The Lovettes (Kay) ~ Planning A Kitchen Party!

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Happy lunch time all, I hope you are well and wrapped up in a warm, thick blanket like I am. Unfortunately for me, I’m currently cuddling up to a pile of text books, as next week I will be sitting the final exam of my professional qualification. I cannot WAIT to see the back of it, especially as I will be left with a bit more time to embrace being in 2015 – the year of our wedding!

Wedding planning has taken an interesting twist recently. Back in an earlier post I mentioned that I would be having a traditional Zambian bridal shower, called a ‘Kitchen Party’, which takes place a month or so before the wedding. The party is usually organised by the mother of the bride, which sounded ideal to me, as it would mean one less thing to scribble on the bottom of our to do list. When I first discussed it with my mum, she suggested a small event in our house with no more than 20 guests and minimal fuss. Well, somewhere in between that conversation at the end of last year and now, she has accumulated 180 more guests, a venue, caterers, a DJ and a folder to store all the associated paperwork.  Although I’m still a little in shock that this party has somehow managed to get 10 times bigger than expected (literally), I’ve taken a leaf out of my mum’s book and adopted the YOLO mentality – we’re having a big, fun party, wohoooo!

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Credits clockwise from top left, Ofesaysit, Wearcolour, It’s African Inspired, PagnifikEtsy

I’ve realised that having a pre-wedding party is almost like winning the lottery when you’re a master of indecision, because all the wedding theme ideas which didn’t make the final cut can officially have their moment. As we speak, my designated Kitchen Party Pinterest board is being stocked up with village hall wedding inspiration, as I plan to transform the local church hall that my mum has hired into an ‘Afro-British Village Fete Extravaganza’.

Top of the to-do list – turn a bag full of African fabric into 100 meters of bunting. Just above that on the list – learn how to operate a sewing machine to make said bunting. Triangle sandwiches, potted plants and chalkboard signs have been resurrected from the ‘rejected wedding ideas’ box and returned to their rightful place on the yes pile.

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Kay shopping for fabric with her Mother and Sister

So, what exactly is a Kitchen Party? I hear you asking. In all honesty, I’m probably not the best person to answer that question, since I’ve only ever been to one, but I will certainly do my best. The name comes from the idea that guests bring gifts for the bride-to-be which can be used in the kitchen; pots and pans, silverware, fridge-freezer, anything along those lines. I will be entering the hall covered by a long Chitenge (Zambian cloth, pronounced Chi-Teng-Geh), and remain hidden until the Sam’s family unveil me. Sam will make a brief appearance later in the day, leaving me with a bouquet of flowers before being ushered off – it’s a shame he can’t stick around for the party, but it’s ladies only.

The rest of the guests are then invited to offer a word of advice, a gift, a song or a dance – accompanied by the crew of drummers that my mum is currently assembling. That is definitely a condensed version of what will be happening, but I recommended typing Kitchen Party on YouTube to get the full picture.

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Credits clockwise from top left, The Knot, The Glitter Guide, Love My Dress, The Brides Cafe

We are currently in full kitchen party planning mode, last weekend we spent well over 5 hours trawling through the African fabric shops around Petticoat Lane market trying to choose Chitenges for the ‘servers’ (similar to bridesmaids), the ‘committee’ (the mother of the bride’s posse of planning assistants/close friends) and myself, to have made into outfits. For the first time ever, I was decisive. When choosing one for myself, I spotted a nice on in the first shop we came across and made my mind up there and then! But…I changed my mind when I got home and will be going back for a new one. Luckily it was only £15 so I could afford to be fickle this time.

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Credits clockwise from top left, Pinterest, Pinterest, Etsy, Whimsical Wonderland Weddings

I am going to be a bit unconventional here and put out an open invitation to anyone who fancies being part of the day in a professional capacity. Maybe you’re just starting out in the wedding industry, and have an idea that you think would make my Kitchen Party awesome, please get in touch in the comments! We haven’t got a big budget, so we have realistic expectations of what we can get for our money, but I see it as a great chance to use fab new suppliers who are still building their portfolios. If it sounds up your street and you’re free on Saturday 11th July, I am all ears!

Until next time,

Kay x

20 thoughts on “The Lovettes (Kay) ~ Planning A Kitchen Party!

  1. Kay a kitchen party sounds wonderful. I absolutely love that your Mum has gone all out for it, and that you can now have two huge parties- hooray!

    I also love the idea of the YOLO mentality (you only live once, I assume?) Very positive advice, and I shall be taking it more often!

    S x

    1. Hi Shona, thanks for your comment. I especially like that you feel inspired to embrace the YOLO outlook. I usually use that expression in jest (or to justify finishing an entire cake on my own), but the idea of seizing the day is so important and something I definitely don’t do enough of! Hopefully I will be sharing photos from the kitchen party afterwards, keep a look out in July! Kay x

  2. I love a good Kitchen Party, I’ve never been to one in the UK but all that I have been have been great fun. From my travels, I’ve seen whole kitchens, fridges and stoves handed over at Kitchen parties, a literal party to buy the contents of a kitchen!!

    Petticoat Lane is always epic for fabric, I hope you had fun!

    1. Just wanted to chime in and say ‘hi!’ Johanna 🙂 Lovely to hear from one of our readers. I really want to go to a kitchen party now!
      Annabel xx

    2. Johanna you need to give me the details of these guests that give such lavish gifts so i can send them an invite to my Kitchen Party! My mum has told me similar stories of the crazy things she’s seen being given.

