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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.

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

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

 

After this weeks Kirstie’s Vintage Wedding Show on Channel 4 we’ve been involved in a fair few conversations with panicking brides about the DIY aspects of their wedding. In true vintage tradition it’s definitely a case of “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

Whilst some Brides love the idea of DIY weddings it’s not for everyone though. Limited time and a distinct lack of crafty friends can leave some of you feeling a slightly bit… well… uninspired and in some cases downright frazzled.

Bunting. Check. Vintage Flowers. Check. Handmade Wedding Rings. Check. Vintage table settings. Check. Bespoke Invitations. Check. Vintage Outfits. Check. The list goes on and possibly on and on.

bridesmaids with diy outfits and tutu's

DIY Flower Girl Outfits

So before you launch head first into buying vintage material for bunting, collecting jam jars and scouring the local jumble sale take a step back and think carefully. Our advice is always the same. DIY can be lots of fun and give you a really fantastic individual wedding but you don’t have to do EVERYTHING yourself.

At the Wedding Dolls I love a bit of DIY and have a room stacked with stuff to prove it. I’ve also got lots of lovely crafty mates who can turn their hand at practially anything and come up smelling of roses. However Joanne is firmly in the non-DIY camp and to quote “if someone sells it then I’m not making it” and sometimes I just have to agree.

Bunting Boutique

Lots of brides going for a DIY theme will add bunting to their list of things to make without realising just how long it takes and how the costs of material and sewing accessories can soon spiral. It may sound like fun scouring boot fairs for vintage china but when you need place settings for 80 people it will soon become a full time occupation. Having to buy everything from scratch and adding in things like petrol costs and the time involved may mean that your cheap DIY wedding is in fact costing you a small fortune.

Alice and the Teacup

Work out where your strengths lie and stick to your guns. If you know sewing isn’t your strong point and you don’t have someone to help then for the love of god buy the bunting. Or make paper bunting instead, which will look just as effective 8ft up in the roof of the marquee. If you don’t have time to collect vintage china there are some fabulous rental companies who won’t have chipped or stained cups and as a bonus you can give it all back unwashed at the end of the day.

Flowers are expensive to make mistakes with so practising before your wedding is key. Again if you can’t get the hang of flower arranging (and this is one thing even after 3 years as a Saturday girl in a florist I could never master) get your vintage bouquets made professionally, but by all means add your own DIY elements with much easier floral table settings.

Do pick DIY aspects that you can enjoy, either with friends or as a couple, like our wedding ring workshop post last week or by going through old family photo’s to make handmade picture place settings for guests. These types of personal touches will mean far more to you, and your guests, rather than knowing you spent six months sitting in front of EastEnders cutting out bunting triangles.

Like most things to do with wedding planning, do the bits you love and are good at, then get a professional to do the rest! Here’s our top five tips for a DIY wedding:

1. Be warned DIY doesn’t always mean cheap

2. Lots of spare time? Fabulous you’ll need it if you’re making everything from scratch. Do a reality time check. If you work 12 hours a day, 5 days a week things might get a tad stressful for a novice DIYer.

3. Wedding venue a blank canvas? You’ll need lots of help on the day (and in some cases the day before) to pull all your DIY elements together.    Don’t think you can do it all yourself. Or try and leave it to your mum…..

4. Don’t get the hump when your friends won’t get up at 7am every Sunday to help you source vintage birdcages from the bootfair.

5. Be sensible. Make a plan of what you can do and what you need to outsource. Stick to it.

We’d love to hear your views! Are you planning to do it all yourself? Feeling DIY inspired or scared at the prospect of taking on so much yourself? Let us know!

P.S There are some amazing DIY Bridal Blogs out there for inspiration!

 

A few months ago we hurled ourselves into a challenge set by one of our followers. She had a really tight budget for her wedding and didn’t know where to start sourcing outfits that were not going to blow every penny.

So instead of seeing a large chunk of budget go on a designer wedding dress we jumped ship and went in search of available high street bargains. Two weeks later we had three outfits ready to go! Not quite designer, but what do you want for around £70 a pop!

Outfit 1: White Lace and Chiffon Dress by Primark £12.99, Veil from eBay £15.60, Hunter Wellies from eBay £36.00, Hair Flower by Accessorize £6.99.

If you can brave the brand new jumble sale that is Primark, then they have some fantastic dresses for all types of wedding. This one looked fabulous on and would be great for a festival style bride, complete with Hunter’s and flowers in your hair.

