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!
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!
Ooh you lucky lot as on Sunday 8th September there are not one, but TWO, fabulous wedding fairs happening a stones throw away in Brighton and Hove.
Marvellous, Mysterious, Nutty, Odd, Outlandish, Peculiar and Quirky are just some of the words used to describe the Quaint Queer Weird wedding show at Brighton’s Proud Cabaret. From 10.30am there will be burlesque dancing and entertainment including body painting with the ’Ring mistress of Ceremonies’, Dawn Gracie, who will be transporting you to the Spectacular through a Narnia inspired entrance!
Along the coast you’ll then find Belle’s Vintage Wedding Fair taking place at Hove Town Hall between 11am-3pm.
Belle’s Vintage Wedding Fair has original and vintage inspired bridal gowns, specialist vintage photographers and masses of quirky vintage suppliers. You can also be entertained by some the best vintage inspired acts around whilst you indulge in a very vintage afternoon tea.
There’s a whole host of wonderfully diverse suppliers at both fairs so make a day of it and head to the seaside for a wedding planning day and then some!
In Part two of our styling a marquee series we look at the theme of the Vintage Tea Party. We’ve seen a real growth in the popularity of couples getting married later in the day and then serving high tea instead of a traditional wedding breakfast. Team this with evening food such as “hog roast rolls” or “fish and chips” and you’ve got a fabulous English feast.
Here’s our five top tips to help you plan the perfect marquee tea party.
1. Me & My Marquee
Choosing your marquee style will impact on the atmosphere. To create that vintage vibe go for a traditional canvas pole tent. To seat around 150 guests (with room for dance floor etc) you’ll need a marquee size of 12m x 18m and don’t forget to add a catering tent too! Add window walls to give you the best view from the marquee and add bags of natural light.
Traditional Canvas Pole Tent from Caron Marquees
2. Choosing Chairs
Seating your guests at long tables will add to the “village hall” atmosphere or you can have round tables to make things feel more intimate. Depending on how long you need your guests to remain seated there are various options to choose from. Pick Chiavari chairs with seat pads for a fairly comfortable option or wooden chairs for a wonderfully vintage fete feel.
LPM Bohemia – Tents & Marquees
Polly Alexandre Photography @stylemepretty
3. Vintage Lounging
When high tea is done and dusted having a lounging area in the marquee really adds a laid back kinda cool. Borrow the contents from your Nan’s house or for an easier option try Vintage Style Hire.
By Distinctly Floral
4. The Tent Goes Back to Basics
Lots of marquee companies now provide marquee linings which lend themselves nicely to adding a splash of colour without over powering the theme. It will also save you lots of extra styling. Ask your marquee company before you book if they have lining samples. Wooden flooring adds to the vintage feel and looks pretty special if the budget allows, if not try coil matting which is a great alternative.
5. The Little Vintage Bits
Whether you feel like bunting and jam jars have had there day or are here to stay, you can’t really do tea party without them. Whether you make your own bunting or source from a bunting expert make sure you have enough. It might seem like alot when it’s stored in the corner of your lounge but when you hang it in the marquee it won’t seem quite as much. Measure, measure, measure and then measure again. Same goes for jam jars. If you are not sourcing from your florist but collecting yourself then start now. It takes an age but it’s worth it when you can group them together to make cute little vintage arrangements. Everyone knows that pretty vintage china table settings work really well for a tea party. We love Alice and the Teacup for beautiful designs and a great service.
Dominique Bader Photography
6. Add a little Twinkle
Don’t forget the lighting as the sun goes down. Those jam jars will come in handy now as tea light holders which can be dotted both in and around the marquee. Tall candles in old bottles also work really well to give extra light vintage style. And if you want some easy to manage outside seating try hay-bales covered with linens and lace.
Simply Bloom Photography
We’re really excited as we’ll be doing our Wedding Worries Workshops for as many couples as we possibly can at the Wedding Fair, Bluewater this September (20th to 22nd September 2013).
If you’re planning a wedding chances are you’re feeling the pressure to make your day stand out from the crowd and bring all your plans together within budget. Not an easy task, so at the fair you’ll get the chance to chat with us about how to make planning your big day that little bit easier. From queries about choosing suppliers, making the most of your budget, finding your wedding style to bringing an individual personality to your day, we’ll do all we can to find an answer that works for you.
If you’re stressing about something, however big or small, you can have a free one-to-one session with us at our stand where we’ll chat through your plans with you and try to banish those wedding worries!
