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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

Now we’re not usually ones to chat about old bones at the Wedding Dolls HQ but with the discovery of Richard III this week it’s got us thinking about how Castles bring with them a unique mix of history and new beginnings. For us today’s real wedding is the perfect example of mixing old and new and all that’s great about England and it’s historic castles and manor houses. Bevan and Melissa were married in August 2012 at Chiddingstone Castle, Kent with 60 guests at the ceremony and wedding breakfast and a further 50 guests for the evening reception. Here Melissa tells us about their big day.

“We wanted a venue that was in between my home town of Forest Row, East Sussex and Bevan’s home town of  Gillingham, Kent. We looked at lots of venues across Kent on a really rainy day and fell in love with Chiddingstone Castle. It’s country vintage style suited our wedding theme and the exclusive use of the castle was just what we were looking for. It looked perfect even in the pouring rain!

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“I wanted a dress that was grand enough for the castle setting while still fitting our traditional English vintage theme so I chose a Sassi Holford dress which suited my figure perfectly and I loved the simple design with delicate lace embellishments. My shoes were my extravagance. I’d looked at millions of pairs but once I saw Blush Bloom’ by Freya Rose they were the only ones that would do! Melissa Morgan Designs created both mine and the Bridesmaids jewellery. My favourite was my headpiece that Melissa designed and made for me using a vintage brooch I bought in a local antique shop.

“Our theme was Traditional English vintage with touches of a classic afternoon tea, we used accent colours of pale pink and green. The theme can together perfectly and I was so delighted with it! I snuck into the Great Hall while we were getting ready and had a peek at the tables – I nearly burst into tears!

“We are big big tea drinkers so all of our tables were named after types of tea – the top table was our favourite, English breakfast! As soon as we got engaged I started collecting vintage tea cups and saucers from antiques fair, car boot sales and charity shops. I filled each of these with pale pink wax to make tea cup candles for our female guests and the men and children had tea pot shaped cookies. The centre pieces were hired vintage tea pots, cake stands and tea cups filled with beautiful country style floral arrangements. We knew exactly what we wanted for our stationery but neither wanted to spend ages making the save the dates, invitations and seating plan so we enlisted the help of Frances Symes. I ordered a tea cup and tea pot paper stamper from America and Frannie did the rest!

“Our photographer, Martin Briggs was listed on the Castle’s list of trusted suppliers. We looked at his work online and loved his pictures and when we met him we could see how talented and passionate he was. He also used to live in Chiddingstone Castle so knew exactly where all the best spots for pictures were! We didn’t really need a wedding car but I absolutely love Morris Minors so Bevan hired a 1961 white convertible for me from Alfred’s Wedding Cars to get to the venue.

“Our wedding breakfast was wonderful! For canapés we had Rare roast beef in mini Yorkshire puddings with horseradish cream, Pork belly on creamy apple dauphinoise, with cracking and applesauce, Cornish crab fritters with avocado mousse and Beetroot rosti with whipped goats cheese and truffle honey – gorgeous! Then to start we had Scallops with parsnip puree and crispy pancetta, for main course Confit duck leg with slow roasted garlic mash, garlic sprouting broccoli, spice duck filo parcel and a pickled plum sauce and to finish we had Hot chocolate fondant with vanilla sour cream. The food not only tasted fantastic but it looked amazing – we even have photographs of it in our wedding album!

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“In the evening we partied along to a live band called ‘Twist’. They played at a friends wedding and we knew we had to have them! Bevan chose 1,2,3,4 by the Plain White T’s for our first dance which was completely perfect and the band did a great rendition of it.”

Sounds like the perfect end to a fantastic day! Thanks to Melissa and Bevan for sharing their day with us.

Contact Book

Photography: Martin Briggs

Brides Dress by: Sassi Holford from Pantiles Bride

Catering by: Kalm Kitchen

Flowers/Styling by: Karen Woolven – Karen interpreted my theme and colours beautifully.

Entertainment by: Twist

Groomsmen: Penguins of Chatham

Bridesmaids: Dessy through Jodi of Maidstone

Drinks reception entertainment: Greenwich String Quartet – they were incredible.

 

Wow it’s been a whirlwind year for the Wedding Dolls and as I sit here with a slightly hazy head it feels like we’ve come a long way. We started the beginning of 2012 making plans for our new website and with our business still cutting its teeth we had plenty of to do lists to get through and never enough time to do them all.

