The Wedding Dolls have teamed up with Creative Brides to host a series of FREE networking events for wedding suppliers in Kent and surrounding area. It’s a chance to meet other wedding suppliers and small businesses in the area, so bring your business cards, grab a drink and get chatting!
Date: Tuesday 28th October 2014
Location: The Black Pig, Tunbridge Wells. It’s a 2 minute walk from the station. There’s limited street parking and a small car park at the venue, but ample parking in Morrisons Car park near the train station.
Venue Address: 18 Grove Hill Rd, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1RZ
Time: 7pm onwards (finish at 10:30pm)
Hosts: Creative Brides and The Wedding Dolls
Let us know if you would like to attend via our event on Facebook
Look forward to seeing you all there
This month’s edition of Your Kent Wedding features a fun and fantastic wedding we worked on last year. Carol and Antonio’s wedding was packed full of personal DIY touches so if you’re thinking of getting creative and doing lots of styling yourself take a look for bags of inspiration.
Here’s a little peek at the article. To download the full edition click here.
A big thanks to Carol and Antonio for allowing us to share their big day with you all and to Your Kent Wedding and all the suppliers involved.
So most of our lovely blog readers will know by now that we were at the Wedding Fair, Bluewater a few weeks ago and were awestruck by just how many of you have a secret desire to be a wedding planner. Now we know what a fabulous job it is but we also know just how hard it is to establish yourself in a very competitive industry. So whilst we can’t profess to know the best route to achieving your dream job, to help those of you out there who want to get into the wonderful world of weddings, here are our top tips.
1. Get some experience
Easier said than done I know. Between myself and Joanne we have nearly 20 years experience working at and managing events (god that makes us sound ancient) but experience is what counts. You’ll always learn with every event you do but the basics will give you a good idea as to what it takes. We would love to be able to give work experience to everyone that asks, but as a small business our time is spent directly with clients or doing really boring admin stuff. See tip 4!
We have two wedding assistants that work with us when we need an extra pair of hands, and we have spent time and lots of energy training them for exactly what we need. Most small companies will be the same but it doesn’t mean you can’t get good experience elsewhere. See tip 2!
2.Look for alternatives
From jobs in catering, to floristry and window dressing we both had Saturday jobs that filled our passion for creativity and fuelled our desire to work in marketing and events. Going straight in as a wedding planner might not be an option but waitressing or working behind a bar can give you a basic insight into customer behaviour, what makes a good party and how to deal with the demands of a busy crowd.
3. Paid Experience Counts
Lots of you have the wedding planning bug from organising your own wedding and its a great start on the experience ladder. However paying clients will tell you exactly where you’ve gone wrong, one of your own wedding guests is unlikely too.
4. You’ll have to learn how to run your own business
This means delving the murky depths of excel spreadsheets, invoicing, the dreaded HMRC and managing sales projections and expenses claims. You’ll also need basic marketing, SEO and PR skills, lots of creativity and live in the knowledge that you won’t be earning enough to buy a Mulberry handbag each payslip for the foreseeable future.
5. Start talking
You will need the major desire to tell everyone about your business at every opportunity you get. Bar staff, the gym instructor, your hairdresser (very important) the sales assistant in Topshop, Mrs Goggins at the Post Office and the delivery blokes from Ocado are just the tip of the iceberg. So when I say everyone I really do mean everyone. You’ll need to spread the word far and wide.
6. Try before you buy
You won’t be able to afford to hire in services to begin with so until you earn enough to be able to pay a professional to do the bits you can’t, you’ll have to do it yourself, learn as you go and die trying. Quick it isn’t.
All we can say really is don’t give up. There are so many brilliant suppliers who we work with who have struggled to establish their businesses and like any other industry there really is no quick route or substitute to experience and good old fashioned hard work.
If you want more info about being a wedding planner than read Joannes interview here.
Good luck and let us know how you get on!
It’s nearly here!!
We are back at The Wedding Fair, Bluewater from the 7th to 9th February, where we’ll be offering our wedding advice completely free of charge to all that come and visit our stand.
You can either book a slot with us prior to the fair by calling Joanne direct or look out for our wedding planning wall on Stand L18, simply turn up and we’ll do our very best to answer any wedding worries or queries you have there and then!
At the fair you’ll find so many ideas for wedding inspiration as well as lots of fabulous suppliers – many of whom we have worked with before. A brilliant new addition to the fair are our fabulous friends over at Creative Brides, who are running a Vintage Village so you can get your fix of all things DIY.
