A Liverpool Hen Do Weekend

Planning a Liverpool hen do? Here’s what I did (and I’d highly recommend it!)

So obviously my blog has a wedding section because I’m getting married in 36 DAYS. The hen do should traditionally be the day before the wedding, but that tradition has long escaped out of the window. Hen and stag dos are bigger than ever, and usually require whole weekends dedicated to celebrations. They can be in the same country, local, or abroad.

I’d highly recommend a weekend in Liverpool for a hen do. It’s a great city with a mixture of bars, depending if you’re a cocktail gal, a gin drinker or a non-drinker. Here’s how we got on for my Liverpool hen do on 16th and 17th March.

 

Where We Stayed

The whole trip was a surprise for me. I knew we were heading to Liverpool, but that was where my knowledge ended. Which is why when we walked into 30 James Street – Home of the Titanic hotel, I couldn’t believe it. I’d hinted at my sister months ago that it was my ideal hen do location, but didn’t realise she actually took my comment on board!

Then when we got there, they’d only upgraded us for no cost to their Presidential Suite. It was the most beautiful hotel room I’ve ever stayed in. It was incredible.

 

30 James Street presidential suite - 3 beds in room with huge painted ceiling

You could see the Liver building and the River Mersey from our room. It was such a clear day you could see Birkenhead on the other side. The room had a champagne booth, a bath big enough for 10 people, and a shower that turned into a steam room.

My Mum had organised for a bottle of champagne to be in our room when we arrived. I would absolutely recommend this hotel to anyone planning a Liverpool hen do. They did everything they could for us, nothing was too much trouble, and it’s a stunning building.

Glasses of fizz consumed: 2 and a half 

 

What We Ate

After checking into our fabulous hotel room (and feeling well and truly like royalty) we headed to our evening meal. Again I had no idea where I was going, only that I had to endure a 4-minute walk in 5 inch heels. Ouch. Just as I was considering giving up, we walked into the restaurant: Piccolino’s!

We have a Piccolino’s in Chester, and it’s the sort of place you’d go to if you wanted a semi-fancy evening meal. Not your everyday weekend kinda job. My Mum had had to preorder my meal, guessing what I’d like. Luckily, she chose perfectly! Calamari to start, medium-rare steak for main and fruit salad for dessert (since I’ve cut out chocolate, cake, and biscuits for a whole year).

One of my best friends from uni organised the goody bags which were filled with homemade shots, a Truth or Dare card game, sweets, party poppers, and a badge for each person. I also had my sash which I didn’t want to take off all weekend!

 

Glasses of fizz consumed: 2

The next day, we had a spa day, followed by an afternoon tea in the hotel. It included a whole range of sandwiches, scones, cream and jam and mini desserts too.

 

Glasses of fizz consumed: 1 (and 1 cocktail)

 

What We Did

I don’t really like clubbing so instead we had plenty of cocktails at the bars local to the hotel after our meal. We headed to the Alchemist, which was about a minute’s walk and on the way back to the hotel. Being a Friday night, it was heaving, but we stayed for about an hour.

Then we headed to the bar at the top of the hotel for another hour and more drinks, before going to bed at about 1am.

Glasses of fizz consumed: 1 (and 2 cocktails)

The next day, we had a leisurely hotel breakfast at 10am, and then had booked in for a mini spa experience. The spa was exclusively ours for two hours, and involved more Prosecco (surprise surprise), and a 30-minute treatment each. My Mum had booked me in for a back and shoulder massage, which after all the wedding stress was 13642% needed.

 

Spa at 30 James Street - Liverpool hen do

The pool was amazing as it was cloudy with some kind of salts in so felt like a giant jacuzzi/bath. Sorry for the terrible picture quality, spa lighting isn’t the best….

Glasses of fizz consumed: 2

 

The Liverpool hen do was so ‘me’. My family and friends couldn’t have done a better job of organising it. I loved every second and didn’t want to come home afterwards. I need to do this every year!

Total glasses of fizz consumed: 8.5 (and 3 cocktails)

How to Calmly Plan Your Wedding

Planning a party for 150 people when you’ve never even planned one for 20 people before is a big deal. Calmly plan your wedding using these tips and suggestions!

Congratulations on your engagement! Now is for the exciting part: the planning. You’ve got a blank slate, all the suppliers in the world to choose from and a full budget. At first it’s so exciting. But when your florist sells her business, your hairdresser cancels and your vicar announces his retirement you might start to panic (and yes, all of those have happened to me in the last 3 months).

 

Get organised

I have a wedding folder that is getting larger and larger each month, but without it I’d be lost. It’s where I put any invoices if I’ve paid deposits/the full amount. There’s a lot to remember and things get confusing when you have 15 suppliers. Keep track of what you’ve paid and when to calmly plan your wedding.

