Way back when Miss Rebecca Higgins first asked me to be one of her bridesmaids I was beyond excited!! Not only for the wedding, but also because I’d get to help organise her hen do!!
Once all the bridesmaids had joined the ‘hen do planning must have group whatsapp chat’ the discussions began and it was decided early on that Becca’s love for Harry Potter should 100% be a part of the weekend, but also that it should just be blooming amazing, lots of fun and a little bit naughty!!! haha
This excited me no end, as I too am a massive potter head! So we all went off and started thinking about ideas and where we could go and of course, good old pinterest played a huge part in the inspiration for the weekend!
I’ve made the board public now so feel free to take a look if you fancy doing something similar. We DIY’d a lot of the things ourselves to save money but there are so many resources and things out there, which you can buy if crafting isn’t really your thing!
I mixed and matched things up and customized a lot of free online downloads too to make them fit Becca’s Hen!
The first thing we had to sort was the location, the brief just said ‘a big city’, and because Becca lives in London we were thinking of Leeds, Liverpool or Manchester….
During one late night online research session along the lines of ‘Hen Do Venues for 20 people’ I stumbled across The Shankley Hotel in Liverpool and its amazing rooms!!
The hotel was obviously designed for hen and stag dos and boasted loads of big dormitory style rooms. We initially fell in love with ‘The Vault’ a huge room with bunk beds for grown ups and your own private underground bar with Jacuzzi…. Sounds good right!!!?!?!?
As fate would have it, it wasn’t available on the dates we wanted and it was also quite a bit over our budget. When I say fate, I mean it, as this meant I kept looking and discovered ‘The Laurent Perrier Suite’.
This room could have been made for us, and Becca, and the theme. A huge, indulgent room that slept 24; 12 nooks, each containing a comfy double bed and wet room behind plush gold velvet curtains all around the star feature of the suite; a huge roman bath which ran the length of the room! The sleeping nooks were split over two floors from a split staircase on the back wall and overlooked the lower level! As you came in through the huge medieval looking, vault-like doors there was also a seating area and a small kitchenette. It was perfect!! We contacted them straight away and booked it…. It was obviously meant to be!!
Not only was the room impressive to look at, it had an amazing luxurious feel to it (think hues of gold everywhere) but it also meant we’d all be together, all weekend!! Any girl will tell you that one of the best parts of a night out is the getting ready, the gossiping, the trying outfits on for approval, the doing hair for each other and obviously the vast amounts of prosecco that are needed to fuel the getting ready process.
By being all-together, it would ensure no one would feel left out or that they were missing out on some of the fun, a must have for our beautiful bride to be! The other obvious bonus to the room was that it looked like it cold have been plucked from the pages of Harry Potter; a mash up of a prefects bathroom and what I imagine the Hufflepuff dormitory would have looked liked!
So with a city and the accommodation sorted it was on to the décor, the games and the general tomfoolery!
Being a creative little sod I was in my element and now that it’s been and gone, I kinda miss my HP themed crafting evenings!! (all though the wedding has taken over all crafting evenings)
In this post I’m gonna concentrate on a few of the things we made to make the room even more special!
First up goody bags!
No good hen do is complete without a few goodies for the brides best gals. One of the bridesmaids suggested Velvet for the ultimate wizard-esq bag so a trip to fabricland and a day at my sewing machine later 17 little velvet pouches (in house colours don’t ya know) where made and waiting to be filled.
Any Harry Potter themed party needs a wand so I spent an amusing evening crafting these from wooden chopsticks, glue guns and some various spray paints/pens! The fact they were somewhat phallic also added to the Hen Party vibe too!
Being it was a hen do alcohol was also required. We brought and found a collection of various miniatures and these were then transformed into potion bottles that Severus Snape himself would have been proud of! I soaked off the labels and replaced them with ones I made or downloaded. Check out these links for some of the ones I used.
I was so happy with how they turned out and with potions including Love Potion, Truth Serum and Liquid Luck, I felt all pretty apt considering their alcoholic contents!!
We also had some sweet treats, some chocolates (incase of dementor attacks), a golden snitch (made from a good old Ferrero roche) and also some miniature boxes of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans!! I made small versions of these by scanning in a full size box (which I brought at the Harry Potter Studios which we visited in November for Maxwell’s Birthday) and scaling it down on photoshop. These were then constructed and filled with good ol’ Jellybeans!! Cute huh!!
Also in the goody bag were Dark Mark tattoos (which I also brought from the HP Studio), A personalized champagne flute, a little deathly hallows bracelet which I made, ‘I solemnly Swear I’m up to no good’ badge (which you can get here), a lumos sparkler (get it?!), A HP themed hangover kit and some Butter Beer lip balms which I pimped!!
All of which were super easy to do, it just needed a bit of imagination and quite a bit of time! At some point, after all the weddings have been and gone, I’ll share some of the templates I made/used/created!!
