Pleasure Hen’s Party Tips

Today’s hen’s parties are no longer confined to wild nights out. After all, not every bride is the party-’til-you-drop type and many aren’t at all interested in strippers, endless rounds of booze and whatever else a ‘last night of freedom’ may bring. Here are eight hen’s party alternatives that may be tamer than the traditional – but they’re no less fun…

A destination hen’s event

Who’ll love it best: Brides with wanderlust who want her tight-knit group of gal pals to experience a little travel adventure.

What’s in it for everyone: A weekend away from the city, at the beach, the countryside, or your go-to special place.

A trip away with the bride’s closest friends to celebrate her big day will make for a memorable, even magical, hen’s celebration and, if your budget allows for it, you could always take the party overseas!

Glamping

Who’ll love it best: The bride whose perfect night out is one spent beneath the stars

What’s in it for everyone:  A night of adventure in the wild outdoors

If you’re that way inclined, camping can be terribly exciting, but for a twist on your bride’s favourite past time, try a little glamping – or ‘glamorous camping,’ instead.

It’s luxury camping where, for example, you’ll have access to actual bathrooms and more than a few creature comforts.

You can decorate your giant and very luxurious tent however you wish and plan for fun activities throughout the day. Don’t forget the marshmallows – and a little star-gazing at night!

Flower arrangement class

What’s in it for everyone: An Instagram/Pinterest kinda day in the presence of pretty flowers.

This hen’s party idea goes perfectly with a pretty spread of berries, canapés and champagne, preferably outside on a sunny afternoon. Hire a florist who can bring over the necessary material and teach your group for a few of hours how to arrange flowers for different occasions.

Wine tasting

Who’ll love it best: The bride who prefers intimate gatherings and a little chit chat with her gal pals

What’s in it for everyone: A high-spirited day in a picturesque vineyard or a romantic wine bar where a sommelier teaches your group a thing or two about wines. It’s a cozy theme that invites conversations and is perfect for a small group of close friends. The best part? Everyone goes home feeling festive and a little more cultured!

Club hopping

Who’ll love it best: The bride who’s always first on the dance floor

What’s in it for everyone: Dancing the night away!

Just because you’re not having strippers or a boozy night out, doesn’t mean you can’t, well, have a night out! A club hopping hen’s party isn’t just fun, it’s calorie-burning, too. And, the hen’s night organiser can even call ahead to find out if they’re open to playing a few of the bride’s favourite songs on the night.

Spa date

Who’ll love it best: The bride who cares for wellness – and a little pampering

What’s in it for everyone:

Nothing spells bonding time better than a day of pampering complete with saunas, massages, mani-pedis, magazines and lovely tea breaks.

This hen‘s party promises to make you feel good and carry that post-spa glow through to your big day!

The ultimate ladies’ movie night

Who’ll love it best: The film geek bride-to-be

What’s in it for everyone: A cozy evening in front of the big screen (either at home or at a cinema) with all your favorite movie accouterments: popcorn, hotdogs, nachos…

You can start the movie list with the bride’s all-time favorite movie. Then you can move on to chick flicks galore! We’re talking Dirty Dancing, Pretty Woman and Bridget Jones’s Diary…

If your budget stretches that far, you could even hire out a cinema for the evening.

Loving Wedding Trends

Weddings may be all about tradition, but they’re also about trends. We chatted with some of the country’s top wedding vendors about what’s hot in wedding planning right now. Here are 8 trends we saw crop up again and again…

Wedding cakes: buttercream is back, baby

“Fondant and marzipan are great for formal wedding cakes, but many couples don’t want formal cakes anymore – and some just don’t like the taste of either fondant or marzipan,” says Andrew Neilson fromJust Cakes.

“That’s why buttercream is back,” he adds. “It gives couples that rich and creamy taste they’re after, but they also get a look that’s soft and romantic, which is perfect for a wedding, especially if yours is rustic themed.

