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.
Frou Frou Bridal Boutique
Lynne Meeks of Styling Matters
L K Bennett
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!
If you are on the search for your wedding photographer then this is one post you need to read. It’s a fantastic guest post by the very talented photographer, Rebecca Douglas, who is going to give you the low down on what you need to look for when booking your wedding photography.
She’s also got a fantastic offer for you at the end of the post so make sure you read on for more info. Over to you Rebecca.
Rebecca Douglas – In front of the camera for once!
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼”Hi Everyone, I hope that this quick tutorial will give you enough info to confidently pick your photographer but before we get onto us photographer types remember that to start with its all about you…
What do you want from your wedding photography?
Start by asking yourself some simple questions.
What’s your style? Do you like traditional, documentary, modern and edgy or retro and vintage?
What do you want captured on the day? Is it from arrival at the ceremony until the last dance, longer or less?
Do you want an album or DVD only with all of the images, or both?
What is your budget? Photography is the only lasting reminder of your day so think carefully about what have you budgeted. Is it realistic?
Let the Research Begin
Start by searching for photographers on Google and look at review websites, blogs and social media.
If you see a photographer you like what is your gut reaction to their images? Do you love, like or just think ok? You should LOVE LOVE LOVE!
Draw up a short list of possibles, then try pinning their images (Pinterest is a great research tool) and keep comparing. Contact them to see if they are free on your wedding date. It’s also a good chance to see what their speed of response is like. Are they efficient and good at getting back to you as the customer?
When you’ve done enough pinning take a good look at the photos and ask yourself the following questions:
Can you see yourself in the images? Are the key moments captured? Are the images sharp? Do the images look well lit? Do the people look comfortable and relaxed? Are the images taken from flattering angles? Hint: all the answers should be YES!
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Meeting your Photographer
When you meet with the photographer have a checklist of questions that link to your list of priorities. It’s also important that you strike up an instant rapport and you’re happy that they are focused on you and your day.
Lastly you need to do a bit of admin! Make sure your photographer has public liability and public indemnity insurance as well as professional (full-frame cameras) and back up gear. Read their terms and condition carefully. Also check they have back up on and off site for images so they are not lost forever! It’s also helpful at this point to see what images you will get (how many and what resolution) and your rights to print and upload. It’s worth asking how they will use them and will they Photoshop and edit images, plus you need to find out how quickly you will get the images and/or albums after the wedding.
It’s really important too that you can see yourself smiling at your photographer for the whole of your wedding day and you are super comfortable with them. If so, the experience will be so much more enjoyable especially if you are a bit camera shy.
It’s also a great idea to have an engagement shoot to get comfortable as a couple in front of the camera and work with your photographer prior to the day. At the moment I’m offering a free engagement shoot to Wedding Dolls readers so click here for more info.
Good luck with your photographer and have a fantastic wedding day!”
Massive thanks Rebecca and if you’re just starting out on your wedding planning, we cover how to pick your suppliers in our workshop so take a look here for more info.
All images: Rebecca Douglas Photography
Today we’re sharing with you our three favourite gowns from the 2013 collection of Monique Lhuillier. All the gowns in this collection have a really soft, elegant feel with lots of lace and gorgeous details, but they still manage to pack a punch in the wow factor stakes.
The collection isn’t available in Kent though ladies so it’s a trip into the big smoke to stockist Browns Bride, London.
Images from Monique Lhuillier
If you think your husband-to-be might be struggling with all this wedding malarky then send him over to Staggered. It’s a blog totally dedicated to getting the man in your life on the right road to wedded bliss. Even if you have a regular Groomzilla on your hands who is more involved than you, he might just find out some extra info on stag do’s, speeches and honeymoons, to name just a few topics that the blog covers. It will definitely make his day (oh and yours).
Traditional this is not, but come on Brides it’s time to take a stand… how do you feel about making a speech on your wedding day?
Whilst most Brides don’t join the speech line up, your wedding is the only time you will have your closest friends and relatives in one room. Do you really want to miss the chance to speak to them all, tell them how much they mean to you and how much you would like to thank them?
@Helen May Banks
Nerves might be holding you back, but if you don’t give it a go it may just be one of those little wedding regrets. Just think, you’ve got no pressure to be funny or remember big thank you’s – it’s just you and your guests, and the opportunity to say how you feel on your big day.
