Being a wedding planner means you need more than your fair share of wedding outfits (that’s our story and we’re sticking to it). So it stands to reason that at The Wedding Dolls we love a dress sale and right now at John Lewis there are some wicked bargains to be had. If your hens are still complaining they can’t find anything to wear, get yourself over to Bluewater Shopping Centre, book a table at Jamie’s Italian for a boozy lunch and then get those credit cards at the ready! Here’s our top six bargains.
Coast, Now £75
Hobbs, Now £45
Boutique by Jaeger, Now £99
Planet, Now £59
Mango, Now £29
French Connection, Now £49
To say planning a wedding is a bit stressful is a complete understatement and we guarantee there’ll be a few moments in the process when you start to panic. So kick back, relax and watch other people muddle through their wedding plans. It’ll make you feel a whole lot better and you might just learn something into the bargain….
Get the girls round, crack open a bottle of vino and watch women behaving badly with tears, tantrums, romance and a cracking tune by Wilson Phillips. With a major competition raging between the maid of honor and a bridesmaid over who is the bride’s best friend and some hilarious toe curling scenes, each and every one of you will recognise a little bit of yourself in one of these ladies – but is that a good or a bad thing…..
Credit: Universal Pictures
2. Sex and the City
This film is perfect for reminding you that although a fabulous designer dress and high society guest list might be every girls dream, making sure you and your Groom are on the same wedding page is paramount. Although Carrie never married Mr Big in that Vivienne Westwood gown, we got to revel in the gorgeousness of it all and knew there’d be a happy ending before long.
Credit: New Line Cinema
3. Muriel’s Wedding
A personal all time favourite. Toni Collette stars as the quirky Muriel who’s on the look out for love and to give her life a bit of excitement along the way. The mostly ABBA soundtrack means you can sing along as Muriel plans her big day Aussie style. It’s a good reminder that being true to yourself and your style on your wedding day means you’ll have everyone hailing you as the “Dancing Queen” as well as giving them a wedding to remember.
Credit: Miramax Films
4. Father of the Bride
A true wedding movie classic, the star of this film is definitely Franck, the wedding planner and then some, played brilliantly by Martin Short. Although the film doesn’t do much to dispel the wedding planner stereotype we can’t help but love Franck and the sweet storyline between the Father of the Bride and his family. Perfect in the run up to Father’s Day when it’s great to remember that those who love you the most should play an important part in your big day.
5. Bride Wars
Starring Ann Hathaway and Kate Hudson, the real stars of the show are the fabulous outfits, the over the top wedding style and the Bridezilla proportion outbursts. This film concentrates on two friends who end up planning their weddings for the same date. Cue cat fighting like you’ve never seen before. The lesson here is that measuring your wedding up against someone else’s is never a clever idea. No two weddings are the same and that’s a good thing. Find your own way and don’t be tempted to steal your best friends wedding contact book – you’ll do much better on your own. We promise.
Credit: 20th Century Fox
Choosing your Bridesmaids is never going to be easy. Coupled with worries about cost versus numbers, then family dynamics alongside wanting your BFF can leave Brides feeling a bit panicky. We often get asked how to choose Bridesmaids but it’s completely personal and one question our planning experience really can’t answer for you! However let us tell you what we always tell our Brides and the top five things to consider.
The Most Prepared Bridesmaid Ever?
1. Sisters Aren’t Doing It For Themselves
Generally the rule of thumb is that you really do have to ask your Sisters. It has been known for them to flatly refuse to be one when asked and this is their decision, but they are sort of naturally entitled to the role by way of having been in your life, like forever. However if you really don’t want to have them as Bridesmaids think about other roles they can play in your big day. From doing a Reading to perhaps organising the Hen Do – think about what they do best, apart from always stealing your new shoes, then pick jobs accordingly.
2. Friends “The One Where You Pick Your Bridesmaids”
If you have a number of best friends and simply cannot choose, then to hell with it and have all of them. However consider the fact that some of them just won’t be good at particular jobs i.e rubbish organiser, always late, changes plans at the last minute. They are your friends and you know them best, so choose carefully as you don’t want to feel let down by flaky friends in the run up to your big day. Reliable, fun and unselfish – they’re the friends you need.
3. Delegate On The Day Disaster
If you want to delegate some duties to your Bridesmaids on the day then be reasonable about what you expect from them. They won’t be able to do loads of running around as they’ll be needed in pictures and will have time constraints on them. But they can be there to help you and make sure you have everything you need. The best Bridesmaids are there for moral support but not to carry out a massive to-do list.
4. Monster Mates
If your inner Bridezilla has a chance of appearing your Bridesmaids should be able to shut it back in or at the very least control the raging monster. Pick Bridesmaids who know you REALLY well so they know exactly how to respond to you. This is where Sisters and best friends come into their own. They will know what to say and do, or at the very least they can threaten to show everyone the drunken booby picture from your girls holiday in Ibiza.
5. Laughter is the Best Friend Medicine
A lot of problems can be solved with a big giggle. It’s your wedding day and you want to have fun so make sure you have Bridesmaids that know how to have a good time. Enjoying your big day will be so much easier if you can laugh along. At this point in time I would like to say that you don’t need a Court Jester, but just someone who is going to make things a little lighter and relax the tension.
Have you chosen your Bridesmaids? How did you decide?
Image courtesy of Howling Basset Photography
It’s about this time of year in the fashion calendar that I start to panic. I love my skinny jeans, boots and a snuggly big coat (especially on days like today!). So when I have to think about putting away my 1000 denier tights and removing my woolly scarf I can feel my heart starting to beat a little bit faster.
Joanne moves to her Spring/Summer Wedding wardrobe with great ease so this year I’m taking a leaf out of her book and starting early. Early that is because otherwise anything you want in the shops when the sun actually comes out will be gone in a flash and I need some wedding outfits asap. So if you’re a wedding guest this year and are feeling a slight bit nervous about what’s on the high street have a look at these beauties available from Phase Eight. What’s more there’s also 50% off some of the range.
P.S. If you fancy winning a £100 Phase Eight Gift Card you can complete a short survey about their wedding guest outfits online now.
Nothing is more cute at a wedding than a little flower girl who is loving her job! Back at the end of last year a bride asked us where she could find reasonably priced flower girl outfits for her two flower girls so we came up with our own DIY versions and styled a mini shoot to showcase them.
All the outfits are under £35 and and our little wedding dolls had a ball!
1. White flower girl dresses, Next from Ebay, £12.00 each.
2. Pink and Green Velvet Dresses, Asda, £11.00 each, with handbands from Cherish in Tunbridge Wells
3. Tutu’s from Ebay, £18 – £22.00, Capes (photographers own)
4. Pink dress £8.00, Mind Charity shop
All images by Kay Young Photography
One of our favourite shops for wedding outfits is Any Occasion in Tunbridge Wells. We’re always sending Mother of the Brides their way and now there’s another reason to go take a look as they are stockists for Anoushka G, who design fantastic evening and occasion wear.
Anoushka G also designs a bridal range that has some real gems, with gorgeous lines and beautiful details perfect for summer weddings. These are just some of our favourite.
For all you sparkle lovers out there prepare to spend some serious wedge on a new website from Gemini London.
Loved by celebs such as Alesha Dixon, Gemini have been selling their jewellery through House of Fraser but now you can buy online too.
Their really gorgeous, but affordable range includes stunning pendants, earrings, necklace sets, bracelets and hair accessories suitable for all occasions and especially for brides-to-be! Plus there’s free UK delivery on orders over £50.
Happy Shopping x
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