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It’s nearly that time again!!

The Wedding Fair, Bluewater is back from the 17th to 19th October and The Wedding Dolls will be there again to offer all visitors wedding planning advice completely free of charge.

Simply turn up to stand K6 and Joanne will do her very best to answer any wedding worries or queries you have there and then!

If free advice isn’t enough we’re also delighted to pass on a special ticket offer.  To save 1/3 on your tickets quote WA33 at www.theweddingfairs.com.

We can’t wait to see you there!

 

Bluewater

 

Here at The Wedding Dolls HQ we’ve been busy doing lots of final planning with our Summer couples.

The final few weeks can be a heady mix of hectic running around, growing excitement and flashes of nerves. To help make sure you feel ready and prepared some list making is a must!

Here to help are our top five tips for the final weeks of planning:

1. Planning Timetable

Make sure you have a timed plan of your day. Include every hour from set up right through to the last dance. Email it to all of your suppliers. The more they all know the easier it will be for them to set up on the day and get themselves prepared. It will help the day run smoother if everyone knows when everything is happening.

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2. Mobile Mission

Make sure you have a list of all your suppliers along with their mobile phone numbers on the day itself. Give this to one of your ushers to look after just incase there are any last minute changes and you need to get hold of them. If you can give your suppliers a mobile contact number for the big day itself – again this can be one of the Ushers if you don’t have a Wedding Doll on hand!

3. What to do and when

Include in your preparations a list of everything you need to do in the week before the wedding, the day before the wedding and the morning of the wedding. List out all the jobs and put next to it who is going to do them. Be logical and realistic about what you can achieve in the time available. Don’t expect your Bridesmaids or Best Man to be able to do lots of running around the morning of the wedding – they’ll be busy enough getting themselves ready and getting to the Church too!

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4. In and Out

Make sure you know what time you can access your venue and let your suppliers know. Some venues will let you deliver items the day before but don’t just assume that you can. They may well have another wedding or just don’t have the storage space. Also check when you need to remove all of your items so you can work this into your plan as well. It’s a good idea to nominate someone to deliver and collect and have a list of everything that should be dropped off and picked up just to make sure nothing is forgotten.

5. Photography Timings

Make sure you give your photographer a list of all the shots you want taken on the big day. Listen to their advice about how many shots you can have and when is best to take them. It will help if you can have an Usher on hand to round up family just before they are needed – it will make things feel less rushed and certainly less stressful.

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The more preparation you can do in the lead up to the big day the better. Getting your plans down on paper will make it easier to see what needs to be done and when. It might seem daunting to do so but it will make it clearer and easier. We promise!

Happy Planning x

 

 

 

Later this year we’ll be working at Vic & Alex’s wedding and so we couldn’t wait to share their gorgeous engagement shoot with you. Vic & Alex run the Ferry House Inn and so are fully experienced at managing parties and other couples big days. But like most of us who work in events, we know it’s very difficult to manage everything yourself whilst trying to have a fabulous time, which is why we’re super excited to be working for them both on their wedding day. We’ll be there to make sure everything goes to plan whilst they relax and enjoy their very well deserved big day. We can’t wait!

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Thanks so much to Rebecca Douglas for sharing the shoot with us.

The Wedding Dolls have teamed up with Creative Brides to host a series of FREE networking events for wedding suppliers in Kent and surrounding area. It’s a chance to meet other wedding suppliers and small businesses in the area, so bring your business cards, grab a drink and get chatting!

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Date: Tuesday 28th October 2014

Location: The Black Pig, Tunbridge Wells. It’s a 2 minute walk from the station. There’s limited street parking and a small car park at the venue, but ample parking in Morrisons Car park near the train station.

Venue Address: 18 Grove Hill Rd, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1RZ

Time: 7pm onwards (finish at 10:30pm)

Hosts: Creative Brides and The Wedding Dolls

Let us know if you would like to attend via our event on Facebook 

Look forward to seeing you all there

x

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Wedding Planning

Today on the blog we’re talking rain. Sorry about that.

Joanne has been busy drawing up some wet weather contingency plans for an outside event and whilst it’s okay to stay positive that the sun will shine, having a back up plan, especially if getting married in the UK, is essential so things don’t get to soggy.

Rain definitely doesn’t have to stop play if you follow a few simple rules:

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1. Photography can look stunning in the rain but have a few umbrellas ready so you don’t get drenched. Chat to your photographer beforehand so you’ll both know what to expect.

2. If your wedding is outside and somewhere potentially muddy just work with it. Tell guests to bring cardigans, jackets and wellies so they can plan accordingly. Think Glam Glasto.

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3. Sometimes the wind is worse than rain. Make sure you have rope, ties and grips to secure anything down that might get blown away. Tablecloths and gazebos are the worse offenders.

4. Erecting some shelter, however simple will work wonders. Just so guests can get in the dry should a downpour happen.

5.  If the weather forecast suggests that it might be a tad cold ask your marquee company about heaters and check with your venue about any heating arrangements. They’ll have dealt with it all before and will have lots of suggestions.

Happy Planning!

Emma.

 

Images by Kay Young Photography

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Wedding Planning

It’s all very exciting here at the The Wedding Dolls today as we are totally proud to be Mulberry Cottages recommended wedding and event planner.

If you’re looking for a unique wedding venue Mulberry Cottages have a fantastic selection of self-catering cottages in Kent and the rest of the UK. There are brilliant locations in town centres, costal resorts and in the countryside, so you can experience fantastic views on your wedding day.

Even if you don’t opt for getting married at one of the cottages they make a great base for wedding guests so you can all carry on enjoying the party long after the last dance. There are cottage complexes which are perfect for larger groups sleeping up to around 30 guests, some including your own swimming pool for the ultimate stylish wedding weekend.

