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After meeting so many of you at the Wedding Fair at Bluewater this weekend who have still yet to find their perfect venue you’ll be pleased to know that the stunning St Clere Estate are opening their doors for viewings. Over the next few weeks you can take a look at this gorgeous new and exclusive venue at two invitation only events on Sunday 29th September and Thursday 3rd October.

For an invitation and full timings of the events drop an email to Sarah@stclere.co.uk

We’ll be there with lots of planning advice so look we’ll forward to seeing some of you then!

Happy Planning

Emma x

Jackson & Co Image 11 StClere (9) StClere (4) StClere (8) StClere (5) StClere (7) (1) StClere (22) M43A8261

Photography by Jackson & Co Photography

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Venues, Wedding Planning

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.

StClere-Home

StClere_the_wedding_dolls

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

This week myself and Joanne got a sneak preview of a gorgeous new magazine hitting the wedding world this weekend.

Doily Days is the new FREE vintage inspired wedding mag from the team, yes you guessed it, behind vintage wedding stylists, Doily Days. Helen Ruff is the lovely editor of the new 56 pager, which is jam packed full of wedding gorgeousness including DIY top tips from Helen herself, as well as Roses All Over and articles from our fellow wedding bloggers, Ooh Mrs James and Festival Brides. There’s also a handmade real wedding for inspiration, features on venues and catering and much more, plus if that wasn’t enough there’s an amazing competition from Mr & Mrs Unique.

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Grab yourself a FREE copy at the ‘Something Old’ wedding fair at the Corn Exchange in Brighton this Sunday (3rd March 12-5pm) or look out for it at a wedding fair near you in Kent very soon.

Amanda and James were married in Frant Church with their reception at High Rocks, Tunbridge Wells. We just love the beautiful lace dress overlay which was whipped off for the evenings dancing – gorgeous! The rich green tones in this wedding are also fantastic for a wedding during the Christmas season – ooh and I could just tuck into that cheesecake now!

Photography by Alan Harbord Photography.

Check out the blog post on a gorgeous vintage wedding shoot by Alan Harbord

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Real Weddings

After this weeks Kirstie’s Vintage Wedding Show on Channel 4 we’ve been involved in a fair few conversations with panicking brides about the DIY aspects of their wedding. In true vintage tradition it’s definitely a case of “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

Whilst some Brides love the idea of DIY weddings it’s not for everyone though. Limited time and a distinct lack of crafty friends can leave some of you feeling a slightly bit… well… uninspired and in some cases downright frazzled.

Bunting. Check. Vintage Flowers. Check. Handmade Wedding Rings. Check. Vintage table settings. Check. Bespoke Invitations. Check. Vintage Outfits. Check. The list goes on and possibly on and on.

bridesmaids with diy outfits and tutu's

DIY Flower Girl Outfits

So before you launch head first into buying vintage material for bunting, collecting jam jars and scouring the local jumble sale take a step back and think carefully. Our advice is always the same. DIY can be lots of fun and give you a really fantastic individual wedding but you don’t have to do EVERYTHING yourself.

At the Wedding Dolls I love a bit of DIY and have a room stacked with stuff to prove it. I’ve also got lots of lovely crafty mates who can turn their hand at practially anything and come up smelling of roses. However Joanne is firmly in the non-DIY camp and to quote “if someone sells it then I’m not making it” and sometimes I just have to agree.

Bunting Boutique

Lots of brides going for a DIY theme will add bunting to their list of things to make without realising just how long it takes and how the costs of material and sewing accessories can soon spiral. It may sound like fun scouring boot fairs for vintage china but when you need place settings for 80 people it will soon become a full time occupation. Having to buy everything from scratch and adding in things like petrol costs and the time involved may mean that your cheap DIY wedding is in fact costing you a small fortune.

Alice and the Teacup

Work out where your strengths lie and stick to your guns. If you know sewing isn’t your strong point and you don’t have someone to help then for the love of god buy the bunting. Or make paper bunting instead, which will look just as effective 8ft up in the roof of the marquee. If you don’t have time to collect vintage china there are some fabulous rental companies who won’t have chipped or stained cups and as a bonus you can give it all back unwashed at the end of the day.

Flowers are expensive to make mistakes with so practising before your wedding is key. Again if you can’t get the hang of flower arranging (and this is one thing even after 3 years as a Saturday girl in a florist I could never master) get your vintage bouquets made professionally, but by all means add your own DIY elements with much easier floral table settings.

Do pick DIY aspects that you can enjoy, either with friends or as a couple, like our wedding ring workshop post last week or by going through old family photo’s to make handmade picture place settings for guests. These types of personal touches will mean far more to you, and your guests, rather than knowing you spent six months sitting in front of EastEnders cutting out bunting triangles.

Like most things to do with wedding planning, do the bits you love and are good at, then get a professional to do the rest! Here’s our top five tips for a DIY wedding:

1. Be warned DIY doesn’t always mean cheap

2. Lots of spare time? Fabulous you’ll need it if you’re making everything from scratch. Do a reality time check. If you work 12 hours a day, 5 days a week things might get a tad stressful for a novice DIYer.

