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At the weekend we had the pleasure of working with the 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.

 

So whether you are having a traditional Indian wedding or looking to go fusion with your menu then Dream Days for You is a great place to go for a curry!

Take a look at their website for full menus and details of the services they can provide.

Image Credit: The Wedding Dolls with chair coverings and flowers by Chic Weddings.

Welcome to Sunday all!

Today we’re attempting to keep our feet up after being on them for pretty much most of the week. The only thing we might manage is to watch the footie a bit later with a few Sunday glasses of vino (if we’re still awake by then!).

We start the post with a big congratulations to Vijay and Leanne who we worked with yesterday at their Asian Fusion wedding. It was simply stunning. The very lovely bride and groom looked gorgeous, the indian food was superb and the views from Nettlestead Place over the Kent countryside were made all the better by some summer sunshine and very happy guests. The pics here are just a little glimpse into the day which we’ll be sharing in much more detail over the coming weeks.

 

 

We were lucky enough to work with some great suppliers on the day including Chic Weddings, N Photography and Dream Days for You (we have a Fantastic Find feature on them later this week).

So just before we look forward to another week in wedding world here’s our summary of blog posts from the past 7 days. We kicked off with designer Stephanie Allin’s beautiful range of wedding dresses and her new collection which will be in store around September. Next we gave you some advice about how to set your wedding budget in our post Counting the Cost. If you have any good budgeting tips then we’d love to share them.

Then the Flower Preservation House showed us how you can preserve your wedding flowers into beautiful keepsakes of your day. Next we were really pleased to share the real Kent wedding of Keeley and Mike at Cooling Castle Barn with photography by Fleur Challis. The vibrant colour scheme and stunning backdrop make this a wedding worth taking inspiration from.We rounded the week of with news of a discount at Myla with up to 50% off some of their bridal lingerie range.

See you next week for more real wedding inspiration, a gorgeous vintage photoshoot and our weekly Fantastic Find.

Come on England!

x

Sometimes a wedding comes along that just has so many gorgeous pics we can’t fit it all into one day. This wedding is one of those. For part one we’re sharing the wedding of Marika and James who got married in May at the Marquis of Alkham. Here Marika tells us about the planning of their big day.

 

“We searched for a long time to find the right venue. We found the Marquis restaurant in a cookery magazine, having no idea there was such a highly acclaimed restaurant so close to where we lived. As soon as we drove down the beautiful country road, we were hopeful and when we arrived, walked inside and were warmly greeted by Hannah Walton saying “sorry I don’t have a brochure made up, we don’t really churn out weddings…” we were sold! The more we saw, the more we loved it. It just felt right, we wanted somewhere really special for our 39 guests. Hannah is the wedding co-ordinator at the Marquis and without her help, all of our ideas would not have been able to become a fantastic reality. We had so much fun and we regard her as a friend now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah Kay, a friend’s sister, does floristry part-time. My bouquet was rustic and contemporary, with white lilacs, thistles, ranunculus roses, freesias, green hydrangeas and Columbian roses, which came through in my hair, the bridesmaid’s hair and the button holes as well.

I always wanted white lilacs as they hold fond childhood memories for me, hiding under a giant lilac tree in our front garden in Ireland. I love ranunculus roses and hydrangeas as well, this is one of the reasons I convinced James that May was a great time to get married. I had always imagined wedding photos in a bluebell wood.

 

 

I bought my dress from Signature Brides in Hythe and it was a beautiful lace strapless dress from Tia by Benjamin Roberts. I tried on many shapes and styles and had more or less chosen one. I tried on a few more and am so glad I did because that’s when I came across the Benjamin Roberts dress. I loved the simple style dress with the delicate lace detail – it made it so special. As soon as I tried it on, I walked out of the fitting room and said “uh oh, I am in a bit of a pickle now!” as the dress was more than I had anticipated in the budget, but it was worth it!

The shoes I wore were from Next for just £35. I bought two pairs and decided just before walking up the aisle which ones to wear! I had some very simple freshwater pearl earrings from eBay and a Columbian ivory rose in the side of my hair. My make up was by Emma Smisson at Bridal Beauty.

My sister was my bridesmaid and her dress was from Coast.

James bought his suit from Ventura at Moss Bros. It was a brown/copper shade and he just chose what he felt most comfortable in.

