On the last Saturday of June we showered my sister with love, embarrassment and alcohol for her hen party. She has three bridesmaids, myself and two friends from different groups. When she first asked us to be part of the wedding party I was the only one based in Dublin, Aisling was in New York and Ruth in London. This coupled with the fact that the three of us all know Aoife in totally different ways was a minor logistical challenge. But we made the most of it. Aisling moved home from New York and Ruth kept up to date via whatsapp and skype.
Early on I knew that whatever the theme was we had to give it 110%. There’s no point in half-assing things and a little follow through, planning and dedication was all that was needed to really hammer our ideas home (and I’m an ‘art’ student for goodness sake…I had to prove myself!).
We ended up going with a tropical theme because we thought that a visit to Tropical Popical on South William Street would be fun. Shortly after deciding on this we realised that it’s clearly the theme of this summer. From fashion to interiors to accessories there is tropical shit EVERYWHERE at the moment. It certainly made buying prizes and decorations super easy.
I pinned a couple of things on pinterest. Googled a couple of others. Picked a few decorations to make. And then I spent weeks making golden palm leaves, days making a watermelon pinata and a couple of hours making crepe paper streamers…among lots of other bits and pieces. Because I had been steadily making things for a few weeks when I collated everything with the girls the night before the party it all felt a little bit overwhelming. I was worried it wasn’t enough or that it wouldn’t come together…but thankfully it all did. I don’t know how people do crazy DIY weddings (they must get so emotional).
TIP #1: Plan ahead.
Buy or make things little by little or stagger your online purchases. You won’t realise how much you are actually spending (and achieving). It also helps ease the pain your wallet will be feeling right about now. Parties are expensiiiive, there are no two ways about it.
TIP #2: DIY.
Make as much as you can. I like to make things so doing the decorations myself was fun…but it also helped in saving lots of money. For example a packet of crepe paper is 75c but to buy one garland or string of bunting could be anywhere up to a tenner or more! This also goes for food. Lucky for us Aisling is a stellar cook and made the most delicious array of tropical salads for us to eat before heading out to get our nails done. It might be slightly more stressful to do this but it was a million times more delicious. We also made a load of easy, bake ahead, treats for the nail bar (chocolate biscuit cake, brownies, marshmallow toppers and cupcakes).
TIP #3: Don’t focus on the bride.
At times we would get caught up with whether or not Aoife was going to have the besttimeeverrrr or whether certain things would be to her taste or not. Then I would realise that we were being crazy and neurotic and the only surefire way to guarantee she would love the night was by making sure that everyone else was loving the night. We focussed on providing the elements for a good time (alcohol, stupid games, Mr & Mrs with forfeits etc) and hoped for the best. It worked! You can’t force fun and thankfully we didn’t have to try.