The wedding day may be the big event, but the build-up to the special occasion has become just as important with both brides eager to have a grand send-off into married life.
A recent study estimates that a staggering £1.25 billion will be spent on hen parties in the UK this year alone, costing each attendee an average of £471.
The average party typically includes 12 hens, with around £180 spent on activities and accommodation, and a further £291 on extras including travel, clothes, food and alcohol.
But if you’re keen to save the pennies, these money-saving tips will help to keep the purse strings intact while still throwing a memorable bash.
1. Set a budget and stick to it
Prevent costs spiralling out of control by deciding early on exactly how much you are willing to spend – and stick to it.
Plan early so you know who is going to be attending and make sure your guests are happy with the costs, or you may find people will drop out later on if the prices keep climbing.
2. Limit the guestlist
It’s easy to get carried away when party planning, but be mindful of keeping your guest list to single figures.
Restrict it to those who are closest too you – too many and it can become a bit hectic and limit the quality time you’ll get to spend with each person.
3. Book in advance
Planning may take time and effort, but the earlier you book venues, accommodation or travel the cheaper the deal will be so you’ll be glad of getting ahead.
This will also allow you to spread the costs over several months, meaning you can avoid paying out one lump sum.
4. Stay home
A night in might not sound like the most raucous send-off into married life, but the fun of a sleepover shouldn’t be knocked.
Order in some food, pop a few bottles of bubbly and spend the night playing games, dancing, pampering and watching films – a nod to how you probably bonded with your closest friends when you were younger.
5. Keep it local
If you are planning on a hen do away from home, cut costs by keeping it local and heading to a destination nearby.
Hiring cottages or lodges can make for a cheap getaway as your whole party can share the accommodation, saving you the costs of booking separate rooms, and if you choose a spot with plenty of things to do nearby, it can make for a great night away.
6. Travel off-peak
If you have your heart set on heading abroad, keep costs down by booking flights early and opting for off-peak options if you can, and make sure you factor in the prices of accommodation and eating out once you arrive.
Lisbon, Prague, Dubrovnik and Budapest are all popular destinations for a cheap European city break.
7. Limit it to one great night
Save yourself added expense by restricting your celebrations to one big night, rather than spreading it out over a whole weekend.
It will save you money on both accommodation and food and drink, and you can always plan some fun activities to do before and after during the day.
8. Focus on the activities
If a night away isn’t your thing, you could opt for a day out instead and organise some fun activities, such as paint-balling, quad biking or an outdoor adventure, which is sure to provide you with plenty of memorable moments.
9. Join forces
Why not do away with tradition and throw an increasingly popular ‘sten’ do instead, which combines both a hen and stag celebration into one big mixed-group party, saving you the time, costs and hassle of planning two separate events?