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Cute Bridesmaids practically make a wedding and you can’t get any cuter than these outfits from Gilly Gray London. An independent shop run by family team Gilly and Freya Gray, they specialise in made-to-measure flower girl dresses and accessories using the finest cottons, silks and satins. They specialise in the more traditional of designs which, rather handily, can be made in any colour to fit with your own wedding palette.

Here are just some of our favourite designs……

Charlestone Flower Girl Dress 600 Dana Grant Ivory Dress 600 Gilly Gray Forget Me Not Dress 600 Gilly Gray Rustic Dress 600 Gilly Gray Wild Silk Dress  600 The Darcey Dress 600 The Duchess Flower Girl Dress 600 The Gatsby Glamour  Headband 600 The Ivory Flower Girl Dress 600 The Kew dress 600 The Victoria Flower Girl Dress 600 The Windermere Flower Girl Dress 600

 

So cute eh! The difficult part is choosing which one to go for!

For more designs whizz over to their online store now where you can get 10% off if you order before 1st December 2013. Quote AUTUMN 10 when ordering from Etsy or at www.gillygray.com

Happy Shopping!

Emma. x

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Finding your venue is one of the most important jobs on your wedding to do list. It’s what you need to book first to make everything else fall into place. Now with so many venues to choose from you’ll be needing some help and we’ve got just the thing.

A very wonderful website, Find Your Perfect Venue, has been created by Rachel Titman, to get your wedding venue research off to a flying start. The site makes exploring venues as easy as possible with a simple search facility, full venue details, gorgeous images and a wide choice of destinations.

Rachel says “We are committed to supporting couples create their dream wedding and we’re developing our website based on real feedback and customer needs.”

Here are just some of the fantastic venues featured on the site:

blackdownevents

Blackdown Events @ The Haymeadow, Somerset

Beach Weddings Bournemouth

Beach Weddings Bournemouth

Broyle Place

Broyle Place, East Sussex

cliftonnurseries

Clifton Nurseries, London

Dartington Hall

Dartington Hall, Devon

dunctonmill

Duncton Mill Fishery, West Sussex

greatfosters

Great Fosters, Surrey

felixhotel

Felix Hotel, Cambridge

iscoydpark

Iscoyd Park, Shropshire

stclere

St Clere Estate, Kent
Ooh did you know that The Wedding Dolls are preferred planners here!

 

So let you fingertips do the talking and whizz over to FindYourPerfectVenue.com now!

Happy Planning!

Emma x

 

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Venues, Wedding Planning

Last Sunday we held one of our DIY wedding workshops at the fabulous Bake and Crafthouse in Cranbrook. Crafting expert Kate took our workshop attendees through their paces setting them to work on bunting, stationery, place cards, pom poms, favours and table settings.

Here is just a little taster of what we did on the day. You can also get instructions on making the cute favour bags and edible favours by clicking the links.

diy workshop

 

All our Brides-to-be and their Mums and chums had a great time and we absolutely loved having them. I helped the Brides with some advice on how to plan the perfect DIY wedding with our insider hints and tips. Here’s are our top three DIY tips that we talked about more at the workshop:

1. Be warned DIY doesn’t always mean cheap

As much as I love DIYing I do sometimes have to admit defeat and realise that actually I can’t make it any cheaper than buying it in from a professional – especially not when I add my limited time into the equation. Suppliers can buy in bulk, have all the right equipment and can do a professional looking job. Hobbycraft and your old glue gun sometimes just won’t measure up and it’ll cost you more in the long run.

2. The Clock is Ticking

You’ll need lots of time and energy if you’re making everything from scratch. Do a reality time check. If you work 12 hours a day, 5 days a week then things might get a tad stressful for a novice DIYer especially in the run up to the big day. If you don’t think you can fit it in think about getting help and plan accordingly.