 

 

 

 

We had a civil ceremony. We decided not to personalise vows because we have been together long enough for people to know how in love we are and no need to gush about it! We chose a reading called “the Art of a Good Marriage” that my childhood friend read wonderfully and it epitomized what we feel strongly about in our relationship that would carry through into our marriage.

We had a slideshow with the signing of the register during the ceremony. It was full of photos from when we were children, our first date, our holidays, our 10 year anniversary and pre wed shoot. If there wasn’t a dry eye after the ceremony, there certainly wasn’t after the photos which were accompanied with some sentimental songs. We then played an extended version of this throughout the evening by the bar for people to quietly sit and watch if their feet needed a rest from dancing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the ceremony we had photos in the church gardens and then everyone went down to the terrace for drinks, canapés and garden games which was a lot of fun.

We wanted to make sure that our guests got to meet everyone so we mixed the tables up for dinner and had a sharing menu. The starter was a ‘Kentish Antipasto’ which consisted of poached asparagus, rabbit rillette, pickled light Sussex eggs, cured beef, cheddar fondue and homemade bread sticks and chutney. The main course was a ‘Sunday Roast’ of beef topside, Yorkshire pudding with confit shallots, herb roast potatoes, crispy flank and watercress salad and seasonal vegetables. The feast was rounded off with a dessert of chocolate fondue, served with marshmallows, flapjack and tropical fruit. It was all washed down with Tenterden sparkling wine, a lot of gin and tonic and a tab behind the bar, which all the guests were very grateful for!

As place cards we had photos of each guest and put these through an app to create individual effects and then printed them out as Polaroid photos which everyone loved.James had three best men, his best friend, his brother and his oldest friend. All of them were asked to give a speech as we moved around after each course. We had so many comments about what a highlight that was and the speeches never got boring because they were all so varied! Rather than a traditional guest book, we had cards and marker pens and passed these around for everyone to leave messages on so that we could put our own book together and enjoy doing that afterwards.

 

 

 

 

At the reception we had white lilacs, ranunculus roses, lisianthus, eringium, pannicum, Columbian garden roses, avalanche roses, viburnum opulus and freesia’s. The flowers were placed either side of the altar and as centerpieces for the reception, where the arrangements were in small square glass vases that were spread out along the tables. It looked really beautiful!

 

 

 

 

 

In the evening we served mini bacon sandwiches and cheeseboards as well as a sweet table where guests could take home sweets in little Chinese takeaway boxes that we put pretty green ribbons on. James made the 7 tier cupcake tower which consisted of small and large cakes, which were all flavours of cocktail. The guests could choose from Strawberry Daquiri, Limoncello or Mojito. They were such a hit and looked fab next to the sweet buffet. There was also a traditional 2 tier fruit cake that the Marquis supplied in their package, for which we provided 2 cake toppers for.

 

 

For our first dance, we had a friend mix two records together. We chose Shania Twain’s ‘you’re still the one’ because it was very cheesy but the lyrics were also quite symbolic. It then went into a rendition of Sir Mix A Lot’s ‘Jump on It’ and the dance moves from the iconic ‘Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ scene which seemed to go down with a lot of laughter! We then had a DJ from Discologic.

My mum presented us with a blank canvas that had one of the wedding invite pictures on it and all the guests took turns in signing it and leaving messages.

Fleur Challis and her husband Kevin were our wonderful photographers . We met Fleur through Hannah at the Marquis and we fell in love with her charm and lovely personality. She was so enthusiastic and excited, which made it a lot of fun to work with her. We met Kevin at the pre wedding shoot, and he was great fun as well. To have them both was such a treat and it brought a wonderful balance of posed photos as well as candid photos which captured the day perfectly. As they always say, a picture tells a 1000 words and the couple really did achieve everything we had hoped for. Photography is a big part of our lives and Fleur and Kevin really understood this and the essence of fun, happiness and love that comes through the photos is spot on!

Marika’s final words of advice as “don’t get too caught up in the day itself and remember that it is a celebration of the time you have spent together and the times you have ahead of you, it should be fun! Stay true to yourselves and what is important to you”.

Thanks to Marika and James for sharing their day with us and big congratulations to you both. Watch out for Part 2 when we’ll be sharing their photo booth shots.

I hope today’s post reaches everyone feeling very patriotic. I went to a Jubilee ball last night organised by super florist Rhoxan Hayes and her team of helpers. The marquee looked fantastic decked out in red, white and blue with brilliant homemade knitted bunting. Each table had to dress as an era from the Queen’s reign and ours was the 50’s. Luckily we did a vintage wear special on the blog last month! Whizz over to our Facebook page to see the pics!

