It’s nearly that time again!!
The Wedding Fair, Bluewater is back from the 17th to 19th October and The Wedding Dolls will be there again to offer all visitors wedding planning advice completely free of charge.
Simply turn up to stand K6 and Joanne will do her very best to answer any wedding worries or queries you have there and then!
If free advice isn’t enough we’re also delighted to pass on a special ticket offer. To save 1/3 on your tickets quote WA33 at www.theweddingfairs.com.
We can’t wait to see you there!
Today we have a fabulous new business to showcase on the blog from a brilliant Kent supplier. Amanda, the designer and creator of Brooch Bride, is originally a northern lass from Newcastle but has been in Kent for nearly 10 years. Amanda started out as a florist and was in the trade for over 2o years until she launched her new business creating bridal bouquets and accessories completely from buttons and brooches.
Lets find out a little bit more from Amanda…..
“Each Brooch bouquet I make is entirely unique and very much a one off, no two pieces will ever be completely the same. I handcraft the brooch bouquets as a reflection of each Bride. From gothic and dark to colourful or sparkly, the intricacy within the brooch bouquets uses amazing detail taken from the wedding theme itself or simply whatever the Bride loves.
I’m really passionate about my designs and love the fact that a brooch bouquet could become a treasured family heirloom, passed down through generations to use time and time again. Brides can incorporate their own jewellery and family stories as well into the design. From using a loved ones photograph in a locket to adding silver buttons from a cherished coat – it’s so fulfilling to create something that is completely bespoke and highly original.”
See Amanda’s designs first hand at the Vintage and Unique Wedding Fair at Scotney Castle in September or visit the website to see the full range and order online. Amanda is offering all Wedding Dolls readers an exclusive 10% discount when you pay the deposit before December 2013. Just quote “The Wedding Dolls” when ordering.
Photography by Penny Young.
As it’s Father’s Day I’m sharing with you my own wedding snap to say a massive thank you to my long suffering but much loved Dad. It’s one of my favourite pictures from my wedding day as it’s one of the few I have of us together and as usual my Dad is smiling away.
As planners we know there’s no typical scenario for a Dad at a wedding now. Some Dads shuffle about in the background and worry about their speech, some just hand over a cheque and go back to the footie results, but others throw themselves into it with great aplomb. Some weddings have more Dads than you can throw a stick at and others have a Dad that is very much missed. Whatever the situation there’s a way to cherish, celebrate and thank the Fathers in your life as part of your wedding celebrations.
Happy Father’s Day x
Today we’re sharing with you a lovely engagement shoot by Rebecca Douglas of cute couple Lisa and Owen. Lisa tells us their engagement story…..
“We first met in 2008 in Canterbury and were introduced by a mutual friend. She made it very obvious that she thought we would be a perfect match and Owen even joked that we should get married! Our paths didn’t cross for a while after that night as I was taking exams but Owen and I kept in touch and then arranged a date – we moved in together just 6 months later! For our anniversary last year Owen gave me a beautiful bracelet. He suddenly dropped to one knee and asked me to look inside the bracelet. Carefully engraved was ‘Will you marry me, Lisa?’! It was such a wonderful surprise!
“It’s been wedding crazy since our engagement and having this shoot in the Bluebell Wood was just like being in our very own fairy tale. We regularly go walking together in the countryside, so the setting couldn’t have been more fitting for us as a couple. Both of us are relatively shy, but Rebecca put us at ease and we had such a fun evening walking through the woods having our picture taken. The scent of the bluebells was just amazing! Planning a wedding together can be such a busy affair, but having that time on the shoot was such an enjoyable and relaxing way to celebrate our engagement and we also have some beautiful images to look back on.”
Massive congratulations to Lisa & Owen and thanks to Rebecca Douglas for sharing the shoot with us.
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 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
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.
Today on the blog we are meeting the very talented floral designer, Joanne Truby. Joanne is based in Bromley and covers Kent, Essex, Surrey and central London. Specialising in creating beautiful and unique arrangements for weddings and events she works with you throughout the whole design process starting with a free consultation to help discover your own wedding style. We asked Joanne about her designs and how she works with her couples. Lets find out more…
How do you make sure that your Wedding Couples personality is reflected in the flower design?
