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This weeks super snap comes from Tony and Carol of AphroditeNet Photography based in Bexleyheath. Carol tells us the story behind the image…..

“We can take hundreds of photos during a wedding and within those are always ‘stand out’ shots which usually capture a special moment or emotion and this image is one of those.

“The morning of the wedding we were taking bridal preparation photographs at Orchard Cottage on Oaks Farm in Surrey. We often find the bridal preparation part of the day is one of the most difficult to plan photography for as so much depends on how the bride is feeling. Nerves can often kick in around this time and the schedule can get a bit hectic with hair and make-up being done and dresses to put on. But our bride, Carol-Anne, arrived at the cottage from her hotel looking relaxed and happy.

“What impressed us the most was her desire to make sure the three flower girls were comfortable with their outfits and were relaxed about the day ahead. The girls were a little apprehensive and so Carol-Anne took the chance to have a quiet reassuring chat. It was, quite simply, a special moment and one we’re sure they will both treasure for years to come!”

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Last week we shared with you St Clere Estate, a simply gorgeous wedding venue in Sevenoaks. This beautiful house and gardens is now offering selected dates only as a fabulous setting for your wedding.

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On Sunday 16th June from 2pm until 5pm the estate is holding an open garden day with the NGS so you can take a sneak peek around and see for yourself why we love it so much.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Emma x

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Venues, Wedding Shows

In part five of this Dream Jobs blog series we meet a cake maker who just adores designing and creating beautiful bakes. Emma Buchanan, is the lady behind the sweet treats at Array of Cakes and today tells us why she loves her job so much. Lets find out more….

How did you become a cake decorator?

I have always baked and studied catering as part of my college diploma but the idea of setting up as a cake making business first came to me when I made roses for my own wedding cake 6 years ago. I loved it so much that from then on I spent every spare moment making cakes and learning different techniques.

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How would you describe your style?

My approach to each design changes depending on the requirements of my couples but my favourite style is definitely vintage. Whether I’m making a traditional wedding cake, something more extravagant or simple cupcakes, I love adding lacing, patterns and soft colours to give the cake an impressive, yet understated visual effect.

What personality traits do you need to be a good cake maker?

First and foremost you need to be a people person and be able to offer clear design advice so couples have a cake that exceeds their expectations. When it comes to actual baking tasks you must be well organised and methodical, especially when you have a number of orders over the course of a week. High standards are extremely important – each cake that leaves my kitchen must be top quality to ensure my customers are satisfied and that I maintain my reputation.

What are the best & worst parts of your job?

The worst thing is the long hours. I often find myself working into the early hours to make sure a cake is perfect, which can be quite lonely. I am very lucky though as I have a fantastic network of fellow cake makers who are always available to offer support and advice when I need it – there are often online chats at 3am to keep each other sane!  The best thing by far is creating a cake you are really proud of and that you have a very happy client at the end of it. It makes the long hours worth it.

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What’s the top three things that wedding couples ask about first?

No two couples are the same but most discussions start on the design, the budget and the logistics – my availability, delivery, etc. The design aspect is very important to get right. Some couples have very specific ideas about what they want, others will have seen my work and what something similar, or occasionally there are couples who’ve not given it any thought at all! Whatever position people are starting from I always take a collaborative approach and offer a free tasting and consultation.

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What tips would you give your couples to help their day run more smoothly?

The best weddings always have someone who is responsible for co-ordinating the day and can be contacted during the run up to the wedding. Whether it’s the venue, a wedding planner, or a trusted friend.  The event doesn’t have to be meticulously planned but the last thing you want to do on your own wedding day is deal with queries and have concerns about all those jobs that need doing, such as whether the room has been prepared properly or the cake has been delivered, etc.

What is your best piece of business advice to aspiring cake makers?

Make sure you have the support of your friends and family. Most cake makers these days are based from home and the business does tend to take over the kitchen so you will need a very understanding family who will support you and understand that they may not get dinner!

What has been your best moment as a wedding cake maker?

I had a wedding cake which unusually I had to deliver the day before the wedding. I dropped the cake off and a few hours later when I was back in my kitchen the Bride turned up in floods of tears with some flowers to say thank you for the beautiful cake. It was an amazing feeling that someone on the day before their wedding would go out of their way to do that, I was really touched.

Thanks Emma for sharing your job with us. Don’t forget to take a look at other posts in the series.

Part One: Wedding Photographer

Part Two: Wedding Planner

Part Three: Wedding Florist

Part Four: Bridal Boutique Manager

Sometimes getting a group of girls together and just chilling out means a lot more laughs and much less stress. Spa to You is a great way to get pampered and preened in the comfort of your own home with fabulous spa treatments for all the girls.

Lauren Tucker, owner and therapist tells us “Luxury manicures, pedicures, spray tanning, facials and massage are definitely the most popular options for a hen pamper party. We also offer a great Bride-To-Be package so there’s lots of choice for everyone.

 

Head massage

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Wedding Dolls readers can get a special offer if booking before the end of June where the Bride will receive either a free 30 minute facial or a spray tan when four or more hens attend a party and have a spray tan too! 

See full details of all the packages at www.spatoyou.co.uk where you can also see brilliant feedback about the service.

Happy Hen Planning!

wedding planner Kent

If you need something to look forward to then get your diaries ready and make sure you don’t miss “A Gloriously Vintage Day Out and Wedding Fair” on Sunday 12th May 2013.

