The festive season is just around the corner which means summer 2019 is almost in sight (seriously where did this year go?!).
With that in mind it’s time to get your holiday head on and start planning that hen do that you’ve been putting off until after Christmas (we feel your pain!)
Whether you’re planning your own Marbella hen party or you have been asked to plan someone else’s our 14 step checklist will have you well on the way to planning the perfect trip for the bride to be!
Let’s check it out …
#1 MEET UP WITH THE GUEST OF HONOUR
It’s time for you and your fellow bridesmaids to check in with your most important guest! At this stage it’s great to have a chat about things the bride to be want’s (and definitely doesn’t want) to be a part of her hen do. Does she want to be involved in the planning or have everything as a complete surprise? Would she rather everyone stay together in a villa or will apartments or a hotel be a better option? Will everyone fly from the same airport and arrive and leave on the same day? Does she like the traditionally tacky hen props or are they to be avoided at all costs?
And the most important question – stripper or no stripper?!
All of this information will be super helpful when finalising arrangements further down the line!
#2 ESTABLISH THE GUEST LIST
Next it’s time to discuss with the bride who she would like to invite.
Be aware it is likely some of the guests won’t be able to make it.
Ask the bride to put her list of guests in a rough order of importance (starting with the guests she couldn’t have a hen do without down to people she feels she should ask but may not be as important or close to her as other guests.)
This may seem a little harsh but the inevitability is that the bigger the list the more likely there will be people that can’t all do the same date.
Which brings us onto our next step …
#3 SAVE THE DATE
Let the bride to be pick the dates.
As mentioned above it is unlikely all of the guests will be available on the same date.
This is where the brides list is super important!
Give the group 3 different date options and work out the best choice based on how many people can do each date.
Create a facebook group – within the group create a poll and ask all of the guests invited on the hen to vote for the dates they can do.
Make sure that all of the guests that are the brides main priority can make the chosen dates, if not go back to the bride to be and tweak them so all of the important guests can make it.
If there are still people that can’t attend suggest that the bride go with the most popular choice and also arrange a ‘home hen’ so no one gets left out of the celebrations.
#4 SET A BUDGET
This is one of the most important parts of planning your Marbella hen do as it is the stage at which people may drop out if the budget is too high for them.
Have a look at the average cost of flights from your chosen airport and discuss with a Marbella hen do planner your group size and the different options available to you regarding accommodation.
These 2 things will take up the biggest part of your budget and are therefore the most important things to get right.
Once you have a rough idea of the cost of accommodation and flights you can then see how much you have to play around with for decor, surprises and events and activities on your trip!
We suggest trying to stick to a budget of no more than 500 Euros to keep everyone happy.
#5 ARRANGE A MEANS OF CONTACT
You may have already done this if you followed step 3!
If not create a whatsapp or facebook group or compile a list of each of the guests emails or phone numbers so you can make sure everyone is up to date with the booking process.
At this point you can send out a message letting each guest know the chosen dates and the estimated budget along with a rough idea (with a little help from your list made in step one) of the itinerary for the Marbella Hen Do!
Specify a cut off date to RSVP and let everyone know the deposit amount you need based on your estimate of the cost of flights and accommodation.
Include in the group the account details that the deposit will need to be paid into along with the reference to use when making the payment (e.g. – GUESTS NAME – X’s HEN DO)
It is also a good idea at this stage to ask for everyone’s full name, date of birth and passport number as this information will be needed when booking your flights and possibly your accommodation.
#6 COLLECT A DEPOSIT
Let everyone know the exact amount needed for the deposit payment, also let them know the due date for this payment and give them a rough idea of when the next payments will be due.
If it makes it easier for you, you can ask each person to pay in full, however this may put some people off so only do this if you think everyone can afford it.
It is also important at this stage to make everyone aware that they will be liable to pay in full if they are unable to attend the Marbella Hen Do after paying the deposit.
This ensures that no other members of the group get lumped with extra payments if people have to drop out.
You should also be aware that most villas, apartments and hotels will ask for a 50% payment up front and flights will need to be paid in full.
With this in mind it might be a good idea to take 50% of the agreed budget from all guests to cover the accommodation deposit and the flights.
#7 SECURE YOUR ACCOMMODATION
Picking the right accommodation really depends on the size of your group.
Most of the biggest villas in Marbella can take a maximum of 20 guests per villa, however there are options to go with 2 x villas next to each other which usually works out cheaper than apartments or hotels!
Apartments work for all group sizes and can sometimes be a better option giving everyone more space and room to get ready.
It is also important when choosing your accommodation to consider your Marbella Hen Do itinerary. Do you need to be close to the beach clubs and nightlife or will you be spending most of the time relaxing in the villa?
Taxi’s can be a nightmare for bigger groups so if you are planning on being out and about day and night it is definitely worth paying that little bit extra to be closer to Puerto Banus!
