I'm super excited about this year; for her wedding, the hen and of course my skiing holiday - 2015 is set to be pretty jam packed. I've spent a lot of time with her recently, assisting with decision making and generally being a good maid of honour. I've been ribbon shopping, spending hours on on Pinterest wedding boards and therefore looking at wedding venues in Cheshire, like this one. I don't think I realised how much planning goes into a wedding before the big day until now.
Having all of this information churning in my head constantly at the moment I thought it could be beneficial to talk about the journey and the planning of a hen weekend, the do's, the don'ts and any tips I've learnt along the way along with some of the cool things we've got going on.
Starting with how I began the process and things you need or need to know straight off the bat.
1. list of potential guests
You need an invite list anyway.. that's a given but the list will also give you an idea of numbers which will make it easier to get costings.
2. number of guests
You may have a list but there are always people who drop of of these things. We had 3 very different ideas for the hen and knew that not everyone would like certain things so I colour coded the list according to the people we thought would go to each type of event, i.e. purple for themeparks, green for a concert, blue for adrenalin. This was really helpful with making the decision as well as getting a better idea of the number of attendees.
3. a location
You need to decide where you want to go and then you can start sorting the estimates of costs, travel time etc in order to make the most out of the weekend. Remember that you cannot and will not please everyone, the main point is to please the bride whilst encouraging as many attendees as possible.
4. a date
Now that you have the location it's much easier to nail down a date. Availability may be an issue for the event type as well as guests so check a date or two with the most important attendees before confirming it.
The part I've spent a significant amount of time on is research in order to get the best possible prices, deals, things to do and places to stay. I've created a spreadsheet and populated prices for different forms of travel, different hotels to stay in, things to do, places to eat near by, extra travel costs, fun extras and so on. Having all of this information in one place but broken down by category makes it easy to digest and make an informed decision on the easiest, cheapest and best option available.
For the initial contact and invitation I have created a Facebook group, with 30 guests I thought it would be the best way to manage the invites, discussions and rsvp's. I've introduced the hen weekend plan followed by options for travel open to discussion depending on preferences and dates of when I need money for certain things. This way everyone is in the same boat with the same information and can discuss the weekend as well as any car sharing etc.
7. the bride
Don't forget to invite the bride! Make it personal, different to the hen's invites and don't give too much away. :)
That's pretty much where I'm up to.. except the bride will receive her invite on Friday. :D