To stop you panicking about budget, work out exactly what you can save every month, and how much you’re being given by other family members. You don’t want to run out of budget and have to start applying for credit cards and loans. This will ruin the whole planning process.

Work out your budget and how many people you need to invite. The rest can follow from there.

 

Keep in touch with your suppliers

Don’t bombard them, but if you have any questions, feel free to email them once they’ve been booked. This kind of contact means they are more likely to remember you and also puts your mind at rest.

Remind them a couple of weeks before an appointment that there is an appointment. I booked my make up trial, and got there only to be greeted by another bride. The MUA had double booked. I’d booked my appointment months before, and the other bride had only booked a couple of weeks before. If you do book something months in advance, phone ahead to remind them and make sure the meeting is still on.

 

Find all the free tools available to you

You are not the first woman to plan her wedding. There are so many amazing free tools on the internet provided by others who have got married. It’s where I got the template for my budget spreadsheet, where I found some of my suppliers, and also where I got advice. A website such as Confetti.co.uk is full of inspiration, things to buy, planning ideas, local wedding fayres, and even competitions you can enter for free.

Absolutely use this to calmly plan your wedding and help you through those times when you’ve hit a wall.

 

Do things sooner than you think

I thought organising my bridesmaids dresses in October for the following April was enough notice. But they won’t come in until mid February, leaving not much time for alterations. Always do things sooner than you think.

With items like invitations, it can take a while for you to work out the wording you want. By the time you get them ordered, delivered, put into envelopes and taken to the post office for posting, another two weeks might have gone by. What if there’s a delay or a load of guests don’t receive theirs? Avoid stress by leaving yourself plenty of time.

 

 

Calmly plan your wedding with minimal stress using these tips and suggestions!

 

 

Header photo credit: Rachel Clarke, http://rachelclarkephotography.co.uk

5 Things to Consider When Planning a Wedding

Planning a wedding is one of the most fun, exhilarating and frustrating things I’ve ever done.

It’s both stressful and rewarding at the same time. When you think about it, planning a wedding is basically planning a party for over 100 people. Which is probably something you’ve never done before.

There’s so much to think about, but before you can start shopping for your dream dress on Pinterest, you need to think of the depressing stuff.

Budget

Everything about your big day comes down to the budget. But you need to know your budget before you can start looking at venues. You can’t have a wedding on a £10k budget if the wedding venue costs £8,000. It’s impossible to do the rest of the wedding on a £2k budget, unless you want one candle, a £20 cake from Tesco and some sausage rolls to feed your guests. If that’s what you want, then perfect! But make a realistic budget.

Some people think my wedding planning spreadsheet is a bit much, but not when there’s so much to organise!

It’s split into small sections. I’ve estimated the amount I will spend in the left column, and then tracked the actual amount I’ve spent on the right. The above example is the Decor section. I also have Apparel, Reception do, Photos/Videos, Ceremony, Stationary and Miscellaneous.

It then adds the whole spreadsheet  together to give an estimated vs. actual total.

Location

The location is the next most important thing to think about, because it sets the tone for the whole wedding. I’ve gone for a traditional manor house in Cheshire but this means I can’t really go for a beach theme as it won’t suit. Think about your style and whether you want classic or modern, traditional or not, formal or informal, etc.

planning a wedding advice

Thornton Manor, Cheshire

Guest List

Obviously, all of the three priorities above link together. If you have a very large family, and want a large, traditional location, you’ll need a very large budget to match. If you go for a grand manor house, but only invite 50 guests, the place will feel empty. Work out how many people will be attending before you start planning the wedding. And then work out the cost it will take to feed them. I was SHOCKED at my catering bill for 80 people in the daytime, and 130 at the evening do. If you can’t afford to feed them all, you can’t invite them all.

A smaller number of people works well in a hotel or barn. For lots of wedding guests, go for a manor house or a large marquee.

Food

And talking of feeding guests, it’s worthwhile thinking ahead to what you will feed them. Many people these days are choosing the informal buffet or hog roast option because it’s cheaper. However, I wanted a traditional 3-course, sit down meal. These sorts of choices all come back to budget, but also what you want.

P.S. Remember that children cost a LOT less.

planning a wedding - food

Photo courtesy of Barretts Caterers

 

Theme, Style or Colours

These three depend on your venue. As I said before, you can’t really go for a manor house wedding and then choose to have a beach theme. Well you could, technically you can do anything, but would it work?

You should choose these well in advance. Colour can affect the type of flowers you have, the bridesmaids dresses, the colours on the invites or on the cake. It’s also best to pick a style for this reason too. Otherwise the invites will go out in a lace style, and then you might end up with no lace on your wedding day. It’s a minor point, but one to think about.

So there’s my long list! Wow, that was a long post. I hope that helps anyone currently planning a wedding.

Is there another priority you would add to the list?