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Designer of the Week – Maggie Sottero

30 Jul

Today we have a little look into the wedding design world of Maggie Sottero and her Spring 2013 collection. We just love the soft pink colour of this first fishtail dress launched at New York International Bridal Fashion Week. The collection is not yet available in stores but what’s to stop you taking a look at all her other gorgeous gowns whilst you wait!

Maggie Sottero is available in Kent at Bridal Gowns at Jodi in their Maidstone and Canterbury stores, as well as Go Bridal in Tunbridge Wells.

All images from First View

firstVIEW is an online fashion magazine with fashion show photos from around the world. See all the the top models and top designer fashions from the runways of the world.

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Kent Hidden Gem: Hotel du Vin Tunbridge Wells

12 Jun

We just love the Hotel du Vin for gorgeous wedding’s or a fantastic place to spend your first night as a married couple. We’ve been to Tunbridge Wells, to take a look at their wedding rooms and meet the team behind this stunning town centre venue. We have previously worked with some of the other hotels in this luxury chain but it was fantastic to get to see one closer to home. Amy Carey, the Sales Manager showed us around.

The hotel is set in one of the historic spa town’s architectural landmarks, a Grade II-listed sandstone mansion built as a private residence in 1762. It has retained its authentic detail and has gorgeous function rooms and outdoor spaces including a terrace area and gardens for weddings during the summer months.

The Speyside Glenlivet is the largest function room. An atmospheric room with antique mirrors, guilded decoration, square natural dark stained wood tables and chairs. It overlooks the hotel gardens and Calverley Park and can accommodate a maximum of 84 people. Wedding catering packages start from £45 per person. Food served at the hotel is sourced locally where possible and a tasting session for the bride and groom is all part of the service.

Each of the 34 bedrooms in the hotel is sponsored and named after a famous wine or Champagne house. They all feature Egyptian cotton bed linen, deep baths, power showers, fluffy towels and bathrobes, Satellite television, CD players, DVD players, mini-bars, hairdryer and air conditioning.

There are three fantastic suites, all with freestanding roll-top baths in the rooms. The Deluxe Suite also has an 8ft square bed, plasma screen TV and wonderful views over the garden and park behind the hotel, making this the perfect place to spend your first night as husband and wife.

If you want to take a look around the hotel then visit their website for more information and the team their will be more than happy to show you around. We’re also super excited as we’ll be running wedding workshops here in October  – click here for more info.

Wedding Fayre at Hotel du Vin Tunbridge Wells

21 Mar

Yesterday we went along to Hotel du Vin Tunbridge Wells, to take a look at their wedding rooms and meet the team behind this stunning town centre venue. We have previously worked with some of the other hotels in this luxury chain but it was fantastic to get to see one closer to home.  Amy Carey, the Sales Manager showed us around.

The hotel is set in one of the historic spa town’s architectural landmarks, a Grade II-listed sandstone mansion built as a private residence in 1762. It has retained its authentic detail and has gorgeous function rooms and outdoor spaces including a terrace area and gardens for weddings during the summer months.

The Speyside Glenlivet is the largest function room. An atmospheric room with antique mirrors, guilded decoration, square natural dark stained wood tables and chairs. It overlooks the hotel gardens and Calverley Park and can accommodate a maximum of 84 people. Wedding catering packages start from £45 per person. Food served at the hotel is sourced locally where possible and a tasting session for the bride and groom is all part of the service.

Each of the 34 bedrooms in the hotel is sponsored and named after a famous wine or Champagne house. They all feature Egyptian cotton bed linen, deep baths, power showers, fluffy towels and bathrobes, Satellite television, CD players, DVD players, mini-bars, hairdryer and air conditioning.

There are three fantastic suites, all with freestanding roll-top baths in the rooms. The Deluxe Suite also has an 8ft square bed, plasma screen TV and wonderful views over the garden and park behind the hotel, making this the perfect place to spend your first night as husband and wife.

If you want to take a look around the hotel, as well as meet some of the premier wedding suppliers in the Kent area, then visit the Hotel du Vin Tunbridge Wells Wedding Fayre this Sunday, 25th March 2012, from 10am to 3pm.

It’s free entry, there’s a complimentary glass of champagne on arrival and they have exclusive wedding offers for couples that attend on the day. What’s not to like!

Visit their website for more information.

