AUTHOR: SOPHIE ANDERSEN
Organising a party can be tough; especially if you’re throwing one for your best friend who is getting married soon, or if you’re the one who is getting married and would like to keep everything under control. From ordering food and drinks and picking out the perfect party outfits, to decorating the house and planning out the activities – hen parties take a lot of time and effort to put together; and you’ll probably need some help if you’re going to plan the whole thing on your own.
WHAT IS A HEN PARTY & HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM A BRIDAL SHOWER?
First, let’s start by explaining the notion of hen parties and when/why they have become so popular.
The beginning of hen parties can be traced back to the 1800s, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that the phrase started to gain more prominence and began to have a context (many experts put this down to the fact that the 1960s was a period of sexual revolution). So it’s safe to say that hen parties are a pretty recent phenomenon.
Similar to bridal showers, hen parties are all about the bride-to-be and her friends having fun and celebrating the fact that she’s getting married. However, bridal showers tend to be more classy, PG-rated and based upon gifting the guest of honour items to help set up her marital home. Hen parties, on the other hand, are more on the wild side; including all kinds of fun activities for the most memorable night with the girls.
While bridal showers are usually cheaper to organise, with the bride’s family often paying for the event; hen parties are all about joining forces with the girls in order to organise the party and have a blast. Also, when it comes to a hen party, there’s no need to bring any presents for the bride. Rather, hens are often gifted goodie bags to remind them of this fun-filled night.
ORGANISING YOUR HEN PARTY
There are a number of ways you can organise a hen party.
You could pick a destination you’ll all go to, you can throw a party out in the open, you can organise an experience you'll all participate in, or you can throw it at your own home to keep costs down (and then spend that extra money elsewhere, say, accessories!). Sashes, tees, and veils are all accessories that usually accompany a hen party, alongside plates and cups that were specially designed for the event. You can also provide photo booth props and take some of the most hilarious photographs of you and your friends.
If you’ve decided to throw your hen party at home, there are a wide range of activities you can go for to ensure everyone has a great time. A pamper party could be just what you need after weeks of planning it out, while a makeover night will make you feel glamorous. You can also play some popular hen party games, such as 'Never Have I Ever', and learn the naughtiest, most hilarious facts about your friends that they probably wouldn’t admit to when sober!
If you do decide to celebrate at home, you’ll need to consider all the major and minor details, including food and drinks. You can make your own hors d’oeuvre by using easy canapés and cocktail recipes (many of which can be found online).
But if you would prefer to avoid unnecessary stress, you could also hire an event catering company. This second option will not only deliver great-tasting food and make sure it is presented in an appealing way, but will also take a significant amount of work off your chest; saving you time (and nerves!) and allowing you to focus on other aspects of the party.
HEN PARTY TRENDS
Hen parties are becoming more and more popular, and different brides-to-be want different things for their celebrations; so we thought we’d throw in a couple of hen party trends that we can anticipate in the coming year.
Themed hen parties are gaining a significant amount of attention – from Bollywood and burlesque nights to roller disco, these hen parties are sure to be remembered.
We’re also seeing a rise in getaways, with Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Magaluf being some of the top hen party destinations in the world.
Hiring a buff butler for a hen party is a sure way to spice up the girls’ night, while a gin masterclass or a day of wine tasting is sure to teach you how to appreciate your drinks and widen your drinking horizon (getting tipsy is an added bonus!).
MAKE IT COUNT
Now, all you’ve got to do is roll up your sleeves and start writing down all you want and need for your hen party. After all, you’ve only got one shot, so make it fun, make it memorable, and definitely make it count!
CHECK OUT THIS PINTEREST BOARD FOR MORE FABULOUS PARTY PLANNING INSPIRATION:
AUTHOR BIO - SOPHIE ANDERSEN
BLOGGER, ENVIRONMENTALIST & PASSIONATE GOURMAND
Sophie is a blogger from Australia. She spends a lot of time in the kitchen, exploring new recipes. She also enjoys decorating food and home. At the end of the day, she loves to sit down, write and share her everyday experience.
ENJOY THIS ARTICLE? YOU'RE ALSO GOING TO LOVE
Now that you've wrapped your head around hen parties and have some AH-Mazing ideas for the celebration, it's time to think about the small (but still important) details. From budgets to favours, this article will help you with the finishing touches - enjoy!
AUTHOR: BEC OF 'FOR EVERY HEN'
THIS ARTICLE MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO.
Flowers at events: they’re beautiful, colourful, fun, eco-friendly, and possibly best of all, will provide your home with added warmth and ‘sparkle’ for days, weeks or even years (when potted) to come! But as stunning as they are, how exactly do you create that wow factor with floral arrangements? How do you create something so beautiful and unique that your guests are in awe from the moment they arrive? With some help from our friends at 'Flowers for Everyone’, we answer these questions and more. So whether you’re after some subtle touches in the background of your celebration, a statement in the centrepiece of your main table or seasonal blooms that will compliment your event perfectly, this article is a must read for you!
COLOURS ARE EVERYTHING
Before kicking things off, there is one important tip worth mentioning. To guarantee a beautiful backdrop for your event, you need to decide on (and stick to) a colour palette.
But what does this have to do with flowers?
Well, it means that your job isn't just about choosing the type of bloom to decorate your venue with; it's also thinking about that particular flower's colour. For example, you're hosting a circus party with a palette of light blue, red, white and bright yellow. Everything from the food and drink to the rest of your decor is in this theme; meaning flowers of the same colour will be a welcome addition. BUT, if you were to use pink flowers at your circus party instead (when everything else is blue, red, white and yellow), it wouldn't have the same effect.
A small detail that makes a big difference - when everything used to set the scene at your event compliments each other, you really can't go wrong!
DECORATING YOUR EVENT WITH FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS
FLOWERS IN A VASE
Adding fun and colour to your party is made easy with vases! See below for some unique ways to include these handy items in your decor:
COLOURED VASES - FUN & FULL OF PERSONALITY
If you happen to have a vase in one of your theme colours, don't let it go to waste! These are great for adding extra fun and personality to your celebration; and when filled with a stunning assortment, also work perfectly as a statement piece.
Tip: Use your coloured vases in the middle of your dining table, as a beautiful feature on your dessert and/or gift table, or as a 'welcome to the party' near the entrance to your venue.
GLASS VASES - ELEGANT & VERSATILE
Clear glass vases can be used in so many ways! Fill them with greenery and flowers that suit your party palette, cluster them together in mismatched heights, shapes and/or sizes, dress them up with ribbons, attach them to walls or even hang them from string (more about this in the next point).
Tip: If you don't have the cash to splash on beautiful clear glass vases, save the glass jars from your cupboard instead. After a good clean they can be filled with beautiful blooms and provide a very similar look for less. That being said, if you'd rather have actual vases on display, visit your local op shop where there is almost always a selection to choose from.
HANGING VASES - MAKE A UNIQUE STATEMENT
Events are the perfect time to have a bit fun with decorations - creating new and unique ways to display everyday items. And what better way to change up your usual flower decor than by hanging your vases from branches, walls or ceilings?!
As you can see in the picture below, there are a number of ways to do this. Whether you hang small vases filled with one or two flowers, baskets (in a variety of sizes) filled with beautiful arrangements, miniature terrariums, or the totally on trend Macrame plant hangers, they are bound to become one of your most impressive style choices at your celebration.
Tip: Large hooks can be used to hold up branches indoors. Nail them into your roof or wall (making sure they are level) and then slide your branch or pole into place as you do when hanging curtain rods. From here you can get creative - use twine or thick string to hang small jars, vases, baskets or even individual flowers... and if that doesn't work, you can always hang your vases from string lights. Once this is done, step back and admire your incredibly cool handy work!
WOODEN VASES - RUSTIC BEAUTY
Wooden vase, such as the set pictured below, will instantly grab guests' attention with their beautifully unique take on flower display. For a rustic yet sophisticated touch to any event, simply fill with greenery and blooms to match your overall palette - it's that easy!
Tip: These stunning vases also make the best home decor. This means you can purchase them for your event, display them in your home, and then use them at future events in need of some rustic magic. Alternatively, gift them to your bride-to-be following her special celebration; they will become a beautiful reminder of a day well spent with friends and family.
DISPLAY TIPS: FLOWERS IN A VASE
As you can see, there are a number of different ways to include vases in your event. If you're still stuck for display options, consider the following for inspiration:
WOODEN PLANTERS & CRATES
Planter boxes and crates look amazing when filled with flowers! So why not take advantage of their stunning appearance and use them as part of your event decor? A little bit different to the usual vases, they will add a touch of uniqueness to your celebration that everyone will love.
Tip: As they're 'boxes' you can stack them! Just make sure you leave sections of each box sticking out slightly, allowing space to add flowers. A beautiful option for any kind of event, but especially those with a farmhouse/rustic twist.
OUR PICK: Etsy has a wonderful range of wooden planters and crates - from rustic through to modern, you're bound to find something you love! Click here for inspiration.
