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Wow it’s been a whirlwind year for the Wedding Dolls and as I sit here with a slightly hazy head it feels like we’ve come a long way. We started the beginning of 2012 making plans for our new website and with our business still cutting its teeth we had plenty of to do lists to get through and never enough time to do them all.

Running your own business certainly has it’s ups and downs but come April and with the start of wedding season truly underway we were majorly keen to kick off our wedding planning in earnest. There were so many suppliers to meet and plans to make with our Brides and Grooms-to-be. The summer saw some fantastic weddings and we also met with so many couples looking forward to planning their big days in 2013 and beyond.

We also got friend and photographer, Kay Young, to come along to capture us in pics to tell you a bit more about us and how we work. As you can see Joanne does most of the wedding planning and I stick to the blogging but I am occasionally let out from behind my laptop and it was great to meet so many Brides this year with plenty of fun at some great wedding fairs. Our favourites included BluewaterHotel du Vin, the Designer Wedding Show and for vintage planning, Alice and Rose Presents.

weddingdollroles

September was a “wey hey” moment with the launch of our new brand and website. We got such a fabulous response and the blog section of our website has gone from strength to strength. With more suppliers getting involved and a steady increase in visitors we’re hoping 2013 sees us reaching new heights and helping more couples plan their dream weddings.

October we launched our brand new workshops where a group of Brides get together to work through our guide to planning the perfect day. With mums in tow our first group had great fun and come away feeling more confident then ever about getting to grips with organising a wedding. The fantastic Rebecca Douglas came along to capture the day so take a look here for more info. There’s more group workshops available to book now so if you’ve just got engaged it’s the perfect time. We of course still do our one-to-one workshops for couples if that suits you better.

Wedding Dolls Workshops

As ever with blogging some posts are more popular than others and here’s our top ten from the year and some of the weddings you told us gave you loads of inspiration as well as our practical advice features:

An English Country Garden Wedding

Wedding Worries: Arranging Your Seating Plan

Preston Court: Louise and Kees Fairground Attraction

Cho and Enio’s Tonbridge Castle Wedding

Wedding Worries: Getting Down with the Kids

Felicity and Simon’s Great Barn Wedding

Vijay and Leanne’s Elegant Indian Fusion Wedding

DIY Weddings – When it’s not cheap and not cheerful

Shelley and James’ Coldharbour Farm Wedding

Counting the Cost: Your Wedding Budget

 

So as you take a look back over our year we’re sure you’ll be making plans for this new one and your own wedding preparations. Stick around as we’ve got some fantastic discount features coming up to help you make that budget go further and lots more inspiration and advice from some of the best suppliers Kent has to offer. We’ll also be involved in lots of exciting projects which we’ll keep you up to date with as they happen.

So from myself and Joanne we wish you loads of luck for a happy and healthy 2013 – we look forward to sharing it with you along the way.

Happy New Year Everyone!

 

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Wedding Planning

I was at the London Golf Club last week to help out at a charity golf day. Whilst there I managed to sneak off my duties for a bit to get a good look around at it’s potential for a wedding venue. I’ve never been a big lover of weddings at golf clubs so I wasn’t expecting to like this much but I have been left eating humble pie as it makes a great wedding venue!

The London Golf Club is in a beautiful setting with the Clubhouse at the heart of the 700 acre estate complete with lakes and fountains to create a seriously stunning backdrop. From the gatehouse there’s an impressive driveway for real wow factor as soon as you arrive. The Great Hall with magnificent oak beams and the Long Bar are fabulous rooms to entertain your guests and the banqueting room is really light and airy with a luxurious feel. The patio and terrace areas are also great for drinks and wedding pics during the summer months.

Forget stuffy old golf club here as everything is modern, fresh and very well executed including the menus. Catering prices start at £99 per person and include room hire. The views over the lakes and Championship fairways are enough to make this venue special but the attention to detail and really friendly staff just make the whole package one worth considering.

Definitely a hole in one for a perfect wedding!

 

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Venues

Back in April we helped Phil and Billy plan their big day. Here in Part One Phil tells us about the planning of her wedding and takes us through the ceremony.

“Our wedding was at St Marys Church in Thorpe with the reception in the grounds of my big sisters beautiful Georgian home. We had looked at venues in the UK and overseas but when my sister offered us her house we knew it would be perfect. We wanted a relaxed day with a vintage garden party feel and a really romantic setting, with lots of twinkling lights as the sun went down.

First on my to do list was the Dress! My dress was by Ella from La Boutique in Beckenham.  It was one of the first ones I tried on and loved it instantly.  I tried on about 15 dresses after but kept comparing them to the Ella dress as I just fell in love with the champagne colour, it was different to the traditional white or ivory. My shoes were by Diane Hassal and  I wore a side clip with pearls and small crystals from Glitzy Secrets.

I’m not overly adventurous with make up so did this myself. Louise from Beauty Call enhanced my eyes with some false eyelashes and put my hair up in a gorgeously simple style.

My sister and best friend were bridesmaids and wore dresses by Ghost at John Lewis. I had three flower girls and two page boys.

 

 

I hired Daisy Chain Florists to do my wedding flowers.  My bouquet was made up of Naomi, Pacific Blue and Ocean Song large roses with Veronic, Senecio foliage and Lisianthus. I chose these flowers because they complimented the vintage garden feel I wanted to create.

The guys suits wore very simple, a navy morning jacket, grey waistcoat with grey and navy pin stripe trousers all hired from Moss Bros 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wedding car was a 1950’s Zepher borrowed from a neighbour.

Josh Spencer was our photographer. I loved the pictures on his website and so I gave him a call. I found a rapport with him straight away and he understood what I was looking for. I got about 5 other quotes but went with Josh because of his style of photography, his personality and I was confident he would deliver on the day. We had a pre-wedding shoot in Windsor Park as a practice before the wedding and this was really helpful. On the day he was brilliant. The photos are fantastic and he has captured the feel of the day perfectly.

We used Joanne from The Wedding Dolls to help us with planning from 10 weeks prior to the big day. She was also there on the day to organise us and keep an eye on the schedule. She helped give advice and support on tasks, time lines, site inspections and layout of the marquee and liased with suppliers and caterers. Her knowledge was invaluable and she supported us throughout with help and advise when issues cropped up. We had face to face meetings to get to know each other and build a relationship and she knew exactly how to get the best out of our day and reduce the stress levels!

Come back tomorrow for Part 2 when Phil will be sharing the reception with us.

Image Credits: Josh Spencer

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Real Weddings