This week we caught up with Hannah the owner of Arabella Bridal to talk about their popular millinery hen party workshops run in Edinburgh which we are delighted to be offering as part of our Hen party Packages!
Arabella Bridal started life as a bridal millinery and accessories online store. We are head-over-heels in love with gorgeous, handmade products, especially vintage style accessories. We specialise in designing and creating hand-made fascinators, veils, birdcage veils, and other accessories including bridal belts and cuffs. We have an online store where we have a range of products but make lots of bespoke pieces for brides who are looking for something unique.
There are lots of brides who want something a bit different and to perfectly accessorise their dress, and that’s where we come in! We design headpieces and accessories to match a bride’s dress so that she doesn’t have to spend months searching for that perfect piece. We have also designed many headpieces and accessories for wedding guests and mother’s of the brides, and were DELIGHTED to be selected by Vogue as one of their handpicked, recommended wedding suppliers last November.
A couple of years ago we then expanded the business to start running craft parties, mainly for hen parties, but have also run them for baby showers, ante-natal groups, birthdays and informal girly get-togethers. These started out just in Edinburgh but we now run them all over Scotland, from the borders to the Highlands!
Just over 2 years ago I was sitting in the Grassmarket in Edinburgh watching a rather wild, drunken hen party and it struck me that there were probably lots of ladies out there who would like a slightly more “sophisticated” hen party activity whilst in our beautiful city which gave me the idea of running craft based hen parties, so I started with our fascinator making classes for hen parties.
We were the first to do it and they’ve been very popular ever since, so much so that I’ve just taken on another lovely lady milliner based on the West coast to run the classes over there. We run them in some beautiful venues in Edinburgh and Glasgow so that the ladies can enjoy afternoon tea (and bubbles!) whilst they create. Alternatively they can have the class in their own home or rented accommodation if they would prefer us to come to them.
I think their popularity is partly down to the fact that they’re an activity that the whole group can enjoy – the bride, bridesmaids young and old, friends, mums, grans etc. It also means that everyone can leave with something which is nice as often it’s only the bride who ends up with a gift, and it means that everyone can make a lovely headpiece to wear to the wedding as a reminder of the fab hen party!
Whilst they remain our most popular classes, the fascinator making parties were however just the beginning and we have since extended our class options to include themed fascinator making parties, bunting making hen parties, scrapbooking parties and garter making parties…and there will be more. When it comes to crafting – we have no limits.
They are such good fun – we bring along mountains of materials for the ladies to choose from and then teach them a bit about millinery and the materials. We then teach them all the basic techniques they need to create various designs of fascinators then they can dive in and get started.
The venues we use serve delicious afternoon tea, cakes and fizz whilst they create their masterpieces. Our teachers then help each lady with their particular design so that by the end of their class, they each have a fabulous, unique handmade fascinator to take home. I’ll never get tired of hearing the squeals of delight and pride (and relief in some cases!) and seeing the smiles on their faces when they’re wearing their finished piece!
Ooh – difficult decision! Our Great Gatsby themed classes are always really good fun, and so are the bunting making classes. However, I think the Luxury Fascinator Making Class always amazes me most as the ladies come up with such amazing designs. It’s funny – at nearly every class I’ve run there are always a few ladies who arrive saying “I can’t sew” or “I’m not creative in the slightest- this is going to be a disaster” and without fail they always produce fantastic designs of fascinators and they amaze themselves!
For hen parties, we currently offer the Luxury Fascinator Making Class, a Mini Fascinator Making Class, a Bunting Making Class and a Polaroid Scrapbooking Class. For brides-to-be, we run classes where they can learn to make gorgeous button bouquets which are a brilliant keepsake which they can carry on their big day then keep forever, lovely ring cushions for their weddings and beautiful vintage style garters.
For baby showers, antenatal groups and mums, we run workshops where they can make various things for the baby and baby’s room including Bunting, beautiful playmats, play dens, quilts and handmade teddies. In some of our classes mums can also bring young babies along if they want (being a mum of little ones I know how hard it can be to find a couple of hours “free” when you have a baby and it means even mums who are still breastfeeding can still come along.)
Our hen parties are best suited to those looking for a “quieter” hen party activity (although for those opting to have fizz with their afternoon tea, it can get louder as the day goes on…the creativity and laughter levels tend to increase rapidly!). They’re also great for craft lovers, vintage lovers and those looking for an activity suited to young and old. Also because we can bring the class to them, it’s great for those who are staying outside of the city for their hen party.
Class prices start from £19.95pp depending on the package chosen.
Our current Edinburgh venues include the Bonham Hotel, the Howard Hotel, Hotel du Vin, Hemma, Urban Angel and Norton House Hotel and in Glasgow – the Corinthian Club, Blythswood Square, Hummingbird, the Butterfly and Pig Tearooms and we will soon be adding a couple more in each city. We can also run the classes in the customer’s own venue or of course the Hillside Edinburgh Townhouse!
Depending on the class, we usually say between 8 and 25 but have had less and more than that – It really just depends on the venue size!
None at all – we teach them how to do everything from threading a needle to detailed needlework. Within a group we usually find they have a huge range of experience, from none to lots!