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Today we have a fabulous new business to showcase on the blog from a brilliant Kent supplier. Amanda, the designer and creator of Brooch Bride, is originally a northern lass from Newcastle but has been in Kent for nearly 10 years. Amanda started out as a florist and was in the trade for over 2o years until she launched her new business creating bridal bouquets and accessories completely from buttons and brooches.

Lets find out a little bit more from Amanda…..

“Each Brooch bouquet I make is entirely unique and very much a one off, no two pieces will ever be completely the same. I handcraft the brooch bouquets as a reflection of each Bride. From gothic and dark to colourful or sparkly, the intricacy within the brooch bouquets uses amazing detail taken from the wedding theme itself or simply whatever the Bride loves.

I’m really passionate about my designs and love the fact that a brooch bouquet could become a treasured family heirloom, passed down through generations to use time and time again. Brides can incorporate their own jewellery and family stories as well into the design. From using a loved ones photograph in a locket to adding silver buttons from a cherished coat – it’s so fulfilling to create something that is completely bespoke and highly original.”

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See Amanda’s designs first hand at the Vintage and Unique Wedding Fair at Scotney Castle in September or visit the website to see the full range and order online. Amanda is offering all Wedding Dolls readers an exclusive 10% discount when you pay the deposit before December 2013. Just quote “The Wedding Dolls” when ordering.

Happy Shopping!

Emma x

Photography by Penny Young.

We’re really excited as we’ll be doing our Wedding Worries Workshops for as many couples as we possibly can at the Wedding Fair, Bluewater this September (20th to 22nd September 2013).

If you’re planning a wedding chances are you’re feeling the pressure to make your day stand out from the crowd and bring all your plans together within budget. Not an easy task, so at the fair you’ll get the chance to chat with us about how to make planning your big day that little bit easier. From queries about choosing suppliers, making the most of your budget, finding your wedding style to bringing an individual personality to your day, we’ll do all we can to find an answer that works for you.

If you’re stressing about something, however big or small, you can have a free one-to-one session with us at our stand where we’ll chat through your plans with you and try to banish those wedding worries!

We love the Wedding Fair at Bluewater as it brings together so many suppliers in one place giving you the chance to find inspiration and ideas for everything wedding related. It’s all there from cars to cakes, dresses to drapery, favours to photographers, bridal accessories to bands, styling, catering, venues and much more.

The catwalk show which runs at different times during the day is fantastic for seeing different styles close up, as dresses never seem to look the same in the flesh as they do in the magazines. You can also try on most of the catwalk dresses plus Bridesmaids and Grooms can also get in on “wedding dress up” fun as there’s a whole range of wedding wear available.

We’ll also be running a special wedding competition and have discounts available for our full planning workshops so make sure you come over and say hello!

Happy Planning

Emma x

Catwalk Images by: Louise Bjor­ling from the Bluewater Wedding Fair Spring Show

Today is the third part of our Dream Job series and we’re meeting Tracey aka Mrs Bouquet who loves all things flowers and floristry. Here’s the green fingered lady to tell us more…..

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How did you become a Wedding Florist?

After working in London for 17 years, my kids arrived and I wanted a job I could fit around them. I always loved working in the garden and had one of those ‘light bulb’ moments! I enrolled in Hadlow College, which was amazing – it’s full of great teachers with great energy, knowledge and a passion for the craft. After four years of training I was ready to start out myself.

What’s your floristry style?

As a keen gardener I’m always inspired by garden flowers. The UK is fantastic for flowers as we have the changing seasons. My style is influenced by these factors and has an English Country Vintage vibe. I really love to push the boundries with flowers and colour to create beautiful bouquets and displays.

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What makes a good florist?

Passion, creativity and colour confidence! You also need to be organised and work well under pressure. And don’t be scared to do something different – you usually produce your best work when you’re taken out of your comfort zone!

What’s the best and worst part of your job?

The best part is working with my clients to produce bespoke designs for them. I find the whole process really exciting, from the first consultation to the Wedding Day, it’s great to look back and see how everything has come together. I also love giving the Bride her bouquet – it’s that mix of being nervous and excited at the same time. The worst part is working in freezing conditions! Your workshop has to be cold so the flowers are kept at their optimum condition, but it does mean you end up pretty cold yourself!

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What’s the three things most couple’s ask first?