This week on the blog started with our Fabulous Find of the week, Charlie loves Lucy, a wedding stationery company based in Kent and ran by super talented  Claire Hawkes. Next up was a little peek around a lovely wedding venue in Sevenoaks, Dorton House, with a shoot by Nataliya at Akira Photography.

Then we were super excited to bring you a two-part wedding special of Phil and Billy’s English Country Garden Wedding. With gorgeous vintage elements and a Spring feel we absolutely loved working on this wedding as wedding planners. In Part 1 bride Phil takes us from wedding planning stages through to the Church ceremony. Then Part 2 takes you from the reception right up to the last dance.

 

 

Finally yesterday we gave you some essential wedding reading with our five favourite books based around getting married. Just perfect with a hangover and a cup of tea!

Happy Sunday x

Credits: Josh Spencer Photography  for English Country Garden Wedding

Today Phil picks up from yesterday, sharing with us her dream English Country Garden Wedding. This post starts back at their Vintage Tea Party reception.

 

“The idea of having the reception at my sisters home seemed really relaxed, the reality was slightly different! The week of the wedding the rain just didn’t stop. Carron Marquees put up the marquee three days prior to the wedding so we could get all the decoration organised but with Aprils rainy weather not letting up the garden was getting muddier by the minute.

But then on the day the sun came out and pretty much stayed out for the rest of the day.  The Wedding Dolls were on hand from early morning leaving me able to relax and get ready.  They completed the dressing of the marquee, finished the favours, organised the car and ribbons, were available to help the florist and even fixed a problem with the portable toilet! They made sure suppliers were set up and that the delivery vehicles were moved into a local car park. The Wedding Dolls were fantastic and really helped with keeping the nerves at bay. I didn’t have to worry about what the time was and where I needed to be as they quietly guided it all into place.

 

Our table centers were vintage cream jugs filled with country flowers and tied on the jugs were sprigs of lavender to give off a beautiful scent. The favours were tiny metal buckets filled with mini eggs. Small brown luggage tags were used as name settings and tied on with colourful ribbon and heart and pearl beads made by my friend Laura.

The table plan was a cream heart shaped metal wire notice board with cream luggage tags with the names of the guests on. All over the heart wire I tied colourful paper flowers from Hobby Craft to give a rustic country feel. My friend Laura helped with the writing of the guests names as she has the best handwriting!

We also had a wedding tree drawn by Laura on a large card. People could leave their finger prints on the tree in different coloured stamps then write their names above. It was a lovely alternative to a guestbook as we are having it framed to put up a home.


 

Our wedding cupcakes were made by my sister-in-law’s father as a wedding gift and they looked absolutely beautiful on their stand. They were a mix of Chocolate with chocolate ganache filling, lemon with lemon curd filling and Vanilla, all with buttercream icing on top.

 

 

Gastro Catering served us a gorgeous dinner of Thai-marinated Tiger prawns or fresh Asparagus salad with duck egg and pomegranate dressing followed by Salmon fillet or slow roasted spit lamb and Yorkshire Pudding, all with potatoes and seasonal veg.

Dessert was chocolate and hazelnut brownie with vanilla ice cream or individual apple crumble with cream. Our favourite drinks were served and included Bottled Corona with lime, Beaufort Brut Reserve and a cask of local ale.

 

 

Our first dance was At Last by Etta James ……its all in the words!Billy’s good friend is in a fantastic band, The Rise. They played sets for us at the wedding and a friend DJ’d. We had a big party that could have gone on all night but finished at 12.30 – even though some of the guests attempted to bribe the band and DJ to play on!

 

 

 

 

 

And finally Phil gives you all brides-to-be out there a little bit of wedding advice. “Take time and really think about what you want and if you are struggling get some help -it’s definitely money well spent. Things can get a bit crazy but remembering why you are getting married brings you back some perspective. Make the most of having all your friends and family under one roof as you won’t get that opportunity many times again”.

Congratulations to Phil and Billy and thanks for letting us be part of your day x

All images: Josh Spencer Photography

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Back in April we helped Phil and Billy plan their big day. Here in Part One Phil tells us about the planning of her wedding and takes us through the ceremony.

“Our wedding was at St Marys Church in Thorpe with the reception in the grounds of my big sisters beautiful Georgian home. We had looked at venues in the UK and overseas but when my sister offered us her house we knew it would be perfect. We wanted a relaxed day with a vintage garden party feel and a really romantic setting, with lots of twinkling lights as the sun went down.

