Archive | Wedding Planning RSS feed for this section

Thought for Thursday: Bridesmaids – how will you pick yours?

2 Aug

I finally got round to watching this film over the weekend with some friends and we couldn’t stop laughing as we all recognised ourselves in some way, shape or form. It got us thinking about what kind of Bridesmaid we would all make. I have been a bridesmaid 10 times (so by far the most experienced of my friends!) and have seen countless Brides, like in the film, make huge mistakes when it comes to their bridesmaids and what they expect.

 

As with the film, Bridesmaids are all individuals and therefore throw up all sorts of unique problems. There are “fantastic bridesmaids” who are fun, caring and nothing is too much trouble to make your day great. There’s the “it’s all about me bridesmaids” who don’t care what you want as long as they have their choice of everything, the “doesn’t really want to be there bridesmaid”, who only accepted because she couldn’t think of a good enough excuse and finally, but worse of all, the rogue bridesmaid.

The rogue bridesmaid will not turn up to appointments for fittings, will change all decisions at the last moment and then won’t care if she does a Gok Wan on her dress 10 minutes before you are due to leave for the ceremony.

So Brides please choose your Bridesmaids very carefully but, and this is really important, you have a duty to be realistic about your Bridesmaids capabilities. Don’t forget that on the big day Bridesmaids will need to be preened and photographed and will be nervous too – so don’t expect them to be able to complete a large to do list of extra jobs. They just won’t be able to fit it all in.

Equally don’t expect your usually unorganised best friend to suddenly turn into a super task ticking machine who can get your hen do sorted in three weeks flat and don’t make any of your girls pay for their outfits/hair/make up etc unless you’ve discussed this upfront with them when asking them to be involved. There’s nothing like money to cause resentment and everyone needs to know where they stand right at the beginning.

Think carefully about what you want from your Bridesmaids and who out of all your loved ones will fit the bill. Pick Bridesmaids who will be totally reliable and above all help you have fun. It is after all what us girls are good at.

Research material and image: Bridesmaids: The Movie

Advertisements

Feature Fun: Going for Gold

27 Jul

It’s here, the official opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics is tonight and to celebrate we’ve put together a gold wedding inspiration board. Here is just a taster of what’s on the full Pinterest board, so race over (see what I did there..) and check it out.

All that’s left to say is GO Team GB! We’ll be cheering for you!

 All image credits from TheWeddingDolls via Pinterest

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?

Wedding Trend Alert: Sequin Bridesmaids

25 Jul

There’s nothing like a bit of bling at a wedding and the latest trend from our American cousins has it just right. Sequin bridesmaid dresses seem to be everywhere across the pond and we’re sure it will be big here too in 2013.

Sequins always add a bit of glamour and give an amazing sparkle against the photographers flash. In soft colours sequin bridesmaid dresses look fantastic at a summer wedding and in warm dark colours they add hollywood glitz to any winter wedding.

1. Asos, £65

2. House of Fraser, £65

3. John Lewis, £199

4. Very, £120

5. French Connection, £140.00

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

Venue Finder Gem: Nettlestead Place

17 Jul

Last month we worked at Nettlestead Place which is a medieval manor house in Wateringbury, Kent. It’s a really unique venue and makes for a rare mixture of formality and intimacy.

It is a venue that has exclusive hire so your wedding party will be centre stage. Ceremonies take place in the historic 13th century Undercroft which has a roaring open fire and a very cosy feel. It seats up to 120 guests for the ceremony and up to 45 people for a wedding breakfast.

The gardens and terraces overlooking Nettlestead’s large sunken pond make for great photo’s and your guests can enjoy a walk around manicured lawns, hidden rose gardens, paths and water features.

view of the garden

Up at the top end of the garden is the marquee for larger receptions (up to 200 people) which has beautiful views right over the Kent countryside.

There is ample car parking space in Nettlestead Court Farm or the wedding party can drive down through the medieval gatehouse that straddles the drive.

Annabel Tucker lives at Nettlestead Place as well as running it as a wedding venue and so is on hand to offer a flexible wedding experience and will help make the venue work for you. Check out their website for information on prices and view the picture gallery.

Images 1-3, Courtesy of Nettlestead Place

Image 4, The Wedding Dolls

Real Wedding Inspiration: A Maltese Dream with Louise and Warren

13 Jul

This time last year we were helping Louise and Warren at their lovely wedding in Malta. The colours of the wedding were just gorgeous and have sparked a whole new set of colour combinations for our weddings in Kent, so much so that we wanted to share them all again.

