We first met Carol when she attended one of our creative wedding workshops with her mum. Carol was really into her DIY details and we knew that giving her guests a fun filled time was a very important factor in her wedding plans.
Wanting a relaxed atmosphere the couple booked the very gorgeous Goudhurst Village Hall. With no on-site manager and lots of elements to pull together Carol needed us to make sure all the set up was done perfectly and all the things she had planned happened at the right time. She booked our Dolly on the Day co-ordination service and together we became a great team.
As with many village halls Carol found herself with a blank canvas to work with and her creativity was just brilliant. Paper pompoms, garlands and bunting made the hall look fantastic, whilst friends and family brought along homemade cakes, a Mexican band serenaded guests on arrival, Czech fizz was served, garden games kept everyone giggling and the fun of their singing bridesmaids made this wedding a dream to work on.
The Bride and Groom beamed from ear to ear all day and their guests loved every minute. The dancing didn’t just start in the evening at this wedding, oh no, there were guests up on their feet during the wedding breakfast thoroughly enjoying the music and the fun filled atmosphere. Carol loved every minute of her planning and her stunning DIY details were testimony to the loving care she put into making sure her guests enjoyed her day just as much as she did.
With yet another team of great suppliers from Martin Briggs Photography, DJ Lucci, Dine Thyme, The Charcoal Pig, Paladins Classic Car hire, Juliets Catering and Jubilee Hire this wedding was a joy to be a part of.
Last Sunday we held one of our DIY wedding workshops at the fabulous Bake and Crafthouse in Cranbrook. Crafting expert Kate took our workshop attendees through their paces setting them to work on bunting, stationery, place cards, pom poms, favours and table settings.
Here is just a little taster of what we did on the day. You can also get instructions on making the cute favour bags and edible favours by clicking the links.
All our Brides-to-be and their Mums and chums had a great time and we absolutely loved having them. I helped the Brides with some advice on how to plan the perfect DIY wedding with our insider hints and tips. Here’s are our top three DIY tips that we talked about more at the workshop:
1. Be warned DIY doesn’t always mean cheap
As much as I love DIYing I do sometimes have to admit defeat and realise that actually I can’t make it any cheaper than buying it in from a professional – especially not when I add my limited time into the equation. Suppliers can buy in bulk, have all the right equipment and can do a professional looking job. Hobbycraft and your old glue gun sometimes just won’t measure up and it’ll cost you more in the long run.
2. The Clock is Ticking
You’ll need lots of time and energy if you’re making everything from scratch. Do a reality time check. If you work 12 hours a day, 5 days a week then things might get a tad stressful for a novice DIYer especially in the run up to the big day. If you don’t think you can fit it in think about getting help and plan accordingly.
3. Fail to Plan Plan to Fail
Now even if you have managed to get everything done on your DIY schedule do think about the big day itself and how much setting up will be needed. If you have lots of DIY elements from bunting to pom poms or table settings, photo booths and sweet tables you’ll need to schedule in how you are going to get it all to the wedding venue and how long you’ll need to set it up. Check with your venue when you can get in to start your decor and when you’ll need to clear them all out by. Plan accordingly and make sure you have enough pairs of hands to get everything done in the time allowed.
If you would like to go on the waiting list for our workshops in early 2014 then please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be sure to let you know the exact dates very soon.
If in the meantime you need any help or advice with your DIY wedding, styling or how to go about setting up on the big day do give us a call – we love to chat DIY weddings!
P.S Kate at the Bake and Crafthouse does fantastic craft hen parties – get those hens to help!!
If you’re getting married over the summer and have DIY elements in your big day now is the time to start planning them. Whatever your level of creative skills you can’t go wrong with some basic edible favours and here our DIY expert Kate from the Bake and Crafthouse shares three simple ideas with you. Over to you Kate!
1: Shortbread or Ginger Biscuits
Shortbread is so simple to make, tastes delicious and is not at all expensive. You could cut shapes to match your theme, hearts, flowers for a spring wedding or bunnies at Easter! The recipe is easily multiplied up to make whatever quantity you need as it is just equal parts of butter and plain flour to half the quantity of sugar and rice flour. You can add chocolate chips or lemon zest to the basic recipe or drizzle with chocolate after they have cooled.
A mix using 50 grams of butter will give you about 10 biscuits so if you need 100 favours then you would need 500 grams (2 packets) of butter.
