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The sound of wedding bells becomes pretty deafening around this time of year, so we’re taking pity on the hapless best men and stressed-out maids of honour out there desperately trying to organise hen weekends. Check out our no-nonsense group-planning tips, which should help you avoid tiffs, tears or traumas.

Planning a Hen Weekend: Things to Do

Plan Well Ahead

Consult with the bride or groom on possible dates and style of do, and give plenty of notice to the other guests. Some people have complex work and family commitments and will have to do a lot of negotiation to get away. You’ll also need to allow for recovery time before the big day. Get names, phone numbers, email or Facebook contacts and suggest a few potential dates. Choose the one that most – and key guests – can attend.

Make the Budget Clear

Consider everyone you’ve invited, and don’t price people out of the game if the head honcho really wants them to come. If you’d rather not have the responsibility, delegate managing the finances to one of the more sensible members of your gang. They can also hold the kitty when you’re away…

Choose Your Accommodation Wisely

Hens differ wildly on what makes a rockin’ pre-wedding break.

With the bride or groom and other key players, consider your particular group and what will work best for you. Book this for everyone, rather than leaving it to individuals…and give clear deadlines for payment, well in advance.

Dress up for the occasion

Organise an Ice-Breaker

It may sound cringe worthy, but it’s likely that many of your guests won’t know each other. You could even get creative and prepare a cheeky hand-out featuring brief bios and everyone’s mobile number in case anyone goes AWOL while you’re away.

Be Prepared for the Unexpected

Make sure you have access to the internet while you’re away so you can research last-minute venues or activities if necessary. And have some strategies up your sleeve for livening up a flagging do or diffusing tense situations.

Planning a  Hen Weekend: Things Not to Do

Invite Too Many People

Ten to 15 is an ideal number to avoid splinter groups, factions and general chaos. You can arrange a cheaper, easier local night out for parents, aunts/uncles, bosses and more random guests.

Play It by Ear

Organise your main daily events and dinner destinations in advance and distribute the itinerary so everyone knows the plan. This should ensure your weekend doesn’t become an unstructured mess and will also help if people get split from the main group. Do remember to break up the heavy drinking with eating and other activities, and don’t peak too early!

Expect Everyone to Know What to Bring

If there are dress codes, activities or accessories required, make sure you let everyone know exactly what they need to pack.