AUTHOR: BEC OF 'FOR EVERY HEN'
Finding a balance between affordable and unforgettable: when planning a hens party, one of THE most difficult tasks is keeping in budget. In fact, it was one of the most common complaints you put forward when completing the recent For Every Hen survey. This makes things hard - especially when your bestie is AMAZING and absolutely deserves a celebration to remember!
Because finding a balance between an unforgettable party and an affordable one is quite difficult, I've put together a list of tried and tested party hacks that will help bring your costs down in some areas. Hopefully you will then have extra cash to splash on the more important things (such as that game of bubble soccer your hen has been talking about forever but never actually played!).
Please keep in mind that not every single hens night hack must be used. In fact, knowing where to save money and where to spend will be the key to creating an amazing party. So set a budget, stick to it, and only cut costs in areas that suit your particular celebration! After all, you want a beautiful yet more affordable hens; not a cheap looking/feeling one!
STAY IN BUDGET WITH THESE AWESOME PARTY HACKS:
Physical invitations can be GORGEOUS! However, they can also be expensive. Save cash by creating a secret Facebook event instead. Not only is this a great (and free!) way to get R.S.V.P.'s, but it also provides an area (out of your bride-to-be's sight!) where all attendees can suggest ideas, offer help, ask questions, etc.
Don't have a Facebook account? I was once invited to a hens party via email - in much the same way, we were able to speak with the host(s) via this platform without the bride finding out!
HOST YOUR EVENT AT HOME
Rather than hiring a venue or hitting the clubs (where drinks are at bar prices), have the party at home!
There's SO many mobile entertainment options these days that you won't be missing out on any of that fun, you won't need to organise transport to/from venues (saving $$$), and you can serve your own food/alcohol (see next few points for cost-cutting measures when it comes to food and drink).
For some great hens night at home ideas, click here!
YOU DON'T NEED TOO MANY DECORATIONS
Unless you're staying at your venue for the entire party and/or your theme requires a lot of detail; don't worry about too many decorations. For instance, a few balloons strategically hung, pot plants placed around the area, or even some beautiful flowers is all you need to bring the colour palette to your room!
USE A MUSIC APP
Create a killer playlist on apps such as Spotify. With a large variety of music, free plans and the ability to play it via a number of devices (phone, computer, etc.), you can't go wrong!
If you enjoy a bit of craft then this one's for you! There's so many ways in which your hobby can help with the overall party, such as:
There's so many ways you can get crafty and save money - so keep an eye out for things you can DIY whilst in the planning phase!
Unless you enjoy a bit of craft (or have a friend who loves getting crafty who is keen to help out); it's probably best to put the money towards a professional or skipping such tasks altogether. Otherwise, you'll just be adding extra stresses to your plate (and nobody's got time for that!).
STEER CLEAR OF HELIUM
Before spending your money on either a party shop inflating your balloons or hiring a cannister to do it yourself; think about the other balloon décor options available that look just as good!
There's bunching, balloon bunting, balloon garlands, hanging balloons upside down, placing mini balloons on stems (and then displaying in vases), etc.
Place all balloons in the bin after use!
GAMES DON'T HAVE TO BREAK THE BUDGET
Rather than spending up big on games (which can get quite expensive!), stick to those that can be played with little to no props. To get you started, check out the 'Games' section by clicking here or take a look at the 'Ultimate List of Hen Party & Bridal Shower Games' by clicking here.
BORROW RATHER THAN BUY
After tables? Chairs? Costumes? Before you consider buying or hiring such items, ask around! You'll be amazed what people have that's perfect (or can be altered slightly - e.g. table cloth over table) for your event! Just make sure you look after the item/s and clean them before they're returned.
HIRE (OR BUY 2ND HAND)
If you've asked around for items and friends/family don't have what you need, consider hitting up ops shops or hiring from a local business.
Full of beautiful, charming and unique treasures, op shops and antique stores in your area are sure to have something perfect for your event (think anything from large mirrors to hilarious photo props!).
Alternatively, there are so many beautiful products that can be hired. Tables and chairs, lolly bar accessories, stunning food carts and more can often be found with a quick internet search.
Each and every guest attending the hens party is there for a good reason; and that is because your bride-to-be considers them a close friend (or even family!). And because of this relationship, guests are often happy to chip in to ensure their beautiful friend has the time of her life (especially if the asking amount is reasonable).
BUDGET FOOD HACKS
USE YOUR OWN CUPS, PLATES & CUTLERY
Why purchase when it's ALL in your kitchen at home?! Unless you're worried about breakage or don't have enough to cater for all of your guests', grabbing the champagne glasses, cups, plates and cutlery from your cupboards is one of the easiest ways to save money.
