Today is the turn of our very own Wedding Doll, Joanne Scott, to tell us more about being a wedding planner. Blog readers won’t need much introduction so we’ll go straight in and find out more…..
How did you become a wedding planner?
I worked in PR and events but took a break to spend more time with my young children. During this time I got asked to help with a few weddings on an ad-hoc basis and really enjoyed it. It’s so different from corporate events and I love the personality that you add to each day. I got the wedding bug and studied for a professional diploma in Wedding Planning.
How would you describe what you do?
I work with the Bride and Groom to make sure they have the wedding they want and support them throughout with advice and guidance. I would never dream of taking over someone’s plans and telling them what to do! Our wedding service enables couples to make their own decisions and feel completely in control of their plans and ideas. I get to know the couples really well and help them bring their style and personality into their wedding day. After all – it is all about them!
What personality traits do you need to be a good planner?
Obviously being professional, highly organised and good with juggling many different things is a massive bonus! However I do think you need to be compassionate and understanding. Getting married is very personal and you can’t stroll in and start being a Miss Bossy Boots! You need to be able to build solid relationships with suppliers and earn the trust of everyone you work with. Being a fun and friendly face is essential.
What are the best and worst parts of your job?
The best has to be seeing it all come together on the day, I love going home knowing that our newlyweds are on the dance floor having had the best day – that’s what it’s all about for me.
The worst is being on your feet for pretty much 12 hours straight. I hate wearing flats to a wedding but can’t survive the day without them!
What are the top three things that wedding couples ask you about first?
Normally first off is “Can I afford a wedding planner?” The answer is yes. We’ve got lots of different options to help any stressed out couple whether they can afford £50 right up to £5,000.
Usually then they ask about how to go about starting their planning and working out their budget.
What tips would you give your couples to help their day run more smoothly?
We always get couples to imagine being a guest at their wedding and run through the experience of the day from start to finish. It helps to visualise what will be happening and when.
Also don’t give the Bridal Party too many jobs to do. They’ll be busy themselves trying to get ready, be in the pictures and welcoming guests. Be realistic about what time they’ll have come the big day and never give jobs to people that can’t handle the pressure.
What is your best piece of business advice to aspiring planners?
Experience is key. Get involved in the events industry in as many ways as you can. Nothing beats hands on experience of how events run, learning how to get the most out of people and building good relationships.
What has been your best moment as a wedding planner?
No one moment stands out but I do always love taking five minutes every now and again to watch the Bride & Groom looking so happy and just enjoying everything happening around them. It means all the planning and hard work has paid off. We always tell couples to take a moment and look around their wedding to really take in the atmosphere – I do it all the time !
Thanks Jo and if you missed last week’s Dream Jobs with Photographer with James Grist check it out now!
If you’re an outdoorsy type that still loves your home comforts then this hen do is for you. The Original Hut Company and Pure Flavour Catering have teamed up to offer a perfect venue for a bit of adventure, and definitely some giggles, with a gang of your best hens.
The Original Hut Company runs a beautiful farm in the village of Bodiam, East Sussex, with gorgeous little unique huts where you can all stay and sleep under the stars. The huts are easily adapted from day to night with a day bed at one end, which easily converts to become bunk beds and the dining table at the other end folds down to make a double bed. There’s no need not to wash for the weekend either as you’ll find a hut with two loos, basins and piping hot showers. All huts are fully equipped with linen, outside furniture and have their own fire pit for cooking.
If you’re unable to cook little more than a tin of beans without the aid of a microwave or simply don’t fancy doing your own cooking, then this is where Pure Flavour comes in. The very lovely chef, Emma Howitt, will arrange with you perfect meals for the weekend with a host of scrumptious home-made cooking and local produce on offer. Hampers are also available for arrival and during the weekend so you can eat like Camping Queens.
The farm is just a stones throw from loads of activities, including Go Ape at Bedgebury and a host of local pubs within walking distance if you want to burn off some of that gorgeous food, or just make room for another Vodka & Coke.
Super friendly, Anna, at The Original Hut Company will be there to help you with any questions you have, all that’s left to decide now is who gets the top bunk!
Are you doing something different for your hen do? We’d love to hear about it.
Happy Hen Planning,
Choosing your Bridesmaids is never going to be easy. Coupled with worries about cost versus numbers, then family dynamics alongside wanting your BFF can leave Brides feeling a bit panicky. We often get asked how to choose Bridesmaids but it’s completely personal and one question our planning experience really can’t answer for you! However let us tell you what we always tell our Brides and the top five things to consider.
The Most Prepared Bridesmaid Ever?
1. Sisters Aren’t Doing It For Themselves
Generally the rule of thumb is that you really do have to ask your Sisters. It has been known for them to flatly refuse to be one when asked and this is their decision, but they are sort of naturally entitled to the role by way of having been in your life, like forever. However if you really don’t want to have them as Bridesmaids think about other roles they can play in your big day. From doing a Reading to perhaps organising the Hen Do – think about what they do best, apart from always stealing your new shoes, then pick jobs accordingly.
