Today we’re sharing with you a lovely engagement shoot by Rebecca Douglas of cute couple Lisa and Owen. Lisa tells us their engagement story…..
“We first met in 2008 in Canterbury and were introduced by a mutual friend. She made it very obvious that she thought we would be a perfect match and Owen even joked that we should get married! Our paths didn’t cross for a while after that night as I was taking exams but Owen and I kept in touch and then arranged a date – we moved in together just 6 months later! For our anniversary last year Owen gave me a beautiful bracelet. He suddenly dropped to one knee and asked me to look inside the bracelet. Carefully engraved was ‘Will you marry me, Lisa?’! It was such a wonderful surprise!
“It’s been wedding crazy since our engagement and having this shoot in the Bluebell Wood was just like being in our very own fairy tale. We regularly go walking together in the countryside, so the setting couldn’t have been more fitting for us as a couple. Both of us are relatively shy, but Rebecca put us at ease and we had such a fun evening walking through the woods having our picture taken. The scent of the bluebells was just amazing! Planning a wedding together can be such a busy affair, but having that time on the shoot was such an enjoyable and relaxing way to celebrate our engagement and we also have some beautiful images to look back on.”
Massive congratulations to Lisa & Owen and thanks to Rebecca Douglas for sharing the shoot with us.
Sometimes you can get wedding inspiration in unusual places and the Wealden Times Midsummer Fair is just one of our favourites. On from Thursday 6th June to Saturday 8th June at Hole Park, Rolvenden, the fair has got a huge range of suppliers exhibiting who are just fabulous at helping you create a wedding day with character.
Gorgeous treats from Alex at Vintage Rose Cupcakes
From cakes to coffee, bunting to beer with crafting and gifts galore it’s a great day out plus a brilliant way to see lots of suppliers doing what they do best. Plus as a bonus you can taste, feel and test everything so you really get a good idea of what you are booking for your big day.
Beautiful vintage items from Love Inc Ltd
So our advice would be get your tickets, pull on those Hunters and be ready for some fabulous wedding inspiration. Make sure you pop over to Wedding Dolls favourites, Vintage Rose Cupcakes and Love Inc Ltd – tell them we said hello!
In a new feature we’re bringing you one awesome shot from a wedding that really tells the story of the day. Our first is a beautiful image from the very gorgeous, Kerry Ann Duffy. Kerry tells us “I love taking beautiful photos but most of all I like to capture emotion and this photo gets me everytime I look at it. It was a beautiful moment shared between mother and daughter and I think it is so lovely.” So do we!
Happy Bank Holiday weekend!
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