When I first heard about the Hen Party of wedding planner Kim Neville I immediately knew it was the perfect content for our gorgeous community. A unique theme (Oh I love a hen party theme..) and an amazing time was had by all. What more could you ask for from your “last” weekend out as a single girl?
Kim is actually getting married this Saturday (Go Kim!) and has kindly written all about the experience and shared some hilarious pics for us to feature.
And if anyone is thinking of replicating this 48 hours of pure unadulterated amazingness I just have one question…
Can I come along?
Kim Neville: My name is Kim and I am a control freak. I organise everything in my life down to the last minute detail, and planning our wedding has been no exception. I am loving every minute of it, but it is slightly akin to a military operation! So, when my gorgeous sister and I talked months ago about my hen night, I decided to relinquish all control and hand the planning reigns over to her, and my two best friends.
Hens On Their Hols.
To begin with, it seemed this was quite possibly the worst idea I had ever made… her preliminary search for “hen holidays” on google brought up the “eglu2rent” – an actual holiday home for actual hens; however as time went on it was quite cathartic having no control over any aspect of the day other than who to invite!
The one thing I knew is that the four of us were starting off on the Friday night in the best way possible, by seeing Take That at Wembley! An amazing concert, and my sister had made me my very own swarovski crystal tiara with the TT emblem on it, and a veil with my wedding date crystalled on to it – very lovely! I think I got off very lightly though as there was one poor woman there whose “friends” had made her wear a neon lycra leotard with a see through pac-a-mac over it, and L plates stitched on the back 🙁
After the concert we made our way, in a lovely limo with champagne courtesy of my fiance, to serviced apartments near Tower Bridge that were to become our home for the next two days. We opened a bottle of wine and chatted until the early hours feasting on a variety of cheeses and charcuterie that Sam had managed to somehow purchase without me seeing!
Quality Time With Mum.
On Saturday morning I was packed off with my Mum to the Athenaeum hotel in Mayfair for a hot stones massage which was absolutely heavenly; I think we both fell asleep during it and it was a really nice way for my Mum to be included in the celebrations.
We then met with the girls in the lobby, along with five of my other closest friends and we all spent a good couple of hours eating the most divine afternoon tea! I think afternoon tea is pretty much the best foodstuff; teeny tiny sandwiches, scones, mini cakes, need I say more?! We were all presented with a huge tea menu with actual samples of the tea leaves which we dutifully perused and then pretty much all ordered English Breakfast! And a glass of the champagne cocktail (rose & lychee – definitely stealing that one for the wedding!)
Once we had eaten so much we could hardly move, we all jumped in a cab and headed back to the apartment. I knew something was about to happen as they were all looking very sheepish, but I had no idea what…
As I entered the apartment, I saw the living room had been transformed and was full of hen party paraphernalia, streamers, balloons and bunting made out of hideously embarrassing photos of me from my younger days which had kindly been provided by my lovely friends.
Oh, and fifteen wedding dresses!
Dressed To Kill.
Yes, myself and fourteen of my closest friends were getting dolled up in wedding gowns (it was still 4 in the afternoon!) and walking through London to go cocktail making!! Once I had got over the initial shock (“we’re really going out in public like this?!) I was overwhelmed at how much effort everyone had gone to. Sam had been to everyone’s house to fit their dress (they were all ex sample dresses from her shop that she has no use for and usually sends to Kenya for the fabric and beads to be used for other projects) she had made individual hanger tags with their names on, a picture of a hen with a crystalled tiara on, and had even arranged for a professional photographer to come and snap away all afternoon. We had so much fun getting into our dresses and after a bit of dutch courage we were good to go. Sam then presented me with my tiara and veil again, and she had somehow managed to quickly change the “TT” logo to a K+C one – she is SO clever with crystals!!
