Celebrations & Events

How to Plan the Perfect Destination Hen Party

A wedding is one of the biggest moments in anyone’s life. This (hopefully!) once-in-a-lifetime opportunity comes with tons of planning and organising and can be quite a stressful time for the bride and groom. They have to sort out everything for their special day, including caterers, the guest list, location, outfits, budget and so much more, which can be pretty overwhelming. 

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There is usually just one part of the wedding that they don’t have to organise themselves, a day or weekend which is just for them; the hen party or stag do (bachelorette or bachelor party if you are American!).

A hen party focuses solely on celebrating the bride and the end of her single life. A hen do can range from an intimate dinner with close friends to a weekend away with non-stop partying! Nowadays, more and more brides choose to go away with their friends for a couple of nights or more which will obviously take more planning than just an evening out.

A hen do is most often planned by the bride’s maid of honour along with the group of bridesmaids. You can include other people in the planning but just remember that it is about the bride, so keep the theme and location according to what the bride would enjoy.

Here are some things that you will need to think about and plan for the perfect destination hen do.

Determine your guest list

The first and most important thing to do is to figure out the people who will be joining the bride on this special day. A destination hen party is a perfect excuse for the bride to get to spend intimate time with some of her closest friends and family members. As the planner, you need to decide who will be a part of this.

Make sure that you ask the bride who the core members of this trip would be. Understand that she may prefer a huge gathering or just a few close people. You can always choose to have a night out with a bigger group at a separate time. The guest list is the first thing to finalise as it will determine where you stay, the activities, theme and costs.

Pick the perfect location

If you have known the bride for a while, you will definitely know what place she wants to visit the most or somewhere you know she loves.

There are many factors that can influence your location selection; think about the climate of the area, the vibe that it gives out, the activities that you can do there, how far you want to travel and whether you want a city break with great food and drink in somewhere fun such as Dublin, a few days of partying in sunny Ibiza, or a countryside break in Yorkshire.

You could plan a beachside vacation, with activities such as a pool party, renting out a yacht for the entire day, some light trekking activities – is your main aim to party or to relax? Do you want a secluded area or an area where you can see the hustle and bustle of the city? 

All these questions and considerations will really help you in narrowing down your options for the final place. Once you have narrowed it down, you can then check flights, accommodation types and the available dates in order to ensure that everyone that the bride would like to have there will be able to make it.

Select your dates

Once you have finalized your location, it is now time to figure out the dates. If you plan a longer break, make sure that you don’t plan in too many activities so that you don’t end up rushed and have no time in between to relax.

Take tentative dates from the bride and then discuss them with the guestlist or at least the core members to figure out if the dates work for everyone. It is important to finalise this before you proceed with your plans. 

Find the perfect accommodation

Nowadays you have so many more types to choose from than in the past when you would have usually had to stay in a hotel. If you are a larger group then renting out a big house is a great idea as you can find somewhere beautiful to stay that might be out of the city, but close enough for you to go out clubbing at night.

If you do want to be right in the city then you can look into apartments or house rentals in the city but it could also work out cheaper to share rooms in a Travelodge or Premier Inn.

Figure out the meals

If you are a large group, it is very important to figure out at least the main meals and make some reservations ahead of time, especially for larger groups. If you are renting a big house then one night you might choose to stay in with pizzas and wine and plan one big evening out. Or you could choose to look into hiring caterers to come to your rented accommodation. 

To make it extra special and enjoy your time as a group, you could think about booking a private dining area – have a look at Square Meal IE to find great places for group dining – that way you can have your own space to play party games, make speeches and have fun together.

Plan activities

Now you need to start planning in activities and booking them. Ask the bride if she wants a day to relax, for which you could even book a mobile day spa for the entire group. The location you have chosen will determine the type of activities you choose, such as country walks, hen party games, clubbing, swimming, massages, and more. Don’t forget to space these out nicely.

Get RSVP responses 

Once you have invited everyone you need to make sure that everyone has confirmed or not so that you know exact numbers to plan and account for. Ask everyone to RSVP as soon as possible and set a deadline for replies. The budget, location, and plans should be loosely made ahead of time so that invitees can figure out if it is doable for them or not.


Planning a destination hen party is not as hard as planning a wedding, but it is still quite challenging. Understand the wishes of the bride in order to throw the perfect destination hen do that will be cherished by everyone who attends.

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