Today we have a discount offer for you from the fantastic Florist in the Forest. Katherine Craft is offering 10% off all bookings for weddings taking place in October and November 2013. Already booked up for the summer you’ll need to be quick if you want her for your wedding.

To receive the discount just book before the end of February 2013 and there’s a minimum spend of £300. Here is just a selection of some of Katherine’s fabulous work but you can find out more by checking out our previous blog post.

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To round off our series of wedding day discount posts (look out for more later this month) Steve Fuller Photography is offering an exclusive discount to The Wedding Dolls blog readers. If you book your wedding photography with him before the end of January 2013 you will receive a 10% discount off your chosen wedding package. Make sure you mention The Wedding Dolls when you book to claim your discount.

Steve’s wedding packages start from £1200 and he says “first and foremost, my coverage is discreet and informal with very little in the way of prompting or posing! I love to use natural light wherever possible. Although I’m based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, I work regularly in Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, Essex and London and I’m more than happy to cover your day be it anywhere in the UK or abroad”.

For more info about Steve and how he can work his photo magic for your wedding take a look at his full portfolio and client testimonials.

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Today on the blog we’re really pleased to introduce Ellie of The Beauty Aisle. Ellie is a make-up artist with bags of experience working with Brides in Kent and East Sussex. She has also worked on editorial fashion shoots, films and advertising campaigns with celebrity clients including Sophie Ellis Bextor, Lily Cole and Miss Dynamite to name just a few.

Coming up in January, we’re super excited as Ellie will be guest blogging for us in her two-part beauty feature that will help you get wedding ready without all the hassle, including insider hints and tips for a great look on your wedding day.

But if you’re looking to tick another wedding job off the list before Christmas then don’t delay as Ellie is currently offering 30% off all trials booked before 31st December. Whizz over to her website for more details including prices and more images of her work.

And don’t forget to watch out for more from the lady herself right here in the New Year!

Image by Debs Ivelja



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Louise and Kees were married back in May this year at the very unique Preston Court, near Canterbury. We asked the fabulous smiling bride, Lou to tell us about their day.

How did you choose your wedding venue?

It was the first and only venue we looked at. We knew it was the right venue for us straight away. We booked it shortly after getting engaged just over 18 months before our wedding. We wanted to get married somewhere a bit different. I absolutely love planning things so was in my element and Anna and Jenny at Preston Court were very helpful.

There were 70 guests during the day with another 40 in the evening.We had an informal ceremony which was conducted outside with our guests sitting on picnic blankets. Two friends did readings from “No Matter What” and “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”.

Who were your wedding photographer and videographers?

We chose Laura and Jody from Lollypop Photography. We did lots of research online into different styles of wedding photography, we looked through tons of photographer’s websites. We then met with Laura and Jody and felt that they understood what we wanted to achieve and they really put us at ease.

We also had a video by Andy and Nigel from Cine8. We got on well with Andy and Nigel and loved the vintage style of super 8 film. They even provided a guest Cine camera so our guests could have a go at filming too!

Did you have a theme for your wedding? 

We had a ‘vintage’ them but basically we fell in love with the venue and fitted it around that. We just tended to buy things that we liked and hoped that it would all come together!

I handmade our table plan, place cards, table numbers and signs for the confetti cones and sweetie bar. I also made personalised colouring in books for all the children and letters out of gypsophelia for the backs of mine and Kees’ chairs. Our wooden directional signs were handmade by my sister and her husband and my mum and I sourced all vases and jars we needed from various places over 18 months. I made a basket of flip-flops, tied with bows for our guests to kick off their high heels and dance in the evening!

I painstakingly handmade all of our favours and most of our stationery using a personalised stamp. We wanted the colours to compliment the fairground organ in the barn so we used pastel pinks, blues, greens and greys.


Who did your wedding flowers?

My (very talented) mum did all the flowers, table centres, buttonholes, all floral decorations and bouquets, including a Jack Daniels bottle of flowers in the men’s loos! I had white peonies, Pink O’Hara roses and lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantina) as foliage. I picked flowers that I loved, my grandparents used to have lamb’s ears in their garden when I was a child. I spent many a weekend choosing flowers with my mum!

What did you have to eat?