Imagine looking up from your table to see gorgeous flowers, gracefully hanging from the ceiling. A stunning yet unique use of blooms that will, without doubt, be a talking point during your celebration. And the best part? You don't need an actual chandelier to pull this off.
Hoops, branches, hanging lights and more can be used as a base for your statement piece - all you have to do is drape with fresh flowers and greenery!
Whether you're celebrating inside or outside, a flower backdrop is a great way to make tables look incredible (imagine your dessert set out in front of a beautiful flower wall) and photos look amazing (DIY photobooth, anyone?!). From small pots mounted on a wall and filled to the brim with gorgeous blooms, bunches of flowers hanging off a rustic branch (as mentioned earlier) and threaded petals that create stunning natural streamers, through to flowers cascading down a wall, an Instagram worthy swing decorated with coloured beauties and a frame/arch with flower accents (i.e. blooms attached in a creative way to one or two corners); these backdrops are guaranteed to give your celebration that 'WOW' factor you've been looking for!
Unlike the vases mentioned earlier, though, these pieces require quite a bit of time, effort and preparation to create. The best tip I can give you is to start each project with the greenery (i.e. wrapping it around, or hanging it from, your item) and then finish it with the colour (flowers of different shapes and sizes); and keep your hot glue gun handy in case of emergency (i.e. the flowers won't do what you want them to). You will be surprised by how beautiful everyday items become when nature takes over!
Tip: If you decide to use one of these pieces as a DIY photobooth backdrop, make sure you leave a cute basket or box of props nearby! Hats, glasses, gloves, bowties, masks, etc. can all be borrowed from friends/family or purchased fairly cheap at your local op shop. You could also leave a polaroid camera, film and a guest book so that party goers can stick their happy snaps onto a page alongside their message for your bride-to-be.
PETAL PATHWAYS & TABLE RUNNERS
Fairytales really do come true! Make your bride-to-be and her friends feel as though they've stepped into a magical world. A world where following the ' petal road' is the only way to reach their destination! Whether it be a stunning picnic in the forest or glamping tents near the beach, this cute touch will have guests getting more and more excited for the event with every step they take!
Tip: Fresh petals also make absolutely stunning table runners. Sprinkle through the centre of your main eating table, and then add additional decor such as candles in jars or flowers in vases.
SEASONAL BLOOMS: WHAT TYPE OF FLOWERS ARE BEST FOR YOUR EVENT?
There are so many beautiful ways to decorate with flowers; and you will get the best effect when using real blooms. But this begs the question... what flowers will be in season when you plan to host your event?
Thanks to our friends at 'Flowers for Everyone', this question has been answered! See below for their professional recommendations that will help you choose the perfect bloom for both your party and the season:
Think summery blooms such as scented garden roses, lilies, dahlias, buddleia (summer lilac), snowberry, fragrant gardenias, fluffy hydrangea, vanda orchids and gloriosa (Christmas lilies).
Most summer blooms finish by the end of March, and you will start to see the likes of tulips coming into the shops, as well as lisianthus, autumnal foliage such as nandina, dahlias, perfumed stock, sculptural branches of fig and pomegranate, berries, and velvety celosia.
During the cooler moths, our florist studio bursts with ornamental kale, perfumed hyacinth, velvety celosia, cymbidium orchids, succulent red hot fire pokers, deep blue delphinium, cyclamen plants and tortured willow.
Event in the spring? Expect to see poppies, daffodils and jonquils, phalaenopsis orchids, rhododendron, lilac, roses, freesias, ranunculas, tulips, sweet peas, peonies and blushing bride in florists.
There are of course the year-round bloomers too, such as gerberas and lilies.
FOR MORE WAYS TO DECORATE WITH FLOWERS, CHECK OUT THIS PINTEREST BOARD:
ENJOY YOUR INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL EVENT!
I hope this article answered all of your questions and gave you PLENTY of ideas for decorating your next event! If you're now on the search for some beautiful, fresh flowers to try out the above suggestions, the wonderful team at Flowers for Everyone have everything you need online (providing country wide delivery) and in stores around Sydney! With expert florists and a large range of divine flower arrangements/bouquets to choose from, you'll have no problem finding the perfect blooms for your event!
As always, I absolutely love hearing your feedback - so if you have any suggestions, photos of your very own DIY floral arrangements/displays, or comments on the above article, please share via the comments section below or social media.
Cheers to a beautiful event with the best blooms in town!
Much love, keep smiling - Bec x
(Facebook | Facebook Group | Instagram)
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Now that you have the stunning decor under control, it's time to turn your attention to guest prizes and/or favours - click here for a HUGE list of eco ideas!
AUTHOR: BEC OF 'FOR EVERY HEN'
Are you wanting to put together a hilariously cheeky night out but don't know where to start? Or perhaps you're after something a little different to the typical activities hens are famous for? From tantric workshops to 'pick your prick' favours, below is ALL the information and inspiration you'll need to plan the ultimate naughty hen party!
SET THE SCENE WITH A SAUCY THEME
Build excitement for the celebration by selecting a cheeky hen party theme and requesting that guests arrive decked out in that particular attire! Think along the lines of a Burlesque party (stockings, feathers, corsets, etc.) sexy [anything] (e.g. sexy farmer, sexy superhero, sexy princess, sexy schoolgirl, etc.), masquerade, red lips and so on.
ADD SOME ACTIVITIES THAT WILL MAKE YOU BLUSH!
18+ TRIVIA NIGHT
Put together your own cheeky trivia night! Search the web for some naughty questions, hire a person to run the show (or, if you’re keen, run it yourself!), grab some hilarious prizes (such as chocolate willies), run funny games in-between and basically have a ridiculously fun time! To get you started, check out this ‘100 Questions About Sex’ game that includes questions such as: ‘What’s the average number of sex partners for women?’ (Answer: 7.5 partners).
With belly dancing, burlesque classes, Latin workshops, Bollywood dance classes, pole dancing, and the cheekier than ever lap dance or twerk classes, your group won’t know where to begin when it comes to shaking their booties! Some venues (such as Aussie Twerk, pictured) even give you the option of having some male strippers join the party!
MALE REVUE SHOW
Like the idea of strippers but want to keep things a little classier?
Hit up a male revue show instead (such as Melbourne's Princes of the Night, pictured below) where you can watch the boys strut their stuff (and show off their wicked dance moves!) whilst enjoying drinks and busting out some moves of your own. If you're more inclined to be in the spotlight after a few bevs, some hens may end up on stage; however if you'd rather stay in the crowd there's no problems with that either!
NUDE DRAWING CLASS
For those of you with an artistic side (or not, even funnier!), these drawing classes combine fun, laughter, drawing, and of course, nudity!
I'm sure you've heard of Tupperware parties? Well, this is similar... except the products belong in the bedroom not the kitchen (and are strictly for adult's eyes ONLY)! Make sure you have champagne at the ready as you prepare to giggle your way through a celebration that focuses on toys of the grown-up variety!
If your hen loves a bit of craft, then rude origami is a must! As the name states... it’s origami, and it’s rude! Get to work creating your very own paper penis, passionate pigs and more! Check out this free PDF for instructions and inspiration!
STRIPPERS ON THE HIGH SEAS
Enjoying a cruise, taking in the sites around your local city, indulging in some delicious bites to eat, knocking back some bubbly and watching a show that will make your entire group blush - what's not to love about a naughty night on the high seas?!
For an example of what you can expect with such an experience, check out Wild Boys Afloat Brisbane by clicking here!
TANTRIC HEN PARTY
If you’re after something 18+ and really unique, why not try out a tantric hens party (such as those run by Blissrising, click here for more info)? Sensual, exciting AND educational - you’ll be leaving this event with skills that can be practiced at home (if you know what I mean?!).
TOPLESS WAITERS AND/OR STRIPPERS
Whether you’re at a hired venue or in your very own lounge room, strippers and topless waiters will add some extra spice to your event! From playing games to taking everything off, it’s up to you just how naughty or nice your event is with these gentlemen!
Handy hint: Click here for some fun games to play with your topless waiters!
PLAY GAMES THAT WILL BRING THE GIGGLES!
Before getting the party started, write down 10 MA15+ or R rated questions and place them in 10 separate balloons. Throughout the night, have guests pop the balloons; with your hen answering the question that comes out. If she refuses to give the group an answer, it's time for a punishment! This can be anything from drinking a shot or sipping her drink to completing a dare.
These are the basic instructions for ‘Balloon Pop’. For more fun ways to play, click here!
Remember: place all balloons in the bin after use!
CHEEKY TIME CAPSULE
The overall goal of 'Cheeky Time Capsule' is to prepare a box of gifts, letters, predictions and/or memories for your hen to open with her husband on their one year wedding anniversary.
