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This was one wedding video I couldn’t wait to see as it showed all the bits I missed when we worked at Vijay and Leanne’s wedding in the summer. Whilst I was busy up in the marquee Joanne got to see the happy couple exchanging their vowels and ….awwwww….how happy do they look!

 

We’ll be featuring the full wedding with all it’s fabulous details next week but for now enjoy the video, shot by Padgham Productions.

Happy Sunday x

Felicity and Simon Howe were married at The Great Barn Rolvenden, near Tenterden in Kent. This wedding has all our favourite elements of a Kent affair and we just love the atmosphere that’s been captured so beautifully by photographer, Rebecca Douglas.

We asked the couple to tell us about their day and how they planned their wedding. Felicity says “We chose The Great Barn as it’s a beautiful 18th century barn in the middle of a gorgeous country setting. It’s a lovely rustic building with loads of wooden beams and old rusty farm tools as decoration.”

“Our wedding style was informal, fun and rustic. We were very much inspired by the beautiful rural Kent setting and used it as a basis for our colour scheme of dusky pink, cream and olive green. I wanted our own personal touches and my friends and family helped out. My friend did my flowers and they were stunning. We had a mix of dried wheat, lavender and poppy heads with hydrangeas and spray roses. We then used jam jars with raffia as vases which my mum spent months collecting for us. The highlight was a huge wreath my friend made from scratch, which made a beautiful focal point for the back of the barn that guests could see behind us during the ceremony. A Bridesmaid made a chalkboard for our seating plan and decorated it with Nottingham lace, the city where Simon and I met at University and my best friend made all our wedding invitations. Simon’s Mum made our wedding cake and all the bunting which we used to decorate inside and outside the venue. My mum also did a powerpoint of photos of Simon and I through childhood until the present day which we had playing in a corner of the barn.”

Our civil ceremony was in the barn itself, with all our guests. It has two floors so we were able to have a separate area for the ceremony and reception. It was a really sunny afternoon so after the ceremony we went outside to the Orchard for Pimms, Gin and Tonics and tubs of handmade luxury ice cream – we had lots of fun picking out our favourites for our guests. We just had to make sure we got photos with the children before they ate their chocolate ones! We had a buffet style barbeque with steak, lamb, local sausages and salads. For dessert, we served homemade chocolate brownies, which my Bridesmaid Tillie and I baked the day before. As well as local wine and ale, we included Keo lager to drink as this is a family favourite from Cyprus where I used to live as a child.

After we were all full to the brim we chatted with guests in the Orchard, sitting on hay bales and enjoying the early evening sun. It was really relaxed and everyone was in such a good mood. It was lovely to get the chance to catch up with all our guests, particularly those who had come a long way. My dad is a natural performer and was in his element, delivering his speech and Simon and his best man Rob got a chance to celebrate their ‘bromance’, having been best friends since primary school.

For the wedding ceremony, my cousins played Irish folk music on the violin and classical guitar, in memory of Simon’s grandmother who was Irish and sadly passed away six months before the wedding. For the reception our first dance was ‘Let’s Get it Together’ by Toots and the Maytals and we had a band ‘The Rock Pins’ who played a mix of indie hits and classic pop/rock tunes which got everyone up on the dance floor all evening.”

Thanks so much for the couple of sharing their day with us and any final advice for our Bride and Groom’s to be?  “Don’t let the temptation to do ‘everything’ take you over too much. At times, I realised I was getting a bit carried away with ideas for ‘small touches’ which probably wouldn’t be noticed. What our guests enjoyed was the company, the venue and the entertainment. We didn’t bother with favours, or a wedding car as those things weren’t important to us, but we wanted a really good band for the reception, and hired a coach to get people to and from the venue.”

 

Contact Book

Bride’s Outfit: Monsoon

Groom’s Outfit: Moss Bros

The Rock Pins – brilliant band

Simply Ice Cream – local luxury ice cream

Great Barn Weddings – rustic Kentish venue

Rebecca Douglas – We loved the vintage style photographs she produced for us which really capture the story of the day

Australian Style Catering – they couldn’t do more to help and the food was perfect, in very generous portions!

