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Speechless Brides: What will you say on your wedding day?

26 Jul

Traditional this is not, but come on Brides it’s time to take a stand… how do you feel about making a speech on your wedding day?

Whilst most Brides don’t join the speech line up, your wedding is the only time you will have your closest friends and relatives in one room. Do you really want to miss the chance to speak to them all, tell them how much they mean to you and how much you would like to thank them?

bride laughing during speeches

@Helen May Banks

Nerves might be holding you back, but if you don’t give it a go it may just be one of those little wedding regrets. Just think, you’ve got no pressure to be funny or remember big thank you’s – it’s just you and your guests, and the opportunity to say how you feel on your big day.

Sophie French, who married husband Pete at the London Golf Club, was one such bride who says “I didn’t want to miss the chance to say a special thank you to my parents who had done so much for us as well as my friends, some of whom had travelled a long way to be there. I was a bit nervous but if you tell it from the heart, you don’t need to worry as your guests will be thrilled however you deliver it.”

If you need some extra help then there’s plenty of advice website’s out there with example speeches already done that you can adapt, and we can provide help and delivery training too.

So come on ladies will you be leaving it all to the groom? Let us know what you think?

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Fantastic Find: Mitchell & Peach

24 Jul

Today our fabulous find is a local beauty business, Mitchell and Peach, that was recommended to me by a friend and now I just can’t get enough of it. Since having a hand op I’ve needed to keep moisturising my hand and I’m addicted to their hand cream (60ml, £17). From first glance at the fabulous packaging you’ll be hooked too and the cream has a beautiful scent which absorbs really quickly.

Mitchell & Peach - Product Range

I’ve steadily worked my way through the rest of the product range which includes: a handwash (300ml, £19), a cream soap (4 x 100g, £28), a revitalising shower wash (250ml, £20), a relaxing bath oil (100ml, £39) and a rich, nourishing body cream (180ml, £36), all perfumed with a unique lavender and peachy fragrance.

Best of all there is a luxury travel collection (5 x 75ml shampoo, conditioner, bath oil, shower wash and body cream, £31.50) which is just perfect for a honeymoon treat or for a gorgeous bridesmaid gift.

Behind the products are father and son team, Ian and Jod Mitchell, who now manage the business, which was started over 100 years ago from Covent Garden. All their Mitchell & Peach products are hand-blended in England using the finest natural ingredients, including matured essential oils from the family’s lavender fields in Sevenoaks and honey collected from hives on their estate. What’s more the range is free from parabens, mineral oil, sodium lauryl sulphate and synthetic colouring and are not tested on animals.

The products are only available in selected stores including Annabel’s in Chislehurst and Harvey Nics daaarhling, or you can order online. And with a growing celebrity following, including Yasmin Le Bon, you’ll be in good company!

Image courtesy of Mitchell & Peach

Saturday Shopping: Gorgeous Weddings with Cox and Cox

21 Jul

Sometimes you find a website that you’re no longer going to be able to live without. And Cox and Cox is it. If you are DIYing your wedding it’s the perfect place to find unique decorations and accessories. It’s one of our favourite places to start when we’re styling weddings (and our houses too!). You’re sure to find something you love in the first few clicks!

All images from Cox and Cox

Five of the Best: Wedding Gift List Ideas

30 Jun

Everyone loves a present so choosing your gift list should be a really enjoyable part of your wedding planning. Depending on your own wants and needs as a couple there are loads of options which don’t include a traditional gift list. Here’s five just to get you started.

Wedding Keepsake – notonthehighstreet.com

For a wedding list that’s a little bit different take a look at Notonthehighstreet.com which has loads of quirky and unique gifts that guests will be dying to buy you and that you and your home will love forever.

Make a request to the wedding team and you will be sent a beautiful pack, that includes a free wedding style book, a wedding list brochure and everything you need to know about the service, as well as an example of the invitation inserts (that are available free upon request).

Louise Boothe from Not on the High Street wedding team says “we also now have a great new feature within our gift list service which allows your friends and family to contribute money towards your gift list, giving you the choice and freedom to purchase higher-priced items or gifts of your choice after your wedding day”.

If you don’t need anymore ‘stuff’ then how about getting guests to ‘buy’ part of your honeymoon? Buy Our Honeymoon is the UK’s top online wedding list for dream honeymoons, who charge a one-off fee of £55 to manage your honeymoon experience gift list.

Your guests select any of the honeymoon experiences and activities you’ve listed, and leave you a personal message. They then pay the value of their gift to you directly, either into your own PayPal account, by cheque, or in person on the day of your wedding.

Buy Our Honeymoon

We caught up with Shelley Green from Buy Our Honeymoon, who told us that “couples can add absolutely anything from room upgrades and a romantic dinner to a day’s scuba diving or a helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon, whatever you want.  You don’t have to have made any of your actual honeymoon arrangements prior to building your wedding list though— you can be as general or as specific as you wish. And if you get stuck, we’re happy to help with lots of suggestions”. You can try their website free for a week to see how it works and decide if it’s for you.

