Tag Archives: kent

Fantastic Find: Dream Days for You

29 Jun

At the weekend we had the pleasure of working with the Dream Days for You team headed up by Darminder Cheema. Dream Days specialise in Indian, Gujarati and Halal menus but do offer traditional English catering as well. Their portable catering service is great if you have a unique venue in mind as services can include catering staff, cutlery, crockery, linen and waiting staff. We were able to sample some of the menu and it was absolutely gorgeous.

So whether you are having a traditional Indian wedding or looking to go fusion with your menu then Dream Days for You is a great place to go for a curry!

Take a look at their website for full menus and details of the services they can provide.

Image Credit: The Wedding Dolls with chair coverings and flowers by Chic Weddings.

Vintage Wedding Shoot at Upnor Castle

28 Jun

Today we are really pleased to be sharing a fantastic vintage photoshoot at the very lovely Upnor Castle, Kent. The shoot was set up by Margate based photographer, Robert Marriott with the help of Maxine Gregory of Tea-licious and Sandra Andrews of Vintage Curves.

We just love the vintage dresses, the gorgeous red detailing and wow – that cake! Here are just some of our favourite shots but take a look at the slideshow for the full shoot. Enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Image Credits Robert Marriott – thanks Robert!

Photo Shoot Credits:

Stylist’s Stephanie StanleyLacey Biginton and Leanne MacPherson

Florists Mals Bespoke BouquetFlower Heaven and Helen Louise Jury.

Red Ruffle cake supplied by Francesca Pitcher, Cupcakes by Samantha Vanstone

Vehicles from Amandas Vintage Car HireSimply Stunning Cars and Retro Caravan Hire.

Real wedding: Keeley and Mike at Cooling Castle Barn

21 Jun

Mike and Keeley had a civil ceremony for 80 guests last year at Cooling Castle Barn, Rochester, Kent. The mix of vibrant colours and stunning backdrop make this wedding feel really warm and welcoming. Here Keeley talks us through their big day.

“I had been to weddings at Cooling Castle barn and although I really liked it I wanted to get married somewhere I hadn’t been to before. After looking at lots of other venues and having no luck, Mike put his foot down and booked for us to see Cooling! Even though the heavens opened the day we went to look around, it didn’t dampen its charm and we fell in love with it and everything it had to offer. This was back in November 2009 and the first date they had was 22 months away – we put a deposit down straightaway to avoid waiting any longer! The staff at Cooling Castle Barn were fantastic and able to help us whenever we had any questions regarding the day.

We had almost two years to plan but spent the first year not doing too much except finding the venue, saving money and getting ideas. The second year was when we started putting all the ideas together and buying things. I thought I would be the one who did all the planning but I was pleasantly surprised by how much Mike got involved, although he does say ‘she might ask you for your opinion but will always go with what she wants anyway’!


We found our wedding car when it was parked outside another church!  The colour of the car was what first caught our eye first and we both instantly fell in love with it. It was a blue 1930’s Beauford and we had a Bentley Mulsanne S for our bridesmaids.  Our drivers were father and son from Old and Blue, and they were thoroughly professional and so friendly. They really helped to keep me relaxed on the journey to the venue.

From the very beginning we said we wanted something a little bit different that was bright and fun. We had a bright pint and orange colour theme and our florist, Cherry Tree Events, helped us choose our flowers. It was on our second visit there that we noticed the vintage style card holders and birdcages – we knew we had to have them as part of our day. We had pink and orange gerberas with lime green blooms inside our birdcages which worked really well to give them a contemporary twist.

I had a contemporary wired bouquet containing mango cala lilies, hot pink and orange gerberas, hot pink and orange roses, palm, soft ruscus and caged lily grass. The bridesmaids had pink and orange bouquets, the ushers had a single hot pink rose and Mike wore a mango cala lily. Our flowergirl had a flower wand containing hot pink and orange gerberas.

My dress was by Alfred Angelo from Country Brides in Faversham. My Mum picked the dress in the shop but at first I wasn’t that keen on it. After trying on a few dresses I put it on and once I saw it in the mirror, I knew it was the one for me. After months of looking, it was such a relief to finally find the ONE! As I’m 6” tall I knew heels were going to be a no go. I didn’t like lots of the flat shoes available but thankfully I found a diamante style sandal by Pink that were perfect. I had earrings and a matching necklace from Goldsmiths and a Swarovski bracelet that was a beautiful wedding gift from Mike. My veil was also from Country Brides and my hair accessories and bag were my ‘something borrowed’ from my sister-in-law.