Bridesmaids: it’s all about mixing and matching

The Goddess bridesmaid multi-wrap dress (known as Savannah at Luv Bridal, can be worn 25 different ways

“Many modern brides are adventurous when it comes to their bridesmaids dresses, so it’s no longer about them all wearing the same dress in the same colour as has always been tradition,” says Krysta Atkinson from Luv Bridal.

“Of course, this approach will always be popular, although now we see a lot more brides mixing and matching textures, fabrics and patterns and, of course, styles.

“And it makes sense, too, as most bridesmaids have different body shapes, colouring, and proportions.”

Krysta says that’s why multi-wrap dresses such as the Goddess gown (known as Savannah at Luv Bridal) are incredibly popular with bridesmaids across the globe at the moment, “because this one gown can be worn 25 different ways, so each bridesmaid can wear the same gown but in the way it looks best on their body and suits their personality.”

Wedding dresses: overskirts are in!

“People are loving overskirts at the moment,” says Sebastian Lee from Eternal Bridal. “Overskirts are, as the name suggests, skirts that are slipped over a fitted dress and can be removed to reveal a whole other look.

“One of the gowns that’s receiving the most interest from brides at the moment is Abi by Galia Lahav. It’s due in 2017 and is a stunning fitted beaded gown that features a satin overskirt and corset.”

Wedding photography: let’s take our photos BEFORE the ceremony…

“Probably the biggest trend I’ve seen lately is the rise of the pre-wedding shoot where
the couple shoot their wedding photos before the wedding ceremony,” says wedding photographer Ben Newnam.

“Many couples simply don’t want to spend two or three hours between the ceremony and reception shooting photos and would rather spend that time with their guests, so we’re definitely seeing more and more couples requesting their photos be shot before they walk down the aisle.”

Ben says the pre-wedding photo shoot is most common with couples who already live together. They’ll get dressed in separate places then meet up at, say, a park where they’ll have their official wedding photos taken.

“I think it’s a really considerate thing to do because their guests don’t have to hang about for hours waiting for them to arrive for the reception,” he adds.

Wedding venues: it’s about subtle, not over the top

“We’re seeing the demise of the humble chair cover and, to some extent the typical function chair,” says Mary-Anne Lowe from Bram Leigh Receptions and Linley Estate. “Couples seem to be choosing something like an elegant Tiffany/Chiavari type seat because, today, couples are after something a little more upmarket rather than opting for the bows and frou frou that was a hallmark of wedding receptions a few years ago.

“Generally, the themeing is very sleek, rather than over the top and couples are choosing one or two items that will truly enhance their overall wedding theme and style rather than having it featured in every single wedding-related item.”

Top eye make up for wedding

To some, applying eye make-up means a quick dust of eyeshadow and a slick of mascara, but it’s amazing what can be done by a professional make-up artist with the same tools.

Here are some gorgeous dramatic eye make-up looks to take to your next make-up trial.

Rose gold

Pink hues are often worn on the cheeks and the lips, however when worn on the eyelids with a hint of shimmery gold shadow they create a soft dewy look which brings warmth to the eyes.

Babydoll cut-crease

A ’60’s inspired cut-crease make-up look is dramatic yet still soft and feminine. The look is characterized by thick false lashes and a sweep of darker shadow in the crease of the eyelid, hence the term ‘cut-crease.’

Classic smokey eye

A classic smokey eye is characterised by using a dark eyeshadow and blending it across the entire eyelid and slightly upwards at the crease. A classic smokey eye will enhance your eyes making them look bigger, creating a very dramatic make-up look.

Matte smokey chocolate

A chocolate smokey eye is a little softer than a classic black smokey eye, however it still delivers plenty of drama. Paired with a sweep of liquid eyeliner and peach cheeks this look will suit any brides seeking a glamorous make-up look.

Black and gold smokey eye

A black and gold smokey eye is a very glamorous make-up look which suits all eye colours, and can be blended to suit all eye shapes.

Arabian-inspired smokey eye

A dramatic extended wing of eyeliner mixed with warm chocolate shadow and thick lashes are the ingredients for the perfect Arabian-inspired smokey eye look.