Usually what flowers are available around their Wedding Day. I always make lots of recommendations on availability and then go through what they like and what they don’t like. The next is about visualising their flowers. It can be difficult to imagine what your flowers will look like on your Wedding Day so generally I create a mood board for my couples. The next is Colour. Most Brides pick just two colours but three can work so much better.

Top tips for making the “Big Day” run smoothly?

Remember to be flexible with flower choices and go with what’s in season as they are generally the best option and better value for money. Flowers are a natural product and not always available when needed so have an alternative option ready. Also don’t drive yourself nuts trying to get exact colour matches! The more shades you have the more natural and better it will look!

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What would be your advice to aspiring florists?

The hardest part of running a business is getting yourself out there. Keep networking, go to Wedding Fairs and ‘show off’ your work. You’ll start to be recommended and your business will take off. Be patient, it will happen! I can’t remember how many times I wanted to give it all up but I’m so glad I didn’t as I love what I do.

What’s been your best moment as a wedding Florist?

It’s always when I give a Bride her bouquet and they are so happy they burst into tears. It happens a lot and I usually end up crying too!

 

Thanks to Mrs B for answering all our questions and if you want to know more pop over and say hello – she’ll be pleased to see you!

Emma x

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Flowers

Today on the blog we are meeting the very talented floral designer, Joanne Truby. Joanne is based in Bromley and covers Kent, Essex, Surrey and central London. Specialising in creating beautiful and unique arrangements for weddings and events she works with you throughout the whole design process starting with a free consultation to help discover your own wedding style. We asked Joanne about her designs and how she works with her couples. Lets find out more…

How do you make sure that your Wedding Couples personality is reflected in the flower design?

“I tend to find out a bit about my couples when I meet them for their wedding consultation. Including the type of wedding day they want to have, if they have a particular favourite colour, what they like to do in their spare time and what their likes and dislikes are and if they have a particular theme they want to incorporate into their big day. This then helps me to create designs that I feel will work perfectly for them.”

How do you work with the Bride & Groom to choose colour palettes and the style of flowers?

“I ask Brides to bring along to their consultation any pictures they have where they really like either the colour, the style or even just the mood that it creates or simply inspires them in some way. This is a good starting point to build on. I also ask for a picture of the Wedding Party’s outfits so we can choose a colour combination that will work well with what everyone is wearing. We also do a little scrapbook session where we pick out together favourite images from my floristry books and magazines – this a great exercise particularly for Brides who are a little unsure. It usually highlights a particular style or colour that they love. I always like to tie the flowers into any wedding theme. For example one wedding this year has seaside elements so I have designed centre pieces with ribbon that has a quirky nautical look.”

Some Brides select flowers for their deeper meanings – do you have a favourite?

“Ooh there are so many beautiful flowers it’s really hard just to pick one! I do love all the romantic flowers such as ranunculus, peonies, hydrangeas and of course sweet peas. Although my current favourite is Clematis! I also adore flowers that have a wonderful scent. For me the aroma and smell of fresh flowers is one of the best things about my job.”

How much do the seasons impact on the flowers you can choose for a wedding?

“The seasons have a big impact for sourcing particular flowers. Peonies are very popular and Brides are sometimes disappointed when they are not available but I am a firm believer in only using seasonal flowers. I think it makes you appreciate the flowers and enjoy them that much more when they are in season – if only for a short while! I also buy British flowers where possible and this it totally based around the seasonal calender. It’s great though as when the seasons change you know you have lots of lovely new flowers to look forward to.”

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Thanks to Joanne for sharing her design skills and this beautiful wedding with us.

Has the post inspired you? What flowers do you want for your wedding?

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Photography Credit: Fiona Kelly

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Today we have a discount offer for you from the fantastic Florist in the Forest. Katherine Craft is offering 10% off all bookings for weddings taking place in October and November 2013. Already booked up for the summer you’ll need to be quick if you want her for your wedding.

To receive the discount just book before the end of February 2013 and there’s a minimum spend of £300. Here is just a selection of some of Katherine’s fabulous work but you can find out more by checking out our previous blog post.

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Today on the blog Amanda from Distinctly Floral talks us through Olivia and Carl’s Kent Country Wedding. Over to you Amanda!

“When we first met Olivia, we were a little intimidated by how cool, trendy and stylish she was, plus as a designer herself we hoped we’d fit the bill. Olivia and Carl are two of the nicest people and so easy to work with – we had a whale of a time! Their style was relaxed, natural, pretty, romantic and with a strong vintage feel.”