3. Fail to Plan Plan to Fail

Now even if you have managed to get everything done on your DIY schedule do think about the big day itself and how much setting up will be needed. If you have lots of DIY elements from bunting to pom poms or table settings, photo booths and sweet tables you’ll need to schedule in how you are going to get it all to the wedding venue and how long you’ll need to set it up. Check with your venue when you can get in to start your decor and when you’ll need to clear them all out by. Plan accordingly and make sure you have enough pairs of hands to get everything done in the time allowed.

If you would like to go on the waiting list for our workshops in early 2014 then please email hello@theweddingdolls.co.uk and we’ll be sure to let you know the exact dates very soon.

If in the meantime you need any help or advice with your DIY wedding, styling or how to go about setting up on the big day do give us  a call – we love to chat DIY weddings!

Happy Planning!

Emma x

P.S Kate at the Bake and Crafthouse does fantastic craft hen parties – get those hens to help!!

Back at the beginning of the year we styled a shoot at The Swan in West Malling to showcase how getting married in a pub or restaurant doesn’t mean forsaking any glamour on your wedding day. Choosing your favourite local pub might not seem like the obviously choice but The Swan itself is a fantastic venue and can cater easily for different events, whether it’s a small gathering in one of their private rooms to large events in their peak-season marquee.  We brought together a fantastic team of suppliers for the shoot including the brilliant photographer, Rebecca Douglas and set about using the Swan’s brand itself to inspire the shoot. Using a simple black and white theme we used feathers and touches of pink and purple to soften the look and make the most of the Swan’s elegant backdrop.

The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 056 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 059 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 067 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 074 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 126 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 130 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 146 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 200 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 216 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 218 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 226 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 233 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 234 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 235 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 253 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 264 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 279 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 300 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 303 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 304 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 324 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 333 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 346 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 348 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 350 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 386 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 397 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 398 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 399 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 409 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 412 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 417 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 419 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 426 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 427 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 429 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 437 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 441 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 450 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 465 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 468 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 485 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 510 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 511 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 516 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 526 The Swan West Malling Bridal Wedding Styled Shoot Kent by Rebecca Douglas Photography 527

 

Thanks to all the brilliant suppliers:

Brides Hair  by Annabel The Crop Shop West Malling

Brides Make up: The Beauty Aisle

Dresses: Isabella Grace Bridal Boutique

Stationery: Pretty Wild

Flowers & Props: Florist in the Forest

Cakes & Sweets: Little Gems.

And a special thanks to our four models Jessica, Ria, Sarah and Jodie.

We’re totally over the moon this week as we received a lovely email confirming we’re finalists in the Kent Wedding Awards for Wedding Planner of the Year. It’s lovely to be recognised within your industry for the work you do and the great service you provide to your couples.

Print

Our aim when we set up the company was to run a boutique wedding planning service that would help couples organise a wedding that’s fun, fabulous and full of personality. Years later I’m still amazed that people always seem to ask “what is it exactly that you do” and really don’t understand the role of a wedding planner. Firstly I’d start by saying most couples will WANT to plan their big day and we don’t in anyway “take over” the planning. We’re there to offer a complete wedding guide from engagement through to the big day and our services include venue searching, sourcing suppliers, designing wedding style guides, themes and decor, venue decoration, workshops and full or partial planning.

By far our Brides tell us our most stress-busting option is our Dolly On-The-Day co-ordination service. It leaves you free to enjoy your wedding day, whilst we worry about all the details, fix any problems, manage suppliers and look after the needs of you and your guests.

We don’t take over the whole planning of your wedding without you. Ever. It’s totally up to you how much we do and you can use our service as much or as little as you need, from Dolly Hours at just £35 to on-the-day co-ordination from £450. There’s an affordable and flexible option for all budgets.

So if you’re still not sure what we do and how we can help you the short answer is …… save yourself time, money and loads of unnecessary nail-biting by giving us a call today for your free consultation.

Emma x

Ps Keep your fingers crossed for us – we find out if we’ve the award won next month!

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Whoohoo today on the blog we have a brilliant giveaway all thanks to fabulous local hamper company, Spicers of Hythe. You can get your chops round a chocolate feast hamper worth £25 simply by popping over to our Facebook page and sharing this post.