Warm gold

A sweep of gold eyeshadow and a flick of eyeliner will do wonders for both big brown eyes and soft baby-blues.

Warm metallic

When a whisper of shimmer isn’t enough, make your whole lid shine with a sweep of gold metallic shadow. Finish with black liner and strip lashes for a glamorous bridal look.

Soft bronze

Go for gold on your wedding day with bronze, gold and warm copper tones. This look suits olive or tanned skin tones and works well with peachy cheeks and lips.

You should know about wedding planning

In our current digital climate planning a wedding can be a very easy task – granted you start early. Long gone are the days when brides would lug around binders filled with countless quotes, notes and magazine clippings. Nowadays, thanks to wedding planning websites and apps, the modern bride can easily plan her wedding and keep all of her information in one digital place.

Soon after your partner pops the question, it’s time to set the wedding planning cogs in motion. Follow these top tips to help you stay in control and on task during the wedding planning process:

Create a to-do list

You can’t send invites without a set wedding date or book accommodation without a venue. Prioritise, create a timeline and focus on the bigger picture. Start with big tasks like setting dates for the engagement party and wedding day, and work from there.

Once you have put together your timeline, create a to-do list which maps out all your tasks according to time and date order. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin, we have one to help you get started.

Use a budget calculator

Even if you’re good with numbers, an online planning tool such as a budget calculator can help you remain financially-focused and organised throughout the planning process. Budget calculators allow you to estimate costs, allocate funds and monitor spending by entering your own categories and budget items to track quotes, costs and payments.

Keep all your planning in one place

For those that like to organise on the go, download an all-in-one wedding planning app for a centralised place to plan budgets, guest lists, seating plans, gift registries, checklists and supplier directories. Online planning tools are paperless, portable and provide everything you need to plan your wedding in one place, whether that be your computer screen or the palm of your hand.

If you want to go a step further you can even create a private Facebook group for your bridal party to share important info about dress fittings, bridal showers and hen’s night, or a hubby-only group to discuss more confidential things like costs and guest lists.

Set aside time for wedding planning

If you go to yoga class on Mondays, book club on Tuesdays and the gym on Fridays, that leaves Wednesdays, Thursdays and the weekend to arrange a mutually agreeable time with your partner to commit to some wedding planning. Even just a few hours of wedding planning per week can be enough – if you start early!

Divide and conquer

That’s the beautiful thing about marriage – you’re not in it alone! There are at least two people with significant stakes in how seamless the wedding day plays out. If your partner is less excited about bridal bouquets than food and drinks, let them organise the catering and hospitality. Keep each other accountable, check up on the other’s progress and celebrate the milestones.

Contact list of suppliers

Keep a digital contact list of all the suppliers and contacts you are using for your wedding, (we have asupplier list template here.) Include the business name, the name of the person you are dealing with and any other information pertaining to that task or vendor, such as their phone number and email, website, Easy Weddings profile, and social media accounts.

Inspiration boards and Pinterest

Digital inspiration boards such as Pinterest are great online tools to collate ideas and inspiration. For brides who wan’t to keep everything a surprise until the big day, Pinterest also offers Secret Boards, which you can invite only your bridal party to view.

When viewing supplier profiles on the Easy Weddings website you can save images to your ownInspiration board, and even favourite suppliers through the Easy Weddings app.

Call for backup

Nobody – especially those who’ve gone before you – is going to think you’re a princess for enlisting the help of a professional wedding planner or wedding stylist. A seasoned wedding professional will have already encountered just about every problem you can possibly think of, and their existing connections can shave weeks – maybe months – off your planning time. If it all gets a little too much, bring an expert on board to help tame the pre-wedding frenzy.

Digital division

Chances are you’ll be signing up to a multitude of wedding related e-newsletters and receiving emails from different suppliers you’ve contacted. Either open a new account, or create a folder in your current email account to file all your wedding related messages in one place.

Share the love

Giving each one of your bridal party their very own organiser is a great way to include them in theplanning and make sure they understand their role and tasks. If you’ve already claimed a few important dates, write these in before handing it over to ensure everybody knows exactly where they need to be and when.