Tag Archives: real wedding in kent

Sunday Summary: Here Comes the Sun

22 Jul

This weekend brings us sunshine! And about time too. With school out for summer and weddings galore over the next few weeks we need the sun to stick to around just for a while. On a selfish note as well I’ve bought loads of maxi dresses for going to weddings and not got to wear them once yet – having to stick to my winter attire made up of tights and a waterproof mac!

So before I run away with the sun celebration let’s look back over the last week on the blog. Our dress of the week was by Alan Hannah, a gorgeous backless dress with stunning detail, that judging from the comments we’ve had is a big hit with all of you too.

Image from Alan Hannah

Then we shared with you a unique venue that we’ve had the pleasure of working at, Nettlestead Place. The house, gardens and stunning views along with it being exclusive to you on the day are just a few of the reasons to check it out.

view of inside the marquee

Nettlestead Place Marquee

Next was our fantastic find Little Gems, who make the most gorgeous cakes alongside a vintage ice cream bike with homemade ice creams. We worked with Gemma at a wedding and could see first hand how much the guests loved picking their own ice cream for dessert and comparing flavours  – it was a big hit!

Little Gems Vintage Ice Cream BIke

For wedding decor inspiration we looked at the comeback of the humble balloon. With large latex balloons now in the offering you can make simple and stylish backdrops at a really reasonable price. We just love them.

Martha Stewart Weddings

If you’re looking for accessories and decoration for your big day our Saturday Shopping guide is just what you need with beautiful name places, invitations and table settings from one of our favourite online shops, Cox and Cox. It’s our first stop for unique little wedding ideas.

Cox & Cox

Enjoy the sunshine and happy Sunday everyone!

x

Fabulous Find: Little Gems

18 Jul

Today we can share with you Little Gems who create gorgeous wedding cakes as well as provide a vintage ice cream bike with a range of gorgeous homemade ice cream to delight any wedding guest – and us! We had the pleasure of working with Gemma at a wedding and so could see first hand how the guests loved picking their ice cream and sharing the flavours with each other.

Gemma says of her company “It’s a real family affair and we’ve honed our baking skills over many years all sprinkled with a spoonful of style and a dollop of love! Whether you’re going for a traditional fruit cake, a contemporary fusion of flavours, or ice cream and desserts, it’s imperative to us that not only do they have the wow factor but taste heavenly too.

We can create the perfect match to your theme, dream or colour scheme, and we work with you every step of the way to handcraft your perfect cake. Whether you are longing for a timeless piece of vintage charm, a contemporary twist or going all out for a touch of glamour, we can certainly do the job.”

All of Gemma’s cakes are made using the finest ingredients and they can offer a variety of flavours and fillings to suit your requirements. With Little Gems the sweet treats really are endless!

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

Sunday Summary: Muddy Maritals

15 Jul

I’ve spend most of this week up to my armpits in muddy washing. Rain is bad enough but flooding and outdoor events mean that my wellies aren’t the only thing getting soggy! Still in this country rain doesn’t usually spoil play and we crack on anyway, especially my kids who have rolled around outside for 10 minutes got cold, wet and muddy, come back in, got changed and then started the whole process over again. So before I go back to my alternative  office aka the utility room, here’s the quick round up of the blog over the past week.

We kicked off sharing the beautiful designs of Claire Mischevani with you. Her bespoke designer bridal service has featured in Vogue, Elle, Grazia, Brides and You & Your Wedding amongst others. If you want something completely different and perfect for you in every way you’ll want to check out her website for your dream dress.

Next up was the Kent wedding of Jon and Emma, who were married at Bradbourne House. Emma talked us through their plans and shared the details of the day which included bespoke stationery designed by Jon himself. Take a peek at the rest of the pictures here.

Next up was a reminder of a gorgeous wedding we worked on last year in Malta. Louise and Warren used 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 before we arrived. The colours of this wedding were just stunning and Louise embraced the then emerging trend of different Bridesmaid dresses which looked absolutely amazing.