All the fun of the fair: Wedding Planning #1

19 Feb

It’s been a busy week at Wedding Dolls HQ.  We spent last weekend at the Wedding Fair at Bluewater, which was just fantastic. There were so many local Kent suppliers showcasing their beautiful and gorgeous ideas for making your wedding really special and it was great for getting lots of ideas and inspiration. However, afterwards one of our competition winners told us they felt slightly overwhelmed with the task ahead and all the decisions they needed to make.

But there is no need to panic! We often talk to engaged couples who have been to a few wedding fairs and still don’t really know where to start with the actual planning process. Our initial two-hour wedding consultation is perfect for this as it really helps to gather together your initial ideas and set you off on the right wedding path.  After meeting with us you’ll know some of the pitfalls to look out for and common mistakes people make when planning a wedding, as well as how to get the planning and styling stages right, which will save you time and money later.

The more confident ones amongst you will already be clear about what you need to do and have a long list of jobs at the ready, but if have you been engaged for a while and haven’t yet written a wedding related list here’s how to start.

Ok breathe, go slow and take it one step at a time. The first list you need goes from 1 – 6 and will be your basic wedding plan.

1. Set the Date.

You will need to consider what season you want for your wedding as they all bring different pro’s and con’s. Decide on a couple of potential dates, then Google them to check they don’t clash with bank holidays or large sporting events that you would sooner avoid.

2. Set the budget.

You can’t go any further until you know how much you have to spend overall. Then begin to breakdown your budget by using some average costs for the main things such as venue, catering, photographer and outfits.  See our blog post next week: Counting the Cost: Wedding Planning #2 to help.

3. Draw up your guest list.

This is going to be tough as you will need to agree on which guests make the grade.  The golden rule is the more guests you have, the more money you are likely to need!  It’s crucial to define your guest list early on so you know you are well within your budget outline and all your nearest and dearest are on the short list. This will also determine which type of venue you need.

4. Your Wedding Style.

It is here we can touch on the ‘style’ of your wedding.  You don’t need to know the exact style and every last detail at this stage but you will want an overall idea. Are you looking for the glitz and glam of a boutique hotel, a relaxed country garden party or do you want something really different like a teepee or a boat.  Think about your personalities and any likes and dislikes. You will both want to feel comfortable with the style and venue and it’s important you both agree now to save any upset, or added expense, later on.

5. Venue.

Next you need to find a venue that is going to suit your wedding style, budget and can cater for the number of guests you have. It’s no good hankering after the little country pub if your guest list goes over 100 or wanting a top London hotel if you have less than a £30,000 budget.  Draw up a short list of no more than five and then visit them all armed with your list of provisional dates.

6. Decision Time!

Now you need to make a final decision on your style, budget, venue and guest list. From here you can send out “save the date” cards and go in search of the all important dress.  If you need to start saving for your wedding then get a separate wedding account and work out your budget goals.

If you think you might need wedding planning help then now is a good time to chat with us to see what we can do for you.

Don’t forget the most important thing is to enjoy it all and don’t worry – if you follow our simple plan you can’t go wrong!

Good luck xxx

Win tickets to The Designer Wedding Show

8 Feb

It’s wedding show fever for us this weekend as we’ll be at the Bluewater Wedding Fair and the Designer Wedding Show.  So if you see us on Sunday looking a bit over-excited you’ll know why!

If you fancy winning a pair of tickets to the Designer Wedding Show then visit our facebook page. “Like us” then add a comment to the Designer Wedding Show post, including your wedding date, by 12noon on Thursday 9th February and you’ll be in with a chance of winning (or you can add your comment to this post instead).* We’ll let you know who has won on our facebook page and the winner will receive a confirmation email.

The Designer Wedding Show is at Battersea Park from the 10th-12th February 2012. 

The Wedding Show team told us what to expect from the show “It brings together both high-profile designers and less well-known names (those hard-to-find but brilliant-to-discover specialists) and presents the most covetable collection of 130 companies offering everything for stylish weddings. It makes the complex task of planning your wedding much simpler.

Alongside an exceptional choice of bridal fashion you will also be able to choose from exquisite stationery, beautiful millinery, stylish menswear, divine bridesmaids fashion, couture shoes, designer jewellery, stunning fashion for the mother of the bride, inspirational photography, scrumptious cakes, fabulous venues, smart gift lists and heavenly flowers.”

What more could you ask for! For more information about the show visit The Designer Wedding Show.

Good luck!

xxx

* The winner will be drawn at random from the entries received.

Bluewater Wedding Fair Competition Winners!