2. Friends “The One Where You Pick Your Bridesmaids”
If you have a number of best friends and simply cannot choose, then to hell with it and have all of them. However consider the fact that some of them just won’t be good at particular jobs i.e rubbish organiser, always late, changes plans at the last minute. They are your friends and you know them best, so choose carefully as you don’t want to feel let down by flaky friends in the run up to your big day. Reliable, fun and unselfish – they’re the friends you need.
3. Delegate On The Day Disaster
If you want to delegate some duties to your Bridesmaids on the day then be reasonable about what you expect from them. They won’t be able to do loads of running around as they’ll be needed in pictures and will have time constraints on them. But they can be there to help you and make sure you have everything you need. The best Bridesmaids are there for moral support but not to carry out a massive to-do list.
4. Monster Mates
If your inner Bridezilla has a chance of appearing your Bridesmaids should be able to shut it back in or at the very least control the raging monster. Pick Bridesmaids who know you REALLY well so they know exactly how to respond to you. This is where Sisters and best friends come into their own. They will know what to say and do, or at the very least they can threaten to show everyone the drunken booby picture from your girls holiday in Ibiza.
5. Laughter is the Best Friend Medicine
A lot of problems can be solved with a big giggle. It’s your wedding day and you want to have fun so make sure you have Bridesmaids that know how to have a good time. Enjoying your big day will be so much easier if you can laugh along. At this point in time I would like to say that you don’t need a Court Jester, but just someone who is going to make things a little lighter and relax the tension.
Have you chosen your Bridesmaids? How did you decide?
Image courtesy of Howling Basset Photography
Last week I went down to sample the workshops at Bake & Crafthouse with the lovely owner and fabulous crafter, Kate Alsanjak. After years working in fashion and design Kate has set up a crafters paradise in the village of Cranbrook, with a beautiful workshop kitted out with everything you’d need to make … well just about anything!
Ideal for hen parties, all age groups are welcome and Kate will arrange a bespoke craft experience for you. This group of happy hens made cupcakes in the morning advancing onto a bit of sewing in the afternoon making some very stylish knickers. All very easy and great fun!
Perfect for all Brides with a creative streak to hone their skills, Kate is a master in guiding you through, whether it’s making your own table place names to bespoke invitations, or favours and much more.
Watch out for Kate on the blog over the coming weeks as she’ll be posting some DIY masterclasses for you all to try at home and introducing new ideas for Brides who are itching to plan a handmade wedding.
If you’re looking for style inspiration this week then make sure you get the May/June edition of Your Kent Wedding which features The Wedding Dolls very own gorgeous wedding shoot, inspired by Swan Lake. We’re super excited as an image from the shoot made the front cover! Here’s just a sneak peek of what you’ll find inside so buy your copy today!
Many thanks to all the shoot suppliers who were just fabulous to work with as always: Rebecca Douglas Photography Florist in the Forest Isabella Grace Bridal Boutique The Beauty Aisle Little Gems Boutique Bakery The Swan West Malling Chez Bec Prettywild Design The Crop Shop West Malling and our models Jessica, Ria, Sarah & Jodie.
We hope you love it as much as we do!
Front cover and feature image courtesy of Your Kent Wedding
Todays inspirational style steal is from the unique team that is Bespoke Collective and was shot on location in the Mansion House at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park.
Bespoke Collective is a brand new company made up of Matt Ebbage the photographer, JoJo Pepper the beautician, makeup artist and hairstylist Jessica Hawkins and the jewellery design talents of Faye Holmes.
We really love the vintage vibe in this shoot alongside the sheer prettiness of the gorgeous lace dress.
To find out more about the Bespoke Collective team visit their website.
Colette Hawkins – China and table dressing
Victoria Woodbridge – Floristry
Chris Ebbage – Assistant photographer
You won’t get your vintage wedding planning off to a much better start than popping down to Gravesend’s Old Town Hall on Saturday 13th April.
3 Little Birds are organising this gorgeous little Vintage Wedding Fayre which has everything the vintage inspired bride-to-be could possibly need, from milliners to make-up artists and lots more in between.
A unique part of this fayre are the smart little money saving seminars you can join in including “Build your own bouquet” and “DIY Vintage Hair and Make-up” which are run by some of the fantastic vintage and industry experts exhibiting at the fayre. As well as tea and cakes galore you’ll also get to sample live entertainment in Tea Room as well as find that perfect vintage style with the Walk-In Dress Shop by Vintage Curves.
All Brides receive a free goody-bag on arrival and you’ll also be entered into a prize-draw for the chance to win free room hire for a civil ceremony at The Old Town Hall itself.