3. Wedding venue a blank canvas? You’ll need lots of help on the day (and in some cases the day before) to pull all your DIY elements together.    Don’t think you can do it all yourself. Or try and leave it to your mum…..

4. Don’t get the hump when your friends won’t get up at 7am every Sunday to help you source vintage birdcages from the bootfair.

5. Be sensible. Make a plan of what you can do and what you need to outsource. Stick to it.

We’d love to hear your views! Are you planning to do it all yourself? Feeling DIY inspired or scared at the prospect of taking on so much yourself? Let us know!

P.S There are some amazing DIY Bridal Blogs out there for inspiration!

 

I was at the London Golf Club last week to help out at a charity golf day. Whilst there I managed to sneak off my duties for a bit to get a good look around at it’s potential for a wedding venue. I’ve never been a big lover of weddings at golf clubs so I wasn’t expecting to like this much but I have been left eating humble pie as it makes a great wedding venue!

The London Golf Club is in a beautiful setting with the Clubhouse at the heart of the 700 acre estate complete with lakes and fountains to create a seriously stunning backdrop. From the gatehouse there’s an impressive driveway for real wow factor as soon as you arrive. The Great Hall with magnificent oak beams and the Long Bar are fabulous rooms to entertain your guests and the banqueting room is really light and airy with a luxurious feel. The patio and terrace areas are also great for drinks and wedding pics during the summer months.

Forget stuffy old golf club here as everything is modern, fresh and very well executed including the menus. Catering prices start at £99 per person and include room hire. The views over the lakes and Championship fairways are enough to make this venue special but the attention to detail and really friendly staff just make the whole package one worth considering.

Definitely a hole in one for a perfect wedding!

 

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Venues

This Sunday (7th October) we’ll be at the Hotel du Vin Wedding Fayre in Tunbridge Wells. On from 10.30am to 3.30pm it’s free to enter and there’s a glass on bubbly on arrival. You’ll also get the chance to have a look round this gorgeous hotel as well as meet some of the best local wedding suppliers.

We’ll be there to help with some of those wedding worries so come and say hello!

 

For more info about the hotel take a look at our Hidden Gem post.

Image: Hotel du Vin, Tunbridge Wells

Today it’s sunny and we’re super excited as we’ve just signed up to be part of Alice and Rose Presents, Vintage Wedding Fair on Sunday 16th September.

 

 

It’s a really different kind of wedding fair with a relaxed atmosphere and lots of fun along the way. On the day you can expect to be entertained with live music, a bridal pack with wedding mag and discounts, a glass of bubbly on arrival, competitions and the chance to meet lots of lovely suppliers who can help you pack a punch when planning your vintage wedding. And of course you can now meet us to chat through any wedding worries you might have.

We suggest you bring a picnic on the day and enjoy some breathtaking views across the Kent and Sussex countryside. Plus there’ll be a bar open serving beer,wine and soft drinks and you can even meet the local animals that call Hollambys Farm their home.

The fair is at Hollambys, which is a small organic farm in Groombridge. Their converted Sunset Barn, overlooking Birchden Field, is perfect for a country wedding and is a fabulous place to check out for your vintage wedding.

Image: Sunset Barn by Heather Shuker

Plus did I mention that it’s free entry? So don’t hang about pop over and see Alice and Rose Presents for more information now.

We’ll look forward to seeing you there!

x

Featured image on homepage by Tino & Pip

Sorting out your bridal party is full of pitfalls, who you ask and who you don’t, who will be best at certain jobs and who will be the most fun etc.

So how about cutting out any of these issues and just ask your BFF – the one who won’t mind who they sit next to at dinner and will just be happy if you chuck them a bone. Yes now your hairiest pal can get in on the wedding act.

iamkristenmarie.com

 

And of course any fashion forward pooch will need it’s own wedding outfit – we love these cute crocheted bow ties from Charlie Hearts Diesel.

bow tie for dogs at wedding

 

Go on over to Pinterest to see our doggy inspiration board but one last word though, make sure your venue is happy to include guests that require a pooper scooper….

 

Last month we worked at Nettlestead Place which is a medieval manor house in Wateringbury, Kent. It’s a really unique venue and makes for a rare mixture of formality and intimacy.

 

It is a venue that has exclusive hire so your wedding party will be centre stage. Ceremonies take place in the historic 13th century Undercroft which has a roaring open fire and a very cosy feel. It seats up to 120 guests for the ceremony and up to 45 people for a wedding breakfast.

 

The gardens and terraces overlooking Nettlestead’s large sunken pond make for great photo’s and your guests can enjoy a walk around manicured lawns, hidden rose gardens, paths and water features.

 

Up at the top end of the garden is the marquee for larger receptions (up to 200 people) which has beautiful views right over the Kent countryside.

 

 

There is ample car parking space in Nettlestead Court Farm or the wedding party can drive down through the medieval gatehouse that straddles the drive.

Annabel Tucker lives at Nettlestead Place as well as running it as a wedding venue and so is on hand to offer a flexible wedding experience and will help make the venue work for you. Check out their website for information on prices and view the picture gallery.

Images 1-3, Courtesy of Nettlestead Place

Image 4, The Wedding Dolls

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