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Hello All! Today there no ordinary guest books here. Oh No. The ladies over at Illustries have worked their own brand of magic to offer you the chance to win one of their fabulous personalised Guest Books.

The books are absolutely brilliant and so unique, giving your guests the chance to draw pictures, doodle stories, write messages and lots more. They are guaranteed to keep guests entertained and leave you with a very special memento of your big day.

As part of the competition the lucky winner will get to add their names, wedding date and signature colour to their prize. The guest books normally retail at £69 so what are you waiting for! All you need to do to enter is “Like our Facebook page, then share the competition post and hey presto you’ll be automatically entered.

Good luck!

Emma x

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The Small Print: The competition closes on Friday 9th August 2013 when the winner will be chosen at random. Please note that the competition is open to individual Facebook entrants only and not business pages. Winners will be notified through Facebook and a UK delivery address for the book will be required from the winner. No correspondence will be entered into, prizes are as stated, are not transferable and there is no cash alternative. Prizes may be substituted for equal or greater value if the stated prize becomes unavailable. If you are a winner, you must claim your prize within 28 days of being notified otherwise the prize will be forfeited and another winner chosen. The prize will be sent directly from the supplier to the winner. Please allow 28 days for delivery of your prize from the date you contact us to claim your prize.

We’re really excited as we’ll be doing our Wedding Worries Workshops for as many couples as we possibly can at the Wedding Fair, Bluewater this September (20th to 22nd September 2013).

If you’re planning a wedding chances are you’re feeling the pressure to make your day stand out from the crowd and bring all your plans together within budget. Not an easy task, so at the fair you’ll get the chance to chat with us about how to make planning your big day that little bit easier. From queries about choosing suppliers, making the most of your budget, finding your wedding style to bringing an individual personality to your day, we’ll do all we can to find an answer that works for you.

If you’re stressing about something, however big or small, you can have a free one-to-one session with us at our stand where we’ll chat through your plans with you and try to banish those wedding worries!

We love the Wedding Fair at Bluewater as it brings together so many suppliers in one place giving you the chance to find inspiration and ideas for everything wedding related. It’s all there from cars to cakes, dresses to drapery, favours to photographers, bridal accessories to bands, styling, catering, venues and much more.

The catwalk show which runs at different times during the day is fantastic for seeing different styles close up, as dresses never seem to look the same in the flesh as they do in the magazines. You can also try on most of the catwalk dresses plus Bridesmaids and Grooms can also get in on “wedding dress up” fun as there’s a whole range of wedding wear available.

We’ll also be running a special wedding competition and have discounts available for our full planning workshops so make sure you come over and say hello!

Happy Planning

Emma x

Catwalk Images by: Louise Bjor­ling from the Bluewater Wedding Fair Spring Show

For all you DIY wedding fans out there, we have a special treat for you today. The super talented and creative Kate from the Bake and Crafthouse in Cranbrook, has been working up some of her special crafty magic for us and is sharing with you three ways to make these super cute wedding favour bags.

Drawstring Fabric Favour Bags

1. Make a paper template adding 1cm extra on to three sides and 2cm extra added on the top edge for seam allowance.
2. Fold down the 2cm at the top and stitch on place 1cm from the edge to create a tunnel (this is for the string).
3. Fold in half inside out and stitch down the two open sides 1cm from the edge to create a pouch.
4. Trim away the excess fabric in the corner and turn the right way out.
5. Attach a safety pin to the end of a piece of string and thread it all the way through the tunnel from one side to the other.
6. Thread on a bead for decoration and tie the ends of the string to finish.

Fabric Drawstring Bags 1

Fabric Drawstring Bags

Paper Favour Bags

You can use any type of paper for these simple favour bags. I have used some lovely gardening pages from old magazines, but you can use anything you like from wrapping paper to comic books. They are perfect for a handful of sweet treats. You can play around with the sizes and just adjust your rectangles to make the perfect size. Making a template is a good idea if you have lots to do.

1. Make your template (if required) and cut out a rectangle of your chosen paper.
2. Fold in from both long sides so the paper overlaps in the middle by about 1-2cm.
3. Glue or use double-sided tape to secure this opening closed.
4. Stitch along one end, 1cm from the edge.
5. Fill with your chosen favour and stitch the top closed at a 90 degree angle to the first line of stitching. At this point you can include a little paper name tag like the ones shown.

Paper Favour Packets

Square Stitched Favour Bags

1. Cut squares of patterned paper using pinking shears (I used a square 12X12cm) and squares of greaseproof paper or cellophane slightly smaller (I used 10X10cm).
2. Place the greaseproof paper on top of the patterned paper and stitch around three of the sides.
3. Fill with your edible favours, chocolate drops, biscuits or sugared almonds.
4. Sew up the fourth side and add a message or name tag if you like.

Square Favour Packets

Thanks so much to Kate for sharing her fab ideas with us and she’ll be back soon with her next Dolly DIY Wedding post when she’ll be showing us fabulous ideas for edible favours. In the meantime if you fancy a crafty hen do with Kate at her gorgeous Cranbrook studio find out more here.

Happy Planning!

Emma  x

Another superb Kent wedding supplier on the blog today and I couldn’t be happier as it’s all about cake – one of my favourite subjects!

