With all that’s going on with your wedding planning, it’s easy to forget to take time for yourself. That’s why your hen night is so important. It’s an opportunity to take time out, spend time with the girls and let your hair down a bit before entering married life.

Fortunately, you don’t have to plan your own hen night. That’s the job of your maid of honour and bridesmaids. You have quite enough going on as it is. If you want to keep an eye on the planning, or you are in fact the maid of honour, read on.

Here is our essential hen night checklist.

3-4 months before the wedding

Now is a good time to begin collecting hen night ideas from the bride-to-be and your close friends. Ask the bride-to-be what she wants and what she doesn’t. Find out if there are any absolute no-nos from the groom too.

Have a conversation about how racy you want to be. Talk about comfort levels, whether she is happy to travel or wants to stay closer to home. Ask about whether she wants to really let loose or just get away and spend quality time with the girls. Also discuss who she is happy to invite. You get the idea.

Once you have a list of invitees, ask them when would be good for them and suggest activities according to what you discussed with the bride-to-be. Remember to set the date a short time in advance of the wedding day itself. A bride with a hangover is not a good look!

Bear in mind how much the hen night is likely to cost and be sensitive towards those who simply cannot afford it. Discuss this with the bride-to-be in advance. Most will want a lower key hen night with all her friends rather than an ostentatious one with only a few of them. Make sure you know which side of the fence she is on.

Set the date as soon as you’re organised. Then send out invitations and itineraries.

2-3 months before the wedding

By now, you should know where you’re going, who’s coming and when. You should also have a good idea of what kind of activities will go down well with the bride-to-be. If you have known her long, you will also know which practical jokes will go down well too.

Get together with the other girls and decide what games, pranks and other activities you want to arrange for the hen night and get them organised. Then delegate tasks for each person coming.

If you need to make travel arrangements or get tickets for the hen night, now would be a good time. If you want to arrange a limo, do that too.

1 month before the wedding

Now would be a good time to check with everyone that they are prepared and set for the hen night. If you’re travelling, make sure everyone has a passport, travel money credit card and so on.

If you’re staying close to home, make sure everyone has everything they need. If you’re staying at home, help with preparations, menu, drinks ordering, entertainment booking and anything else that needs to happen before the big night.

1 week before the hen night

Now it’s time to buy anything you’re likely to need on the hen night itself. Any costumes, accessories, hats, hen night t-shirts and so on. If you’re planning for naughty props, order those too.

If you’re having the hen night at someone’s house, make all the arrangements, buy the food, the drink and make sure everything is in place for the night itself. Most importantly, make double sure you’re going to have the place to yourself for the entire night!

Make sure everyone knows that to bring and when to get there. Make a list of the games and pranks you’re playing and ensure you have everything to make them happen.

Finally, confirm everything with everyone!

Planning a hen night can be as simple as getting the girls together round someone’s house with some food or as complicated as arranging passage for a dozen somewhere exotic. However complicated it’s going to be, the principle is the same. Plan, delegate and double check. It’s the only way to go!