups are the most popular way of doing this. Make sure you send out invitations or save-the-date messages well in advance to ensure participants can make necessary arrangements.

9. Outfits 

Most Hen/Stag parties have a specific dress code. Whether you’re doing fancy dress, or you’re all wearing a colour whilst your Bride wears white, make sure you communicate with as much notice as possible so people can plan their outfit.

10. Flexibility

This is one step you won’t often hear, but we all know that things can change in a blink of an eye (Covid-19 we’re looking at you!) so it’s important to remain flexible and think about a back-up plan in case things have to be canceled or changed. Fingers crossed you won’t ever have to worry about this, but taking note of your cancellation policies when booking is a wise thing to do.

Final thoughts

Remember that the Stag or Hen do should ultimately be a celebration that reflects the personality and wishes of the Bride or Groom. Prioritise their happiness and create an experience that they and their friends will cherish for the rest of their lives.