Lovely lady and Rock My Wedding reader Rachie from a Chi Chi affair blog has kindly shared the planning and design ideas of her sisters fabulous Brighton hen do. It’s jam packed full of achievable inspiration and an abundance of D.I.Y ideas and as you know with everything on RMW, it’s not only applicable to W-day what we show on these polka dot pages…….use whatever you like for whatever you like!
Rachie: We decided quite early on that my sisters hen do would be in Brighton, its only a hour from where many of us live and some of the hens also had babies and were pregnant, so we didn’t want to be away too long. Helen (The bride and my sister) was planning her wedding in only six months so she had a lot to think about. My younger sister Victoria and I decided to make the hen night a surprise from start to finish so she couldn’t worry about where she was going, who was coming (or wasn’t) or what it entailed!
As soon as we finalised the location and the date, Victoria and I starting thinking about logistics and activities, I knew i wanted to do quite a lot of my own stylilng and provide some of the food to keep the costs down. So we decided to hire a (very funky!) house to stay for the Saturday night from City Pad. The plan was for the girls to take the train down to Brighton and meet me at the house. We would all then have a lunch, a wine tasting, get ready and play a few games, then go out in the evening in Brighton for dinner at Moshi Brighton, karaoke at Lucky Voice (amazing!) drinks and dancing.
I’m a big fan of paper goods and love my stationery, and I found this fabulous stationery designer from Etsy called Missprintdesign who designed and printed my invitations. They were such lovely quality and provided a really good service and we sent the invitations out as soon as we finalised the date. The rest of the correspondence was then done via email. The stripy invitations along with the location set the tones of the styling and colour scheme which were a kind of vintage seaside, Brighton Rocks theme.
I created a little box with a stick of rock in that we presented to Helen at the train station to tell her where she was going!
I used another vendor from Etsy called Max and Bella to design the pink and white stripy stickers, tags for the favours and the advice card. Again she was absolutely lovely and quick to deal with and postage was really reasonable from the USA. I would definitely recommend her.
All the signs and stickers were printed by me using Picnik.com which is a free photo shop website that is online. I love this website, it has a variety of fonts and effects and its really quite easy! (I promise!) I did buy the digital stripy backgrounds from Fayola at Etsy for $2. This is a great tip as Etsy has lots of printable backgrounds you can buy, and they really make your stationery look professional.
Activity wise at the house, I always think its nice to have an area where the guests give advice for the bride, so i set up an advice station for this. Its also a keepsake that the bride can keep for many years to come. We also did a Mr and Mrs quiz that the husband to be filmed on his iphone which i then downloaded to the laptop, This was really funny and we all had a good laugh at the answers. On other hen nights i have organised, I have put the answers on separate cards and you then ask the questions throughout the hen night – this works just as well! I had also asked her friends that live abroad to film a little message that we played. Other guests then bought gifts and Victoria made a box with items in representing health, wealth, happiness, love and fertility. This included items such as the good wife guide which everyone loved.
The main activity was a wine tasting that was conducted by a company called Thirty Fifty . I was conscious that we were quite short of time and it was also the middle of winter so this did have an impact on the activity we chose. – Thirty Fifty came to the house and brought all their equipment and the wines, Everyone really enjoyed the tasting and we even learnt something! As the tasting went on it was more and more hilarious (as you can imagine!) and we were all in hysterics by the end. I really recommend it.
I do love a dessert table and designed one around the seaside theme, with chocolate cupcakes with stripy wrappers, Mini Victoria sponges, doughnuts, popcorn, (popcorn holders from Ebay) marshmallow cones and candy floss. I was determined to keep some of the costs down so I had a baking day to make as much as I could myself.
We also had a lunch with mini sandwiches (with flags from Ebay) and sausage rolls. All of the fabric used for the tablecloths was from Ebay.
The Decorations and Favours
The main decorations in the house were the bunting and the balloons, and little bubble gum balls in glass jam jars. I made pinwheels using craft paper from Paperchase. (the tutorial is HERE) We also had favours that we took to the restaurant which were a little box containing a fortune cookie from Maple Mollys.
We all read out our fortunes at dinner!
I made little bags with chocolate chip cookies as a bedtime snack and then we had brown paper favour bags for the girlies to take home containing a stick of rock, and a wine charm. The girls also took the left over cakes home with them to eat on the way home!
I knew that all the girls would bring the obligatory hen night paraphernalia and I didn’t want to fight this, On the way out we did dress Helen up with the sash, veil , tiara etc and then hired a limo to go into town. Sometimes you do have to embrace the hen night traditions!! We partied the night away!!
Organising a hen night is stressful and I don’t think there is any getting away from this. Try and be as organised as possible. You can’t please everybody and there will always be people who think its too expensive, too far away or the wrong date. As long as the majority is okay with it and you know the bride will like it then that’s okay.
Do try and be as organised as possible, Try and get everyone to pay upfront so you don’t need to worry about it on the day.
Do get an idea from the bride on what kind of thing she would like, who is coming and what her friends are like – If she is little miss shy and her mum and mother in law will be there, then a stripper and foreplay lesson may not be a good idea!!
Do have a loose theme in mind even if its just a colour scheme- it doesn’t have to be all tiaras, willies and pink!
Don’t try and cram too much into the day as the hens will naturally want to have a chat and laugh, unpack, relax etc.
Brides – please do remember that its tough to organise a hen night especially as the majority of your bridesmaids wont know all of the hens, Do offer help along the way if needed and don’t put too much pressure on them – they can only do their best!
Huge thanks to Rachie for sharing her ideas and finds, and if any of you gorgeous lot are thinking of planning a similar best girls affair then make sure you send in your pics and stories, we love hearing about them 😉
Big Brighton Love