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Choosing wedding entertainers is never easy but some weddings just lend themselves beautifully to gorgeous and memorable music and that’s exactly what classically trained soprano, Catherine Cundy offers.

A live performer always adds a very special atmosphere to ceremonies and Catherine says “I offer a bespoke music service that is tailored specifically to each couple and their wedding. Whether it is in a church, a hotel, a registry office or another wedding venue I am able to sing at various times from the bride’s entrance through to the signing of the register and the bride and groom’s exit or even as a stand alone solo piece”.

Take a look at the video of Catherine in action.

Although based in Surrey Catherine does cover all of the south-east including Kent and is currently offering our blog readers an amazing 15% off any booking. Click here for more information and pricing.

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If you managed to get your tongue around that blog title you’re probably already in need of a stiff drink. So read this, do a taste test and you’ll soon have one less wedding planning option to worry about….or a hangover….

1. Bubbles: If you are serving Champagne make sure it’s a decent one and that everyone gets to see the bottles, otherwise frankly it’s a bit of waste of your hard earned cash. If Moet isn’t an option try an alternative instead. Prosecco can outshine cheap Champagnes and we sourced a fantastic one through James Rogers & Sons Wine Merchants in Wadhurst High Street, which we need no excuse to roll out at every occasion. Just finished a blog post don’t mind if we do…..

2. OOOh lets get fruity: Adding a raspberry or strawberry to a glass of something sparkling really gives it a lift and adds a twist to an old classic or you can try adding a fruit cordial for a bigger punch.

champers

3. Summer classics like Pimms are always on budget which is why it’s such a popular wedding drink. Just don’t water it down with too much lemonade and leave out half the fruit otherwise they look a bit miserable and are flat on the tastebuds. The only thing is though that one is never enough so make sure you double up the servings and have an alternative drink, such as bottled beer, available for guests who ‘don’t do’ Pimms.

4. Water is one of life’s necessities so give your guests a treat and liven it up. Water should always be on hand at any event and in plentiful supply especially on hot days and when guests are standing around for any length of time. Try adding some cucumber ribbons, mint or lemons to jugs of water along with lashings of ice. Sparkling water is also great for guests who don’t drink alcohol. Leave Sparkling water bottles on the water table and include some cordials including Elderflower and Ginger & Lemon or mix them in large glass containers and let guests help themselves.

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5. A Signature Cocktail is a perfect way to bring out your wedding personality. Mixology Events in London run cocktail masterclasses where you can learn to create your own cocktails in a fun environment, plus you get to drink what you make. Go with a group of hens and stags and get your wedding cocktail off to a flying start!

6. When picking wine to go with a meal keep it simple. One white wine (either a Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc) and one Red (our choice would be Pinot Noir). At this point it’s well worth checking if your venue charges corkage as this may be the difference between sourcing your own wine or going with their options.

Poppy & Pearl Co

Poppy & Pearl Co

7. Never EVER serve drinks in plastic cups. Even if they’re the ‘posh’ variety. Not only do they feel cheap they also take away from the taste of the drinks and what they are served in make such a difference. Most supermarkets do free glass hire or for a really cheap and DIY alternative collect small jam jars to use as water glasses and add paper drinking straws.

8. Go local: If you’re sourcing your own alcohol try independent wine merchants and local brewery’s first. They are super knowledgable about the best option for you as well as being experts in local produce and will be able to save you the cost and stress of hopping over to France to get a duty free run of rough vino.

Today we’re welcoming to the blog our new sponsors the Rocksters whose dance floor fillers will get your wedding party jumping to the max.

From sounds of the 60’s right through to the present day the band’s 5 strong team will crack out fantastic tune after fantastic tune in their lively style for your wedding guests to dance and go wild too. We spoke to band manager, Dov, who gave us the low down on what you can expect, she says “the band normally plays two, one hour sets which gives you plenty of live entertainment throughout the evening. We are flexible and can fit around your running order of the day but generally we usually start the first set around 8:30pm and space the live sets out to end at 12am.”

If you’ve got any budding singers in your wedding party then Dov says “we’re often asked if it’s ok for a guest appearance on stage, or use of equipment for speeches which is fine with us. We’ll just need a bit of prior notice so we can work this into any set and we know what we might be singing and who with! There’s also no need to book an additional DJ, as the band can play iPod music through the PA during breaks in the live music.”

The band not only cover Kent but also Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, Essex and London. Check out their full list of songs and demos here and start planning your evening entertainment that will be the envy of all!

rocksters8 rocksters2 rocksters9 rocksters6 rocksters1 rocksters3 rocksters7 rocksters5

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If you’re big into Vintage Weddings and want to make a real statement on your wedding day make like a Royal and organise your own fly-past.

royal wedding flypast the_wedding_dolls getty_images

royal wedding flypast @getty

The team over at Kent Spitfire have a Spitfire IXe TA805 based at the historic former RAF Battle of Britain fighter station, Biggin Hill, that can be hired for weddings and events. The fly-past will give your guests a chance to experience the Spitfire’s iconic shape and unmistakeable noise made so famous above the Kent countryside. What a perfect way to bring back all the memories and emotions of the wartime era to add to your wedding day theme.

Team it with a 1940’s singer, roll out the bunting, wave those Union Jacks and be ready to shout “chocs away” vintage lovers!

What we love about weddings in Kent are the masses of fantastic entertainers which can fit in with just about any wedding style you can think of. Choosing your band though can be a daunting and difficult task for any Bride and Groom. But we’ve got a great solution! If you need a night out to chase away those January blues and want to sample Kent’s homegrown talent the following two acts are gigging in and around the county over the next month or two.

