Sometimes you can get wedding inspiration in unusual places and the Wealden Times Midsummer Fair is just one of our favourites. On from Thursday 6th June to Saturday 8th June at Hole Park, Rolvenden, the fair has got a huge range of suppliers exhibiting who are just fabulous at helping you create a wedding day with character.
Gorgeous treats from Alex at Vintage Rose Cupcakes
From cakes to coffee, bunting to beer with crafting and gifts galore it’s a great day out plus a brilliant way to see lots of suppliers doing what they do best. Plus as a bonus you can taste, feel and test everything so you really get a good idea of what you are booking for your big day.
Beautiful vintage items from Love Inc Ltd
So our advice would be get your tickets, pull on those Hunters and be ready for some fabulous wedding inspiration. Make sure you pop over to Wedding Dolls favourites, Vintage Rose Cupcakes and Love Inc Ltd – tell them we said hello!
The old saying “it’s the little things that mean most” could not be truer for your wedding day. You can spend hours thinking up outlandish ways to wow your guests but going back to basics is always a winning formula. Here’s six ideas to wow your guests without getting your planning pants in a right old twist.
1. It’s a Wonderful Welcome
Make sure your Groomsmen are well up to the task of welcoming your guests and creating a buzz at the very start of your big day. Choose Groomsmen whose personality shines through and are enthusiastic about their role. Then you can be sure your guests will share their excitement and anticipation whilst waiting for their gorgeous Bride to arrive.
2. Sweets for My Sweet
If your budget stretches far enough give everyone a little gift as they wait for the ceremony to start. Little bags with humbugs are great for a winter warmer and sherbet pips for some summer fizz. Don’t’ go all Willy Wonka though with a massive sweet cart – you don’t want your guests crunching their way through your wedding vowels.
Available from Etsy
3. Signature Cocktail
Mixing your own wedding cocktail is a great way to bring personality into your wedding day and give guests something other than the usual Pimms or Champagne offering. It doesn’t have to be worthy of any mixology awards, just think about serving a drink that matches your colour scheme or add a simple cordial to cava (or sparkling water for a non-alcoholic version). Give it a unique name and claim it for your own.
4. Picture Perfect
Photo booths are a great way to add a bit of fun to the evening and a great way to bridge the gap between the end of the wedding breakfast and the arrival of evening guests. As well as a good giggle on the night you’ll have some great guest snaps as the perfect reminder of the day. Check to see if your photographer offers this service as part of a wedding package or book a purpose built booth complete with funny outfits and comic hats galore.
You Beauty Photobooths
5. The Old Speech Sweepstake
Wedding speeches are a highly anticipated part of the day; “Who’s going to say what, will the Best Man embarrass the Groom, who’s gonna cry”. Don’t even think about not doing them. You’ll regret it. Forever. One way to bring in a bit of audience participation is doing a speech sweepstake. Everyone takes a guess on how long the speeches will last and puts in £2 to play. Whoever is the closest to the right time wins the pot of cash. Get your Ushers to do the sweepstake whilst the tables are being cleared from the main course.
6. Bring me the Barista
One thing we always hear guests asking for later into the evening is the availability of tea and coffee. Most weddings simply serve one after dinner and sometimes it’s just not enough. Guests who are driving, those who don’t drink or those who need to lay off the free bar will really appreciate something other than a Diet Coke…again. A really fun idea is to have a Barista available to mix different coffees and add a Baileys where necessary. They always go down well with a mini donut (or two) for a late night treat.
Ashleys Bride Guide
What are you planning to do to wow your guests? We’d love to know!
Featured Image: The Lovely Lens
Love the camera? Check. Friends and family complete show offs? Check. Want some fun entertainment at your wedding? Check. Then a photobooth could be just what you’re after! Today we’ve got a great offer for you from the lovely George Palmer of You Beauty Photobooths who is offering a fantastic deal that will give you a fabulously fun element to your wedding day.
Prices for a complete photobooth service start from £495 for a 3 hour package which includes:
Unlimited Photos with double prints
Set up, delivery and take down costs as well as a fully trained staff member present throughout the course of the event.
Fully stocked prop box packed with hats, glasses, wigs and much more.
All photos uploaded to the You Beauty Photo booths Facebook page as well as the website gallery post.
