bachelorette party, Bride, Bride to be, celebrate, craft, Girls night out, Girls on tour, Goody bags, hen do, Hen Do Activities, Hen Do Book, Hen Party, Hen party bags, hen party book, hen party games, holiday, Hot Tub, party, Sant yago, Santander, southsea, Spain, Vodka Jelly, wedding
Continuing on with my wedding season series of blog posts and I can finally talk about my beautiful best friend; the brand new Mrs Lindsay Mathis DeBohan and her glorious hen dos!!!!
The wedding (and I’ll do a post on this soon) was sensational, and believe me when I say this special lady deserves only the best, so here goes: two hen do’s….
Together with Lindsay’s collection of beautiful bridesmaids a fabulous foreign affair of a do was organised, I’ll get to that in a bit…
Chloe and I offered to organise a local do for all the family and girls that couldn’t attend the main do. Now I’ll put this out there now; it was all a little last minute, haha…. With just over a week to go we were given a list of names and a rough idea of a plan from our laid back bride-to-be….
List in hand, and mobile in the other I started calling round venues to see if anywhere could squeeze in a party of 20ish for the following saturday night, many said no, but luckily one of my local favourites, Sant Yago (where I had my 30th coincidentally) said they could squeeze us in! Hurrah… So a plan began to take shape….
We kept things simple and asked all the chicks to wear black and the bride-to-be; white. Red lips were a must all round and this simple ‘theme’ meant all could take part with little effort/cost but all looked and felt fantastic!
We all know Do’s can get pricey so we were determined to keep things as cheap as possible so no one felt excluded. We asked everyone for a set amount up front, Sant Yago offered us a glorious 7-part tapas selection which was absolutely scrumptious and in addition to this we purchased couple of bottles of prosecco for the table and used the leftover kitty to sort the goody bags and decorate the tables to make it as special as possible.
There was lots of hand made touches and I think this is what people really appreciated… It meant no more money, admittedly quite a bit more time, but the results were lovely and went down a treat! I must admit, I was in geeky organising heaven, creating invites and everything to match!
Chloe and I came up with lots of cute ideas for the goody bags (thank goodness for pinterest)… We used the bags as place settings/hastag details and included champagne bubbles, gold striped straws, jelly heart sweets, a ‘single ladies’ ring, a red lippy (to paint the town red), a paper rose hair clip and some key to happiness cards…
Of course we made sure the Bride had the best goody bag so a few extra special items were included to up the ‘sauciness’ and ‘wedding’ factors (aka some red sequinned nipple tassels, must have willy whistle, ‘L’ Plates, a garter and a veil…. well it was a hen do!)
During the evening we all played a few games; organised by us and also the Mother of the Bride. These were great ice breakers and ‘getting to know you’ type games which were really fun… A saucy pass the parcel and impromptu ‘Like a Virgin’ sing-a-long!!
The food was consumed, lots of cocktails enjoyed and laughs had…. The night ended up in the classic hen do destination of POP World…. which couldnt be more perfect; cheesy pop and cheap drinks…. We danced into the wee hours of the morning, and left shoes in hand with a happy tipsy hen! Job done!!
The Hen Do (part 2) was equally as fun, a group of 10 of us packed our bags and headed to Spain for a weekend of (unexpected) sun and glitter…. lots and lots of glitter!
The destination was Santander, which I confess I knew little about, but actually, it blew me away…. The apartment was nestled into what could only be described as ‘a ‘volvic’ landscape! Rolling hills and mountains with a farm just below us, it was stunning a not at all what I’d normally associate with Spain.
Glitter was the inspiration for the first night out so after a beautiful day lounging in the sun/hot tub in a glitter, photo and colourful decorated luxury suite we donned our sequinned best, covered our faces with sparkles and headed out to the bemused Santander town (turns out Santander doesn’t really do ‘big nights out or dressing up)
After a traditional tapas all squished into a tiny bar, we headed to the square for a drink and then went on to locate the only nightclub this tiny town seemed to house! The rest of the evening was a whirl of dancing, huge cocktails, ace of base singalongs and reflecting the discotheque lights from our sequinned outfits.