There’s something really quite British about a hamper and we love their vintage charm with oodles of lovely delights inside that make them a perfect wedding thank you gift. From booze to biscuits and velvety chocolate treats – there’s a hamper to suit the whole bridal party from the in-laws to the Ushers and good old Mum and Dad.

Local firm Spicers of Hythe have over 85 years in the fine food industry, starting back in 1926 when Great grandfather Percy opened the first Spicers store. Today they still handpick the best produce sourced from local and international suppliers and wrap it all up in beautiful baskets. Check out their website to see the full range.

Good luck and if the winner needs someone to share all that chocolate with, The Wedding Dolls office is always open…….

Emma x

Chocolate Hamper

Chocolate Hamper

 

The Small Print: The competition is open to individual Facebook entrants only and not business pages. Winners will be notified through Facebook and a UK delivery address for the prize will be required from the winner. The winner will be picked at random on 14th October 2013 and notified on Facebook. No correspondence will be entered into, prizes are as stated, are not transferable and there is no cash alternative. Prizes may be substituted for equal or greater value if the stated prize becomes unavailable. If you are a winner, you must claim your prize within 28 days of being notified otherwise the prize will be forfeited and another winner chosen. The prize will be sent directly from Spicers of Hythe to the winner. Please allow 28 days for delivery of your prize from the date you contact us to claim your prize.

 

If you’re getting married over the summer and have DIY elements in your big day now is the time to start planning them. Whatever your level of creative skills you can’t go wrong with some basic edible favours and here our DIY expert Kate from the Bake and Crafthouse shares three simple ideas with you. Over to you Kate!

1: Shortbread or Ginger Biscuits

Shortbread is so simple to make, tastes delicious and is not at all expensive. You could cut shapes to match your theme, hearts, flowers for a spring wedding or bunnies at Easter! The recipe is easily multiplied up to make whatever quantity you need as it is just equal parts of butter and plain flour to half the quantity of sugar and rice flour. You can add chocolate chips or lemon zest to the basic recipe or drizzle with chocolate after they have cooled.

A mix using 50 grams of butter will give you about 10 biscuits so if you need 100 favours then you would need 500 grams (2 packets) of butter.

Ingredients:

50 grams unsalted butter
50 grams plain flour
25 grams caster sugar
25 grams rice flour
Pinch of salt

 

Ginger Biscuits Ginger Biscuits 2 Shortbread

Method:

  1. Weigh all the ingredients together in one bowl.
  2. Rub together using your fingertips until evenly combined and resembling the top of an apple crumble.
  3. Continue to mix, rubbing the ingredients together an eventually it will form a ball of dough.
  4. The dough is quite crumbly and delicate but you should be able to gently roll it out to about ½ cm thicknees and cut your shapes.
  5. Place on a baking tray greased and lined and bake for 8-10 minutes at 180 degrees Celcius until light golden.
  6. Cool on the trays and they can easily break while still warm.
  7. Store in an airtight container until needed.

If you make a firmer biscuit dough (usually with egg in the mixture) then you can cut out more complicated shapes or print lettering into the top of the biscuits that will still be visible once they are baked.

2. Homemade Fudge

Fudge Favours

Fudge is one of everyone’s favourite sweets. It also keeps really well so can be made well in advance of the big day and packaged up ready to go. It takes a little patience to make and you will require a baking thermometer but it is fun and easy to make in large quantities.

The recipe below will make a large tray full (25X25cm).

Ingredients

1/2pt water
8oz butter
3lb granulated sugar
2 tbs golden syrup
1 can condensed milk

Method

1. Heat the water in a large saucepan and melt the butter into it.

2. Add the sugar and syrup and bring to the boil stirring constantly.

3. Once boiling, stir in condensed milk and carry on simmering until you reach ‘soft ball’ temperature on the thermometer.

