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We’re totally over the moon this week as we received a lovely email confirming we’re finalists in the Kent Wedding Awards for Wedding Planner of the Year. It’s lovely to be recognised within your industry for the work you do and the great service you provide to your couples.

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Our aim when we set up the company was to run a boutique wedding planning service that would help couples organise a wedding that’s fun, fabulous and full of personality. Years later I’m still amazed that people always seem to ask “what is it exactly that you do” and really don’t understand the role of a wedding planner. Firstly I’d start by saying most couples will WANT to plan their big day and we don’t in anyway “take over” the planning. We’re there to offer a complete wedding guide from engagement through to the big day and our services include venue searching, sourcing suppliers, designing wedding style guides, themes and decor, venue decoration, workshops and full or partial planning.

By far our Brides tell us our most stress-busting option is our Dolly On-The-Day co-ordination service. It leaves you free to enjoy your wedding day, whilst we worry about all the details, fix any problems, manage suppliers and look after the needs of you and your guests.

We don’t take over the whole planning of your wedding without you. Ever. It’s totally up to you how much we do and you can use our service as much or as little as you need, from Dolly Hours at just £35 to on-the-day co-ordination from £450. There’s an affordable and flexible option for all budgets.

So if you’re still not sure what we do and how we can help you the short answer is …… save yourself time, money and loads of unnecessary nail-biting by giving us a call today for your free consultation.

Emma x

Ps Keep your fingers crossed for us – we find out if we’ve the award won next month!

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Wedding Planning

With a busy wedding season now in full swing, we’ve been working on very different types of weddings. From village halls to golf and country clubs, followed by barns and a castle, they all have one thing in common. These couples have decided that they want to have fun on their big day knowing that their plans are in place and they can relax and enjoy the whole experience with friends and family.

We often get asked what exactly it is that we do as an on-the-day wedding co-ordinator and here’s what we say!

With our Dolly on the Day package we’re there throughout the wedding day to do all those things that need to get done, from overseeing deliveries to setting up tables, styling the venue, being a general timekeeper and keeping the day running smoothly. We assist the bridal party so no-one forgets what they need to say or do and are generally on hand to deal with any problems that may possibly arise. From early morning until usually just after the first dance we’ll be keeping everything flowing as it should.

Many couples choose Dolly-on-the-Day if they have lots of DIY elements to come together or have multiples venues to organise. Dry-hire venues are also perfect for this service as we can set up and clear away, deal with deliveries and help others suppliers on arrival. Even if your venue has an on-site co-ordinator many couples still like to know that they have someone there the morning of the wedding to make sure the Bridal Party are all ready on time and relaxed plus assist the photographer with getting pre-wedding shots of the Bridal party.

As one of our couples recently said “We knew we needed help and assistance on the day but didn’t really know where to turn. We didn’t think our budget would allow for a wedding planner but when my friend told me about The Wedding Dolls they sounded perfect. Joanne helped us pull a schedule together straight away and with her advice in the run up to the wedding everything was calm, considered and way more fun! Previously I had long to-do lists for my parents and friends and was worried about how they would manage it all. Handing it all over to Joanne instead was a huge relief. Come the wedding day we didn’t have to worry, we knew everything was in place and could enjoy ourselves, along with our families to the max!”.

So if you think you need some help but are not sure where to start give us a call!

Emma x

vijay and leanne wd's at work

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As we all celebrate the birth of a Royal baby boy, The Wedding Dolls are very proud to announce their very own new arrival. We have teamed up with the Bake and Crafthouse in Cranbrook to bring you DIY Wedding Workshops.

At these very special workshops you will be able to find out how to plan a fabulous DIY wedding. Perfect if you have a dry hire venue or are about to get all creative and make lots of your own wedding pretty. We’ll be there as usual to guide you through the DIY planning process with lots of hints and tips to help you create a handmade wedding, without all the stress!

Craft expert Kate from the Bake and Crafthouse who will be on hand to get you down and dirty with fabulous DIY ideas including stationery, favours and gifts, plus brilliant finishing decorative touches to really make your venue sparkle. You’ll get the chance to get stuck in and have a go and leave for home ready to get creative with oodles of confidence!

Dolly DIY Workshops Cranbrook

Only limited dates are available so click here now for more info.

Happy Crafting!

Emma x

Ps You can see just some of Kate’s handy work here with her post on three very cute DIY wedding favour bags.

If your budget is tight but you still want to splurge on a gorgeous pair of shoes then you’re in luck. Stunning shoe designer, Aruna Seth, currently have a sale on selected wedding pretty. Take a look at some of the range here and the savings you can make on the sale shoes. You decide spend or save!