Finally we shared our top five picks for Bridesmaid dresses that fall above the knee. The sales are in full force on the high street and there are lots of bargains to be had if you want your Bridesmaids to have an alternative look.

Happy Sunday Everyone

x

Image 1 & 2: Juliette Harrison.

Image 3 & 4: Kay Young

Sunday Summary: Loving the Bhangra Beat

24 Jun

Welcome to Sunday all!

Today we’re attempting to keep our feet up after being on them for pretty much most of the week. The only thing we might manage is to watch the footie a bit later with a few Sunday glasses of vino (if we’re still awake by then!).

We start the post with a big congratulations to Vijay and Leanne who we worked with yesterday at their Asian Fusion wedding. It was simply stunning. The very lovely bride and groom looked gorgeous, the indian food was superb and the views from Nettlestead Place over the Kent countryside were made all the better by some summer sunshine and very happy guests. The pics here are just a little glimpse into the day which we’ll be sharing in much more detail over the coming weeks.

We were lucky enough to work with some great suppliers on the day including Chic Weddings, N Photography and Dream Days for You (we have a Fantastic Find feature on them later this week).

So just before we look forward to another week in wedding world here’s our summary of blog posts from the past 7 days. We kicked off with designer Stephanie Allin’s beautiful range of wedding dresses and her new collection which will be in store around September. Next we gave you some advice about how to set your wedding budget in our post Counting the Cost. If you have any good budgeting tips then we’d love to share them.

Then the Flower Preservation House showed us how you can preserve your wedding flowers into beautiful keepsakes of your day. Next we were really pleased to share the real Kent wedding of Keeley and Mike at Cooling Castle Barn with photography by Fleur Challis. The vibrant colour scheme and stunning backdrop make this a wedding worth taking inspiration from.We rounded the week of with news of a discount at Myla with up to 50% off some of their bridal lingerie range.

See you next week for more real wedding inspiration, a gorgeous vintage photoshoot and our weekly Fantastic Find.

Come on England!

x

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

Real Wedding: Spring Purple with Kelly and Scott at Turkey Mill

13 Jun

Today we can share with you the lovely spring May wedding of Kelly and Scott at Turkey Mill in Maidstone. Here we meet the bride and groom and get them to tell us all about the big day in all it’s detail. Kelly says “I fell in love with Turkey Mill straight away. It was everything that we were looking for. The grounds are amazing and our guests could walk round the gardens and find a little quiet spot throughout the day. We wanted a traditional wedding but very simple and relaxed. We had Emma Knapp Photography and as soon as we met Emma and started telling her about the kind of day we wanted I knew she was the right photographer for us”.

wedding venue

When it come to picking her dress from The Bridal Chest, Kelly told us “I always knew I would go for a fitted dress but when I put my one on I found myself smiling from ear to ear and I just knew it was the dress that I wanted. I had used Audrey Hepburn as my inspiration as I wanted something classic and simple – I loved how it was elegant and different with the one strap. I accessorised the dress with pearl detailed peep toe shoes and tiara from Confetti & Lace, a full length veil from The Bridal Chest and simple earrings and bracelet from Swarovski.

page boys

flower girl and page boy

Scott wore an outfit from Bride and Groom which was a black morning jacket, grey striped trousers, waistcoat and a purple cravat. My daughter was a flower girl, her and the other younger bridesmaids dresses were from Debenhams and the two page boys, one my son, had outfits from John Lewis. The three adult bridesmaids had dresses from The Dessy Group.

My wedding bouquet included Freesia, Lisianthus, Delphinium, and Hydrangea tied with darkest purple satin ribbon and pearl pin detail. Creative Flowers arranged this along with the centrepieces for the reception tables including Fuscia pink freesia, pale pink lisianthus and dark purple delphinium. When I met them they were really helpful and advised us on the flowers that would work best for the look I wanted.

bridal party

bride and groom in grounds

The main wedding colour was purple with touches of lilac and fuscia pink. Kelly says “I was very happy with the overall look and relieved that the colours and layout of the room had all come together. We named each table after the people most important to us, parents, brothers and sisters and our twins. We had cupcakes with our guests names on as place cards and had a lottery ticket for each guest as a favour. All our stationery was from Confetti.