To play, you can either ask guests to bring along a cheeky, wrapped gift for your hen (such as sexy launderette, love coupons, etc.) that can be placed into the 'time capsule' box when they arrive OR at the party have guests write down cheeky predictions (e.g. 'the happy couple will have consummated their marriage at least two times on their wedding night), naughty date ideas (to keep the flame burning in their second year of marriage) and/or cheeky memories (e.g. what happened the first time the happy couple met). These notes can then be placed into the time capsule.
After the party, seal the box and gift to your best friend (with strict instructions not to open it before their anniversary)! If you don't trust that she can wait this long, keep it sealed at your place and gift to her on her anniversary... what a present it will be!
NAUGHTY OR NICE?
On a table labelled ‘Naughty or Nice?’, have enough drinks for one per guest attending. As guests arrive, ask them to pick a beverage. The twist being that some are naughty (i.e. cocktails, straight shots, etc.) and some are nice (i.e. water, lemonade, etc.)!
Fun tip: you can also play this game in the style of ‘spin the bottle’. Simply place shot glasses in a circle and guests spin the bottle, taking whichever shot it happens to land on. Once again, some shots are 'nice' and some are 'naughty'!
SELL YOUR SH*T!
This activity will make for many laughs! Put together a pack of objects/products that your hen has to try and sell throughout the night. How embarrassing these items are is entirely up to you! Any money she manages to make should go towards buying something she really wants (let’s be honest... it will probably be that awesome looking cocktail or a souvlaki from that food truck down the road).
Handy hint: Get guests involved by asking them to bring along ONE op shop item that your hen has to sell throughout the night. It will be hilarious seeing what everyone turns up with!
EVEN MORE CHEEKY GAME INSPIRATION
From ‘18+ charades’ and ‘penis carving’ to ‘truth or dare’ and ‘I never’, there are SO many fun games that can be played on your special day. For the ultimate list of hens night games (that can be made as naughty ... or nice... as you like!) and their instructions, click here.
NAUGHTY HEN PARTY GIFTS
A really fun game card for a cheekier soiree is a twist on the old ‘Truth or Dare’. To make the cards, ask for the following information:
Name and Truth or Dare for [hen’s name].
Print as many off as there are guests, mount them onto coloured card (pick a colour that fits with your hen’s night theme for best results) and add them to your gift bags. When guests arrive at the party, ask that they write down their name along with a truth question or a dare to complete. Collect the cards and, in front of the whole group, gift them to your hen; explaining that each guest is actually to complete the truth/dare they wrote down for the hen, WITH the hen! Everyone will be beside themselves (either because they wrote something horrible down and they’re having massive regrets, or because they saw what a friend wrote down and cannot stop laughing!). Keep the giggles going by having your hen read out each of the cards, announcing who is performing each truth/dare with her as she goes!
For additional game card options, check out the ultimate list of games here and choose those that will fit with your celebration.
Consider yourself a bit of a chef? Why not bake some fun treats that will double as favours? Think along the lines of cupcakes topped with fondant penises, mini pecker cakes, slices of a large pecker cake or even penis shaped chocolate! If you don't fancy yourself as a baker, there's also the option of placing malteasers in a paper bag and labelling it as 'balls'. Want to up the 18+ factor? Include one chocolate willy in the bags as well and label them as 'dick and balls'.
Guaranteed to bring the giggles, naughty biscuits make fantastic favours, prizes or platter fillers! Whether you create these beauties yourself (the experience will no doubt get you super excited for what's to come) or get the professionals to do it ('The Confectionist', for example, can turn even your wildest requests into a biscuit!), these delicious little treats are bound to be a crowd-pleaser.
Need biscuit inspiration? Fluffy handcuffs, six-packs, boobs or penises will all work perfectly with your cheeky theme!
Set up a table with mini/baby cacti ready to gift to guests at the end of the celebration or to use as prizes throughout the event. Don't forget to add a 'PICK YOUR PRICK' sign to the favour table!
If you're planning on incorporating a game such as 'mould a man' (or body part!), consider placing balls of play-dough in your goodie bags.
A great home-made recipe that has been tried and tested by yours truly can be found on the side of McKenzie's Cream of Tartar containers (no affiliation, just LOVE the result!). Add food colouring in your theme colours to tie everything together. Click here to view the recipe.
Get Googling and find yourself some extra naughty jokes (whether you decide to stick with the whole ‘wedding theme’ or go completely off topic is completely up to you). Not only a great ice-breaker (have each guest read their jokes out to the group for instant good times!), but also a cheap and fun goodie bag filler option.
RIDDLES THAT SOUND DIRTY
Like jokes, riddles are a fantastic ice-breaker (especially riddles such as these – forcing your friend’s minds into the gutter, even though the answer is VERY clean!). Here’s an example to get you started:
Question: I’m hard when you put me in your mouth; soft and wet when you take me out. What am I?
Answer: Chewing gum!
For more hilarious riddles that sound dirty, click here and make your way through the search results!
SHOTS AND/OR MINI ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
CHEERS to your beautiful friend! Get the celebration started with some delicious mini drinks or shots - the perfect addition to any goodie bag!
Handy hint: Save up some small glass jars in the lead up to the event. You can then purchase large bottles of champagne, wine, etc. and fill the little jars. Decorate as you wish (e.g. with a twine bow) and place into gift bags.
OTHER CHEEKY INSPIRATION
You will find a great deal of inspiration via our Pinterest board! Eat your naughty heart out:
Purchase a white singlet and ask if friends have some permanent markers lying around that they could bring along to the event. On the day/night of the hen party, let the girls go to town on it with well wishes, their names, pictures, funny quotes said throughout the night, funny stories from the celebration, etc.!
Handy hint: Make sure you get a photo of the hen in her 'guest book' at the end of the evening. It can then either be framed (if she's game enough to hang it on a wall!) or kept in a special box at home as a memento from an incredible event.
PHOTO BOOTH (FOR ADULTS ONLY)
Photo booths are the best! And this type of party allows for SO many fun prop ideas that, really, how could you not have one!
Save some cash and DIY it with a simple backdrop (this could be anything from a plain wall to a pretty area in your garden). Next, add a basket full of props. Think along the lines of blackboards and chalk (so that guests can write their own cheeky words - bound to get more risque and hilarious as the night goes on!) and DIY cardboard items (e.g. Google some funny 18+ cartoons, such as peckers, print them off and glue them onto cardboard. Carefully cut around the outside of the picture and, boom, instant prop!). Does anyone in the group have some cheeky dress ups/accessories? Add those to the loot as well!
ENJOY YOUR NAUGHTY NIGHT!
I hope this article has provided you with ALL of the cheeky, raunchy and naughty hen party ideas, making your planning as easy and fun as ever! If you would like to share any additional options that should be added to the list, please do so via the comments below or social media (Facebook | Facebook Group | Instagram).
Cheers to the cheekiest and most hilarious party in town!
Much love, keep smiling - Bec x
ENJOY THIS ARTICLE? THEN YOU'LL ALSO LOVE...
You're a little bit naughty and I love it! If you want more cheeky hens night ideas, I definitely recommend you check out this article: 'A Tantric Party... Exciting, Sensual & Educational!'
AUTHOR: GABRIELA CIOBOTARU OF FLANNERYS ORGANIC & WHOLEFOOD MARKET
A DIY grazing table or platter is a great way to incorporate an array of delicious treats all in one glorious place, while inspiring those inner foodie styling skills. Ideal to showcase beautiful seasonal fruits, combined with all your favourite foods; the options are endless, so we thought we’d start you off with a few!
GLUTEN FREE GRAZING PLATTER
A gluten free diet should not be an inconvenient factor when it comes to celebrations. If you are thinking on how you can still enjoy the variety of a fancy spread while on a gluten free diet, here are some tips and alternatives.
Start with adding a source of protein like Flannerys nitrate free deli meats, then place some aged cheeses. Scatter nuts such as almonds, macadamia, hazelnuts around, and then include some fruit and vegetables. Go for chopped celery stalks, carrot, cherry tomatoes, grapes, figs and pears. Finally, you can’t forget the savoury and crunchy side of your platter. Add some nut and seed crackers and rice crackers, or opt for gluten free bread, such as buckwheat or Venerdi’s Paleo Seeded Bread. Make sure you add some sauerkraut for some extra probiotics and your favourite gluten free dip! We love Roza’s Gourmet range.
VEGAN GRAZING PLATTER
Did someone mention a vegan platter? There are so many varieties and great food choices to replace the usual salami and cheese which are vegan friendly, nutritious and delicious.
If you want a hard cheese alternative you can opt for an almond mozzarella type such as Greengrove Foods Notzarella, or a coconut based cheddar cheese. For a soft cheese alternative there are a variety of cashew based cheeses available that can be plain, or choose a flavoured style with dill, Italian herbs or even a basil pesto. We love Kehoes’s Pesto ‘Cream Cheese’, it’s super flavoursome and full of probiotics. To replace the meaty flavour, go for Nobel Jerky, we love the teriyaki flavour, falafels or some plant based patties.
