If you live in the United States, you probably have no idea what a Hen party is. Well, for Americans, it's a Bachelorette party. The term "Hen party" is the default way of describing this type celebration in the United Kingdom. Women like to have fun before they take the plunge into married life; in a way, they want a memorable experience before the memorable experience they'll have walking down the aisle. And it's usually the head bridesmaid's job to provide those treasured memories. Every little girl dreams about getting married to a prince charming, but it's not until they get older when they realize there are even more perks of tying the knot. Marriage is a joyful occasion and should be celebrated in several different ways.
If you have room to spare in the budget, make sure you give yourself enough time to plan the "too good to be true" kind of party (but of course it will be true). 3 to 6 months is an ideal length of time for awesome Hen parties. You can gather all the guests together using social networking sites (facebook, myspace) to create a single place where information goes so that it'll easily accessible to all members involved. You may want to host the party at one of the bride's favorite destinations. Or your typical vacationing spots like Hawaii, or the Caribbean. There are plenty of cruise ships that will take your one night of fun to an extended 3-8 day cruise Hen party.
In most cases your budget won't allow for expensive retreats which is an even better reason to plan this far, far in advance. Marriages are usually spent in excess so planning in advance will give you time to accumulate the funds necessary to provide a decent Hen party. But, there's a difference between being broke and being cheap. If you have the money, spend it on a good present that's meaningful. Don't shop at Goodwill or create a homemade gift (unless you're good at it) if you have a well-paying job and are able to spend a good amount of cash. Remember, if you're single, you're going to have a Hen party too and I'm sure you wouldn't want that to happen to you.
Also with gifts, keep in mind where the honeymoon is going to be held; buy gifts specific to their destination. For example, if they're going to Colorado for rock climbing, give her rock climbing shoes, sturdy rock climbing rope, or belaying devices. If they enjoy scuba diving at the Cayman Islands, give her a scuba mask, snorkeling fins, or a waterproof watch. If they plan on going to Calgary for a fun skiing trip, pick up a Calgary entertainment guide book so she can get the most out of her vacation without spending too much. Make sure she's well equipped to enjoy her groom during their time together. It's always good to plan ahead.
And of course you'll need to have fun games to play; a scavenger hunt, you can make this as big or small as you want - it could go across town, with different landmarks you've chosen beforehand, or just in the house; a Hen bag game, where people place a few items from their purses, 2 or 3, in brown paper bags with one person collecting the bags and pulling out one item at a time to see if anyone can guess who's items they are; and Karaoke (which is also among the best live wedding entertainment ideas), where almost everyone should have fun playing. There are plenty more great Hen party ideas and games to be found on the net, but whichever games you find, the most important thing is to have fun before her big day!