Local wedding venues

Kent Wedding Venues

I am based in Gravesend and cover 20 mile radius (based on return journey) within my prices. I can offer my services further afield with extra mileage charged at 40p per mile.

From rustic barn venues to castles and stately homes; there’s a venue to suit all tastes and requirements. The closest kent wedding venues within 10 miles of me are;

Nurstead Court

Boasting a heady combination of breathtaking views and laid back country house glamour Nurstead Court is a gorgeous venue.  One of the perks of this venue is the stunning Stable Cottage on site. Where the bridal party can relax and get ready before the ceremony.

Nurstead Court

Knowle Country House

The Knowle is set in 14 acres of orchards and old english gardens. It offers a truly wonderful location and never fails to impress. Set in 14 acres of beautiful gardens and orchards bursting with colour throughout the seasons with a natural wildlife area with distant views of the River Thames.

Knowle country house

Little Hermitage

Little Hermitage is a prestigious Grade II listed Georgian manor house and is surrounded by splendid secluded gardens a gazebo and fountain.  This venue offers the option of getting married outside and also offers a gorgeous bridal suite where the bridal party can get ready.

Little hermitage

Photo by Jeff Oliver photography

The Court Lodge

The Court Lodge Black Barn is a very special wedding venue that lies at the heart of the village of Stansted, in Kent. Despite not being able to hold ceremonies, it is a definitely one to consider if you wish to have a church wedding and are looking for a separate venue to carry on the celebrations with your guests.

Court lodge Black barn

Photo by Kerry Morgan Photography

The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Mentioned by Wedding Ideas Magazine, in the top ’16 Britain’s Best Wedding Venues’ . The Historic Dockyard Chatham not only offers two unique ceremony venues and a memorable reception venue but also the backdrop of the worlds most complete Dockyard from the age of sail.

Chatham dockyard wedding

Photo by Steve Barber Photography

Cooling Castle

There is a reason this venue is really popular… they know weddings and offer up some truly amazing food and surroundings.  With a number of different options your wedding at Cooling Castle is bespoke to you.  I just love the new Moat House – it’s such a lovely space for the bridal party to get ready and indulge in some canapés and prosecco.

Cooling castle

Photo by Mykeyday Photography

Brandshatch Place Hotel and Spa

Gorgeous grounds, spa on hand and hotel rooms a plenty, Brandshatch Place Hotel and Spa ticks the boxes for what many couples are looking for.
Brandshatch place hotel and spa
Photo by Caterham Photography

What’s next

I look forward to seeing you all soon at any of these wonderful venues. I still travel to venues and locations further afield in Kent and Essex. Please contact me for more information regarding travel costs.

Top tips for hair trials

Before you book your hair trial appointment take note of these four tips…

Get the dress

Before deciding on a hairstyle you should know what dress you would be wearing. Why? The hairstyle should compliment the dress and allow you to show it off. A dress with a stunning back loses its beauty when you wear your hair down. Likewise, a dress which is heavy or has sleeves sometimes need that lift of your hair being up to pull the look together.

Do your research

Do you know what helps me most at trials? Pictures of hairstyles you both love and hate.

Know how you want to feel

Letting me know if you want to feel romantic or glam or bohemian really helps me to adjust the pictures you’ve collected together and translate them into something that creates the emotion you want.

Accessories

Veils, flowers, hair slides, combs and vines can all help to finish off a look. However, sometimes waiting to know what style you want can lead to a change in the style of accessories. Less can sometimes be more – especially with an intricate hairstyle.

Please contact me via my contact form to discuss your requirements.

Below: we have a barrel curls updo finishes off with gypsophila.

Hair trial

Makeup do’s and don’t’s

Do

Take care of your skin

At least 6 months beforehand you should start upping your water intake and start a day and night time regime to help ensure your skin will be in its best condition for your big day. This will help ensure the makeup will sit and look its best.

Going to have the sun-kissed look?

If you’re planning to fake bake on the day then be bronzed for your trial too so I can match you perfectly ahead of your big day.