Sophie French, who married husband Pete at the London Golf Club, was one such bride who says “I didn’t want to miss the chance to say a special thank you to my parents who had done so much for us as well as my friends, some of whom had travelled a long way to be there. I was a bit nervous but if you tell it from the heart, you don’t need to worry as your guests will be thrilled however you deliver it.”
If you need some extra help then there’s plenty of advice website’s out there with example speeches already done that you can adapt, and we can provide help and delivery training too.
So come on ladies will you be leaving it all to the groom? Let us know what you think?
This time last year we were helping Louise and Warren at their lovely wedding in Malta. The colours of the wedding were just gorgeous and have sparked a whole new set of colour combinations for our weddings in Kent, so much so that we wanted to share them all again.
Louise and Warren wanted to use wedding planners to cut out all the travel expenses of going to Malta to check on arrangements, as well as the stress of trying to do it all themselves. We worked with the couple on plans this end whilst the Maltese planner was on location to organise local suppliers and double check arrangements.
Louise says “it was lovely to spend so much time with our friends and family and enjoy every minute of our wedding experience. The ladies did such a fantastic job of helping us organise our day and the whole thing was so relaxed and fun. I didn’t want to have to worry about all those little things, I just wanted to concentrate on making my guests experience as great as ours – and it definitely was!”
Happy Anniversary to Louise and Warren x
Brides Dress: Pronovias
Bridesmaids: Oriental Pearl (Bluewater Shopping Centre)
Suits: Austin Reed
Photography: Kay Young
Hi All. On the blog today is the totally gorgeous wedding of Emma and Jon at Bradbourne House in East Malling, Kent.
Here Emma tells us how they found their wedding venue and the details of the day. Over to you Emma!
“Jon was playing cricket one year opposite Bradbourne House and loved it, then when we got engaged he said “I think there is a place you’ll love” and I did! It was a chance to have a manor house all to ourselves as we love history and it was our real life Downton Abbey! The main reception room is tiffany blue so we chose a very neutral colour scheme – it was very elegant and very English. We had 100 people during the day and another 50 came in the evening.
We had a Church Wedding Ceremony as I was brought up a Catholic and wanted to be married under god. The Catholic church service was made extra special by having the Trinity Boys Choir sing for us. Jon’s cousin used to conduct them so we knew we wanted them to be part of our day.
We had Juliette Harrison as our photographer and she was amazing. We wanted a supplier we got on with and work well together – it’s so important.
To take us to our reception we had replica classic cars – we couldn’t afford to break down on the motorway! We used Shirley Car Hire who were brilliant and we would highly recommend them.
Our guests travelled on a bus from the Red London Bus Company. We stocked it with Pimms and Beer to get the party started as soon as possible!
My wedding dress was by Enzoani. I loved his designs and all the silk he uses. I knew as soon as I saw the huge long train at the back that it was the dress for me. I was looking for a vintage dress that was fitted and not too over the top, but I didn’t feel ‘bride’ enough in some of them so I ended up going for a fuller dress than I expected.
My shoes were from the Rainbow Collection. I highly recommend them as they were so comfortable. I accessorised my dress with a beautiful pearl necklace my mum gave me as well as a surprise gift from Jon, a pair of antique drop pearl and diamond earrings. I completed my look with a long veil, by Richard Designs. It had tiny diamantes’ sewn into it so when I walked down the aisle I twinkled under the lights. I also had a vintage headband from Vintage Head Dresses.
Jon hired his top hat and tails from Moss Hire, he got a discount as his friend works in head office which was very handy! We were going to get the suits made but it was too expensive. We just made sure we checked in good time that the hire suits fitted well and weren’t worn in places. A good tip is to check everything over yourself (or get a bridesmaid to do it) because the boys will not check it all through!
I had three bridesmaids and they all wore high street dresses from Kaliko.
Jon is a graphic designer and therefore really creative. Jon designed our wedding brand and then made all our wedding invitations using a simple form of book binding and elegant wallpaper. They were fantastic but took absolutely forever! He designed a motif of a J & and E intertwined and that featured on all our stationery. We had a wax stamp made of our initials and stamped the back of every invitation we gave out – they looked stunning. We used the same look for the table plan and name settings. The table names were all named after Italian Painters as I love the renaissance period and we got engaged in Tuscany, Italy.
