Tag Archives: wedding planning

Sunday Summary: Going for Gold

29 Jul

This week has been full of excitement and anticipation. Not least as the Olympics has arrived in London town but that our new website is almost ready to go. That was until we hit a slight wordpress snag. We’re desperately trying to work out how NOT to manually move over 500 blog images from wordpress.com to wordpress.org as it doesn’t seem to want to do it automatically for us. If anyone has any idea there’s free wedding planning sessions in it!

The WD’s rethink their IT strategy

On the blog this week we’ve got caught up with Olympic Fever by having a special Going for Gold blog post which is an inspiration board of all things gold for a wedding. It’s such a great accent colour for anytime of year and you can use it as little or as much as you like to compliment any theme.

@pinterest

Our designer of the week was the brilliant Claire Pettibone whose dresses we have admired for ages. If you want to float like an Ethereal Queen through your wedding day then these are the gowns for you.

@Claire Pettibone

We just love a lotion or new potion at the Wedding Dolls and just some of our favourite products come from the range by Mitchell and Peach, which is produced right here in Kent. Our Fantastic Find of the week is their miniature set – just perfect for that honeymoon carry case.

Next up was all talk as we looked into Brides making a speech on their wedding day. Traditionally left to the guys, we now find more and more brides want to be part of the speech line up so they can thank their loved ones themselves or pay tribute to their gorgeous new hubbie. Would you? Find out more in Speechless Brides.

This week we also gave you the heads up on the next big thing for Bridesmaids coming to a wedding near you in 2013. Yes it’s bling’s best friend Sequins, and lots of them. See how you can get your Bridesmaids kitted out and bang up to date in next to no time.

Lastly our Saturday Shopping tip this week was for online store Pearl and Earl. It’s got  loads of good little buys to help decorate your venue and is also a great place to buy those latex balloons we were banging on about last week. If you’re bored with the Olympics already you’ve just found something to do instead!

Happy Sunday Everyone

x

Speechless Brides: What will you say on your wedding day?

26 Jul

Traditional this is not, but come on Brides it’s time to take a stand… how do you feel about making a speech on your wedding day?

Whilst most Brides don’t join the speech line up, your wedding is the only time you will have your closest friends and relatives in one room. Do you really want to miss the chance to speak to them all, tell them how much they mean to you and how much you would like to thank them?

bride laughing during speeches

@Helen May Banks

Nerves might be holding you back, but if you don’t give it a go it may just be one of those little wedding regrets. Just think, you’ve got no pressure to be funny or remember big thank you’s – it’s just you and your guests, and the opportunity to say how you feel on your big day.

Sophie French, who married husband Pete at the London Golf Club, was one such bride who says “I didn’t want to miss the chance to say a special thank you to my parents who had done so much for us as well as my friends, some of whom had travelled a long way to be there. I was a bit nervous but if you tell it from the heart, you don’t need to worry as your guests will be thrilled however you deliver it.”

If you need some extra help then there’s plenty of advice website’s out there with example speeches already done that you can adapt, and we can provide help and delivery training too.

So come on ladies will you be leaving it all to the groom? Let us know what you think?

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

Wedding Dress of the Week by Alan Hannah

16 Jul

If you’ve got it flaunt it! With this gorgeous Milano dress by designer Alan Hannah you’ll want to walk up the aisle more than once so guests get another chance to check out that stunning back detail!

Stockists in Kent include Pantiles Bride and Teokath.

Image from Alan Hannah.

Real Wedding Inspiration: A Maltese Dream with Louise and Warren

13 Jul

This time last year we were helping Louise and Warren at their lovely wedding in Malta. The colours of the wedding were just gorgeous and have sparked a whole new set of colour combinations for our weddings in Kent, so much so that we wanted to share them all again.

Bride after ceremonyThe Wedding Bridesmaids

Bride and Groom

Wedding Venue
First Dance

Louise and Warren wanted to use 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.

Louise says “it was lovely to spend so much time with our friends and family and enjoy every minute of our wedding experience. The ladies did such a fantastic job of helping us organise our day and the whole thing was so relaxed and fun. I didn’t want to have to worry about all those little things, I just wanted to concentrate on making my guests experience as great as ours – and it definitely was!”

