Your Kent Wedding - January/February 2022 (Issue 100)

THE FLOWERS Tanya Henton, Stem by Stem We’re engaged! Now what? Get the main things booked before you book a consultation with a florist. It helps to have these elements in place when you talk flowers as the venue will guide the style and placement of floral decorations; the dress will give an indication of the size, shape, style of the bridal bouquet; and the colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses and groomsmen’s attire generally reflect the palette for the wedding. What’s the one question you get asked and how do you respond? “Are peonies in season when we get married?” Everyone loves a peony, but these are only available for a short time in early summer. In this case I’d suggest going for something similar with multiple petals such as garden roses, ranunculas or something voluminous such as hydrangeas or bloom chrysanthemums. How can we make our big day totally us? Don’t be over-influenced by Instagram photo shoots as a lot of the ideas aren’t practical. For example, glass vases and candles placed on floors and stairs isn’t a good idea on health and safety grounds. And fluffy pampas grass in bouquets – do you want your groom to be covered in grass seeds as it falls to bits? Really think about what’s important to you. You want the day to reflect you and your personalities, so don’t feel you have to have a grey colour scheme if you love yellow and it makes you happy. What’s your top planning tip when it comes to the flowers? Go seasonal and sustainable. Your florist will tell you what’s best for the time of year and don’t be afraid to use twigs, leaves and grasses to add extra texture and interest. Design your floral decorations so they can be taken away easily at the end of the evening or given to a local nursing home or hospice afterwards. THE FOOD Steve, Invicta Food Design We’re engaged! Now what? Start planning early and try not to rush. Having said that, if something feels right then be brave and take the plunge. If you plan on seeing five venues, but fall in love with the first there’s nothing wrong with being impulsive and making a choice on the spot. Allow yourself plenty of time, as lots of great venues and suppliers get booked up early – we’ve just started taking bookings for 2025. Look for suppliers that want to work with you, are flexible and give good guidance. What’s the one question you get most commonly get asked and how do you respond? We’re often asked about the provenance of our ingredients. We can proudly say that all of our suppliers are Kent based and we buy locally where possible. TH Brown, our Higham-based vegetable supplier is particularly passionate about buying from local growers and cutting down on food miles. How can we make our big day totally ‘us’? There are lots of traditions surrounding weddings, but you don’t have to follow them. A three-course meal can be swapped for a barbecue feast menu. The first dance can be changed to games followed by a family tug of war, and you can have a doughnut tower instead of a wedding cake. Be as creative as like and if you’ve chosen good suppliers they’ll bring your ideas to life. What’s your top planning tip when it comes to the catering? Have canapés or bites for your arrival or drinks reception. Wedding breakfasts are usually later than lunchtime so they’ll keep people going. Be adventurous if you want to – it’s your wedding so if you don’t want to offer chicken to everyone that’s up to you. And finally, eat the seasons. Choose a menu that showcases local ingredients, it’ll taste delicious and is better for the environment. 66