For the place cards I bought silver bables and used handmade paper from Cox & Cox, which I then wrote the guest names on. We had long tables for our reception and for the centre pieces I had candelabra, with the candles lit and lovely white flowers and greenery. In between was little silver gilt vases with three roses and scattered rose petals down the middle. It was amazing!
The overall look was so stunning that when Jon and I sat down at the top table and looked at what we’d created we were completely lost for words. I had tears in my eyes. All our hard work had paid off. We thought long and hard about our favours. My auntie died of cancer and my grandmother was diagnosed the same year as our wedding. We wanted to give a donation to Cancer Research rather than buy favours so we gave out pin badges, pink for the ladies & blue for the gentlemen. These pin badges were then put into black velvet pouches with a little tag Jon designed to say that we’d donated in honor of our wedding.
We had a mixture of roses and lillies as our wedding flowers as they are both so elegant and classic. Son Flowers did our church flowers which were absolutely beautiful. As I came down the aisle they were all I could smell. Our reception flowers were by Nicola from Florian Designs, she was such a lovely lady and the flowers were stunning.
We used Bradbourne House’s own designated caterers, Sanderson Catering. When guests arrived they were greeted with Champagne cocktails and lovely canapes whilst listening to a String Quartet.
For starters we had pan-roasted chicken and pancetta with seasonal salad leaves, finished with balsamic and olive oil. Then for main course was Scotch fillet of beef with roasted potatoes, seasonal veg, creamed courgettes and an enriched merlot jus. This was followed by a gorgeous dessert of sticky toffee pudding washed down with lots and lots of wine and champagne! Sanderson were really professional and excellent throughout. From the white glove service to the delicious food their style suited our theme perfectly.
Guests then had a piece of the four tier chocolate wedding cake which was designed by Purita Hyam Cakes.
To kick the evening off we did a choreographed dance to Nat King Cole’s, Love. We both love the track as it’s such a classic. In the evening we had DJ Rudy from Rock Box, at one point he was break dancing – top man! We partied until 12pm and then had a few drinks in our hotel bar when we got back, which was a lovely way to round off such a fantastic day.
Thanks to Emma and Jon for sharing their big day with us. And so do they have any final words of advice for our Bride and Groom’s to be?
“I would say just enjoy every minute of your wedding day. It’s sometimes it’s too easy to get sucked in by all the planning, the details and family politics to really remember why you are getting married. I wouldn’t change a thing about our wedding as it really all did go perfectly…..oh apart from the fact that we forgot to put a bottle opener on the bus for the beer!!!
One final piece of advice would be not to let suppliers give you the hard sell…make sure you try everything you want and pick companies you know you can work well with – it makes such a different to the day! “
Images by Juliette Harrison
If you are looking for an alternative to the usual wedding bouquet or accessories and want something completely different then you are going to love DC Bouquets which is run by the very talented, Debbie Carlisle. Debbie makes her fantastic one-off designs with vintage and vintage-style jewellery mixed with buttons, crystal, glass and pearl beads.
Her range includes wedding accessories, bouquets and buttonholes. Here are some designs from her 2012 accessories collection.
All images: Copyright of DC Bouquets
Everyone loves a present so choosing your gift list should be a really enjoyable part of your wedding planning. Depending on your own wants and needs as a couple there are loads of options which don’t include a traditional gift list. Here’s five just to get you started.
For a wedding list that’s a little bit different take a look at Notonthehighstreet.com which has loads of quirky and unique gifts that guests will be dying to buy you and that you and your home will love forever.
Make a request to the wedding team and you will be sent a beautiful pack, that includes a free wedding style book, a wedding list brochure and everything you need to know about the service, as well as an example of the invitation inserts (that are available free upon request).
Louise Boothe from Not on the High Street wedding team says “we also now have a great new feature within our gift list service which allows your friends and family to contribute money towards your gift list, giving you the choice and freedom to purchase higher-priced items or gifts of your choice after your wedding day”.
If you don’t need anymore ‘stuff’ then how about getting guests to ‘buy’ part of your honeymoon? Buy Our Honeymoon is the UK’s top online wedding list for dream honeymoons, who charge a one-off fee of £55 to manage your honeymoon experience gift list.
Your guests select any of the honeymoon experiences and activities you’ve listed, and leave you a personal message. They then pay the value of their gift to you directly, either into your own PayPal account, by cheque, or in person on the day of your wedding.
