I’m delighted to share our very first ‘Real Life Hen Party’ feature. And what a great hen party we’ve got to kick off the new feature – that of fashion blogger Jess, of Dressed by Jess.
Hen parties have evolved so much in recent years; from a small, intimate meal and drinks with friends, to full-on weekends away and styled events. I’m not saying you can’t go for a few drinks, but there are so many amazing things you can do for your hen party these days.
In the new feature we’ll be sharing some amazing hen parties and weekends of brides-to-be, to give you loads of inspiration for your own.
Jess’s Hen Weekend
Jess didn’t fancy a traditional night out on the town, and instead chose an amazing hen weekend in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. Her ideal getaway involved pampering, relaxing, and sunbathing with her friends, so that’s exactly what she did.
The location, under an oak tree, was truly stunning and the perfect place to have a beautiful laid-back picnic-style lunch. Gigi of Smells Like Peonies Events created the prettiest tablescape for the occasion, and the girls drank Champagne and enjoyed a magnificent oreo-filled cake.
“Rather than checking into a hotel we decided to rent a big ol’ beach house for the weekend. It was steps away from the ocean and my sister and bridesmaids decked it out with flamingos and pineapples – the perfect beachy details. A dream getaway for me includes pampering, relaxing, and sunbathing.
“The girls worked so hard to make this weekend extra special for me, and for that reason I wanted to treat them to a surprise lunch alongside Live Oak Alley at Boone Hall. I reached out to Ava Moore Photography and Gigi of Smells Like Peonies Events to pull it off. With the help of amazing vendors, it turned out to be one epic lunch date with my girls!
“The afternoon couldn’t have been more perfect. A storm had just rolled in so there was practically no one left at the mansion. It was quiet, serene, and like a scene from a movie. We were surrounded by beautiful flowers and the most gorgeous tablescape I have ever seen (thanks to Gigi). After we popped the champagne we dived into the Oreo-filled cake and soaked up every moment under the oak trees. It was magical! The best part of this weekend was being surrounded by all of my girls.”
Jess’s Top Five Tips for Creating An Epic Hen Weekend
Collect the Money First
Designate one or two group organisers and make sure to collect all payments prior to your trip. Everyone should enjoy themselves from the moment they walk in the door and not have to worry about making payments during the special events. Which brings me to my next point…
When travelling to a new city make sure you do all your planning ahead of time. Utilise online tools that provide party ideas, venue recommendations and tools to simplify the planning process.
Have a Meal Catered In
Sometimes restaurants can be too loud and take away from the intimacy of the event.
Surprise and Delight!
In the case of a hen party, it’s always fun to surprise your guests with special treats. My sister prepared tote bags with beach towels, flamingo straws, can coolers, custom t-shirts, and delicious chocolate covered pretzels (even the boxes were customised!).
Make it Meaningful
Whether it’s sunrise yoga, a painting class, zip-lining, a wellness retreat, or just a simple slumber party, it’s important you tailor that your hen weekend completely to your interests.
As cheesy as this may sound, you should cherish quality time with your girlfriends. It’s not often you can rally everyone together for a destination celebration, so when you do, have fun with it and try to disconnect from social media so you’re present in the moment.
Photography: Ava Moore Photography
Location: Boone Hall Plantation, Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Planner and Designer: Gigi of Smells Like Peonies
Hair: Monica of Mirror Mirror
Flowers: Wildflowers Inc
Cake: Swank Desserts
Rentals: Event Works Rentals
Calligraphy: Corsivo Calligraphy
Hen Planning Guide and Inspiration: The Bach Party
Jess’s Dress: Eliza J