A Brighton Rocks Best Girls Affair.

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.

The Stationery

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.

The Food

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!!

My Advice

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!

Rachie xo

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

Charlotte xxx

Author: Charlotte O’Shea
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.

34 thoughts on “A Brighton Rocks Best Girls Affair.

  1. Happy Friday Ladies!

    I too am now waiting for a friend to get engaged so I can get hen-do planing!

    Oh and Rachie, your sister is wearing one of my favourite dresses from All Saints – she has great fashion taste as well as an amazing pair of sisters 😉

    Charlotte xxx

  2. Darnit! I am in the midst of planning a hen do right now and its too late to incorporate some of the fabulousness above.

    I loved the colours in this hen do (naturally). Is it wrong to want to have cake/rock for breakfast?!

  3. Charlotte, feel free to plan my hen. My CBM is NOT the wedding or hen type, but I’m having her as my MOH as she means as much to me as any member of my family.

    I love this and I LOVE the Brighton website. Brighton is too far away for most of my Hens but how handy to have a self catering website like this!

    For cool London activities with non boozy empphasis I’ve been looking at the make lounge http://www.themakelounge.com/workshops/page/12 followed by tea at the Berkeley.

    Have you thought about having a tab at the top for Hen Do’s under chic and unique?

  4. I am the lucky bride to be – just one week to go now!!! *deep breaths*

    Rachie and Victoria did an ABSOLUTELY amazing job and they are the best sisters in the whole wide world! I honestly couldn’t have asked for a more personal and well suited day, complete with flashing garters, a hummer and my bestest girlfriends!

    I will remember the weekend forever with so many lovely memories and funny moments. I feel (almost) ready to get married now!

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart Rocky and Bic!

    Mrs Elliott to be! (26th Feb!)


    P.S Thank you Charlotte for the compliment on my dress!

  5. That looks fantastic!!! I love it and am going to steal as many ideas from there as possible!
    I have a mix of guests as family and friends will be coming so hiring a house somewhere sounds a brill idea!!!
    Lovely bright colours, just love it all!!
    Massive thanks for sharing!

  6. I had my hen weekend the same week great fun but not nearly as stylish, such good ideas, i will definatly use them for my friends when the get hitched.

    helen my wedding is the 26th and i too had to organise it in under 6 months, i think the whole i’m getting married is yet to sink in due to the heticness of it all.

    Fingers crossed for the weather x

  7. Lovely ladies, Thank you so much for all your lovely comments. I do love to plan an event and this one was so much fun!! I’m so thrilled you all liked it!
    Thank you SO much to Charlotte and Rebecca for featuring it – RMW is so inspirational so i’m honoured to contribute to such an amazing blog.
    Rachie xo

  8. Lovely hen do! love the stripy invites. Was wondering, where did you get the pop corn boxes? We’re getting married at a cinema and I’d like some but we’re struggling to find them in the UK. Any help much appreciated.

  9. Oooooh, Brighton is my hen do location!! I’m afriad that’s all I know though – so who knows what I’m to expect whilst I’m there.

    Would be thrilled if it looks anything like this amazing-ness, but am sure it will be fab whatever I have planned for me!!!


  10. Hi Kat
    Wow – your wedding in a cinema sounds fab! Great venue!

    I got the popcorn containers from Ebay here

    or if you are feeling crafty there are some printable ones here


    And some great inspiration for you here http://www.eatdrinkchic.com/post.cfm/valentine-popcorn-invitation

    and here

    Hope that helps! Sorry if i got a bit carried away!
    Rachie xo

  11. This looks fab – a couple of years ago I organised by best friends hen and the hotel we were staying in – let us use a meeting room for free in the afternoon due to the amount of rooms we had and the fact that generally meeting rooms do nothing at the weekend – and then we had 30/50 come in and do wine tasting – they were fab and it was a great start to the evening – although made getting ready a tad more challenging! xx

  12. Wow this is fab! I have a hen-do to plan for next year and this is so inspiring, makes me want to start the planning now!
    Almost tempted to send the link to my own bridesmaids as a wee hint, but I know they will do a great job 🙂 xx

  13. Ooh love all the inspiration on here and have already been checking out all the links, thanks!! I’m just (im)patiently waiting for my best friend / CBM to get engaged herself so I can incorporate all of these, fabulous!! xx

  14. Wow! This looks like such a fun hen do! I’m currently oranising my sister’s and have just finished making my first hen invitation! Check my site for a step by step guide.

    The tips on here are really useful and I will be checking back to see if anything new pops up!!

  15. Ooh, I am in the midst of planning a Brighton Hen Do right now with another slightly difficult bridesmaid!! I am going to take as many of these ideas and blow their little socks off! Also, made me think I might have a little “photobooth” corner set up in the house for the friday night with Brighton related stuff – so goggles and swim hat, arm bands, trying to think of other stuff too…..

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