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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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Sometimes an image can never really capture the details of a beautiful dress and it’s not until you see it close up that you really appreciate all the exquisite details. At a recent styled shoot we were lucky enough to have a dress that captures the feminine and romantic spirit of designer Lusan Mandongus with fabulous detailing and a classic style.

Isabella Grace were kind enough to lend us the dress for the shoot, that made the front cover of Your Kent Wedding Magazine, and we’re so glad as Lusan Mandongus dresses really are as beautiful as they look.

Beginning as a small bridal house based in Hong Kong, Lusan Mandongus now has more than 100 stockists, including Isabella Grace at Tunbridge Wells. They have been creating gorgeous gowns since 1991 with a passion to design every girl’s dream for her wedding day.

Here are a few of our favourites from the latest collection.

 

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Featured Image by Rebecca Douglas Photography with styling by Kent Wedding Planners, all other images by Lusan Mandongus

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If you’re looking for style inspiration this week then make sure you get the May/June edition of Your Kent Wedding which features The Wedding Dolls very own gorgeous wedding shoot, inspired by Swan Lake. We’re super excited as an image from the shoot made the front cover! Here’s just a sneak peek of what you’ll find inside so buy your copy today!

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Many thanks to all the shoot suppliers who were just fabulous to work with as always: Rebecca Douglas Photography Florist in the Forest Isabella Grace Bridal Boutique The Beauty Aisle Little Gems Boutique Bakery The Swan West Malling Chez Bec Prettywild Design The Crop Shop West Malling and our models Jessica, Ria, Sarah & Jodie.

We hope you love it as much as we do!

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Front cover and feature image courtesy of Your Kent Wedding

Today on the blog is home-grown Kent talent, Adam Chandler, who we saw singing in style last weekend.

With his cool Rat Pack style Adam has been a wedding singer in Kent for over 8 years in the county where he was born and raised. Adam says “Weddings here are often the most beautiful as there’s so many picturesque venues and locations that only Kent can offer.”

If you think you’ve seen Adam somewhere before you probably have. He made it through to the last eight in the X-Factor finals with band Futureproof. Adam has also sang with the likes of Westlife, Shayne Ward, The Sugar Babes, Leona Lewis and Tom Jones to name just a few!

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Find out more about Adam and details of his prices and wedding packages here.

Happy Planning!

wedding planner Kent

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It’s your last chance this week to enter this fantastic competition!

We’ve teamed up with Your Kent Wedding Magazine to offer you the chance to win The Wedding Dolls for all your wedding planning needs, by way of our fabulous wedding rescue package.

The Kent Wedding team said “Organising the big day can take an incredible amount of time, and you may find it difficult to plan it all on your own. That’s why a wedding planner can help no end. We’re introducing The Wedding Dolls, aka Emma and Joanne, who advise couples on how to realise their big-day dreams.”

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Joanne explained “Whether soon-to-be weds are in need of inspiration, are time-strapped or would like some ideas on how to keep within budget, we can help them to plan their nuptials in style. And, once the big day arrives, it’s so satisfying to see everything come together. We will meet with the lucky winning couple to review their plans and get them back on track with a bespoke schedule to follow and then three weeks before the big day we’ll meet with them again to finalise their plans and then be there on the day for 8 hours to make sure everything runs smoothly.”

What are you waiting for! Enter the competition here now! 

Emma x

You won’t get your vintage wedding planning off to a much better start than popping down to Gravesend’s Old Town Hall on Saturday 13th April.

3 Little Birds are organising this gorgeous little Vintage Wedding Fayre which has everything the vintage inspired bride-to-be could possibly need, from milliners to make-up artists and lots more in between.

A unique part of this fayre are the smart little money saving seminars you can join in including “Build your own bouquet” and “DIY Vintage Hair and Make-up” which are run by some of the fantastic vintage and industry experts exhibiting at the fayre. As well as tea and cakes galore you’ll also get to sample live entertainment in Tea Room as well as find that perfect vintage style with the Walk-In Dress Shop by Vintage Curves.

All Brides receive a free goody-bag on arrival and you’ll also be entered into a prize-draw for the chance to win free room hire for a civil ceremony at The Old Town Hall itself.

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For more info visit 3 Little Birds.

Happy Vintage Planning!

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All images by James Grist Photography

Today on the blog we are meeting the very talented floral designer, Joanne Truby. Joanne is based in Bromley and covers Kent, Essex, Surrey and central London. Specialising in creating beautiful and unique arrangements for weddings and events she works with you throughout the whole design process starting with a free consultation to help discover your own wedding style. We asked Joanne about her designs and how she works with her couples. Lets find out more…

How do you make sure that your Wedding Couples personality is reflected in the flower design?

“I tend to find out a bit about my couples when I meet them for their wedding consultation. Including the type of wedding day they want to have, if they have a particular favourite colour, what they like to do in their spare time and what their likes and dislikes are and if they have a particular theme they want to incorporate into their big day. This then helps me to create designs that I feel will work perfectly for them.”

How do you work with the Bride & Groom to choose colour palettes and the style of flowers?

