A hen do or bridal shower should be something memorable to celebrate your upcoming wedding however they can sometimes cost more than you expect and put extra strain on the wedding budget. I’ve been on a few that all set me back more money than I thought they would – something you don’t want your group to feel! It’s important when planning your hen do to keep the costs down as to not sour the mood or expect too much from your bridesmaids and family. Whether it’s a classy affair or down and dirty, here are a variety of ideas to host your budget hen do.
If you live close to rural area then you should look into glamping for your hen party. I am a huge fan of glamping (read about why here) and it’s perfect for gathering everyone together on a budget. Many places with less than 7 or so glamping pods will offer you exclusivity and it can work out a good price per guest.
The luxury version of a group hotel room will set your back a fair amount each (and rightly so – they’re stunning) but some hostels are considerably nicer than expect and will let you hire a dormitory for your group. Check out pics beforehand because I would wager a friendly bet they’re cleaner and nicer than you imagine!
I have always wanted to rent a boat with my besties and travel down the canals for a weekend. I recently looked into this for my budget hen do and it would work out much cheaper per person than I thought. £50 – £75 may been expensive to some but it’s cheaper than some of the hen do’s I’ve been on!
You don’t need to travel to a big city to have a fun hen do. Make a tour your local area with your group and you save the pennies on a great night out. Staying local has the benefit of keeping travel costs down too so you can budget more for quality drinks and food.
Many bars and restaurants now offer exclusive cocktail-making classes for hen do’s and group get togethers. It can be a creative way to enjoy alcohol and you can even name a drink after the bride.
Either book a professional tour of the brides hometown or have her host one of her own taking the hens through her life to this point. There will be plenty of fun stories told and you can stop at her favourite bars and restaurants from her old stomping grounds.
Afternoon tea (or high tea) can be purchased for as much as £50 – £100 per person but search on Wowcher / Groupon and you’ll find them for under £20 per person very easily. In my experience, they are just as good and you’ll likely be supporting a local cafe over a large hotel chain.
Murder Mysteries are incredibly fun, entertaining and great for hen do’s. The price normally includes a meal too. Search Groupon and Wowcher for discounted tickets beforehand and book up somewhere local to keep travel costs down.
Attending a festival – complete with traditional hen do attire – will ensure you’ll have a fun and memorable day out that doesn’t involve drinking around town. I’m personally not a fan of the ‘standard’ hen do with pub crawls and bar hopping so this idea could be a perfect way for you to celebrate your upcoming wedding.
Are you a bit more of an outdoorsy person? Need some adventure in your hen do? Places like GoApe or Conkers start from just £33 per person and offer a range of activities including archery, canoeing, zip-wires and clay pigeon shooting.
A picnic is an almost-free activity that can be as elegant and classy as you want it to be. If you have space in your garden, you can host at home and have a ‘potluck’ style picnic but if not, attending your local park can be just as classy.
It is not for everyone and that’s okay. But if you love getting rough and dirty in a field then consider taking your team paintballing. One of my friends did it with her groom-to-be complete with Groomsmen vs Bridesmaids and was one of the best hen do’s I’ve been on.
Another almost-free idea is to host a your hen do at home. Some ideas to consider are a BBQ, a dinner party or high-tea. My favourite is a potluck where everyone – besides the Bride – brings a dish and you all have a classy low-cost dinner party.
A sleepover is a hen do classic with the bonus of being able to host in the house for almost nothing. PJ’s only are to be worn and if you’re feeling childlike, blanket forts must be built. Don’t forget the cheesy movies, the popcorn and truth or dare.
I’m a big fan of escape rooms as they’re a low-cost way to socialise that doesn’t involve just getting drunk. Work together or against each other in teams and get creative.
A fun and final idea is to host a mini-festival dedicated to the bride-to-be. Pitch up tents in someone garden, bring some tunes, a camping stove, some festival food and fruity alcohol. You could even have wristbands made with the name of your festival on.
Stick to a reasonable budget, do your research on the cheapest way possible and you’ll find your imagination bursting with ideas to have a budget bridal shower. Where possible, make sure you can book as early as possible and give lots of notice to those you’ve invited.
A hen do or bridal shower doesn’t need to last a week or a weekend and doing so will drive the cost up so keep yours to a day or even and afternoon. It’s a lot friendlier on the budget to make an afternoon perfect than try to perfect a 3 day event.
Let me know via a comment if you’ve done one, or plan to do, one of these ideas for your budget hen do and follow my wedding journey here.