Wear a top which is a similar colour to your dress at your trial

This really is a top tip – it will help give you a real idea of how the makeup will look against your dress. Often I have found that a pale lip which looks fantastic at a trial can make you look a little washed out on the day and this is at times down to the colour of the dress. Other times it can be down to the lighting.

Empathise your eyes

But don’t go overboard. Much like finding the dress that “doesn’t wear you” a lot of the time with bridal –  you want the stand out feature to be your eyes and not the makeup.

Wedding planning can be a stressful time and sometimes lead to a lot of sleepless nights – the goal with makeup is to conceal and brighten your under eye without being too heavy and cause creasing.

Find images you like but be realistic

Love that makeup look on Kim Kardashian but you have the skin tone of Kat Von D? Chances are the look won’t translate well but pick out the elements you like and we can work together to create something that looks fab on you.

Plan for touch-ups

Your makeup will be applied to last and I often hear “I didn’t need to touch up all day” but just in case it’s a scorching day,  you have an emotional moment or hit it hard on the dance floor – I recommend having a face powder with you. Lipstick also is something that is likely to wear off by the end of your wedding breakfast, so packing your favourite colour will enable you to top up and stay looking flawless. You could also take the touch up moment to change up your look – replacing the worn off natural lip with a red carpet red really takes your look from day to evening.

Use natural light

Having your trail during daylight hours allows me to match your foundation correctly and also allows you to see what your guests will see on your big day. Failing natural light being an option at your trial and on the day I carry my own light which mimics daylight.

Don’t

Go for anything too trend led

Naturally, this is totally up to you but bear in mind that your wedding photos will last a lifetime – so going for a more classic look will stand the test of time. This doesn’t mean dull – if have a vintage dress then the cat eyeliner and vampy red lip would look fantastic! On this note, if you are a glasses wearer you may wish to consider lenses as again glasses frames are the thing that can easily age a photo.

Be afraid of going a bit brighter

Neutral lips can sometimes make you look a bit washed out in photos especially if your dress is of a certain colour or if you have gone for a statement with your eyes. Pinks, rose and plums look great on most brides and translate well in photos. Your trial really is the space to test and push your boundaries and often you end up with a look you wouldn’t have thought have worked but you love!

Bride and her bridemaids

FAQs I’m often asked

Firstly CONGRATULATIONS on your forthcoming wedding! It can be a difficult decision to know who to choose to do your hair and makeup. 

I like to think that I give an individual experience to all my brides. After all not two brides are the same! The most important thing is that you are happy with the level of expertise and service you receive.  I want you to remember the experience for all the right reasons.

To help with any questions you may have I have compiled a list of FAQs that I receive. Of course, if you have any further questions; please get in touch!

Will we be able to try different looks at the trial?

Of course. Quite often I do a different eye look on each eye to help show the difference. Or we change up the lip colour. The trial really is the time to experiment, adjust and tweak the makeup and hair, until we land on a look you love.

When should I have my trial?

Often trials are held 2-6 months before your big day.  If you wanted a trial before that I’m happy to do the trial run whenever you’re ready, so that you can be sure you are happy with my work.

Do I need a top up kit?

Quite often I’m told a top-up wasn’t necessary but I would always advise having a couple of products just in case. At the trial, I will advise you what items you may wish to buy to keep your makeup looking fresh and flawless.

How long does a trial last?

Makeup only trials last between 1.5 and 2 hours. Makeup and hair last between 2.5 and 3 hours.

Is there anything you’ll need from me prior to the trial?

Before your trial, I ask to see images of looks and styles that you like to help my pre-planning. On the trial day, I speak to you about your usual makeup routine and ask to see pictures of your dress, flowers and will ask about the colour of your bridesmaids dress and colour theme as this helps me to build the perfect look for you. Pinterest is a great way of collecting everything together – you could send a link to your photo album by email.

Are lashes included with the makeup?

Strip lashes are included with all except for flower girls.

I’m worried my wedding date will go if I don’t have my trial ASAP  – what’s your policy on this?

Wedding dates are held until the trial has taken place and then is released if you don’t pay the deposit within 14 days of the trial.

