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Lifestyle and Interviews

My Luau Hen Party!

June 18, 2017

Last weekend my bridesmaids threw me a hen party and I’ve been bursting with gratitude and happiness ever since. The whole thing was a complete surprise and turned out better than anything I could have imagined or dreamed of.

Right after Nick and I booked our wedding, my super organised and thoughtful bridesmaids asked if I would like them to take care of the hen. I LOVE surprises and of course agreed and so off they went, led by my Maid of Honour and sister Rachael- who just happens to have the planning skills to rival a professional event planner. My one request was that costs for the hens were kept to a minimum, as our wedding is taking place in a land far away and I wanted them to enjoy everything without needing to spend much. And apart from that, I didn’t know a single thing.

On the week of the hen I flew into the UK from Germany and was picked up by a car full of excited bridesmaids. We drove to my Mum’s house in Chester. Her house is perfect for parties as she has a big garden and lot’s of room for guests. We put on the Practical Magic soundtrack (my favourite) whilst dancing around the island in the kitchen and preparing for our guests arrival. We cooked up huge batches of cookies, chilli, soups and all-sorts. They are all fantastic cooks and so thoughtful, they made sure that there were lots of options for our vegan and vegetarian guests. I still had no idea what was happening and could’t really sleep that night as I was so excited to see the rest of my friends the next day.

In the morning I was told to put on scruffy clothes and not to bother doing my hair or make-up. My hens began to arrive, along with my gorgeous Grandma who joined us for a delicious brunch and some hilarious games supplied by my younger sister Josie before the ‘top secret activity’. Everyone was looking super casual and I was trying to guess what we might be doing?

We all piled into cars and set off driving into the countryside. My friend LuLu told me to close my eyes towards the end of the journey and when I opened them we were in the middle of a muddy field…that explained the scruffy clothes then. We went into a little shed and were given camouflage overalls and helmets…Quad Biking! My sister explained to us that growing up I’ve never really been confident with driving or extreme sports. I just didn’t think I could do it and would watch my sisters but avoid it myself. Until last year when we went to Florida and my sister encouraged me to try jet skiing and then driving a jeep though the swamps in the country- both of which I ended up loving. Quad biking was another thing I would usually shy away from, but she knew I could do it and would enjoy it if I tried.

So off we went. Zooming through the mud and splattering it all over each other, we zipped through sunny fields of wheat (lot’s of Theresa May jokes) and bounced over/under obstacles along the way. We were all laughing so much as we got stuck in ditches or crashed into each other. It was amazing and it’s such a great feeling to go out of your comfort zone. Oh, and then Lola made the farmer hose me down with a power washer, another delightful suprise. Cheers for that, Lola.

We got back to the house and everyone began to shower and get ready for the Luau party.  I put my canary yellow prom dress on, after getting preened and pampered by two of my talented friends Sophie and Lulu (that just happen to be hair and beauty professionals), then my sister Rachael presented me with a stunning daisy veil which matched perfectly. She made it herself and my heart nearly bust at how much effort and love she’d put into it for me. I felt like Pricilla Presley and Lana Del Rey’s love child and didn’t take it off all night.

The hen party began. The garden was beautifully decorated with flamingos, everyone was drinking out of coconuts and we even had a tiki bar! We played some games which made me laugh so much my abs hurt the next day, the funniest was when we played the memory game. It was hilarious to remember some of the wild and ridiculous times that we’ve shared together over the years.

I was looking around at everyone and thinking how lucky I am to have acquired such beautiful, interesting and special women in my life.

We then went to Church, a beautiful old church which has been converted into a live music venue. The band played all of my favourite songs and changed all of the names in the songs to ‘Lucy’ while we danced the night away- I totally felt like we were in an American film. When we got back home we put more music on and ate the rest of the food that was left over!

The next morning we had a huge breakfast and some of the girls put on face-masks as we de-briefed, reminding each other of our funny antics from the night before. Such as Josie strumming the bass while Vanisha took over the mic. Everyone gave me presents too, they were so thoughtful: water from Glastonbury’s Chalice well (which is believed to have healing powers) and a mix tape of all of my favourite songs to dance to when I was 17.

I couldn’t ask for better friends and family, I was feeling pretty teary by the end of it all. They made me feel so loved and special. Thank you to everyone involved in making those memories that will last forever.