“I ask Brides to bring along to their consultation any pictures they have where they really like either the colour, the style or even just the mood that it creates or simply inspires them in some way. This is a good starting point to build on. I also ask for a picture of the Wedding Party’s outfits so we can choose a colour combination that will work well with what everyone is wearing. We also do a little scrapbook session where we pick out together favourite images from my floristry books and magazines – this a great exercise particularly for Brides who are a little unsure. It usually highlights a particular style or colour that they love. I always like to tie the flowers into any wedding theme. For example one wedding this year has seaside elements so I have designed centre pieces with ribbon that has a quirky nautical look.”

Some Brides select flowers for their deeper meanings – do you have a favourite?

“Ooh there are so many beautiful flowers it’s really hard just to pick one! I do love all the romantic flowers such as ranunculus, peonies, hydrangeas and of course sweet peas. Although my current favourite is Clematis! I also adore flowers that have a wonderful scent. For me the aroma and smell of fresh flowers is one of the best things about my job.”

How much do the seasons impact on the flowers you can choose for a wedding?

“The seasons have a big impact for sourcing particular flowers. Peonies are very popular and Brides are sometimes disappointed when they are not available but I am a firm believer in only using seasonal flowers. I think it makes you appreciate the flowers and enjoy them that much more when they are in season – if only for a short while! I also buy British flowers where possible and this it totally based around the seasonal calender. It’s great though as when the seasons change you know you have lots of lovely new flowers to look forward to.”

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Thanks to Joanne for sharing her design skills and this beautiful wedding with us.

Has the post inspired you? What flowers do you want for your wedding?

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Photography Credit: Fiona Kelly

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If you like your vintage look then you’ll be totally in love with shoe designer, Rachel Simpson’s brand new vintage inspired collection for both you and the man in your life.

Agnes & Norman takes it style inspiration from a bygone era with the emphasis on simplicity and quality. As Rachel said at the launch earlier this month, “each pair is designed to fit perfectly, feel indulgent and exude unique character and good old-fashioned quality.”

There’s fifteen styles in the spring/summer collection with gorgeous colours in leather and suede with lots of details and cute bows to create their vintage vibe. Prices start from £85.

Audrey 806 (pair) Betsy 817 (pair) Elsie 800 (pair) Frank 818 (pair) Greta 811 (pair) Daisy 808 (pair) Florence 812 (pair) Frank 819 (pair) Millie 804 (pair)

 

The range will be available exclusively online later this month. Just in time for payday!

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Lifestyle Images by Emma Case Photography

Let’s face it weddings aren’t cheap. If you’re the Bride & Groom you’re expected to fork out to make your day perfect but now even attending a wedding can be an major exercise in budget control. From the present, to the new outfit, a possible overnight hotel stay and then attending the stag or hen do and you’re looking at a whopping £500 plus just to turn up. So as your guests have really gone to a lot of effort before they arrive try to avoid these five things that will strike fear into their little happy wedding hearts:

1. “I’m Hungry”

Think about the timing of your wedding and when food and drink will be available. Starting a wedding between 12noon and 2pm will mean guests have probably been rushing to make it there and not had much time to think about lunch. If you can provide a little snack or at the very least a drink on arrival or directly after the ceremony then do it. It doesn’t have to be alcohol or canapes! Use your imagination and check out our previous post for hints and tips.

2. “I can’t afford an Xbox”

Expensive wedding gifts always grind with guests. No-one likes a greedy pants and putting personal gifts like the latest games consule or GHD’s on a wedding list can look a bit off, as does a gift list with a minimum present price of over £100. Make sure you mix the list up a bit with gifts of varying prices or use a Honeymoon payment scheme so guests can donate what they want and help you to have fun as you start your married life.

3. “I think I’ve missed the last train”

If your wedding is out in the sticks or a long way from public transport then you will need to think about making sure your guests can have a good time and get home safely. Hiring a bus (red or otherwise) to take guests on mass back to a town centre or local hotel would be fantastic but if your budget doesn’t stretch that far at the very least make sure you book some cabs in advance. That way guests aren’t left without a ride home as sleeping in the Church generally isn’t an option.

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4. “Urgh how do you spell C-o-n-g-r-a-t-s”

It never fails to raise a quiet chuckle when you pass around the “Guest Book” and see the looks you get. It ranges from a ‘kill me now I have literally nothing to say’ to ‘yes I’m taking it from you but I’m going to pass it on quickly when I think no-one is looking”. There’s nothing worse than having to write something heart felt and witty into a book once you’ve drunk half your body weight in wine. There’s loads more options out there now from Polaroid Camera Pictures hanging on a washing line, to finger print trees and Quiz books about the Bride and Groom to help your guests along a bit. Much more original and much more fun.

5. “I’ve think my feet have frozen off”

This is a pet hate, maybe because I should only really ever live in the Caribbean, but I hate being cold. To be MADE to get cold is even worse. If you’re having a Winter wedding make sure your venue won’t shove your guests outside in the driving rain or snow whilst rooms are being changed around. If you’re having your ceremony in a Church check with Father George that it’s alright to have the heating on so your guests feet don’t get frozen to the floor. English Summer weddings will also have the chilly evenings to contend with so how about having some wraps or blankets on hand. That way your guests can get nice and toasty and still feel the warm glow of your wedding long into the night.

 

Remember if you look after your guests first, everything else will fall into place and your suppliers will also be more than happy to bend over backwards to make sure your guests get the best service possible.

Happy Planning!

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Featured Image: Frank Amodo

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.