Whether itâs you or a bride you know whose wedding (and UK hen do) has been postponed, we know that the Coronavirus pandemic has probably caused unprecedented stress and disappointment.
Here at The Foxy Hen, weâre working hard to help brides-to-be to find ways to celebrate their original hen do date (even if it’s just marking the occasion).
This article will be regularly updated to reflect the latest government guidelines, advice from our experts about what’s possible and trends we’re seeing in the hen do groups who are planning something for 2021-2022.
Current COVID-19 timelines
Note: The timelines outlined below may differ slightly in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Now until the 18th July
- More than 30 guests are allowed at weddings but you must have only 6 guests per table and social distancing still applies
- Up to 30 people can gather in parks and gardens (even if from different households)
- Up to 6 people or 2 households may gather indoors
- Restaurants and pubs can serve groups of up to 6 people (or 2 households) inside
- International travel is permitted to green listed countries and travel is not advised to amber or red listed countries.
Note: A review will be held by the 28th June to decide if this timeline will be brought forward or pushed back.
- All rules around social contact and gatherings should be lifted
- Nightclubs could be allowed to reopen
What this means for your Hen Party
How the government’s COVID-19 recovery timeline will affect your UK hen do plans obviously depends on what you were thinking of doing with your group.
For example, if you are planning a hen party for before the 19th July, then you could:
- plan a hen party picnic in the park with up to 30 girls
- book a small 6 lady hen party weekend in a holiday rental (search our UK destination)
- or host a small 6 person hen do afternoon tea in someone’s home (
And from July 19th, your options obviously should open up a whole lot more.
So, whether you’ve had to move your hen do date or your original date is coming up, there are options there to help make it happen.
To help you assess how possible your UK hen do plans might be, weâve put together a guide with the questions you should ask and precautions you should take in your planning and travel.
1. Decide whether you want a virtual Hen Party or in-person event
Some very creative Maids Of Honour and Bridesmaids have spoiled their brides-to-be with virtual hen parties if their original date fell within the pandemic. And we are completely on board with this idea!
An online hen do can be a really creative way to still mark your group’s original date and to make the bride feel special during an incredibly stressful time. If you’re thinking of going down this route, then check out our Virtual Hen Party Planning Guide for ideas, activities and logistics.
However, if you’re still keen to plan and host an in-person hen party, then read on.
2. Choose your Hen Do dates
Your hen party dates obviously depend on the final date of the bride-to-beâs wedding. And we know for a lot of you, this may be very much up in the air still!
Once the date for the big day has been decided, then we would definitely recommend booking your UK hen do as soon as you can. With so many weddings postponed, itâs going to be a bumper season and weâre already finding that availability is filling up.
If you do book your hen party with us, we’ll do everything we can to give you the flexibility to push your hen weekend dates back if needed. We know things change quickly at the moment and we’re here to support you and help keep stress levels down.
Read through our common COVID-19 FAQs to find out how to book, what to consider and what areas we’re giving you as much flexibility as possible.
3. Choose your Hen Party destination
Choosing your hen do location is one of the most exciting parts of planning a girlsâ weekend away. Do you travel abroad to catch some sun or stay closer to home for a classic UK hen do? Well, with Coronavirus still affecting flights and international travel probably remaining difficult into 2022, this might be a bit more difficult.
If you’ve chosen to travel overseas, we would just remind you to get travel insurance â just in case. You can see all of our European and Irish hen do destinations to see what might be possible for a girls weekend away abroad.
However, staying within the UK for your hen weekend has definitely become a much more attractive and practical option, because:
- you’ll know exactly what the UK government guidelines are
- you’ll spend less on travel costs
- there’s no danger of getting stuck overseas
- the ladies in your group are more likely to RSVP ‘yes’ if they feel safer by staying closer to home.
You can see all of our UK hen do destinations to find your best local option.
Before you choose your hen party destination within England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, please do check the governmentâs current COVID-19 restrictions and advice to make sure it’s safe.
If the girls in your hen group have access to cars and can travel safely, then driving to your hen destination might be your best bet. Just make sure to check the governmentâs advice on what counts as necessary and safe travel.
To keep the journey cheaper and to not have to worry about how much you drink at the prosecco brunch on the final morning, travelling to and from your hen party location by train might be the best option for you.
As youâll be journeying in a public vehicle with potentially lots of other people, itâs super important to check the UK governmentâs guidance on how to use trains safely. Additionally, we recommend checking (and re-checking) your trip timetable to make sure it is still going ahead:
If you check the train prices and they’re still super expensive, then travelling to your hen party destination by bus might be the best budget option.
During the pandemic, bus services were affected at different points. However, when this article was last updated, most inter-city services have returned to normal.
To check routes, times and safety measures, check out:
4. Choose your Hen Party activities
Choosing the perfect hen do activity that the bride will love can be a challenge under normal circumstances.
With COVID-19 as an extra consideration, itâs important to also consider which activities are safe to go ahead with social distancing measures possibly still in place (with timelines changing and responding to the situation). Hopefully, youâll be able to combine both the brideâs tastes and the safest choice.
To help get you inspired, weâd recommend considering hen party activities that can take place in your home or accommodation, like:
- lip sync battle
- draw a nude class
- or a dance class.
Or you could take on an outdoor hen activity so youâre safer in the open air â something like:
- farm experience
- cycling tour
- bubble football
- or an old fashioned sports day.
We are in rolling discussions with our activity suppliers so we can provide you with up-to-date advice about which options will be available as we come out of lockdowns.
If you’re hoping for a particular item or package, you can submit your booking request for free through our website and we’ll check availability for you with no commitment.
5. What to take with you
Your hen party packing list won’t have to change too much with COVID-19 in mind. However, we do recommend you add these essentials to the list:
- Hand sanitiser
- Moisturiser (to survive all the hand sanitiser)
- Disinfectant wipes
- Face masks
For some extra special touches and essentials to survive the hangover, check out our hen party survival kit list.
6. Check the most recent government guidance
We’ve tried to include the most up-to-date timelines and information in this guide. However, no matter where your hen party are travelling to or gathering, please do make sure you check the most recent information on the UK governmentâs Recovery Strategy.
UK hen do’s are becoming more and more possible by the day but it’s wise to just make sure your plans won’t get anyone in trouble.
Get in touch
If you’d like to chat with a member of The Foxy Hen team about your options or if you want to discuss an existing hen party booking, please use our live chat or get in touch!
We’re here to help with any questions, concerns or plans you have to help you get through this difficult time.
Image credit: senivpetro, by Freepik