Smartbox is a unique gift concept which gives you the choice of up to 200 amazing different experiences. Inside a Smartbox there’s an illustrated guidebook with details of the options available and a voucher from your guests. All you have to do is book the experience and hand over the voucher as payment.

Bottom Drawer gives your guests the chance to add money to your online fund which you can then turn into a dream present. There’s loads to choose from including holidays, house and garden redesign or just receive vouchers for your favourite stores.

The Beyond Weddings Ltd gift service has a whole new take on wedding gift lists. Here you get the chance to work with an interior designer to improve your home on any scale or budget. Which means your guests can contribute to anything from your kitchen renovation to the re-upholstering of your much loved sofa!

Whatever you choose it’s like all your birthdays and Christmas’s have come at once – enjoy!

Thursday Treats: Little Boutique Bakery

17 May

I’m a big cake fan. The biggest. There’s not a single type of cake I don’t like and so I’m in heaven when it comes to helping brides source wedding cake and sweet treats. So today I’m very excited to share with you Little Boutique Bakery of Tunbridge Wells, who are makers of gorgeous wedding cakes, cupcakes and cookies.

Their cake flavours include Madagascar vanilla, chocolate truffle, lemon and orange zest, as well as the more traditional rich fruit cake and the list of fillings is enough to send me over the edge. Buttercreams of Madagascar Vanilla Bean, Belgian Chocolate Ganache, White Chocolate, Organic Lemon, Orange Zest and Salted Caramel, all of which can be teamed with quality preserves of Strawberry, Raspberry, Morello Cherry and Apricot plus Organic Lemon Curd.

We caught up with owner and cake designer, Jennie Bishop, to find out more about ordering with them. Jennie tells us “We are known for our elegant and unique designs and attention to detail, we only take on a limited number of commissions per week so we can ensure the utmost quality and time required to complete your order.  Booking early is advised, especially during the peak wedding season as we work on a first come first served basis. Right at the start we have a complimentary design consultation and tasting session with you so we can come up with the perfect design for you.”

Jennie will ideally need a minimum of three month’s notice to create your wedding cake so booking early is advisable. Delivery is available in Kent, East Sussex and Surrey.

And lastly, if you need a taste tester you know where to find me….

Ivory and peach cupcakes
pearl white cupcakes
heart cookie wands
Image credits: Little Boutique Bakery

Fabulous Find: Florist in the Forest

15 May

On the hunt for pink flower inspiration this week we sourced the help of Katherine Craft, owner of Florist in the Forest. We had been meaning to catch up with Katherine for sometime as we’d heard so much about her gorgeous flowers. Along with her husband, Katherine not only creates her designs but also grows her own flowers at her studio and cutting garden in Broadwater Forest on the Kent and East Sussex border. This means the flowers she uses are the freshest and most beautiful they can possibly be.

pink bouquet

Katherine tells us” as with all brides I have a no obligation consultation where we can discuss the flowers and styles for their day. This means I get to know the bride a little, which is key in creating designs that will best suit their wedding. During the growing season I take them around the cut flower garden so they can see the flowers that they might want to have. This consultation also allows us to talk about getting the most from any budget and plans for the big day.”

flowers in pink

flowers in china vase

flowers in china cup

Katherine’s designs have a natural, country-style which will make any wedding feel relaxed and timeless. For more about her work visit her blog and be inspired!

Images 6 & 9: Victoria Kaye Photography, all other images by Florist in the Forest.

Irene & Jenny: The Ultimate Wedding Memory

9 Apr

It’s great when you find a company that offers something completely different to what’s available on the high street and mother and daughter run business, Irene & Jenny, is exactly that. Founder Anita Brightley-Hodges’ came up with the business idea when she wanted to incorporate her late mother-in-law’s jewellery into a piece that she could hand down to her children. Anita tells us that “at Irene & Jenny we reuse jewellery you already have and transform it into a bespoke piece that will become a treasured family heirloom”.

All you need to do is show them the pieces of jewellery you have and they will discuss with you potential designs to transform them into a totally bespoke ring. They then produce a computer illustration of several designs using your gems so that you can see what your ring will look like. Once the design is signed off  it is then transformed and made into your final piece by a master jeweller.

The ladies behind Irene & Jenny

“Nobody wants to throw jewellery away as many pieces have family memories attached to them” says Anita. “Not only that, but we are all much more aware of how we spend our wedding budget now. I wanted to give clients an opportunity to make the most of what’s been sitting in their jewellery box rather than spending thousands of pounds in a store buying something that lots of other people will have too.”

We couldn’t agree more.

xxx

 

 

Happy Mothers Day with Pierre Hermé

18 Mar

From our first taste at the Luxury Wedding Show last year, the Wedding Dolls have been hooked on Pierre Hermé macarons. So for Mothers Day this year they are on my wish list and I can’t wait to tuck into my very own box (once the children are safely in bed!).