Last month I got to meet the lovely Tina who is the baking genius behind Sprinkles & Swirls for a tasting session and a cuppa. Tina’s cakes were simply stunning and I could have quite happily stayed munching away in her kitchen. Forever. Here Tina tells us about her passion for baking……

“As you can see I love pretty and vintage styles, but I work on all different cake styles. My customers usually want something that is slightly bespoke, which is fantastic as it makes no two days the same for me. It’s such a compliment when people say the cakes are too beautiful to eat but of course it’s always about the taste as well. The best part is when you watch someones face as they see their cake – whether it’s a birthday cake or a wedding cake, it’s just a magical feeling. It makes all the late nights worthwhile!

“After an initial chat on the phone, I first meet my couples at a complimentary consultation when they come to my home kitchen, sample my cakes and talk through their plans. Each couple are unique – some bring mood boards, some have images on their phone and others have no idea where to start! With lots of cakes on display and with my design advice, by the end, I am able to follow up with a quote based on their exact requirements.

“Turning my passion into a business came about when I was made redundant and my sister and sister in law asked if I would make them cupcake towers for their weddings. The comments and positive feedback received made me think about starting professionally and so Sprinkles and Swirls was born! I love meeting new people and really enjoy creating something that brings happiness to others. It’s such a lovely moment when someone sees their cake or cupcakes and I know I have totally exceeded their expectations!

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Thanks so much to Tina for sharing her cakes with us and for more on info on Sprinkles & Swirls visit www.sprinklesandswirls.co.uk

Happy Planning!

Emma x

 

Images 1-5: By JMcSweeneyPhotography

 

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Cakes & Catering

If you’re having a marquee wedding one of the biggest worries for couples is definitely how to decorate it. Over the next few weeks we’ll be bringing you some style advice on some of the more popular themes.

Part 1 is bringing the party Island of Ibiza closer to home. Synonymous with sunshine and celebrations galore inject some of that laid-back Balearic fun into your big day with a fantastic Ibiza style wedding lounge.

We chatted with Jo Morris of Rio Lounge Boutique Furniture hire who gave us some of her expert advice on how to create a wedding theme that brings with it full on Mediterranean charm…….

1. Brilliant White Ibiza

Your choice of furniture will really add to any theme so go for modular rattan furniture in the classic colour of Ibiza, a stunning brilliant white. Dress with scatter cushions to add a pop of colour (why not use your wedding palette), creating comfort and softening the look.

2. Chilled Out Guests

Don’t forget the all important chill-out area where your guests can take a breather from the party and catch up with one another. You can do this in a quieter part of the marquee which is sectioned off from the main area, in an adjoining section or if it’s sunny you can always take it outside.

3. Bubbles & Buckets

Nothing says Ibiza like a chilled glass of Champagne so keep it nice and cool with classic champagne buckets dotted around your bar and lounge areas. Make sure you have a plentiful supply of ice for guests to add to those summer cocktails too!

4. A Wed Bed

Daybeds are an absolute must. They’re a really unique way for your guests to chill out and enjoy each others company. Chat and relax on a Miami day bed; soak up the sun on a Mykonos day bed; or get match-making with the Antibes double day bed!

5. Camera & Action

White director’s chairs are simply gorgeous for the dining area. They are just so evocative of summer days and you can almost hear the Med lapping on the shore! Comfortable and practical they really add a sense of sophisciation. Don’t forget the poser tables and bar stools as well, so your guests can mingle near the bar and dance floor adding to that fabulous party atmosphere.

6. When the Summer Sun Sets

Ibiza really comes to life after dark, so don’t forget the lighting for when the sun goes down. Lanterns create a great atmosphere outdoors and simple coloured lighting really makes the theme rock. Banish the British climate in the evening by adding some patio heaters to keep guests enjoying the outdoors as long as possible.

 

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Thanks to Jo for her help and advice in creating that very cool Ibiza vibe. I’m off to pop the Cafe del Mar remix on the iPod…..

Happy Planning!

Emma x

Andy Stonier from Howling Basset shared with us todays super wedding snap. He tells us……

“Michelle and Altino were married last Sunday at Rye Town Hall. Michelle is shy and so wanted to avoid the limelight and as much fuss as she could. The Rye Town Crier thought otherwise…..”

Congratulations to Michelle and Altino and have a great weekend everyone!

Emma x

town crier the wedding dolls

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Photographers

From 6th to 20th July, designer Sassi Holford will be offering huge reductions of up to 70% off selected sample gowns from her classic English and Couture bridal collections.

The first morning of the sale allows you to just turn up at her London store and it’s a case of ‘first come, first served’. However from 12 noon that day onwards the sale will be by appointment only so you’ll need to book.
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Take a look at www.sassiholford.com for more info.

Happy Shopping!

Emma x

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We promised you a giveaway on our Facebook page when we reached 500 likes and so here it is!

We are offering one lucky Facebook fan a free Dolly Hour all of their very own. Use the hour how you like from questions about styling to finding the right suppliers for you. The hour will be done over the phone or by Skype/FaceTime and you can ask us anything you like at a time that suits you.

To enter all you need to do is whizz over to our Facebook page – Like Us – and then comment on the Dolly Giveaway post with your wedding date. We’ll pick a winner at random next week.

Dolly Hours are a great way to get planning help when and where you need it most. Find out more here.

Good luck

Emma & Joanne x

PS Don’t forget to share with your friends, especially if you know a couple who would love a bit of help with their wedding planning!

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For todays super wedding snap we have a gorgeous shot by Martin Briggs Photography. As Martin says “I really like it because it contains happy people and that’s really what a wedding is all about – not the shoes, the dress or the decor, just the sharing of a beautiful day between you as a couple and your family.” We couldn’t agree more!

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Have a great weekend!

Emma x

 

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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.

Happy Planning!

Emma x