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For all your wedding shopping needs on this Olympic Saturday take a look at Pearl and Earl. The online shop is packed full of party accessories and ideas for DIY weddings. They’ve got a great selection of decorations from patriotic red, white and blue if you fancy supporting Team GB or paper hangers and pom poms galore for a gorgeous vintage tea party.

Last week we featured big balloons as an idea for a cheap and effective way to decorate your venue, it was a big hit so you’ll be pleased to know they’re available at Pearl and Earl too.

 

Image from Pearl and Earl

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This weekend brings us sunshine! And about time too. With school out for summer and weddings galore over the next few weeks we need the sun to stick to around just for a while. On a selfish note as well I’ve bought loads of maxi dresses for going to weddings and not got to wear them once yet – having to stick to my winter attire made up of tights and a waterproof mac!

So before I run away with the sun celebration let’s look back over the last week on the blog. Our dress of the week was by Alan Hannah, a gorgeous backless dress with stunning detail, that judging from the comments we’ve had is a big hit with all of you too.

 

Then we shared with you a unique venue that we’ve had the pleasure of working at, Nettlestead Place. The house, gardens and stunning views along with it being exclusive to you on the day are just a few of the reasons to check it out.

Next was our fantastic find Little Gems, who make the most gorgeous cakes alongside a vintage ice cream bike with homemade ice creams. We worked with Gemma at a wedding and could see first hand how much the guests loved picking their own ice cream for dessert and comparing flavours  – it was a big hit!

For wedding decor inspiration we looked at the comeback of the humble balloon. With large latex balloons now in the offering you can make simple and stylish backdrops at a really reasonable price. We just love them.

If you’re looking for accessories and decoration for your big day our Saturday Shopping guide is just what you need with beautiful name places, invitations and table settings from one of our favourite online shops, Cox and Cox. It’s our first stop for unique little wedding ideas.

Enjoy the sunshine and happy Sunday everyone!

x

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Sunday Summary

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.

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Bridal Wear

I’ve spend most of this week up to my armpits in muddy washing. Rain is bad enough but flooding and outdoor events mean that my wellies aren’t the only thing getting soggy! Still in this country rain doesn’t usually spoil play and we crack on anyway, especially my kids who have rolled around outside for 10 minutes got cold, wet and muddy, come back in, got changed and then started the whole process over again. So before I go back to my alternative  office aka the utility room, here’s the quick round up of the blog over the past week.

We kicked off sharing the beautiful designs of Claire Mischevani with you. Her bespoke designer bridal service has featured in Vogue, Elle, Grazia, Brides and You & Your Wedding amongst others. If you want something completely different and perfect for you in every way you’ll want to check out her website for your dream dress.

Next up was the Kent wedding of Jon and Emma, who were married at Bradbourne House. Emma talked us through their plans and shared the details of the day which included bespoke stationery designed by Jon himself. Take a peek at the rest of the pictures here.

 

 

 

Next up was a reminder of a gorgeous wedding we worked on last year in Malta. Louise and Warren used 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 before we arrived. The colours of this wedding were just stunning and Louise embraced the then emerging trend of different Bridesmaid dresses which looked absolutely amazing.

 

 

 

Finally we shared our top five picks for Bridesmaid dresses that fall above the knee. The sales are in full force on the high street and there are lots of bargains to be had if you want your Bridesmaids to have an alternative look.

Happy Sunday Everyone

x

Image 1 & 2: Juliette Harrison.

Image 3 & 4: Kay Young

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

Claire Mischevani is an award-winning designer whose bespoke  bridal service has featured in Vogue, Elle, Grazia, Brides and You & Your Wedding amongst others.

Claire says “At your first consultation we will talk to you about the type of dress you would like and we recommend you bring along cuttings from magazines that you find inspirational. Your measurements are taken and we can then mock up your design in a toile (cotton sample of the design). The toile will be fitted and any alterations will be made so you get the absolute picture of what your gown will look like when it is completed.

When you are completely happy with the design and fit of the gown, the pattern will then be adjusted and the gown cut in the fabric of your choice. Fittings will be done and any further alterations made. When the dress is completed, any design detailing will be added and a final fitting will be completed.”

Prices start from £1295. Contact Claire for details of how to book your appointment!

 

 

 

 

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Bridal Wear

If you are looking for an alternative to the usual wedding bouquet or accessories and want something completely different then you are going to love DC Bouquets which is run by the very talented, Debbie Carlisle. Debbie makes her fantastic one-off designs with vintage and vintage-style jewellery mixed with buttons, crystal, glass and pearl beads.

Her range includes wedding accessories, bouquets and buttonholes. Here are some designs from her 2012 accessories collection.

 

 

 

 

 

All images: Copyright of DC Bouquets

Fishtale wedding dresses are making a serious comeback and we just love this gorgeously detailed dress from Mori Lee by Madeline Gardner. Designing for Mori Lee for over 20 years, Madeline comes from New York and is well known internationally for her timeless and elegant designs.

In Kent the range is available at various Bridal Rooms including Jacqueline’s House of Brides in Dartford and Teokath in Canterbury.

 

 

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Bridal Wear, Bridesmaids

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.  Joanna Tantum Floristry 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

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.