First on my to do list was the Dress! My dress was by Ella from La Boutique in Beckenham.  It was one of the first ones I tried on and loved it instantly.  I tried on about 15 dresses after but kept comparing them to the Ella dress as I just fell in love with the champagne colour, it was different to the traditional white or ivory. My shoes were by Diane Hassal and  I wore a side clip with pearls and small crystals from Glitzy Secrets.

I’m not overly adventurous with make up so did this myself. Louise from Beauty Call enhanced my eyes with some false eyelashes and put my hair up in a gorgeously simple style.

My sister and best friend were bridesmaids and wore dresses by Ghost at John Lewis. I had three flower girls and two page boys.

 

 

I hired Daisy Chain Florists to do my wedding flowers.  My bouquet was made up of Naomi, Pacific Blue and Ocean Song large roses with Veronic, Senecio foliage and Lisianthus. I chose these flowers because they complimented the vintage garden feel I wanted to create.

The guys suits wore very simple, a navy morning jacket, grey waistcoat with grey and navy pin stripe trousers all hired from Moss Bros 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wedding car was a 1950’s Zepher borrowed from a neighbour.

Josh Spencer was our photographer. I loved the pictures on his website and so I gave him a call. I found a rapport with him straight away and he understood what I was looking for. I got about 5 other quotes but went with Josh because of his style of photography, his personality and I was confident he would deliver on the day. We had a pre-wedding shoot in Windsor Park as a practice before the wedding and this was really helpful. On the day he was brilliant. The photos are fantastic and he has captured the feel of the day perfectly.

We used Joanne from The Wedding Dolls to help us with planning from 10 weeks prior to the big day. She was also there on the day to organise us and keep an eye on the schedule. She helped give advice and support on tasks, time lines, site inspections and layout of the marquee and liased with suppliers and caterers. Her knowledge was invaluable and she supported us throughout with help and advise when issues cropped up. We had face to face meetings to get to know each other and build a relationship and she knew exactly how to get the best out of our day and reduce the stress levels!

Come back tomorrow for Part 2 when Phil will be sharing the reception with us.

Image Credits: Josh Spencer

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Real Weddings

Welcome back to Part 2 of our behind the scenes of a wedding planner. Yesterday we shared how the first part of the wedding day went and here I pick up from the arrival of the Bride at the Church.

As the Bride pulled up to the Church final touches were done to her make-up and smiling brightly she took her place at the start of the aisle. The ceremony had started, but back at the house there will still lots to do.  With the broken toilet and missing car to sort out the plans to finish off the marquee had been delayed so Emma did the finishing touches to the marquee. This included completing the table decor and favours, hoovering up the marquee carpet, finishing of the chill-out area, overseeing the set up of the band and DJ and getting suppliers to move their cars to the supplier parking area.

At this point I was at the church coordinating the photos of the new Mr and Mrs and their bridal party.  I called Emma so she knew that some guests would be arriving back at the house shortly – at this point the rain started. Making sure the bride had her white umbrella and all the family photos had been taken I left the couple to have some photo’s done on their own and headed back to the house. Emma was under her umbrella guiding guests cars into parking spaces. I then became the watchful eye in the back garden, making sure guests were happy and that the champagne and canapés were circulating.

With the rain now falling and the bride and groom expected at the house we needed to make a decision. The plan was for drinks and canapés on the lawn with photographs in-between but now we had to ask all guests to go straight into the marquee. With drinks circulating and the bride and groom in the house the sun came out, so I invited all the guests out of the marquee and onto the lawn. I then assisted the photographer to make sure every requested photograph was captured.

The couple had selected a good friend to be MC for the afternoon and so it was my job to make sure he knew when to get the mic and start talking! Dinner was served and so we took 10 minutes to grab a bite to eat back in the house and look through the plans that would take the afternoon into the evening reception.

By now it was early evening and there were still the speeches, cutting of the cake, greeting evening guests and the first dance to do. So with our eyes fixed firmly on our watches we made sure this all happened ensuring the bride and groom were relaxed and enjoying themselves. Then before we knew it our job was almost done. Just before saying goodbye and quietly slipping away we lit over 50 candles in the marquee and lanterns in the garden. We also organised some extra lighting for the path to the toilets and then finally made our way home. Exhausted but exhilarated by the day.

If you would like to know more about how we can help you on your wedding day please drop us an email.