Bride after ceremonyThe Wedding Bridesmaids

Bride and Groom

Wedding Venue
First Dance

Louise and Warren wanted to use wedding planners to cut out all the travel expenses of going to Malta to check on arrangements, as well as the stress of trying to do it all themselves. We worked with the couple on plans this end whilst the Maltese planner was on location to organise local suppliers and double check arrangements.

Louise says “it was lovely to spend so much time with our friends and family and enjoy every minute of our wedding experience. The ladies did such a fantastic job of helping us organise our day and the whole thing was so relaxed and fun. I didn’t want to have to worry about all those little things, I just wanted to concentrate on making my guests experience as great as ours – and it definitely was!”

Happy Anniversary to Louise and Warren x

Details:
Brides Dress: Pronovias
Bridesmaids: Oriental Pearl (Bluewater Shopping Centre)
Suits: Austin Reed
Photography: Kay Young

Real Kent Wedding: Emma and Jon’s Downton Abbey Dream

11 Jul

Hi All. On the blog today is the totally gorgeous wedding of Emma and Jon at Bradbourne House in East Malling, Kent.

Here Emma tells us how they found their wedding venue and the details of the day. Over to you Emma!

“Jon was playing cricket one year opposite Bradbourne House and loved it, then when we got engaged he said “I think there is a place you’ll love” and I did! It was a chance to have a manor house all to ourselves as we love history and it was our real life Downton Abbey! The main reception room is tiffany blue so we chose a very neutral colour scheme – it was very elegant and very English. We had 100 people during the day and another 50 came in the evening.

We had a Church Wedding Ceremony as I was brought up a Catholic and wanted to be married under god. The Catholic church service was made extra special by having the Trinity Boys Choir sing for us. Jon’s cousin used to conduct them so we knew we wanted them to be part of our day.

We had Juliette Harrison as our photographer and she was amazing. We wanted a supplier we got on with and work well together – it’s so important.

To take us to our reception we had replica classic cars – we couldn’t afford to break down on the motorway! We used Shirley Car Hire who were brilliant and we would highly recommend them.

Our guests travelled on a bus from the Red London Bus Company. We stocked it with Pimms and Beer to get the party started as soon as possible!

My wedding dress was by Enzoani. I loved his designs and all the silk he uses. I knew as soon as I saw the huge long train at the back that it was the dress for me. I was looking for a vintage dress that was fitted and not too over the top, but I didn’t feel ‘bride’ enough in some of them so I ended up going for a fuller dress than I expected.

My shoes were from the Rainbow Collection. I highly recommend them as they were so comfortable. I accessorised my dress with a beautiful pearl necklace my mum gave me as well as a surprise gift from Jon, a pair of antique drop pearl and diamond earrings. I completed my look with a long veil, by Richard Designs. It had tiny diamantes’ sewn into it so when I walked down the aisle I twinkled under the lights. I also had a vintage headband from Vintage Head Dresses.

Jon hired his top hat and tails from Moss Hire, he got a discount as his friend works in head office which was very handy! We were going to get the suits made but it was too expensive. We just made sure we checked in good time that the hire suits fitted well and weren’t worn in places. A good tip is to check everything over yourself (or get a bridesmaid to do it) because the boys will not check it all through!

I had three bridesmaids and they all wore high street dresses from Kaliko.

Jon is a graphic designer and therefore really creative. Jon designed our wedding brand and then made all our wedding invitations using a simple form of book binding and elegant wallpaper. They were fantastic but took absolutely forever! He designed a motif of a J & and E intertwined and that featured on all our stationery. We had a wax stamp made of our initials and stamped the back of every invitation we gave out – they looked stunning. We used the same look for the table plan and name settings. The table names were all named after Italian Painters as I love the renaissance period and we got engaged in Tuscany, Italy.

For the place cards I bought silver bables and used handmade paper from Cox & Cox, which I then wrote the guest names on. We had long tables for our reception and for the centre pieces I had candelabra, with the candles lit and lovely white flowers and greenery. In between was little silver gilt vases with three roses and scattered rose petals down the middle. It was amazing!

The overall look was so stunning that when Jon and I sat down at the top table and looked at what we’d created we were completely lost for words. I had tears in my eyes. All our hard work had paid off. We thought long and hard about our favours. My auntie died of cancer and my grandmother was diagnosed the same year as our wedding. We wanted to give a donation to Cancer Research rather than buy favours so we gave out pin badges, pink for the ladies & blue for the gentlemen. These pin badges were then put into black velvet pouches with a little tag Jon designed to say that we’d donated in honor of our wedding.


We had a mixture of roses and lillies as our wedding flowers as they are both so elegant and classic. Son Flowers did our church flowers which were absolutely beautiful. As I came down the aisle they were all I could smell. Our reception flowers were by Nicola from Florian Designs, she was such a lovely lady and the flowers were stunning.

