Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wedding magazine. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Want your nuptials to stand out from the crowd? Our experts tell you how
Q. We're planning to tie the knot in December. Do you have any tips on how to create a real impression at this time of year?
A. Georgina Webb says: I love winter weddings – especially around Christmas time. You have an advantage over summer weddings because you're not expecting sunny weather, but as a result you do need to make sure that you select a venue with fabulous inside space as well as lots of scope for photo opportunities.
The light and temperature will be dramatically different at this time of year, so embrace this with candlelight, fairylights and roaring open fires. A Christmas theme is an easy option as most venues will have their own decorations – but be careful yours don't clash with these. For something a little different, why not choose a Narnia theme with lots of fake snow, hot chocolate and Turkish Delight for your drinks reception? You could use an old wardrobe filled with fake fur coats as a table plan too! Such a whimsical, festive theme will be lots of fun and is sure to impress your guests.
Q. I've been to lots of weddings where the bride has worn a strapless gown and, while beautiful, I want to wear a dress that sets me apart. Do you have any suggestions?
A. Laura Buckingham says: There are so many wonderful gowns that step away from the strapless styles of the last few years. I love this season's choice of straps as well as illusion necklines. Coupled with soft flowing skirts, this can give you a beautiful, romantic dress. For a different neckline, my favourite is Mori Lee 2601: not only is this gown available in ivory but a stunning light gold, adding a really vintage feel. The illusion back on this dress is beautiful and makes a real statement feature. For fuller skirts I adore Mori Lee 2607 – its full tulle and lace skirt is lovely in the light and the illusion neckline creates a wonderful effect. From coloured gowns in blush and gold hues and many different necklines, there's no need to go strapless – brides-to-be really are spoilt for choice!
Q. I want something a little different for my wedding band. Is it expensive to go bespoke and what do jewellers need from a client to be able to make a ring from scratch?
A. Jason Charles says: It's lovely for a couple to have bespoke wedding bands, after all you'll wear them for a lifetime. It isn't expensive to go down this route, in fact it doesn't need to cost any more than an off-the-shelf ring.
The first step is for you to collect images of rings that you like or things that are personal to you. For example, in the past we've made rings inspired by cricket balls, car tyres, basketballs and flowers. The next step is to meet with your jeweller to discuss the ideas you have. They will then either do a sketch or, in our case, use computer-aided design to render an image of the rings.
Once the design has been approved by the bride and groom the jeweller can start to make the rings. The whole process from initial consultation to collection of the rings takes approximately eight to 10 weeks but is definitely worth the wait as you'll have beautiful wedding rings that are completely individual and personal to you.
Q. My fiancé and I are known for our parties and want our wedding to be no exception. How can we keep our guests entertained?
A. Catherine Harrington says: To add wow factor to your reception, why not opt for a fun casino? This is a great way to seamlessly bridge the gap between wedding speeches and evening entertainment – which means your guests won't be bored for a second. Everyone can enjoy the thrill of the spinning roulette wheel, or the challenge of beating the blackjack dealer, it's suitable for all ages and a great ice-breaker too. What's more, the crowd that gathers around the tables creates a fantastic atmosphere. No one is risking real money either: fun money and chips can even be personalised with your names and a photo, so can double up as favours. Have the casino set up alongside the disco or as a retreat from the dancefloor and watch your guests enjoy competing for a prize – and the kudos of being the person to win the most chips.
Q. We're keen to avoid posed photos on our big day, but still want pictures of our closest friends and family. Can you suggest any shots that will involve key people but not appear too staged?
A. Stephanie Cronin says: Photography has evolved over the years to a more candid, photo-journalistic approach that unravels the story of the day in a way that makes you unaware that you're even being snapped. One of the biggest compliments as a modern wedding photographer is to hear someone say 'I can't remember you being at the ceremony', or 'That is so dad – you have really captured his character!' That's the ultimate aim for the day, to be unobtrusive but still close enough to capture those important moments and people. If this is the approach you're after you'll want to seek out a 'reportage' wedding photographer.
In order to make sure that your chosen expert captures every important person at the wedding you'll also need to be organised: provide a list of VIPs that are a must-capture for your photographer. Be clued up on your wedding venue too: is there an elaborate staircase? If so, get the boys to jump off the bottom step for an alternative group shot (just be aware of health and safety!) Is there an ornate mirror nearby? Get the girls crowded round for an epic selfie. Speak to your photographer – they're the creative ones and will be able to discuss alternative shots for your day.
Finally, have fun with your photography – it adds life, humour and personality to your images and your photographer will be up for this too!
Casino hire company director
Weekes Jewellery designer
Whether they adorn your tables or accompany your guest book or cake, these wedding sentiment wooden blocks are a simple yet chic way to decorate your big-day venue. They're gorgeous to display at home post-nuptials as a reminder of your day too. Priced £6 each from www.tch.net
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