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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. We want our wedding breakfast to reflect the season with lots of hearty dishes that are healthy too and cater for all our guests. What would you suggest?
A. Sally Pickles says: Sally says: Winter is the time when we look to comforting, warming food, but that doesn't have to mean it's not healthy. With continued demand for vegan and vegetarian options, wonderful dishes such as butternut, lentil and kale Wellington, fondant potato, honey parsnips, thyme carrots, shredded sprouts, celeriac and vegetarian gravy can all be included. Chicken Wellington is also proving a big hit as people increasingly try and avoid eating too much red meat.
It's the time of year when desserts come into their own too. You can't beat a sticky toffee pudding or even a winter warming trifle with a dash of amaretto or sherry.
Q. We've had to postpone our summer wedding and are getting married in the autumn instead. We're having to rethink our catering plans and I'm worried there won't be as many exciting options available.
A. Tony Beales says: Tony says: On the contrary, this time of year offers some of the most sensational produce, available right here on our Dorset doorstep. Some of my personal autumnal favourites include New Forest mushrooms, which our chefs use to create arancini; delightful stuffed rice balls with shaved parmesan, rocket and a truffle mayo.
You can get some incredibly tasty butternut squash from Sopley Farm, which we use in our colourful risotto, finished with Italian hard cheese, poached free-range egg and basil oil.
However, it's with desserts that you can really have fun with some of autumn's finest. Take the humble pear for example, beautifully crafted into a modern version of the traditional belle Hélène – perfectly poached and served with Chantilly cream, a warm chocolate sauce and toasted hazelnut granola; utterly delicious!
Q. We're great foodies and don't want to skimp on the menu for our chilled al fresco wedding. What would you suggest that's less formal than the traditional three-course sit-down meal but still delicious?
A. Sally Ann Pickles says: An outdoor wedding is all about having fun with your friends and family, so forget formalities. Replace a starter with roving canapés or sharing platters from grazing stations. Swap the main course for vibrant, eclectic colourful salads boosted with a topper such as chargrilled halloumi or poached salmon; that way your guests get to choose their kind of protein. The perfect finale to outdoor grazing must be delightful mini pots of deliciousness. So everyone gets a bite-size taste of their favourite dessert, make sure your caterer covers the whole range from salted caramel and chocolate pots to Eton mess.
Of course an outdoor wedding is always perfect with sun, sea, sand and the rustic feel of the great outdoors and we're lucky enough to have all bases covered in this region.
Sally Ann Pickles
Q. We're getting married on the Dorset coast and we're having a summer festival-style celebration. We're looking for something different to serve our guests as an extra treat that's locally sourced and delicious. What would you suggest?
A. Annie Hanbury says: Ice cream is ideal for a relaxed summer wedding, it's a great crowd-pleaser and goes down well with guests of all ages. Our awardwinning artisanal gelatos are handmade in the county using ingredients sourced as locally as possible, including our own fruit. With a full range of 50 flavours there are a number of ways you can work it into your big day, you can even have bespoke flavours or a colour to fit your theme. For example, we've been asked to create something special for a 2019 bride whose favourite colour is pink, so we've come up with a pink gin sorbet for her summer wedding.
Individual tubs work well, especially with a fish and chips van or other kinds of street food. They're much easier for the caterer too, as there's no scooping involved. If you really want to push the boat out, you can have bespoke flavours in 125ml tubs with a label created just for you.
Alternatively, our yummy Baboos are little gelato domes of loveliness covered in chocolate; delicious served with coffee at the end of the meal or during the drinks reception.
Q. We're getting married in a coastal venue and want to reflect a seaside theme throughout our celebration. What style of catering would you suggest that's on trend and in keeping with our theme?
A. Sally Ann Pickles says: You can't have a seaside wedding without a fishy foodie element. Start with some canapés, sushi provides a delightful fabulous burst of flavour, light, refreshing, colourful and, of course, very healthy.
A fish main course for the summer is wonderful as it's not too heavy and can be complemented by vibrant eclectic salads. Roasted mini new potatoes with lime and caper butter are a real favourite; great with a twist of lemongrass to give that citrus summer flavour.
Think fishy bowl canapés in the evening or good old fish and chips but try including healthier options such as sweet potato wedges and for vegetarians halloumi is a great substitute.
Sally Ann Pickles
Q. We're having a 2pm ceremony and want to make sure our guests don't go hungry. What would you suggest for our winter celebration that will not only be delicious but hearty and warming too?
A. says: Winter offers some fabulous produce with big flavours, think pumpkin and ginger soup served in a beer and chilli cob loaf – just delicious! The wet bread smothered in the leftover soup is pure comfort food.
To keep hunger pangs at bay, serve some delicious cocktails and tasty canapés post-vows such as Conker Gin, spiced apple and tonic; chorizo Scotch eggs, bloody Mary ketchup and buttery rosemary crumpets; Somerset brie and chilli jam.
For the wedding breakfast get your guests interacting with plenty of oohs and aahs at the table. Give them something to talk about with large sharing rustic roasts; perfect for the winter months. Our platters are filled with local meats, roasted roots, Yorkshire puddings and all the trimmings with a rich pan jus. For dessert, we're modern-day traditionalists and love a bit of stodge! For heaven in a bowl, my raspberry jam and rose sponge, served with hot vanilla custard is hard to beat!
Q. We're planning to have a sit-down meal for our October wedding. What would you suggest that's seasonal and local?
A. Tony Beales says: The autumn months offer us some of the most sensational produce, available right here on our Dorset doorstep. Some of my personal favourites include New Forest mushrooms, tasty served on toast with a cep velouté and truffle foam.
Damsons are in season in the autumn months, and they make the perfect jus accompaniment for our local pork and pumpkin dish – served two ways with curly kale and a smooth sage mash.
However, it's with desserts that you can really have fun with some of the season's finest such as the humble pear and sloe berries. We've created a divine pear and almond tart which we serve warm with Chantilly cream, pear coulis and a sloe gin gel – delicious!
Q. What would you serve for an outdoor wedding that's delicious and a bit different from the norm?
A. Tony Beales says: Summer weddings are an ideal opportunity to have the ultimate wedding breakfast barbecue! We're not talking any old grill though! Instead of just the age-old burger and bangers, why not get adventurous? Think king prawns in Parma ham for delicious skewers, sizzling scallops and juicy marinated lamb chops. Vegetarians can also get involved with halloumi and vegetable skewers and our popular deli falafel burgers always go down a treat. Some other cool ideas for summer weddings could include:
- Giant-pan paella for an al fresco wedding breakfast or evening buffet
- Alcoholic ice lollies such as prosecco or gin and tonic
- Sangria arrival drinks rather than Pimm's
- Dusk evening drinks reception for when additional evening guests arrive