The first on our list is The Reyes, a modern 4 piece band covering songs such as Kasabian, Kings of Leon, The Killers, Stereophonics, Foo Fighters and Oasis to name just a few, as well as mastering classic bands like Led Zeppelin, The Kinks, The Beatles and many more.

Vocalist, Huw Whitethread, tells us “the band started up in 2005. We’re four best friends who all have a real passion for music and performing live, which really comes across when we play together – our performances are tight, lively, energetic and fun!”

Their standard fee for a Kent wedding set starts at £1,000 but are currently offering Wedding Dolls readers an exclusive 20% discount if you book them for your wedding before the end of March 2013. Make sure you quote “The Wedding Dolls” when you enquire.

Check out their gig list for dates and venues near you.

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Next up is Fred Clark, a young Kent musician who over the last four years has played over 300 gigs and released four self-produced albums.

Fred tells us “I have played a variety of pubs, clubs, theatres, churches, birthday parties, corporate functions and weddings. I have a large repertoire of both original music and covers to suit all tastes, but I’m also more than happy to learn new material for each specific performance.”

Fred Clark Promo Pic

Fred’s acoustic style is great for keeping guests relaxed as they arrive, or whilst they have a few drinks after the ceremony, as well as backing music for the wedding breakfast. Check out Fred’s list of gigs in Kent over the coming months.

So as you head out in the name of research there’s a few things to remember! Whether it’s background music to a full on band, don’t forget to think about your wedding style and the type of image and feel you want to create. Do you want a loud rock band to get everyone going in the evening or a singer to start you off with a DJ to carry on the party? Also think about how much space you’ve got in your venue and set up and dismantle times. Work this into your timing schedule and make sure you can do a full band justice or don’t drown out a wedding singer with other types of entertainment going on at the same time.

But most of all enjoy your gig research and have a drink (or two) for us!

 

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To round off this week’s wedding discount days we’re all about entertainment with DJ Terry Lewis. Terry’s natural habitat is over in Essex but this larger than life DJ also covers London and Kent so he can bring you his award winning DJing style and all at a 5% discount for Wedding Dolls readers.

We asked Terry what type of music he plays and he told us “its a question I often get asked and my answer is always the same – it totally depends on the music you and your guests love to enjoy because we all have our favourite hits don’t we? All you have to do is tell me the songs you love most, then leave your wedding entertainment to me.”

Check out the video below where the man himself can tell you more or visit his website for further info.

 

 

 

 

 

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Back in October, me and a group of my best mates did our traditional girlie weekend away. We’d done hotels and spas to death and fancied something a bit different (and closer to home) so we opted for renting a house in Whitstable. A house was the perfect choice as we all got to sit around and relax without having to share our space with the rest of the hotel lobby plus it was a stones throw from a great selection of bars and restaurants. It was a brilliant weekend away with lots of laughs, lots of relaxing and our own fridge full of pink bubbles. It doesn’t get much better than that!

If you’re looking for a perfect girlie weekend away in the run up to your wedding take a look at Mulberry Cottages who have a fantastic selection of self-catering cottages in Kent and Sussex. There’s brilliant locations in town centres and costal resorts, or opt for the relaxing views of the countryside for a complete getaway.

There’s cottage complexes which are perfect for larger groups (and even small wedding receptions) sleeping up to around 30 guests including your own swimming pool for the ultimate in a luxurious weekend.

Plus once you’ve found your perfect girly getaway cottage Mulberry Cottages can even offer you 10% off beauty treatments! Visit their website to find out more and don’t forget the champers!

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Choosing your wedding band can often become one of those wedding jobs that doesn’t get the time it deserves but you can change all that by making your very own. We met Laila Smith during the summer and really loved her unique workshops where you can make your very own Wedding Rings.

Laila is a trained jewellery tutor with over 13 years teaching experience and runs her workshops from a professional fully equipped jewellery studio in Hove, West Sussex. At the workshops you spend the day with her crafting beautiful wedding bands to your chosen design giving you a very special reminder of your wedding day that will last forever.

After attending a workshop, Louise and Rob said “We are so pleased we decided to make our own rings and we had such a fun, interesting and productive time at the workshop. The rings are now part of our wedding story.”

Tamsyn (with her husband to be Pete) also did a wedding ring workshop and said “we love that our rings are unique and it adds something extra special to the experience of getting married. I am now so addicted to making jewellery that I am going to weekly lessons with Laila, making all the presents for the bridesmaids too!

If you fancy finding out more about the workshops visit her website and blog which has loads of great information.

 

Last week we were searching for some alternatives to DJ’s for a small hotel wedding. Large scale entertainment wasn’t really needed but our bride and groom still wanted to dance to some chosen tunes late into the evening with their guests.

Josh Spencer Photography

Wedbeat is the perfect solution that gives you hours of music without all the hassle. You simply pick the tunes you definitely want and the type of genre and Wedbeat will create a CD playlist for you. It’s also a brilliant reminder of your wedding that you can play again and again. Visit their website for more details and get ready to partayyy!

Wedding Image by Josh Spencer Photography

 

 

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If you’re looking to add a bit of class and sophistication to your wedding ceremony then we love harpist Victoria Longhurst. Her classic sound is so beautiful and we loved listening to her at a recent event.

We always have harp music on our shortlist for a civic ceremony as it really adds a sense of occasion and  can work beautifully on terraces and in outside areas – perfect for a Kent Country Garden wedding.

The very lovely Victoria will make sure you have exactly what you want on your wedding day and can send you a repertoire list and demo CD with music choices. Prices start from £300 so visit her website for more information.