Canapes: Fish and Skinny Chip Cones, Mini Hog Roast Burgers, Paneer Tikka Naans, Goat’s Cheese and Red Onion Tartlet.

Starters were Poached Scottish salmon on potato & chive salad with watercress crème fraiche & balsamic dressing or
Tomato & Mozzarella Salad with rocket, and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic. Main course was Chicken breast in a basil & honey cream sauce garnished with beetroot crisps, sautéed new potatoes and a medley of seasonal vegetables or Potato and Leek Tart with a butternut squash puree. We had a trio of desserts with Banoffee Pie, Baileys Eton Mess and Lemon Tart. The children had Garlic Doughballs, Chicken fillets with homemade potato wedges and fruit trifle. The food was amazing!

How did you celebrate in the evening?

It was a reasonably big party! Everyone was either dancing or on the carousel. As it was a lovely warm evening lots of people were relaxing outside plus trying the sweetie bar or photo booth. A memorable moment for me, was late in the evening when me and Kees were going round on the carousel. It was a lovely view point to watch all of our friends and family having a good time.

If you could change one thing about your wedding day what would it be?

I’d try and stop the day flying past so quickly! Also I would have had USB sticks available for guests to put their photos on and post to us while we were on honeymoon!


Brides Contact Book

Brides Dress: Maggie Sottero from Jodi Bridal in Canterbury

Brides Shoes: Dune. Plus pink spotty converse – although I didn’t get round to wearing them!

Brides Jewellery: A necklace from Dower & Hall  and a bracelet from Cornells in Maidstone. Engagement and wedding ring Fitzgeralds

Grooms Outfit: Next

Cufflinks: A gift from the Bride by Mary Fellows

Bridesmaids: Coast

Flower Girls: Monsoon

Vintage postbox: Temptation Towers

Caterers: Relish – the food was amazing!

Wedding cake: Creative Cakes

Transport: Fiat 500 Hire

Band: The Redfords, who did an acoustic set in the day and then the full band in the evening. They were brilliant, everyone loved them. Our first dance was to JJ Heller – When I’m With You.

Personalised items including Cake toppers and wedding dress hanger: Etsy

Make Up: Bridal Make Up by Danielle Parish (Facebook)

If you’re hankering after a vintage wedding then this stunning wedding shoot is just for you. Photographer Alan Harbord and the team spent the day recreating the 1920’s and 1950’s at one of the Wedding Dolls favourite venues, The George in Rye. Beautiful pictures, gorgeous venue and fabulous inspiration – enjoy!




Photography: Alan Harbord

Venue: The George in Rye

Flowers: Florist in the Forest

Wedding Gowns: Victoria Allinson Couture

Styling & Props: Bellaboo and Beau

Birdcage Cake: Angharad Llywelyn Wedding Cakes

Peter and Lydia were married in August 2012, taking them a relatively short eight months to plan this gorgeous wedding. Here Lydia tells us how she did it along with all the rest of the fabulous wedding details! Lydia says “I did the majority of the planning, with Peter helping me make decisions and willing to help when I delegated him tasks! My mother was also a massive help with organising the reception.

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groom and best man waiting at church

Our reception for just over 200 guests was held at Provender House, Faversham. As we planned the wedding in such a short space of time there were limited venues available but my mother’s friend knew Princess Olga Romanoff who lives in the house, which had been restored by English Heritage. I had originally wanted a stately home but it was too expensive, so having the reception in a marquee at Provender was amazing – it combined the elegant and traditional house with an easy and modern marquee that we were able to decorate as we wanted.”

Lydia goes on to tell us about her gorgeous gown “I tried on SO many dresses and loved 90% of them. I was being really indecisive but my dress stuck with me and I thought it was more stunning than the others. I took one of my bridesmaids with me to try it on again and she convinced me to go for it, despite the price tag! As Peter is a foot taller than me I wanted high heels as well as a bit of bling as my dress was very plain, so I chose some sparkly heels by Karen Millen. I borrowed Peter’s mother’s diamond studs, which she was given on her 18th birthday and also wore a thin bracelet with pearls and a lace edged chapel length veil and I had small pearl hair pins from Accessorize.”


