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11 Frugal Hen Party and Wedding Ideas

A. Healy
Wed 08 Apr 20 15:10

Bride and groom standing at their reception with a crowd holding sparklers

The average wedding in Ireland for 2020 will cost €28,614, with about €440 per person spent on the average hen party. When it’s our turn, we all want to throw ourselves into the whole exciting process of planning our wedding and the all important girls weekend away with your bride tribe – but that doesn’t mean it has to cost you an arm and a leg!

So, we've done the research and found the 11 easiest ways to help make your hen do or wedding a memorable experience, even when you don’t have oodles of cash to throw around.

1. Stay Local For Your Hen Do

More and more hen parties are jetting off to Europe for a girls’ weekend away these days. If this is your thing, grand, just check out our European destinations and book away! However, seeing somewhere new in Ireland or even the UK could be just as exciting and will significantly cut the hen party costs for you and your friends.

Check out our many Irish hen party destinations and UK destinations and pick an itinerary that gets your feathers flying.

2. Make Your Hen Party Customisable For All Budgets

By booking through The Foxy Hen, you and your guests can pick and choose the activities you want to take part in and skip those you don’t.

As much as you might love to shower your future mother-in-law in paintballs, our booking system gives you and her the option to maybe just take part in and pay for the cocktail making class and a fancy dinner and skip some of the more extreme activities. Likewise, your girlfriends who don’t have lots of disposable cash can customise the weekend to their own budgets.

3. Avoid Guest List Bloat

Great aunt Ida’s third cousin twice removed doesn’t really need to be there, does she?

Wedding guest lists are often the more political aspect of the big day but, trust us, this is the biggest way to cut down costs. Try to think of the people who will share the warmest smiles with you because you know and love them well and build your list around that.

4. Choose Your Own Tunes

To save some serious cash, ditch the DJ, borrow a friend’s quality home speakers and invest in some DIY music through your phone. You can ask your friends and family to donate/provide a playlist of their own for the wedding and you won’t have to spend hours searching through songs. Better yet, most music streaming services have a treasure trove of pre-prepared or publicly shared playlists you can raid.

Just make sure you ask a good friend to keep an eye on the playlists throughout the night to make sure the music stops and starts when it needs to.

5. Wedding Help Instead Of Gifts

Got a friend who is a beautiful violinist or an aunt who grows the most beautiful roses? Maybe you know a budding photographer?

Consider asking some of your friends or family to help with an aspect of the wedding instead of giving a gift. Maybe your bridesmaids could walk down the aisle holding a single one of each of those beautiful roses. Not only will they be a beautiful statement piece but they will have been contributed by someone who loves you as a gesture to make the day even more special.

6. Candid Photos On The Cheap

Place a disposable camera on each table at the reception and ask your guests to take photos of the event for you! This also means you can just book a photographer for a couple of hours for the ceremony and some posed shots straight after. Some serious money to be saved there.

Nowadays, you can ask your local photo development service to scan the negatives straight to a USB stick, so you can have your photos safely in a digital format.

7. Send Digital Invitations

These days it’s too easy to whip up a simple wedding invitation using Word or a web tool. Save money on printing and stamps and just email them or share them in a big Whatsapp group.

Even better, include a downloadable attachment of the invitation so that old fashioned types can still print them out and pin them to the fridge or corkboard.

8. Simple Stitches

There are ways to make the bridesmaids and grooms men’s outfits special without forking out hundreds (or thousands – eep!) on formal dresses and tuxedos.

For example, one of the girls here at The Foxy Hen was a bridesmaid for her sister and their bridal party just had to wear a black dress or suit that they already owned. To dress it up and show some personality, each member of the party chose one colourful accessory to stand out. The best man wore bright green Converse sneakers, another groomsmen wore yellow suspenders and no jacket. Our foxy colleague wore a big red rose in her hair and another bridesmaid wore a blue enamel bracelet.

They all saved money on buying or renting new threads and they all got to stamp their own personality on the big day.

9. Have Your Cake And Eat It Too

There are some simple ways to keep your wedding cake beautiful on a budget: Keep it to one layer - we know it’s tempting to do the full 3 tiers but you’ll pay for it, trust us. Otherwise, consider faking the second two tiers and only cutting and sharing out the real bottom one.

Have a baker in the family? If you or someone you know can make a decent (large-ish) cake, then maybe you could ask them to make yours as their wedding gift? Just make sure your venue allows outside cakes if they do their own catering.

The cents are often in the decoration - Consider buying or making a simple, undecorated cake and then place some fresh floral blooms on top for a classy burst of natural colour and beauty on the cheap.

10. DIY Decor

This item could take up a whole article (or ten) but we can suggest a few gorgeous centrepiece and room decoration ideas to get your brain cogs ticking over:

  • Place wild fowers in old jam jars for a simple, vintage centrepiece.
  • Cut circular slices off an old log to create a natural centrepiece platform to place flowers or other beautiful objects on top of.
  • Place potted plants as table centrepieces and plant them in your newlywed garden after the wedding.
  • If your wedding is outdoors, consider winding solar powered fairy lights around the trees - it’ll create a beautiful, softly lit atmosphere and it’s better for the environment.

11. Bon Voyage!

The honeymoon can cost a fortune, especially if you have your heart set on an overseas trip.

One original way around this is to set up a honeymoon registry with items you’d like for your honeymoon listed. Your guests can check it out online before or after the wedding and pay for the items they would like to buy for you. It could be something as big as paying for the hotel room or something as small as shouting a glass of prosecco on top of the Eiffel Tower.

This is a way for your guests to contribute to the specialness of your first days as a married couple and it cuts down one of the major after-costs of the wedding.


There are always ways to keep your wedding (and the hen party before it) that little bit frugal and special at the same time. We'd love to hear your frugal wedding planning ideas – just reach out to us here at The Foxy Hen team or tag us in your social media posts (@thefoxyhen on Facebook or Insta)!

Author: A. Healy

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