FAQs and expert advice about wedding planning

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Hampshire and Dorset Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yourhampshiredorset.wedding


Bring on spring

Bring on spring

Q. We're planning our spring wedding, but we're unsure where to start. Do you have any ideas?

A. Holly Annetts says: A spring wedding will be fantastic, and the first place to start would be to look for a venue. The time of year in this country can bring all sorts of wonderful weather, so ensure your venue has a back-up option indoors in case of bad weather for al fresco events. Umbrellas can make for great wedding photos, but warmer areas for your guests to congregate are essential.

Consider how much natural lighting you can get indoors, as spring is about lighter mornings and evenings. There's also a demand for beautiful pastel colours, and there are plenty of ways that you can include these shades. Putting the focus on your flowers and bridesmaids' dresses are the easiest ways to add colour to your wedding – think light and bright!

As spring is the season of new life, flower seeds can make great sustainable wedding favours for the guests to take home.

Holly Annetts, Entwine Wedding Planning


Planning SOS

Planning SOS

Q. I'm feeling stressed and overwhelmed by the planning process. What are your top tips for creating a stress-free wedding?

A. Mickayla Lawrie says: Most couples can feel these emotions when planning their wedding; so here are two helpful key points to focus on!

Concentrate on what makes you both happy when planning the wedding, and remember the day is for you both to enjoy. Take time away from everyone else during the wedding to reflect on the special moments together.

Try to be organised by making a list, setting up a joint email or even creating a spreadsheet to stay on track. It never hurts to have another set of eyes check everything, so ask for help from a professional, a friend or a family member. Let them see your list to double-check you've covered everything.

Mickayla Lawrie, Sal Majik Events


Planning SOS

Planning SOS

Q. What advice can you share when it comes to planning our wedding?

A. Catherine Lavin says: Planning a dream wedding is exciting but can sometimes feel overwhelming. We have three key pieces of advice to help...

- Pick two or three parts of the day that mean the most to you as a couple and prioritise these things in your budget and planning; for example, this could be the catering, photography, entertainment, rings or the dress.

- Trust your wedding suppliers as the teams are experts in their field – remember you chose them for a reason.

- Always keep focused that your dream wedding day is the start of your marriage; never lose sight of that.

Catherine Lavin, Kingston Country Courtyard


The perfect day

The perfect day

Q. We're planning an outdoor wedding in August, what advice can you share to help with the process?

A. Siân Bowron says: Always prepare for all eventualities when it comes to the weather. Make sure you have a wet-weather plan as well as a hot one in place. If you're having an outdoor ceremony, what's the plan if it rains? Do you have a big enough marquee or tipi for everyone to gather under if the heavens open? For scorching weather, consider increasing your supply of drinking water for your guests and shaded areas where possible. I was running a wedding in a tipi a few years ago on the hottest day of the year, and there was very little shade. My saving grace was the refrigerated van, and I'm not embarrassed to say I did pop in to cool down regularly. Remember, umbrellas can be used as sun shades and not just for the rain.

Consider supplying or advising your guests to bring shrugs or something warm to throw on for the evening as it can become relatively cold once the sun sets, especially for your older guests. I always recommend a supply of warm drinks for loved ones who like a cuppa later in the day.

In summary, always consider the comfort of your guests attending for the entire day alongside your backup plan depending on the unpredictable British weather.

Siân Bowron, Amethyst Weddings


'tis the season

'tis the season

Q. What colours and decorative details would you recommend to create a seasonal look for a winter wedding reception that's cosy and not too over the top?

A. Lois Baw says: Lois says: As the seasons change and we move into late autumn, early winter I always recommend minimal colour with lots of candlelight. I love white and neutral tones, especially at the vineyard because I think the colours from the vines speak for themselves. In early November, the leaves are a beautiful burnt orange and provide not only a stunning backdrop for photos, but inspiration for the big-day colour palette too.

You can't go wrong with floating candles, log slices and lanterns for the venue styling. We provide fairylights in the Old Winery and under the Byre to add extra twinkle to your day. As the daylight hours get shorter and the sun sets, candles create a romantic yet snug atmosphere. For the Christmas period, subtle metallics work well with a rich burgundy or forest green colour scheme, providing a natural festive feel without over doing it. If you're a big fan of the season, why not have baubles as favours, mini-Christmas trees as centrepieces and hot chocolate and marshmallows as a winter warmer after the meal? One of my favourite things about this time of year is the moody twilight hours, so make sure you check what time the sun is setting, grab your photographer and head out for some stunning photos!

Lois Baw, Three Choirs Vineyard


Autumn glory

Autumn glory

Q. We want to reflect the season with on-trend styling and decorative details for our autumn wedding and need inspiration. Can you help?

A. Holly Annetts says: Holly says: In the aftermath of the last 18 months, many couples are continuing to opt for outdoor ceremonies and receptions where possible. With this in mind, secret-garden and al fresco boho themes will be popular. To create a wonderful autumnal feel, dried flowers are ideal in seasonal mustard yellow and burnt orange tones. Sustainability and eco-credentials are important considerations and can be incorporated into your wedding by using local suppliers to reduce the carbon footprint of your day. Hiring props, using recycled materials and sourcing reusable decorative items such as glass jars for the centrepieces and decorations are also options for a greener wedding. Giving packets of wildflower seeds as wedding favours is popular too and a great way of getting your guests involved in the sustainability of your wedding day.

To tie in with the season homemade wooden items, such as log slices, wooden pallets and table plans work well. Pairing dark wood with orange, red and yellow flowers is great for autumn and looks fantastic too. Not forgetting the lighting; think lots of twinkly fairylights to give your outdoor or indoor space a magical feel.

Holly Annetts, Entwine Wedding Planning