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  • Writer's pictureKate

Hen party planning

I've just returned from my sister Lucy's hen do at 'The Comb' in Northumberland. Lucy's bridesmaids and I planned a weekend full of surprises based around a list of things she likes.

The event

The most important thing for Lucy was that her hen do was unique. Personalised stationery and cocktail menus were one way of doing that. To create excitement before the event, each guest was sent an invitation containing an itinerary and menu - in a wax sealed printed envelope 🤩

The venue we chose was in the middle of nowhere so we had to make sure we had everything in-house. I used to be an event manager so the pressure was on! We had pig racing, video messages from Barry from Eastenders and Paul from S Club 7, my granny hosted a Clubland themed bake-off dressed like 'Scooter' and we walked alpacas before a 'Brave' themed fancy dress party, with dinner cooked by a professional chef. It was fun 😁

Bespoke cocktail menu

The cocktail menu followed the same design as the initial invitation. I renamed popular cocktails with titles that meant something to the bride and added in a couple of wee icons.

Cocktail name ideas:


Engagement location



Childhood toys

Embarrassing stories

Important dates


First kiss


Hobbies etc

As mentioned, we hosted a brave themed dinner party. Each place setting had a grass place mat, an acrylic place name and a dinner menu. The menu followed the same design as everything else, with a brave colour twist. It was a great way to elude towards Brave's lead character, Merida, in a creative way,

Hen party tips and ideas

• Make sure you're on the same page as the bride. Find out her expectations by asking lots of questions.

• Send invitations! Yes it's my job to make invitations... but who doesn't love receiving cool post?!

• Put your interests aside and think of the bride. Three hours of Steps karaoke might not be your thing but if it's the brides... buckle up! Lucy, I thought you were NEVER going to put that mic down.

• Be inventive! People appreciate effort and little handmade touches never go unnoticed. If you aren't creative check out Etsy for inspiration.

• Video messages. Contact the bride's other half, family, friends, old teachers, the local landlady, celebrities etc and ask them to record a little message or set a challenge for the bride. Extra points if you make the bride shed happy tears

• Be memorable. Try writing a list of things the bride likes and use your imagination to come up with something no-one has seen before My sister mentioned 'Clubland' and 'Bake off' in her list of hen do ideas'. We combined the two by baking cakes in the dark with lasers, a smoke machine, glow sticks, dance music and copious amounts of alcohol. My 90 year old granny hosted the event dressed as both Scooter and Mary Berry. The cakes were dreadful, but the experience - unforgettable!


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