For freshness, extra nutritional content, and more colour, play with your fruits and vegetables. Add apples, dried apricots or figs, capsicum, tomatoes, carrot and fennel…select pieces that you can cut up and place decoratively on your platter.
DESSERT GRAZING PLATTER
And the most waited platter – dessert. There is no proper celebration without something sweet, and dessert platters or grazing tables are the best way to alternate different types of treats.
Start off with creating your own organic vegan cake which is super simple with The Gluten Free Food Co mixes. If you want to add something decadent and rich, opt for some squares of dark chocolate, our bulk bins have plenty of variety.
Fruits are always a ‘go to’ for a dessert platter, so add seasonal organic mangoes, cherries, grapes, raspberries, and why not add a chocolate dipping sauce (the Vego Spread is amazing!) and top off with some crushed nuts? To decorate, add a few dried figs, apricots, plums, nuts and try Tom and Luke Protein Balls. The Pana Chocolate Coconut & Goji Chocolate and Loving Earth Chocolate Cranberries are some other great options to sprinkle in-between the fruits and add some extra yumminess to your grazing plate.
CHECK OUT THIS PINTEREST BOARD FOR MORE FANTASTIC GRAZING PLATTER IDEAS:
AUTHOR BIO - FLANNERYS ORGANIC & WHOLEFOOD MARKET
PROVIDING HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES
Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market offers a huge range of fresh, healthy and organic produce, including unpackaged bulk wholefoods, no added hormone organic and free-range meat, gluten-free products galore and plenty of healthy snacks. Pop in for free naturopathic advice, vegan-friendly and paraben-free cosmetics, plus all the regular health food supplies. For more information and easy to follow recipes, visit flannerys.com.au.
Available: QLD & NSW
ENJOY THESE GRAZING TABLE IDEAS? YOU'RE ALSO GOING TO LOVE:
Nailed the grazing platters but need inspiration for the lunch or dinner menu? Check out these wonderful ways food trucks can be incorporated into your hen's party! Click here and be inspired.
AUTHOR: BEC OF 'FOR EVERY HEN'
THIS ARTICLE MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO.
Are you planning an event but looking for eco-friendly party decorations as an alternative to the regular single-use supplies? See below for some great inspiration that will mean you can host a stylish, colourful and fun celebration... but with less waste!
One of my favourites! Bunting made from fabric is not only durable and reusable, but also stunning to look at! Decorate your event by hanging over food tables, between trees, across rooms or along fences. You could even wrap it around tree trunks or posts for a unique look.
If you’re a bit of a pro with the sewing machine, bunting can be created at home by using old fabric (such as unused clothes), material found at your local op shop or fabric pieces purchased from a craft store. If you’re not so confident in the DIY department, many retailers and boutique stores stock handmade fabric bunting. My only suggestion is to purchase in colours and/or patterns that can be used at a variety of events (e.g. neutral colours such as white suit just about any occasion, and reds can be used at Christmas, Valentine’s day, colourful parties, etc.). If you have children, colourful bunting will come in handy at their parties or as decoration in their bedroom/playroom!
Handy tip: bunting doesn't have to be made with triangles. You could use squares, tassles, rectangles... get creative and have fun with it!
Another fantastic product to have in the cupboard at home, fabric table cloths are well worth the initial investment! Once again, stick to colours and/or patterns that you will be able to use at future events. White tablecloths are always a good starting point, as you can dress them up with colourful food and decor to match the particular theme you’re preparing for.
Not technically classed as decorations, but whenever I set up for an event, the favour table is always a big part of the overall ‘look’ and ‘feel’. So, if you’re after eco-friendly party favours that are fun for guests AND beautiful to look at, see below:
FLOWER SEED BOMBS
These DIY favours are designed to make flowers grow wherever they land (how cool is that?)! They will also become a beautiful part of the decor at your event should you wrap them in burlap and tuck cute, dried flowers in the centre (click here for images and crafting instructions).
PERSONALISED DRINKING TOOLS
An option that can be used throughout the party and for many years to come! ‘Get a metal straw, jar and cutlery engraved for each person’, says Lottie Dalziel of Banish. ‘Not only does this look amazing, it keeps everyone accountable’. Jars can be saved from your cooking escapades in the lead-up to your celebration, whilst cutlery and metal straws can be purchased from many local or online shops.
If you're after a colourful straw option, I suggest taking a look at the Turtle & Me range (pictured below) by clicking here!
For those who would prefer an alternative to jars for their guests to drink from, there is also the option of personalised cups. Dedicated to ‘creating fun and simple environmental solutions that reduce unnecessary waste’, co-founders of 'Better Cup', Sam and Christie, provide custom-made tumblers, flutes and stemless glasses; perfect for bringing your theme to life in a sustainable way!
From organic skincare to home-baked goodies, you will find an incredible list of eco favour ideas by clicking here!
Food isn’t usually something that comes to mind when you’re in the midst of planning your event decor, but you would be surprised by just how handy it can be! See below for ways in which edibles can become the decorations you desire:
Not only delicious in meals, but also perfect for creating hanging decor and/or natural fragrance! ‘Herbs are great for the kitchen, but they can also make great decoration when they’re dried’ says Siavash Ghazvinian, co-founder of Ethical Tree. ‘Hang herbs like rosemary to dry in a visible place to add life and aroma to a room. Once dried you can even make wreaths out of them with a bit of string and hang them across your venue’.
SEASONAL FRUIT & VEGETABLES
If particular foods are in season when your event is on, use this to your advantage. An example of seasonal foods that make great decor is pumpkins, squashes and gourds. ‘[These] are three things you can grow relatively easily and proudly display across your home’ says Siavash Ghazvinian; then once your event has wrapped up, you can either keep them as decor or ‘use the edible ones in various recipes you can find online.’
UTENSILS & SERVING DISHES
‘You can get super creative with food to help you prepare or serve your dishes’ says Laura Trotter, sustainable living educator. A few of her favourite options include ‘using rosemary skewers for kebabs on a BBQ, a ring of red capsicum as an egg ring, serving guacamole inside a halved avocado shell [and] serving fresh fruit salad inside a halved watermelon, rockmelon, honeydew or pineapple’ (more detailed information can be found here). Eco friendly and a fabulous way to reduce the amount of dishes you need to wash after the party!
If you know exactly what you need to decorate your event, it's worth asking friends and family if they happen to have one/some of these items stashed away at home. Borrowing decor (such as tablecloths, chairs/chair covers, centrepieces, lighting and more) will be a fantastic way to save some cash. And if you don't happen to come across the product/s you need in this way, consider hiring from your local event business instead. They often have everything mentioned above, plus options such as karaoke machines, portable heaters, etc.!
Mason jars are one of my favourite things to re-purpose! From lighting a room to sipping on a cool beverage, there are so many uses. See below for a few of the best:
‘Put a tea light candle in old jars to create an amazing atmosphere’, says Lottie Dalziel. To pull this off, save up a variety of jars (small, large and in-between) in the lead up to your event. When it comes to decorating, create small clusters (approximately 5 different shaped and sized jars) in the middle of dinner tables, favour tables, food tables, etc. For larger areas, such as the corner of a balcony, place approximately 10 – 15 jars (depending on the space, maybe more). In the hour before your event is due to start, light the candles and carefully place them inside your jars. Instant ambience!
Handy tip: If you’re going for a rustic theme, placing one, two or a cluster of jar candles on top of logs will create a beautiful centrepiece for your celebration.
Olinda Collective created these decorative jars as a unique, waste-free Australian centrepiece for the Christmas table, but they’re so beautiful I think they’d be perfect at any event during the year as well! Click the image below for DIY steps:
Jars also make fantastic vases. With so many different sizes available, you’re sure to find something to display your beautiful bunches in! And if you want to put a unique spin on this decor option, hang the jar vases from trees or even mount them on the wall!
Made from leaves in your backyard and a hole punch, this confetti is like no other! Zero waste, cheap and colourful - what more could you want?!
Flowers can make the most bland room look amazing, which is the reason I absolutely LOVE using them at parties and celebrations! And with so many colours to choose from, you can't go wrong (simply create bunches using your theme palette and you have instant, beautiful decor).
Plants are a fantastic eco-decor option. They’re not only available in a range of types and sizes, but will continue to add colour to your household for many years to come! Perfect for use indoors and outdoors, see below for ways in which plants can be incorporated into your event:
Clustered in corners, used as favours, placed in the centre of a table or even hung from the wall/ceiling; potted plants have so many points of use! You could even go so far as decorating with edible plants (such as parsley, basil and/or chives). As Siavash Ghazvinian says, ‘If you have a window that gets good sun, it’s worth finding a shelving unit to plant herbs that you can grow and use in various foods. [They] taste delicious, and really liven up the energy in the kitchen’. Serving meals garnished with organic produce that doubles as decor – imagine!