Joanne x

Wow what a week! It was major planning this week as we got ready for our first marquee wedding of the year and all thoughts turned to the torrential rain that just kept on coming. With our wet weather contingency to hand we dug out our wellies and was determined it wouldn’t rain on Philippa’s and Billy’s wedding parade.

On Monday we brought you our designer of the week Stewart Parvin. With a beautiful range of dresses to choose from we recommend you visit Froufrou Bridal if you are still dress hunting.

Also this week we were thrilled to share our latest discovery, Prettywild Design. Kent based stationery designer, Suzanne Osborne, has a gorgeous range of designs we know you will simply love so take a look without delay!

Thursday we pitched in to help promote the Charity Wedding Auction. You can bid to win a wedding with a value of up to £11,000 and it’s all to help local charity, Pilgrims Hospices. The auction has already started and will run until 27th April.

On Friday we had our business planning meeting with our mentor, NVW Solutions, Neil is great at helping us work out our goals and think about want we want to achieve next – we always come out fired up and ready to go. We also shared on the blog our tips for planning your wedding day schedule, if you love writing a list you’ll be in your element!

Next we kicked off our five week look into planning a vintage wedding. We started with a swing and next week will be talking hair and make-up.

And so to the main Saturday event. With pink peonies, acoustic guitars, fairy lights twinkling and candles flickering, the rain simply added to the gorgeous English country garden wedding yesterday and the bride and groom were so happy and relaxed.  In typical british fashion the rain didn’t stop play (or the spit roast from cooking) and a fantastic day was had by all. Here’s just a little sneak peek of the beautiful setting. Full wedding coming soon.

A massive congratulations to Philippa and Billy x

Today we are doing a final run through of the schedule for the wedding of Philippa and Billy – we just can’t wait to see this lovely couple get married tomorrow!

We have tied up all the loose ends this week including giving out the FINAL schedule! The schedule is so important in the planning process as it gives everyone a clear guideline as to what is happening and when. It’s been revised over the last week to take account of changes in suppliers needs especially because of the bad weather and the rain expected at the weekend.

If you are doing your own wedding schedule start your timings the evening before the big day and go right up to the end of the reception. This will give you a good idea of when everything is going to happen and all the different jobs that need to be done.  It’s your wedding day and you shouldn’t have to think about anything other than making it the most memorable day of your life. If you make sure everyone knows what they are doing and when there shouldn’t be any confusion and the day should run smoothly. You might need a wet weather contingency just like Philippa and Billy so think about all the things that might upset your plans and how you might need to deal with these on the day.

Philippa and Billy are having their wedding reception in a marquee in the family garden.  They want a relaxed garden party feel and for them to achieve this we are managing the day for them.  There will be lots of setting up to do, a host of suppliers passing through the house and the morning will fly by! We will make sure our schedule keeps Philippa and Billy relaxed so they won’t have to worry about a thing.

A schedule doesn’t mean you have to run your day with Sergeant-Major precision yelling “you boy” to anyone that stops moving for five minutes but it will just help with making sure you’ve allotted enough time for:

a) getting you and your bridesmaids ready (always longer than you think!!)

b) getting to the church on time – an oldy but a goody

c) making sure your caterers can serve dinner as anticipated (no soggy veg in sight!)

d) your band/entertainment know when to start and stop!

Take heed of what your wedding suppliers tell you about timings and think about including ‘clearing up’ after the reception in your schedule if your venue isn’t taking care of this for you.

If you would like to attend one of our wedding planning workshops to get help with your wedding schedule then drop us an email.

Look out on Sunday for a little sneak into Philippa and Billy’s big day.

Happy scheduling!

Joanne x

This week we have been looking at ways to use pom poms to decorate a venue. The phrase ‘the more the better’ definitely seems to apply when using pom poms and grouping them together can really make a statement backdrop. If you are decorating your own marquee, barn or similar type venue take a look at the rest of our board in Pinterest for more inspiration, but for now here is just a taster of what is possible.

If you want to have a go at making your own paper pom poms they are really easy – just follow the instructions here from Martha Stewart. To give you an idea of the time involved you can make around 5/6 per hour.

Or if you really don’t want to go to the effort of making your own you can buy them online.  Paper Poms UK are a specialist vendor who sell the poms on Etsy. Prices start from £2 for a 3″ or 4″ pom. Visit their website for more inspiration on how to use your paper poms.

Image Credits all via Pinterest