Biddenden Vineyards  – delicious local wine and cider

Flowers 4 florists– cost effective wholesaler

 

 

 

 

 

At the Wedding Dolls we have really different styles. Whilst Joanne loves a strapless dress I can’t stand them, but only on me that it. They can look absolutely fantastic on the right frame but for me they just don’t seem to stay where they’re supposed to and I’m forever pulling them up. So I’m quite pleased to see more bridal gowns with higher necks and straps coming through.

Not everyone wants a strapless number and over the last few years this style has dominated the bridal boutiques. But the Royal Wedding has had a huge influence and now more brides want to cover up with softer feminine looks. So if you’re looking a designer that encompasses all different styles then head over to Elizabeth Stuart. Here’s just a small selection of her bridal gowns now available.

 

 

 

 

Nearest stockist: Mathilda Rose

All images Elizabeth Stuart

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Bridal Wear

Don’t feel like you can leave even the simplest of jobs to menfolk on your wedding day?  You are not alone.  It seems that the rise of the female usher (or usherette) is increasing. When it comes to leaving the free beer alone and actually helping get Granny down the steps for the pictures it seems men just can’t be trusted.

 

Ushers on the day (whatever gender) will need to have at least basic organisation and people skills and it helps if they actually know most of your family and friends.  Making guests feel welcome when they arrive can really set the tone for the wedding and so you need to be sure whoever does it will really go for it!

Ushers are able to be slightly more relaxed than bridesmaids and don’t need to appear in half as many photos so are better able to organise things around them.

Just don’t cast aside all the men in your family at once – a mix of both girl and guy ushers can really work well.  If you have an usher that doesn’t mind being centre of attention then think about using them as an MC to announce the events on the day as they unfold.

Whoever you choose and whatever they do it always helps to be prepared (a wedding golden rule!) so carefully plan their duties and get them all to the wedding rehearsal – after all practice makes perfect!

This weekend brings us sunshine! And about time too. With school out for summer and weddings galore over the next few weeks we need the sun to stick to around just for a while. On a selfish note as well I’ve bought loads of maxi dresses for going to weddings and not got to wear them once yet – having to stick to my winter attire made up of tights and a waterproof mac!

So before I run away with the sun celebration let’s look back over the last week on the blog. Our dress of the week was by Alan Hannah, a gorgeous backless dress with stunning detail, that judging from the comments we’ve had is a big hit with all of you too.

 

Then we shared with you a unique venue that we’ve had the pleasure of working at, Nettlestead Place. The house, gardens and stunning views along with it being exclusive to you on the day are just a few of the reasons to check it out.

Next was our fantastic find Little Gems, who make the most gorgeous cakes alongside a vintage ice cream bike with homemade ice creams. We worked with Gemma at a wedding and could see first hand how much the guests loved picking their own ice cream for dessert and comparing flavours  – it was a big hit!

For wedding decor inspiration we looked at the comeback of the humble balloon. With large latex balloons now in the offering you can make simple and stylish backdrops at a really reasonable price. We just love them.

If you’re looking for accessories and decoration for your big day our Saturday Shopping guide is just what you need with beautiful name places, invitations and table settings from one of our favourite online shops, Cox and Cox. It’s our first stop for unique little wedding ideas.

Enjoy the sunshine and happy Sunday everyone!

x

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Sunday Summary

Today we can share with you Little Gems who create gorgeous wedding cakes as well as provide a vintage ice cream bike with a range of gorgeous homemade ice cream to delight any wedding guest – and us! We had the pleasure of working with Gemma at a wedding and so could see first hand how the guests loved picking their ice cream and sharing the flavours with each other.

 

Gemma says of her company “It’s a real family affair and we’ve honed our baking skills over many years all sprinkled with a spoonful of style and a dollop of love! Whether you’re going for a traditional fruit cake, a contemporary fusion of flavours, or ice cream and desserts, it’s imperative to us that not only do they have the wow factor but taste heavenly too.

We can create the perfect match to your theme, dream or colour scheme, and we work with you every step of the way to handcraft your perfect cake. Whether you are longing for a timeless piece of vintage charm, a contemporary twist or going all out for a touch of glamour, we can certainly do the job.”

All of Gemma’s cakes are made using the finest ingredients and they can offer a variety of flavours and fillings to suit your requirements. With Little Gems the sweet treats really are endless!

 

 

Last month we worked at Nettlestead Place which is a medieval manor house in Wateringbury, Kent. It’s a really unique venue and makes for a rare mixture of formality and intimacy.