      I couldn’t believe how many african fabric shops there were on a single road. We went on a saturday and were told that everywhere in that area would be shut. Didn’t seem to be true, we went to at least 10 different ones!

  3. A Kitchen Party sounds like so much fun!

    I know my mum is planning on having a party before my wedding. She said the night before but I am going to try and persuade her to do it a few days before so I can get my beauty sleep!

    1. Hi Nikki, I think it’s great for mums to have their own little (or big!) event to plan alongside the wedding. I expect a lot of mums would love to be more involved in wedding plans, but modern brides and grooms often have such strong opinions that it’s hard for mums to get a word in edge ways – that’s the case for me at least! Having a separate party that they can put their own stamp on is a great way to get them involved. I totally understand why you’re apprehensive about holding it the night before, I’m sure you can talk her into doing it a bit earlier if that’s what you would prefer. You could try telling her that you want to completely enjoy all the hard work she’s put in, without the distraction of the wedding being the next day. I hope it all goes well, best of luck with the wedding too 🙂 x

      P.s. I had a sneaky look at your blog, I’ll definitely be trying your chocolate and banana pancake recipe, sounds delish

  4. 180 guests! WOWZERS! That sounds like it’s going to be one fabulous partay 🙂 I loooove African fabric, I have the most amazing dress made out of a beautiful teal and gold wax cotton. The colours are like nothing else I’ve ever seen, and I love the sense of culture they invoke. Can’t wait to hear more about your party (and I cannot imagine how AMAZE your wedding is going to be)! Love LLxx

    1. Hey Lindsey, always lovely to hear from you 🙂 I know, 180 haha! My mum has an abnormal amount of friends. I would struggle to pull together a list of 30 if it was just me!

      Would love to see your teal and Gold wax cotton. I’ll have to show my sister this comment, everytime she picked up a piece of fabric, it was the same colour combination: teal/blue/green and gold! She’ll be feeling very smug now haha

  5. Hi Kay!

    I’ve never heard of a kitchen party, but it sounds awesome – I love how different cultures have lots of different ‘preparation’ parties. I LOVE the idea of African print bunting, in fact I’m actually making some Chinese brocade bunting for my Anglo-Chinese wedding!

    If you would like some retro flower power 60s vintage china to eat your triangle sandwiches off, then I have some to hire and would be delighted to offer them at a heavily discounted rate in return for being able to take some pics and a bit of word of mouth love. Think huge daisies, poppies and mod flowers in bright colours. I am just in the process of launching and my website is not up and running yet, but if you are interested feel free to send an email to [email protected]. You can also see some of my pieces on instagram: @PLDC_Retro_China.

    Fuschia xx

    1. Hi Fuschia,

      Chinese brocade bunting will look awesome, the patterns are so similar to African fabric, I hadn’t noticed before. I’m a big fan of weddings that include Chinese traditions – brides in red, tea ceremonies, all of it! If you are having a tea ceremony, I hope you’ll be using some of your own vintage cups – i just checked them out on instagram and they’re very cool! I will be shooting you an email by the weekend, thanks for getting it touch 🙂 x

      1. You know what – I hadn’t thought about incorporating vintage cups into a Chinese tea ceremony, can you believe?! Talk about missing the obvious! We had originally thought about the tea ceremony then discounted it because my fiance’s parents thought it might get a bit political, but maybe I’ll have to resurrect that idea!

        Good luck with your bunting making! X

  6. Kay! I am so proud of you- first of all your blog is fabulous you sum up the kitchen party experience well and I amhkad to see you are taking it in your stride ie letting your Mum run with it lol it really is a Mums time to honour her daughter. I am also honoured to be on the ‘committee’ and will do my best to support you and the troop of family and friends. It is an even greater honour to see how much you have blossomed into an accomplished Young woman soon to be wife so happy for you and Sam x

    1. Aww thanks Mubanga! 🙂 I think I’m even more relaxed because I know mum’s got a good committee behind her. We picked out the Chitenges for the committee the other week, not sure if mum’s shown you yet but they’re very bright and bold! I’m looking forward to seeing what they look like as an outfit. Hopefully see you soon xxx

  7. Hiya Kay – sorry I’m late to the party (no pun intended!). I LOVED reading this – being engaged and planning your wedding is such a special time in your life so I think it’s fabulous you’re ‘going big or going home’ for your Kitchen Party! I cannot wait to see your pictures from it and hear all about it soon! It sounds amazing! Enjoy your super exciting wedding preparations and celebrations – YOLO indeed! xxx

    1. Hi Madeleine, I hope married life is treating you well. I can’t even imagine what it will feel like when wedding planning isn’t part of my daily routine anymore. You’ll have to let me know how to readjust to real life again! Will definitely be sharing picture of the first Love My Dress Kitchen Party on a blog post, fingers crossed it all goes well xx

  8. WOW, I’ve never heard of a Kitchen Party before but it sounds awesome! And those African Prints look incredible, makes me want to go fabric shopping whilst reach for the sewing machine!

    I’m not sure we have anything that will fit in with your awesome theme, but if you see anything on our website that you like the look of then we’d be more than happy to give you a super huge discount!

    Can’t wait to see more of your plans!

    1. Hi Amanda, I recommend a trip down to Petticoat Lane Market for anyone who like fabric and sewing. Even if its just to browse the hundreds and hundreds of amazing patterns.
      The hall where we’re having the party happens to have a big empty stage just waiting to be filled, I think you may have just the thing to fill it with! Will send you over an email 🙂

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