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Here at The Wedding Dolls HQ we’ve been busy doing lots of final planning with our Summer couples.

The final few weeks can be a heady mix of hectic running around, growing excitement and flashes of nerves. To help make sure you feel ready and prepared some list making is a must!

Here to help are our top five tips for the final weeks of planning:

1. Planning Timetable

Make sure you have a timed plan of your day. Include every hour from set up right through to the last dance. Email it to all of your suppliers. The more they all know the easier it will be for them to set up on the day and get themselves prepared. It will help the day run smoother if everyone knows when everything is happening.

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2. Mobile Mission

Make sure you have a list of all your suppliers along with their mobile phone numbers on the day itself. Give this to one of your ushers to look after just incase there are any last minute changes and you need to get hold of them. If you can give your suppliers a mobile contact number for the big day itself – again this can be one of the Ushers if you don’t have a Wedding Doll on hand!

3. What to do and when

Include in your preparations a list of everything you need to do in the week before the wedding, the day before the wedding and the morning of the wedding. List out all the jobs and put next to it who is going to do them. Be logical and realistic about what you can achieve in the time available. Don’t expect your Bridesmaids or Best Man to be able to do lots of running around the morning of the wedding – they’ll be busy enough getting themselves ready and getting to the Church too!

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4. In and Out

Make sure you know what time you can access your venue and let your suppliers know. Some venues will let you deliver items the day before but don’t just assume that you can. They may well have another wedding or just don’t have the storage space. Also check when you need to remove all of your items so you can work this into your plan as well. It’s a good idea to nominate someone to deliver and collect and have a list of everything that should be dropped off and picked up just to make sure nothing is forgotten.

5. Photography Timings

Make sure you give your photographer a list of all the shots you want taken on the big day. Listen to their advice about how many shots you can have and when is best to take them. It will help if you can have an Usher on hand to round up family just before they are needed – it will make things feel less rushed and certainly less stressful.

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The more preparation you can do in the lead up to the big day the better. Getting your plans down on paper will make it easier to see what needs to be done and when. It might seem daunting to do so but it will make it clearer and easier. We promise!

Happy Planning x

 

 

 

Later this year we’ll be working at Vic & Alex’s wedding and so we couldn’t wait to share their gorgeous engagement shoot with you. Vic & Alex run the Ferry House Inn and so are fully experienced at managing parties and other couples big days. But like most of us who work in events, we know it’s very difficult to manage everything yourself whilst trying to have a fabulous time, which is why we’re super excited to be working for them both on their wedding day. We’ll be there to make sure everything goes to plan whilst they relax and enjoy their very well deserved big day. We can’t wait!

Vic & Alex's Engagement Shoot by Rebecca Douglas Photography 0070 Vic & Alex's Engagement Shoot by Rebecca Douglas Photography 0066 Vic & Alex's Engagement Shoot by Rebecca Douglas Photography 0064 Vic & Alex's Engagement Shoot by Rebecca Douglas Photography 0063 Vic & Alex's Engagement Shoot by Rebecca Douglas Photography 0060 Vic & Alex's Engagement Shoot by Rebecca Douglas Photography 0057 Vic & Alex's Engagement Shoot by Rebecca Douglas Photography 0053 Vic & Alex's Engagement Shoot by Rebecca Douglas Photography 0051 Vic & Alex's Engagement Shoot by Rebecca Douglas Photography 0050 Vic & Alex's Engagement Shoot by Rebecca Douglas Photography 0047 Vic & Alex's Engagement Shoot by Rebecca Douglas Photography 0045 Vic & Alex's Engagement Shoot by Rebecca Douglas Photography 0043 Vic & Alex's Engagement Shoot by Rebecca Douglas Photography 0038 Vic & Alex's Engagement Shoot by Rebecca Douglas Photography 0029 Vic & Alex's Engagement Shoot by Rebecca Douglas Photography 0027 Vic & Alex's Engagement Shoot by Rebecca Douglas Photography 0023 Vic & Alex's Engagement Shoot by Rebecca Douglas Photography 0020 Vic & Alex's Engagement Shoot by Rebecca Douglas Photography 0017 Vic & Alex's Engagement Shoot by Rebecca Douglas Photography 0014 Vic & Alex's Engagement Shoot by Rebecca Douglas Photography 0007 Vic & Alex's Engagement Shoot by Rebecca Douglas Photography 0003

Thanks so much to Rebecca Douglas for sharing the shoot with us.