Getting your accommodation booked as soon as possible is super important as the best places are usually snapped up over a year in advance for peak season dates (May – September!)
Once you have found the perfect place to stay – pay your deposit and make a note of the final payment dates and any other important information such as the amount needed to cover the security deposit and late check in / early check out charges if these are relevant to your group.
If you are struggling with finding the right accommodation for your Marbella Hen Do get in touch using the contact form at the end of this post have a chat with a member of the My Marbella Weekender Team.
#8 BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS
When booking flights it’s a good idea to check websites such as skyscanner to compare the best rates and flight times.
At this stage you need to make sure all members of the group will be flying from the same airport.
If there are guests that need to fly from an alternative location it may be an idea to ask them to book their own flights and discount this from their final hen do payment.
Ask them to try to pick a flight that lands and departs at a similar time to the rest of the group as this will make arranging transport to and from the airport much easier.
As for the rest of the group try to pick an arrival flight that lands early so you have a full day on arrival and a departure flight that leaves mid afternoon so you don’t find yourself hanging around or paying for a late check out!
The stressful part is over!
You should now have successfully booked all of the flights and accommodation for your Marbella Hen Do – Go Girl!
At this point it’s a good idea to check back in with the group and let them know flight details and also the due date for the final accommodation payment (we suggest telling everyone the due date is 2 weeks before the actual due date to save the stress of late payments!)
You can also let them know when you will be starting to look at booking events and activities for the Marbella Hen (use this as an opportunity to ask everyone what they would like to do and if they have any recommendations – that way everyone feels involved in the planning process!)
#10 FINALISE THE ITINERARY
It’s time for the fun part!
Depending on how much involvement your bride to be wants in the planning process this part can be done with or without her.
The main points to remember when finalising your itinerary are to stick to the budget, consider all members of the group, remember to leave some money spare for decor and accessories and also be sure not to overdo the planning and leave some chill time – after all it is supposed to be a holiday!
With the holiday vibes in mind we usually advise all of our Marbella Hen Do Groups to try to keep the first few hours after landing free to check in, unpack and explore your surroundings. Then, depending on how much you plan to squeeze in, take a look at all of the activities you want to do and try to split them up over your holiday dates. This is also a good time to consider transfers to and from the airport as this is something that is often left out of the budget which can cause arguments later down the line if you need to ask everyone for more money (not ideal).
With regard to the itinerary planning , if you land late afternoon or evening it might be nice to arrange some activities in your accommodation for the first night in Marbella. Some of our most popular activities are cheeky butler BBQ’s & mobile cocktail classes both of which are great options for a night in! OR if you plan on going out – why not book or mobile hair & make up team and a prearranged group transfer for your first big night out? Not to forget the incredible beach clubs, open air bars and amazing yacht trips all of which would be great additions to your Marbella Hen Do.
Once you feel happy with your itinerary send it over to the group and ask them for the payment to secure the activities chosen.
The deposit amount will vary however as an example the MMW team take a 25% booking deposit to secure the activities with the final payment due no less than 6 weeks before the arrival date.
If you have booked with a number of companies rather than just one it is likely that all of your payment due dates will be different – be sure to make a note of these and keep your group informed.
#11 FINAL PAYMENTS
Once the deposit has been paid it’s a good idea to remind your group of any outstanding payment due dates, this will include the final payment for any activities and accommodation.
If you booked your Marbella Hen Do with My Marbella Weekender these dates will be the same (6 weeks before the date of arrival). If you booked with individual companies it is a good idea to reconfirm all due dates and make a note of them in your Marbella Hen Do Group (again remember to alter the due dates to fall 2 weeks before the actual due date to avoid late payments!)
Remind the group just before pay day of the month that the final installment is due – once all of the money has been collected contact the company you booked with to pay your balance!
#12 THE LITTLE TOUCHES
At this stage everything should be paid in full and you can breathe a huge sigh of relief!
You should have saved a little bit of your budget to cover the cost of any drinking games, hen do favours, fancy dress for the bride to be and decor for the apartment, hotel or villa.
Anything you have left over you can use towards an airport drinks kitty or to put towards a meal out for the group. (It might be nice to keep this as a little surprise.)
Not got room in your hand luggage for decor?
#13 THE FINAL ITINERARY
It’s time to get excited!
Send out the final itinerary to the group including any dress codes, pre night out games, transfer pick up times and any other important information.
Be sure to send an itinerary to the bride to be with anything missing that you want to keep a secret!
#14 TAKE ME TO MARBELLA!!
The planning is finally over and it’s time for the fun to begin!!
We hope you found our Marbella Hen Do checklist useful.
Have the best time on your vacay & we will see you on the other side!
Need a bit of extra help planning your Marbella hen do?
Get in touch with a member of our team now using the contact form below …