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Last Sunday we held one of our DIY wedding workshops at the fabulous Bake and Crafthouse in Cranbrook. Crafting expert Kate took our workshop attendees through their paces setting them to work on bunting, stationery, place cards, pom poms, favours and table settings.

Here is just a little taster of what we did on the day. You can also get instructions on making the cute favour bags and edible favours by clicking the links.

diy workshop

 

All our Brides-to-be and their Mums and chums had a great time and we absolutely loved having them. I helped the Brides with some advice on how to plan the perfect DIY wedding with our insider hints and tips. Here’s are our top three DIY tips that we talked about more at the workshop:

1. Be warned DIY doesn’t always mean cheap

As much as I love DIYing I do sometimes have to admit defeat and realise that actually I can’t make it any cheaper than buying it in from a professional – especially not when I add my limited time into the equation. Suppliers can buy in bulk, have all the right equipment and can do a professional looking job. Hobbycraft and your old glue gun sometimes just won’t measure up and it’ll cost you more in the long run.

2. The Clock is Ticking

You’ll need lots of time and energy if you’re making everything from scratch. Do a reality time check. If you work 12 hours a day, 5 days a week then things might get a tad stressful for a novice DIYer especially in the run up to the big day. If you don’t think you can fit it in think about getting help and plan accordingly.

3. Fail to Plan Plan to Fail

Now even if you have managed to get everything done on your DIY schedule do think about the big day itself and how much setting up will be needed. If you have lots of DIY elements from bunting to pom poms or table settings, photo booths and sweet tables you’ll need to schedule in how you are going to get it all to the wedding venue and how long you’ll need to set it up. Check with your venue when you can get in to start your decor and when you’ll need to clear them all out by. Plan accordingly and make sure you have enough pairs of hands to get everything done in the time allowed.

If you would like to go on the waiting list for our workshops in early 2014 then please email hello@theweddingdolls.co.uk and we’ll be sure to let you know the exact dates very soon.

If in the meantime you need any help or advice with your DIY wedding, styling or how to go about setting up on the big day do give us  a call – we love to chat DIY weddings!

Happy Planning!

Emma x

P.S Kate at the Bake and Crafthouse does fantastic craft hen parties – get those hens to help!!

As we all celebrate the birth of a Royal baby boy, The Wedding Dolls are very proud to announce their very own new arrival. We have teamed up with the Bake and Crafthouse in Cranbrook to bring you DIY Wedding Workshops.

At these very special workshops you will be able to find out how to plan a fabulous DIY wedding. Perfect if you have a dry hire venue or are about to get all creative and make lots of your own wedding pretty. We’ll be there as usual to guide you through the DIY planning process with lots of hints and tips to help you create a handmade wedding, without all the stress!

Craft expert Kate from the Bake and Crafthouse who will be on hand to get you down and dirty with fabulous DIY ideas including stationery, favours and gifts, plus brilliant finishing decorative touches to really make your venue sparkle. You’ll get the chance to get stuck in and have a go and leave for home ready to get creative with oodles of confidence!

Dolly DIY Workshops Cranbrook

Only limited dates are available so click here now for more info.

Happy Crafting!

Emma x

Ps You can see just some of Kate’s handy work here with her post on three very cute DIY wedding favour bags.

For all you DIY wedding fans out there, we have a special treat for you today. The super talented and creative Kate from the Bake and Crafthouse in Cranbrook, has been working up some of her special crafty magic for us and is sharing with you three ways to make these super cute wedding favour bags.

Drawstring Fabric Favour Bags

1. Make a paper template adding 1cm extra on to three sides and 2cm extra added on the top edge for seam allowance.
2. Fold down the 2cm at the top and stitch on place 1cm from the edge to create a tunnel (this is for the string).
3. Fold in half inside out and stitch down the two open sides 1cm from the edge to create a pouch.
4. Trim away the excess fabric in the corner and turn the right way out.
5. Attach a safety pin to the end of a piece of string and thread it all the way through the tunnel from one side to the other.
6. Thread on a bead for decoration and tie the ends of the string to finish.

Fabric Drawstring Bags 1

Fabric Drawstring Bags

Paper Favour Bags

You can use any type of paper for these simple favour bags. I have used some lovely gardening pages from old magazines, but you can use anything you like from wrapping paper to comic books. They are perfect for a handful of sweet treats. You can play around with the sizes and just adjust your rectangles to make the perfect size. Making a template is a good idea if you have lots to do.