Our caterers, aFORM, created our menu. We had Lobster Bisque with parsley croutons or Feta cheese, cherry tomatoes and red onion salad. Followed by Knuckle of  Lamb served with red wine sauce or Confit of duck with thyme, rosemary and garlic served with plum ginger and rice wine sauce. All mains were served with parmentier potatoes, baton carrots, fine beans, cauliflower and baby corn.

The meal was completed with Chocolate Cube for the ladies and Lemon Cheesecake for the men. Our wedding cake was made for us by Kate Penfold of Sophisticakes.

We had always wanted a big party in the evening and danced to guitarist Nick Woods and our DJ. We found it very hard to choose a song that we both agreed on for our first dance but when we heard David Gray ‘Be Mine’ we knew it was the right song choice. Our reception finished at 12 but most people were staying at the Hilton so the party continued back at the hotel bar!”

Thanks so much to our couple for sharing their day with us and what final piece of advice would they give to others getting married?

“Make your wedding personal to you so that your friends and family feel a part of the big day with you and don’t worry about the small things. The day goes so quickly and it’s very hard to make time for one another as you have so many people to speak to and many different things going on but try and make sure you have some time alone as a couple throughout the day. I think some of those times on our day are my best memories.”

Congratulations to Kelly and Scott x

All images by Emma Knapp Photography

Real Wedding: Marika and James’ Race to the Marquis Part 1

7 Jun

Sometimes a wedding comes along that just has so many gorgeous pics we can’t fit it all into one day. This wedding is one of those. For part one we’re sharing the wedding of Marika and James who got married in May at the Marquis of Alkham. Here Marika tells us about the planning of their big day.

wedding day sign

“We searched for a long time to find the right venue. We found the Marquis restaurant in a cookery magazine, having no idea there was such a highly acclaimed restaurant so close to where we lived. As soon as we drove down the beautiful country road, we were hopeful and when we arrived, walked inside and were warmly greeted by Hannah Walton saying “sorry I don’t have a brochure made up, we don’t really churn out weddings…” we were sold! The more we saw, the more we loved it. It just felt right, we wanted somewhere really special for our 39 guests. Hannah is the wedding co-ordinator at the Marquis and without her help, all of our ideas would not have been able to become a fantastic reality. We had so much fun and we regard her as a friend now.

wedding shoes for the bride

Sarah Kay, a friend’s sister, does floristry part-time. My bouquet was rustic and contemporary, with white lilacs, thistles, ranunculus roses, freesias, green hydrangeas and Columbian roses, which came through in my hair, the bridesmaid’s hair and the button holes as well.

I always wanted white lilacs as they hold fond childhood memories for me, hiding under a giant lilac tree in our front garden in Ireland. I love ranunculus roses and hydrangeas as well, this is one of the reasons I convinced James that May was a great time to get married. I had always imagined wedding photos in a bluebell wood.

I bought my dress from Signature Brides in Hythe and it was a beautiful lace strapless dress from Tia by Benjamin Roberts. I tried on many shapes and styles and had more or less chosen one. I tried on a few more and am so glad I did because that’s when I came across the Benjamin Roberts dress. I loved the simple style dress with the delicate lace detail – it made it so special. As soon as I tried it on, I walked out of the fitting room and said “uh oh, I am in a bit of a pickle now!” as the dress was more than I had anticipated in the budget, but it was worth it!

The shoes I wore were from Next for just £35. I bought two pairs and decided just before walking up the aisle which ones to wear! I had some very simple freshwater pearl earrings from eBay and a Columbian ivory rose in the side of my hair. My make up was by Emma Smisson at Bridal Beauty.

My sister was my bridesmaid and her dress was from Coast.

James bought his suit from Ventura at Moss Bros. It was a brown/copper shade and he just chose what he felt most comfortable in.