Mike wore a Navy Blue Edwardian suit from Perfection. The bridesmaid dresses were also Alfred Angelo dresses, the flowergirls dress was from Bhs and the two best men and ushers suits were also from Perfection.

Our stationery and table place names were from Wickedly Innocent and Mike had said from the very beginning that he wanted to name each table after Stereophonics songs as this is one of his favourite bands.

I remember being blown away when I first saw the barn set out with all the things we had chosen. I had been so worried that perhaps all the colours might not quite go together or might be a bit much, but it just looked amazing. So many people commented on how lovely it looked – it was so worth going for something bright and different. Keeping with the bright theme, we chose bright pink organza bags filled with our favourite white chocolate jazzie sweets. We got them from eBay and Mike’s mum very kindly filled all the bags herself.

We had the caterers at Cooling Castle Barn who were amazing. Everyone commented on how good the food was and there was so much of it! We found it really difficult to choose from such a wide choice that the venue offered so we went with things that we thought everyone would like.

For starters there was a choice of  Prawn Cocktail or Marinated vine plum tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella. For the main course we chose Roast Beef or Bangers and Mash. The vegetarian option was Ravioli of chargrilled vegetables and basil pesto. For dessert, Lemon Meringue Pie or Vanilla Cheesecake with red fruit coulis.

We had a three tier cake made up of two fruit cakes and one sponge from Marks and Spencer. They were decorated by our very clever friend Kerry who handmade all the flowers from icing.

We had a DJ who came with our wedding package and we were a little worried that we did not get a say in who we could have. However we needn’t have worried as he was amazing and played everything we had asked for and so much more. As it was a mid-week wedding we finished at 11pm but we started the reception early so that we could have plenty of time to dance. Our first dance was At Last by Etta James as we thought it was a beautiful song with such meaningful lyrics. We both loved garage music when we were younger so we had a selection of garage tracks which had the dance floor over flowing all night!

The fabulous Fleur Challis was our wedding photographer. Fleur had photographed our friends wedding and they spoke really highly of her. Seeing how wonderful their photos were we contacted her. As soon as we got chatting to Fleur we knew she would be the perfect person to capture our day. She had fantastic ideas and was so on our wave length.  We had a pre wedding shoot in Canterbury which was a great way for us to relax in front of the camera before the big day as neither of us are keen on having our photo taken. We are so pleased with our photos and they have captured the day perfectly”.

Thanks to Keeley and Mike for sharing their day with us. And so any last words for our wedding couples to be?

“Yes, talk to your friends about suppliers they used. We got lots of recommendations from friends which saves time doing lots of research and lastly enjoy every minute, it goes far too quickly!



Five of the Best: First Dance Tunes

16 Jun

You either have ‘a song’ as a couple or you don’t. If you do choosing your first dance tune might be that little bit easier. However if you are in the ‘we don’t so help us please’ category here’s a little inspiration for you taken from real weddings over the last year.

Famous five

A Groovy Kind of Love – Phil Collins
Can’t take my eyes off of you – Andy Williams
First, last, everything – Barry White
Everything – Michael Buble
Greatest Day – Take That

Alternative five

Nobody Does it better – Carly Simon
You & Me, Always Up Forever – The Wannadies
Iris – The Goo Goo Dolls
She’s Electric – Oasis
Altogether Now – The Farm

Don’t forget you will need to actually dance to your choice of song so think about the music and whether or not you need to cling together and shuffle for a bit or will be doing a fully fledged Dirty Dancing routine.

If you have a favourite first dance song please share with us!

Rebecca Douglas Photography: Engagement Shoot of Enio & Cho

21 May

Happy Monday All! Today we are sharing a lovely engagement shoot by Kent based photographer, Rebecca Douglas. The shoot took place in Central London where the gorgeous Enio and Cho had their first date. Come back to the blog on Friday when we’ll share their wedding at Tonbridge Castle.

Sunday Summary: Lots of Treats

20 May

This week we have been looking at hidden gem wedding venues which we will be sharing with you over the next week. We’ve also been working hard on our new website which will be ready to launch in June. We’re super excited about it and can’t wait to share it with everyone.

We also had a little field trip yesterday to the Pantiles Food Festival in Tunbridge Wells. It’s always a great place to find lovely, talented and food obsessed people who cater for weddings in the county.