Suggested Post: Engagement Party Decorating

Lifestyle and Interviews

ENGAGEMENT PARTY DECORATING

March 28, 2016

LedByLucy-Engaged-DecorationsLedByLucy-Party-Decorations-Tissue-PomPomsFor the venue of our engagement party we chose Ye Olde Kings Head, which dates back to 1622. Not only was it frequented by King Henry VIII, but it is also said to be Chester’s most haunted pub (if there were any ghosts they certainly had the party spirit). We chose it because it’s full of charm and character. It has low oak beams, suits of armor, a roaring fire, central location and cask ales a plenty. The perfect place for a party.
The venue is already so interesting in itself, I didn’t need to do anything crazy with the space. Instead I chose to add some fun, bright and funky colours that would really pop and guide our guests to the party. I went for a colour palate of hot-pink, turquoise and orange with gold and lemon accents

LedByLucy-Party-Decorations-BuntingLedByLucy-Engaged-Decorations.PartyLedByLucy-Engagement-Party-DecorationsI worked with the designers at Hello Party to create the party theme ‘Shine Bright’ which consists of posters, bunting and banners. It is now available for everyone to order which is super exciting.
You can add in your own photos, messages and captions to the decorations, which gives you the opportunity to add some lovely personal touches to your party. I chose the lyric ‘pop that pretty question’ from Primadonna Girl by Marina and the Diamonds (my favourite song) for the bunting which was hung above the DJ booth.
We’ve actually kept some of the posters from the party and put them up in our home as a little reminder of this lovely night.
To complete the look I also added 30 tissue pom-poms and balloons which matched the colour theme. I love the way that these turned out, they really complemented my posters, but be warned, the pom-poms take ages to assemble. My advice is to get a group of friends together, put the music on and make a night of it!

We had so much fun at the party and both agreed that it went so quickly, we want to do it all over again this weekend!

To see what I changed into for the engagement party check out this post: Engagement Party Dress, Wearing White

Fashion & Beauty

NATURAL PARTY MAKE-UP

February 7, 2016

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For me a party look has pretty much always meant bright lipstick (red or pink) with black winged eyeliner. But recently I have been enjoying experimenting with new looks, and playing with natural shades and warm, earthy tones. For this natural party make-up look I used brands and products that not only created a natural look but also care for Mother Nature too with environmentally friendly brand values.

Here is what I used for this look:

Grooving Gold Eye-shadow Pallet, Colour Crush Festive Lipstick, Bold Felt Liner, Colour Rush Nail Sequins by Body Shop and Mineral Foundation Powder by Inka

Fashion & Beauty, Lifestyle and Interviews

How to Host Your Own Clothes Swap Party

February 15, 2014

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Hello! This is my very first blog post here on Led by Lucy and it is dedicated to the art of clothes swap parties.

Hosting parties is a bit of a hobby of mine, but clothes swap parties are an all time favourite. Who doesn’t want to party with friends and leave with a bundle of new threads, all the while knowing that you are doing your bit for good old Mother Earth!?

Keeping our carbon footprint dainty can be difficult in a world of disposable fashion. Swapping is a much greener and far more ethical way of updating your wardrobe, and its super fun too!

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Here are my top tips for hosting your own:

  1. Set the Date, Send the Invitation and Choose a Charity…

Top tip – When setting the date I always try to give guests at least two months notice, so that they have time to trawl through their wardrobes and select the items that they want to swap

  • Setting a limit of items people can bring helps to keep things manageable and means people will bring good quality pieces. I usually suggest five items per person at a small party and three at larger parties
  • If you’re short on hangers, ask that guests bring clothes already on one
  • Choose a charity close to your heart to donate any remaining items to, Ichose Wigan and Leigh Hospice at my latest party
  • If you want your invites to fit with the sustainable ethos of the event, send your invites over email

The Set Up…

If your hosting a large party and have the luxury of two rooms,  usher your guests into one room with music, drinks and nibbles. Take the clothes into the other room and keep it closed until the swapping commences.

  • Hang everything up onto rails, in three sections labeled small, medium and large (if you don’t have rails you could use a clothes horse or washing line)
  • Have an accessories table for shoes, handbags and jewelry

The Rules: If you brought Primark Don’t Take Prada!…

Once everyone has arrived and your goodies are all set up, its almost time to ‘swap till you drop’. 

  • If you don’t have enough mirrors, getting into pairs or ‘style buddies’ to advise each other can be fun
  • I usually set one golden rule: If you brought Primark don’t take Prada!
  • Go swap!

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