In 2013 Dolly on the Day become our most popular service and with bookings flying in for 2014 it’s set to become even more in demand as many couples realise they want all their careful planning to go without a hitch.
When we get planning enquiries we’re always asked what the benefits are of hiring an independent wedding planner rather than just using the in-house venue planner. Well in a little nutshell – the venue coordinator works for the venue and the wedding planner works for YOU.
Still thinking “why would I need to pay out for someone else to oversee my wedding day when the venue has someone for free” right? Well here’s our quick five point guide for some extra info…
1. Save Time
We spend the majority of our time sourcing and working with different wedding suppliers. We know who to go to, why and what their areas of expertise are. This saves one heck of a lot of time in researching and getting samples and quotes. If you’re a busy couple research time is the biggest bug bear but it’s definitely the one area you need to get right. Taking time off work to look at venues or chasing down quotes can become really stressful. We can cut down on serious pavement pounding or internet trawling hours for you both so you can concentrate of other areas of your planning (and life!).
2. Save Money
Yes we know it sounds a bit weird saying you’ll need to pay a wedding planner but you’ll save money. Huh? How’s that? Well just like in our saving time example we also secure discounts with other suppliers to get the best deal for our clients. The suppliers are also happy to reduce the cost as they’re dealing with us and know that we’ll be able to give them quick answers to their questions and have a full brief to get on with the task in hand. This means with less for them to organise directly they’ll reduce the cost of their service (sometimes considerably!)
3. Personalised Service
By using a planner couples are able to stay in complete control of their wedding planning. With one point of contact totally dedicated to them and their plans they can make changes or get updates in one quick phone call. No need to ring five suppliers or wait for calls back from various sources. It’s also easy to share problems and worries with a planner rather than family as they’re not involved in any of the emotional pulls and stresses. They can give you an independent view to help you deal with some of those issues and make a decision that’s right for you. Depending on your level of planning they will always be there on the end of the phone.
4. Budget Control
A planner is there to make sure you don’t go mad with your budget. Once it’s been set they will ensure you are keeping to target and can advise where changes may need to be made. They can also advise on where you can make savings and what DIY elements you can easily add in to save some pennies. In-house planners won’t manage the holistic budget process and will only look after costs associated with catering (if part of the venue service).
5. Full Planning Overview
Some venues will offer a planner as part of their venue hire package. Just make sure though you are clear that an in-house planner will only be managing what happens at the venue. They won’t have an overall view of your wedding and won’t be there as an assistant to you and your wedding party on the day.
If you think you’ll be okay with an in-house venue planner just be sure that you are clear on what they will and won’t do. Check little requirements you have like laying out favours and name places, getting presents for the bridal party and making sure guests are in the right place at the right time. Also check that the wedding planner will actually be working on your day of the wedding (surprising but we’ve been called in at the last minute when the couple finds the in-house planner isn’t actually there on the big day).
There are of course many outstanding venue coordinators who go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure their clients have a perfect day. We have worked alongside some fabulous ones in Kent and together we have formed a great team. Nonetheless, it’s important to remember that the venue coordinator will manage the venue including its own staff, the catering, service and the room changes but us wedding planners have a bigger priority. We make sure your whole wedding runs smoothly and we manage the entire day from start to finish.
If you think you might need some extra help then give us a call for your free consultation.
Emma & Joanne x
For todays super wedding snap we have a gorgeous shot by Martin Briggs Photography. As Martin says “I really like it because it contains happy people and that’s really what a wedding is all about – not the shoes, the dress or the decor, just the sharing of a beautiful day between you as a couple and your family.” We couldn’t agree more!
Have a great weekend!
Every now and then an absolute stunner of a venue comes along that just blows you away. When we first found St Clere (thank you Twitter!) and met Eliza and her team we just knew that any couple would be mad not to fall in love with it. With endless possibilities and exclusive use, St Clere Estate is simply perfect. But you’ll need to be quick. The privately owned estate is only opening up its doors for a limited number of wedding dates in July 2014.
