How to Throw a Kick Ass Hen Party

Join us for the second instalment of the electric three-part Alternative Hen series, penned by Mistress of Mayhem Siobhan Scanlon, founder of The Peacock Bride. In part two Siobhan proffers poultry pearls of wisdom, explaining how you can throw a sizzling bash for even the most disgruntled of hens.

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Anyone who has had the pain, I mean pleasure, of organising a hen party knows all too well the challenges sometimes faced. Trying to please 20 ladies can be difficult at the best of times but throw location, cost, food, activities and sleeping arrangements into the mix and unless you carefully manage this you’re likely to end up with hen’s egg on your face. Below are a couple of simple tips that can really make the difference between a ‘MEH’ party and an ‘Sha-mazing’ bash.

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1. Save money on the RIGHT things

In the last few years, the price of hen parties has sky rocketed. But there are some clever ways to save money so you don’t have to sacrifice a month’s salary on pleasing the bridezilla.

– Consider self-serve options for accommodation, such as glamping or renting a house. You can pre-load the place with bubbles and breakfast, saving you a fortune on sleeps and eats.

– Call restaurants/cafés in advance for any group deals. You’d be surprised how often they are willing to create a set menu for group bookings. That way the cost is set, everyone is clear and you don’t have Greedy Gertrude at the top of the table ordering steak to get her money’s worth.

– Fish around for any BYOB (bring your own booze) options in the area. These are becoming more and more popular, and are a massive relief to the budget without actually sacrificing anything.

2. Nobody likes to be dictated to a hen party is NOT a military operation

dictator henI’m all for having set plans, and for a hen party it’s a must – but there are certain ‘rules’ to be considered when it comes to planning. Before bulldozing ahead with a one-size-fits-all approach, it’s worth bearing in mind that people’s expectations of a hen party can vary massively depending on their own situation. Understanding this is the key to a successful hen party!

Let people dip in and out of activities as they wish. I organised my sister’s hen party last year, and we decided to take a jaunt on some electric bikes for a couple of hours. This wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so I had arranged a masseuse to come to the venue for anyone who preferred that. There’s little worse than feeling obliged to do something you don’t want to do, especially when you’ve paid good money to be there. Besides, when the pressure is off, people will most likely get involved of their own accord. By setting the tone for a relaxed and flexible weekend early on, the hens will be onside from the get go!

3. Never underestimate the power of FUN FUELERS

‘Fun Fuelers’ are what we like to call any paraphernalia that, in a nutshell, generate fun! Remember, often hens are meeting for the first time or you may be flying solo for the weekend, so having a couple of icebreakers are a great way to quickly unite a group in a natural way.

Things such a photo props, hats, inflatables and piñatas goad people to get involved. There’s full fuelersnothing more unifying that discussing your outlandish costumes or watching the blindfolded bride-to-be beat the living daylights out of a unicorn piñata.

4. Arrange as much as you can advance

Where possible, prebook and pay for as much as you can. The only thing worse than being forced to wear matching pink t-shirts that say ‘Zilla’s Hen Party’ is being landed with another £200 bill at the end of the weekend. The last hen I went to included food for the weekend, taxis, drinks, dinner, club entry, even some champagne caviar! It was such a relief to all the hens at the end of the weekend, and there was no begrudgery over the price tag.

5. Dont be afraid to switch it up

Don’t be afraid to switch up the traditional format of the hen party and stray from the ever popular two-night/one-day activity format. One-nighters are becoming more and more the done thing, and you’ll find that people generally tend to give it socks for the night. Another trend is that of day parties – still life painting, ice cream making, laughter yoga and clay pigeon shooting are all the rage amongst 2015 hens. Do what your little heart heart desires but for pete’s sake consider your hens in the process.

Connect with The Peacock Bride’s whimsical world of poultry cool via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Stay tuned next week for the third and final instalment of the Alternative Hen series, where Siobhan will be exploring the art of Peacocking with party accessories.

We leave you to ponder the words of Charlotte Brontë, ‘I would always rather be happy than dignified,’ she says. Second that Charlotte. Cluck fucking cluck.