We love the Wedding Fair at Bluewater as it brings together so many suppliers in one place giving you the chance to find inspiration and ideas for everything wedding related. It’s all there from cars to cakes, dresses to drapery, favours to photographers, bridal accessories to bands, styling, catering, venues and much more.
The catwalk show which runs at different times during the day is fantastic for seeing different styles close up, as dresses never seem to look the same in the flesh as they do in the magazines. You can also try on most of the catwalk dresses plus Bridesmaids and Grooms can also get in on “wedding dress up” fun as there’s a whole range of wedding wear available.
We’ll also be running a special wedding competition and have discounts available for our full planning workshops so make sure you come over and say hello!
Catwalk Images by: Louise Bjorling from the Bluewater Wedding Fair Spring Show
If you need something to look forward to then get your diaries ready and make sure you don’t miss “A Gloriously Vintage Day Out and Wedding Fair” on Sunday 12th May 2013.
Held at Mount Ephraim, a fabulous Edwardian Country House near Faversham, this fantastic day out is a must for all vintage wedding fans. The “Just Say I do” vintage wedding section includes cake makers, photographers, florists, event stylists and a range of beautiful wedding dresses to keep any Bride happy plus there will be a “Make, do and mend!” craft area for anyone eager to try their hand at DIYing their wedding.
For “A little of what you fancy”, the retro section has home wares and clothing,
plus outside in the “Mustard & Cress” area you can treat yourself to all kinds of delicious offerings from vintage ice-cream suppliers and sweet stalls set amongst retro caravans and cars. And take the kids along as there’ll be free entertainment all day to keep them happy.
The fun kicks off from 11am and will swing on in true vintage style until 5pm.
Click here for more info.
If you’re planning a vintage wedding then you’d be best to take a little road trip this Sunday (24th March) down to the South Coast to Belle’s Vintage Wedding Fair at Hove Town Hall. There will be over 50 vintage inspired wedding suppliers there, each one really talented and inspiring, who will be happy to give you more than enough advice to create the best vintage wedding ever.
The entertainment is reason enough to visit as acts playing include Johnny Zero, Cherry Morello, Maria Sorian, Mr Tunes Vintage DJ, Noelle Vaughn and finally Anna Sin and the Jukebox Bandits.
Egg & Spoon will be providing a pop-up tea room, so you can stay for lunch as well as get a vintage style change with hair and make-up artists, Coco Belle Styling and Pretty Pout.
A new edition to the fair is the MAKE area where DIY brides can learn how to make special handmade pieces such as jam jar flower displays for your wedding. There’s also vintage transport ideas including the event organiser herself, Kelly Wickson, with her Sussex Love Bug that started the whole wedding fair idea.
Kelly says “I started Belle’s Events in 2012 after a rather disastrous visit as a supplier to a local wedding fair with my Sussex Love Bug. I wanted to create a fair for couples and suppliers to come together under one big vintage inspired roof to chat, enjoy the atmosphere and discover that there are people out there that will love what you do or simply ‘get you’, that’s what it’s about after all, finding the right person to help create your vision. A year on the wedding fairs are becoming ever more popular and attract couples from near and far who are desperate to find something different, unique and really special.”
Like Kelly says this isn’t your average wedding fair – it’s a wedding fair and then some. So even if you’re not getting married but just enjoy vintage life you’ll love this for a fun day out. Plus the first hundred guests through the door get a complimentary glass of Processco.
Entry is £3 and the fair runs from 12noon to 5pm. For more details check out Belle’s Events.
Images by Photo Madly and Tino & Pip
On Thursday I headed down to Brighton to the launch party of the gorgeous Doily Days Wedding Magazine. The vintage inspired do was filled with fabulous music, singers and decor, but what really made the theme was the AMAZING hair and make-up.
If you’re having a vintage wedding or fancy a retro hen do, Ingrid and Lynda, the lovely ladies behind, Vintage Inspired Makeovers, are offering hair and make-up sessions finishing off with a fabulous photoshoot, that is guaranteed to get the party started old school style.
So if you and your hens want to hit the Lanes of Brighton looking like Dita Von Teese, more details are just one, not very vintage, click away!