 

 

 

 

Outfit 2: Black Prom Dress by H&M from eBay £5.30, Shoes by New Look from eBay £8.10, Necklace on loan from Cherish Jewellery.

This outfit was a complete bargain, with an extra net underskirt, this dress is perfect for a bridesmaid at a black and white or Hollywood style wedding. We’ve seen more and more black being used as an accent colour at weddings to really set a glamorous tone and it works beautifully for bridesmaids.

 

 

 

Outfit 3: Dress by Next (Geri Halliwell Range) from eBay for £22. Original Retail Price £89, Headwear from Oxfam £3.50, Shoes, models own.

What promised to be a great bridesmaid dress wasn’t the result we thought when we actually got our hands on it. Any wedding dress designer will tell you that satin has to be treated with great care and fit perfectly unless you are going to look like a used sweet wrapper. And well it sort of did. We were nervous about this one but for the bargain price of £22 it was worth a try and a lesson to trust your first shopping instincts!

 

 

So if you are short on budget then don’t be afraid to go second-hand as you can get some really good bargains – you’ll just need to be prepared to shop around. There’s also plenty of designer sample sales to watch out for where you can get a fantastic dress at much less than usual.

And so for now our challenge is complete! Happy bargain hunting!

Photography Credit: Kay Young Photography

From our experience nothing makes Brides break out in a cold sweat more than deciding on wedding favours.  But worry not. Wedding favours kept simple and stylish will bring a cheeky grin to the face of your guests and leave you with a smug wedding smile. They are a great way to express your inner creativity and if you don’t mind doing the work yourself, they don’t have to cost a fortune either.

If you are willing to try your crafty hand then a good place to start is Martha Stewart Weddings which is brilliant for all things wedding DIY, or take a trip to a local craft fair (there are so many brilliant ones in Kent) for inspiration.  To get you started here are our favourite five ideas, which all have that personal touch and are not to complicated for any crafty beginners.

1.Vintage Personalised Sweet Bags

Get your own custom designed stamp made up and then use it to print your thank you message onto muslin pouches. Fill the pouches with old-fashioned sweets for a unique little favour. You can put different sweets in the bag depending on guests favourites.

 

2. Paper Flower with Dahlia Bulb

These eye-catching tissue paper flowers make lovely additions to your reception tables and can be made to fit in with your own colour scheme. They are really easy to make from the template on Martha Stewart Weddings and can be tied up with a planting instruction tag and ribbon to look like little leaves. At home, guests will peel back the petals to reveal a dahlia bulb which they can plant and enjoy.

 

 

3. Vintage handkerchiefs

A really lovely little gift which requires hardly any crafting at all, but does involve lots of shopping (now you’re talking I hear you cry) is the vintage hankie. Granny’s favourite is now making a huge comeback and you can easily get beautifully printed hankies from boot fairs, antique shops and online.  The fun really is in the collecting! When shopped out simply write your message on a little card, hole punch and secure to the hankie with a ribbon. Another take on this is to buy plain old hankies and use a personalised stamp with your own wedding message or pattern on them (see personalised stamp above!).

 

4. Honey Stirrer

Buying a little usual gift is a good way of guests remembering your big day for years to come.  A little honey stirrer is really lovely ribbon-tied to guest place names.  If you really want to go for it you can match them with little honey pots that can be adorned with custom-made wedding stickers. Check out Moo for brilliant sticker ideas and cheap printing too! Lovely to add that special touch to a country wedding theme.

 

5. Whole lotta love in a bottle

How about giving your guests an after dinner drink they won’t forget in a hurry?  Make your own infused vodka, put in miniature bottles and tie on your message. You can find loads of recipes online but our favourite is for Blackberry Vodka by the fabulous A Thrifty Mrs that has been tried and tested by your’s truly. It is easy to do but is time-consuming so don’t attempt if you are seriously lacking in patience or have left it until the last-minute. If you can’t stretch to making your own then do it the cheats way. Buy small bottles of juice or your favourite tipple, soak off the labels and put on your own designer stickers.

Have fun and let us know how you get on. See you in Hobbycraft Ladies!

Image Credits:

1. Martha Stewart Weddings, 2.Martha Stewart Weddings, 3. Photography by Chloe Browne of Caught the Light via Martha Stewart Weddings 4.Lindsay Flanagan Photography via Weddingwindow.com, 5. mydiyweddingday.com