I've always made the most of any excuse to have a girlie get together and getting married has given me the perfect opportunity…
Firstly, my close friends and I have always wanted to do a girls ski trip but as we've got older, and husbands and babies have arrived, this has never happened until now!! My two maids of honour (they're twins) took over the planning and organised the trip of a lifetime. They went above and beyond as if they haven't got enough to do running their own company pretaportobello.com.
Taking inspiration from my favourite film in the world (The Sound of Music!), our trip was full of the film's details. My maids of honour sent us all brown paper packages tied up with string, made tea with jam and bread and even dressed me up in national Austrian dress at the airport! We also all had matching ski gear (of course).
The beautiful chalet we booked had the perfect location and was ideal for a big group; we all hand en-suites and the (poor) chalet boys cooked an amazing meal for us every day. With alcohol being included in the price from Ski Basics, it was ridiculously good value.
Now as if they hadn't spoilt me enough, we planned a second hen do! We felt bad that our mums and some of our other close friends hadn't been able to make it, so we did a lot of research into the best place in London for afternoon tea with a spa. The Corinthia Hotel stood out by far. It's always a good sign when the hotel are excited about having you rather groaning when you mention the 'hen' word!
Their dedicated events person (who does all the wedding planning there) gave me lots of options and ideas to make the most of our time at the hotel. We settled for a mothers and daughters afternoon tea and then the 'sparty package' at the ESPA life spa.
This was such a welcome treat; as Maids to Measure is a family business, it's so rare to have quality time with my mum and sister. My top tip: The afternoon tea is immense so pace yourself… I'm still upset that I couldn't try everything as I over did the sandwich course early on!
Then we treated ourselves to a night's stay so that we could be there early on for our girlie brunch with thirty friends in the private Northall Room the next day. Yet again the girls had pulled out all the stops and decorated the room as a surprise - they'd ordered personalised biscuits from Biscuiteers, cake pops and cupcakes from the wonderful Elizabeth Cake Emporium, and more sweet treats from Cakes by Robin, with the hashtag Sincandy iced on! This has become the wedding motto and we'll use it on the big day so that photos can be printed out using Social Playground.
One other must - I can't recommend HenBox highly enough. It's perfect for fun hen accessories without the usual willy straws!!! They've got some great inspiration and ideas on their site as well which I simply love.
With three weeks to go before the wedding, I'm pretty close to having everything sorted. I have found a dress; my first and last fitting will be the Monday before the wedding - eek! My thirteen bridesmaids had their communal fitting at our London studio and it was a lot less stressful than I'd thought.
Now, if only the wedding was as easy to organise as the hen do…