We kicked off on Monday with news of a bridal gown sale at Froufrou Bridal Boutique which is on next month and includes discounted dresses from famous designer names (see a few of the dresses available below)

bridal gowns

We also shared with you two fantastic Kent suppliers. Florist in the Forest was up first with owner Katherine Craft, who showed us her beautiful and stunning designs. Katherine is a talented lady as she not only creates her designs but also grows her own flowers at her studio and cutting garden in Broadwater Forest. Then we met Jennie Bishop of Little Boutique Bakery where we got to see just some of her fantastic wedding cakes. Jennie told 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 orders.” These are cake and flower designs you won’t want to miss out on!

Florist in the Forest

Little Boutique Bakery

Candy Anthony

The final part of our series about Planning a Vintage Wedding was all about the dress and how to find it. Whether you want a true vintage gown or are going for vintage styled one we shared our favourites from a range of designers and online boutiques.

Then to round off the week we brought you five of the best wedding pumps so you could save your feet but still look gorgeous!

That’s it from us so Happy Sunday everyone.

x

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

Sunday Summary: Wild Wedding Weather

13 May

This week has been full of up’s and downs. In the name of research we have been out and about looking at potential new wedding venues and getting rained on in the process. However it didn’t stop us getting very excited by some of our fabulous finds for our special venue feature coming up later this month.

kent country wedding scene

Another up was that my hand is recovering well so I managed to get my hand splint off and am now typing this post with two hands – sort of. Hurrah! However I wasn’t able to do my Moonwalk last night (read about my training here) but here’s hoping my team mates had fun – well done girls!

On the blog this week we started with a Butterfly Inspiration Board to get the creative juices flowing. We featured the new Ghost dresses available at John Lewis and shared our top five Bridal clutch bags from the High Street.

There was also the fourth part of our vintage wedding planning special with Vintage Tea Kent who showed us their gorgeous tea sets to help style any vintage event to perfection.

We were also really excited to showcase the Real Kent Wedding of Danielle and Chris. The couple celebrated their day with a fabulous Country Fair theme so take a look if you are planning your own country wedding for more inspiration.

Look out next week for part five of vintage wedding planning with the bit you’ve all been waiting for – the dresses! Plus two fantastic supplier finds and news of a designer dress wedding sale – what’s not to love!

Happy Sunday folks!

Emma x

Image credit: Kerry Ann Duffy

Danielle & Chris: A Kent Country Affair

10 May

Chris and Danielle Parish were married in a civil ceremony on 8th April 2012 at Little Silver Country House Hotel in Tenterden, Kent. Here they share with us their big day.

Danielle tells us “We wanted a small and fairly informal day for our 70 guests, with an English country fair theme. We wanted our guests to feel relaxed and entertained so I knew at once Little Silver was for us because of the way we were greeted and made to feel so comfortable. The hotel is small and pretty, which made it much more intimate. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff and they were really professional. It was also great that we could have the ceremony inside or out – especially as the English weather is so unpredictable!

I had an Enzoani dress and veil from Abigail’s in Headcorn. When I tried it on I felt incredible!  It is so romantic with light tulle flowing layers and was different from the usual styles I had seen. It made me feel truly unique and special. It was fairy like! My shoes were from Next and I had teardrop stud earrings, a present from my parents. I also wore a ring given to me by my Nan which had a blue sapphire surrounded by diamonds for my something blue and old. I wore a vintage style headband with detail to the side and a small pearl hair clip which matched my bridesmaids. My bag was an ivory hard clutch bag from Accessorize. My hair was done by Ahead of Beauty and as I recently started my own small make-up business, Bridal Make-up by Danielle Gear, I did my own make-up using mostly Dior and MAC products.

The adult bridesmaids wore dresses from Coast and the flower girl a dress from Monsoon. Shoes were a variety of BHS and Next!

Our florist was Amora flowers based in Leeds Village Maidstone.  They did an amazing job in capturing the theme and were really helpful in the lead up and planning process. My bouquet was a mix of Eucharis, Lily of the Valley, Cally Lily and Roses. We also had Daffodills, Tulips and purple and white Iris’s.

Chris wore a black herringbone Prince Edward suit hired from Slaters in Canterbury.  He wore a purple paisley patterned tie with matching handkerchief from Moss Bross in Canterbury.  His shoes were brogues from Dune.