50 grams unsalted butter
50 grams plain flour
25 grams caster sugar
25 grams rice flour
Pinch of salt
- Weigh all the ingredients together in one bowl.
- Rub together using your fingertips until evenly combined and resembling the top of an apple crumble.
- Continue to mix, rubbing the ingredients together an eventually it will form a ball of dough.
- The dough is quite crumbly and delicate but you should be able to gently roll it out to about ½ cm thicknees and cut your shapes.
- Place on a baking tray greased and lined and bake for 8-10 minutes at 180 degrees Celcius until light golden.
- Cool on the trays and they can easily break while still warm.
- Store in an airtight container until needed.
If you make a firmer biscuit dough (usually with egg in the mixture) then you can cut out more complicated shapes or print lettering into the top of the biscuits that will still be visible once they are baked.
2. Homemade Fudge
Fudge is one of everyone’s favourite sweets. It also keeps really well so can be made well in advance of the big day and packaged up ready to go. It takes a little patience to make and you will require a baking thermometer but it is fun and easy to make in large quantities.
The recipe below will make a large tray full (25X25cm).
3lb granulated sugar
2 tbs golden syrup
1 can condensed milk
1. Heat the water in a large saucepan and melt the butter into it.
2. Add the sugar and syrup and bring to the boil stirring constantly.
3. Once boiling, stir in condensed milk and carry on simmering until you reach ‘soft ball’ temperature on the thermometer.
4. Remove from the heat & beat vigorously with an electric mixer for about 10 minutes. It will begin to cool and thicken.
5. Pour into a greased and lined tray & leave to set in the fridge.
Cut into squares and package up as favours or cut heart shaped using a cookie cutter and serve with teas and coffees.
3. Sugared Almonds or Sweets
If you really can’t make your own then you can cheat by giving the most traditional edible wedding favour of sugared almonds. Packaged up in handmade cute favour bags (see my previous blog on how to make them here) to add a really personal touch. Traditionally, five almonds are given to represent fertility, longevity, wealth, health and happiness. The bitterness of the almond and the sweetness of the coated candy are a metaphor for the bitter sweetness of a marriage. If you don’t want to use almonds then buy retro sweets, heart shaped choccies or your own favourite confectionery!
Emma & Kate x
In our third and final part, today of our wedding worries concentrate on adding personality and style to your big day. It’s something many couples really struggle with. From bunting to tea sets, pom poms to lace covers, styling your wedding can start to tip you over the wedding edge.
At our wedding planning workshops we spend time tackling this issue and teaching Brides how to uncover your wedding personality. It can really help you find your own style, stand out from the crowd and ease some of the pressure. We ran these workshops in mini form at The Wedding Fair at Bluewater in February. For those of you that missed them here’s a quick recap of how you can add personality to your wedding.
DIYing is also a brilliant way to stamp on your own style. Our new DIY workshops can help you get the balance right between using the skills of your suppliers verses your own time and talents to get crafty with it. Read our delve into the pro’s and con’s of DIYing here.
A great way to add bags of unique style is to think about the wedding from your guests point of view. Our post Wow your Wedding Guests will give you some ideas to get you started.
Don’t forget we’re back at the Wedding Fair at Bluewater this weekend to run free one-to-one sessions on our stand to help with all kinds of wedding worries. So come see us!
For all you craft loving Brides out there go over and check out the all new Creative Brides blog. Full of great ideas about how to DIY your wedding day as well as supplier info and lots more besides.
Plus you’ll find The Wedding Dolls (yes it’s a shameless plug) in the wedding planner section as well as info on our DIY workshops so another reason to go say hello and get creative!
Last week was a busy time at The Wedding Dolls HQ.
Not only did we get to see the initial concept of our new brand but we had massive fun with our very own photo shoot (with the gorgeous and super talented photographer Kay Young). It was a fantastic day with lots of fun, laughter and very creative ladies indeed.
We started off reviewing a whole host of bridesmaid dresses from the high street, sampled the latest ranges of Bridal headwear (thanks to Pantiles Bride and Cherish Jewellery) and then went all DIY putting together cheap and chic wedding outfits as well as low-cost ideas for decorating your venue.
Finally and purely for our own enjoyment, we were styled to perfection (by the lovely Caroline of Powder & Glow) and did a rock the dress shoot. Even the rain didn’t dampen the excitement and we had an absolute blast.
Watch out for our blog posts over the next few weeks to find out more about the shoot and our reviews. In the meantime here’s just a little sample!