What You Need to Do Before You Book That Fantastic Hen and Stag Accommodation
Nope, the work is not done yet – at least until you finally lock in the perfect accommodation. Sorry to burst your bubble, but there are still many items left on your to-do list. This is when you finally need to iron out all the details, so you won’t have to do troubleshooting at the last minute.
To make it easier for you, we’ve gathered a list of things to do before you proceed with booking that nice hotel room or that kick-ass apartment. Whether you’re spending it in the famous hen and stag destination Carrick-on-Shannon or not, this fool-proof guide will help you tch that amazing place. Let’s make the party of the year happen!
1. Finalise the details
During the initial stages of planning, you would have already invited the bride and groom’s closest friends and relatives. While all or most of them had said ‘yes’ one or two months ago, their answer may not be the same today. Do the final headcount. You may be surprised to see some of more the eager beavers back out, but an urgent family or work commitment may have come up and it’s not your fault if they couldn’t join you.
This is also when you need to nail down the final date. Based on the number of confirmed attendees, you can see if you should change the previously set date. If the figure is disappointingly low, maybe it’s best to push the party a few weeks late so more can join the fun.
Think about it. Will the bride and groom be pleased with a low turnout on their send-off? The key to choosing the best date is picking the one when most – key guests included – can attend. Keep it at least a week before the bride and groom’s big day, so they have enough time to recover after a wild trip.
Remind everyone that this is their final chance to be in or out. Be firm, but flexible enough to have as many people as possible join the escapade.
2. Get the consensus
Now that you know the who’s and the when it’s time to show off that waterfront house or rustic cabin you trawled the internet to find. See if the hens and stags like it as much as you do. After all, they’re also going to be paying for it.
On that note, it’s good to have more than one lodging option ready. Whether they’re at different price points, or in different cities, you can let the attendees choose which one they prefer, or which is in their budget. Putting up a poll on your Facebook group, or starting a vote on your WhatsApp group can help you reach an agreement. Even the traditional text or call will do. But remember, you won’t be able to please everyone. Gently remind everyone that this is what they think the bride or groom would like best, not what they would, and let the majority decide.
The bottom line is that you must be transparent. Share the links leading to your top choices. Send pictures. Give your group a breakdown of the cost, the payment terms, and how much they should expect to pay. The last thing you want to happen is to leave your guests disappointed with a small room in a budget Inn when they were expecting to stay in luxury accommodation.
3. Collect the money
This is the tricky bit. Even with smaller groups, you’re guaranteed to be chasing someone for money, and the larger the group is, the more money you have to look after.
Start early. Make sure the hens and stags know how much their share is for the accommodation and set out a clear and reasonable deadline plan for the payments. Give a deadline that’s one or two days earlier than when you’re actually going to need the money to book, to ensure that you’ll have everyone’s cash when you need it.
You can ask the attendees to do bank deposits or transfers. They can even meet up with you should they wish to pay via cash. In most cases, it only takes a 50% deposit to secure a booking. So the rest of the money can be paid at a later date.
If you want to focus on planning the nitty-gritty of the hen and stag do, or you haven’t got the best head for numbers, you may designate someone to manage the group’s finances.
You also have the option to shoulder the cost while you’re waiting for everyone to pay. If you choose to do so, use your credit card. That way, you don’t have to pay for the booking upfront. Just make sure that everybody has paid you back by the time you get your statement.
4. Book away
Once the guests have paid their share, you can now book the accommodation. You won’t want to delay it. If that stylish apartment really is fantastic, there will be a lot of people who will be racing to book it too.
As you make your reservation online or via phone, be sure to get all the details right. That includes the check-in and check-out date, the number of guests, and add-ons. If you’re reserving over the phone, ask the attending staff to repeat everything to you before you hang up.
Once you’ve made the booking, you will be asked to pay a percentage of or the entire cost. Pay the required amount on time because your reservation is not final unless you do so. If you’re paying via bank transfer, make sure you forward the proof of payment ASAP. Expect a confirmation from the lodging provider. If you don’t receive one, contact them.
5. Finer details
Now that you’re finally done booking the perfect accommodation, you can smooth out the finer details of the event. Time to make the necessary calls to finalise the activities for the hen or stag party. With the budget you established earlier, decide on your itinerary with your group. Whether it’s going to be a weekend jam-packed with booze and activities, or a chill couple of nights bonding in the middle of the countryside, start allotting time and booking things in. Hen and stag weekends are inevitably popular all year round, and you don’t want to get to the week before to discover that everything is booked up.
6. Mo Farah it
Remember that just because you’ve booked everything in, doesn’t mean you can sit back and relax and wait for the big weekend to come around. As the organiser, the lead up to the stag or hen is going to involve you chasing up multiple payments, clarifying details and making sure that even the most forgetful of your party have the dates and details programmed in. Luckily, you’re prepared, so this is more of a long-distance race than a stressed out sprint. Plan in a list of checkpoints for yourself at various dates before the big day so you can ensure that you’re still on track.
Constantly but politely remind guests who haven’t paid. A couple of days before your flight, ask everyone to bring money for the balance you still need to pay the hotel or the homeowner once you arrive. If you’re not boarding the same plane, provide the address of the accommodation and convenient travel options to get there. If possible, give them a screenshot of the place on Google Maps, so the hens and stags won’t lose their way.
And, finally, get excited! You’ve managed to plan an incredible stag and hen for one of your best friends or family members, well done you.
If you need any advice on what to look for in your hen or stag accommodation or planning a hen or stag party, we’re always on the other end of the phone 086 6029755.