How to Plan a Hen Do: The Ann Summers Guide

How to Plan a Hen Do: The Ann Summers Guide

The Big Day is getting closer and closer. But in between cake tastings and dress fittings, it's somehow up to the bridesmaids to plan the perfect send off for the bride. We feel for you, girls.

A Hen Do is totally different than a Stag Do - it's far more personal and intimate, and no doubt the bride-to-be has been dreaming about the whole wedding experience (including the Hen Do) since she was a little girl. No pressure.

Fear not, Ann Summers is on hand and we know our stuff.

Talk to the bride

Talk to the Bride - Hen Party Guide

No doubt the bride is going to be up to her ears in plans for the big day itself, but she may well want to be involved in organising her Hen Do. Planning duties traditionally falls to her girls, but the party should reflect what she wants to do.

Ask if she has any preferences on location or activities - there's no doubt she'll say yes! But you may be thinking a beach and booze-fuelled trip to Ibiza whilst she may prefer heading to a strange city to explore. She'll also have her own very specific ideas about the guest list – which can be a tricky one. But this is your girl's time to shine, so grab a pen and take note of what she wants, as her wish (plus a few surprises) is your command.

Pick a date

Pick a date

Second only to the date of the wedding itself, the date of the Hen Do is essential, so it's key to get the bride's input. But most of all you should follow one golden rule...

Do not, we repeat,
do not plan a Hen Do the night before the wedding.

If things go according to plan, the bride and her bridesmaids may not be in any state to walk down the aisle. At least a week or a fortnight before is a minimum, but between four and six weeks before gives plenty of breathing space in the money department.

Make sure that you start planning the day well in advance. This gives you time to sort the location, hotels if needed, the gift bags, and get any activities booked. It also allows guests to take the time off work and makes it less likely that there will be diary conflicts.

Planning is your new best friend

Planning is your new best friend

In order to pull off the perfect Hen Do, you're going to have to get organised. While this does include sorting the date and getting everyone to pay for the hotel (we recommended setting up a WhatsApp chat or private Facebook group), we also mean in terms of the activities!

Channel your inner Monica Geller and plan plan plan.

We'll talk more about the type of activities you can go for shortly, but right now it's time to channel your inner Monica Geller and plan plan plan. If you're going paintballing before hitting the club, the bridal party won't be pleased with 15 minutes of prep time in between.

4 ideas for a Hen Party to remember - or not

If you're looking to do things a little different, or are sticking with tradition and just need something to break up the drinking, then you're in luck. There's so much you can do, so let your creativity run wild and find something that everyone will love.

Spa break

Treat yo'self. There's nothing like some well-deserved TLC for the bride in the run-up to the big day. Get spoiled rotten with massages, facials and enough treatments to have you and the group relaxed into next year.


Channel your inner Lara Croft by having a Hen Do with a difference. Assault courses, go karting, paintballing, white water rafting... There's so much you can do that'll have you covered in mud, having a laugh and showing the lads that they don't get to have all the fun. Who run the world? Girls!

Dance class

Shake what your mama gave you. There are dozens of dance classes to choose from that you'll be spoilt for choice. Limber up and learn some sexy moves with pole dancing, be just like Baby with a Dirty Dancing lesson, or opt for belly dancing to learn something for the wedding night.


Of course, no Hen Do would be complete without alcohol. But if you don't fancy just hitting the clubs, why not indulge? A cocktail-making class is a lesson you can totally get on board with, or try wine or gin-tasting as a warm up before taking your night out on the town.

Follow our advice and you're guaranteed to give your best girl the send-off into married life that she truly deserves. Now all you have to do is survive the hangover.

What to take on a Hen Do

The Essential Stuff

For a bash that'll last from dusk till dawn, there are a few things you'll need. Having been on our fair share of Hen Dos, here are our recommendations... Plasters - because dancing all night in high heels can kill. Chewing gum - for fresh breath! Hand sanitiser - because bathrooms always run out of soap. Hair clips - no one wants hair in their face when dancing! A mirror, mini makeup, and lip balm. You're good to go!

The Fun Stuff

Start as you mean to go on by popping a miniature bottle of alcohol. Gin, whisky, or even champagne will go down a treat as a cheeky shot before you head out on the town. And don't forget to throw in a few shot glasses - you never know when you might need them! We'd also recommend adding some chocolate to nibble on between locations; perfect for much-needed surge of energy.

The Silly Stuff

A Hen Do isn't complete without having some naughty supplies up your sleeve, and here at Ann Summers we declare anything that can be penis-shaped, will be penis-shaped. From tiaras and veils and feather boas to willy straws and willy chocolates, we have absolutely everything you could ever need. You can thank us later.

The “Morning After” Stuff

If you're planning a true send off for your girl, then you might wake up the next day feeling a little worse for wear. But with some proper planning, your hangover doesn't have to be crippling. The little bags might sit separately to your party bags, but they'll certainly be well received. Ideas for what to include are: water (for obvious reasons), painkillers (for even more obvious reasons), chocolate, make up remover wipes, and sunglasses. Trust us, they'll all thank you later.

Top 10 Hen Do destinations

Magaluf Spain

Magaluf, Spain

No longer just the destination for teenage holidays, Magaluf is a clubbing hotspot. It has a non-stop partying atmosphere that'll keep you going all night long.

Amsterdam, Holland

Amsterdam, Holland

One of the most seductive and infamous cities in Europe, you can be damn sure it isn't all about bicycles and windmills. It has a wild side that makes the perfect backdrop for your send-off into married life.

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary

The “Pearl of the Danube”, Budapest is sophisticated, romantic and breathtaking. Plus it's famous for its spas - the perfect girly holiday.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

Immerse yourself in Catalonian spice. Have a day of exploring the city, and then be spoilt for choice when the sun goes down with dozens of restaurants, bars and clubs.

Las Vegas, USA

Las Vegas, United States

Fancy spreading your wings with your hens? Las Vegas - also known as ‘The City of Sin' - is the perfect Hen Do location. Sun, poolside sunbathing, cocktails, casinos... We could go on and on.

Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

Romantic, stylish, timeless. Rome provides good food, good wine, and some truly spectacular nightclubs. Sightseeing by day, partying by night.

Ibiza, Spain

Ibiza, Spain

Ain't no party like an Ibiza party ‘cause an Ibiza party really doesn't stop. Spend the day soaking up the sun on the island's famous beaches, and when night falls, head to the nearest superclub.

Paris, France

Paris, France

Welcome to the fashion capital of the world. There is so much to do in Paris that chances are you'll need more than a weekend. Chocolate tasting, personal shopping services, the Moulin Rouge, and fine dining.

Galway, Ireland

Galway, Republic of Ireland

If there's one thing the Irish know how to do, it's how to have a good time. The music, the dancing, the lock-ins that are the stuff of legends - Galway ticks all the boxes.

Bournemouth, UK

Bournemouth, England

Nothing beats a cheeky trip to the beach. Sun, sand, sea... Everything you could want. In Bournemouth you can enjoy glamping, hire exclusive beach houses and even take part in some crazy activities. Surfing, anyone?

Have fun hens, give your girl a night she'll never forget!

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