Handy tip: ‘The best way to go about getting potted plants with minimal impact on the environment is to join a local community garden or even a local gardening Facebook group. These groups often have someone who is giving away free pots that they no longer have use for’ – Siavash Ghazvinian
Large plants, when placed appropriately, can be the highlight of a room. For instance, placing 2 to 3 bigger plants (of varying heights) together in a corner creates an instant talking point; as does placing two large plants either side of your entrance. To make these beauties truly stand out, ‘arrange in woven containers’ says Jane Clarke of Fantastic Services Australia; ‘and if you have white walls, place the plants nearby as the greenery will contrast against them’.
Whilst large plants create an instant ‘wow’ factor, this doesn’t mean smaller plants should be completely overlooked. ‘Smaller plants can also be a great decor’ says Jane Clarke. ‘Arrange them in geometric forms [and] for even better results, use geometric pots’. Whilst there are a vast array of smaller plant options, Jane suggests using succulents when it comes to decorating; they’re hardy, look gorgeous and are small enough to be anything from a favour to a table centrepiece.
Garage sales, op shops and antique stores are all great places to pick up a bargain and/or unique decor items that will fit with your event theme perfectly! Think along the lines of stunning vases, large mirrors, shabby chic furniture, photo frames (great for photo booth props), baskets, etc. And once the party is over, you can either keep the item/s in your home or take back to the op shop for others to enjoy!
CHECK US OUT ON PINTEREST FOR MORE ECO-FRIENDLY PARTY DECORATION INSPIRATION:
DID THESE ECO-FRIENDLY PARTY DECORATIONS INSPIRE YOU?
After going through this list, I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts. And if you have an option that’s not currently published, please share with everyone via the comments below or one of our social media platforms! Facebook/Instagram/Facebook group).
Much love, keep smiling - Bec x
ENJOY THIS ARTICLE? YOU'RE ALSO GOING TO LOVE:
If you're after more eco-friendly ways to host your next celebration (everything from invite inspiration and green decor to eco friendly products and where to find them) - click here!
AUTHOR: BEC OF 'FOR EVERY HEN'
THIS ARTICLE MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO.
A take-home goodie bag is such a wonderful way to show your guests (and bride-to-be!) just how much you appreciate them. After all, celebrating such a milestone wouldn’t be anywhere near as fun if your nearest and dearest weren’t able to attend. However, coming up with party bag ideas that are not only memorable and useful, but also eco friendly can be a real challenge.
With the inspiration provided below, though, you’ll have no problem delighting your guests with eco gifts that are not only unique and unexpected, but also zero waste and/or reusable (meaning they’ll benefit the environment as well as party goers in their everyday lives)!
LET’S START WITH THE PARTY BAGS THEMSELVES
Finding eco friendly bags that are big enough, strong enough and pretty enough to hold favours and wow guests at the same time can be difficult. Lucky for us, they are out there! With the below being some of my favourite options:
ECOSILK REUSABLE SHOPPING BAGS
Available in a large range of fun, bright colours (making it easy to match them to your overall event theme and/or colour palette), these gorgeous Ecosilk Bags not only look great, but are also fantastic for holding bigger gifts or lots of little goodies.
And when the party’s over?
They will easily slot into your guests’ everyday lives as they can be used for anything from grocery and clothes shopping to a stylish weekend travel bag!
PERSONALISED BAGS BY BEAUTIFUL BOXES
Want to make things personal? Designed to be re-used, these gorgeous calico bags can be printed with any wording you desire! From names to cute sayings (such as a 'bride tribe' type slogan or a quote your hen says quote often), these will not only be appreciated when received at the actual celebration, but will also be fondly used after the event. Click here to view their entire range.
REUSABLE ECOSILK MINI DRAWSTRING BAGS
Planning on gifting a couple of smaller items such as chocolates, jewellery or little pamper products?
They're soft to the touch, super cute, and come in the same fun, bright colours as their larger counterparts (mentioned earlier).
Following the event, guests can continue to enjoy the convenience of their little bags as they’re also great for securing everyday items such as keys, money, credit cards, makeup and more. In fact, mine has become a staple glove-box item – the struggle to find coins in the car is no longer real!
AND THEN THERE ARE THE CARDS...
SUSTAINABLE, PLANTABLE CARDS
If you would like to add a sustainable card to your gift bags or boxes, I definitely recommend taking a look at 'plantable cards' (also known as 'seeded cards' or 'seeded paper').
Unlike anything your guests have received before, these types of cards are created with recycled paper and embedded with seeds. This means recipients can read your words, before planting their cards in the garden and watching their (surprise) flowers grow! Intrigued? Click here for a range of beautiful seeded options!
STUNNING DOWNLOADABLE, PRINTABLE PRODUCTS
Bring your theme to life with editable, professionally designed tags, itineraries and/or game cards.
But how do you do this in an eco-friendly way, you may ask? Simple! Purchase a printable product, customise it with your party details and have them printed onto recycled paper/card!
PARTY BAG IDEAS: ECO FRIENDLY PRODUCTS TO GIFT YOUR GUESTS
A cute (and convenient) gift idea that can be used throughout the party and in your guests’ day-to-day lives! A 'spork' combines a spoon with a fork, making them the perfect utensil for eating at parties, work or even out and about. Washable, anti-bacterial and compostable (when you feel it’s at the end of its lifespan), these bamboo sporks are a plastic-free, zero waste gift that is extremely handy!
Biscuits are not only delish, but also the perfect way to add a pop of colour and/or themed fun to your eco gift bags! What's more, if you put a bit of thought into the overall design (i.e. personalise with a cute message, use an image that means the world to your best friend, etc.), they will bring an unexpected and truly beautiful touch to the event.
If you're looking to treat your guests in this way, 'The Confectionist' is a business you MUST check out! Priding themselves on their 'ability to turn absolutely anything into a biscuit', your options for design are endless. Think of the possibilities!
Click here to learn more about 'The Confectionist'.
FLOWER, FRUIT & VEGETABLE SEEDS
Seeds of any kind make such a beautiful gift! Not only because they continue to grow and can thus be enjoyed long after the celebration has ended, but because they’ll also bring back wonderful memories every time a guest looks at them.
What’s more, they can be gifted in unique ways.
Flower seeds, for example, could be given to your guests in little pots. You could even go one step further and actually plant the seeds, making them a cute little ‘Pot Luck’ favour (pun intended!). This means they won’t know the flower they’ve chosen until it has actually grown – oh the anticipation!
Fruit and vegetable seeds can be gifted in much the same way; placing the packets in eco-friendly bags or adorable little trays (that guests can go on to grow them in). Once again, there’s also the option of ‘Pot Luck’ favours, whereby you gift guests seeds that have already been planted. Choosing a tray at random and finding out what their fruit or vegetable plant is only once it’s sprouted all being part of the fun!
Like flower and vegetable seeds, herbs are the gift that just keeps on giving – growing and providing flavour to meals long after the party is over.
There are a few great ways to gift herbs. Adding packets to gift bags or pots (as mentioned above) is one option, as is planting herb seeds and allowing guests to pick their ‘surprise’ pot at random.
Then there are organic Herb Garden Kits such as those found at ‘Sara’s Garden’. Already packed in adorable yet stylish favour boxes, they come with everything you need for growing herbs at home. The pots are even biodegradable!
Is there someone in the bridal party who is a bit of a pro in the kitchen? If the answer is yes, then whipping up some delicious home-baked goodies is a fantastic (and fairly cheap, depending on what you make) favour option. After all, nothing shows love quite like bread, muffins, cupcakes, cakes, cookies, slices or even salsa made from scratch!
And the best part?
Home-baked goodness can easily be matched to your overall event theme. Are you hosting a pink party, for example? Use different shades of pink icing on your cupcakes. What about an angel & devil theme? Gift your guests some delicious red salsa in cute, glass jars! Partying in boho style? Add some cute edible flowers to your treats.
Easy yet effective party favours!
Who doesn't enjoy a bit of 'magic'?! These adorable beans have words or images engraved on the central pod (their seed), meaning they will display a message as they grow. And speaking of growing, once planted your magic bean plant will sprout for about a month in their tin, at which point you can transplant it to your garden (where it will probably flower!). It’ll also produce its own seeds if you pop it in the ground.
A fun, unique and lasting eco-gift!
NATURAL BODY SCRUBS
Add a touch of luxury to your goodie bags with some stunning, natural body scrubs. Used to cleanse and exfoliate, such a gift will leave your guests with the most beautiful, baby-soft skin – and honestly, who can say no to that?!
For those looking to indulge in this way, Freya’s Nourishment has a range of gorgeous, cruelty free, natural body scrubs that are both gentle and nourishing. And whilst you probably know that body scrubs are great for, well, the body; the Coconut and Coffee Body Scrub (pictured below) is also fantastic for your lips, feet and hair!
It’s not unusual to see straws in hen party gift bags – they’re cute, a cheap filler option and handy for sipping on throughout the event. However, they are often plastic and only used for a couple of hours before going in the bin. Avoid unnecessary landfill by incorporating eco-friendly alternatives instead!
