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It’s nearly that time again!!

The Wedding Fair, Bluewater is back from the 17th to 19th October and The Wedding Dolls will be there again to offer all visitors wedding planning advice completely free of charge.

Simply turn up to stand K6 and Joanne will do her very best to answer any wedding worries or queries you have there and then!

If free advice isn’t enough we’re also delighted to pass on a special ticket offer.  To save 1/3 on your tickets quote WA33 at www.theweddingfairs.com.

We can’t wait to see you there!

 

Bluewater

 

With a busy wedding season now in full swing, we’ve been working on very different types of weddings. From village halls to golf and country clubs, followed by barns and a castle, they all have one thing in common. These couples have decided that they want to have fun on their big day knowing that their plans are in place and they can relax and enjoy the whole experience with friends and family.

We often get asked what exactly it is that we do as an on-the-day wedding co-ordinator and here’s what we say!

With our Dolly on the Day package we’re there throughout the wedding day to do all those things that need to get done, from overseeing deliveries to setting up tables, styling the venue, being a general timekeeper and keeping the day running smoothly. We assist the bridal party so no-one forgets what they need to say or do and are generally on hand to deal with any problems that may possibly arise. From early morning until usually just after the first dance we’ll be keeping everything flowing as it should.

Many couples choose Dolly-on-the-Day if they have lots of DIY elements to come together or have multiples venues to organise. Dry-hire venues are also perfect for this service as we can set up and clear away, deal with deliveries and help others suppliers on arrival. Even if your venue has an on-site co-ordinator many couples still like to know that they have someone there the morning of the wedding to make sure the Bridal Party are all ready on time and relaxed plus assist the photographer with getting pre-wedding shots of the Bridal party.

As one of our couples recently said “We knew we needed help and assistance on the day but didn’t really know where to turn. We didn’t think our budget would allow for a wedding planner but when my friend told me about The Wedding Dolls they sounded perfect. Joanne helped us pull a schedule together straight away and with her advice in the run up to the wedding everything was calm, considered and way more fun! Previously I had long to-do lists for my parents and friends and was worried about how they would manage it all. Handing it all over to Joanne instead was a huge relief. Come the wedding day we didn’t have to worry, we knew everything was in place and could enjoy ourselves, along with our families to the max!”.

So if you think you need some help but are not sure where to start give us a call!

Emma x

vijay and leanne wd's at work

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We promised you a giveaway on our Facebook page when we reached 500 likes and so here it is!

We are offering one lucky Facebook fan a free Dolly Hour all of their very own. Use the hour how you like from questions about styling to finding the right suppliers for you. The hour will be done over the phone or by Skype/FaceTime and you can ask us anything you like at a time that suits you.

To enter all you need to do is whizz over to our Facebook page – Like Us – and then comment on the Dolly Giveaway post with your wedding date. We’ll pick a winner at random next week.

Dolly Hours are a great way to get planning help when and where you need it most. Find out more here.

Good luck

Emma & Joanne x

PS Don’t forget to share with your friends, especially if you know a couple who would love a bit of help with their wedding planning!

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Hurrah! We’re happy this week as we’ve been on the hunt for gorgeous wedding dresses with detailed backs and we’ve hit the jackpot with these two gorgeous gowns. The dresses are part of Charlotte Balbier’s latest collection ‘Decade of Style’ which celebrates her 10th anniversary as a leading British designer. The collection has a real Hollywood glamour feel about it and we love just how much detail has gone into these dresses, with perfect details on the front and back – camera ready from all angles!

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To see more of the collection and other gowns visit www.charlottebalbier.com

Stockists in Kent are Isabella Grace, Tunbridge Wells and Heading Up the Aisle, Chislehurst.

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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.

Lucy and Kristian Bridesmaid toolkit

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?

Happy Planning

wedding planner Kent

 

 

 

Image courtesy of Howling Basset Photography

Over the next few weeks we’ll be bringing you interviews with some of Kent’s best wedding suppliers on how they landed their dream job working within the wedding industry from florists, to make-up artists, entertainers and more. Part 1 today is an interview with James Grist, a photographer who has loved taking pictures as long as he can remember. Let’s find out more….

How did you become a wedding photographer?  My photography career really started after finishing my A levels in photography and I started working in sports photography, catching great moments from the World Superbikes. But after a while I wanted to do more work taking pictures of people and a good friend of mine (thanks Pauline!) got me my first wedding job. I was aged just 17 and shot her friends wedding. I just loved it and even now you never knowing what’s going to happen on someone’s big day. That keeps me hooked!