4. Remove from the heat & beat vigorously with an electric mixer for about 10 minutes. It will begin to cool and thicken.

5. Pour into a greased and lined tray & leave to set in the fridge.

Cut into squares and package up as favours or cut heart shaped using a cookie cutter and serve with teas and coffees.

3. Sugared Almonds or Sweets

If you really can’t make your own then you can cheat by giving the most traditional edible wedding favour of sugared almonds. Packaged up in handmade cute favour bags (see my previous blog on how to make them here) to add a really personal touch. Traditionally, five almonds are given to represent fertility, longevity, wealth, health and happiness. The bitterness of the almond and the sweetness of the coated candy are a metaphor for the bitter sweetness of a marriage. If you don’t want to use almonds then buy retro sweets, heart shaped choccies or your own favourite confectionery!

Sugared Almonds

Happy DIYing!

Emma & Kate x

After meeting so many of you at the Wedding Fair at Bluewater this weekend who have still yet to find their perfect venue you’ll be pleased to know that the stunning St Clere Estate are opening their doors for viewings. Over the next few weeks you can take a look at this gorgeous new and exclusive venue at two invitation only events on Sunday 29th September and Thursday 3rd October.

For an invitation and full timings of the events drop an email to Sarah@stclere.co.uk

We’ll be there with lots of planning advice so look we’ll forward to seeing some of you then!

Happy Planning

Emma x

Jackson & Co Image 11 StClere (9) StClere (4) StClere (8) StClere (5) StClere (7) (1) StClere (22) M43A8261

Photography by Jackson & Co Photography

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Venues, Wedding Planning

It’s all going to be a bit quiet on the blog this weekend as we’re having lots of fun at the Wedding Fair, Bluewater. We’re here on our stand helping couples with their wedding worries and lots more besides.

Here’s a little peek at our stand chalkboard wall designed by the fantastic Suzanne of Pretty Wild Wedding Stationery. Pretty special and very gorgeous huh!

CHALKBOARD BACKDROP

If planning your wedding is getting a tad stressful and you feel like you need a little help then you’re in the right place. Here at The Wedding Dolls we’re like an extra pair of hands that come with a big dose of experience to make your wedding journey so much easier.  From finding the best suppliers to guidance on styling and inspirational ideas, we’ll work together to create a wedding that’s totally unique and all about you.

Our popular packages include “Dolly Drama but Calmer” for help in the final stages and all those last minute preparations, “Dolly-on-the-day” so you can relax and enjoy your big day whilst we make sure everything runs smoothly and our “Dolly Hours” which allows you to use our expertise as much or as little as you need, just when you need it most.

Take a look at our portfolio page to see some of our work and watch out over the next few weeks when we’ll be blogging about some of our summer weddings and giving you all lots more advice and inspiration.

In the meantime we hope to see some of you at Bluewater and have a great weekend!

Emma x

 

In our third and final part, today of our wedding worries concentrate on adding personality and style to your big day. It’s something many couples really struggle with. From bunting to tea sets, pom poms to lace covers, styling your wedding can start to tip you over the wedding edge.

At our wedding planning workshops we spend time tackling this issue and teaching Brides how to uncover your wedding personality. It can really help you find your own style, stand out from the crowd and ease some of the pressure. We ran these workshops in mini form at The Wedding Fair at Bluewater in February. For those of you that missed them here’s a quick recap of how you can add personality to your wedding.

Wedding Props by Scene Setters

Wedding Props by Scene Setters

DIYing is also a brilliant way to stamp on your own style. Our new DIY workshops can help you get the balance right between using the skills of your suppliers verses your own time and talents to get crafty with it. Read our delve into the pro’s and con’s of DIYing here.

Dolly DIY Poster Final

A great way to add bags of unique style is to think about the wedding from your guests point of view. Our post Wow your Wedding Guests will give you some ideas to get you started.

Don’t forget we’re back at the Wedding Fair at Bluewater this weekend to run free one-to-one sessions on our stand to help with all kinds of wedding worries. So come see us!

Emma x