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Chances are organising a wedding is your first dip into the party planning pool so no doubt it will seem a bit daunting. But fear not, here’s 8 easy ways to become “Little Miss Organised” and get your planning as near to damn perfect as it can be.

1. You’ve Got Mail

Setting up a new email account is a great way to separate your wedding planning from the rest of your life. You can easily save quotes, keep track of supplier questions, sign up to wedding blogs and other wedding marketing emails as well as manage diary dates for wedding fairs and special offers etc. This way you won’t be reminded of your impending nuptials every time you check your email for the latest deals at Topshop. Plus all wedding related mail can be sorted into handy folders for extra planning bonus points.

2. Box Me Clever

If like me, you’re a leaflet hoarder (I at least have a professional reason for this ….) you will soon find this quadruples during your first few months of wedding planning. If you want to avoid spending at least an hour a week searching for “the card for the singer I saw at Bluewater” get a box and put every leaflet in there as soon as you return home. Don’t get all OCD and try and file everything in alphabetical order, that will just send you nuts.

3. Do the Math

Having a budget in mind will give you a little bit more control over your planning and make it easier to organise. Draw up your budget planner early on and you’ll be searching for the right suppliers at the right price from the very beginning. And don’t be worried about telling suppliers what your budget is. Being all “secret squirrel” can be counter-productive and most suppliers will always try and cut you a good deal, especially if you can be flexible on dates.

4. Easy Style Guide

Finding inspiration and seeing things you like is one thing, putting it in some kind of order is completely another. Get yourself a Pinterest account and start pinning as if the very success of your wedding depended on it. Put the Pins into categories/styles and you’ll soon have little mood boards to organise your thoughts and likes. Once you’ve decided upon a style delete the pins you don’t need until you are left with one wedding board as your ultimate style guide. Your stress levels will thank you for it.

pinterest the_wedding_dolls

5. Tickety Boo

Organising a wedding is not something you do everyday, so be prepared for it to get stressful on occasion. Have set times to work on your plans each week so you get the balance right and minimise the stress. Give yourself a to-do list of no more than 3 items each week and tick them off as you go. You’ll be at your most productive in short bursts. As a couple try and organise a wedding meeting each month so both of you are clear on the decisions being made and what’s left to be done.

6. Research, Research, Research and then more Research

Once you’re off the starting blocks and have done your research TRY AND STOP. Limit yourself to using the odd lunch-break or the train journey home from work for a chance to do a bit of internet trawling and a quick flick through the wedding mags. Keep looking at more and more inspiration will just confuse you (as well as suck up hours of your time) and your carefully organised plans will go out of the window, again.

7. Don’t Paperchase

Once you have your suppliers and everything is booked, treat yourself and buy a gorgeous new notebook. Write down all your contacts in there and keep them with you. That way if you need to make a phone call or sort something out all your info is in one place. It’s a good idea to print off invoices and keep these close at hand so you can work out a diary schedule of the deposits and final payments. This is especially important if you’re saving as you go as these deadlines could be vital for a healthy bank balance.

Journal from Etsy

8. Plan It with a Pro

If you’re still struggling to get organised then why not speak to us about professional planning help. In just a short session we can help you organise your planning so you’re calm, collected and under control. Our Dolly Hours can really help in getting you on the right track, whether it’s finding suppliers, setting a schedule or just helping with your style guide, we’ll have you back in the planning game in next to no time!

Have you got any tips for getting organised? We’d love to hear them!

Emma x

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Hurrah it’s my birthday tomorrow! I’ll be celebrating with a glass (or two) of my favourite tipple, Hendricks with a splash of tonic and a slice of cucumber. But no G&T is complete without plenty of ice so big it up for Especially Cool who take their love of ice to the next level!

Especially Cool offers all things Ice for any occasion, from table pieces and sculptures to full ice bars and even live sculpting shows. We love their sculptured vodka luge that would really give your wedding guests a night to remember!

 

Ice Bar the_wedding_dolls ice_wedding Double Heart Swan Double Swan 2 LoveBirds Flower Block Vodka Luge

 

Based in Maidstone the team work all over the Kent and provide a tailor made, professional ice experience. They’ll be showing you exactly what they can do at Bleak House in Broadstairs this Sunday (14th April) so if you fancy making your wedding Especially Cool (sorry couldn’t resist) go see them.

Cheers!

signature emma

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.

