Planning a Hen Do by Homemade Bride Kate

The beautiful Christy featured as our Cwtch of the Week yesterday and we will be showcasing the full wedding this Friday. In the meantime here is big sister, our Homemade Bride Kate, to tell you all about planning the hen do!

When my little sister managed to organise a perfect hen party, she set the bar extremely high. Not only had she managed to make sure all of my favourite people were there, she had thought of all my favourite things to do, eat, drink and some how all of these were included in my amazing weekend. The thing is, I had an ace up my sleeve that she didn’t realise. I had been listening to all the little ideas from all of my brides over the years and cherry picking the ones that I thought that she would love. For anyone who has ever organised a hen you will quickly work out that not only is it a whole heap of work but you want to make it one of the most memorable experiences of the hen’s life.

The beautiful bride

The beautiful bride

I was very lucky that I was able to have a partner in crime, Rhian. She has been Christy’s best friend since school and she knows her better than anyone. Now for anyone who knows the pair of us we are both very organised in our professional lives. Personal life, not so much. We both had to look at this as a job. We couldn’t let her down. So we had many hen organising meetings. I will admit a couple of them were more coffee and a catch up but we did eventually get the job done!

Since we had decided we wanted a girly soirée rather than a chavtastic night out… we booked Ascot! It was a great excuse to put on a posh frock. Not to mention wear a fancy hat! And our ladies did us proud. They really pulled out all the stops when it came time to choosing their hats and everyone looked stunning.

As I said it was the little things, from my brides, that I had remembered to make it memorable for her. We needed an ice breaker. This is where Rhian did an amazing job and organised a leaflet with a picture of everyone attending the hen on it and how they knew the bride. Perfect! The other thing that she had got printed was a little business card of the hotels name and some contact numbers, just in case anyone got lost.

The next thing I did was ask each hen for a song that reminded them of the bride. With a 2 hour bus ride I wanted to make sure we had some good tunes. Basically each time a new song came on she had to work out who had chosen it and then tell everyone the memory or the reason it was chosen. Once again helping to break the ice between people as we heard some brilliant stories of nights out, singing in school or epic gym sessions. This also triggered spontaneous dancing in the aisles and at times everyone singing at the top of their lungs! The numerous bottles of champagne donated by the groom may have helped with this.

Now a hen is not a hen without her paraphernalia. As her fiancés nickname is Horse we bought her an inflatable stallion. My mum made her the most amazing sash out of burlap, lace and bling and the fanciest “L” plate you have ever seen. Definitely a labour of love and definitely worth each and every minute.

Christy and Mum

Christy and Mum

The other thing I did as a surprise for her was instead of taking photos of the hen, I took little video clips. Then using a movie making app, I put it all together and gave it to her the night before the wedding. Why not on the morning of her wedding? As a make up artist I knew it might make her cry so I didn’t want to ruin any make up on the day. You will be surprised how many times I have to touch up make up after reading cards and receiving gifts! It was definitely not something she was expecting from me as I am the least technical person that I know and I shocked myself at how easy it was to do, but it was worth every minute seeing how much she loved it.  Now for any of you who know my sister you will know she doesn’t cry easily. I was very happy I managed to break the ice queen as she squeezed out a couple of tears.

Sister love! Kate and Christy.

Sister love! Kate and Christy.

Now where would a hen party be without some toilet roll wedding dresses, some pin the tail on the donkey and one hunky butler in the buff. It was honestly on of the best shopping experiences ever, as Rhian wrote down all the things we wanted in a man. Clean cut, good body…if only it was as easy as that in real life!  I will never forget her face as he walked through the door. This handsome semi naked man bringing her dinner as she starts choking on her bread roll. The best part of it is none of the other hens knew either so their were a few of them who choked on their wine before it erupted into applause.

I can only hope that I did her half as proud as she did me. Even with all the stress of organising 25 people for the weekend the money hassles, the bookings, the phone calls, the logistics, the food orders, I would do it all over again to just see her having the time of her life. 4dd12e298a04df13810f1361e884b235

This all sounds amazing, we would love to hear from you if you have planned a hen, have amazing hen party ideas or if you just want to say thanks for your amazing hen do, leave a comment in the box! Now we can’t wait to see the full wedding on Friday!

Midweek Mini: A Missing Memory by Kate

Sometimes on your wedding day things don’t go completely as hoped. Here is Kate to tell you about her missing memory. All images in this post are by Maria Farrelly Photography.

A good memory!

A good memory!

I would love to write to you about my favourite memory. There are loads of beautiful moments that stand out in my mind. What I’m writing about is not one of those.
Tortworth_Court_wedding0581 Just before I got married, the registrar had a chat with me. Now being in the business I have often been in the room when this happens so it wasn’t something that I was particularly worried about. The problem was that this casual chat that I had witnessed didn’t happen for me. The chat ended up being a formal 20 minute meeting that completely threw me. So much so that the wedding coordinator even asked me what was wrong.
Tortworth_Court_wedding064 I had my very talented friend play the guitar as I walked down the aisle. I was standing in the doorway ready to enter and I was so thrown by the registrar’s interrogation that my mind went blank. Tortworth_Court_wedding073So this is where I tell you about my memory. Well this is where I tell about my lack of memory. I honestly have no recollection of walking down the aisle. I can’t remember seeing my husband standing at the top of the aisle. I can’t remember my dad proudly holding my hand. I can’t remember seeing all of my friends faces.