The theme was Spring English Country Fair with Spring yellows and purples. I love spring as it represents the start of longer days, new life and exciting times and our theme represented this.  It was also Easter Sunday so we had Easter eggs and various easter baubles including easter bunnies and chicks. It was fun and pretty. My mother-in-law made us yellow and purple gingham bunting and on the top table we had large glass lanterns filled with flowers, Easter eggs and a wooden heart and ribbon garland. To decorate the rest of the room we had small vases with flowers and large wicker wooden hearts with fresh flowers tied to them. Our matching menus and invites were from Vista Print.

For the table centre’s I bought small white enamel jugs from Homebase, small lanterns from Hobbycraft and small egg cups filled with mint imperials. They sat on a mirror and were decorated with yellow gingham ribbon. Table names were Romeo and Juliet characters written in chalk on small chalk boards pegged to the jugs.

Our wedding favours were jars of homemade Apricot or Strawberry jam made by Chris’ mum.  They had either yellow or purple gingham material on top of the lids tied with brown parcel twine.  I added a luggage label with guest’s names on which doubled up as place names. All napkins were tied with purple gingham ribbon with a butterfly conversation starter placed in it and our purple chair covers were from Your Beautiful day.

I made my own table plan from a distressed style blackboard from Merchant Chandler in Maidstone. I stuck small wooden heart pegs on from Hobbycraft and pegged small luggage tags to them with the table names on. Each luggage tag had a small gingham ribbon attached.

Our pre-dinner drinks were Pimms and lemonade. To eat we had Cheese and red onion tartlet, Lamb with seasonal veg and then Eton Mess for dessert. Our cake came from Waitrose and had two tiers, one sponge and one fruit. It was a plain cake but was decorated with fresh purple and yellow flowers.

For an alternative guest book the florist made us a contorted willow wishing tree. We asked guests to write their messages on luggage tags and tie these to the tree. My friend made us a collage of photos of us in a frame which matched the table plan chalk board.  We put this next to old suit cases which were Chris’ mums as a child and people put their cards and “desert island discs” in them.  We asked people to put their three favourite songs on a CD so we could take them on honeymoon. We got a great selection!

In the evening we wanted a good party with plenty of dancing and a lively atmosphere. Our first dance was “You and Me” by The Wannadies from the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack. We had a band called the Redfords and they also DJ’d inbetween their three sets.  The dance floor was packed all night, the atmosphere was electric!  The band manager also takes photos throughout the night and they really captured the fun of the evening.  The party went on to midnight and guests had their ties on their heads by the end of the night!  My uncle also sang a song with the band.

As part of the evening we had a home-made sweet table. We collected Kilner jars to fill with sweets, one’s I loved as a kid, including cola cubes, flying saucers and sweet bananas as well as mini eggs of course! Each jar had a luggage label tied to it. To decorate the table as well as bunting I had old bound books, with a vintage style teapot and cup and saucer.  From the teapot I had a stream of sweets coming out into the tea-cup. I also had a wooden “love” sign sitting on a box with a flower print. In a vase were sticks of rock from Brighton.  Brighton is special to us as this is where Chris asked me to marry him!  I had a heart-shaped chalk board with Fancy a treat?  Take a sweet!

Our wedding photographer was Kerry Ann Duffy. We chose her because she had photographed two of our other friend’s weddings and absolutely love her style. Kerry creates vintage, softly romantic and natural images. She made us feel completely at ease, especially in the morning where it can get a little frantic! The photos were beautiful and reminded us that we didn’t stop smiling all day.”

The couples last bit of advice is “Enjoy every minute! We absolutely loved finding all the accessories over the year of planning. Don’t get worried about the weather, it rained on our day but it didn’t matter, if you have a good photographer like we did the photos will still be amazing.

A good tip is to make lists for your venue of how you want things to be when setting up. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – wedding venues and suppliers have heard it all before! Make sure you have a list of all the suppliers with their numbers on for the day. And finally take moments throughout the day to take stock of what’s going on around you.”

Thanks so much to Danielle and Chris for sharing their day with us.

Images credit: Kerry Ann Duffy

Pre Wedding Shoot: Danielle & Chris

4 May

Today we can share with you a little taster of a pre-wedding shoot by fabulous photographer and all round talented gal, Kerry Ann Duffy. The shoot was on the Downs in Thurnham, Kent, with engaged couple Danielle and Chris, who got married last month. They will be sharing their gorgeous English Country Fair wedding with us next week. Don’t miss it!