Tag Archives: hotels in kent

Real Kent Wedding: Chris and Katie’s Wedding Safari

26 Jun

Today on the blog we are sharing with you the wedding of Chris and Katie, who got married back in May at Port Lympne. The lucky couple had lots of friends to help out and so we asked Katie to tell us about their big day.

Katie tells us “Port Lympne was the only venue we looked at and we fell in love with it. I had been there previously for work and thought it would be really different and unique to get married there. Erica at Port Lympne helped us so much and was brilliant.We had 72 guests for the daytime, with another 130 coming in the evening. We wanted quite a traditional wedding but with a few personal touches. We had a VIP safari trip as part of the wedding day so we all got on big safari trucks and spent an hour going round the park seeing the animals.

Our wedding photographer was Kerry Ann Duffy. I had heard about her through some friends and then when we looked on her website we knew she was our photographer!


My dress was from Brocades Bridal Studio in Sittingbourne. They were really helpful and had some beautiful pieces. As well as my dress I also bought there my veil, hairpiece, a necklace and earrings. I borrowed my sister’s bracelet for my ‘something borrowed’. My shoes were from BHS – they were comfortable enough to wear all day and all night!

Chris’ suit was hired from Slaters in Canterbury. It was grey with a white shirt and purple cravat. The bridesmaids dresses were also from Brocades and the flower girl dress was from Next.

 We had a motor racing theme for the reception as Chris is a mad motor racing fan. For our table centres we had flowers in tyres instead of vases and our table names were the names of Formula 1 drivers. Our favours were Air Ambulance scratch cards as it’s a charity close to our hearts. For the children’s favours we got party bags from All About Party Bags which contained activity books, stickers, sweets and bubbles.

Our brilliant stationery was made by a friend of my sister, Tomarty, and included invitations, table names, table plan, post box and guest book. A friend, Jo Tantum, did our wedding flowers. We met up to discuss the flowers but I had no idea what to pick apart from the colour so we left it in her hands as we trusted her to do a beautiful job. I had no idea what they were going to look like until I saw them on the day but I was over the moon with them! My bouquet was a mixture of ivory and lilac roses, purple lisianthus and eucalyptus. There were also button holes for the men and corsages for the ladies as well as flowers for the tables.  The wedding room didn’t really need much decorating as there are gorgeous animal murals all over the walls so we didn’t have flowers to decorate the room.

Our menu was by the in-house caterers and we gave our guests choices so we had starters of Pate, Garlic Mushrooms or Melon & Parma Ham followed by Salmon in chive sauce, Chicken in mushroom sauce or Romney Marsh Lamb. Dessert was Apple Pie, Chocolate fondue with strawberries or Lemon tart. It was all delicious! Throughout dinner we had some table magic by a friend who is a magician.

A friend also make our wedding cake – we had chocolate and vanilla cupcakes decorated with purple and ivory icing, with hearts and flowers as well a top layer of fruit cake.  In the evening we had a big party and it was great to see people on the dance floor all night.  Our first dance was to Elton John’s ‘Your Song’. We have just always loved the song and the words.We had a fantastic band, Marylebone Jelly, who we had seen at some local events and knew we had to have them at our wedding – everyone love them!”
Katie planned her wedding in just under a year and says “accept help from friends and family where you can as it all helps and don’t worry about what other people want – it’s your day so have things as you want them!”
Thanks to the couple for sharing their day and big congrats from us! x
Image Credit: Kerry Ann Duffy

Sunday Summary: Calm before the storm

17 Jun

Welcome to Sunday! This weekend has seen some peace and quiet in the Wedding Dolls households as our other halves are occupied with Le Mans 24 hour racing and Euro 2012 – it does leave you wondering who makes more noise, kids or husbands…. It’s been just what we needed really as the next few weeks for the Wedding Dolls is pretty full on. With trips abroad, exhibitions, the launch of our new blog, as well as the small matter of organising weddings to get stuck into, we are so glad there are two of us on the case!

bride and groom in grounds

Kelly & Scott, by Emma Knapp Photography

On the blog this week was the new bridal range from Topshop which seems to be dividing opinion in the wedding world! See what you think right here.  We also took a look around one of our favourite boutique hotel wedding venues in Kent, Hotel du Vin Tunbridge Wells. If you want understated luxury, fabulous food and gorgeous rooms to round off your wedding day this promises to make it onto your shortlist as well.

Next up was the Wedding of Kelly and Scott with a classic purple colour scheme and gorgeous detailing all set in the beautiful grounds of Turkey Mill, Maidstone. To round off the week we posted some of the most popular and alternative first dance songs that we’ve seen over the last year. If you don’t ‘have a song’ then this might just help narrow down the choices.

We’re super excited too as it’s countdown for our next Bride and Groom, Vijay and Leanne, and their gorgeous indian fusion wedding at Nettlestead Place on Saturday. We’ll share a little preview with you on Sunday but other posts coming up on the blog this week include our designer of the week, an overview of how to set your wedding budget plus a beautiful wedding at Cooling Castle Barn.

Happy Sunday!

x

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.

Hidden Gem Hotels Part 3: The Marquis at Alkham

24 May

Most people who live in Kent wouldn’t make Dover their first choice for a wedding venue search but that’s all changed thanks to The Marquis at Alkham. This one-time coaching inn, set in the pretty village of Alkham, has a stylish contemporary feel but still makes the most of its historical features including exposed beams, brickwork and wooden floors.

There are lots of options for your wedding day here as next door to the hotel is a gorgeous 13th Century Church where you can take your vows or have a civil ceremony at the hotel overlooking the breathtaking Alkham Valley. The main restaurant can accommodate up to 74 guests or the marquee in the grounds can sit down up to 110. The entire hotel is also available for exclusive use.

The hotel has ten ensuite bedrooms which are a mix of luxury, superior and suites. The suites have super king size beds, monsoon showers and bathrooms with roll top bath, plus lots and lots of added extras. There are also two vineyard cottages close by (around a 20 minute walk) which offer a quiet secluded retreat.

The Marquis is probably best described as a restaurant with rooms as the food is definitely the star of the show. The 5 star restaurant was recently awarded a rising Michelin star as Head Chef Charles Lakin brings you menus that use locally caught fish and sourced produce. The wine, beer and drinks list also has a distinctly Kent feel with local vineyards represented and even a Kent inspired cocktail!

The combination of countryside views, gorgeous food and chic styling all make this a great one to put on your wedding venue shortlist.

Images courtesy of The Marquis of Alkham via Fleur Challis Photography

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.