We used Bradbourne House’s own designated caterers, Sanderson Catering. When guests arrived they were greeted with Champagne cocktails and lovely canapes whilst listening to a String Quartet.

For starters we had pan-roasted chicken and pancetta with seasonal salad leaves, finished with balsamic and olive oil. Then for main course was Scotch fillet of beef with roasted potatoes, seasonal veg, creamed courgettes and an enriched merlot jus. This was followed by a gorgeous dessert of sticky toffee pudding washed down with lots and lots of wine and champagne! Sanderson were really professional and excellent throughout. From the white glove service to the delicious food their style suited our theme perfectly.

Guests then had a piece of the four tier chocolate wedding cake which was designed by Purita Hyam Cakes.

To kick the evening off we did a choreographed dance to Nat King Cole’s, Love. We both love the track as it’s such a classic. In the evening we had DJ Rudy from Rock Box, at one point he was break dancing – top man! We partied until 12pm and then had a few drinks in our hotel bar when we got back, which was a lovely way to round off such a fantastic day.

Thanks to Emma and Jon for sharing their big day with us. And so do they have any final words of advice for our Bride and Groom’s to be?

“I would say just enjoy every minute of your wedding day. It’s sometimes it’s too easy to get sucked in by all the planning, the details and family politics to really remember why you are getting married. I wouldn’t change a thing about our wedding as it really all did go perfectly…..oh apart from the fact that we forgot to put a bottle opener on the bus for the beer!!!

One final piece of advice would be not to let suppliers give you the hard sell…make sure you try everything you want and pick companies you know you can work well with – it makes such a different to the day! “

Images by Juliette Harrison

Sunday Summary: Light up your Wedding Day

8 Jul

Evening All

It’s been a bit of a long day as I recover from attending a special event held last night in The Swan in West Malling (more to come on this gorgeous restaurant that make a perfect wedding venue!) so I apologise for the lateness of the summary!  While I sit here thinking about what’s been on the blog this past week I’m being side tracked to thinking about what’s coming up next week.  It’s all getting very exciting here at Wedding Dolls HQ, our sparkly new website is nearly ready and plans to launch some very exiting projects are almost finalised, it may be a gloomy, rainy summer so far but we’re definitely feeling bright and sunny and can’t wait to share everything with you all.

So as I take a look back, here’s what happened on the blog this week.

Our Frock of the fortnight was a beautiful dress by Mori Lee by Madeline Gardner, AMAZING is all I can think to say about it, the wonderful shape of this dress is definitely my favourite!

Then we featured the wonderful DC Bouquets again to show you an alternative to the usual wedding bouquet and hair accessories.  These creative one of designs will make you feel really special on your big day.

Still trying to decide wether to invite children? we showed you how to make it easy, by calling in the experts Bearstead Babes to take charge of the situation.

We hope you saw the Caroline Castigliano Sample Sale dates 10th-14th July and managed to book your place!

In our inspirational ideas post we shared some beautiful images to inspire you, easy to re-create for your own summer celebrations, there’s nothing like lanterns to light up your wedding.

For anyone getting married this week, Good Luck and Enjoy!

See you next week

x

Inspirational Ideas: Lanterns and Poms

6 Jul

Decorating your wedding venue with your colour scheme adds a personal touch to your big day like nothing else. Lanterns and pom poms are a really simple way to achieve a big impact. The phrase ‘the more the better’ definitely applies and grouping them together can really make a statement backdrop. If you are decorating your own marquee, barn or similar type venue take a look at the rest of our board in Pinterest for more inspiration, but here is just a taster of what is possible.

Lanterns in barn

lanterns on path

Glass lanterns

Lanterns for wedding

A cheap way of doing mini lanterns so you can light paths and dark corners is to collect jam jars and fill them with long burning tea lights. If you want to have a go at making your own paper pom poms they are really easy – just follow the instructions here from Martha Stewart. To give you an idea of the time involved you can make around 5/6 per hour.

Or if you really don’t want to go to the effort of making your own you can buy them online.  Paper Poms UK are a specialist vendor who sell the poms on Etsy. Prices start from £2 for a 3″ or 4″ pom. Visit their website for more inspiration on how to use your paper poms.

Image Credits all via Pinterest:

1. The Knot

2.Rock my wedding

3.Brokeassbride

4. www.pottingshedpostcards.com

5. West Country Marquees

6. Before the Big Day

7. The Bridal District

8. Follow My Bliss

9. thebridallounge.ie

10. Hanging Lanterns