But other than recyclable paper straws, what ARE your options?
First, there are reusable bamboo straws. Made from natural, durable bamboo, they are ideal for all kinds of cold drinks. And whilst they can be cleaned and used again and again, should you ever need to dispose of them they are also fully biodegradable in the compost or garden! For more information, click here.
Second, there are reusable stainless steel straws. Also fantastic for all kinds of cold drinks, these straws are made from high-quality, food-grade stainless steel. And if you ever need to dispose of them? They are fully recyclable!
And whilst we're on the topic of stainless steel straws, I want to draw your attention to a gorgeous business, Turtle & Me Australia. Specialising in bright and fun colour options (including rose gold, rainbow and gold; pictured below), these straws make the perfect addition to any kind of celebration (whilst simultaneously encouraging people to change their lifestyle habits - which is just one of Tutle & Me's wonderful missions)! Click here to view the whole colourful range.
Succulents - they are beautiful, easy to look after (always a good trait in living gifts), can be kept indoors or outdoors, and will make the favour table at your event look absolutely stunning!
In other words, they are a gift to remember.
For a variety of gorgeous, mini potted succulents online, I recommend looking at the Sara's Garden range. Designed for use as bonbonniere, they are stylish and the perfect size for gifting. And to top it all off, they come with cards and bamboo card holders that can be personalised for your event!
ECO FRIENDLY GIFTS FOR YOUR BRIDE-TO-BE
Whilst the above options would also make great gifts for your bride-to-be, I’ve always liked to give the guest of honour the same thing as her friends... plus a little something extra. It is her special day after all!
If you’re looking to do just that, you’ll love the section below. Dedicated to stunning, eco-gifts that do cost a bit more than those mentioned above (and therefore aren’t recommended for each and every guest, unless you have a large budget!); these products are PERFECT for treating your beautiful best friend on a day dedicated to spoiling her!
Handy Hint: click here for six eco-friendly ways you can wrap your bride-to-be's gifts.
Who knew wraps could be so much fun?!
Available in a range of funky colours and patterns, Beeswax Food Wraps make a reasonably priced, environmentally friendly gift that will become a kitchen fave! Fantastic for covering leftover dinner, large salad bowls, sandwiches, cut vegetables and more, these reusable food wraps are the perfect alternative to plastic wrap (and make your fridge look like a colourful party at the same time)!
BISCUITS... WITH A TWIST!
Whilst the biscuits mentioned earlier would make an absolutely beautiful surprise for your best friend, 'The Confectionist' also offer a way to take gifting one step further...
With life-size face biscuits!
Whether you have your bride-to-be's face turned into a delicious treat, or present her with a life-size edible snack of her fiance's face ("hubby" on the hens - imagine the photos!), these gifts are '100% guaranteed to strike a giggle!' Learn more by clicking here.
On the other hand, if a collection of themed biscuits is more your style, they also offer beautiful, hand-painted tins filled with biscuits fit for a bride! Once the contents have been devoured, your bestie will be left with a gorgeous keepsake tin that can be filled with photos, cards and other memories from her hen's party or bridal shower. Click here to learn more.
CONCERT OR THEATRE TICKETS
If there is a band, singer or even play touring that your bride-to-be would give anything to see, why not purchase 2x tickets as the ultimate surprise (it's then up to her whether or not she takes her new husband or a friend)?! If you are booking a particular date, make sure it's nowhere near the wedding or honeymoon. If it's too risky purchasing actual tickets, you can always grab a voucher and let your bride-to-be know what the money is intended for!
If your best friend loves to get creative in the kitchen, why not have everyone chip in to purchase her a piece of sustainable cookware? Non-toxic, healthy and multi-century durable, the SOLIDteknics range is the perfect option for any eco-concious cook! And as they are made to last, your bestie will be reminded of her hen's night or bridal shower every time she's at the stove for many, many, many years to come!
Whether you're after a unique way to 'wrap' gifts for your bride-to-be, or a personalised way for your best friend to store those precious memories from her special day (such as photos, ticket stubs, letters and more), custom boxes are definitely something you should look into.
The ideal way to create an unforgettable gifting experience, these beautiful boxes will show your bride-to-be how much her friends love her. Click here to learn more.
ECO GIFT PACKS
There is something special about receiving a gift pack that has been chosen especially for you. The anticipation, the layers, the thoughtful notes – unveiling the contents is a wonderful experience in itself. And because such a gift does bring so much joy, it’s a fantastic way to spoil your best friend at her hen party, bridal shower or kitchen tea.
If you are looking to surprise your bride-to-be in this way, Sara’s Garden offers a variety of stunning options. From succulent and tea combos to gorgeous luxury packs; these gifts are not only unique, but being a combination of organic, recycled and recyclable materials, they are also as green as can be. And having received a Sara’s Garden gift pack myself, I can honestly say that your bride-to-be is in for a real treat!
If there are any activities or experiences your bride-to-be has wanted to do FOREVER (anything from sky-diving to a pamper sesh at her local day spa) a special gift voucher could be the ideal option.
Alternatively, if your best friend's group of girls have some special talents (such as makeup artist, photographer, etc.) treat your hen to some meaningful vouchers instead. For example, have a hairdresser and photographer in the group? Why not organise a cut, colour and photoshoot for the bride and her husband/family?!
GREEN THUMB GIFTS
Plants are a fantastic, sustainable gift option that can be enjoyed for many, many years to come! And because of this, they also make a lovely reminder of the day they were received (in this case, the pre-wedding celebrations). They also have many benefits when placed inside, such as purifying the air and improving your health (click here for more information).
When it comes to plants, there are plenty to choose from; however I have found in the past that edible (such as lemon trees, olive trees and potted strawberries), lucky (such as lucky bamboo) and/or indoor plants (such as succulents) are best for gifting.
If you’re looking for inspiration, Flowers Across Melbourne have an abundance of fresh plants and flowers to choose from – with one of my favourites being this beautiful passionfruit plant pictured below! And as they deliver straight to your door, you can organise to surprise your hen in the lead up to her celebration with a beautiful tree or plant complete with cute message – a great way to build excitement for what’s to come!
HOMEMADE GIFT BASKET
Create a truly meaningful gift by asking each of your guests to bake/create something special for your bride-to-be. This could be anything from muffins, slices, scones, sauces and jams to fresh produce or a knitted rug. Alternatively, you could ask guests to purchase a small eco-gift (such as those on this list). Put them together with some home baked goodies, place them neatly in a stunning basket and present to your bride-to-be at her celebration!
NATURAL BEAUTY PRODUCTS
When it comes to your closest friend, she deserves the best of the best; and what better way to spoil her than with a selection of luxe, all-natural beauty products? From relaxing bath/foot salts (that are great for your hair and bone health, among other things) to beautiful scrubs (like those mentioned earlier), there are so many ways to make the bride-to-be feel special.
If you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to pamper gift ideas, I recommend, from experience, looking into the Freya’s Nourishment range. Combining luxury with living consciously, products such as the Hydrating Body Oil (designed to leave you feeling ‘thoroughly hydrated, yet smooth and supple’) and Rose Hand Scrub (a wonderful scrub that softens skin, protects against wrinkles, helps relieve eczema and more) ooze sophistication and have the added benefits of physical and emotional healing qualities. To me, these factors alone make both products a great option for any soon-to-be bride!
Everyone deserves to be pampered - especially when there's a wedding in the equation! So why not treat your gorgeous bride-to-be with some beautiful, organic pamper products to use in the lead-up to her big day? From vegan coco-rose bath soak and organic lip balm, to pink lavender clay masks and handmade soap, your beautiful best friend will be enjoying the ultimate in relaxation in no time!
REUSABLE COFFEE CUP
For the girl who loves her coffee, tea, hot chocolate or even smoothies, there’s no better gift than a reusable coffee cup that can be taken EVERYWHERE with her! Available in a range of fun, bright colours and finishes (such as glass and stainless steel), these chic alternatives to takeaway cups will fast become a staple in your bestie’s day-to-day life.
With prices depending on the type of travel mug or reusable cup you purchase, I suggest taking a look at the variety of options available by clicking here. You can then make the choice based on your gift budget and bride-to-be’s preferences (I, for one, LOVE the glass option – but have friends who prefer the BPA and BPS free polypropylene!).
REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE
Reusable water bottles are a great gift as they help reduce plastic waste and are something we can all use in our everyday lives. But what if I told you there was a bottle out there that is also perfectly geared towards hen parties?
These beauties will allow your hen to enjoy water, cocktails AND coffee; the three drinks of choice when it comes to partying with the girls (and the morning after)! And when they’re empty and you’re not using them? They can roll up to a fraction of their size and be stashed away in your handbag until the next cocktail on the go is required.