Images by: Vintage Inspired Makeovers
If you are going for a vintage or a gorgeous English country garden wedding theme you can’t go far wrong with including bunting in your styling mix. It’s a Wedding Dolls favourite and we’re not alone. Sue Maulin, owner of Bunting Boutique just loves bunting and makes gorgeous metres of it for weddings and other special occasions. We met Sue a few weeks ago and whilst we were admiring her handiwork she told us “Now, we may be biased, but we think that our Bunting is just the ticket to finish off any wedding space. We’ve transformed barns, marquees, dancefloors, top tables, Wedding cake tables and much more.”
If you’re planning a vintage themed wedding, then their vintage doily and linen bunting is the perfect accessory. We just love the detail involved and it’s so different from anything else we’ve seen.
If you want to personalise your own bunting then Sue tells us “we can hand embroider letters onto linen to create any words or phrases, or we can design and make Bunting to your specification. You can choose the patterns, fabric and colour scheme of your choice to guarantee it fits perfectly wherever it ends up hanging.”
Sue says “Our studio is an Aladdins cave, we are surrounded by a myriad of fabrics, tools, nic-nacs and trinkets. We lovingly sew each piece of bunting, the colour and fabric of every single piece carefully selected.” Just visit their website for a fabulous gallery of bunting images and more information about how you can order yours.
If you’re having a vintage wedding or traditional afternoon tea theme then you’ll love Alice and the teacup who hire vintage crockery and accessories in Kent and Sussex.
We caught up with the proud owner, Clair Hinge who gave us the low down on her business inspiration. She says “I’m always on the look for crockery to add to my collection. When travelling around I simply cannot resist a rummage around a local charity shop or flea market. My mind is ever-bubbling with ways to make use of my pieces.”
When asked what gave her the inspiration for her business, she says “My love affair with china started with a tatty box from the loft that contained a beautiful tea set that once belonged to my beloved late Nanny Cox. My Nan always hankered after the ‘posh’ and took great pride in getting out the expensive china when guests came for tea. Whatever memories I have of Nanny Cox always seem to finish with her sharing a cup of tea and biscuits!”
As well as a beautiful range of vintage crockery, Clair also has for hire linen, glassware, cutlery, vintage furniture pieces and accessories to really give any wedding a fabulous vintage theme. Prices range from £1.50 per cup and saucer to £6.00 for a 3-tier cake stand.
Plus they have a gaggle of ‘tea ladies’ that are available to serve in vintage inspired uniform as well as a washing up service. So you get all of the benefits and none of the hard work. Exactly what you need on your wedding day!
All images: Alice and the teacup
Welcome to the final part of our planning a vintage wedding special and what a way to finish – it’s the all important dress!
You have a big decision to make here as you can go one of two ways. Real vintage or well…sort of…. modern vintage i.e. brand spanking new but with a vintage style. You are literally spoilt for choice.
First let’s start on preloved (wedding speak darhhhling for second-hand). A true vintage wedding dress isn’t as easy to find as you’d think. Firstly it depends on what era you are going for, even now the 80’s gets the vintage label in some circles, so you will need to be selective. If you are going way back it’s always going to get more difficult, so unless you have Granny’s dress waiting in the wings prepare yourself for a lot of leg work.
One of the best places to start is dedicated online website Preloved Wedding Dresses. They have over 10,000 new sample and used wedding gowns, some of which are truly vintage. You might also find a hidden gem of a vintage style dress that fits nicely into your not so vintage budget. You can also try The Vintage Wedding Dress Company, although they haven’t got a stockist in Kent their flagship store is in Central London. Run by renowned stylist, Charlie Brear, it’s well worth the trip into the big smoke to join its growing number of celebrity fans.
vintage wedding dress company
Vintage Wedding Dress Company
The Vintage Wedding Dress Company
The Vintage Wedding Dress Company
There’s also some vintage boutiques to try closer to home including Bridesdressrevisited in the little Kent village of Otford, where you can make an appointment to view their full collection of preloved dresses.
If second-hand just isn’t you then there are some brilliant designers who offer vintage style dresses. Here are just some of our absolute favourite dresses available now from Charlotte Balbier, Candy Anthony, Claire Pettibone, Charlotte Casadejus and Johanna Hehir.
For more inspiration on planning vintage weddings in Kent then take a look at Vintage Kent Directory where you will find lots of suppliers to help you in your quest.
In case you ‘ve missed them check out the rest of the post in our vintage wedding series here:
Part 1: Vintage Music
Part 2: Hair & Make Up
Part 3: Vintage Shoes
Part 4: Tea Time
And if you are planning a vintage wedding don’t forget to share your experience with us here!