I first met Sophie four and a half years ago, at my old job. We both joined on the same day, so being the newbies and working in such a small office, with only 3 other people, meant we spent a lot of time talking! She was also the person who would drive me to the train station after work on a Friday, nearly every other week, so I could travel up to London to see Matt for the weekend 🙂 Wow that seems like a long time ago now!!
I only worked at the company for a year and a half, before moving up to London for good. So even though I hadn’t known Sophie very long, working together everyday in such a close environment, meant that we got to know each other pretty well. The day I left was a bit of a sad one as I knew I was leaving Sophie alone and they didn’t end up replacing me. However at the same time I couldn’t wait to start my new life in London!
Sophie and I kept in contact weekly, along with attending each other’s birthday parties, concerts, night’s out, new home’s etc and in Summer 2013 celebrating the news that Sophie had gotten engaged to John, her childhood sweetheart. Matt and I attended their engagement party back in Bournemouth, and she asked me to be her bridesmaid that night. I was pleasantly surprised that she had asked me and happily agreed.
Ever since that moment though it has been all systems go on the wedding planning! And last Summer she asked if I would plan her hen party. I love organising parties (my old job was event planning) and I love a good spreadsheet. So I agreed to take on the task, after all I did have a year to plan it! She gave me a list of ideas that she liked and didn’t like and suggested that it would be easier to keep it in Bournemouth, the rest was up to me.
So finally after a long year of planning, organising and getting people together, Sophie’s Hen Weekend had arrived…..
I travelled back to my parent’s house late Thursday night and then spent Friday frantically putting last minute bits together for the hen party. Blowing up balloons, writing name place cards for the table, cutting out pictures to stick on the walls ..just to name a few! As well as managing to squeeze in a catch up with both of my nan’s and an old school friend of mine in the afternoon. Mum treated me to an amazing roast dinner that night, oh how I miss those! and then we spent the rest of the evening gossiping over wine..bliss!
^^ Everyone’s bottle of fizz (I used these as place cards for the table)
^^ Just some of the decorations, booze and added extra’s I brought – As you can see Sophie LOVES pink!
Saturday morning seemed to pass by in a second and then myself, mum and dad headed to the hotel in Bournemouth to set up. I am soo grateful that they helped me set up, along with my old boss, Jo. I really underestimated how long it would all take!
I had booked a private room for the whole day, and decided to decorate the whole thing myself. We laid pink table cloths, sprinkled with lots of hen themed confetti. Each Hen got their own bottle of fizz, along with chocolates, sweets, a bottle of bubbles, pink champagne flute, pink shot glass and a test tube shot.
My dad kindly blew up all the balloons and tied one to each chair. The walls we covered with hen party banners, balloons and photos of Sophie with her friends and family. Finally done, we hid all the extra booze and snacks in the cupboard, got rid of all the rubbish and I hugged and thanked my parents goodbye. I finally felt I was ready to relax and enjoy the day!
Jo and I got to Aruba just in time to meet everyone else for lunch.
If you haven’t been to Aruba you should really try it out. It’s right on Bournemouth Pier with views of the sea and beach and they do amazing cocktails. BOGOF on Friday nights 😉 By day it’s a place to chill with a drink, watch the World go by and eat some yummy food. In the evening it’s a place to come with friends and dance the night away, cocktail in hand. I used to love it when I lived in Bournemouth and it was always my go to place!
On arrival I greeted everyone with their own personalised sash, which of course were pink and Sophie had a tiara/veil too!
We then ordered a large round of cocktails and pizza!
After lunch we headed outside, into the gorgeous British sunshine. Bournemouth beach was packed!
Jumped in cabs and headed back to the hotel ready for the afternoon.
^^ You can’t beat a selfie in the sunshine!
Back at the hotel, we were greeted with a glass of champagne before the Etiquette Class began. Yes we really did an Etiquette Class! and in all honesty I really enjoyed it and learnt a bit from it 😉
We learnt what you would expect from this sort of thing; how to walk with a book on our heads, how to speak properly, how you should treat your husband 😉 Well this was advice from the 1950’s! At the end we were split into teams and had to devise a short play, including all the advice we had learnt from the class. For example someone played the mum, dad, children etc. It was actually really fun and everyone got involved.
To end the class we learnt the history of afternoon tea and indulged in all the goodies and more bubbles of course! 😉 Plus I had put together a quiz of my own which everyone took part in while enjoying the cakes and scones!
^^ Bride to Be Sophie in housewife training, 50’s style.
^^ Sophie and Lauren, balancing those books!
^^ Yummy afternoon tea and Sophie with some of her hens
^^ Sophie with her 2 Bridesmaids, Sarah on the left and myself on the right.
After we had eaten as many delicious cakes and scones as we possibly could. Some of the older member’s of the group called it a day and headed home.
^^ Sophie with (From L-R) Nan of the Groom, Gran of the Bride, Mother of the Groom, Mother of the Bride & Aunt of the Groom
We were very lucky with the weather and so for the remainder of the afternoon the mum’s decided to pop out for a bit of a sunbathe, while the rest of us checked out what the hotel spa had to offer.
Feeling very relaxed after a quick swim and laze in the jacuzzi, we headed to our hotel rooms to get ready for the night ahead.
Glammed up and ready to get the party started, we headed back downstairs to our main room, where buffet food had been laid out for us and Sophie was waiting for her surprise….
A Butler in the Buff! She had banned me from getting a stripper, so this was the next best thing 😉
He was a lot of fun and soon got us playing a mixture of games and continuously poured us drinks. His rule was 1 shot for the loser and 2 shots for the winner. That seems fair right? Needless to say we were very tipsy after his 2 hour visit!
^^ We started off with pin the junk on the hunk, then moved on to Willy Bingo. After the shots kicked in, it turned into Never have I ever and finally we ended up with Body Shots! Sorry Mr Butler 😉
After saying goodbye to our Butler and feeling a little tipsy,we all made our way to Bar So, for the rest of the evening.
We had a private table, with bottle service and danced and sang the night away..
13 Ladies started on the Saturday and only 6 made it to breakfast the next morning, I think that’s a sign of a good night! 😉
I hope Sophie enjoyed herself and now the countdown is on for the wedding.. 4 weeks to go!
Love, Chloe xx