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Held at Mount Ephraim, a fabulous Edwardian Country House near Faversham, this fantastic day out is a must for all vintage wedding fans. The “Just Say I do” vintage wedding section includes cake makers, photographers, florists, event stylists and a range of beautiful wedding dresses to keep any Bride happy plus there will be a “Make, do and mend!” craft area for anyone eager to try their hand at DIYing their wedding.

For “A little of what you fancy”, the retro section has home wares and clothing, 

plus outside in the “Mustard & Cress” area you can treat yourself to all kinds of delicious offerings from vintage ice-cream suppliers and sweet stalls set amongst retro caravans and cars. And take the kids along as there’ll be free entertainment all day to keep them happy.

The fun kicks off  from 11am and will swing on in true vintage style until 5pm.

Click here for more info.

Knock knock! Who’s there? Doughnut. Doughnut Who? Doughnut forget the wedding cake.

Alright terrible I know but there’s something about a doughnut that just makes you feel fun, naughty and a bit of a kid again. So if you’re tired of the usual sweet table or sugar candy offerings at weddings then why not go all out for a doughnut finger licking feast. Whether you pile them high or arrange them neatly in boxes your guests will be in for a jam, chocolate, custard or apple treat, to name just a few of the flavours now available! Ooh yeah and don’t forget about the humble ring!

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I’ve ordered just over a hundred doughnuts for an event before from Krispy Kreme in Bluewater. The staff were really helpful but sadly they don’t do a delivery service in Kent. So you’ll have to phone your order through and just send someone to collect them who won’t park on the M25 and eat the lot. That reason alone is why Emma never goes……

Joanne x

Image Credits: A Beautiful MessAt First Blush & Co, Confetti, Bella Amour

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Cakes & Catering

If you’re a style-savvy couple needing a dream gift list that is full of gorgeous brands and inspirational products for your home then Prezola is the interiors directory you’ll want.

This unique, one-stop gift registry has an impressive 30,000 products and experiences handpicked from 100 of the UK’s favourite high street and online retailers including House of Fraser, M&S, Notonthehighstreet, Selfridges, Liberty, Heals, Cath Kidston and The White Company.

You can choose between traditional home and garden products to once-in-a-lifetime experiences, plus add cash contributions towards your honeymoon or even flight upgrades, giving you the opportunity to create the ultimate wish list for your wedding day.

A team of personal shoppers with interior design expertise is on hand to help with inspiration and they can also add items from any UK website to your gift list if you need them too.

The service is completely free to use and there’s no need to worry about missing money or presents as your guests buy direct from major retailers. You can opt for gifts to be taken to the wedding or delivered direct to your home. For £39, Prezola’s Premier Service gives you the option of having them all delivered at once on a date to suit you.

Here’s just some of what’s on offer:

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1. Conran at M&S  2. Emma Bridgewater  3 & 4.Kate Spade  5.Kenwood  6 & 7.Le Creuset  8.OKA Sorano  9.Emma Bridgewater  10.Kitchenaid Artisan  11.The White Company  12.Wedgewood Conran. All available at Prezola

Happy Shopping!

Emma x

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Gifts & Thank Yous

Today’s wedding is a lovely Winter warmer. Cheryl and Peter were married last year at Abode Hotel in Canterbury. Not even the rain and dark skies were enough to dampen the wedding colours as we just love the bright blue colour scheme.

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Wedding Photography and Images by: Howling Basset

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Real Weddings

Another fabulous offer for you today from cake maker Emma Buchanan of Array of Cakes. Emma is offering a 15% discount off a Tiered Cake and 10% off a Cupcake tower, including free stand hire, if you book before the 31st January 2013.

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Emma offers a free consultation service at her kitchen in Tunbridge Wells, where you can try some of her delicious cakes so don’t hang around – book your appointment today!

For full details of the discount offer check out Array of Cakes.

 

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Cakes & Catering

Myself and Joanne were majorly excited when we happily skipped off to take a look around the Tunbridge Wells regency townhouse that is the gorgeous setting for bridal boutique, Isabella Grace. With a recent expansion the boutique is welcoming more brides than ever through their very elegant front door.

Looking through the front window you get just a tantalising peek of the gorgeousness thats waiting for you inside. Owner, Rebecca Doyle, is no stranger to weddings as she also runs multi-award winning bridal accessory brand, Chez Bec, but had always dreamed of opening her own boutique.

She told us “It is only 14 months since we opened Isabella Grace and it is hard to believe how far our and our brides’ expectations have been exceeded. We literally tripled in size within a year of opening and now have four floors with three private fitting suites, two showrooms and a separate alterations suite.

“I was delighted when one of our brides coined the phrase “The Isabella Grace Experience” to express how happy she had been with the service – it was the ultimate shopping experience for her and this was our aim from the very start. Choosing the dress you wear on your wedding day is a girl’s most important shopping decision – we not only go the extra mile, we outstrip it!

“Our brides very much become part of the Isabella Grace family and they leave hugging and kissing us – some even in tears when their Isabella Grace experience comes to an end!”

Collections include Paloma Blanca, So Sassi, LM by Lusan Mangonus, Enzoani, Nicola Anne, Sophia Tolli, Martina Liana and Charlotte Balbier with prices ranging from £1000 to £2,500.

We loved the ambiance, atmosphere and luxurious feel of Isabella Grace that really makes this boutique stand out from the crowd. But Brides nearly always say its the exceptional quality of customer service that means they would recommend this boutique time and time again.

Go take a look – you won’t be disappointed!

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All images copyright: Isabella Grace

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Bridal Wear

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