I should also mention now that I also made Lindsay one of my Hen Party Books (which I also made for Anna last year) This was an utter labour of love and I think may be my best yet! Page upon page of photos, games, memories and fun to be had… I photographed all the pages so I will post these all in a separate post for those that are interested!)
Our second day was spent enjoying the hot tub and the in house spa with a few drinks…..
Later in the afternoon we headed out to the beautiful Santander. It really is a beautiful town, we took our time strolling round the sweet streets with an icecream and enjoying a bottle or two of wine over looking the beautiful sea. As it was our last night we were determined to find somewhere special…Luckily we discovered the most incredible restaurant which was amazing! if you ever find yourself in Santander you must visit Bodega Cigalena, I promise you wont be disappointed!!
This was the perfect end to a beautiful ‘do’ celebrating my beautiful best friends last days as a Miss! Everything about this place, the decor, the staff, the food was just perfect!! After food was finished with we decided to head back to the apartment to enjoy the rest of the booze and the hot tub!
Now I ask you to picture the scene, 1 balcony, with 1 hot tub designed for 4…. add those 4 girls, a heart shaped dish of vodka jelly and a makeshift bar… then add 6 more girls…. you get the picture, it was like drunk hen soup and it was oh so funny…. little did we know that the real laughs would come when people started getting out…. a sudden drop in the water level and the remaining chicks (myself included) we suddenly blasted with huge jets of water…. I still giggle when I think of it, it was without a doubt the funniest moment which I will treasure forever!!!
The morning after saw 10 slightly pink girls head home with glitter still in their hair and all very much excited for the big day! Cheers to you Mrs DeBohan… what fun we had! ❤
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So…. after our Rotterdam Wedding adventures (which you can read about here and here) we headed home for approximately 12hrs, then turned around and headed straight off again, this time to the beautiful south of Italy.
Last time we were celebrating Merel and Marcel, this time to celebrate the wedding of Liam and Lacey… (Loving these couples and their matching names!) You could say the new Mr & Mrs Hunter-Felton have a bit of a love affair the region of Italy in which they chose to get married. They took their first joint holiday there and got engaged there, so it was an obvious choice for a beautiful wedding… I’m sure the fact they are massive foodies had something to do with it too!
All in all we had 5 days of Italian sunshine (with the odd downpour thrown in for good measure) We arrived on the Wednesday, checked into our amazing Air B&B, a charming 18th century masseria located in a small village in the heart of Salento which goes by the name of Spongano and explored the local area and the charming local restaurant.
Team Spongano was an almighty collective which in addition to the boy and I included my dear friends Chloe (aka the Magpie Mother) and Steve and their girls Iris and Matilda, the beautiful Kelly and Charlie, and new friends Beth (aka Dotty Dishes), her husband Steve and their friend Alice…. It was a full house, but a fun house!
The wedding took place on the Friday, so that left Thursday to explore Castro and enjoy an evening cocktail party at the soon-to-be-marrieds villa, Sunday was spent enjoying an all day pool party at the grooms brothers Villa and Monday we explored our way back along the coast before finally heading home.
Like with Rotterdam, I’ll split the post in two so not to bombard you with photos (It really is such a pretty place and the food…. So. Much. Food!!)
We’ll start again with the reason behind the trip the grand wedding!
Our bride and groom were married in the Tenuta Lucagiovanni and oh my gosh….. what a sensation wedding venue. In a cue for the loos with the wedding planner, she described it to me as “the Italian equivalent of the Ritz, that people flock from all over Italy to get married there”, and it’s not hard to see why!
We arrived through rows of olives groves and were met with an imposing wall which gave nothing away of the luxury which lied within… we strolled towards the venue and the first space we encountered was the main square, a space with seated areas and a covered veranda. Milling around and meeting other beautifully dressed guests it wasn’t long before we were ushered towards the meadow and to take our seats ready for the ceremony.
Seated outside, the sweet smell of flowers and sounds of the harpist we took our seats and smiled at the groom who waited with an excited/nervous smile on his face!
Lacey arrived and looked every inch the italian bride in her stunning gown from Anya Bridal and huge flowing bouquet beaming from ear to ear!
The ceremony itself was a funny thing…. The typical looking Italian Mayor oversaw the vows and these were then translated to English for us. It seems Italian wedding ceremonies involve a lot of bylaws and bureaucracy…. At some point though, it was all made official and the newly wedded Mr & Mrs Hunter-Felton shared their first kiss as husband and wife.
