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.”
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.
Photography by Penny Young.
I secretly always fancied being a DJ during my early event management days. Then a DJ I was working with let me have a little go of mixing some tunes during his sound check. My imagination in full swing I pictured myself spending my nights DJ’ing at Mambo, then recovering during the day basking in the Spanish sun. Then I discovered just how difficult it really was and quietly retreated back behind my
comfort blanket clipboard.
So to find out what life is really like under the bright lights we quizzed one of our favourite wedding entertainment DJ’s and all round top bloke, Richard Dannaher, from Discologic. Let’s find out more ……
How would you describe your DJ’ing style?
As a wedding DJ now in my 30’s I grew up listening to the same kind of music that a lot of my couples did! I specialise in a number of styles including; Motown, 80’s & 90’s, Old skool dance & garage plus Modern day RnB. In fact I just love any music. It’s my passion and I am very proud to have a job that I love.
How did you become a wedding DJ?
My career started when I 17 years old and I got a job at a London radio station. I started learning the ins and outs of DJ’ing and within 2 years I was DJ’ing at some of London’s biggest club venues. I decided to become a wedding DJ just over 10 years ago when I noticed there was a massive gap in the market for professional, quality, DJ entertainment. I hate the term “mobile DJ” as it doesn’t really explain what we do. At Discologic we want to offer an unbeatable service from the 1st point of contact and help create the best night of my clients life!
What makes a good DJ?
One of the reasons I love my job so much is that I really like meeting new people and connecting with my clients. It’s really important to understand musical tastes and quickly assess what your couples really want to achieve. You need to be ready to work hard as you will only get out what you put in!
What are the best and worst parts of your job?
Getting to play the music I love and performing all over the country, and beyond! It’s fantastic being able to make a wedding day complete with amazing entertainment and leave the guests buzzing from a brilliant evening.
The worst is definitely the long hours, both in the office and at events. I’m usually working until the early hours of the morning having had a really early start. It means I don’t get to see my family quite as much as I would like!
What tips would you give couples to help their day run more smoothly?
Make sure you completely trust your suppliers and then use their advice. The best and most experienced suppliers will know how to make your big day perfect for you and your wedding plans.
What is the best piece of advise you would give an aspiring wedding DJ?
It takes a long time to really get to know music and DJ’ing is very hard work. Success doesn’t come overnight – you’ll need to gain lots of experience at small events before you can move on to the larger events and weddings.
What’s been the best part of your job so far?
There have been so many brilliant times but I have to say DJ’ing at the Champions League Final has to be a real high. Then winning wedding DJ of the Year at the Kent Wedding Awards was fantastic.
Richie collecting his award (on the left)
Thanks Richard for sharing your DJ life with us! For more info about Richard and the services he offers click here.
Have a great day!
This weeks super snap comes from Tony and Carol of AphroditeNet Photography based in Bexleyheath. Carol tells us the story behind the image…..
“We can take hundreds of photos during a wedding and within those are always ‘stand out’ shots which usually capture a special moment or emotion and this image is one of those.
“The morning of the wedding we were taking bridal preparation photographs at Orchard Cottage on Oaks Farm in Surrey. We often find the bridal preparation part of the day is one of the most difficult to plan photography for as so much depends on how the bride is feeling. Nerves can often kick in around this time and the schedule can get a bit hectic with hair and make-up being done and dresses to put on. But our bride, Carol-Anne, arrived at the cottage from her hotel looking relaxed and happy.
“What impressed us the most was her desire to make sure the three flower girls were comfortable with their outfits and were relaxed about the day ahead. The girls were a little apprehensive and so Carol-Anne took the chance to have a quiet reassuring chat. It was, quite simply, a special moment and one we’re sure they will both treasure for years to come!”
At the Wedding Dolls we have really different styles. Whilst Joanne loves a strapless dress I can’t stand them, but only on me that it. They can look absolutely fantastic on the right frame but for me they just don’t seem to stay where they’re supposed to and I’m forever pulling them up. So I’m quite pleased to see more bridal gowns with higher necks and straps coming through.
Not everyone wants a strapless number and over the last few years this style has dominated the bridal boutiques. But the Royal Wedding has had a huge influence and now more brides want to cover up with softer feminine looks. So if you’re looking a designer that encompasses all different styles then head over to Elizabeth Stuart. Here’s just a small selection of her bridal gowns now available.
Nearest stockist: Mathilda Rose
All images Elizabeth Stuart
Traditional this is not, but come on Brides it’s time to take a stand… how do you feel about making a speech on your wedding day?
Whilst most Brides don’t join the speech line up, your wedding is the only time you will have your closest friends and relatives in one room. Do you really want to miss the chance to speak to them all, tell them how much they mean to you and how much you would like to thank them?
@Helen May Banks
Nerves might be holding you back, but if you don’t give it a go it may just be one of those little wedding regrets. Just think, you’ve got no pressure to be funny or remember big thank you’s – it’s just you and your guests, and the opportunity to say how you feel on your big day.
Sophie French, who married husband Pete at the London Golf Club, was one such bride who says “I didn’t want to miss the chance to say a special thank you to my parents who had done so much for us as well as my friends, some of whom had travelled a long way to be there. I was a bit nervous but if you tell it from the heart, you don’t need to worry as your guests will be thrilled however you deliver it.”
