Tag Archives: wedding photographer

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

Advertisements

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 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

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: A Very English Affair

3 Jun

I hope today’s post reaches everyone feeling very patriotic. I went to a Jubilee ball last night organised by super florist Rhoxan Hayes and her team of helpers. The marquee looked fantastic decked out in red, white and blue with brilliant homemade knitted bunting. Each table had to dress as an era from the Queen’s reign and ours was the 50’s. Luckily we did a vintage wear special on the blog last month! Whizz over to our Facebook page to see the pics!

This week on the blog started with our Fabulous Find of the week, Charlie loves Lucy, a wedding stationery company based in Kent and ran by super talented  Claire Hawkes. Next up was a little peek around a lovely wedding venue in Sevenoaks, Dorton House, with a shoot by Nataliya at Akira Photography.

Then we were super excited to bring you a two-part wedding special of Phil and Billy’s English Country Garden Wedding. With gorgeous vintage elements and a Spring feel we absolutely loved working on this wedding as wedding planners. In Part 1 bride Phil takes us from wedding planning stages through to the Church ceremony. Then Part 2 takes you from the reception right up to the last dance.

bride and groom walk towards the marquee

Wedding guests and bride and groom

Finally yesterday we gave you some essential wedding reading with our five favourite books based around getting married. Just perfect with a hangover and a cup of tea!

Happy Sunday x

Credits: Josh Spencer Photography  for English Country Garden Wedding

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

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

Sunday Summary: What a Nice Wedding

6 May

Last weekend when Joanne was busy with the blog and planning workshops I was sunning myself in the South of France. It was bliss. A few days of sun and long wine fuelled lunches was just what my hand needed to get a bit better. The splint did get lots of weird looks but at least it got me a fabulous seaview seat a few times so I’m not complaining.

Over one long lunch my husband muttered “oh god no here we go” when I spotted a wedding happening down of the street. Rushing off to take a look I watched the happy couple climb into a vintage car and take to the streets with lots of horns tooting and cheering all the way down the promenade. It seems even in Nice you’re not to posh to clap and cheer as the Bride and Groom drive past. Fabulous.

Next we took off to Monaco where another newly wed couple were climbing aboard their luxury yacht waving to everyone on the marina. With a beer costing around £13 a pint at Le Cafe de Paris in Monte Carlo though, you won’t find us mere mortals getting married there.

Safely back in the rain on Monday we saw the final choices of Bridesmaids dresses for a November wedding. Our favourite was a gorgeous Dessy dress. On Tuesday our feature fun showed how to be a wedding shoe showoff with shoe stickers by Nutmeg. On Thursday we took inspiration from the Royal Wedding and looked at hiring classic cars for your wedding ride. On Friday we shared a pre-wedding shoot by fabulous photographer, Kerry Ann Duffy. Watch out for the full wedding next week with the lovely Danielle and Chris who had an English Country Fair wedding.

Yesterday was the third part of our planning a vintage wedding special with vintage shoes galore. Next week it’s vintage wedding styling.

Enjoy the bank holiday weekend!

Emma x