Expert advice about venue styling

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


2020 Vision

2020 Vision

Q. What are the key features likely to be for weddings next year?

A. Ruth Mundy says: Ruth says: Wedding trends may come and go but the most important thing to remember is it should always be about the love between you and your other half – something that's always in fashion!

Some of the main influences I think are likely to continue to go from strength to strength include:

- Many venues are incorporating vegan and free-from menus into their wedding offering, thanks to the increased call for plant-based options. With more food stations and less formal eating arrangements, whether your guests are vegan, gluten-free, or just picky, allowing them to choose their own starter, main and dessert enhances their enjoyment.

- With the semi-naked cake remaining a firm favourite, there's likely to be more of a focus on flavours in 2020. Veering away from the traditional fruit cake and Victoria sponge tiers, we're seeing a variety of delicately flavoured layers such as elderflower and lemon, lemon and lavender, and even gin-infused sponge! Carrot cake is also making a comeback!

- Flowers are not just for bouquets and buttonholes; couples are working with their florists to create showstopping floral installations. Edible flowers are even bringing a touch of style to cocktails and fine dining too.

- Our furry friends are part of the family, so it's only natural that going into 2020 and 2021 we'll see more dogs than ever at weddings. This will create demand for more services for boarding your fur baby the night before the big day, with a full groom, bow ties and ribbons to match your colour scheme as well as delivering and chaperoning them at the wedding, allowing you to relax knowing your pampered pooch is well looked after.

- Weddings are becoming an extended celebration with many couples arranging a rehearsal dinner the evening before. This traditionally American idea allows friends and family who are travelling to arrive and relax and meet your other guests enjoying a sociable warm up to the day.

Ruth Mundy


Finger on the pulse

Finger on the pulse

Q. We're just starting to put together a moodboard of ideas for our 2020 wedding and want to make sure we're up to date with all the latest inspiration. What would you advise?

A. Kirsty Bull says: Kirsty says: My top trend predictions for weddings in the year ahead are:

- Textures are becoming increasingly important including gauze, silk, chiffon, velvet and organic cotton; perfect for decorative items such as table runners, napkins and draping. To complement these materials; acrylic, vellum, wood and copper piping look great used for table numbers, place cards, table plans and backdrops.

- While green, white and gold remain popular; nude and cappuccino tones are creeping in to maintain a neutral base along with hints of dusky blue and grey tones. Wild and dried flowers are very on trend as well as deep, rich colours combined with pastel and muted shades to create depth and contrast. Coloured candles are the perfect way to also add hints of your colour scheme and metallics are still strong, particularly foiled stationery.

- Hexagons, circles and diamonds are ideal for a modern look. They can be included in your stationery and by using decorative items such as terrariums and moon gates. With long, banquet tables becoming more and more popular, tablescapes need intrigue and using different shapes, heights, textures and colour is a great way to achieve this. Mismatched items, coloured cutlery and glassware and unusual charger plates are ideal for creating the perfect table setting. Candlelight is still key for creating atmosphere and classic candlesticks are good for adding height combined with different tea light holders, either clear glass or in your chosen colour.

- Sustainability is another important consideration for your wedding day. You can do your bit by having stationery made from recycled materials, hiring items instead of buying them for a one-off use. Donating your wedding flowers afterwards to hospices, care homes and charities or gifting them to your guests are great ideas too.

Kirsty Bull


Nature's bounty

Nature's bounty

Q. Autumn is our favourite time of year and we want our wedding to reflect all the warmth and colour of the season. What would you suggest?

A. Sian Bowron says: Siân says: This is the perfect time of year to get creative with your wedding styling. There's so much inspiration around with halloween and bonfire night on the calendar and a wealth of natural material to inspire you too. Think pumpkins, acorns, fir cones and ornamental gourds in an array of different shapes and colours, as well as feathers, twigs and foliage for extra texture. You can create drama by adding silver accents to warm dark red and russet shades. We included damaranthus and scabios in the arrangements (pictured), with grand prix and ruby red roses; perfect for autumn or winter weddings.

Sian Bowron


The great outdoors

The great outdoors

Q. How can we style our wedding day and make the most of the outside space to create a summer festival vibe?

A. Charlotte and Julie says: Don't forget, if you're having a marquee, tipi or stretch tent, you'll need to accommodate posh toilets. We'd also suggest:

- Embrace the Great British weather with bling-styled wellie boots and umbrellas or sun cream and hats.

- Trackway matting linking the venue, accommodation and parking is a good idea for accessibility if the weather's bad.

- Make the most of local produce and continue the relaxed informal feel by having a barbecue or hog roast so your guests can mix and mingle outside.

- Picnic hampers are great for al fresco dining, packed with local foods, English sparkling wine, jams, chutneys and chocolates. Embroidered napkins and glasses personalised with your initials add an extra special touch.

- VW Campervans are fab for making your entrance and provide great photo opportunities too.

- If there's room on site, set up a glamping area for guests wanting to stay over – a back-to-nature retreat but with added luxury.

- Bring the outside in and make the most of flowers and foliage from the surrounding area for your decorations. Use hay bales for seating with cloth or hessian covers and bare-wood tables with wild flowers, twigs, berries and log slices for the centrepieces.

- Table plans can be ticket-themed and give your guests all-access lanyards.

- Create a chill-out zone with soft cushions for seating.

- Set the tone for the evening with a live band.

- Have blankets and a fire pit for toasting marshmallows.

- Choose a range of lighting for the evening to create different moods, including festoon, lanterns, fairylights and candles; great for fabulous photos.

Charlotte and Julie


Spring fever

Spring fever

Q. We're getting married in spring as it's our favourite time of year. What details and decorative touches would you suggest to add to our seasonal celebration?

A. Deborah Johnson says: One of the best things about a spring wedding is the choice of flowers available. You don't have to just think Easter eggs and daffodils either. Keep the palette colourful and light; materials like Perspex are great for a fresh, clean look and are a cool alternative to rustic wood.

This year's spring colours are all about coral, lavender and a mix of dusky pastel shades, including gorgeous cornflower blue. As the nights are often still dark, fairylights are also really effective for creating a magical 'nearly summer' vibe.

Don't forget the weather can be unpredictable though, so don't bank on being able to make use of outdoor spaces, unless you have an array of lovely umbrellas at the ready!

Deborah Johnson,Perfectly Pretty Wedding

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