28 Jan

Well done to all the winners of our latest competition, who each win a pair of tickets to the Wedding Fair at Bluewater.  They are:

Hayley Oliveri

Ria Saunders

Vicky Durant

Jessica Coleman

Dionne M

Kelly Worcester

Sonia Verga

Jo of MitziandMilo

Make sure you check your emails girls later today for details of how to claim your prize!

Thanks to everyone who entered and if you are going to the Bluewater Wedding Fair we hope to see you there!

Win a Pair of Tickets to the Wedding Fair at Bluewater

23 Jan

For your chance to win a pair of tickets to the Wedding Fair at Bluewater either comment below or visit our Facebook page. Please include the words Bluewater Wedding Fair in your comment along with the date of your wedding. Or for another way to enter retweet our competition message here @theweddingdolls.

The giveaway will run from 12 noon on Monday 23rd January 2012 until 6pm on Friday 27th January 2012. The winners will be chosen at random and announced on our blog on Saturday 28th January 2012.

Good luck x

The Wedding Fair at Bluewater is on from the 9th to 12th February, at the brand new Bluewater exhibition centre, Glow.

As well as getting hundreds of ideas from a fantastic range of exhibitors there will also be wedding experts, stylists, designers, event planners and budget gurus to give you hints and tips on planning your wedding.

The show features a Catwalk Bar, where you can sip on a glass of bubbly while you watch the runway unfold around you, then in-between shows take a look at the wedding gown gallery.

From the quirky to the classic, everything about styling your wedding  is covered in the real life Style Showcases, where you can get lots of ideas direct from the experts, as well as join the professionals in the Master Class Seminars.

During the show you’ll also have a chance to check out inspiration stations and wedding entertainers and finally before you go home, relax in the The Honeymoon Hideout. This beachside hangout will give you tonnes of expert honeymoon advice to make sure you have a holiday of a lifetime.

For more information about the show, opening hours and a list of exhibitors visit Bluewater Wedding Fair

Gallery

Luxury Wedding Show: 22 & 23 October 2011 Saatchi Gallery

28 Oct

Off we went to the luxury wedding show this weekend which was held at the Saatchi Gallery on London’s Kings Road.

The venue was fabulous for a wedding show as it’s white walls and calming influence made the show feel serene and plush and not at all overwhelming. The suppliers were a really friendly and welcoming bunch and ready to help with an array of answers to any wedding question you could ask.

Tickets were £50 a pop (and then theres the train fare to factor in) but if you needed high-end inspiration you had come to the right place.

The ticket price included the all important goody bag (Opi Nail Polish, 3 Elemis Anti-Wrinkle Creams, Cleansing Oil, Gui Flapjack bar, 3 perfume samples and Pearl Drops toothpaste) and entrance into the catwalk show with complimentary glass of Pommery.

The catwalk show was one of the slickest we had seen all year with a great collection of dresses from Vera Wang, Vivienne Westwood, David Fielden, Monique Lhuillier, Marchesa, Temperley London, Delphine Manivet, Carolina Herrera, Peter Langner, Charlotte Casadejus, Luella’s Boudoir, Candy Anthony, Kula Tsurdiu, Angelina Colarusso and The State of Grace – we’d have dared you not to find your perfect dress amongst them!

Even if you don’t have a huge budget the show is perfect for taking inspiration from some of the biggest names in the wedding industry.

Our verdict? Save your money on other wedding show entrance fees and come here – you won’t be disappointed!

Here’s a selection of our favourites from the catwalk show. All photographs are by Christoper Dadey. Thanks to Smith & Monger.
Wedding dress by Candy AnthonyBridal dress by Charlotte CasadejusBridal Dress by Suzie TurnerVivienne Westwood Wedding Dress

Wedding Show at Leeds Castle

15 Oct

We had a really tiring but fun day at the Leeds Castle Wedding Show and it was such a great way to meet all the local suppliers whilst sipping champagne!  With such a unique and brilliant range of friendly and knowledgable Kent suppliers on tap that we feel very glad indeed that it’s our stomping ground.

We caught the last catwalk show of the day (which was minus Claire Sweeney). The catwalk show was fun and the models did a great job – however the goody bag certainly lacked a little bit of oomph and the large amount of empty audience seats made it feel a bit half-hearted. However it was a good way at seeing some of the dresses and wedding outfits in action which you wouldn’t have got otherwise.

Overall the show is worth a visit if you are in the area but some of the free ones offer just as much info and ideas (albeit without a catwalk show). It seems to be a case of good but try harder next year Leeds Castle!