We had a civil ceremony. We decided not to personalise vows because we have been together long enough for people to know how in love we are and no need to gush about it! We chose a reading called “the Art of a Good Marriage” that my childhood friend read wonderfully and it epitomized what we feel strongly about in our relationship that would carry through into our marriage.

We had a slideshow with the signing of the register during the ceremony. It was full of photos from when we were children, our first date, our holidays, our 10 year anniversary and pre wed shoot. If there wasn’t a dry eye after the ceremony, there certainly wasn’t after the photos which were accompanied with some sentimental songs. We then played an extended version of this throughout the evening by the bar for people to quietly sit and watch if their feet needed a rest from dancing.

After the ceremony we had photos in the church gardens and then everyone went down to the terrace for drinks, canapés and garden games which was a lot of fun.

We wanted to make sure that our guests got to meet everyone so we mixed the tables up for dinner and had a sharing menu. The starter was a ‘Kentish Antipasto’ which consisted of poached asparagus, rabbit rillette, pickled light Sussex eggs, cured beef, cheddar fondue and homemade bread sticks and chutney. The main course was a ‘Sunday Roast’ of beef topside, Yorkshire pudding with confit shallots, herb roast potatoes, crispy flank and watercress salad and seasonal vegetables. The feast was rounded off with a dessert of chocolate fondue, served with marshmallows, flapjack and tropical fruit. It was all washed down with Tenterden sparkling wine, a lot of gin and tonic and a tab behind the bar, which all the guests were very grateful for!

As place cards we had photos of each guest and put these through an app to create individual effects and then printed them out as Polaroid photos which everyone loved.James had three best men, his best friend, his brother and his oldest friend. All of them were asked to give a speech as we moved around after each course. We had so many comments about what a highlight that was and the speeches never got boring because they were all so varied! Rather than a traditional guest book, we had cards and marker pens and passed these around for everyone to leave messages on so that we could put our own book together and enjoy doing that afterwards.

At the reception we had white lilacs, ranunculus roses, lisianthus, eringium, pannicum, Columbian garden roses, avalanche roses, viburnum opulus and freesia’s. The flowers were placed either side of the altar and as centerpieces for the reception, where the arrangements were in small square glass vases that were spread out along the tables. It looked really beautiful!

In the evening we served mini bacon sandwiches and cheeseboards as well as a sweet table where guests could take home sweets in little Chinese takeaway boxes that we put pretty green ribbons on. James made the 7 tier cupcake tower which consisted of small and large cakes, which were all flavours of cocktail. The guests could choose from Strawberry Daquiri, Limoncello or Mojito. They were such a hit and looked fab next to the sweet buffet. There was also a traditional 2 tier fruit cake that the Marquis supplied in their package, for which we provided 2 cake toppers for.

For our first dance, we had a friend mix two records together. We chose Shania Twain’s ‘you’re still the one’ because it was very cheesy but the lyrics were also quite symbolic. It then went into a rendition of Sir Mix A Lot’s ‘Jump on It’ and the dance moves from the iconic ‘Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ scene which seemed to go down with a lot of laughter! We then had a DJ from Discologic.

My mum presented us with a blank canvas that had one of the wedding invite pictures on it and all the guests took turns in signing it and leaving messages.

Fleur Challis and her husband Kevin were our wonderful photographers . We met Fleur through Hannah at the Marquis and we fell in love with her charm and lovely personality. She was so enthusiastic and excited, which made it a lot of fun to work with her. We met Kevin at the pre wedding shoot, and he was great fun as well. To have them both was such a treat and it brought a wonderful balance of posed photos as well as candid photos which captured the day perfectly. As they always say, a picture tells a 1000 words and the couple really did achieve everything we had hoped for. Photography is a big part of our lives and Fleur and Kevin really understood this and the essence of fun, happiness and love that comes through the photos is spot on!

Marika’s final words of advice as “don’t get too caught up in the day itself and remember that it is a celebration of the time you have spent together and the times you have ahead of you, it should be fun! Stay true to yourselves and what is important to you”.

Thanks to Marika and James for sharing their day with us and big congratulations to you both. Watch out for Part 2 when we’ll be sharing their photo booth shots.