JLG_515216 JLG_511016 the_wedding_dolls james_grist vintage_wedding_kent

 

For more info visit 3 Little Birds.

Happy Vintage Planning!

signature emma

 

 

 

 

All images by James Grist Photography

It’s about this time of year in the fashion calendar that I start to panic. I love my skinny jeans, boots and a snuggly big coat (especially on days like today!). So when I have to think about putting away my 1000 denier tights and removing my woolly scarf I can feel my heart starting to beat a little bit faster.

Joanne moves to her Spring/Summer Wedding wardrobe with great ease so this year I’m taking a leaf out of her book and starting early. Early that is because otherwise anything you want in the shops when the sun actually comes out will be gone in a flash and I need some wedding outfits asap. So if you’re a wedding guest this year and are feeling a slight bit nervous about what’s on the high street have a look at these beauties available from Phase Eight. What’s more there’s also 50% off some of the range.

Darcy Grosgrain Bow Dress (model) Antoinette Fit And Flare Dress (model) Jardin Rose Fit And Flare Dress (model) Yoko Dress (model) Zeena Striped Maxi Dress (model) Peony Print Maxi Dress (model) Betsy Butterfly Dress Bloom Belted Dress Ditsy Floral Illusion Dress Ellie Floral Pleated Dress Flora Side Pleat Dress Jamie Fit And Flare Belted Dress Madison Stretch Jacquard Dress Sofia Layered Dress the_wedding_dolls Phase_Eight Vintage Floral Dress

 

Happy Shopping!

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P.S. If you fancy winning a £100 Phase Eight Gift Card you can complete a short survey about their wedding guest outfits online now.

At The Wedding Dolls we definitely feel for the Mother of the Bride (MOTB). Our dear old Mums usually bear the brunt of our planning tears and tantrums plus on top they’ve got their own fashion crisis to sort out when it comes to choosing a MOTB wedding outfit.

So what could be better than spending an evening with your Mum in the company of a fabulous personal stylist at one of the best wedding Bridal shops around, where both of you will be looked after and styled to your hearts content?

Froufrou Bridal Boutique are holding the perfect event for you both on Wednesday 17th April in conjunction with Lynne Meek of Styling Matters, a professional stylist who will be on hand to offer her help and advice on choosing a perfect wedding outfit. Also there are experts from LK Bennett, Laura Mercier and Holly’s Hats, in what promises to be a fun packed evening.

With this set of friendly and fun ladies at hand not only your mum will be looking and feeling sensational come the big day – you’ll have bagged loads of help and advice too! Set in Froufrou’s beautiful, relaxed boutique on the night you’ll also be treated to scrumptious cupcakes, sweet treats and fine bubbly as you soak up the style advice and chat to the boutique owners, Nicole and Helena.

froufrou-interior_0041

Frou Frou Bridal Boutique

Lynne Meeks of Styling Matters

Lynne Meeks of Styling Matters

L K Bennett

Laura Mercier

the_wedding_dolls holly's hats

Holly’s Hats

Don’t stop at your mum though, bring your friends, your Aunt or the future in-laws for what promises to be a fab night. Tickets (which are unbelievably good value at £10 per person) will go fast and spaces are limited so click here for more info now and hopefully we’ll see you there!

Emma x

 

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!

jelly modern doughnuts

confetti.co.uk

chicvintagebrides.com

 

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

As fans of anything gorgeous and paper based our little hearts skipped a beat when we stumbled upon Illustries last month.

The two ladies behind this gorgeous range of wedding albums (with a difference) are Emma Penrice and Samantha Neal. We chatted with Emma who told us that they started Illustries, using their already well honed skills as a graphic designer and copywriter, when she couldn’t find a unique way to keep her wedding memories out of a dusty storage box – and wow what a way!

These bespoke memory books combine photographs and words into one stunning memento from your big day. All the elements of your wedding are in there including vows, speeches, readings, messages and loads more – whatever you want included basically! What’s more every element of your wedding story layout can be chosen by you, from the colours to the graphics and of course the images. We just love this for a wedding album that is totally unique and pulls together everything in one coffee table book stunner.

Besides wedding albums they have other bespoke items such as tea towels, framed prints, posters and guest books so whizz over and take a look. Or if like me you’ve got a tatty wedding memory box and photo CD shoved in the loft pull it out and let Emma and Samantha work their magic!