#alifelessordinary #badlybehavedbalance






How to Create a Romantic Atmosphere with Decor and Styling

Katherine Hudson of The Arabian Tent Company, the Queen of aesthetics, explains how you can stimulate the sensual with styling and decor.

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Katherine founded The Arabian Tent Company in 2004 because of her love of outdoor parties, and a wish to be able to recreate the magic of festivals at events and weddings. Her beautiful, unique designs do just that and so much more. Our favourite are the William Morris and La Rouge. Watch this video on The Life of an Arabian Tent Party to learn more.

1. How did fascination with decor and aesthetics begin?

As a child I lived in an old house, with rooms piled full of furniture my grandparents had collected.  One of my favourite things was climbing through these rooms. I was fascinated by the old faded chaise longues, rattan bed-heads, collections of truncheons, elephant feet and chests filled with tapestries… I’d carry pieces of furniture through into my own room to ‘re-style’ it regularly.  I simply loved the way you could make the space feel so different, depending on what you put in it.

2. In your opinion, what is the connection between aesthetics and mood?

There’s a huge connection between them.  We absorb the atmosphere of our surroundings, which effects the way we feel.  Just imagine standing in a brick tunnel; now lying on the grass in the park staring up at the blue sky; and now sitting at a table in your favourite restaurant… how different do you feel in each of these scenarios?!

3. Can colours and textures be aphrodisiacs?

www.lighttrick.co.ukAlthough I wouldn’t be quite as bold as to claim colours and textures can actually stimulate sexual desire, colours certainly have an effect on our brains…especially male brains!  Several studies both on humans and primates have found that the colour red worn by females makes men find them more attractive (although this doesn’t work the other way around!) and textures can certainly encourage us to be tactile…try wearing a pair of velvet leggings and see how many people ask to stroke your legs!

4. What would you say is the number one mistake people make regarding their physical surroundings when trying to create a romantic atmosphere?

Tuning in to listen to a romantic radio station, but then having to listen to the adverts in-between the music! Major buzz kill.

5. How can one create a romantic setting using aesthetics?

Think of each of the senses and ensure you’ve thoroughly tantalised it! Lighting is very important as www.lighttrick.co.ukit affects cognition and mood.  You just can’t beat candle-light (definitely no LED lighting), but ensure you’ve got enough candles – dim lighting isn’t sexy, but soft lighting is. Scented candles can stimulate senses in one. Women have been found to have a more acute sense of smell than men do. Scents like jasmine (which is said to induce euphoria), and sandalwood (which heightens sexual excitement by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system dominant during sexual arousal), and rose (an aphrodisiac for women) would all be great choices. Then ensure you’ve got tactile materials like silk or velvet around you.

6. Is a romantic atmosphere just for two or can it be used to stimulate other kinds of love and openness?

A romantic atmosphere certainly doesn’t have to be just for two, although creating one for multiple couples, like for a Valentine’s dinner party, can end up feeling clichéd and cheesy.  It’s about generating a relaxed feeling in people in order to encourage intimacy, but you do need to start with a basic level of trust within the group to begin with. It’s best not have too many people involved. So it would certainly work for a dinner party but not really for a large gathering like a wedding.

7. What is romantic for you?

Thoughtfulness. Although oysters are most definitely aphrodisiacs!

8. What are your predicted decor and styling trends for 2015?

Pops of bright colour on white/clean backgrounds will be big this year both at events and in ourDay of the Dead Shoot - weheartpictures-0113homes, as will metallic finishes and smokey glass!  Rather than large floral displays, we’ll be using statement trees and lots of green to add architectural interest and height at weddings. More herbs, berries and woodland touches such as fir-cones will be appearing instead of traditional floral displays, as ‘rustic’ is going to be a key wedding trend this year. That means lots of exposed wooden tables with benches being used in dining areas.  And lighting will be very important – LEDs are out. Warm white is in, with a revival of old fashioned Edison bulbs accented by mirrors and other eclectic objects eclectically mixed together.

9. If everyone could only have one styling item in their Valentine’s Day tool kit, what would it be?

A sumptuous large red velvet throw!

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