If you'd rather not use items from your own cupboards, keep an eye out at op shops. You can easily put together a stash of cups, plates, cutlery, etc. that can be set aside just for events .This way if something does happen to break it's not as big of an issue AND you're reducing/reusing! Purchasing an additional dinner set is another option (ready to be used again and again... and again at all kinds of celebrations).
CATER THE EVENT YOURSELF
If you believe that a fancy feast won't be necessary for your particular party style, then catering the hens night yourself could be a great cost cutting measure. Think easy finger foods such as sandwiches, mini quiches, mini sausage rolls, fruit platters, fruit skewers, mini muffins, cupcakes, chocolates, etc.
Alternatively, a trend around our area at the moment involves asking guests to bring a plate of food each. These are then placed over a few tables where everyone can help themselves during the party.
*I wouldn't recommend asking guests' to bring a plate of food as well as a bottle of spirits (as mentioned above). Select one or the other (or neither!) depending on the style of party you are throwing and go from there. As noted at the start of this post, knowing where to spend and where to save is important!
SERVE ONLY WHAT YOU NEED TO
Offering a variety of food at your event is a great way to ensure that everyone's taste buds are satisfied and stomachs are full. However, it's important not to go overboard as serving too many different types of foods will become quite expensive.
To avoid spending up big, we suggest making a list of options you know guests will enjoy. If you have party-goers with special dietary requirements, ensure your list covers choices for them as well.
Now that you know what you need, it's time to shop.
The beauty of having a set ingredient list/menu is the savings. For example, in the lead up to your event, keep an eye on sales as you may be able to grab items at a cheaper price (this works especially well for anything that can be stored in the cupboard). You may also be able to purchase particular foods in bulk.
GO FOR COST-EFFECTIVE FOOD ITEMS
What food will give you the most bang for your buck?!
Fried rice, pasta and noodles are great for feeding larger groups when you're on a budget. Likewise, food bars centred around a fairy cheap main ingredient (such as baked potatoes or tacos) are another cost-effective way to feed the hoards.
For a more relaxed celebration, BBQs provide variety whilst being fairy cheap to run. And for those after a fancier soiree, mix up your basic spread by adding a few gourmet options.
MAKE EVERYDAY FOODS LOOK FANCY
Think about your display. After all, a little creativity goes a long way!
For example, rather than a few cheese and crackers thrown on a plate, create a jarcuterie (in other words, individual charcuterie jars - click here for instructions). These not only make for wonderful appetizers, but also look amazing. And if you source your jars from family, friends and op shops, it won't cost a bucket either!
Fruit kebobs with chocolate dipping sauce, perfectly styled bruschetta, wraps sliced into delicious looking rounds and gorgeous grazing platters are also wonderful ways to bring some excitement to your food table (without spending a fortune).
BUDGET DRINK HACKS
MAKE IT B.Y.O.
For those of you who would like to offer a wide variety of alcoholic beverages (or even cocktails), this could be the way to go! Ask each guest to bring along one bottle of spirits (working together to make sure you don't all bring the same thing). On the big day, set up a bar area where guests' can place their bottles and, throughout the party, grab a drink!
*Remember to provide mixers such as cola, lemonade, orange juice, etc. so that guests can whip up some cocktails/mixed drinks during the party.
PICK A DRINK & STICK TO IT
Select one or two of your bride-to-be's favourite alcoholic drinks and serve only those. For example, select one brand of champagne and one brand of wine; then buy those particular bottles in bulk!
ARTICLES RELATED TO PARTY HACKS:
If you enjoyed these money saving hens party hacks, you may also enjoy the following low-waste party hacks. From invitations to decorations, these ideas in this article will have you hosting an event to remember... minus the waste! Click here to view the article now.
After some thoughtful and memorable ways to personalise your best friend's celebration? You will simply adore these beautiful ideas! Click here to view them now.
TELL US YOUR FAVOURITE PARTY HACK!
As noted at the beginning of this post, remember not to overdo it with your cost cutting measures. Rather, pick one, two or a few hens party hacks that will tie in nicely with your party; making it a more affordable affair (not a cheap one!). The money you save can then be put towards other aspects of the celebration (such as entertainment), buying your hen a beautiful gift/keepsake, or as a means of cutting overall costs for guests (i.e. instead of charging $120 per head you can drop the cost to $100).
Every little bit of cash saved counts!
If you have any of your own hacks I'd love to hear them in the comments section below or via our socials. And if you're after some more great ideas, I recommend clicking here!
Cheers to an AMAZING hens party that doesn't break the bank too much!
Much love, keep smiling - Bec x
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