A Police Escort
The walk to the station was hilarious; the traffic stopped, police cars sounded their sirens, tourist buses all looked on in amusement as fifteen brides walked down Tower Bridge Road and posed on Boris’s Bikes! It was so much fun.
The poor man at Mixology where we went cocktail making didn’t know what had hit him when he saw us all in reception, but he was such a good sport and the cocktail making class was amazing; we each got to make three cocktails and then design our own; although by the end of it I think some of the girls gave up actually mixing cocktails and just went straight for the gin!
Afterwards we went back to the apartment, ate loads of pizza, played Mr and Mrs and the girls gave me a book full of poems and pictures that they had created which was such a lovely memory; I count myself very lucky to still have very close friends from school, uni and work days, and they had all put so much thought into this lovely momento.
The Best Weekend.
I had also made little gift boxes for each hen that I gave them, which contained a “morning after the night before” kit, mini cowshed toiletries, a nail file, some sweets and a CD that I had made of all the songs that reminded me of the times I knew the girls from – some are friends from primary school, high school, university and beyond so it was so nice to reminisce about the great times we had all shared these past years!
The girls got dressed into lovely going out clothes, I had the bottom of my “wedding dress” cut off, and we piled into a cab and partied the night away in Piccadilly!
All in all it was the best weekend a girl could ask for; the perfect blend of grown up glamorous fun and a little hen night tack 😉 I can’t thank the girls enough, my sister in particular, for putting so much thought and effort into it; I will never forget it and am so glad that I decided to relinquish all control as I don’t think I would have done half as good a job if left to my own devices!
A Word From Sam.
So, as sister-of-the-bride and maid-of-honour, it fell upon me to plan the hen do – for the Queen of planning!
Given that my original search on Google for ‘hen ideas’ came up with eglu2rent I was not feeling over confident about arranging the frivolities! However, an evening with the other bridesmaids and a glass of wine did wonders, and the wedding dress idea started to come to life. After the relaxing and civilised massage and afternoon tea, it was decided that 15 hens would walk through London, wearing some of my ex-stock weddingdresses to a cocktail making class – there was simply no other theme more appropriate for a cocktail loving wedding planner, whose sister had an endless supply of dresses available! Mixology were fabulous. They immediately loved the idea, had no worries fitting us all in, and said they were looking forward to it! Once that had all been booked, I got Don Wales the photographer involved, as I knew that we would be far too involved in making cocktails to worry about taking photos!
It all went to plan on the day, got a lot of attention and gave us all a lot of giggles! Once the cocktails were done, and the slap up meal of pizzas eaten whilst playing Mr & Mrs amongst other games, the layered bubble hem of Kim’s dress was cut, train pinned up, and she danced the night away!
A Word From Helen.
Kim’s hen night was easily the best hen night I have ever been on! It was a privilege to share the quintessentially British afternoon tea with Kim and her hens before donning an incredibly beautiful wedding dress courtesy of Mamfii Bridal, and walk through London, Reservoir Dogs style, with 15 other “brides” ready to learn the art of cocktail making before dancing the night away. This weekend married tradition with 21st century tomfoolery, fun and friendship, love and laughter – all the things Kim & Chara represent!
A Word From Bex.
How does a feast of a hen weekend pan out when it’s for a wedding planner and organised by a Bridal retailer? – simples! Hors d’oeuvres of a civilsed afternoon tea at a top London hotel, a starter of 15 delectable wedding dresess (altered to our own sizes!!), a main course of a somewhat exhibitionist walk through London Town, over Tower bridge of 15 fully dressed brides, and a dessert of cocktail making classes with plenty of gin and a rather intimadated teacher! And of course the usual digestives and petit fours of some shandies in Tiger Tiger! I hope I don’t ever need to go on another hen, and I am glad I have had mine as I don’t think it could ever be topped!
The taxi shot?!
And what a good excuse to wear your gown again eh?
A big thank you and a HUGE congratulations to Kim for her wedding this Saturday……
Big Best Girls Love