For The Wedding Dolls readers there is a special deal available if you book before the end of June 2013. Simply quote “The Wedding Dolls” when enquiring and you will receive an additional extra package (worth over £100) completely FREE which includes:
HD video allowing guests to record personal messages which are supplied on DVD or USB stick
Greenscreen option allowing you to choose the background of your photos
A Guest Book which allows guests to leave a personal message as a great memento of your day
A USB stick of all the images and photo’s
For more information and images of the photobooth and the different themes you can book visit You Beauty Photobooths.
Today is the third part of our Dream Job series and we’re meeting Tracey aka Mrs Bouquet who loves all things flowers and floristry. Here’s the green fingered lady to tell us more…..
How did you become a Wedding Florist?
After working in London for 17 years, my kids arrived and I wanted a job I could fit around them. I always loved working in the garden and had one of those ‘light bulb’ moments! I enrolled in Hadlow College, which was amazing – it’s full of great teachers with great energy, knowledge and a passion for the craft. After four years of training I was ready to start out myself.
What’s your floristry style?
As a keen gardener I’m always inspired by garden flowers. The UK is fantastic for flowers as we have the changing seasons. My style is influenced by these factors and has an English Country Vintage vibe. I really love to push the boundries with flowers and colour to create beautiful bouquets and displays.
What makes a good florist?
Passion, creativity and colour confidence! You also need to be organised and work well under pressure. And don’t be scared to do something different – you usually produce your best work when you’re taken out of your comfort zone!
What’s the best and worst part of your job?
The best part is working with my clients to produce bespoke designs for them. I find the whole process really exciting, from the first consultation to the Wedding Day, it’s great to look back and see how everything has come together. I also love giving the Bride her bouquet – it’s that mix of being nervous and excited at the same time. The worst part is working in freezing conditions! Your workshop has to be cold so the flowers are kept at their optimum condition, but it does mean you end up pretty cold yourself!
What’s the three things most couple’s ask first?
Usually what flowers are available around their Wedding Day. I always make lots of recommendations on availability and then go through what they like and what they don’t like. The next is about visualising their flowers. It can be difficult to imagine what your flowers will look like on your Wedding Day so generally I create a mood board for my couples. The next is Colour. Most Brides pick just two colours but three can work so much better.
Top tips for making the “Big Day” run smoothly?
Remember to be flexible with flower choices and go with what’s in season as they are generally the best option and better value for money. Flowers are a natural product and not always available when needed so have an alternative option ready. Also don’t drive yourself nuts trying to get exact colour matches! The more shades you have the more natural and better it will look!
What would be your advice to aspiring florists?
The hardest part of running a business is getting yourself out there. Keep networking, go to Wedding Fairs and ‘show off’ your work. You’ll start to be recommended and your business will take off. Be patient, it will happen! I can’t remember how many times I wanted to give it all up but I’m so glad I didn’t as I love what I do.
What’s been your best moment as a wedding Florist?
It’s always when I give a Bride her bouquet and they are so happy they burst into tears. It happens a lot and I usually end up crying too!
Thanks to Mrs B for answering all our questions and if you want to know more pop over and say hello – she’ll be pleased to see you!
Sometimes getting a group of girls together and just chilling out means a lot more laughs and much less stress. Spa to You is a great way to get pampered and preened in the comfort of your own home with fabulous spa treatments for all the girls.
Lauren Tucker, owner and therapist tells us “Luxury manicures, pedicures, spray tanning, facials and massage are definitely the most popular options for a hen pamper party. We also offer a great Bride-To-Be package so there’s lots of choice for everyone.
Wedding Dolls readers can get a special offer if booking before the end of June where the Bride will receive either a free 30 minute facial or a spray tan when four or more hens attend a party and have a spray tan too!
See full details of all the packages at www.spatoyou.co.uk where you can also see brilliant feedback about the service.
Happy Hen Planning!
Today is the turn of our very own Wedding Doll, Joanne Scott, to tell us more about being a wedding planner. Blog readers won’t need much introduction so we’ll go straight in and find out more…..
How did you become a wedding planner?
I worked in PR and events but took a break to spend more time with my young children. During this time I got asked to help with a few weddings on an ad-hoc basis and really enjoyed it. It’s so different from corporate events and I love the personality that you add to each day. I got the wedding bug and studied for a professional diploma in Wedding Planning.
How would you describe what you do?
I work with the Bride and Groom to make sure they have the wedding they want and support them throughout with advice and guidance. I would never dream of taking over someone’s plans and telling them what to do! Our wedding service enables couples to make their own decisions and feel completely in control of their plans and ideas. I get to know the couples really well and help them bring their style and personality into their wedding day. After all – it is all about them!