If you are staying in one of their cottages and planning your wedding (or any celebration come to that!) then we can help. Working closely with the Mulberry Cottages team we provide a planning service that will help you create the perfect event. Whether it’s sourcing local suppliers, finding a caterer or private chef, booking transport, hiring entertainers or information about putting up a marquee we can assist you.

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All Mulberry Cottages guests receive an exclusive 10% discount on our services and we have some special one-off planning packages available. Take a look at their website for more about their cottages or call us for info about our services.

Happy Planning!

Emma & Joanne x

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Venues, Wedding Planning

This month’s edition of Your Kent Wedding features a fun and fantastic wedding we worked on last year. Carol and Antonio’s wedding was packed full of personal DIY touches so if you’re thinking of getting creative and doing lots of styling yourself take a look for bags of inspiration.

Here’s a little peek at the article. To download the full edition click here.

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A big thanks to Carol and Antonio for allowing us to share their big day with you all and to Your Kent Wedding and all the suppliers involved.

Over the last few months we’ve been helping lots of couples think about their wedding theming and create mood boards from their own personality and style. We know its easier said than done so to keep it simple we’ve got some gorgeous weddings coming up on the blog that will show how you can create your boards based around one colour.

Jade & Ben were married in July last year at the Manor Barn in Bexhill on Sea. Photographer, Teri Vincent, captured all the detail which included vibrant purple mixed with softer more natural tones of the colour to create a really pretty but striking palette. Alongside lots of lace (I love that wedding dress!!) and little personal touches including butterflies and handmade signs, the styling totally suited the venue backdrop.

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Thanks to Jade & Ben for sharing their day with us and Teri Vincent for the fab photography. For more barn wedding inspiration take a look at our portfolio.

Planning Picks:

Brides Dress: Ella
Grooms Outfit: Hugo Boss
Bridesmaid Outfits: Debut
Catering: Circa Events 
Flowers & Table Plan: Flutterby Events 

So most of our lovely blog readers will know by now that we were at the Wedding Fair, Bluewater a few weeks ago and were awestruck by just how many of you have a secret desire to be a wedding planner. Now we know what a fabulous job it is but we also know just how hard it is to establish yourself in a very competitive industry. So whilst we can’t profess to know the best route to achieving your dream job, to help those of you out there who want to get into the wonderful world of weddings, here are our top tips.

1. Get some experience

Easier said than done I know. Between myself and Joanne we have nearly 20 years experience working at and managing events (god that makes us sound ancient) but experience is what counts. You’ll always learn with every event you do but the basics will give you a good idea as to what it takes. We would love to be able to give work experience to everyone that asks, but as a small business our time is spent directly with clients or doing really boring admin stuff. See tip 4!

We have two wedding assistants that work with us when we need an extra pair of hands, and we have spent time and lots of energy training them for exactly what we need. Most small companies will be the same but it doesn’t mean you can’t get good experience elsewhere. See tip 2!

 

Joanne at Hever Castle

2.Look for alternatives

From jobs in catering, to floristry and window dressing we both had Saturday jobs that filled our passion for creativity and fuelled our desire to work in marketing and events. Going straight in as a wedding planner might not be an option but waitressing or working behind a bar can give you a basic insight into customer behaviour, what makes a good party and how to deal with the demands of a busy crowd.

3. Paid Experience Counts

Lots of you have the wedding planning bug from organising your own wedding and its a great start on the experience ladder. However paying clients will tell you exactly where you’ve gone wrong, one of your own wedding guests is unlikely too.

4. You’ll have to learn how to run your own business

This means delving the murky depths of excel spreadsheets, invoicing, the dreaded HMRC and managing sales projections and expenses claims. You’ll also need basic marketing, SEO and PR skills, lots of creativity and live in the knowledge that you won’t be earning enough to buy a Mulberry handbag each payslip for the foreseeable future.

 

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5. Start talking

You will need the major desire to tell everyone about your business at every opportunity you get. Bar staff, the gym instructor, your hairdresser (very important) the sales assistant in Topshop, Mrs Goggins at the Post Office and the delivery blokes from Ocado are just the tip of the iceberg. So when I say everyone I really do mean everyone. You’ll need to spread the word far and wide.

6. Try before you buy

You won’t be able to afford to hire in services to begin with so until you earn enough to be able to pay a professional to do the bits you can’t, you’ll have to do it yourself, learn as you go and die trying. Quick it isn’t.

All we can say really is don’t give up. There are so many brilliant suppliers who we work with who have struggled to establish their businesses and like any other industry there really is no quick route or substitute to experience and good old fashioned hard work.

If you want more info about being a wedding planner than read Joannes interview here.

Good luck and let us know how you get on!

Emma x

 

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Wedding Planning

Do you need a little bit of extra planning help? If the answer is yes then our Dolly Hours are the perfect way to pay as you plan. You simply buy our expertise by the hour and use the hours whenever you them, whatever you need them for. They are great for busy couples who want to do most of the planning themselves but just need a little bit of professional advice here and there.

Dolly Hours can be used for things like sourcing suppliers, obtaining quotes, creating styling boards and setting up planning schedules. It’s completely up to you – it’s like your very own wedding pick and mix!

Each Dolly Hour costs £35 but if you book your Dolly Hours before the end of March 2014 we’ll give you an extra hour FREE for every three hours you book. Simply quote “HelloFreeHour” when you drop us a line.

We think they make great presents for recently engaged couples! Just ask us for a gift card when booking.

Happy Planning!

Emma & Joanne x

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