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If you stayed up watching the Oscars then you’ll no doubt be reading this through drooping eyelids so we’ll get straight to the point and give you some Oscar styled inspiration by the way of some gorgeous white dresses from Tinseltown.

Getting your wedding dress custom made is an emerging trend as the cost of hiring a dressmaker becomes more affordable in comparison to buying a not-so-cheap off-the-peg dress and paying standard alteration charges. If you fancy discovering your inner Armani and designing your own take some inspiration from these red carpet hotties and get sketching for a one-off wedding dress totally bespoke to you!

Stylebakery.com

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Bridal Wear

If you’ve already set the date and are getting ready to send out your “save the date” cards why not add your very own wedding website address to the cards.

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Stationery by Pretty Wild

Setting up a wedding website is a great way to keep all your guests up to date with all the wedding gossip as well as deal with practical matters such as car parking and directions, hotel booking info, lift-sharing facility and RSVPs. You can manage your guest list online with food options and table planning if you wish as well as polls and surveys about certain aspects of your wedding day including favourite song choices etc.

What’s more it’s free to set up and you can also help everyone get to know your bridal party through profile updates and links with social networking sites meaning once it gets to wedding day there’ll be no unfamiliar faces in suits telling your nearest and dearest where to sit!

Check out Sarah and Thomas’s example and see if it’s for you!

 

Todays online shopping extravaganza is courtesy of Britten Weddings and their absolutely gorgeous Art Deco Inspired ‘Circa’ 2013 collection.

The collection ranges from elegant ostrich feather fans to intricately embellished headbands and all the pieces showcase the distinctive Britten style and fabulous craftsmanship.

Since launching in 2011, Britten has created bespoke bridal accessories with a vintage twist. Each and every piece is handmade in the UK by head designer Sarah Jane Bates, who studied the art and craftsmanship of accessory design at London College of Fashion and now works with her team from their workshop just outside Bath.

All pieces in the collection are available to buy online but if you have your mind set on something and just can’t find it anywhere Sarah says ” we can offer a fully bespoke service allowing you to work alongside the team to design your perfect piece”.

So if you missed out on getting something gorgeous for Valentines Day (I for one was just glad for a bunch of flowers!) then go ahead and give yourself a little treat today!

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Images from Britten Weddings

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Beauty, Bridal Wear

We start todays post by saying a massive thank you to everyone who came along to our wedding workshops over the weekend at The Wedding Fair, Bluewater. We’ve had lots of emails asking for a summary of the workshop content so we thought we’d share it here so all our readers can join in the fun. The sessions were a mini version of our three-hour workshops and looked at how you can get your personality into your wedding day. If you would like a copy of the template we used just drop us an email and we’ll be glad to ping you one over. So here’s a quick recap!

1. It Takes Two

When planning a wedding it’s kinda easy for some Brides to forget that there’s a Groom involved at all. Sound familiar? Well stop right there. To pack in the personality you need to make sure that both the Bride and Groom have their say from the very start. Work out TOGETHER what it is you want for your wedding day. Small and intimate with only your nearest and dearest or a huge festival affair with 200 guests? Whatever you decide start by making sure both of you have thoroughly discussed what you want for your wedding day and you AGREE!

Cho & Enio Engagement Shoot_79

2. I absolutely, positively, must have…..

Here’s where you can go all Bridashian and demand the one thing you can’t do without and would be seriously upset if you didn’t get on your big day. Decided? That’s great but think about WHY you want it. What’s the motivation behind your choice and does it really reflect you and your personality? Think carefully about your one must have and if it really is about you or somebody else?

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3. Style Me Crazy

Now I love a super blog and sleek glossies but my advice would be to read them, bookmark them, digest them and use them to help give you ideas and inspiration but don’t take them literally or try to copy them exactly. I know you’re there going ‘hello wedding dolls you write a blog” but you need to take what you see on some blogs and in magazines with a big dose of reality. The actual budgets and stress involved in pulling some of these wedding days together are rarely, if ever shown. There’s a reason for this as no-one wants to read about a Bride who lost the plot a week before her wedding day and ran up a massive credit card bill in the process. Sort of spoils the illusion huh?

