A DIY Hen with style

Monday, 12 August, 2013

The Hens

Start your week with some serious Henspiration! I met Siani through #weddinghour on Twitter (if you haven't taken part yet GO DO IT! Seriously, I've met and discovered some fab things and people through it — every Weds 9–10pm on Twitter). Siani recognised one of the dresses our 50s hen party in Bromsgrove wore as being the same as her bridesmaid dresses and the pic she tweeted, was enough for me to want to know more. It turns out her hen party was every bit as unique as her wedding and so today we feature both. (I later discovered we share the same wedding date too — well all the best brides wed in September don'tcha know!) Over to Siani:

We (myself and hubby Jake) got engaged on holiday in Portugal in June 2011, and we'd always known we wanted a short engagement so set a date for September 16th 2011. We booked the Council House, Malvern registry office as it's a beautiful old building backing onto a gorgeous park and as you can see from the photos, very picturesque! We also hired the whole of the upstairs in a local pub/restaurant, the Old Rectifying House, a black and white timbered building beside the river in Worcester, to have our party in.

But first: the hen do!

My bridesmaids and I are all very much into dressing up, especially in the vintage style. I'd seen a Burlesque event in Manchester, so we booked a hotel and tickets to the event and drove up. We got ready in the hotel and wore some wonderful vintage and burlesque themed outfits — from my cherry print 50's style dress, Hannah's black lace dress (borrowed from me, originally H&M), Hannah Number Two's original 1950s polkadot number and Jess's gorgeous black tattoo print frock. We all wore big pouffy petticoats and I made everyone fascinators as a gift (as you'll find out throughout this, I'm a bit crafty!).

Hannah Number Two's original 1950s polkadot number

Hannah Number Two's original 1950s polkadot number

Dressing the part

We drank and danced the night away at the burlesque event, then the following day went to a burlesque/alternative themed fair where we treated ourselves to some goodies — including a white rose ring which I wore on my wedding day.

Burlesque fair

Burlesque fair

A week later was the wedding itself! In the lead up to it, I'd been making and baking like crazy — I don't know WHAT possessed me to make all my own cakes (including hand made sugar roses) but I did...120 of them! I also made miniature sugar models of me and hubby to top a big cake. Bridesmaid Jess was making 40 metres of red and white bunting, and one of the Hannah's was making 1000's of tissue hearts for table decoration and confetti while the other Hannah came to help with the sugar roses. I'd made the bridesmaid's corsages and fascinators, and my own veil and silk flower bouquet.

Fabulous bunting

Delicious cupcakes

With only 3 months between engagement and wedding, we were on a VERY tight budget. The bridesmaid's dresses were black and white polkadots, and were bought via Sirens and Starlets on eBay for £26.00 each — a bargain! Petticoats were also found online, and I bought metres of red ribbon for sashes. The girls wore their own black shoes and handbags, and accessorised with eyeliner, red lippy, and wonderful vintage hair done by Jess.

We did all our own makeup and hair — black eyeliner, red lipstick and Jess's amazing skills with pincurls and backcombing made us all look fabulous. We were going for a vintage rock'n'roll theme, as the general theme of the wedding was Mods Vs Rockers — hubby wore a purple/grey Tonic suit and pointed shoes — he's always been a bit of a Mod and I'm the opposite, so we thought rather than argue we'd go with that as a theme! The invitations were mocked up to look like 1960s newspaper stories about the Mods Vs Rockers fights on Brighton Beach, and the food at the reception was old fashioned fish and chips in cardboard boxes from a van.

The reception room was decorated with fairy lights, candles, the metres and metres of handmade bunting, and red and white heart garlands, sprinkles and outside were red and white polkadot lanterns, garlands and on the tables, white candle holders (from Poundland!) Music was provided by an 'open mic' for talented friends and family, plus DJing from hubby and his friends. I'd made a card box by covering a box with polkadot paper, and a guest book by decorating a simple notebook with our photo and some hearts.

Siani wedding hair

All in all, we had a fabulously stylish, fun wedding with our closest friends and family. We had fab food and cakes, hired a great location for the wedding and reception, and everybody said what a fun and relaxed occasion it was. And the best thing is, the whole thing only cost us £2000. I truly believe that weddings do NOT have to break the bank or put you into debt — we got married on a very tight budget but had the best day of our lives.

The whole wedding party

This has led me to developing a small business where I make upcycled Vintage goodies for brides at reasonable prices — I create paper bouquets, confetti, paper chains, cards and so on, using vintage music, map or book papers. Some of my artwork is soon to be featured on the new series of ITV's 60 Minute Makeover!

You can find my work at www.annatatesoro.co.uk, www.facebook.com/annatatesoro, www.twitter.com/annatatesoro and www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AnnataTesoro. Annata Tesoro is Italian for Vintage Treasure, which is what I like to make. My husband Jake's family roots are Italian, so the culture and language has a lot of meaning for me.

Siani and Jake

So there we have it! A fun, fab crafty and stylish wedding on a budget. It CAN be done. We're coming up to our second anniversary, and I'm having our first baby in about a week. Needless to say, getting married was one of the best things we've ever done.

If you would like us to feature your stylish and unique hen party as part of our Henspiration feature, then get in touch — claire@vintagehenhouse.co.uk


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