“I tend to find out a bit about my couples when I meet them for their wedding consultation. Including the type of wedding day they want to have, if they have a particular favourite colour, what they like to do in their spare time and what their likes and dislikes are and if they have a particular theme they want to incorporate into their big day. This then helps me to create designs that I feel will work perfectly for them.”
How do you work with the Bride & Groom to choose colour palettes and the style of flowers?
“I ask Brides to bring along to their consultation any pictures they have where they really like either the colour, the style or even just the mood that it creates or simply inspires them in some way. This is a good starting point to build on. I also ask for a picture of the Wedding Party’s outfits so we can choose a colour combination that will work well with what everyone is wearing. We also do a little scrapbook session where we pick out together favourite images from my floristry books and magazines – this a great exercise particularly for Brides who are a little unsure. It usually highlights a particular style or colour that they love. I always like to tie the flowers into any wedding theme. For example one wedding this year has seaside elements so I have designed centre pieces with ribbon that has a quirky nautical look.”
Some Brides select flowers for their deeper meanings – do you have a favourite?
“Ooh there are so many beautiful flowers it’s really hard just to pick one! I do love all the romantic flowers such as ranunculus, peonies, hydrangeas and of course sweet peas. Although my current favourite is Clematis! I also adore flowers that have a wonderful scent. For me the aroma and smell of fresh flowers is one of the best things about my job.”
How much do the seasons impact on the flowers you can choose for a wedding?
“The seasons have a big impact for sourcing particular flowers. Peonies are very popular and Brides are sometimes disappointed when they are not available but I am a firm believer in only using seasonal flowers. I think it makes you appreciate the flowers and enjoy them that much more when they are in season – if only for a short while! I also buy British flowers where possible and this it totally based around the seasonal calender. It’s great though as when the seasons change you know you have lots of lovely new flowers to look forward to.”
Thanks to Joanne for sharing her design skills and this beautiful wedding with us.
Has the post inspired you? What flowers do you want for your wedding?
Photography Credit: Fiona Kelly
From Tuesday 9th April to Saturday 13th April, Tunbridge Wells jewellers, Payne and Son, will be holding their Annual wedding event packed full of advice and inspiration for your big day. The five day extravaganza will be at their store in the High Street (number 37) and runs from 9.30am to 5pm each day. There’s loads of fabulous wedding suppliers from in and around Tunbridge Wells taking part including us!
The Wedding Dolls will be there to run a “Wedding Worries” session on Saturday 13th between 2pm and 4pm where you can ask as many questions as you like and we’ll try our best to come up with an answer there and then! Whether it’s finding the perfect venue, juggling the budget, sourcing wedding suppliers or stamping your own style on your big day, we’ll be there to give you instant advice and help.
Other suppliers there to share their inspiration and advice are local Bridal designer, Judy Mott Bridal Gowns, Pour Les Femme Bridal Lingerie and Sue Hill with gorgeous bridesmaid dresses alongside SW1 Hair and Beauty for all your hair and make-up needs.
Brilliant photographer, Kerry McNair can help with professional advice on your wedding photography and there’s chauffeur-driven classic cars and limousines on offer from ER Hickmott. Plus plenty of prettiness from floral designers Flowers at Colonnade and the Brew House Hotel showcasing it’s stunning wedding venue.
Not just for the Bride-to-be, this event gives the whole wedding party a chance to get kitted out with style advice for the big day. With Austin Reed for the Groom and Ushers and for the Mother-of-the-bride all wardrobe dilemmas will be sorted by La Belle Femme and Lynne Meek of Styling Matters.
Browsing in store at Payne and Son you’ll find super gift ideas for your ushers and bridesmaids as well as bridal jewellery and accessories.
There’s also special offers available to any couple who buy their engagement ring during the promotion so make sure you get down there and take a look.
Hopefully we’ll see you there!
Image by Kerry McNair