London Hen Night

Happy Tuesday, folks! Instead of a wedding, today we have a real hen party, organised by yours truly for my lovely friend Heidi. It’s actually kind of nervewracking showing off something I’ve designed myself, especially since the printer and I had a little last minute disagreement (machines! pff!) and the fonts are a little, shall we say, pedestrian as a result. Fortunately, I’m pretty sure that Cheryl McEwan could make anything look good with her beautiful photographs. She seriously went above and beyond for us, and I cannot sing her praises loudly enough. (I’m only sorry she’s leaving London, but our loss is Cape Town’s gain!)

As I explained yesterday, the concept behind this party was a sophisticated, classy London hen night (much harder to organise than you’d imagine!) – sort of a cross between bridal shower and hen night with a loose ‘rock ’n romance’ theme. We started off late afternoon on Saturday, when all the girls gathered at the fabulous Rock and Rose Restaurant in Richmond, South West London, for a wine and chocolate tasting which was done for us by Jane of ThirtyFifty. I’ll be telling you much more about them later in the week, but let’s just say it was the perfect way to kick off the party, and Jane was absolutely brilliant! We followed the wine up with a delicious meal, and after a couple of rounds of shots and a ‘how well do you know your partner’ game we hit the late night bars for a bit of a boogie! The great thing about this format was that it allowed everyone to feel included – even the pregnant ladies could get in on the chocolate action, and not have to be on their feet all night. It was also relatively budget-friendly, which is always a bit of an issue. Heidi’s divine new sister-in-law, Sally, and I took her for lunch and massages earlier in the day, so we also got the pampering aspect in without adding to the overall budget.

To fit in with the décor and the wine & chocolate themes, I made vases out of wine bottles and gave them fun wine labels that reflected the couple’s personalities in ‘wine speak’. I’d originally planned to use carnations, but on the day found these lush hot pink hydrangeas, which were way better – I loved them! Each of the ladies received a cheeky little tiara at her place, as well as a scratchcard with the note ‘Lucky in Love’ – just as well we’re lucky in love, since unfortunately nobody was lucky in scratchcards that night! I also created a whole set of ‘After Dinner Mint-to-be’s – little chocolates with photographs of Heidi & Oli on the wrappers – a big hit, especially since the bride hadn’t seen all the pictures before. For our guest book, each of the ladies completed a set of five little messages – one for now, and ones for the first, fifth, tenth and twenty-fifth wedding anniversaries, which were stuck into a book alongside a picture of them with the bride. I love this time capsule concept, and I hope it’ll be a fun surprise for Heids and Oli on their milestone anniversaries!

One last minute idea I included which I would definitely recommend is name tags – I am USELESS at remembering people’s names, and I think similarly challenged guests appreciated not being caught short themselves. We asked all the girls to wear little black dresses to keep it simple and glam, and the very gorgeous bride-to-be wore a bit of red. I’d actually made her a birdcage veil and somehow managed to leave it at home, but she made do with several tiaras in her hair by the end of the night!

If I say so myself, it was a fab girly evening and worth all the effort! I’ll be sharing some of the DIY inspiration tomorrow, so be sure to stop by then for more details and photographs! Until then, a BIG thank you to all the hens for making it a wonderful night, and especially big love to Sally for her help and to Cheryl for doing such a brilliant job with the photos!

SBB ♥ Cheryl McEwan Photography, a featured member of our Directory


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