If you need some extra help then there’s plenty of advice website’s out there with example speeches already done that you can adapt, and we can provide help and delivery training too.
So come on ladies will you be leaving it all to the groom? Let us know what you think?
This time last year we were helping Louise and Warren at their lovely wedding in Malta. The colours of the wedding were just gorgeous and have sparked a whole new set of colour combinations for our weddings in Kent, so much so that we wanted to share them all again.
Louise and Warren wanted to use 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.
Louise says “it was lovely to spend so much time with our friends and family and enjoy every minute of our wedding experience. The ladies did such a fantastic job of helping us organise our day and the whole thing was so relaxed and fun. I didn’t want to have to worry about all those little things, I just wanted to concentrate on making my guests experience as great as ours – and it definitely was!”
Happy Anniversary to Louise and Warren x
Brides Dress: Pronovias
Bridesmaids: Oriental Pearl (Bluewater Shopping Centre)
Suits: Austin Reed
Photography: Kay Young
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.
Everyone loves a present so choosing your gift list should be a really enjoyable part of your wedding planning. Depending on your own wants and needs as a couple there are loads of options which don’t include a traditional gift list. Here’s five just to get you started.
For a wedding list that’s a little bit different take a look at Notonthehighstreet.com which has loads of quirky and unique gifts that guests will be dying to buy you and that you and your home will love forever.
Make a request to the wedding team and you will be sent a beautiful pack, that includes a free wedding style book, a wedding list brochure and everything you need to know about the service, as well as an example of the invitation inserts (that are available free upon request).
Louise Boothe from Not on the High Street wedding team says “we also now have a great new feature within our gift list service which allows your friends and family to contribute money towards your gift list, giving you the choice and freedom to purchase higher-priced items or gifts of your choice after your wedding day”.
If you don’t need anymore ‘stuff’ then how about getting guests to ‘buy’ part of your honeymoon? Buy Our Honeymoon is the UK’s top online wedding list for dream honeymoons, who charge a one-off fee of £55 to manage your honeymoon experience gift list.
Your guests select any of the honeymoon experiences and activities you’ve listed, and leave you a personal message. They then pay the value of their gift to you directly, either into your own PayPal account, by cheque, or in person on the day of your wedding.
We caught up with Shelley Green from Buy Our Honeymoon, who told us that “couples can add absolutely anything from room upgrades and a romantic dinner to a day’s scuba diving or a helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon, whatever you want. You don’t have to have made any of your actual honeymoon arrangements prior to building your wedding list though— you can be as general or as specific as you wish. And if you get stuck, we’re happy to help with lots of suggestions”. You can try their website free for a week to see how it works and decide if it’s for you.
Smartbox is a unique gift concept which gives you the choice of up to 200 amazing different experiences. Inside a Smartbox there’s an illustrated guidebook with details of the options available and a voucher from your guests. All you have to do is book the experience and hand over the voucher as payment.
Bottom Drawer gives your guests the chance to add money to your online fund which you can then turn into a dream present. There’s loads to choose from including holidays, house and garden redesign or just receive vouchers for your favourite stores.
The Beyond Weddings Ltd gift service has a whole new take on wedding gift lists. Here you get the chance to work with an interior designer to improve your home on any scale or budget. Which means your guests can contribute to anything from your kitchen renovation to the re-upholstering of your much loved sofa!
Whatever you choose it’s like all your birthdays and Christmas’s have come at once – enjoy!
At the end of last year to make the most of the gorgeous weather and the Kent countryside, we had a Wedding Dolls photo shoot. The day was mostly spent organising our models in their cheap and chic wedding wear (more of that to come in later posts), but in honour of our new blog we couldn’t resist getting involved ourselves. It seemed the perfect excuse to revisit our own weddings and think about what made our day’s so special. Seven years on and four kids later our wedding dresses had faired rather better than us, but then you can’t stay young forever (that’s our excuse and we’re sticking to it) and anyway there’s always plastic surgery on expenses…..
Now you might think that once your wedding is out the way that’s the decision-making done, but oh no. Now you have to decide what you are going to do with your dream dress. There’s the all out “trash the dress” where you basically ruin a perfectly good dress by jumping in an algae pond or diving in a barn full of cow poo. This option will save you room in your loft as you can basically just chuck your dress out straight after. If you are hyperventilating now don’t worry – there’s the next step which is ‘Rock the Dress’. This basically means you find a new way to wear the dress whether it’s adding your hunter wellies and trudging through a field or donning your leather jacket with Prada sunglasses and leaning moodily against a graffiti wall. But if, like us, you are too OCD to get your perfectly dry-cleaned wedding dress dirty again, you can go for a “cherish the dress”.
We had a ball cherishing them again and made the most of it by adding gorgeous accessories. Back in our day reportage and relaxed wedding shots were only for slebby types so we wanted to give those a go. Maybe next time we’ll be brave enough to get our dresses on and chuck ourselves in the sea or go paintballing…… but in the meantime how let us know what you are going to do!
Our photographer for the day was Wedding Dolls friend and all round creative lady, Kay Young, and the super stylish Caroline from Powder and Glow was on hand for all our make up needs. A massive thanks also goes to Cherish and Pantiles Bride for the loan of the headwear and accessories.
Here’s just a small selection of our favourite shots. Take a peak whilst we hide under our desks……..