What personality traits do you need to be a good planner?
Obviously being professional, highly organised and good with juggling many different things is a massive bonus! However I do think you need to be compassionate and understanding. Getting married is very personal and you can’t stroll in and start being a Miss Bossy Boots! You need to be able to build solid relationships with suppliers and earn the trust of everyone you work with. Being a fun and friendly face is essential.
What are the best and worst parts of your job?
The best has to be seeing it all come together on the day, I love going home knowing that our newlyweds are on the dance floor having had the best day – that’s what it’s all about for me.
The worst is being on your feet for pretty much 12 hours straight. I hate wearing flats to a wedding but can’t survive the day without them!
What are the top three things that wedding couples ask you about first?
Normally first off is “Can I afford a wedding planner?” The answer is yes. We’ve got lots of different options to help any stressed out couple whether they can afford £50 right up to £5,000.
Usually then they ask about how to go about starting their planning and working out their budget.
What tips would you give your couples to help their day run more smoothly?
We always get couples to imagine being a guest at their wedding and run through the experience of the day from start to finish. It helps to visualise what will be happening and when.
Also don’t give the Bridal Party too many jobs to do. They’ll be busy themselves trying to get ready, be in the pictures and welcoming guests. Be realistic about what time they’ll have come the big day and never give jobs to people that can’t handle the pressure.
What is your best piece of business advice to aspiring planners?
Experience is key. Get involved in the events industry in as many ways as you can. Nothing beats hands on experience of how events run, learning how to get the most out of people and building good relationships.
What has been your best moment as a wedding planner?
No one moment stands out but I do always love taking five minutes every now and again to watch the Bride & Groom looking so happy and just enjoying everything happening around them. It means all the planning and hard work has paid off. We always tell couples to take a moment and look around their wedding to really take in the atmosphere – I do it all the time !
Thanks Jo and if you missed last week’s Dream Jobs with Photographer with James Grist check it out now!
If you’re an outdoorsy type that still loves your home comforts then this hen do is for you. The Original Hut Company and Pure Flavour Catering have teamed up to offer a perfect venue for a bit of adventure, and definitely some giggles, with a gang of your best hens.
The Original Hut Company runs a beautiful farm in the village of Bodiam, East Sussex, with gorgeous little unique huts where you can all stay and sleep under the stars. The huts are easily adapted from day to night with a day bed at one end, which easily converts to become bunk beds and the dining table at the other end folds down to make a double bed. There’s no need not to wash for the weekend either as you’ll find a hut with two loos, basins and piping hot showers. All huts are fully equipped with linen, outside furniture and have their own fire pit for cooking.
If you’re unable to cook little more than a tin of beans without the aid of a microwave or simply don’t fancy doing your own cooking, then this is where Pure Flavour comes in. The very lovely chef, Emma Howitt, will arrange with you perfect meals for the weekend with a host of scrumptious home-made cooking and local produce on offer. Hampers are also available for arrival and during the weekend so you can eat like Camping Queens.
The farm is just a stones throw from loads of activities, including Go Ape at Bedgebury and a host of local pubs within walking distance if you want to burn off some of that gorgeous food, or just make room for another Vodka & Coke.
Super friendly, Anna, at The Original Hut Company will be there to help you with any questions you have, all that’s left to decide now is who gets the top bunk!
Are you doing something different for your hen do? We’d love to hear about it.
Happy Hen Planning,
If you’re planning an outdoor wedding chances are you’ll be needing a marquee or tent and you’re in luck as our very lovely neighbours (well two little roads away) at LPM Bohemia can help you with all of them!
From Vintage and Traditional Canvas Pole Tents, Indian Marquees, to more contemporary Party Marquees, as well as Yurts and the eye-popping Grand Pavilion, they’ve got it covered for you.
Alongside hiring your tent the really friendly team will also help with furniture, dance floors, lighting and decor. There’s simply a huge range to choose from and lots of the tents can be joined together so you can get the perfect look alongside the functionality you need. Plus you could opt for letting your guests stay over for a bit of late night partying in Bell Tents and Yurts.
For some of you though decorating a tent or marquee can feel like a daunting prospect. It’s a huge blank canvas to work with, but with some of the new interior linings available it will make it that little bit easier and you’ll have a stunning and unique place for your wedding day.
Are you planning an outdoor wedding? What type of tent will you be hiring?
Images all from LPM Bohemia
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