“Their wedding ceremony and reception was in the heart of Kent so we had to give the flowers a distinctly English feel. Nettlestead Church is a stunning intimate old 13th century church so we didn’t want to overdress is. We chose soft tied bunches of flowers for the pews, a single pedestal arrangement at the front of the church and a large terracotta pot arrangement for the window nook in the Entrance Porch. We also put a lovely soft arched arrangement on the lych gate. Carl and Olivia did their handmade confetti in bushel boxes – we think owning a garden centre helped them a little!

Olivia’s bouquet was a gorgeous textured and scented hand-tied bouquet designed to look quite “spriggy” and “just-picked”. It included a range of different roses, hydrangeas, freesias, bouvardia, mint and eucalyptus. It worked perfectly with her dress and didn’t overwhelm her petite frame. We finished the look off with a vintage crocheted doily.

Olivia’s bridesmaids had smaller hand-tied bouquets again with a natural feel to them. We decided on a small posy for her Flower Girl with a simple lace wrist loop to help her carry it.”

“Olivia knew she wanted her marquee reception to have impact with a “chill-out zone” in a separate marquee “room”. She sourced all the furniture herself (with lots of late night driving by Carl to collect her “finds”) and it looked amazing – we were then let loose to dress it with flowers. For the reception tables, we alternated between candelabra with a range of vases at the base and mixed selections of jugs, birdcages, vases, pots, teapots, china etc. A very eclectic vintage look, filled with gorgeous soft flowers and all draped with lace and pearls. We then added hydrangea florets and rosebuds to the tables to finish the look.”

“We even managed to dress the Indonesian Betjak (which belonged to Olivia’s parents) with sprays of flowers and added flowers to the cake, the bar and the tables. Basically if it didn’t move, we dressed it with flowers! We also provided the birdcage post box – all dressed with flowers of course!”

“Olivia and Carl provided the finishing touches with throws to keep knees warm, flip flops for tired feet and little Black Forest cakes for late night munchies….what a wedding!”

Thanks so much to Olivia and Carl for allowing us to feature their wedding and Amanda for doing such a fantastic job of talking us through the day.

Floristry & Images by Distinctly Floral 

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Decor, Flowers, Wedding Theme

We know that some Brides love a bit of DIY when it comes to their wedding and if you fancy picking your own flowers and having a little go at arranging them yourself then this week’s Fantastic Find, will be just for you.

Jen and Bek, owners of Blooming Green, work their flower magic over in Linton, near Maidstone, specialising in producing organically field-grown cut flowers. If you go for a visit they promise you can “run wild in an acre of flowers and fill your buckets as full as you like.”  If you do need a little help along the way they run courses to show you how to make bouquets, buttonholes and table arrangements.

If, like me though, you love the idea of Kentish flowers but are missing even a hint of green fingeredness then the ladies offer a full wedding service. Jen tells us “
We provide everything from your bouquet, buttonholes, table decorations to flowers for the church. Because we only use our fantastic Kentish flowers and are not using a global flower supply we can’t promise specific flowers, however, we do guarantee that they will be gorgeous and will be freshly picked. We can of course work to a general colour scheme.”

The cutting garden will be open again in April 2013 but if you need a trial run then they are holding Christmas workshops so check out their website for more info.

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Bek and Jen, Blooming Green

 

 

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Decor, Flowers

Want something in common with Victoria Beckham and Jennifer Lopez’s wedding day? Well now you can, as celeb bridal designer, Vera Wang brings her unique designer style to Kent this month through beautifully designed wedding flowers.

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Katie Jane in Paddock Wood, is only one of a few Interflora florists across the UK to offer this bespoke designer service. Owner, Valerie Wiltshire told us “I feel very privileged to be able to offer this exquisite brand from my shop as Vera Wang represents a top of the range label that is recognised across the world.”

There’s three distinct looks created by the iconic designer, including Modern, Traditional and Romantic. Some of the new designs have been created by the designer herself, about which she said, “having experienced weddings from both a personal and professional perspective, I can truthfully say that no one is more dedicated to brides than I am.”

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The Vera Wang Wedding Collection is also available to view at the Interflora Inspiration Gallery or pop down and see the team at Katie Jane for more info.