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How would you describe your style? I’m a very laid back kinda guy, not in your face. It means I can’t stand regimental photos but love to float around the wedding crowd and grab those laughter shots or a special moment that otherwise might get missed.

What personality traits do you need to be a good photographer? I think you need to be very confident and very approachable. No-one wants to hire a grumpy ass photographer!

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What are the best and worst parts of your job? The best part of my job is easily capturing moments that could be forgotten over the years. Worst part in my eyes are formal shots where guests stand in a row and generally look uncomfortable! I’m really not a big fan of taking wedding shots that way.

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What are the top three things that wedding couples ask you about first?
It used to be “how old are you?” but sadly I hardly get asked that question anymore! The other is about dedication to the job. My reply is always the same. My son was born in the early hours of the morning, on the same day I had a wedding. I only got to spend a few hours with him before I have to leave. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve done so far. I’m lucky though as my wife was very understanding in the circumstances!

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What tips would you give your couples to help their day run more smoothly? As I say to every couple I see, there is no need to worry or panic on your wedding day if something doesn’t go exactly to plan as usually it’s only them that notices it. The guest often don’t have a clue!

What is your best piece of business advice to aspiring photographers? 

Get as much experience as you can shadowing another photographer. Also learn how a wedding runs as it’s very different to other events. You don’t want to jump right in there and make a major balls up at your first wedding!

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What has been your best moment as a wedding photographer?  The best moment so far is a personal one. It was photographing a family members wedding where I got to take pictures of my beautiful daughter as a Flower girl.

Thanks James for sharing your work with us. Look out next week for Part 2.

Images: James Grist Photography

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I love a weekend away. Nothing beats taking off for a few days and just relaxing and enjoying yourself in good old Blighty. With no airport hassle, passport control and driving on the wrong side of the road to contend with, you can just pitch up, unpack and get to the nearest pub sharpish.

As wedding budgets get tighter the traditional honeymoon is something that many wedding couples are deciding to delay until the bank balance looks a bit healthier. Ergo the rise of the Mini-moon takes hold and we’ve got five cracking places for you to spend your first few days as husband and wife, all without blowing the budget.

1. 5 The Lawn

With lots of glowing reports from lucky visitors this romantic retreat is tucked away on a private road of ten Georgian Villas in St.Leonards, East Sussex and is a great base for exploring the local area. Lovingly built for two, you’ll find everything you need and then some. With its own indoor heated pool, rainbow shower, surround-sound cinema and a fresh water jacuzzi on the terrace, this gorgeous hideaway is perfect for going out, as well as very luxurious staying in.

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2. The George in Rye

A personal favourite, I love this gorgeous hotel, where you can dine and relax in style after a days shopping in the many fantastic boutiques along Rye’s quaint little high street. Take a stroll around the harbour or have a lovely walk along the nearby beaches. With gorgeous rooms and a great menu you’ll be back for more.

3. Writer’s Cottage, Whitstable

Enjoy a good book? Then you’ll love Writer’s Cottage to bring out your creative side. Close to all the fabulous pubs and restaurants that Whitstable has to offer this little gem is fantastic for a cosy seaside break. Rent it through Mulberry Cottages or check out their other many romantic little hideaways dotted all over Kent.

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4. Elvey Farm, Pluckley

We’ve not managed to get to this one yet but have had heard plenty of good things from those that have. A medieval farmstead, there are eleven rooms at Elvey farm, each one packed full of original features and set in either the Oast House, the old Granary, the Sixteenth Century Barn or the Stable Block. There’s a great menu and the team are very proud of the fact that they use Kent produce from local suppliers. Everything here is fresh, home-made and hearty. Perfect for farm loving folk who like all of life’s little luxuries. Just don’t forget your Hunters for those countryside walks!

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5. The Reading Rooms, Margate

Margate might not be first on your list for a romantic break but this town is seriously ramping up it’s tourism charm with the Turner Contemporary for a bit of culture and lots of fabulous cafes and bars. In summer you can hop down to our favourite beach, Joss Bay for a surfing lesson or two or visit nearby Canterbury for a spot of retail therapy. Our accommodation of choice here is The Reading Rooms, which is a small but perfectly formed Georgian B&B. A design haven, the three rooms here cover an entire floor each. Look closely and you might have seen it before on Channel 4’s The Hotel Inspector.

So will you be going on a mini-moon?  We’d love to know where!

Happy Planning!