4. Your Gran Can Do What!?

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Involve your families and discover a huge talent pool that’s right there under your nose. Families like nothing more than getting involved in a wedding – you are after all the people they love the most and the day is about your happiness. If they can share in this it’s going to give them all a big cosy feeling and you get something unique that no-one else can buy for love nor money. If your Uncle can crack out a tune or your Aunt is a Blue Peter badge holder then find small ways to get them showcasing their talents on your big day. Note here I said SMALL ways. Don’t ask family to undertake huge tasks unless they are really up for it. They won’t feel like they can say no and they might have bitten off more than they can comfortably chew. Be realistic about what you are asking them to do.

5. It’s YOU, YOU, YOU and not ME, ME, ME

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Fairly obvious we know but think about things from your guests point of view. What will make them really happy on your wedding day? Being fed lovely food, being entertained, made to feel special and seeing you enjoying every minute. Yes. Seeing that the flower colour exactly matches the Bridesmaids dresses. Err No. If you are in any doubt about some of the last minute decisions you are making return to your original wedding plan and ask yourself – why do I want it, is it really me, what difference will it make, will anyone really care?

Happy Planning!

xxx

Ooh and if you want to experience our workshops for yourself then check out the dates currently available. There’s no need to come alone bring a friend (or mum) with you!

And one last thing! If you entered our Bluewater Wedding Competition over the weekend watch out for full details of the winners early next week.

Images from wedding photographer, Rebecca Douglas

When we get planning enquiries we’re always asked what the benefits are of hiring an independent wedding planner rather than just using an in-house venue planner. So to help more of you out there with the same question here goes with our quick 5 point guide. Remember there’s no right or wrong answer just the one that suits you and your wedding plans!

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1. Save Time

We spend the majority of our time sourcing and working with different wedding suppliers. We know who to go to, why and what their areas of expertise are.  This saves one heck of a lot of time in researching and getting samples and quotes. If you’re a busy couple research time is the biggest bug bear but it’s definitely the one area you need to get right. Taking time off work to look at venues or chasing down quotes can become really stressful. We can cut down on serious pavement pounding or internet trawling hours for you both so you can concentrate of other areas of your planning (and life!).

2. Save Money

Yes we know it sounds a bit weird saying you’ll need to pay a wedding planner but you’ll save money. Huh? How’s that? Well just like in our saving time example we also secure discounts with other suppliers to get the best deal for our clients. The suppliers are also happy to reduce the cost as they’re dealing with us and know that we’ll be able to give them quick answers to their questions and have a full brief to get on with the task in hand. This means with less for them to organise directly they’ll reduce the cost of their service (sometimes considerably!)

3. Personalised Service

By using a planner Brides-to-be are able to stay in complete control of their wedding planning. With one point of contact totally dedicated to them and their plans they can make changes or get updates in one quick phone call. No need to ring five suppliers or wait for calls back from various sources. It’s also easy to share problems and worries with a planner rather than family as they’re not involved in any of the emotional pulls and stresses. They can give you an independent view to help you deal with some of those issues and make a decision that’s right for you. Depending on your level of planning they will always be there on the end of the phone.

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4. Budget Control

A planner is there to make sure you don’t go mad with your budget. Once it’s been set they will ensure you are keeping to target and can advise where changes may need to be made. They can also advise on where you can make savings and what DIY elements you can easily add in to save some pennies. In-house planners won’t manage the holistic budget process and will only look after costs associated with catering (if part of the venue service).

5. Full Planning Overview

Some venues will offer a planner as part of their venue hire package. Just make sure though you are clear that an in-house planner will only be managing what happens at the venue regarding the catering and other logistics like parking and clearing away. They won’t have an overall view of your wedding and won’t be there as a assistant to you and your wedding party on the day.

If you think you’ll be okay with an in-house planner just be sure that you are clear on what they will and won’t do. Check little requirements you have like laying out favours and name places, getting presents for the bridal party and making sure guests are in the right place at the right time. Also check that the wedding planner will actually be working on your day of the wedding (surprising but we’ve been called in at the last minute when the Bride finds the in-house planner isn’t actually there on the big day!).

Some venue planners are brilliant though and depending on your set up you might not need an independent like us at all. No independent wedding planner will want to take an on-the-day co-ordination job if there’s nothing for them to do. It’s just bad business so they won’t be afraid to tell you if they don’t think they’ll be needed.

We hope this helps and if you need more info give us a call!

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Wedding Planning

If there’s one set of photos you want to be looking picture perfect in it’s definitely your wedding album. But even professionally applied make-up will need a little helping hand during your wedding day, so Ellie of The Beauty Aisle, is back with a second guest post on that very subject. Over to you Ellie!