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Flowers

Peter and Lydia were married in August 2012, taking them a relatively short eight months to plan this gorgeous wedding. Here Lydia tells us how she did it along with all the rest of the fabulous wedding details! Lydia says “I did the majority of the planning, with Peter helping me make decisions and willing to help when I delegated him tasks! My mother was also a massive help with organising the reception.

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groom and best man waiting at church

Our reception for just over 200 guests was held at Provender House, Faversham. As we planned the wedding in such a short space of time there were limited venues available but my mother’s friend knew Princess Olga Romanoff who lives in the house, which had been restored by English Heritage. I had originally wanted a stately home but it was too expensive, so having the reception in a marquee at Provender was amazing – it combined the elegant and traditional house with an easy and modern marquee that we were able to decorate as we wanted.”

Lydia goes on to tell us about her gorgeous gown “I tried on SO many dresses and loved 90% of them. I was being really indecisive but my dress stuck with me and I thought it was more stunning than the others. I took one of my bridesmaids with me to try it on again and she convinced me to go for it, despite the price tag! As Peter is a foot taller than me I wanted high heels as well as a bit of bling as my dress was very plain, so I chose some sparkly heels by Karen Millen. I borrowed Peter’s mother’s diamond studs, which she was given on her 18th birthday and also wore a thin bracelet with pearls and a lace edged chapel length veil and I had small pearl hair pins from Accessorize.”

 

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Lydia tells us more about how they choose the details of their wedding, she says “Both of us wanted a traditional English wedding, with a few influences from Singapore, where I grew up. We didn’t have a theme at the outset but our light pinky/nude and butterflies theme just sort of happened and was a lovely mix of vintage and modern. I had a birdcage from the venue which I pegged individual table plans too. We had butterfly place cards from Cuttopia that had L & P on one wing and hand wrote our guests names on the other, which sat on everyone’s wine glass. We had our order of service and invitations printed in Singapore.  I used lots of Orchids as they are the national flower of Singapore so I could have a touch of home on the day! They didn’t last long in the heat but they were absolutely beautiful.

We were lucky to have our family and friends help out. Peter’s incredibly talented younger sister made our cake, it was four tiers of fruitcake, red velvet, vanilla sponge and chocolate and our first dance song, ‘Lucky’ by Jason Mraz, was sung by Peter’s friend Ali Americanos.”

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Lydia found their photographer, Samantha Jones, online and loved her photos. She says “When we met her in person and found her so friendly and enthusiastic we knew she would be perfect.”

 

Lydia’s final bit of advice for brides to be is “Don’t feel pressured into making all your decisions straight away. Try and listen to your family and friends without compromising what you want. DON’T be a diva because no matter what happens, it will be the best day of your life, regardless of all the little things. I loved our wedding. It was a great balance between a beautiful, serious and emotional ceremony that focused on our religious beliefs and love for each other, alongside a fun, relaxed reception where everyone let loose and danced the night away! It also reflected how much as a couple we put into our relationships with other people, it was amazing to have so many of our family and friends there on our wedding day.”

Thanks to Lydia and Peter for sharing their day with us. x

 

Wedding Details:

Dress: Suzanne Neville

Veil: Viva Bridal

Groom Outfit: Dress2kill

Bridesmaids: Fever Designs

Flowergirls: Monsoon

Flowers: Graham Greener

Food: Blackbird Catering

Piano and Double Bass: Frances Knight

DJ: Party Plannerz

Favours & Centrepieces: Homemade

Photographer: Samantha Jones

 

Image Credit: With thanks to Samantha Jones

 

When you’re on a budget there’s nothing like a bit of doubling up to save some a few pounds. That’s why we’ve been paying close attention to the new trend of cupcake centrepieces. Not only do they look pretty whilst dinner is served but then come apart to give your guests their dessert. We’ve seen plenty of them come out of the States but are still yet to be convinced. I’m not sure I would make it to dinner if these were in front of me and they’d never last on the kids table! Plus we’ve yet to find a supplier here in Kent that does them.

But if you do fancy an edible centrepiece then there’s some great inspiration to be had from sweet table suppliers such as these centrepieces made from lollipops. Great for a circus or carnival theme!

www.weddingbee.com

A firm favourite though are these lovely mini strawberry plants in a jar. Really pretty for a summer Kent garden theme.

www.budgetbridesguide.com

If you’re thinking of having edible wedding centrepieces or have tried and tested them let us know!

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