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This week myself and Joanne got a sneak preview of a gorgeous new magazine hitting the wedding world this weekend.

Doily Days is the new FREE vintage inspired wedding mag from the team, yes you guessed it, behind vintage wedding stylists, Doily Days. Helen Ruff is the lovely editor of the new 56 pager, which is jam packed full of wedding gorgeousness including DIY top tips from Helen herself, as well as Roses All Over and articles from our fellow wedding bloggers, Ooh Mrs James and Festival Brides. There’s also a handmade real wedding for inspiration, features on venues and catering and much more, plus if that wasn’t enough there’s an amazing competition from Mr & Mrs Unique.

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Grab yourself a FREE copy at the ‘Something Old’ wedding fair at the Corn Exchange in Brighton this Sunday (3rd March 12-5pm) or look out for it at a wedding fair near you in Kent very soon.

If you’ve already set the date and are getting ready to send out your “save the date” cards why not add your very own wedding website address to the cards.

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Stationery by Pretty Wild

Setting up a wedding website is a great way to keep all your guests up to date with all the wedding gossip as well as deal with practical matters such as car parking and directions, hotel booking info, lift-sharing facility and RSVPs. You can manage your guest list online with food options and table planning if you wish as well as polls and surveys about certain aspects of your wedding day including favourite song choices etc.

What’s more it’s free to set up and you can also help everyone get to know your bridal party through profile updates and links with social networking sites meaning once it gets to wedding day there’ll be no unfamiliar faces in suits telling your nearest and dearest where to sit!

Check out Sarah and Thomas’s example and see if it’s for you!

 

Carla and Don couldn’t have made their wedding anniversary more special and easier to remember if they tried. Their wedding date and time was 12/12/12 at 12:12 noon and the ceremony took place at Mount Ephraim Gardens in Faversham. Here Carla tells us their wedding story.

“Mount Ephraim Gardens was the first venue that we looked at in January 2012 and I fell in love with it straight away. It felt very romantic. We wanted our wedding to be a relaxed day that we could enjoy with our friends and family but I also wanted it to have a traditional and classic feel. During the ceremony our daughter Olivia read a piece she had written about us and how much we meant to her – it was very emotional.

“As the wedding was just before Christmas our colours were Olive green, gold and ivory. There was such a warm glow from twinkling lights, with lots of candles and pearls to really complete the look. The theme continued with my wedding outfit as I wore a friends pearl necklace and earrings and my veil and hair slide were ivory with very subtle sparkles. The overall look of our wedding was better than I could have hoped for. On all of our stationery we had two little characters of myself and Don to make it feel a little more personalised – we run a family printers, Jenwood Printers, in Sheerness so that definitely helped!
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“We had a traditional menu by caterers, Scott Anderson, of Winter vegetable soup, Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and Crème Brulee. Our reception drink was hot mulled wine. Our wedding cake was cupcakes made by a friend Lisa Burke. The Flower Company in Sheerness supplied by flowers. I love the smell of freesias and I wanted the flowers to look very simple but pretty. I had ivory freesias with pearls and sparkles in the bouquet, tied with an ivory ribbon and the bridesmaids and flower girls had bouquets of gyp, tied with ivory ribbon.

Kerry Ann Duffy was our photographer and she was fantastic. During the day we were also filming a Marryoke, with TDH Media which everyone really enjoyed. We also had up-close magician, Spencer Wood, who did fantastic tricks throughout our pre-dinner drinks and the wedding breakfast. In the evening we had a photo booth by Julian Austin Photography with Apollo Funk DJing. Our first dance was a little different as we did a mix up – we’re not great dancers but we gave it our best shot with tunes including Utah Saints, Big Fish, Tom Jones, Gangnam Style and the Black Eyed Peas “The Time (Dirty Bit)”

Because we had started so early the DJ finished up at 10.30pm with us doing a last dance to Take That’s “Greatest Day” which I cried throughout as I was so happy and didn’t want the day to end!

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Thanks to Carla and Don for sharing their wedding day with us and don’t forget to check out the new Mr & Mrs Jenkins in their Marryoke Video!

 

Wedding Contact Book:

Brides Dress & Shoes: Tantrums and Tiara

Bridesmaids/Flower Girls: Forever Yours & BHS

Groom & Ushers, Peter Posh from Guvnors, Sittingbourne

Photography: Kerry Ann Duffy

Videography and Marryoke: TDH Media

Magician: Spencer Wood

Photo booth: Julian Austin Photography

DJ: Apollo Funk

 

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