 

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Bon Bon in Ivory Satin, £595

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Farfalla in Ivory Satin, £595

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Orfea in Ivory Satin, Was £510.00 NOW £306.00

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Elizabeth in Ivory Satin with Swarovski, £635.00

Sherri in Ivory Chantilly Lace, Was £595.00 NOW £357.00

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Sherri in Ivory Satin with Chantilly Lace, Was £535.00 NOW £267.50

Happy Shopping!

Emma x

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Bridal Wear

On your wedding day there’ll be loads of things you need to do but then there are just some things better left to someone else. Here’s our top five things you can’t do on your big day……

1. Not be the centre of attention

No-one likes a show-off, except when it’s your wedding day. Then you’re allowed. Well actually it’s sort of expected. Everyone is there to see you. What you’re wearing, what you’re saying, whether you’re smiling or crying. All the details are crowd pleasers and then some. However if you’re normally a little shy then believe us when we tell you that on your wedding day you’ll be mighty miffed if all eyes aren’t on you. We can guarantee it.

2. Wear uncomfortable shoes

I wrote this part safe in the knowledge that no right minded female would want to hobble about on her wedding day, desperate to sit down and take her shoes off. However it seems I could be completely wrong. Joanne’s opinion is “who cares if your feet hurt when you’re wearing Jimmy Choos”. Indeed. So if you’re throwing caution to the wind and wearing shoes to die for just have a comfy pair on standby.

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3. Be the Wedding Co-Ordinator

“Ermm we have a problem’ is not words you want someone to utter to you on your wedding day, especially if you’re trying to manage it all on your own. If you have lots of DIY elements to bring together then think about hiring in a professional. Now this seems an obvious plug for our “Dolly on the Day” service but we really believe it is essential if you don’t want to be playing the role of ringmaster while posing for your wedding pics. Being as relaxed and stress free as possible is key to having a great day. Trying to squeeze in lots of little jobs just won’t be possible. Pull your wedding day job list together as soon as you can and be realistic about what you can manage to do without extra help.

4. First Kiss Cringe

Now it’s a wedding so everyone is expecting romance and the odd PDA but toes will be curling if your first kiss is, shall we say, intimate. Save that for later….much later. Just think “Royal Wedding Balcony kiss” and you’ll be on the money.

5. Leave your hair & make-up trial until the morning of the wedding

Always, always, always have your hair and make-up trial well before the wedding. You might think you only want simple make-up but once you’re in your wedding finery your “Saturday night pub” look just might not make the grade. By then it’s too late to do anything about it. A trial with a professional will be money well spent and save any stress on the morning of your wedding. Your wedding photo’s will be there forever – do you really want to look at them thinking you could have done with a bit more concealer? No.

Happy Planning!

Emma. x

Images: 1. www.phindystudios.com 2.www.etsy.com

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If you are on a tight wedding budget one way to make the most of your hard earned cash is to go second-hand. And now thanks to Sell My Wedding, you can buy all manner of pre-loved wedding prettiness at a fraction of the normal cost. The online wedding marketplace has everything you could possibly need for your big day, from your dress to dressing your venue, all at bargain prices.

We love this website as buying some items second-hand, especially decorative items, can make a huge difference to your overall budget, leaving you more money to spend on the all important stuff like staffing, catering and photography.

So whizz over and take a look at what’s available. And then, best of all, once you’ve had your wedding you can go back and sell everything all over again. Be warned though if you’re anything like us you’ll be totally addicted after your first look!

 

Happy Shopping

Emma x

Images from Sell My Wedding by Simon Kench Photography

 

As it’s Father’s Day I’m sharing with you my own wedding snap to say a massive thank you to my long suffering but much loved Dad. It’s one of my favourite pictures from my wedding day as it’s one of the few I have of us together and as usual my Dad is smiling away.

As planners we know there’s no typical scenario for a Dad at a wedding now. Some Dads shuffle about in the background and worry about their speech, some just hand over a cheque and go back to the footie results, but others throw themselves into it with great aplomb. Some weddings have more Dads than you can throw a stick at and others have a Dad that is very much missed. Whatever the situation there’s a way to cherish, celebrate and thank the Fathers in your life as part of your wedding celebrations.

Happy Father’s Day x

fathers day wedding

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Wedding Planning

Last week we were in search of the perfect smoky eye for Brides-to-be and Maidstone based make up artist, Nicola Peen, is here to give us a hand!

Nicola says “the key to successful wedding makeup is about finding the right look for you. If you don’t usually wear a lot of make-up then you won’t to go overboard on the big day, but may want to have a bit more for extra pizazz! For eye make-up that still has a natural look I choose
 browns, corals, creams and
 golds matched with light foundations 
that aren’t too matt. I don’t
 add too much shimmer either as this can give a 
sweaty appearance in photographs and I stick to highlighting the brow bone and the tops of the cheek bone for a subtle yet fresh look.