If you are looking for a wedding thank you gift for your mum, or even bridesmaids, then these are simply stunning and come beautifully packaged for that extra special touch.

Pierre Herme

Macarons

Delectable Gourmet

Trouver votre boutique Pierre Hermé – Créateur de macarons, chocolatier, pâtissier de luxe

Trouver votre boutique Pierre Hermé – Créateur de macarons, chocolatier, pâtissier de luxe

Simply order online to make your mum a very happy lady indeed!

Happy Mother’s Day  x

All images from Pierre Hermé

Eco Wedding? Try the Natural Wedding Book

16 Mar

We have seen growing numbers of couples who want a more eco-friendly wedding. Whether it’s using sustainable printing for stationery or going completely organic for the wedding breakfast it’s a theme that is growing in popularity.  At the Wedding Dolls we just love “The Natural Wedding” book which is dedicated to helping you have a completely natural wedding. From stunning vintage dresses to intricately crafted organic cup cakes, this book will provide you stylish solutions with a natural twist.

The author and eco wedding designer, Louise Moon, suggests simple how-tos and insider tips to make your day truly unique. It’s set out into bite sized chapters for each topic and is great to dip in and out of when planning.

Louise says in her introduction “I wanted to write the book to give couples inspiration and advice on every aspect of their greener celebration. Its my eco-chic guide to weddings without hairy shirts or mud in sight!”

If you are anything like us you will love this book and it might just persuade you that eco chic is the way to go for your big day.

The book is published by Alastair Sawday’s and is available to purchase online for £14.99.

Images from Alastair Sawday’s

DIY Wedding Favours: Just take it easy

27 Jan

From our experience nothing makes Brides break out in a cold sweat more than deciding on wedding favours.  But worry not. Wedding favours kept simple and stylish will bring a cheeky grin to the face of your guests and leave you with a smug wedding smile. They are a great way to express your inner creativity and if you don’t mind doing the work yourself, they don’t have to cost a fortune either.

If you are willing to try your crafty hand then a good place to start is Martha Stewart Weddings which is brilliant for all things wedding DIY, or take a trip to a local craft fair (there are so many brilliant ones in Kent) for inspiration.  To get you started here are our favourite five ideas, which all have that personal touch and are not to complicated for any crafty beginners.

1.Vintage Personalised Sweet Bags

Get your own custom designed stamp made up and then use it to print your thank you message onto muslin pouches. Fill the pouches with old-fashioned sweets for a unique little favour. You can put different sweets in the bag depending on guests favourites.

 

2. Paper Flower with Dahlia Bulb

These eye-catching tissue paper flowers make lovely additions to your reception tables and can be made to fit in with your own colour scheme. They are really easy to make from the template on Martha Stewart Weddings and can be tied up with a planting instruction tag and ribbon to look like little leaves. At home, guests will peel back the petals to reveal a dahlia bulb which they can plant and enjoy.

 

3. Vintage handkerchiefs

A really lovely little gift which requires hardly any crafting at all, but does involve lots of shopping (now you’re talking I hear you cry) is the vintage hankie. Granny’s favourite is now making a huge comeback and you can easily get beautifully printed hankies from boot fairs, antique shops and online.  The fun really is in the collecting! When shopped out simply write your message on a little card, hole punch and secure to the hankie with a ribbon. Another take on this is to buy plain old hankies and use a personalised stamp with your own wedding message or pattern on them (see personalised stamp above!).

 

4. Honey Stirrer

Buying a little usual gift is a good way of guests remembering your big day for years to come.  A little honey stirrer is really lovely ribbon-tied to guest place names.  If you really want to go for it you can match them with little honey pots that can be adorned with custom-made wedding stickers. Check out Moo for brilliant sticker ideas and cheap printing too! Lovely to add that special touch to a country wedding theme.

 

5. Whole lotta love in a bottle

How about giving your guests an after dinner drink they won’t forget in a hurry?  Make your own infused vodka, put in miniature bottles and tie on your message. You can find loads of recipes online but our favourite is for Blackberry Vodka by the fabulous A Thrifty Mrs that has been tried a tested by your’s truly. It is easy to do but is time-consuming so don’t attempt if you are seriously lacking in patience or have left it until the last-minute. If you can’t stretch to making your own then do it the cheats way. Buy small bottles of juice or your favourite tipple, soak off the labels and put on your own designer stickers.

Have fun and let us know how you get on. See you in Hobbycraft Ladies!

Image Credits:

1. Martha Stewart Weddings, 2.Martha Stewart Weddings, 3. Photography by Chloe Browne of Caught the Light via Martha Stewart Weddings 4.Lindsay Flanagan Photography via Weddingwindow.com, 5. mydiyweddingday.com