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There’s nothing worse than painstakingly applying your wedding make up to perfection, only for it to disappear half way thorough the day so I’ve put together a few tips and tricks you can use to keep your make up looking great for longer.

1. Before you do anything it’s essential that you prepare your skin properly. Start by cleansing and using a good moisturiser or primer to give the foundation a good base.

2. I often use a cream eye shadow or eye primer before applying powder eye shadow. Mac Paint Pots are great for this and come in a wide variety of shades. They’re super easy to blend, will make your eye shadow last much longer and will also intensify the colour.

3. To give yourself a Matte skin look use a powder that matches the shade of your foundation. I would recommend using a pressed powder rather than a loose one – it’s not worth the risk of dropping a pot of powder over your wedding dress!

4. Healthy and radiant skin is the most beautiful, so if you want to go for dewy skin use a face mist to help. My absolute favourite is from French brand, Caudalíe. The mist is made from grapes and will also help set your make up as well as giving you a radiant look. It’s available from Boots and most department stores. Not only is it good for the skin but I find it calms the mind too, perfect for last minute nerves! The Body Shop Vitamin E face mist is another good option.

4. When applying lipstick I always use a lip liner all over the lips first, next I’ll apply one coat of lipstick, blot it with a tissue then apply a second coat. Remember to keep the lipstick in your bag and if you have chosen a bold colour keep the pencil handy to maintain the perfect shape.

5. Blotting papers are such handy little things, perfect to pop into your handbag. They soak up any excess moisture to keep you shine free. They are widely available and you can spend as little as £1 or as much as £10 on them depending on the brand.

Your Wedding Day Make Up Shopping list 

Caudalíe Eau de Beauté 30ml, £11.50

The Body Shop Vitamin E face mist, £8 for 100ml

Mac paint pots, £14 each

Thanks Ellie for another fantastic masterclass. For more hints and tips on wedding beauty check out Ellie’s previous post on getting wedding ready.

Post image by Richard Grebby, Featured image by Debs Ivelja

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Beauty

New year resolutions are tough to stick to but if one of them was being more careful with your hard earned cash then you’re in luck. Todays post is the first of our special discount days. There’s so many offers rolling in for our blog readers you won’t know which one to pick first.

Today we’re kicking off with a really unique joint offer that will save you squillions from your wedding budget (well ok not squillions but you get the idea).

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Beautiful Kent venue, The House Meadow and Kirsten of Mavric Photography, have teamed up to bring you a double whammy of an offer. Book both of them throughout January and February and you will receive a 10% discount off your photography package with Kirsten, as well as 10% off venue hire at The House Meadow.

Contact Kirsten for more info and to see their styled shoot which took place at The House Meadow last year.

 

Are your nearest and dearest a big bunch of show off’s who would love nothing more than starring in their own music video. Yes? Then you’ve found the perfect thing to make wedding memories that may well make you cry. With laughter.

TDH Media’s Marryoke gives you a wedding video with a difference. You can pick any song, then they’ll bring a stereo and the words. Then it’s over to your guests to mime the words, one line at a time, into the video camera. TDH then edit all the footage to make a marryoke video as a lasting, and very funny, reminder of your big day.

Check out Rebecca and Guy’s Marryoke with their fantastic rendition of “Move like Jagger” to see for yourself what you can expect. Or there’s loads more to view online to give you inspiration. As Terry from TDH Media told us “the tough job is choosing the song!”

 

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Videographers

Some of us girls love high heels, for me it’s the higher the better! They make me stand taller, feel slimmer and also at 5ft 2 they give me those few extra inches that allow eye contact with the non-vertically challenged – even if it is for just a few hours.

However you might not want to have to wear heels on your wedding day (or want some flats to change into later) so you’re in luck because there are some beautiful alternatives to the wedding high heel on the high street – think ballet pumps with added sparkle!

 

 

1. The Flower Shoe by Pink for Paradox of London.  Kent stockist Elizabeth King Designs in Hildenborough.

2. The Limestone Shoe, by Belle for Paradox of London. Kent stockist Wedding World of Kent in Folkstone.

3. Halle by Benjamin Adams for Paradox of London. Kent stockist Tiara and Tails in Ashford

4. The Betty Shoe by Rachel Simpson. Kent stockist Frou Frou in Tunbridge Wells

 

Happy shopping, Joanne x

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Bridal Wear, Bridesmaids