We caught up with Shelley Green from Buy Our Honeymoon, who told us that “couples can add absolutely anything from room upgrades and a romantic dinner to a day’s scuba diving or a helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon, whatever you want. You don’t have to have made any of your actual honeymoon arrangements prior to building your wedding list though— you can be as general or as specific as you wish. And if you get stuck, we’re happy to help with lots of suggestions”. You can try their website free for a week to see how it works and decide if it’s for you.
Smartbox is a unique gift concept which gives you the choice of up to 200 amazing different experiences. Inside a Smartbox there’s an illustrated guidebook with details of the options available and a voucher from your guests. All you have to do is book the experience and hand over the voucher as payment.
Bottom Drawer gives your guests the chance to add money to your online fund which you can then turn into a dream present. There’s loads to choose from including holidays, house and garden redesign or just receive vouchers for your favourite stores.
The Beyond Weddings Ltd gift service has a whole new take on wedding gift lists. Here you get the chance to work with an interior designer to improve your home on any scale or budget. Which means your guests can contribute to anything from your kitchen renovation to the re-upholstering of your much loved sofa!
Whatever you choose it’s like all your birthdays and Christmas’s have come at once – enjoy!
Today on the blog we are sharing with you the wedding of Chris and Katie, who got married back in May at Port Lympne. The lucky couple had lots of friends to help out and so we asked Katie to tell us about their big day.
Katie tells us “Port Lympne was the only venue we looked at and we fell in love with it. I had been there previously for work and thought it would be really different and unique to get married there. Erica at Port Lympne helped us so much and was brilliant.We had 72 guests for the daytime, with another 130 coming in the evening. We wanted quite a traditional wedding but with a few personal touches. We had a VIP safari trip as part of the wedding day so we all got on big safari trucks and spent an hour going round the park seeing the animals.
Our wedding photographer was Kerry Ann Duffy. I had heard about her through some friends and then when we looked on her website we knew she was our photographer!
My dress was from Brocades Bridal Studio in Sittingbourne. They were really helpful and had some beautiful pieces. As well as my dress I also bought there my veil, hairpiece, a necklace and earrings. I borrowed my sister’s bracelet for my ‘something borrowed’. My shoes were from BHS - they were comfortable enough to wear all day and all night!
Chris’ suit was hired from Slaters in Canterbury. It was grey with a white shirt and purple cravat. The bridesmaids dresses were also from Brocades and the flower girl dress was from Next.
We had a motor racing theme for the reception as Chris is a mad motor racing fan. For our table centres we had flowers in tyres instead of vases and our table names were the names of Formula 1 drivers. Our favours were Air Ambulance scratch cards as it’s a charity close to our hearts. For the children’s favours we got party bags from All About Party Bags which contained activity books, stickers, sweets and bubbles.
Our brilliant stationery was made by a friend of my sister, Tomarty, and included invitations, table names, table plan, post box and guest book. Joanna Tantum Floristry did our wedding flowers. We met up to discuss the flowers but I had no idea what to pick apart from the colour so we left it in her hands as we trusted her to do a beautiful job. I had no idea what they were going to look like until I saw them on the day but I was over the moon with them! My bouquet was a mixture of ivory and lilac roses, purple lisianthus and eucalyptus. There were also button holes for the men and corsages for the ladies as well as flowers for the tables. The wedding room didn’t really need much decorating as there are gorgeous animal murals all over the walls so we didn’t have flowers to decorate the room.
Our menu was by the in-house caterers and we gave our guests choices so we had starters of Pate, Garlic Mushrooms or Melon & Parma Ham followed by Salmon in chive sauce, Chicken in mushroom sauce or Romney Marsh Lamb. Dessert was Apple Pie, Chocolate fondue with strawberries or Lemon tart. It was all delicious! Throughout dinner we had some table magic by a friend who is a magician.
A friend also make our wedding cake – we had chocolate and vanilla cupcakes decorated with purple and ivory icing, with hearts and flowers as well a top layer of fruit cake. In the evening we had a big party and it was great to see people on the dance floor all night. Our first dance was to Elton John’s ‘Your Song’. We have just always loved the song and the words.We had a fantastic band, Marylebone Jelly
, who we had seen at some local events and knew we had to have them at our wedding – everyone love them!”
Katie planned her wedding in just under a year and says “accept help from friends and family where you can as it all helps and don’t worry about what other people want – it’s your day so have things as you want them!”
Thanks to the couple for sharing their day and big congrats from us! x