Happy Anniversary to Louise and Warren x

Details:
Brides Dress: Pronovias
Bridesmaids: Oriental Pearl (Bluewater Shopping Centre)
Suits: Austin Reed
Photography: Kay Young

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

Inspirational Ideas: Lanterns and Poms

6 Jul

Decorating your wedding venue with your colour scheme adds a personal touch to your big day like nothing else. Lanterns and pom poms are a really simple way to achieve a big impact. The phrase ‘the more the better’ definitely applies and grouping them together can really make a statement backdrop. If you are decorating your own marquee, barn or similar type venue take a look at the rest of our board in Pinterest for more inspiration, but here is just a taster of what is possible.

Lanterns in barn

lanterns on path

Glass lanterns

Lanterns for wedding

A cheap way of doing mini lanterns so you can light paths and dark corners is to collect jam jars and fill them with long burning tea lights. If you want to have a go at making your own paper pom poms they are really easy – just follow the instructions here from Martha Stewart. To give you an idea of the time involved you can make around 5/6 per hour.

Or if you really don’t want to go to the effort of making your own you can buy them online.  Paper Poms UK are a specialist vendor who sell the poms on Etsy. Prices start from £2 for a 3″ or 4″ pom. Visit their website for more inspiration on how to use your paper poms.

Image Credits all via Pinterest:

1. The Knot

2.Rock my wedding

3.Brokeassbride

4. www.pottingshedpostcards.com

5. West Country Marquees

6. Before the Big Day

7. The Bridal District

8. Follow My Bliss

9. thebridallounge.ie

10. Hanging Lanterns

Wedding Planning Worries: Getting down with the kids

4 Jul

It’s a question that crops up a lot when planning your guest list; do you invite children to your wedding?

It may come down entirely on the type of wedding you are having and how much budget you have to play with. Extra bums on seats cost you money. Whether it’s a small bum or a big one if you are short on guest list space then leaving the kids at home seems as easy way to cut down on numbers. However, some of you do actually want to include the children in your family on the guest list but are just a bit nervous about how to deal with them.

Fear not. If you are having small people at your wedding there are now loads and loads of ways to keep them entertained at a really reasonable cost.

Create Make & Share is run by two Kent mums, Zoe Wright and Kathryn Handy, who organise children’s party entertainment. Being mum’s themselves means they are well practised in looking after children and have a whole range of ideas and activities to entertain all ages. They will design a bespoke package to suit the needs of your day depending on how many children you have, their ages and the set up of your venue.

The types of activities on offer include face painting, glitter tattoos, themed party and garden games and a pirate and princess activity play which involves lots of dressing up, story telling fun and a treasure hunt. As part of their package they also include party bags and favours especially designed for the little ones. Zoe told us that “all our entertainers are fully insured, CRB checked, reliable and most importantly have bundles of energy and enthusiasm!”

If you need a babysitting service and your hotel or venue doesn’t offer one then try Bearsted Babes. They offer this and more and are great if you have lots of little ones that need one-to-one care away from the hustle and bustle of the wedding. Vicky Cruickshanks who runs the company says “we understand how important it is to feel secure in the knowledge that your children are being cared for in safe, stimulating and familiar surroundings, especially when you want to relax and have a good time”.

So if you are having little ones at your wedding then the best advice is just to plan ahead and where possible give them some entertainment to take the pressure off and make sure everyone can relax and have a good time.

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

Fortnightly Frock: Mae Collection by Johanna Hehir

25 Jun

Johanna Hehir has launched her new diffusion collection, Mae by Johanna Hehir. This gorgeous new range features soft georgette, silk crepe and vintage style lace in the dress designs. Dresses range in price from £1000 to £1500.

Johanna says “Naming the collection was far simpler than I thought it would be. When my daughter suggested we use Mae (my second name), I knew it was a name that perfectly suited the type of girl who we envision wearing any one of the dresses from this collection”.

Johanna has established herself over the past ten years as one of London’s leading bridal designers. Her signature style has clean, unfussy, classic cuts with romantic detailing – we just love!

We’ll let you know as soon as the range is available – in the meantime check out this gorgeous video from the collection shoot day or for more about her other gowns take a look at our previous blog post.