If you wasn’t lucky enough to win a pair of tickets in our Facebook competition last week don’t forget you can still save 25% by quoting WB28 when buying your tickets online.
We’ll see you there!
Emma & Joanne x
In 2013 Dolly on the Day become our most popular service and with bookings flying in for 2014 it’s set to become even more in demand as many couples realise they want all their careful planning to go without a hitch.
When we get planning enquiries we’re always asked what the benefits are of hiring an independent wedding planner rather than just using the in-house venue planner. Well in a little nutshell – the venue coordinator works for the venue and the wedding planner works for YOU.
Still thinking “why would I need to pay out for someone else to oversee my wedding day when the venue has someone for free” right? Well here’s our quick five point guide for some extra info…
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 couples 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.
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. They won’t have an overall view of your wedding and won’t be there as an assistant to you and your wedding party on the day.
If you think you’ll be okay with an in-house venue 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 couple finds the in-house planner isn’t actually there on the big day).
There are of course many outstanding venue coordinators who go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure their clients have a perfect day. We have worked alongside some fabulous ones in Kent and together we have formed a great team. Nonetheless, it’s important to remember that the venue coordinator will manage the venue including its own staff, the catering, service and the room changes but us wedding planners have a bigger priority. We make sure your whole wedding runs smoothly and we manage the entire day from start to finish.
If you think you might need some extra help then give us a call for your free consultation.
Emma & Joanne x
Well it’s the last day of our Christmas Countdown and what a way to finish.
During the summer it was my absolute pleasure to get to know Janice, who was Mother of the Bride to Jemima. Janice contacted me to help in the run up to Jemima’s big day. I had not been booked by the Mother of the Bride before and so had not totally appreciated just how much our services benefit the whole of the bridal party, not just the Bride and Groom.
When so much effort and money goes into planning a big family event naturally those close to the couple also want to be able to enjoy the experience too. Taking the pressure away from them makes it easier for everyone to really savour the atmosphere and spend time with their guests.
Janice runs her own very successful business and so when she found herself becoming the main wedding planner for her daughter Jemima’s big day she needed some help. She called us towards the end of the planning when she simply had run out of time. Booking some Dolly Hours with us meant we could source the last few suppliers for Janice. She then also hired us for our Dolly on the Day service so we could look after all the little details, keep an eye on timings and manage suppliers. This meant she could really enjoy her efforts to give her only daughter the special day she dreamed of and what a dream this wedding was.
This picture was taken during the drinks reception at the fabulous Hever Castle, by the very amazing Danni Beach. Janice and Jemima both look so relaxed and happy. Their smiles say it all….
We first met Carol when she attended one of our creative wedding workshops with her mum. Carol was really into her DIY details and we knew that giving her guests a fun filled time was a very important factor in her wedding plans.
Wanting a relaxed atmosphere the couple booked the very gorgeous Goudhurst Village Hall. With no on-site manager and lots of elements to pull together Carol needed us to make sure all the set up was done perfectly and all the things she had planned happened at the right time. She booked our Dolly on the Day co-ordination service and together we became a great team.
As with many village halls Carol found herself with a blank canvas to work with and her creativity was just brilliant. Paper pompoms, garlands and bunting made the hall look fantastic, whilst friends and family brought along homemade cakes, a Mexican band serenaded guests on arrival, Czech fizz was served, garden games kept everyone giggling and the fun of their singing bridesmaids made this wedding a dream to work on.
The Bride and Groom beamed from ear to ear all day and their guests loved every minute. The dancing didn’t just start in the evening at this wedding, oh no, there were guests up on their feet during the wedding breakfast thoroughly enjoying the music and the fun filled atmosphere. Carol loved every minute of her planning and her stunning DIY details were testimony to the loving care she put into making sure her guests enjoyed her day just as much as she did.
With yet another team of great suppliers from Martin Briggs Photography, DJ Lucci, Dine Thyme, The Charcoal Pig, Paladins Classic Car hire, Juliets Catering and Jubilee Hire this wedding was a joy to be a part of.
Back in September we helped Rebecca and James with our Dolly On the Day Co-ordination service. I love this picture as it was the first time I’d seen Rebecca on the day. I had been busy setting up at the church and so couldn’t wait to see the Bride arrive. She looks so happy and beautiful and her Dad was full of pride with a lovely beaming smile.
The Church was gorgeous and very close to the family’s heart which made it all the more special. The classic Bridesmaids dresses with stunning lace detail and the top hat and tails were totally in keeping with the traditional family wedding that Rebecca and James chose for their big day. After the Church ceremony they held their reception at Hever Castle to round off this beautifully classic wedding.