Do not let lockdown hinder your celebrations. I repeat, do NOT let lockdown hinder your celebrations. Who is up for being virtually reunited with their best girls, playing some hilarious games and dancing until they fall asleep on their sofa? I see your hands up. Here we go…
Over 12,000 of you have watched our zoomcast about how to throw a virtual hen do whilst in lockdown. Not sure what a zoomcast is? Let me explain. Charlotte and I usually put out a fortnightly podcast for you all but it felt a little bit strange to us to keep producing it through lockdown. We like to be together, the conversation flows much better when we’re face to face and so instead of us recording via zoom and then putting it out as a podcast, we thought we’d go ahead and share our recordings with you instead and sharing them on our IGTV. Putting faces to voices seemed like a good thing to do at this point. So, we put our best hairbands on (Charlotte has several hilarious ones as you will see if you watch the episode), got a cocktail (or wine in a flamingo glass) and got chatting about how to throw the nest virtual hen do ever.
So first things first, you need to decide on what software you’re going to use to host your event. A few options favoured by the team are Zoom, Google hangout, House Party, Whatsapp, Facebook messenger and Facetime. Zoom will give you 45 minute sessions for free. If you want one continual session that is longer than that you will have to pay – or you can jut restart your session again. You can record your zoom calls too so you can keep the memories forever. You can also have up to 1000 participants on a zoom video call with 49 guests showing on screen at any given time. If you’re feeling mega popular this might be the one for you. The other apps mentioned will only allow you up to about 10 people max per call. It’s a good idea to use a platform that you can have on a tablet or laptop or something with a bigger screen than your phone so that you can see everyone clearly.
Designate a host to keep the party moving. They can be in charge of sending out invites and overseeing your video call to make sure everyone gets to speak and the night moves at a good pace. oversee it all and make sure everyone gets heard. You host should also let your guests know what to expect during the video call or if there is anything they need to bring along.
Extend your guest list
You might have friends who couldn’t make your original hen do date for one reason or another. That might not be the case anymore given the current circumstances so if you want to, why not extend those invites back out. The more the merrier right?
Have You Got A Theme?
Wether you have a theme or not this is a great opportunity to get dressed up. What were you planning on wearing to the physical event? Wear it in your living room – heels and all. If you wanted to set a theme try and make it one that your guests can easily sort out – maybe it’s something that most people already have at home, maybe its a colour theme or a ‘starts with the letter…’ theme. You could look at having a hair or make-up theme too if you wanted. If you were going full out fancy dress and everyone already got their outfits then get them on. you’re guaranteed a laugh as each of you joins the call.
Gifts For The Bride To Be
You may have organised for your gorgeous bride-to-be to receive some goodies on the day of her hen do. Maybe you’d organised a bottle champagne for the night or set up some pamper packs to enjoy a relaxing couple of hours whilst getting ready. You can still send this stuff to her. Just make sure you package it safely and remember to socially distance yourself when visiting the post office or you can always arrange for a courier to collect and deliver whilst adhering to social distancing rules.
Break The Ice
Hen dos are often a chance for the bride to bring together her wider friendship groups meaning that lots of different people can be meeting for the first time. This is obviously much easier to do IRL but there are a couple of things you can do virtually so that everyone knows who each other is and to avoid any little clicks forming over your virtual hangout. A couple of our favourite ideas for breaking the virtual ice are:
– Memories. Each member of the hen party shares their favourite memory of the bride-to-be. That lets all the guests know who you are to the bride, why you’re there and also hopefully give them a new story about their friend that they’d not heard before.
– Draw the bride. Each hen draws a picture of how they think the bride will look on her big day and presents it to the group. 1, everyone can laugh at everyone elses terrible drawing skills. 2, It will be fun for the bride to see who gets the closest and 3, it allows your guests to show off a bit of their personality.
– Signature cocktails. Each hen brings along their signature cocktail. The cocktail is given a name that may be losely related to their own (for example mine could be, Becky’s ‘I wish I was French’ Martini). They have to describe the ingredients and hint at their own personality.
Shakespeare said ‘If music be the food of love, play on.’ We say ‘If music be the beating heart of your party, turn it up louder’.
We couldn’t talk about the perfect hen do without mentioning music could we? It’s so important to keeping the vibe of your party alive. Choose someone (probably the host) to have it on in the background and then towards the end of the party you can crank it up and have a good old dance. Find our hen party playlist here.
Whether you’re having a low key or a more high energy virtual hen do, we have some great suggestions for activities you can include.
High Energy Hen Do
– Mr & Mrs (or Mrs & Mrs). This traditional game is still hugely popular when it comes to hen dos and we totally get why. It’s fun, you get to learn a bit more about the couple and hopefully it creates some good laughs. It’s still super easy to do virtually. You could record your friends other half giving their answers and share you screen with the party so they can see it play back or, why not forget all the rules and bring your bride-to-be’s other half into the room and get them to do it live, then and there. All rules out the window when it comes to a lockdown hen do.
– Never Have I Ever. Who doesn’t love a game of never have I ever! Not heard of it before, the rules are really simple. Jenny starts and gives a statement about something she has never done before. She says ‘never have I ever…and then something she’s never done’. Anyone at the party who has in fact done what Jenny claims she hasn’t, takes a drink.
Jenny: ‘Never have I ever skinny dipped’. Cue Fiona and Katie sipping on their pinacoldas trying not to get noticed by the rest of the group.
Split the group into teams and play a funny version of pictionary where you have to draw with your lipstick, using your mouth. We’re talking the old squashed lippy one from the bottom of your make up bag – don’t get your Charlotte Tilbury’s out for this one.
Beer or Prosecco (or gin or vodka or whatever is your favourite) Pong
Position your phone/ipad/laptop at the bottom of your table by the cups and each take it in turns to battle each other and see who the ultimate winner is. You can order a pong set online or you can create your own with a few paper cups and a ball.
Lockdown Dance Party
Post a note through your neighbours door to let them know you’re having a virtual party and turn that music up. Have a good dance on the sofa, on the table, up and down the stairs. Let all that energy out and have a good laugh with your besties.
Relaxed Virtual Hen Do
Get a great film on and watch it altogether, gogglebox style. Get the popcorn out and a glass of something you enjoy and spend a couple of hours chilling out. Need some ideas for the perfect virtual hen do film? Here we go…
Bridesmaids (always), Bachelorette, Rough Night, Wedding Crashers, Just Married, Girls Trip, Clueless, Magic Mike, The Five Year Engagement, 50 First Dates, Bridget Jones, SATC, Dirty Dancing. Or if your bride has a favourite film, get that on.
Perhaps you had arranged for a really lush meal out for the original hen do. Why not bring that meal in instead and all order a take away. Enjoy dinner with your best pals virtually and have a good natter over a chicken chow mein.
Choose a really cool or fun beauty tutorial for everyone to try. Maybe you’re trying to replicate a look from your brides favourite contestant from RuPaul’s Drag Race or maybe you’re testing your contouring skills. Whatever it is why not face mask up, give your skin some love and then let lose painting it and see who get the closest to the real thing.
And that my loves rounds up our guide to throwing the best virtual hen do ever. Whatever you decide to do to celebrate your original hen do date we hope you have an amazing time and we’d love to see what you get up to so tag us (@rockmwedding) in your photos and we can share them on our Instagram. And as ever, any other ideas are always welcome in the comments section or over on our free forum.
If you’ve not listened to our podcast yet you can check it out on your iPhone here. There are over 30 episodes for you to catch up on. If you don’t have an iPhone you can listen on Spotify.
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