With my winter wedding quickly approaching, it was time for a temporary role reversal. I’m usually the one organising hen parties for our guests, but it was my turn to take a seat on the hen throne.
Hen parties are a passion of ours here at VieAmhor, so expectations were high to make it a magical evening. And what could be more magical than a Mad Hatter’s tea party?
The first step was to transform the grand dining room of our Hillside Townhouse into an enchanted garden. Setting up the fairytale backdrop was great fun. We rolled 5 metres of artificial grass across the large oak table, adorning it with with clocks, ivy, teapots and even edible flowers!
Wendy Paterson (@insideoutchef), one of Edinburgh’s best chefs, arrived with tiered trays of appetisers, cakes and scones. The table was quickly filling up, but that didn’t stop us. We set up a separate table with bouquets of cake pops and jars of colourful sweeties, labelled ‘Eat Me’ to entice the guests.
And what’s a hen party without drinks? For an added dash of whimsy, we stirred up cocktails in old pop bottles—cosmos, Manhattans and plenty of fizz!
We’d done it. Our Wonderland was ready. Now all we needed was a cast of kooky characters to bring this tea party to life.
With each arrival, excitement for the evening mounted. Everyone went all out with fancy-dress. With a couple of White Rabbits, a bridesmaid-turned Cheshire Cat, and more than few Mad Hatters, it was truly starting to feel like we’d jumped into the pages of Lewis Carroll’s famous novel.
The costumes were the perfect icebreaker, giving the guests an instant bond and lots to chat about straight away. You might expect the hen to dress as Ms. Alice herself, but I opted for the Queen of Hearts. It seems only fitting for a pre-wedding bash, doesn’t it?
The afternoon tea was amazing and it was so lovely for all the family to meet each other before the big day. My favourite part of the evening was an activity organised by my bridesmaids. They set out three empty jars and labelled each with a different question for the guests to answer on a piece of paper.
The three jars read:
After we had eaten, the girls read their comments aloud. It was so touching (and surprising) to hear what they’d written. I’ve since given the jars pride of place in my house. What a lovely keepsake from a perfect evening!
It was so much fun reminiscing about old times, but we still had new memories to make that night! Brilliant photographer Rich Dyson was there to capture it all, so we could set our phones aside, embrace the experience and really live in the moment.
We turned up the music, kept the drinks flowing and partied in Wonderland for the rest of the evening!