For more info visit 3 Little Birds.
Happy Vintage Planning!
All images by James Grist Photography
This week myself and Joanne got a sneak preview of a gorgeous new magazine hitting the wedding world this weekend.
Doily Days is the new FREE vintage inspired wedding mag from the team, yes you guessed it, behind vintage wedding stylists, Doily Days. Helen Ruff is the lovely editor of the new 56 pager, which is jam packed full of wedding gorgeousness including DIY top tips from Helen herself, as well as Roses All Over and articles from our fellow wedding bloggers, Ooh Mrs James and Festival Brides. There’s also a handmade real wedding for inspiration, features on venues and catering and much more, plus if that wasn’t enough there’s an amazing competition from Mr & Mrs Unique.
Grab yourself a FREE copy at the ‘Something Old’ wedding fair at the Corn Exchange in Brighton this Sunday (3rd March 12-5pm) or look out for it at a wedding fair near you in Kent very soon.
Carla and Don couldn’t have made their wedding anniversary more special and easier to remember if they tried. Their wedding date and time was 12/12/12 at 12:12 noon and the ceremony took place at Mount Ephraim Gardens in Faversham. Here Carla tells us their wedding story.
“Mount Ephraim Gardens was the first venue that we looked at in January 2012 and I fell in love with it straight away. It felt very romantic. We wanted our wedding to be a relaxed day that we could enjoy with our friends and family but I also wanted it to have a traditional and classic feel. During the ceremony our daughter Olivia read a piece she had written about us and how much we meant to her – it was very emotional.
“As the wedding was just before Christmas our colours were Olive green, gold and ivory. There was such a warm glow from twinkling lights, with lots of candles and pearls to really complete the look. The theme continued with my wedding outfit as I wore a friends pearl necklace and earrings and my veil and hair slide were ivory with very subtle sparkles. The overall look of our wedding was better than I could have hoped for. On all of our stationery we had two little characters of myself and Don to make it feel a little more personalised – we run a family printers, Jenwood Printers, in Sheerness so that definitely helped!
“We had a traditional menu by caterers, Scott Anderson, of Winter vegetable soup, Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and Crème Brulee. Our reception drink was hot mulled wine. Our wedding cake was cupcakes made by a friend Lisa Burke. The Flower Company in Sheerness supplied by flowers. I love the smell of freesias and I wanted the flowers to look very simple but pretty. I had ivory freesias with pearls and sparkles in the bouquet, tied with an ivory ribbon and the bridesmaids and flower girls had bouquets of gyp, tied with ivory ribbon.
“Kerry Ann Duffy was our photographer and she was fantastic. During the day we were also filming a Marryoke, with TDH Media which everyone really enjoyed. We also had up-close magician, Spencer Wood, who did fantastic tricks throughout our pre-dinner drinks and the wedding breakfast. In the evening we had a photo booth by Julian Austin Photography with Apollo Funk DJing. Our first dance was a little different as we did a mix up – we’re not great dancers but we gave it our best shot with tunes including Utah Saints, Big Fish, Tom Jones, Gangnam Style and the Black Eyed Peas “The Time (Dirty Bit)”
Because we had started so early the DJ finished up at 10.30pm with us doing a last dance to Take That’s “Greatest Day” which I cried throughout as I was so happy and didn’t want the day to end!
Thanks to Carla and Don for sharing their wedding day with us and don’t forget to check out the new Mr & Mrs Jenkins in their Marryoke Video!
Wedding Contact Book:
Brides Dress & Shoes: Tantrums and Tiara
Bridesmaids/Flower Girls: Forever Yours & BHS
Groom & Ushers, Peter Posh from Guvnors, Sittingbourne
Photography: Kerry Ann Duffy
Videography and Marryoke: TDH Media
Magician: Spencer Wood
Photo booth: Julian Austin Photography
DJ: Apollo Funk
For this weeks shopping pleasure we bring you the fabulous 2013 collection from online wedding accessory boutique, Olivier Laudus, which is all about glamour and romance. The new pieces in the collection are a gorgeous mix of pearl jewellery and art deco inspired headbands using Crystallised Swarovski Elements.
Natasha Flower Headband £94.99
Nerea Diamante and Pearl Earrings £29 .99
Marta Pearl and Diamante Side Headband £ 79.99
Lorraine bracelet, £89
Layla earrings £39.99
Jane headband £190
Geneva necklace £59.99
Fern headband £140
The Olivier Laudus online boutique was established in 2004 by husband and wife team Olivier and Sangeeta Laudus. The brand new Signature wedding collection was designed by Olivier, who’s created a range of beautiful wedding necklaces, bracelets and earrings. The boutique also has an extensive range of wedding tiaras, including crystal and pearl tiaras as well as bridal headbands, jewellery and finishing touches.
All orders have free delivery during January so make the most of it and take a look today!