What happens if I decide I’m not sure about the look at the end of the trial and/or I change my mind on the look we’ve agreed after you leave?

  • If you have had your trial but you’re still not sure, you are welcome to book another trial to try a different look. I want you not only look but feel fabulous.
  • If you change your mind about your hair and or makeup after your trial and it’s not something we tried at the trial I would recommend another trial.

I will have a veil and possible hair accessory – will you help fit them and do you need them at the trial?

  • If I’m doing your hair I can help you fit your veil and tiara.
  • It is handy to have your hair accessories at the trial run so I know what I’m working with and you know how the final look will look. Equally, I’m happy to work with your tiara or veil on the wedding day.
  • If you haven’t found your hair accessories – I don’t have any you can try but we can talk about what you like and can incorporate them into the hair design.

Where do you do trials and can you come to me on the morning of my wedding?

  • I will come to you for the trial and makeup on the day.
  • Please note there are extra charges to cover mileage over 20 miles from Gravesend and any parking fees, Dartford Bridge toll charge and London congestion charge, etc.

I’m vegan and as such only use cosmetics that are animal-friendly – would you be able to cater for me?

I use a variety of different brands. If you are a vegan and would want me to only use vegan or cruelty free products and brushes please let me know before your trial and I can prep my kit as required.

I have extremely sensitive/ problem skin and would like you to use some of my makeup – would you be happy to do this?

Following a brief discussion, I would be happy to use some of your own products.

I’ve seen a style I love but not sure if it achievable with my hair – can you help?

Quite often hair in magazines or of celebrities have either been heavily edited and/or have used faux hair to achieve the look. If you have fine hair, it might be we need to use some hair padding in order to achieve your preferred style. It also might be we have to go for a variation of the style you have chosen to work for your hair type.

What do we need to know before you arrive on the morning of my wedding?

  • For hair up, I ask the bridal party to arrive with day-old hair eg washed the day before.
  • Please leave your hair free of any leave-in products, deep conditioners if you are having hair up / curled.
  • For makeup please have a clean face and let me know if there are any skin allergies beforehand.

I have a large party or early ceremony time – can you still help?

Yes, I would still be able to help.  I work alongside another hair stylist on larger jobs and will split the booking as necessary. For this reason, prices for the hair service on larger jobs may differ.

What should I expect from my bridal hair and makeup artist/stylist for my wedding day? 

I only ever do one wedding per day. This means that I am with you for the duration of your wedding preparations.  I always stay to assist with the dress and accessories so i’m on hand to make any last minute tweaks if needed.

How do I book?

Contact me via my contact form and I will check my availability and get back to you.

Is a makeup trial necessary?

Bridal trials

I’m often asked whether a bridal trial is really necessary and the short answer is most definitely – yes! At a time when brides feel the need to be money savvy  – to ensure they get the wedding of their dreams – it is important to know why the makeup trial should not be the thing to be sidelined.

The makeup trial not only gives the opportunity for us to meet in person and build a relationship. It allows us to discuss the looks you like and try them out. Often this results in a look that’s actually different to the initial picture but is something that works for you.

If you think about it, everyone has a different interpretation of the idea of a smokey eye. Some like it really dark, others fairly light – but this isn’t really what we should be figuring out on the morning of your wedding. In having a trial, you can literally sit back and really enjoy your wedding morning with your bridal party. Confident that I will apply the makeup exactly as you loved at the trial.

Perhaps your day to day wear is either very light or non-existent and so the trial will allow me to land in a place where the makeup feels light, not too heavy for you but still give the right definition to the face for those all important photos. My aim is to make you feel comfortable and looking forward to wearing the makeup, that you may have first felt a little apprehensive about before the trial.

I would always insist on the bride having a trial for these reasons.

Other bridal party members

Other bridal party members are trial optional. For example, often the mother of the bride hasn’t altered her makeup routine in many years. So the thought of having a different look is understandably daunting. In these instances I would recommend her having a trial too so that she will feel far more comfortable knowing how she will look on the day.

Wedding makeup trial