“For brides that prefer a more dramatic look on their eyes I use greys rather than harsh black eye shadow. Opting for a light grey shadow on the lid and working in a darker grey eye shadow into the socket line gives you a really subtle smoky eye. My favourite eye shadow brands are MAC and Christian Dior for their highly pigmented colours in a wide range of textures and shades – fabulous for perfect blending.

“Eyeliner defines the eyes and can give a number of different effects depending on what sort of look you’re going for. Gel eyeliner in black on the top lid will give a more dramatic and defined look making the eyes appear bigger, while kohl pencil in black, grey or brown on the top lid will give a softer look.

“False lashes are now really popular and they do make the eyes look stunning. After applying mascara I add about six individual lashes dotted along the lash line or sometimes just three to the outer corner of the eye for a natural but very effective look”.

Nicola, who trained at the London College of Fashion, has over 12 years experience
 of bridal make-up and is offering an exclusive discount to Wedding Dolls blog readers of 15% off when you book any package before the end of February 2013.

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Thanks Nicola for all your fab advice – we’re off to try it out for ourselves!

All images courtesy of Wedding Make Up by Nicola

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Beauty

When we get planning enquiries we’re always asked what the benefits are of hiring an independent wedding planner rather than just using an in-house venue planner. So to help more of you out there with the same question here goes with our quick 5 point guide. Remember there’s no right or wrong answer just the one that suits you and your wedding plans!

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1. Save Time

We spend the majority of our time sourcing and working with different wedding suppliers. We know who to go to, why and what their areas of expertise are.  This saves one heck of a lot of time in researching and getting samples and quotes. If you’re a busy couple research time is the biggest bug bear but it’s definitely the one area you need to get right. Taking time off work to look at venues or chasing down quotes can become really stressful. We can cut down on serious pavement pounding or internet trawling hours for you both so you can concentrate of other areas of your planning (and life!).

2. Save Money

Yes we know it sounds a bit weird saying you’ll need to pay a wedding planner but you’ll save money. Huh? How’s that? Well just like in our saving time example we also secure discounts with other suppliers to get the best deal for our clients. The suppliers are also happy to reduce the cost as they’re dealing with us and know that we’ll be able to give them quick answers to their questions and have a full brief to get on with the task in hand. This means with less for them to organise directly they’ll reduce the cost of their service (sometimes considerably!)

3. Personalised Service

By using a planner Brides-to-be are able to stay in complete control of their wedding planning. With one point of contact totally dedicated to them and their plans they can make changes or get updates in one quick phone call. No need to ring five suppliers or wait for calls back from various sources. It’s also easy to share problems and worries with a planner rather than family as they’re not involved in any of the emotional pulls and stresses. They can give you an independent view to help you deal with some of those issues and make a decision that’s right for you. Depending on your level of planning they will always be there on the end of the phone.

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4. Budget Control

A planner is there to make sure you don’t go mad with your budget. Once it’s been set they will ensure you are keeping to target and can advise where changes may need to be made. They can also advise on where you can make savings and what DIY elements you can easily add in to save some pennies. In-house planners won’t manage the holistic budget process and will only look after costs associated with catering (if part of the venue service).

5. Full Planning Overview

Some venues will offer a planner as part of their venue hire package. Just make sure though you are clear that an in-house planner will only be managing what happens at the venue regarding the catering and other logistics like parking and clearing away. They won’t have an overall view of your wedding and won’t be there as a assistant to you and your wedding party on the day.

If you think you’ll be okay with an in-house planner just be sure that you are clear on what they will and won’t do. Check little requirements you have like laying out favours and name places, getting presents for the bridal party and making sure guests are in the right place at the right time. Also check that the wedding planner will actually be working on your day of the wedding (surprising but we’ve been called in at the last minute when the Bride finds the in-house planner isn’t actually there on the big day!).

Some venue planners are brilliant though and depending on your set up you might not need an independent like us at all. No independent wedding planner will want to take an on-the-day co-ordination job if there’s nothing for them to do. It’s just bad business so they won’t be afraid to tell you if they don’t think they’ll be needed.

We hope this helps and if you need more info give us a call!

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Wedding Planning

To round off this week’s wedding discount days we’re all about entertainment with DJ Terry Lewis. Terry’s natural habitat is over in Essex but this larger than life DJ also covers London and Kent so he can bring you his award winning DJing style and all at a 5% discount for Wedding Dolls readers.

We asked Terry what type of music he plays and he told us “its a question I often get asked and my answer is always the same – it totally depends on the music you and your guests love to enjoy because we all have our favourite hits don’t we? All you have to do is tell me the songs you love most, then leave your wedding entertainment to me.”

Check out the video below where the man himself can tell you more or visit his website for further info.

 

 

 

 

 

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Entertainment

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