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Andrew Stuckey  •  May 18, 2020

Your best mate is getting married and you’ve been kindly asked to be her maid of honour. It means organising the all-important hen party, offering support with the wedding dress and being the first to hit the dance floor in the evening reception.

But whilst weddings are (usually) an occasion to be celebrated, they can be expensive for those involved in the main party – especially for the bridesmaid organising the hen do.

If you’ve got the duty to pull off a corker of a hen do but the purse strings are tight, follow these helpful ideas and cut down the cost.

Know your audience

Before committing to any hen do plans, consult your best mate about her expectations. If she wants a night drowning in Champagne at the hippest bar in town, suggest toning it down a bit to a more budget friendly location, with Prosecco or other equally as good sparkling wine instead.

Ask the other hens in the party about their budget and expectations too, they’ll appreciate that weddings can be expensive. Once you know your audience and have set their expectations, they are less likely to be disappointed with what you have in store for them.

UK or Abroad?

When organising a hen do, one of the most important decisions to make is where you go. Does your bride fancy going on a trip to a city in Europe or would she be content with a UK based party?

If going abroad is something you’re all keen on but need to budget for it, here’s a guide to planning a weekend away for less , but it’s more likely that you’ll spend less money in your local town or city.

Staying in is the new going out

Painting the town red may be the obvious choice for a hen party, but have you ever though about organising a memorable and more affordable hen do at home? Not only will it cut the cost of spending money on drinks, taxis, a new outfit and a take away at the end of the night but it will ensure you and your party have fun and actually hear each other talking!

Here are some typical hen do ideas you could organise at home:

Ready, Steady…Bake!

We’ll all miss ole’ Maz Baz and those other two lovely ladies on BBC’s Great British Bake Off (we’ll still be tuning in for you Mr.Hollywood!), but don’t panic – you can create your own GBBO themed hen party at home, and bask in the joy of cakey goodness with the hen and your friends.

If you’re a smaller group of hens, you could easily bake half a dozen cakes or so in an afternoon/evening session with one oven. If there’s a larger party, maybe not so much, but get everyone involved with a few bottles of plonk and you’ll be laughing all day and night.

Top tip. Make sure everyone chips in with the ingredients, as well as the cleaning!

Back to school with a sleepover

Growing up, who didn’t love a sleep over with a group of their best mates for one humongous gossip? Well you’re never too old in our book – organising a proper adult sleepover for a hen do will surely go down well with the whole group, and more so with the bride-to-be.

If everyone chips in to order in some pizzas, a few bottles of wine and a heart string pulling rom-com or board game, your night will be one to remember – and won’t cost you a fortune. For the more sophisticated bride, why not try a wine and cheese night? Lidl and Aldi have a fantastic selection!

B to the B to the Q

Similarly on the theme of food, organising a BBQ at home is a good money saving idea which will go down well with the crew if everyone is willing to contribute to the food, drink and decorations.

Everyone loves a proper barbie and with spring and summer just around the corner, what better time to be the bridesmaid hostest with the mostest?

Cocktail making

Girls just wanna have fun right? So what better way to create a party atmosphere which your best mate will adore than organising your own cocktail making party at home?

A bottle or two of spirits will usually suffice for a large group – the majority of cocktails contain mostly fruit juice or a fizzy drink which won’t cost the earth, especially if everybody contributes to the kitty. If you aren’t the boozy type, there are plenty of equally as delicious mocktail recipes around.

Shop around for low-cost cups, straws, cocktail umbrellas, shakers and fruit and you’ll be in for a memorable night (or not).

Whatever your best friend likes or dislikes, we hope these ideas can inspire you to spend a little less on the hen do. For more ways to save or make money, keep track of the 118 118 Money blog.