As they walked back down the aisle as a Mr & Mrs they were showered in rice (an Italian equivalent to confetti) we were then offered a selection of drinks and canapés and presented with a beautiful paper parasol for all the female guests.
Everyone made their way back to the main square where a bar and 2 food tables had sprung up. We enjoyed the antipasti course with an aperol spritz in hand whilst lounging around the square in the beautiful sunshine. The food, as expected was incredible… freshly made mozzarella and breads on one table and a selection of fried and freshly cooked morsels on the other….
A inspiring mix-up to the traditional english way of doing things, was that the speeches took place then too! With all the guests relaxed and drinks in hand, this made the whole formal speech scene so much more relaxed and enjoyable!
After the speeches were made and many laughs were had, we headed parasol in hand to the orange garden to find our seats for dinner. This beautiful square garden was laid out with tables round the outside and a little table for two for the newlyweds (another nice touch I thought, giving the couple some special time alone together to reflect on the day before rejoining their guests) The food continued to be incredible, The pasta course was a local semolina pasta with a tasty tomato sauce, The main course was a choice between local speciality fish (which I opted for) or steak… all was delicious and washed down with many glasses of cool white wine which seemed to be topped up every time an impeccably dressed waiter walked by!
Another lovely touch was the favours for the boys (don’t want them feeing left out) ordered and made especially for the wedding by a local olive oil grove, we tasted ours the other day and its incredible!
As the sun started to set and parasols were put down we left the Orange Garden and headed through the stunning house to secret garden where the bride and groom cut their cake, without a doubt, the biggest wedding cake I have ever seen!!
In addition to cake, there was fresh fruit galore, a selection of other cakes and a gelato bar. Maxwell is still raving about the pistachio icecream!!
Making the most of the generous free bar, a glass of prosecco in hand, the crowds gathered to watch the first dance. From that moment on we barely left the ‘dancefloor’.
It was such a fun wedding, so indulgent and opulent but also so personal and ‘them’. Having the whole day outside was glorious and I smile just thinking of the day, the love, and having a jolly old time with some my closest friends!
I’ll post about the rest of the Italian holiday soon, but till then, arrivederchi.
I get to do a few odd things as part of my job…
Last week on Friday I got asked to attend a secret tea party for a lovely lady who had just finished a 2-year project of which I was one of the artists employed.
Said tea party took party in the Captain’s private quarter on board the 1860 HMS Warrior… all very exciting!
After we had our fill of miniature cakes I headed up on deck and took some beautiful shots of the impressive ship.
If you’ve never been to The Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth before you really should. If you want to find our more about the impressive ship you can do so here.
A day after we celebrated my sweet niece and her first birthday, it was my time to celebrate my thirty-first…
This year felt a bit odd… not in a bad way, but in a different way… I’ve always made a big fuss over my birthdays, planned big nights out and unlike some, I enjoyed organising friends and the festivities….The longer I could drag out the celebrations, the better!
This year, for obvious reasons I wasn’t the main event, and that was ok… It kinda felt like my first grown up birthday, if that makes sense…? Last year for the big 3-0 I threw a OTT 1930’s soiree and partied the night away in a spectacular gown with a champagne cocktail in hand….
On the Friday night before we headed up north to my brothers, we had a little dinner with a couple of close friends in a local turkish restaurant which was amazing! Later joined by my cousin and another friend we chatted over cocktails at the adjacent bar.
My actual birthday morning was spent with close family, poached eggs with hollandaise, bucks fizz and a few presents from my nearest and dearest.
I had gone shopping with my Mumma a few weeks back to buy a much more sensible birthday dress compared to last year, and I had already been given a few early gifts which awaited me at home.
I opened pressies, including a wonderful converted 1970’s slide projector (converted into a film projector by my clever man) and we followed breakfast with the most enormous chocolate and peanut butter cake as a tribute to the incredible cake Maxwell and Mumma made last year (people are still talking about that cake!)
After packing up and giving many a hug Maxwell and I headed to Milton Keynes for a bit of shopping and a visit to the lego shop. I brought these amazing wide leg striped trousers from Zara… There was so much I could have brought had money allowed, it appears my love affair with Zara continues!