Tortworth_Court_wedding065 Tortworth_Court_wedding066 I wish I could say I was okay with this but it’s not the case. I’m really upset that this has happened but it is what it is. I have so many happy memories from the day but this unfortunately is the only one that eludes me.

Tortworth_Court_wedding071The chances are you won’t remember the whole day, but as you can see I am so lucky to have these beautiful images and an amazing video to fill the gaps. I can’t stress the value of these amazing people enough, massive thanks to Maria Farrelly for these photos and Apricot Tree Wedding Photography & Film for my video.

And even if some things don’t quite go to plan, as long as you end up married to your best friend you will still have the best day.


If you missed Kate & Sean’s full wedding then make sure you check out the whole STUNNING wedding day here.

Midweek Mini: Nicola & Jon’s Secret Wedding

Homemade Bride Kate is presiding over this week’s Midweek Mini to tell us all about her friends’ secret wedding…

Being in the wedding business one of the most common things that I hear is how expensive weddings are. I always tell my brides that the only part that is really important is the actual ceremony, the rest of it is all decorative. This could not have been more true for Nicola and Jon .

My friends had been engaged for years and whenever we asked when they were getting married they just keep telling us “We are getting married on Tuesday.” They never actually ever told us which Tuesday. You can imagine my surprise one day, when scrolling through Facebook, that I had a friend’s name come up that I didn’t recognise. I clicked on the profile to see that Nicola and Jon had secretly got married. It was just the two of them. They hadn’t told a soul. They had asked two random people to be their witnesses and yes, for those of you who were wondering, it was a Tuesday!

I asked Nicola what her favourite wedding day memory was and this is what she told me:

I’ve been thinking long and hard about one favourite memory and to be honest I couldn’t think of just one. Although as you know not everyone’s idea of a conventional wedding, I loved every moment of our secret day. From sneaking out of the house so the neighbours wouldn’t see us in our wedding clothes, the ceremony just being us and our lovely little honeymoon in Mid Wales. But I must say that this is my favourite photo. Caught off guard not posed, I think it shows exactly how I was feeling: complete and utter love.



We would love to hear your favourite wedding day memory or moment. Get in touch with us by emailing

Non-Religious Wedding Readings: Part 5

One request we get time and time again is for alternative wedding readings. Whether you are planning a religious or civil ceremony we have found a selection of readings that would possibly fit the bill. Here is the lovely Kate with part 5 of our new series.


The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

There were so many lovely quotes from this movie I just couldn’t choose. So I decided to do a collection for you. I hope this gives you some inspiration for readings on the day. I hope you love them as much as I do.

The images in this post are all stills from the film

The images in this post are all stills from the film

“Poets often describe love as an emotion that we can’t control, one that overwhelms logic and common sense. That’s what it was like for me. I didn’t plan on falling in love with you, and I doubt if you planned on falling in love with me. But once we met, it was clear that neither of us could control what was happening to us. We fell in love, despite our differences, and once we did, something rare and beautiful was created. For me, love like that has happened only once, and that’s why every minute we spent together has been seared in my memory. I’ll never forget a single moment of it.”

“You can’t live your life for other people. You’ve got to do what’s right for you, even if it hurts some people you love. So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s gonna be hard. We’re going to have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you forever, you and me everyday.”


“We sit silently and watch the world around us. This has taken a lifetime to learn. It seems only the old are able to sit next to one another and not say anything and still feel content. The young, brash and impatient, must always break the silence. It is a waste, for silence is pure. Silence is holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking. This is the great paradox.”


We will be back with more inspiration very soon!

Non-Religious Wedding Readings: Part 3

Homemade Bride Kate is back with part 3 of our new series of non-religious wedding readings, because civil ceremonies don’t allow any religious readings we are trying to find a variety of options for you to choose from and we will aim to have a new one for you every month! the-pursuit-of-love-nancy-mitford

At first reading this poem didn’t seem very fitting for a wedding but the more I read it the more I loved it. It’s not one of those sickly sweet sentimental poems. It’s a poem about real people being honest to each other. It’s about two people being real and saying that we might not be perfect but I will try my best to be the best person for you. It’s says all the things that might be a challenge but at the end of it “worth a shot”


By Ian Duhig

I will be faithful to you, I do vow

but not until the seas have all run dry

etcetera: although I mean it now,

I’m not a prophet and I will not lie.

To be your perfect wife, I could not swear;

I’ll love, yes; honour (maybe); won’t obey,

but will co-operate if you will care

as much as you are seeming to today.

I’ll do my best to be your better half,

but I don’t have the patience of a saint;

not with you, at you I may sometimes laugh,

and snap too, though I’ll try to learn restraint.

We might work out: no blame if we do not.

With all my heart, I think it’s worth a shot.