Read up MOHs, here's how to side-step dramas and keep those hens in line...
When it comes to the cost...
1 Money-matters will cause all sorts of issues
Limit the drama by preemptively outlining your group's finances. There's no point planning a spectacular girls' getaway to the Med if the average budget is below £50. There are many reasons hens legitimately might not be able to afford certain trips, although you might start to doubt some of the more eye-brow raising excuses... (“Sorry I can't afford to come, we're redecorating the guest bathroom that month”).
It's up to you to find the balance between a financially viable hen-do, and one which will still be fun and memorable. Venues, activities and travel all demand dollar so do your research and shop around for deals.
2 Collecting money will be just as difficult
You've paid the bulk, then sent everyone your bank details for a quick transfer. Oh, if it only it were that simple. Cut to a month later and you've been chasing up the same few hens for so long, you're considering adding 'professional debt collector and baliff' to your CV.
You discover forms of payment you didn't even know existed: some hens will want to send you a cheque (old school), wire you the money (wut) or give you the cash in person. “Can you drive round to my house to pick it up?” Um, most certainly not.
3 People will drop out last minute
We all have that one person in our friendship group, let's call her Let Down Lucy, who claims to be, like, so totally excited about an event, until they pull out with a last minute emergency. Or even worse, they just don't turn up on the day.
Some of the cheekier Let-Down Lucys might ask for their deposit back when they drop out a week before. The answer is no. Don't do anything which will put you or the rest of the hens out of pocket.
When it comes to booking...
4 You'll become familiar with a map of the UK
For some MOH, this will be a simple decision. Abroad! London! Cardiff! Or somewhere local might be the practical choice. But for brides who have friends all over - BFFs from university, family from up north, cousins from down south - it can be difficult to pinpoint somewhere which is best for everyone.
A big city with good transport links like London, Birmingham or Manchester is a good choice, or why not consider hiring out a house or apartment somewhere equidistant between all of your bride's friends.
5 Hotel, motel, Holiday Inn...
The easiest way to combat hotel booking dramas is to choose a practical and relatively affordable venue close to where you're going out. Book a room for yourself, important bridal party members and the bride. Then cut out the middle man (that's you) and send everyone else the hotel details so they can book and pay for the room themselves. Sorted.
6 Everyone's diaries are full
We've all experienced the hassle of trying to organise a reunion where no one can make the same date. Give plenty of notice for the hen party; we're talking months rather than weeks. When picking a date, run it past the bride and her close family (sisters/mother) and bridesmaids to find a date you can all do. Then set the date in stone.
If a few hens can't make it as they have prior engagements, that's okay. It's almost impossible to find a date everyone is happy with, and your bride's closest friends will make the effort to be there with her.
When it comes to fussy hens...
7 It'll be hard to find something everyone will love
It's a good idea to mix up the activities so different ages and friendship groups will have something to enjoy. If they don't particularly fancy a raving night out, why not add a spa trip, afternoon tea or dinner earlier in the day?
If the hens have conflicting ideas about what constitutes a great party, just concentrate on what the bride would want. After all, the day should be centered around her.
8 Mothers (and Mother-in-Laws) will have their own ideas...
...And they won't be afraid to share them. They'll also be free with their opinions as to how good your plans are. They might insist their daughter will love willy boppers and a stripper, even though the bride's confided in you she'd be mortified coming face to face with a greased up 'hunk'.
But remember, the MOB could also be one of your greatest planning assets if you're both on the same page (no-one chases up lax hens for money like an angry mum). Who run the world? Mums.
9 Mothers may also demand to see an itinerary of the hen a month before it happens
You've been warned.
10 The bride is on a need-to-know basis
If all this sounds like stressful business, that's because it could well be. Limit problems the bride is made aware of by not complaining to her about unreasonable or uncooperative friends. She'll already be experiencing the stress of event planning tenfold organising the actual wedding!