St Clere is in the heart of the Kent countryside with remarkable views of the North Downs and can cater for up to 180 guests. They offer a full package, where you can have drinks and canapés within the formal rooms of the house and on the terrace enjoying views of the immaculate gardens. Then your wedding breakfast and evening entertainment are set just a stones throw from the house within a lavish marquee. For the Bride and Groom there is also the option of staying in a luxury Yurt so you can spend your first night as a married couple looking up at the stars in the tranquil St Clere gardens.
We’re also super excited about this venue as The Wedding Dolls come as part of the wedding package, which means all St Clere couples have a totally unique and stunning wedding day that is full of personality.
Visit St Clere to find out more about the wedding package and all that this beautiful estate can offer – if you’re anything like us you’ll love it as well.
Todays super wedding snap really captures a calm moment before the ceremony begins. Alan Langley of Dover Design tells us “It was taken at Cooling Castle Barn and shows such real emotion from the Groom.”
For us we love it as it captures one of those precious few moments you have to yourself, when you can just stop for a minute and take in your day as it unfolds. Just gorgeous.
Have a great weekend everyone!
In our third part of our dream job series today with chat with Bridal Boutique Manager at Go Bridal, Lola Sands. Lola’s entry into wedding world was a unique one so let’s find out more….
How did you get your dream wedding job?
Quite by accident! I worked as a Customer Services Manager for a large department store and then after an early mid-life crisis, I ran away to sea! I worked in promotions on a cruise liner for a while and then I wasn’t really sure what to do. I came across a sign in the window of The Pantiles Bride for an administration person and ended up becoming the Boutique’s manager before moving to their sister shop, Go Bridal.
How would you describe your boutiques style?
Go Bridal was once a house and is spread over three floors. It’s a tardis and many Brides comment on how deceptive it’s appearance is from the outside. We have a very relaxed atmosphere with scented candles and soft music and a turquoise and silver colour scheme. We have gowns to cater for every budget, style and size.
What personality traits do you need to be a good wedding dress stylist?
Firstly the love of all things bridal and sparkly! Being really patient and organised is a must – a fitting room full of excitable girls do occasionally need to concentrate on the task in hand if they are going to end up with the dress of their dreams! It’s also important to really listen to your customer as she will give you the clues you need to help you suggest the perfect dress.
What are the best and worst parts of your job?
The best part is helping to find that special gown for the most important day of a girls life! There aren’t too many downsides but dealing with high expectations and tight deadlines can be quite stressful.
What is your best piece of business advice to aspiring Boutique Stylists?
That it’s not all “dress-up” and drinking champagne! There’s lots of administration and co-ordinating behind the scenes and really busy fitting days can be mega tiring.
What has been your best moment as a boutique stylist so far?
I’ve had many lovely moments with Brides over the years but the best feeling is always when a bride turns to you at the end of the appointment and says “I would never have picked this gown myself but you seemed to know instinctively what suited me”. It makes all the hard work worth it.
Thanks Lola for sharing your dream job with us. If you want to find out more about Dream Wedding Jobs here’s the series so far:
Part One: Wedding Photographer
Part Two: Wedding Planner
Part Three: Wedding Florist
Look out next week for the part five of our Dream Jobs series.
Michael Jackson is the very talented photographer and owner of Jackson & Co Photography. You’ll just love Michael’s fun and easy going nature, which is so important if you are a couple that are slightly nervous in front of the camera. His down-to-earth and friendly approach to wedding photography is really refreshing and it helps that he’s a brilliant photographer as well. Let’s find out more….
How did you become a wedding photographer?
“I’ve taken photographs since I was a kid, my Dad made me my very first camera out of wood when I was really small so it’s something that I’ve always done. I guess like so many people a hobby become a real passion and then everything else just faded away and photography was all that I wanted to do. I spent a little while travelling with my wife in California and documented our trip the whole way. Throughout that time we just talked about what we could do and how we would do it and Jackson & Co Photography started to take shape. From that moment on it became the only thing we wanted to do.
How would you describe your style?
“Bright, colourful and fun. There’s a huge trend right now for photographs processed in a vintage style and although I love the nostalgia of old vinyl records and film cameras in truth I don’t really care for old grainy photos. I love photos that have punch, whether that comes from gorgeous warm sunlight and vivid colours or from a couple grinning at one another from ear to ear – and that ultimately is what I am trying to achieve when I am taking your photograph.