Goody Bags sorted; lets talk about Décor…
The Room didn’t need much, but we did a few bits here and there…
Lindsay found and printed off a load of harry potter themed photobooth props which towards the end of the first night were brought out and amused and abused! Haha. We also did directional signposts (Diagon Alley, Privet Drive, Gringotts etc_ and I used some of my trusty Kraft DIY bunting to spell out phrases such as Muggle to Mrs, Team Gryffindor, I solemnly Swear I’m up to no good and our hilarious hashtag #SnitchAndSnatch17
Kelly and I also made loads of quite amusing Education Decree Posters using this really good downloadable template and some undesirable no.1 posters of Becca!! Haha
We also did a few signs and bits and bobs here and there, which if you’re HP fan, you’d really get and would make you chuckle!! These included:
*Beware, the stairs move (on the stairs obviously)
*A Fat Lady (for the front door)
*A moaning Myrtle (stuck on the inside of Becca’s toilet lid – haha)
*A Potions Making Station Sign (to hang above the bar)
*Plastic spiders (as in ‘follow the spiders’)
*’The third floor corridor is strictly off bounds to anyone not wanting to die a most painful death’ sign
*’Free Invisibility Cloaks’ sign
*Photos of Bec throughout her life (super cute idea for any hen!)
Urm….. and some balloons?! Haha…
All this came together to just make the room look even more magical!
Caroline also made the most AMAZING sorting hat!!! (I’ll explain a little bit more about that below) When Becca walked in to the room and saw it all for the first time her face was priceless and was worth every second and every penny!!!! So So Good!!!
The last thing we need to discuss is the games…. A hen do is not a hen do with out a bit of gaming so here goes… Here’s what we did and how we did it:
Being that there was such a big group of us we thought it wise to split the group up into smaller teams, and being that this was a HP themed Hen Do the answer was easy. The girls would all be split into the 4 Hogwarts houses and we 4 bridesmaids would be house prefects!! The idea was that over the course of the weekend any good behavior (excessive drinking, impressive dance moves, winning games) would earn house points, any bad behavior (going to bed early, being sensible/boring) would loose you house points!! The team with the most points at the end of the weekend could win the house cup (aka mini bottle of champagne!!! 😉
To do the sorting we used the fab hat, which Caroline had made and asked Bernie, Becca’s lovely dad, to record a pre written script which (as if by magic) made hilarious comments and musings about the person whom it sat on and decided what house they would be in!! This was so funny and even the girls who were utterly HP clueless still found the whole thing very silly and funny!!
MR & MRS
A Hen Do Favourite!! In a book I created for Bec, We asked Edward her Fiancé 20 questions that Bec had to guess his anwsers!! I used tiny envelopes brought from Paperchase and my favourite Typewriter!!
I MUST NOT TELL LIES
A fun game of our own invention… We asked the girls to share with us a naughty/funny/saucy/embarrassing story about Becca and we may have also added in a few fake stories…. The game is simple, Becca would read them one at a time, out loud, and the girls (split into house teams) would then have to guess if she was telling the truth or not! Correct answers = house points… you get the jist!!
QUIDDITCH PROSECCO PONG
A pimped up HP hen do version of Beer Pong (with quidditch hoops made by my lovely fiancé)
LIVERPOOL SCAVENGER HUNT
This was a great way to get out and about and see all the best bits of Liverpool. Lindsay used the add called GooseChase and added in loads of funny HP/Hen Do tasks as well as some standard Liverpool-esq ones.
This was such good fun and the teams could do as much or as little as they wanted…. Fab fun!!!!
PIN THE LIGHTENING BOLT SCAR ON EDDY POTTER
An amusing take on the kids party game of pin the tail on the donkey!! Unfortunately the Eddy Potter face I’d made got a little chopped up! Whoops! Haha but we improvised and it was still very funny!!
THE NAKED HARRY POTTER CAST GAME
This was probably one of the funniest games I invented!!! Haha….. I spent an amusing evening googling naked/topless pictures of the cast of Harry potter then chopped off their heads! The game was to match the actor with the character, extra points given if you also knew the character name!!! Very funny/very childish/very hen party appropriate and thanks to Daniel Radcliffe’s stint on the stage quite exciting too!!! Haha
Quite simply – cocktail making/ pimp your prosecco station… We renamed some classic Prosecco Cocktails with a HP-esq title and provided all the herbs/fruits and mixers to create! Simple and obviously well used!
HEN DO BOOK
I also created a hen do book for Bec, a little tradition of mine, but this one was my most impressive/fullest yet!! I asked to girls to sent me notes/photos to include…. I also left space to put all the pics in which we’d inevitably take over the weekend and also other funny things like ‘design a dress for Becca’ and a space for well wishes and a card/letter from her mum and hubby to be!!
So there you have it!
A few hints and tips of you’re thinking of planning a HP Hen Do!! I hope you find this useful!! I post the actual pics separately as I think this post has enough content!!