Last week we were searching for some alternatives to DJ’s for a small hotel wedding. Large scale entertainment wasn’t really needed but our bride and groom still wanted to dance to some chosen tunes late into the evening with their guests.
Josh Spencer Photography
Wedbeat is the perfect solution that gives you hours of music without all the hassle. You simply pick the tunes you definitely want and the type of genre and Wedbeat will create a CD playlist for you. It’s also a brilliant reminder of your wedding that you can play again and again. Visit their website for more details and get ready to partayyy!
Wedding Image by Josh Spencer Photography
Today on the blog we have some great news for Brides looking for a vintage wedding dress in Kent. Ciara Mullan owner of Dita Florita, normally supplies her vintage dresses by post, on a sale or return basis, but from this month you can visit her showroom in Kent and try on the dresses to your hearts content.
Images from this gorgeous shoot show you just some of the original dresses that Ciara sources for her boutique. For more information about viewing appointments visit Dita Florita.
Vintage dresses: Dita Florita
Photography: Laura Babb
Stylist & Coordinator: Meryl Tabner at Home Grown Bride
Hair & Makeup: Belle of the Ball Hair
Flowers: Blush Floral Design
Stationery: Golden Apple Designs
Headpieces and sunglasses: Rene Walrus
Red flower hairband: Edwina Ibbotson
Model: Frankie Holah
Venue: Plateau, Canary Wharf
Shelley and James were married at Fraser’s of Coldharbour Farm, in Egerton back in May 2012 with 80 guests to the day and 130 in the evening.
Here Shelley tells us about their day, “We wanted a laid back wedding, nothing too formal with a country feel – ‘pomp’ wouldn’t have really been us. We’ve been together for thirteen years and have small families, so the wedding was really a big party with all our friends!
We wanted somewhere in the countryside, out-of-the-way where we could hold the ceremony and the reception with a relaxed but professional feel. Originally we had been looking at venues in Cornwall, but we decided to move the wedding back home to Kent and Fraser’s was recommended to us. At the reception we decided to have all the guests on 3 big long tables, and the food was all put in the middle so everyone had to talk to each other and pass food around. It worked really well and we had to prise people apart in the evening to get the dancing started!”
Shelley says “We had the amazing Kerry Ann Duffy as our photographer. It was a really easy choice. We already knew we wanted Kerry after seeing her portfolio, but we met with another photographer whose images were a bit more formal just to see how they differed. When we sat down with Kerry and she talked us through how she does everything, we knew we’d made the right choice. I hate having my picture taken but she made me feel so comfortable. When we got the pictures back after our honeymoon they blew us away, we were so happy.
“For my bouquet I had freesia, ranunculus, roses, rosemary and thistles as James’s family are Scottish. The four bridesmaids each had a different bouquet, using tulips, roses, freesia and hyacinths. The boys’ buttonholes were freesia and James had a thistle added to his.
On the tables we had five tall vases filled with puss willows and either roses, ranunculus, tulips, hydrangea or hyacinths around the bottom. We then had about 30 jam jars on each table, wrapped in either yellow, green, white or tartan ribbon, each with different flowers in. The table centres were agreed on after much too-ing and fro-ing of ideas with our very lovely and patient florist Julia from Sweet William Florists in Headcorn. Julia also made us a beautiful top table display – all of our flowers were just beautiful. They went perfectly with our country colour theme of yellow, green and white.
For the reception we made the table plan ourselves, using an old picture frame from my Nan and Grandad’s house and putting card in the middle to hold the names. The menus were in the style of our invitations. The place cards were handwritten on card and pegged onto the wine glasses. Our invitations had our initials on them so we took that theme forward and had wooden letters on the Guest Book table and gave initial themed gifts to the Ushers and Bridesmaids. The table names were herbs, so we potted up sage, thyme, rosemary and parsley and wrote the herb names on a big piece of slate. We then tucked a small piece of each herb under the ribbon of each napkin. It was time-consuming but worth it! I was worried that it wouldn’t all come together – as it’s hard to imagine what everything will look like when you are making it all at home – but it was even better than I pictured in my head.”
“The music we played was the most personal part of our wedding, as we both love music so much and having been together so long there were lots of songs that had special meaning for us. We spent ages choosing what to have when we signed the register, walking back down the aisle, first dance with my dad, first dance with each other and the songs we wanted played during the evening. We only got our choices back to the DJ a couple of weeks before, and the form was full of crossings out and amendments where we kept changing our minds!”
Finally we asked Shelley what advice they would give to other couples and she said, “Do it your way. Don’t be bullied into spending too much or too little, or having things you don’t want.
The only thing I would have done differently is made sure I had someone passing the guest book round, as not as many people wrote in it. Also I did have an excellent idea for my cakes about two days after the wedding which I’m annoyed I didn’t think of earlier! But the only people who will really remember your day and all the details are you.
Make it mean something to you both and you can’t go wrong. During the planning people will say and do things that upset you without realising they have. Take a step back and try to work out if you are being a bit over sensitive or whether it is something that will genuinely affect you and the day.”