1. Make your template (if required) and cut out a rectangle of your chosen paper.
2. Fold in from both long sides so the paper overlaps in the middle by about 1-2cm.
3. Glue or use double-sided tape to secure this opening closed.
4. Stitch along one end, 1cm from the edge.
5. Fill with your chosen favour and stitch the top closed at a 90 degree angle to the first line of stitching. At this point you can include a little paper name tag like the ones shown.

Paper Favour Packets

Square Stitched Favour Bags

1. Cut squares of patterned paper using pinking shears (I used a square 12X12cm) and squares of greaseproof paper or cellophane slightly smaller (I used 10X10cm).
2. Place the greaseproof paper on top of the patterned paper and stitch around three of the sides.
3. Fill with your edible favours, chocolate drops, biscuits or sugared almonds.
4. Sew up the fourth side and add a message or name tag if you like.

Square Favour Packets

Thanks so much to Kate for sharing her fab ideas with us and she’ll be back soon with her next Dolly DIY Wedding post when she’ll be showing us fabulous ideas for edible favours. In the meantime if you fancy a crafty hen do with Kate at her gorgeous Cranbrook studio find out more here.

Happy Planning!

Emma  x

Sometimes getting a group of girls together and just chilling out means a lot more laughs and much less stress. Spa to You is a great way to get pampered and preened in the comfort of your own home with fabulous spa treatments for all the girls.

Lauren Tucker, owner and therapist tells us “Luxury manicures, pedicures, spray tanning, facials and massage are definitely the most popular options for a hen pamper party. We also offer a great Bride-To-Be package so there’s lots of choice for everyone.

 

Head massage

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Wedding Dolls readers can get a special offer if booking before the end of June where the Bride will receive either a free 30 minute facial or a spray tan when four or more hens attend a party and have a spray tan too! 

See full details of all the packages at www.spatoyou.co.uk where you can also see brilliant feedback about the service.

Happy Hen Planning!

wedding planner Kent

It always happens. You’ve got the Wedding of the Year to go to and absolutely NOTHING to wear. Kitting yourself out for weddings can cost a small fortune but we’ve found a way to bag a head turning designer dress at a snip of the normal price.

Wish Want Wear are an online designer dress hire company where you can get the likes of Missoni, Temperley, Sass & Bide and Chanel  for bargain prices. Simply order the dress you want, select your size (plus a free alternative) and then they’ll post it to you. Wear, receive loads of compliments and then post it back. What’s not to love.

We’ve got a special offer of 15% off for our lovely blog readers until the end of June. Simply use the voucher code WEDDOLLS15 at the checkout.

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Happy Shopping!

wedding planner Kent

 

 

 

P.S Don’t forget to let us know which one you wore!

If you’re an outdoorsy type that still loves your home comforts then this hen do is for you. The Original Hut Company and Pure Flavour Catering have teamed up to offer a perfect venue for a bit of adventure, and definitely some giggles, with a gang of your best hens.

The Original Hut Company runs a beautiful farm in the village of Bodiam, East Sussex, with gorgeous little unique huts where you can all stay and sleep under the stars. The huts are easily adapted from day to night with a day bed at one end, which easily converts to become bunk beds and the dining table at the other end folds down to make a double bed. There’s no need not to wash for the weekend either as you’ll find a hut with two loos, basins and piping hot showers. All huts are fully equipped with linen, outside furniture and have their own fire pit for cooking.

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If you’re unable to cook little more than a tin of beans without the aid of a microwave or simply don’t fancy doing your own cooking, then this is where Pure Flavour comes in. The very lovely chef, Emma Howitt, will arrange with you perfect meals for the weekend with a host of scrumptious home-made cooking and local produce on offer. Hampers are also available for arrival and during the weekend so you can eat like Camping Queens.

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The farm is just a stones throw from loads of activities, including Go Ape at Bedgebury and a host of local pubs within walking distance if you want to burn off some of that gorgeous food, or just make room for another Vodka & Coke.

Super friendly, Anna, at The Original Hut Company will be there to help you with any questions you have, all that’s left to decide now is who gets the top bunk!