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Lydia tells us more about how they choose the details of their wedding, she says “Both of us wanted a traditional English wedding, with a few influences from Singapore, where I grew up. We didn’t have a theme at the outset but our light pinky/nude and butterflies theme just sort of happened and was a lovely mix of vintage and modern. I had a birdcage from the venue which I pegged individual table plans too. We had butterfly place cards from Cuttopia that had L & P on one wing and hand wrote our guests names on the other, which sat on everyone’s wine glass. We had our order of service and invitations printed in Singapore.  I used lots of Orchids as they are the national flower of Singapore so I could have a touch of home on the day! They didn’t last long in the heat but they were absolutely beautiful.

We were lucky to have our family and friends help out. Peter’s incredibly talented younger sister made our cake, it was four tiers of fruitcake, red velvet, vanilla sponge and chocolate and our first dance song, ‘Lucky’ by Jason Mraz, was sung by Peter’s friend Ali Americanos.”

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Lydia found their photographer, Samantha Jones, online and loved her photos. She says “When we met her in person and found her so friendly and enthusiastic we knew she would be perfect.”


Lydia’s final bit of advice for brides to be is “Don’t feel pressured into making all your decisions straight away. Try and listen to your family and friends without compromising what you want. DON’T be a diva because no matter what happens, it will be the best day of your life, regardless of all the little things. I loved our wedding. It was a great balance between a beautiful, serious and emotional ceremony that focused on our religious beliefs and love for each other, alongside a fun, relaxed reception where everyone let loose and danced the night away! It also reflected how much as a couple we put into our relationships with other people, it was amazing to have so many of our family and friends there on our wedding day.”

Thanks to Lydia and Peter for sharing their day with us. x


Wedding Details:

Dress: Suzanne Neville

Veil: Viva Bridal

Groom Outfit: Dress2kill

Bridesmaids: Fever Designs

Flowergirls: Monsoon

Flowers: Graham Greener

Food: Blackbird Catering

Piano and Double Bass: Frances Knight

DJ: Party Plannerz

Favours & Centrepieces: Homemade

Photographer: Samantha Jones


Image Credit: With thanks to Samantha Jones


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


This Sunday (7th October) we’ll be at the Hotel du Vin Wedding Fayre in Tunbridge Wells. On from 10.30am to 3.30pm it’s free to enter and there’s a glass on bubbly on arrival. You’ll also get the chance to have a look round this gorgeous hotel as well as meet some of the best local wedding suppliers.

We’ll be there to help with some of those wedding worries so come and say hello!


For more info about the hotel take a look at our Hidden Gem post.

Image: Hotel du Vin, Tunbridge Wells

Back last month we had a fantastic time at the Vintage Wedding Fair run by Alice and Rose Presents. The show was a really relaxed affair and if you’re planning a vintage wedding in Kent make sure you don’t miss the next one!

We were entertained at the fair by the fantastic Violet Rae and just loved her style and brilliant range of classic 1940’s music. If you’re looking for a wartime vintage feel then you won’t go far wrong in booking Violet Rae to really set the scene and get your guests, to coin a vintage phrase, in the mood!

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Images: Violet Rae

Can’t think of something exciting to serve your guests later in the evening? Don’t worry. A little imagination and your boring buffet could be transformed. Try these for tempting the tastebuds!

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1. Mobile fish and chips from the Village Chippy is a great way to feed hungry guests without the hassle. The van rocks up ready to fry and the team headed up by Sue couldn’t be friendlier. The great thing about fish and chips is that it’s a pretty safe bet most guests will love it. The Village Chippy has a variety of menu options so you can’t go far wrong.

2. Hog roast has now become a really popular option. The bonus is it’s great for mass catering and it hits the spot for a traditional Kent themed wedding. Add some homemade apple sauce and a bun and you’ve got the perfect evening snack to soak up that cider! Flaming Porkys are based in Kent and have a variety of menu’s for your roast. They also do dessert options so save some room for the chocolate fountain!

3. If you don’t want hot food then how about a huge cheese board. With cheese cakes for weddings available throughout Kent you can add make the cheesecake into a fantastic centre piece and then add fruit, crackers, pates, cold meats and rustic bread. Great served with Kent wine and followed by mini apple tarts and rocky roads. We love The Cheesebox in Whitstable.

Happy Eating!