Other Wedding Contacts:
Entertainment/DJ: BeeJay Entertainments
Wedding Cake & Cupcakes: Lellas Cupcakes
Bride, Grooms and Bridesmaids Outfit: All by Bride & Groom Ltd
Brides Shoes: Harriet Wilde
Jewellery: Tiffany & Co
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.
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.”
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.”
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
Dress: Suzanne Neville
Veil: Viva Bridal
Groom Outfit: Dress2kill
Bridesmaids: Fever Designs
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
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
Unless you are really lucky the table plan, which seems like a relatively straight forward process to begin with, always takes more time than you think. There’s lots of choices to make, like whether you put your guests with family or friend groups or mix them up so everyone gets to know each other. If you do decide to mix the tables one great trick is to seat people with others they have something in common with and name the table accordingly. Say for instance friends who love cars, call your table Top Gear and let them work out why! Naming tables is a great way to break the ice and you can always match these to your theme or things you love. Some of the ones we’ve seen are:
Places special to you as a couple such as places you’ve visited on holiday
Names connected with hobbies such as star constellations or fashion designers
Favourite movies or authors
Famous romantic couples such as Romeo and Juliet, Bogart and Bacall and Taylor and Burton.
Once the fun bit is over and you’ve got brilliant names then comes the hard part, actually getting names to places. This for me was really frustrating. It required the patience of a saint as not so long ago, involved writing names on bits of paper and whizzing them around on a home drawn table plan for an eternity (well that’s how it felt!). However nowadays there’s a website for everything and table planning is no exception.
We’ve used Toptableplanner for many an event and it’s a really easy way to play around with the seating so you can get it exactly right. I’ve lost count of the times we’ve turned up to style tables and been given the name places only to find they don’t match with the seating planner! It’s easy to miss people off or forget to write a name tag so using a website like this really helps.
Screen Shot from www.toptableplanner.com
A good trick of the trade is to always take a few extra name tags (with pen!) on the day just in case. We’ve had guests who have turned up with a plus one but actually didn’t tell the bride and groom so we’ve quickly rearranged seating to accommodate them. And always, always, always make sure you have spelt names correctly. Where seating plans are concerned the phrase, check, double check and check again is your mantra.
Caterers will also love you forever if you can give them a table plan and mark on it where children and vegetarians are sitting. It makes their service so much smoother to manage.
And do remember that although many hotels and venues have “wedding planners” they might not be up for arranging all your seating plan, dressing the tables and putting out favours etc on the day. Check well in advance and if they are going to do this for you make sure you have a dummy run with them beforehand, especially if you have specific requirements or lots to put together.
Happy table planning!
Images. 1. Bridesmagazine.com 2. Planyourperfectwedding.com 3. theweddingchicks.com 4. lover.ly
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!
Images: Violet Rae
The Wedding Dolls have worked with the lovely Kay Young for over five years now and so we are thrilled to share with you her beautiful new website.
Typically at the Wedding Dolls we both feel differently about having our picture taken. Joanne (although will deny this when asked) loves having her picture taken. Me, No. It’s painful and I would sooner chew off my right arm. This is why Kay is our perfect photographer.
She’s fantastic at making you feel comfortable and at ease in front of the camera. Not only does she work wonders with photo shy wedding couples she’s a dab hand at sorting kids and animals too! Plus if you’re not backwards in coming forwards and can turn on the smiles Kay will have all sorts of wonderful ideas to get some really stunning shots.
We have seen her work her magic many times at weddings and could not recommend her highly enough. Check out her new website and see what you think, you might even spot us lurking there!
Nothing is more quintessentially English than a cup of tea partnered with a biscuit (or four in my case!). These gorgeous biscuits from Little Boutique Bakery are fabulous as a wedding favour which your guests can gobble up there and then or take home to enjoy after a long day partying!
There are so many designs and colours to choose from to suit your theme perfectly. Why not give them out with teabags adorned with your own homemade tea tags for that extra special touch?
Images with thanks to Little Boutique Bakery for images in the post.
Featured image by James Davidson via The Ebury Collection
Today it’s sunny and we’re super excited as we’ve just signed up to be part of Alice and Rose Presents, Vintage Wedding Fair on Sunday 16th September.
It’s a really different kind of wedding fair with a relaxed atmosphere and lots of fun along the way. On the day you can expect to be entertained with live music, a bridal pack with wedding mag and discounts, a glass of bubbly on arrival, competitions and the chance to meet lots of lovely suppliers who can help you pack a punch when planning your vintage wedding. And of course you can now meet us to chat through any wedding worries you might have.
We suggest you bring a picnic on the day and enjoy some breathtaking views across the Kent and Sussex countryside. Plus there’ll be a bar open serving beer,wine and soft drinks and you can even meet the local animals that call Hollambys Farm their home.
The fair is at Hollambys, which is a small organic farm in Groombridge. Their converted Sunset Barn, overlooking Birchden Field, is perfect for a country wedding and is a fabulous place to check out for your vintage wedding.
Image: Sunset Barn by Heather Shuker
Plus did I mention that it’s free entry? So don’t hang about pop over and see Alice and Rose Presents for more information now.
We’ll look forward to seeing you there!
Featured image on homepage by Tino & Pip