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!
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!
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
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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
Last week I went down to sample the workshops at Bake & Crafthouse with the lovely owner and fabulous crafter, Kate Alsanjak. After years working in fashion and design Kate has set up a crafters paradise in the village of Cranbrook, with a beautiful workshop kitted out with everything you’d need to make … well just about anything!
Ideal for hen parties, all age groups are welcome and Kate will arrange a bespoke craft experience for you. This group of happy hens made cupcakes in the morning advancing onto a bit of sewing in the afternoon making some very stylish knickers. All very easy and great fun!
Perfect for all Brides with a creative streak to hone their skills, Kate is a master in guiding you through, whether it’s making your own table place names to bespoke invitations, or favours and much more.
Watch out for Kate on the blog over the coming weeks as she’ll be posting some DIY masterclasses for you all to try at home and introducing new ideas for Brides who are itching to plan a handmade wedding.