 

It is a venue that has exclusive hire so your wedding party will be centre stage. Ceremonies take place in the historic 13th century Undercroft which has a roaring open fire and a very cosy feel. It seats up to 120 guests for the ceremony and up to 45 people for a wedding breakfast.

 

The gardens and terraces overlooking Nettlestead’s large sunken pond make for great photo’s and your guests can enjoy a walk around manicured lawns, hidden rose gardens, paths and water features.

 

Up at the top end of the garden is the marquee for larger receptions (up to 200 people) which has beautiful views right over the Kent countryside.

 

 

There is ample car parking space in Nettlestead Court Farm or the wedding party can drive down through the medieval gatehouse that straddles the drive.

Annabel Tucker lives at Nettlestead Place as well as running it as a wedding venue and so is on hand to offer a flexible wedding experience and will help make the venue work for you. Check out their website for information on prices and view the picture gallery.

Images 1-3, Courtesy of Nettlestead Place

Image 4, The Wedding Dolls

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Venues, Wedding Planning

I’ve spend most of this week up to my armpits in muddy washing. Rain is bad enough but flooding and outdoor events mean that my wellies aren’t the only thing getting soggy! Still in this country rain doesn’t usually spoil play and we crack on anyway, especially my kids who have rolled around outside for 10 minutes got cold, wet and muddy, come back in, got changed and then started the whole process over again. So before I go back to my alternative  office aka the utility room, here’s the quick round up of the blog over the past week.

We kicked off sharing the beautiful designs of Claire Mischevani with you. Her bespoke designer bridal service has featured in Vogue, Elle, Grazia, Brides and You & Your Wedding amongst others. If you want something completely different and perfect for you in every way you’ll want to check out her website for your dream dress.

Next up was the Kent wedding of Jon and Emma, who were married at Bradbourne House. Emma talked us through their plans and shared the details of the day which included bespoke stationery designed by Jon himself. Take a peek at the rest of the pictures here.

 

 

 

Next up was a reminder of a gorgeous wedding we worked on last year in Malta. Louise and Warren used wedding planners to cut out all the travel expenses of going to Malta to check on arrangements, as well as the stress of trying to do it all themselves. We worked with the couple on plans this end whilst the Maltese planner was on location to organise local suppliers and double check arrangements before we arrived. The colours of this wedding were just stunning and Louise embraced the then emerging trend of different Bridesmaid dresses which looked absolutely amazing.

 

 

 

Finally we shared our top five picks for Bridesmaid dresses that fall above the knee. The sales are in full force on the high street and there are lots of bargains to be had if you want your Bridesmaids to have an alternative look.

Happy Sunday Everyone

x

Image 1 & 2: Juliette Harrison.

Image 3 & 4: Kay Young

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

Welcome to Sunday! This weekend has seen some peace and quiet in the Wedding Dolls households as our other halves are occupied with Le Mans 24 hour racing and Euro 2012 – it does leave you wondering who makes more noise, kids or husbands…. It’s been just what we needed really as the next few weeks for the Wedding Dolls is pretty full on. With trips abroad, exhibitions, the launch of our new blog, as well as the small matter of organising weddings to get stuck into, we are so glad there are two of us on the case!

On the blog this week was the new bridal range from Topshop which seems to be dividing opinion in the wedding world! See what you think right here.  We also took a look around one of our favourite boutique hotel wedding venues in Kent, Hotel du Vin Tunbridge Wells. If you want understated luxury, fabulous food and gorgeous rooms to round off your wedding day this promises to make it onto your shortlist as well.

Next up was the Wedding of Kelly and Scott with a classic purple colour scheme and gorgeous detailing all set in the beautiful grounds of Turkey Mill, Maidstone. To round off the week we posted some of the most popular and alternative first dance songs that we’ve seen over the last year. If you don’t ‘have a song’ then this might just help narrow down the choices.

We’re super excited too as it’s countdown for our next Bride and Groom, Vijay and Leanne, and their gorgeous indian fusion wedding at Nettlestead Place on Saturday. We’ll share a little preview with you on Sunday but other posts coming up on the blog this week include our designer of the week, an overview of how to set your wedding budget plus a beautiful wedding at Cooling Castle Barn.

Happy Sunday!

x

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