Once the party is over, the Rolla Bottle will easily slot into your bride-to-be’s life as it is so easy to carry around. As Katy and Lizzy of 'Rolla Bottle' say, it's “ready whenever you need a drink, and out of the way when you don’t”.
I adore anything rustic. The charm, the character, the uniqueness of each piece. And if your best friend is anything like me, she is going to LOVE the final product on our list! Carefully handmade in a private woodworking shop by 'Rustic Wooden Designs', these stunning wooden vases are one of those wonderful, versatile products that everyone can't help but admire (trust me, they're in our house and they're a hit!).
Handy hint: These stunning vases can be used as part of your event decor, and then presented to your bride-to-be once it's over. They can then be displayed around her home - a beautiful memento from her special day that will bring a smile to her face every time she looks at them!
CHECK US OUT ON PINTEREST FOR MORE PARTY FAVOUR IDEAS:
ENJOY YOUR ECO-FRIENDLY PARTY!
There you have it, whether it be wedding favors, party favour ideas, or hens goodie bag ideas - this list of absolutely gorgeous eco gifts are bound to make any guest's day! And remember, when putting them together you don't actually need a ridiculous amount of fillers. One beautiful item (either or its own or in a bag/box) can be more than enough!
I hope you have a fantastic time at your celebration! Please let us know how your favours turned out (or what you did at your event) via the comments section below or social media (Facebook | Facebook Group | Instagram). I LOVE hearing your stories, as do the other For Every Hen community members!
Much love, keep smiling - Bec x
P.S. If you love a product on this list but it won't work for your gift bags, you can use it as a gorgeous eco-prize instead!
AUTHOR: STEVEN OF 'SIMPO CLEANING'
Parties are meant to be fun, so why stress over preparing for one? Here are some of our professional cleaners' tips and tricks for making your home look fab before the party (so that you don’t lose your marbles on the day of the event)!
Important: Give yourself time and split tasks over a number of days. Don’t increase pressure on yourself by leaving too much to do on the morning of the party.
CLEAN & DECLUTTER
Wipe over all horizontal surfaces. Use a wet cloth in the kitchen and a dry polishing cloth for other rooms.
Make sure the whole house smells fresh. Use fragrant essential oils about an hour before guests are due.
Move unnecessary items to a space they can be retrieved from later. Clutter can include personal items such as invoices, etc. Move anything that’s likely to cause embarrassment out of sight.
The first thing people see is the entry area, so mow the lawn and trim the edges; hose down or high pressure clean the driveway and paved areas.
Make sure you have a mat at the front door so people can wipe their feet before entering the house.
Windows are always noticed. Clean them inside and out in all the areas guests will go. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference clean windows will make to the look of your home.
Give your bathroom a good scrub top to bottom. Pay special attention to the toilet seats, mirrors and glass since these are the areas which guests tend to notice the most.
You can save time on after-party cleaning if you use a pump-action hand-wash dispenser (they also look way better than a used bar of soap) while recycled single-use paper towels will avoid a lot of laundry.
Have extra toilet rolls in a prominent place. Remove anything personal from the medicine cabinet.
Very important: check the bathroom at regular intervals during the evening (any mess made by your guests reflects badly on you as the host).
A table cloth is great for hiding any imperfections on an old table, and can also prevent further wear and tear.
On informal occasions, disposable biodegradable plates will reduce any after-party cleaning, but make sure there are well-identified places like a bin (making it easy to carry them to the compost for their disposal after use), as well as a separate bin for uneaten food.
For formal dining, you need to clean and polish the silverwear while making sure the dinnerw ear is spotless.
CHILDREN AND ANIMALS
We love them both – but they are both capable of creating ‘disorder’ at a party. Depending on how rowdy you think the party will get, children can be part of proceedings, but sending them to a relative may be a good idea.
If they will be staying, have a designated play area with toys and games to keep them occupied and prevent them from going into areas they aren’t supposed to.
Dogs can add charm to informal dining (outdoor barbecues for example) but the safest approach would be to send Rover off to the kennel. Take a quick scan of the backyard and be sure to dispose of any poop in the backyard. You don’t want any of your guests stepping in anything they don’t want to, especially if they are going to be wearing their favourite pair of valentines.
Cats leave fur everywhere – make sure you remove it. On the day, it’s best to send them to a room of their own with their favourite toys to keep them occupied.
They happen – and you need to be prepared. Have a cleaning kit consisting of stain remover, cleaning cloths, bucket, mop, dust-pan and broom, readily at hand. This will keep you calm and gracious when someone breaks one of your favourite wine glasses (stemless wine glasses may – repeat ‘may’ – result in less breakages).
What does this have to do with cleaning? Well, dim the lights and you may get away with doing less. It’s a cheap trick – but like most cheap tricks – it works! If you don’t have a light dimmer switch, turn off the main lights and use strategically placed lamps and/or candles to light the party area. It creates ambience and hides any imperfections on walls, carpets, floors, etc.
CLEAN THE REFRIGERATOR
Like the bathroom, it makes a good impression to have a clean – and tidy – fridge.
Everything you need for the party should be to the front of the shelves and in the door racks where it’s easy to find and access. It’s just another way to take the stress out of being a good host.
You’ve earnt it! You’ve planned, you’ve prepared, you’ve reprovisioned – most of all, you’ve CLEANED. Now it’s time to get the party started!
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AUTHOR BIO - SIMPO CLEANING
HOME CLEANING SERVICES
With over 20 years experience in the cleaning industry, we know exactly what it takes to impress your guests regardless of whether it’s a brand new home (builders cleaning) or just a quick spring clean before a party.
Available: Sydney, NSW
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Nailed the before party cleaning tips? Now it's time to learn some handy ways to reduce the mess during the celebration, making your after-party clean-up a breeze! Click here and be inspired.
AUTHOR: NITESH BHATIA OF ‘JUST WINES’
Cocktails are a fantastic way to get hens party festivities to a great start. Serving a special signature cocktail can also be a crowd pleaser when it comes to setting the tone and possibly breaking the ice among revellers that may not have previously met.
Champagne or sparkling white is traditionally associated with all things bride; you can put your own unique stamp on this favourite or go completely off script and serve something completely unexpected and completely delicious (of course, it goes without saying that responsible consumption is the only way to do it in style).
Here are three basic cocktail recipes designed to not only impress, but also to mark the beginning of a time to remember.
You can make this Italian cocktail using either Prosecco or the bride’s favourite Aussie sparkling wine. In Italy, they would make the nectar by marinating peaches in wine, but since a hen’s event requires a lot of work, we’ve simplified this part for you.
White peach nectar
Half fill a champagne flute with peach nectar
Slowly and carefully pour in the bubbly
Stir carefully. Serve immediately.
Recommendation: Tatachilla – Those Who Wander Prosecco, NV King Valley
KING VALLEY, VICTORIA
King Valley in Victoria is a great place to source prosecco, and ideal for a weekend away. It’s three hours’ drive from Melbourne with plenty of welcoming cellar doors that are heavily influenced by Italian winemaking with a geographical setting similar to the hills in northern Italy. In addition to prosecco, other wines to try while you’re in the King Valley are sangiovese, pinot grigio, nebbiolo, dolcetto, arneis and barbera.
THE STAR GAZER
Believe it or not, this combination of chardonnay, rum and sweet juice is a nice, soft, sip-worthy surprise (make sure you serve it with ice).
INGREDIENTS (MAKES 1)
30ml dark rum
Couple of drops of vanilla extract
15ml pineapple juice
Garnish: lime wedge
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice
Shake and strain into a glass
Recommendation: Mon Tout Chardonnay, Margaret River
MARGARET RIVER, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
If you’re wine touring in Western Australia, Margaret River is a must. The winemaking there has grown over the past few decades to become one of the most respected new world wine regions. In addition to chardonnay, cabernet merlot blend and Shiraz are the wines to indulge in while you’re there. The small, boutique wineries there are lovely to visit.
THE ROSÈ BOUQUET
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
INGREDIENTS (MAKES 2)
20ml dry vermouth
90ml grapefruit juice
1 rosemary sprig
Fill lowball glass ¾ full of ice and add the ingredients over the top
Stir, and serve with a grapefruit wedge and rosemary sprig
Recommendation: Bird Dog Rosè, Granite Belt
GRANITE BELT, QUEENSLAND
Yes, you read that right; Queensland has a unique, thriving little wine region three hours southwest of Brisbane. Granted, it’s Queensland, but not as you know it (it can get cold enough in winter to snow, but can also get sizzling hot in summer). It produces some of the most inimitable Shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, Verdelho and viognier to be found. There are also plenty of tours, walking trails and foods to explore for a great hen’s weekend away.
CHECK OUT THIS PINTEREST BOARD FOR DELISH DRINK IDEAS:
AUTHOR BIO - JUST WINES
ONLINE WINE RETAILER
Nitesh Bhatia is the founder and CEO of Just Wines, Australia's second largest wine retailer dedicated to supporting Australian and New Zealand winemakers.