Sunday Summary: Fairytales and Gems

27 May

This week as the sun hots up there’s been some sneaky Pimms after work action going on at Wedding Dolls HQ. There’s nothing like adding cucumber to your drink to make it feel like summer! As with lots of summer weddings we’re now on count down for our next couple to head down the aisle. They’re having an Asian Fusion wedding with hints of green and gold. Take at look at their inspiration board if you haven’t seen it already.

On the blog this week was a lovely engagement and real wedding, shot by Rebecca Douglas. Our wonderful couple, Cho and Enio, shared their gorgeous April wedding with us at Tonbridge Castle which included some really unique shots of  them on the vintage steam railway at High Rocks in Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Also on the blog was our three part special on hidden gem wedding hotels. The hotels (or restaurant with rooms!) featured were The Bell in Ticehurst, The George in Rye and The Marquis of Alkham. Each of them are really unique and offer something completely different for your wedding day, so check them out if you are still searching for that all important venue.

We rounded the week off giving our Mothers’ of the Bride a helping hand in tracking down fabulous wedding day outfits in just some of the gorgeous boutiques to be found in and around Kent.

Outfit from Any Occasion, Tunbridge Wells

Next week we’ve got a 2 part special from our English Country Garden wedding, a fab Kent wedding supplier to share and a couple of new venues to take a quick tour of.

Enjoy the sun!

x

Real Wedding: Enio and Cho’s Tonbridge Castle Fairytale

25 May

Today we can share with you the gorgeous April wedding of Enio and Cho, who had their ceremony at Tonbridge Castle with the Reception and Steam Railway at The High Rock, Royal Tunbridge Wells. They started off their wedding weekend at The Brick House where the excited wedding party got ready for their big day.  Here Cho talks us through the details.

“We always wanted a small wedding with fifty or sixty people in the beautiful Kent countryside. It only took five months to do all the planning for the wedding as we wanted to get married on our anniversary date in April. As it was the wettest April ever we were so lucky that the sun came out just few hours before the wedding and stayed with us for the rest of the day.

My bridal dress was from Pronovias. My appointment with them was at 9am. My little sister picked a dress for me to try on and I fell in love with it straight away. Though I tried on two other dresses, I ended up buying that first dress. It was completely different from what I had in my mind but I loved it. By 9.25 am we were out of the shop with the dress in our hands!

My sister bought my tiara, which was by Matthew Williamson and my necklace was from Top Shop. I personalised my shoes from Dune with some diamanté. The bridesmaid dresses were from Oasis and were accessorised with belts that I made.

For the Groom we chose a dark grey silk morning suit with an ivory tie and waistcoat. The cufflinks and tie pin were bought from Victoria and Edward.

For our ceremony background music we had a piece by Beethoven. I entered to The Wedding March. Enio read a beautiful poem by Wilfred Arlan Peterson ”The Art of Good Marriage”.

For our decoration I used pearls, butterfly place cards and table stationery which were bought online. The reception and bouquet flowers were from New Covent Garden Market and arranged by my two lovely friends. The whole decor was pretty much DIY with help from 4 friends, 2 sisters and mum!  I handed a chocolate wedding favour to each of the guests instead of leaving them as part of table decor.

Into the evening we didn’t have a first dance and cake cutting but we did play loads of Grease songs – which made the dancing awesome!

Rebecca Douglas was our photographer. I loved the pictures on her website and from day one until the end of the wedding she was brilliant. Our pictures are absolutely amazing and very natural. We were very lucky to have Rebecca as our photographer. She also arranged the steam rail shots which are really different and unique.

We spent £10,000 which included our rings, the venues, our photography, make up and hair, car hire, dresses, suit and flowers.

And Cho’s tip for a perfect day? “You don’t have to follow traditions just do what you enjoy doing in your own unique way. We loved that everyone at the wedding enjoyed the day as much as we did”.

Thanks Cho and Enio for sharing their day with us and we wish you lots of love for your new life together.

All images by Rebecca Douglas