It’s all very exciting here at the The Wedding Dolls today as we are totally proud to be Mulberry Cottages recommended wedding and event planner.

If you’re looking for a unique wedding venue Mulberry Cottages have a fantastic selection of self-catering cottages in Kent and the rest of the UK. There are brilliant locations in town centres, costal resorts and in the countryside, so you can experience fantastic views on your wedding day.

Even if you don’t opt for getting married at one of the cottages they make a great base for wedding guests so you can all carry on enjoying the party long after the last dance. There are cottage complexes which are perfect for larger groups sleeping up to around 30 guests, some including your own swimming pool for the ultimate stylish wedding weekend.

If you are staying in one of their cottages and planning your wedding (or any celebration come to that!) then we can help. Working closely with the Mulberry Cottages team we provide a planning service that will help you create the perfect event. Whether it’s sourcing local suppliers, finding a caterer or private chef, booking transport, hiring entertainers or information about putting up a marquee we can assist you.

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All Mulberry Cottages guests receive an exclusive 10% discount on our services and we have some special one-off planning packages available. Take a look at their website for more about their cottages or call us for info about our services.

Happy Planning!

Emma & Joanne x

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Venues, Wedding Planning

This month’s edition of Your Kent Wedding features a fun and fantastic wedding we worked on last year. Carol and Antonio’s wedding was packed full of personal DIY touches so if you’re thinking of getting creative and doing lots of styling yourself take a look for bags of inspiration.

Here’s a little peek at the article. To download the full edition click here.

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A big thanks to Carol and Antonio for allowing us to share their big day with you all and to Your Kent Wedding and all the suppliers involved.

Over the last few months we’ve been helping lots of couples think about their wedding theming and create mood boards from their own personality and style. We know its easier said than done so to keep it simple we’ve got some gorgeous weddings coming up on the blog that will show how you can create your boards based around one colour.

Jade & Ben were married in July last year at the Manor Barn in Bexhill on Sea. Photographer, Teri Vincent, captured all the detail which included vibrant purple mixed with softer more natural tones of the colour to create a really pretty but striking palette. Alongside lots of lace (I love that wedding dress!!) and little personal touches including butterflies and handmade signs, the styling totally suited the venue backdrop.

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Thanks to Jade & Ben for sharing their day with us and Teri Vincent for the fab photography. For more barn wedding inspiration take a look at our portfolio.

Planning Picks:

Brides Dress: Ella
Grooms Outfit: Hugo Boss
Bridesmaid Outfits: Debut
Catering: Circa Events 
Flowers & Table Plan: Flutterby Events 

Do you need a little bit of extra planning help? If the answer is yes then our Dolly Hours are the perfect way to pay as you plan. You simply buy our expertise by the hour and use the hours whenever you them, whatever you need them for. They are great for busy couples who want to do most of the planning themselves but just need a little bit of professional advice here and there.

Dolly Hours can be used for things like sourcing suppliers, obtaining quotes, creating styling boards and setting up planning schedules. It’s completely up to you – it’s like your very own wedding pick and mix!

Each Dolly Hour costs £35 but if you book your Dolly Hours before the end of March 2014 we’ll give you an extra hour FREE for every three hours you book. Simply quote “HelloFreeHour” when you drop us a line.

We think they make great presents for recently engaged couples! Just ask us for a gift card when booking.

Happy Planning!

Emma & Joanne x

In 2013 Dolly on the Day become our most popular service and with bookings flying in for 2014 it’s set to become even more in demand as many couples realise they want all their careful planning to go without a hitch.