Are you doing something different for your hen do? We’d love to hear about it.

Happy Hen Planning,

wedding planner Kent

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Hen Parties

Last week I went down to sample the workshops at Bake & Crafthouse with the lovely owner and fabulous crafter, Kate Alsanjak. After years working in fashion and design Kate has set up a crafters paradise in the village of Cranbrook, with a beautiful workshop kitted out with everything you’d need to make … well just about anything!

Ideal for hen parties, all age groups are welcome and Kate will arrange a bespoke craft experience for you. This group of happy hens made cupcakes in the morning advancing onto a bit of sewing in the afternoon making some very stylish knickers. All very easy and great fun!

The Bottlers 2 Cupcake Decorating Cutting out the knickers Pop Up Cafe

 

Perfect for all Brides with a creative streak to hone their skills, Kate is a master in guiding you through, whether it’s making your own table place names to bespoke invitations, or favours and much more.

Watch out for Kate on the blog over the coming weeks as she’ll be posting some DIY masterclasses for you all to try at home and introducing new ideas for Brides who are itching to plan a handmade wedding.

Happy Planning!

wedding planner Kent

 

vintage the-wedding-dolls

On Thursday I headed down to Brighton to the launch party of the gorgeous Doily Days Wedding Magazine. The vintage inspired do was filled with fabulous music, singers and decor, but what really made the theme was the AMAZING hair and make-up.

If you’re having a vintage wedding or fancy a retro hen do, Ingrid and Lynda, the lovely ladies behind, Vintage Inspired Makeovers, are offering hair and make-up sessions finishing off with a fabulous photoshoot, that is guaranteed to get the party started old school style.

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So if you and your hens want to hit the Lanes of Brighton looking like Dita Von Teese, more details are just one, not very vintage, click away!

Happy Planning!

signature emma

 

 

 

 

 

Images by: Vintage Inspired Makeovers

Lot’s of brides really want to lose a few pounds before their wedding and if you’re going to stress about it then you might as well do something about it. At the Wedding Dolls every time we talk about the losing weight issue we never finish the conversation as one of us has usually left for the sweet shop but now we’ve found an answer that might actually be quite fun!

A class that is challenging but accessible to all fitness levels, rewarding and gives enormous satisfaction, helps align your whole body and decompress your spine, effective exercise for the mind and body……and wait for it MAKES YOU SMILE. It can’t be true I hear you cry but apparently is it and you’ll be doing it upside down – did I mention that?

 

Anti Gravity Yoga is a fitness regime designed to increase your overall health and physical agility whilst having fun swinging about in an AntiGravity Hammock. The technique was originally created by gymnasts but by adding elements of dance, pilates and calisthenics, AntiGravity has created a complete workout to get you in shape, all without having to get your trainers dirty. I just hope my bra is up to the challenge.

Find a class in Kent with Heavenly Fitness. If you’ve tried anything interesting in the pursuit of a smaller size wedding dress then we’d love to hear about it!

What a night! If you are after a hen do like no other then head on over to Proud Cabaret. After hearing so much about it on the wedding circuit we couldn’t wait to try it out for ourselves! We went to Proud City but there are also venues in Brighton and Camden.

 

If you want to dress up and go all our glam then this is THE venue to do it in. Styled as a 1920s speakeasy the interior is all plush and purple with feathers and mirrors everywhere! When you arrive you go way way underground and it definitely feels like you just stepped back in time. Girls dressed up in full burlesque outfits and gorgeous bartenders serve you drinks and cocktails whilst you enjoy the full on entertainment, including jazz and the fantastic burlesque stage show – it was just stunning!

 

Their menu offers a great range of  classic dishes with a fabulous wine and cocktail list which kept all the hens more than happy. After the stage show the entertainment just kept on coming with DJ’s and live bands to carry on the dancing.

 

If you still haven’t found your wedding venue then this might be just the place to check out for a wedding with a difference. Proud are fully licensed to hold weddings, civil ceremonies and receptions and Proud2 can entertain up to 300 for dinner and 1,000 for a drinks reception. There’s an outside terrace with views over the docklands and you can even colour co-ordinate the lighting to your own theme.  This would definitely be a wedding with all the period drama you need!

We couldn’t recommend it more highly for an absolutely fabulous evening out with the girls so go and enjoy!

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