“Having your photograph taken is a daunting experience for most of my couples and they don’t know what to expect. They’re not alone, pretty much everyone does but there’ll soon have forgotten I’m even there. The camera bit is the easy bit of my job, it’s getting people to relax and enjoy is the real skill!
What do wedding couples ask you first?
“Usually “how long will I be there?” I’m there the whole day to capture your wedding from start to finish. Also “do I sell albums?” Absolutely. I currently provide albums by Folio and Red Tree.
What tips would you give your couples to help their day run more smoothly?
Planning is everything. I make sure that I go through an itinerary the week before so I know what’s happening and when. Also trying to co-ordinate guests together for group shots isn’t exactly my favourite thing in the world! They are important shots to get but unless I have someone to help me find certain friends and family it can be a bit of a guessing game who’s who! Plus it then takes far longer than it needs too.
What has been your best moment as a wedding photographer?
Crouching down and laying along an old wooden jetty that sticks out into Lake Garda last summer to capture one of my couples. The sun was just dipping down over the mountain and it was a really quiet and calm moment, that shot always stays with me.
For more info about Michael and to take a look at his portfolio whizz over to www.jacksonandcophotography.com
Today we are very excited as we were asked to be part of the Pin it Forward campaign run by Pinterest to join pinning communities together and get people sharing more.
We love Pinterest as you can discover all sorts of inspiration in one place and then organise all your pins quickly and easily into mood boards and categories to suit you.
We use it all the time to create wedding style boards and pin all our favourite ideas from around wedding world including stuff like decorating a marquee and table names to celebrity wedding styles.
Best of all there’s an option for secret boards so you can share with a select few keeping your pins undercover if needs be until well after your wedding day.
Whether you’re pinning for your wedding, your business or just for fun Pinterest is fast becoming the must go to website for inspiration and all things creative.
As part of the launch I’m sharing with you our English Country Wedding board. The board is full of gorgeous inspiration if you’re planning a wedding in Kent, or actually any countryside location! Here’s just a little taster.
And it’s not just for Brides, your Groom can get right involved in this pinning lark with the team over at IamStaggered. A brilliant blog for all things manly when it comes to weddings who have their own Pinterest boards for inspiration and of course, repinning. Go over and say hello!
A massive thanks to the team at Pinterest for asking us to be involved and we hope the campaign is a huge success. Make sure you share your pinboards with us below as we’d love to follow you too!
Coming up with ideas to get your guests involved in your wedding can cause sleepless nights but we’ve found the perfect solution. How about getting them DJing at your wedding? Yes really.
Stick It On is an entertainment company with a difference. They provide the DJ equipment all you need to do is provide the DJ’s. Wedding guests are actively encouraged to make their way to the decks and do their best Rizzle Kicks or Mark Ronson impression for a 15 minutes slot. No experience necessary. It’s novices all the way and the only mission is to get everyone up on the dance floor.
So if your mates are reliving Pacha but Auntie Joan’s style is more Agadoo than Ministry of Sound you’ll be mixing it up all ways and getting everyone involved. The perfect recipe for a wedding your guests won’t forget.
What would be in your 15 minute set? Let us know!
If you need something to look forward to then get your diaries ready and make sure you don’t miss “A Gloriously Vintage Day Out and Wedding Fair” on Sunday 12th May 2013.
Held at Mount Ephraim, a fabulous Edwardian Country House near Faversham, this fantastic day out is a must for all vintage wedding fans. The “Just Say I do” vintage wedding section includes cake makers, photographers, florists, event stylists and a range of beautiful wedding dresses to keep any Bride happy plus there will be a “Make, do and mend!” craft area for anyone eager to try their hand at DIYing their wedding.
For “A little of what you fancy”, the retro section has home wares and clothing,
plus outside in the “Mustard & Cress” area you can treat yourself to all kinds of delicious offerings from vintage ice-cream suppliers and sweet stalls set amongst retro caravans and cars. And take the kids along as there’ll be free entertainment all day to keep them happy.
The fun kicks off from 11am and will swing on in true vintage style until 5pm.
Click here for more info.