Running your own business certainly has it’s ups and downs but come April and with the start of wedding season truly underway we were majorly keen to kick off our wedding planning in earnest. There were so many suppliers to meet and plans to make with our Brides and Grooms-to-be. The summer saw some fantastic weddings and we also met with so many couples looking forward to planning their big days in 2013 and beyond.

We also got friend and photographer, Kay Young, to come along to capture us in pics to tell you a bit more about us and how we work. As you can see Joanne does most of the wedding planning and I stick to the blogging but I am occasionally let out from behind my laptop and it was great to meet so many Brides this year with plenty of fun at some great wedding fairs. Our favourites included BluewaterHotel du Vin, the Designer Wedding Show and for vintage planning, Alice and Rose Presents.

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September was a “wey hey” moment with the launch of our new brand and website. We got such a fabulous response and the blog section of our website has gone from strength to strength. With more suppliers getting involved and a steady increase in visitors we’re hoping 2013 sees us reaching new heights and helping more couples plan their dream weddings.

October we launched our brand new workshops where a group of Brides get together to work through our guide to planning the perfect day. With mums in tow our first group had great fun and come away feeling more confident then ever about getting to grips with organising a wedding. The fantastic Rebecca Douglas came along to capture the day so take a look here for more info. There’s more group workshops available to book now so if you’ve just got engaged it’s the perfect time. We of course still do our one-to-one workshops for couples if that suits you better.

Wedding Dolls Workshops

As ever with blogging some posts are more popular than others and here’s our top ten from the year and some of the weddings you told us gave you loads of inspiration as well as our practical advice features:

An English Country Garden Wedding

Wedding Worries: Arranging Your Seating Plan

Preston Court: Louise and Kees Fairground Attraction

Cho and Enio’s Tonbridge Castle Wedding

Wedding Worries: Getting Down with the Kids

Felicity and Simon’s Great Barn Wedding

Vijay and Leanne’s Elegant Indian Fusion Wedding

DIY Weddings – When it’s not cheap and not cheerful

Shelley and James’ Coldharbour Farm Wedding

Counting the Cost: Your Wedding Budget

 

So as you take a look back over our year we’re sure you’ll be making plans for this new one and your own wedding preparations. Stick around as we’ve got some fantastic discount features coming up to help you make that budget go further and lots more inspiration and advice from some of the best suppliers Kent has to offer. We’ll also be involved in lots of exciting projects which we’ll keep you up to date with as they happen.

So from myself and Joanne we wish you loads of luck for a happy and healthy 2013 – we look forward to sharing it with you along the way.

Happy New Year Everyone!

 

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Wedding Planning

Is it really Sunday again? Where does the time go!

So Vijay and Leanne have been Mr and Mrs for a whole week now and we hope they are having an amazing honeymoon! We’ve had quite a week telling you about some of the suppliers that worked on their amazing fusion wedding and all this recapping is making us very impatient, we are dying to see the official photographs by N Photography, Hurry back Mr and Mrs B!.

In the meantime here’s a look back at their first week as newly weds.  First we shared the venue, the gorgeous Nettlestead Place, we’re still thinking about the views across the kent countryside, the perfect venue for those wanting exclusive use and a beautiful setting.

This week we also shared the fab Dream Days for You team headed up by Darminder Cheema. Dream Days specialise in Indian, Gujarati and Halal menus but do offer traditional English catering as well. Their portable catering service is great if you have a unique venue in mind as services can include catering staff, cutlery, crockery, linen and waiting staff. We were able to sample some of the menu and it was absolutely gorgeous.

Then in other wedding news we showed you our frock of the fortnight, one of our favourite designers Johanna Hehir has launched her new diffusion collection, Mae by Johanna Hehir. This gorgeous new range features soft georgette, silk crepe and vintage style lace in the dress designs. Dresses range in price from £1000 to £1500in our frock of the fortnight feature.

Our Real Kent WeddingInspiration came from Chris and Katie’s Wedding Safari at Port Lympe, with photography once again by the amazing Kerry Anne Duffy.

 

Finally we finished up with a fantastic vintage photoshoot at the very lovely Upnor Castle, Kent. The shoot was set up by Margate based photographer, Robert Marriott with the help of Maxine Gregory of Tea-licious and Sandra Andrews of Vintage Curves.

 

Here’s hoping for a hot and sunny July!

Make sure you pop by next week, we’ve got lots more inspiration to share with you .

 

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