Just Wines was founded in 2012 with a vision to revolutionise the online wine industry. Since then Just Wines has become the second largest online wine retailer in Australia based on product range – offering up to 6,000 wines from over 1,000 winemakers from Australia and New Zealand.
AUTHOR: NATALIE CHURCHILL OF 'ONLY DREAM DRESSES'
Trends come and go; and I hope that one trend here to stay is food trucks. They have really made their mark on Sunday sessions in the park and at weddings... but what about having one at your hens party?
Now I’m not necessarily saying that your hens party has to be one long, food truck festival with every course served from a different mobile food van. However, if you wanted to go that way you certainly could; the sheer range and incredible quality of food available in truck form will blow your mind and can fulfil every one of your guests’ needs.
Don’t conjure up images of the kebab van next to your favourite nightclub, or the hot jam donut van at the annual Easter show, though. Food trucks have come a very long way since these days! They are simply stunning; gorgeous replicas or refurbishments of vintage trucks and caravans. They not only serve wonderful food and drink, they will also make amazing backdrops for those selfies or girly snaps.
Here are 9 awesome ways you can add a touch of ‘Food Truck’ to your hens party!
Mobile bars and drink vendors are available in every state in Australia, with an entire range of drinks to choose from. You can get sweet little vans which dispense prosecco or beer from taps on the side (meaning guests can self-serve), or caravans completely reborn as full-service bars with staff.
There are even VW Combis which have come back to life as mobile kegs. Some smaller ones can be booked to serve just a couple of cocktail options (for example, espresso martinis) whilst others offer everything a full-service bar would.
If you are looking for some nibbles and finger food to please your guests, there are so many options here too. From fine street food to freshly shucked oysters (and everything in between!); if you can dream it up, there is a food cart or truck that will serve it directly to you.
THREE: DURING THE AFTERNOON
Perfect for a hens party on the beach or in a park, hire a mobile food truck to provide afternoon tea to your guests. You could even hire one with a full high tea service, including vintage bone china and cupcake tiers.
Pair this with lawn games like bocce and croquet for a relaxed vibe to a very special afternoon of fun.
FOUR: WHEN IT'S HOT
For the hot days there are so many selections for your food truck hens party, just perfect to cool everyone down. From alcoholic popsicles and slushies to homemade ice-cream and proper Italian gelati; when the Aussie summer sun hits its peak, you will have all of your guests looked after.
FIVE: WHEN YOU NEED CAFFEINE
Even the traditional coffee cart has had a sprucing up. There are some beautiful little vintage carts that you can hire to serve coffee and hot chocolate to your guests when the cool night air has set in. You could even get one to sell espresso martinis as well and cover all your bases at once!
SIX: FOR MAINS
Considering going out for dinner? Why not cater your whole main meal with a next level travelling restaurant?!
Incredible chefs are throwing off the shackles of fixed venues and embracing the life on the open road, so there is no need to have substandard fare wherever you are.
Bring in spit-roast, Greek, Indian, Thai, pizza, modern Australian or a fusion of them all (maybe not all of them!). You don’t need to supply a kitchen, and the clean-up is all sorted.
SEVEN: FOR DESSERT
When your guests need something sweet, call a dessert food truck to roll up at your party as sweets is one of the things that food trucks do best. Do you want donuts, crème Brule, waffles, pancakes, more ice-cream, cupcakes, or ice-cream served in donut cones? Just click your fingers because you can get all of this and more!
EIGHT: FOR LATE NIGHT MUNCHIES
When it’s getting later in the night and your guests may have had one too many, this is the ideal time to bring in some food truck help. How many hens parties have you been to where you got super hungry halfway through the night?
Bring in burgers or sliders, tacos, wood-fired pizzas, hot dogs or gourmet sausages, or even the good old toasted jaffle! The girls will never appreciate a food truck quite so much as they will at this moment.
NINE: FOR THE MORNING AFTER
Hens parties are renown for creating sore heads, so the girls may wake up craving that hang-over breakfast. Why not host a brunch at home or in a lovely park nearby, and hire a coffee cart, pancake van, breakfast burgers, toasted sandwiches and more? There is no reason why the party has to end after all!
Wow, if this blog hasn’t made you hungry (or thirsty!) then I don’t know what would. I might just go and price a prosecco van to come by my house on the weekend... just because.
CHECK OUT THIS PINTEREST BOARD FOR MORE WAYS TO INCORPORATE FOOD INTO YOUR BESTIES CELEBRATION:
AUTHOR BIO - ONLY DREAM DRESSES
AUSTRALIA-WIDE MARKETPLACE FOR PRE-LOVED WEDDING DRESSES
Natalie Churchill is the founder and owner of Only Dream Dresses, an Australian-wide online marketplace for preloved wedding dresses. Like many brides, Natalie experienced the desire to wear a beautiful designer gown on her wedding day, but didn’t want to spend the earth in doing so. So the idea of purchasing or hiring a preloved wedding dress was formed. Only Dream Dresses specialises in creating a service that’s personal, cost effective and efficient.
Area/s this business is available: Australia-wide
AUTHOR: LANA OF 'HENS PARTIES AUSTRALIA'
A hens party is a must.
Whether you go out to a quiet dinner with a few friends, or hit the clubs with your whole gang; it's your last symbolic night as a single woman.
Which is why it has to be unforgettable.
That said, these days most of us are too busy to organise an entire hen's party by ourselves; and that's where professionals like myself come in. To help with your planning, here are my top tips for putting together a hens party your bride-to-be will never forget!
WHAT DOES SHE WANT TO DO?
If you don't know what your hen wants, then ask her!
While you want her night to be unforgettable, you want it to be for the right reasons (not because you ordered a private stripper and she ran out of the hotel crying because she'd promised her fiancé there'd be no naked men!).
HENS PARTY EXPECTATIONS
Different hens will have different expectations.
Some hens will tell you exactly what they want down to the letter, and you're expected to follow each and every instruction (hey, it's their party, why shouldn't they?!). Others will give you a vague idea of what they want, leaving it to you to organise (great, right?!). And then some will tell you to surprise them (the worst of the three, what if you don't choose the right party?!).
AN ACTIVITY OR TWO
There are so many different ideas; from strip shows, weekends away, dinner and dancing, high tea, treasure hunts and so on.
You can make a night out of it or an entire weekend – it’s all up to your hen.
Just make sure you get her guest list before anything else so you know approximately how many people are invited (sometimes venues have a minimum number rule, meaning if your group is too small or large you can’t book).
Some businesses, such as Hens Parties Australia, offer amazing packages to make this (and a few other) steps easier for you!
Once you’ve found a selection of activities (or an activity package), it’s time to contact all of the guests and organise a date (unless your hen’s already chosen it!).
It’s super hard to get so many people together on the same day, and even once agreed some people will change their mind (or something will come up); so try not to worry too much about exact numbers at this stage.
COLLECT SOME CASH
A great idea is to appoint another one of the bridesmaids as Treasurer. You will be having enough trouble trying to get everyone to tell you if they’re coming and dealing with the party organisation (and/or event coordinators); so trying to collect money on top of that can be frustrating. By sharing the load you are sharing the stress; if you do it alone it can feel very chaotic and nerve wracking.
Encourage your treasurer to start collecting the money at least 4 weeks before the event (you will find that sometimes people don’t have the money to spare, or are always busy and don’t have the time to transfer it).
And speaking of money, don’t ever pay for someone who says they are coming but won’t pay you. The number of times a client has called me after an event saying she paid for someone who didn’t turn up and would like to see if she can get her money back is staggering. You cannot, in the majority of cases, get your money back after the event as everything will have been organised for a certain number of people (and the venue/business did their part).
As you can see, organising a hen’s party doesn’t have to be painful, but if you DO need some help Hens Parties Australia have an amazing selection of packages available (including the option to customize your own!). Our event coordinators make everything easy, from booking the activities to organising transport and accommodation (if you’re wanting a flash ride to your event or somewhere to crash after).
Throughout the process you can ask as many questions as you want (we’re here to help you, so please don’t worry even if you’re ringing or emailing 4 times a day!).
Simply log on to our website, choose a package and let us do the rest!
CHECK US OUT ON PINTEREST FOR MORE FANTASTIC HEN PARTY PLANNING TIPS:
AUTHOR BIO - HENS PARTIES AUSTRALIA
GIVING YOU A NIGHT YOU'LL NEVER FORGET!
Hens Parties Australia is a new company. We got together some of Australia's best event planning consultants and started this company to help give Australia's brides-to-be and their friends an unforgettable experience. We have put together so many different hens party packages and if you don't see what you like on our website let us know and we'll customise the package of your dreams!
Area/s this business is available: NSW, VIC, QLD, SA & WA
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Now that you've got your planning under control, it's time to decide on some fun activities! If you're not sure where to start, here is a GIANT list of inspiration! Enjoy x
HOSTING A HENS PARTY INFOGRAPHIC
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