When we get planning enquiries we’re always asked what the benefits are of hiring an independent wedding planner rather than just using the in-house venue planner. Well in a little nutshell – the venue coordinator works for the venue and the wedding planner works for YOU.

Still thinking “why would I need to pay out for someone else to oversee my wedding day when the venue has someone for free” right? Well here’s our quick five point guide for some extra info…

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!)

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3. Personalised Service

By using a planner couples 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. They won’t have an overall view of your wedding and won’t be there as an assistant to you and your wedding party on the day.

If you think you’ll be okay with an in-house venue 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 couple finds the in-house planner isn’t actually there on the big day).

There are of course many outstanding venue coordinators who go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure their clients have a perfect day. We have worked alongside some fabulous ones in Kent and together we have formed a great team. Nonetheless, it’s important to remember that the venue coordinator will manage the venue including its own staff, the catering, service and the room changes but us wedding planners have a bigger priority. We make sure your whole wedding runs smoothly and we manage the entire day from start to finish.

If you think you might need some extra help then give us a call for your free consultation.

Emma & Joanne  x

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Wedding Planning

We’re so excited to be back at The Wedding Fair, Bluewater in February, where we’ll be offering our wedding advice completely free of charge to all that come and visit our stand. You can either book a slot with us prior to the event by calling Joanne direct or just turn up and we’ll do our very best to answer any wedding worries or queries you have there and then.

At the fair you’ll find so many ideas for wedding inspiration as well as lots of fabulous suppliers – many of whom we have worked with before. A brilliant new addition to the fair are our fabulous friends over at Creative Brides, who are running a Vintage Village so you can get your fix of all things DIY.

The Wedding Fair at Glow, Bluewater

The Wedding Fair at Glow, Bluewater

We can’t wait for the fair and as usual we’ll be running our ticket giveaway in the next few weeks so pop back soon for more details.

Happy Planning

Emma x

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Wedding Shows

Well Happy New Year everyone! In 2013 we worked in a variety of amazing venues, from village halls and marquees at home to Castles, barns and even a field! In 2014 our venues are just as varied and we can’t wait to work with some fantastic venues that we haven’t worked with before – here’s a sneak peek at just some of them:

We’re also preferred planners at the beautiful St Clere Estate which has only limited dates available for 2014 and was where we created this fabulous Whimsical Snow White inspired shoot that appeared on super blogs Before the Big Day and Secret Wedding. It’s also featured in A Kentish Ceremony magazine this month too. 

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If you’ve booked your venue and think you might need an extra pair of experienced hands on your big day or you’re still looking to find that perfect place then give us a call or click here to see how we might be able to help. 

Joanne & Emma x

 

 

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Venues

Well it’s the last day of our Christmas Countdown and what a way to finish.

During the summer it was my absolute pleasure to get to know Janice, who was Mother of the Bride to Jemima. Janice contacted me to help in the run up to Jemima’s big day. I had not been booked by the Mother of the Bride before and so had not totally appreciated just how much our services benefit the whole of the bridal party, not just the Bride and Groom.

When so much effort and money goes into planning a big family event naturally those close to the couple also want to be able to enjoy the experience too. Taking the pressure away from them makes it easier for everyone to really savour the atmosphere and spend time with their guests.

Janice runs her own very successful business and so when she found herself becoming the main wedding planner for her daughter Jemima’s big day she needed some help. She called us towards the end of the planning when she simply had run out of time. Booking some Dolly Hours with us meant we could source the last few suppliers for Janice. She then also hired us for our Dolly on the Day service so we could look after all the little details, keep an eye on timings and manage suppliers. This meant she could really enjoy her efforts to give her only daughter the special day she dreamed of and what a dream this wedding was.

This picture was taken during the drinks reception at the fabulous Hever Castle, by the very amazing Danni Beach.  Janice and Jemima both look so relaxed and happy. Their smiles say it all….

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