After we’d shopped we stopped off for some lunch and a couple of mocktails. Then my darling man drove me home whilst I snoozed (I am officially the worse passenger ever)
When we got home we cracked open a bottle of bubbly, grabbed a slice of cake and opened the rest of my presents. Wonderful, thoughtful, beautiful presents might I add. Feeling very loved and spoilt, we set up the slide projector, snuggled down on the bed, ordered a pizza and watched Harry Potter.
On Saturday I spent the day celebrating a friend and her upcoming nuptials… Liam and Lacey are getting married this May in Southern Italy and I cannot wait, I know it’s going to be the most beautiful wedding and I cannot wait to share it with you all!
A group of the brides friends and family joined together last weekend to have a girly day celebrating the fact that this lovely lady had found her soulmate.
I was unfortunately feeling awful, a whirlwind illness that scarily felt like flu threatened to ruin my fun but refusing to give in I went armed with tissues and meds and tried my hardest to not let it get in the way of any hen shenanigans… a glass of bubbly makes most things better right?
The day was spent lounging in jacuzzi’s, having massages, enjoying cream teas and plentiful glasses of Prosecco and getting to know each other at the Grand harbour Hotel in Southampton.
Once everyone was suitably chilled we headed back to my dear friend Chloe’s (aka the Magpie Mother) Mom’s house and put some some tunes and all got ready together…
Dressed in our highest heels and lips painted we shared a bottle of champagne and headed out again to join the rest of the party…
The destination was Turtle Bay, THE place for rum cocktails and Caribbean food… We enjoyed working our way through the cocktail menu, the amazing (if not a little spicy) food and playing games of Mr & Mrs where the bride unfortunately had to do her fair share of wrong answer shots…
After the plates were cleared and cocktails drained the party moved on to the Orange Rooms, A retro inspired bar/lounge for some Soul/Funk music and a night on the dancefloor and a few extra bottles of fizz….
A lovely evening was had by all and has made me even more excited for the early summer wedding!
Cheers to Lacey, the beautiful Bride-to-be ❤
A belated Happy Christmas to you all
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, apologies it’s been a bit quiet over here, we hosted for 2 days and it kinda took over everything… (more on that later)
I’m finally having a day of nothingness though to catch up on some things and download the last 4 months off my camera…
I’ll probably schedule a load of posts today so keep an eye out over the next few days…
The first thing I wanna do a little blog about is a Re-uni-on that took place in September.
I graduated 8 years ago (how us that possible) and I still count my uni girls among my closest and dearest friends. We rarely get a chance to get all 5 of us together but try our hardest when things like birthdays and weddings come around….
In September 4 out of the 5 of us (illness claimed one of our posse) got together as a surprise to celebrate 30 years of our favourite Essex Girl….
Organised by her lovely hubby Laurie a huge restaurant was reserved for Nat’s nearest and dearest at Mimosa restaurant and Deli in Colchester.
Here’s a few snaps from the evening….
I did a little post the other day about a little doll I made for a certain little lady who has just turned two…
At the weekend her mama, one of my dearest friends threw her a gorgeous garden party!
The sun was shining, the pimms was flowing (ribenna for the littleuns) and there was lots of cake, fun, bubbles, games and pressies!!
It has been a pleasure watching this little lady grow up… She is a beauty an it was lovely to be there to celebrate her!!
I was snapping away all day until my phone died so thought I’d share with you some images from the day!!
The dolly went down well and received and instant cuddle from the lady of the day, Maxwell also gave her a handmade wooden plane he had made which both miss Iris and her cousin Noah adored! There was also more handmade gifts from other people and also and amazing cake made by my friend Emma and her fella Lec!!
Seriously, the cake was awesome, inside and out (and tasted blooming good too!!!)
It was such a fun afternoon and I know the birthday girl had a wonderful time!! And huge kudos to Chloe and her family for creating such a lovely day!! 🙂
…it was mothers day yesterday, and we celebrated 3 generations of girlies (plus my man)
Mamma lo cooked a wonderful meal, as she always does, there were pressies and flowers and glasses of prosecco.
I know we all feel it but my mamma is a wonderful inspiring woman.
for my mamma. i love you. xx (circa 1987 & 2012)