Not quite the same as winning an Oscar but our designer of the week is still an award worth having to us! And so in the run up to the Oscar’s we’re showcasing a designer who has launched a new collection, called Love Letters, which is inspired by the glamour of Vintage Hollywood.

Romantic and unique, the British designer Naomi Neoh whose team works out of a studio in South London, has created a collection which is really stylish and elegant. Lace is a key element within the gowns and teamed with delicate Chiffon, which is Naomi’s favourite fabric, the gowns are graceful and hang beautifully to create a Hollywood glamour any Bride would be over the moon to wear. Dresses in the collection range in price from £2,000 to £2,800.

We were shown some of the gowns at the Bluewater Wedding Show, by the lovely Victoria Allinson, and we just loved them. The images here can’t really do the gowns justice so make sure you book a viewing to take a look first hand at the gorgeous detailing and fabulous fabrics and get ready to strike your Oscar winning pose!

1Naomi Neoh Love Letters Collection - Nyria side 3 Naomi Neoh Love Letters Collection -  Chloe seated 4 Naomi Neoh Love Letters Collection -  Chloe swishing 5 Naomi Neoh Love Letters Collection -  Eugenie front 6Naomi Neoh Love Letters Collection - Lady Mary front 7 Naomi Neoh Love Letters Collection - Lady Mary back 8Naomi Neoh Love Letters Collection - Maya in blue back 9Naomi Neoh Love Letters Collection - Maya in blue side 10Naomi Neoh Love Letters Collection - Marianne front 2 11Naomi Neoh Love Letters Collection - Lorelei side 12Naomi Neoh Love Letters Collection - Scarlett seated 13Naomi Neoh Nyria seated 14Naomi Neoh Love Letters Collection - Beatirx back 15Naomi Neoh Love Letters Collection - Beatrix side 16Naomi Neoh Love Letters Collection - Nyria skirt 23Naomi Neoh Love Letters Collection -  Anastasia seated 24 Naomi Neoh Love Letters Collection -  Eugenie seated 1

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Bridal Wear

Now with the Oscars coming up at the weekend most people will be glued to the dresses on the red carpet but I turn straight to the bit in the news coverage that tells me what’s in the post party goodie bag. Now it might be my shallow side or my hours spent shopping for ideal corporate gifts to give clients to trundle home on the train with, but I’m still a little obsessed by what you can put into goodie bags and their value to your guests.

One Hungry Mama

Now your wedding guests might not be rocking an Oscar and you’re not going to have a budget of $10,000 a pop but giving them a little goodie bag at your wedding is a really lovely way to add some fun (and thought) into your day. Favours have always traditionally done the ‘goodie bag gift’ but try turning it on it’s head and thinking about what your guests will need, and when, and you can transform the favour forever.

Many a time you’ve been a guest at a wedding and stood at the Church, starving and thirsty waiting for the photographs to be done so you can leg it back to the reception to grab a glass of bubbles. So suggestions for a little goodie bag, given out by your Ushers after the Church service, could include a personalised little bottle of water, some juice bottles, a wrapped biscuit or cookie or even an apple with personalised sticker. It’ll keep your guests grumbling stomachs at bay and show that you’ve thought about them whilst you’re having your red carpet moment.

Flower biscuit

Little Boutique Bakery

Or if your guests have travelled a long way have some jugs of water, with cucumber ribbons and lemon, plus some personalised mints on arrival at the Church along with their Order of Service. A little pack of colouring pens and notepaper will also be appreciated for little guests (and their parents) at this point too.

Another fab idea is to put some toiletries in the Bathrooms including deodorant, body spray, baby wipes, Chap Sticks and feet soothers that guests can take when they need them. Or for all out comfort try flip flops for your guests in the summer and some blankets for the evening when the summer chill takes hold.

Encore Bride

These gifts throughout the day will mean all the little needs of your guests are taken care of and when you’re ready to do your Oscar winning speech they’ll be there clapping wildly as your biggest fans.

Have you done something similar for your wedding? If so we’d love to get your ideas?

 

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Gifts & Thank Yous

Today’s style steal are these really cute little pots of honey and olive oil as favours for your guests. You can make your own honey  or flavoured oil olive for some DIY bonus points but be warned the glass jars can be expensive unless you are buying in super bulk!

However the good news is you can buy pots of honey already done from BeeARTisan. Add place name tags to the jars and you’ll have the perfect table settings for a Kent wedding feast.

potsofhoney

Image: Elephantine