Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Berks, Bucks and Oxon 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
To view more expert advice on a different topic, please select one from the list below.
Small and chic
Q. We're searching for a historic venue that offers wedding packages for our micro wedding this summer - can you help?
A. Helen Taylor says: Helen says: Enjoy this rare opportunity to take sole use of the house and grounds at Cumberland Lodge on a variety of dates with the added incentive that every booking helps to support the charity based at the lodge which promotes progress towards more peaceful, open and inclusive societies. The house is surrounded by expansive parkland leading directly to Windsor Castle and features elegant reception rooms and cosy, wood-panelled dining rooms steeped in history. Wedding guests can follow in the footsteps of movie stars such as Colin Firth (who stood on the sweeping red staircase that leads to the Tapestry Hall in The King's Speech) and more recently, Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy – not to mention a host of royal guests.
The venue is renowned for its warm welcome and excellent standards of dining and hospitality. It's a magical setting and offers Covid-secure weddings for up to 15 guests. For £135 per person, the boutique wedding package includes canapés on arrival, a delicious three-course wedding breakfast and an elegant evening reception with a light supper served in the spacious Drawing Room. Overnight accommodation is available in a choice of elegant en-suite bedrooms, each with sweeping views over the stunning parkland. A standard room costs £135 per night based on single occupancy, £150 based on double or twin occupancy and a deluxe room based on double occupancy is priced at £190. Rates include a complimentary menu consultation for the couple when a party of ten or more guests is booked.
Helen Taylor,Cumberland Lodge
Style me pretty
Q. We need some venue styling and design ideas for our micro wedding this summer - can you help?
A. Elizabeth Wong says: Elizabeth says: “If you've decided on a micro-wedding, you should still think about hiring a venue stylist who can help make the event extra-special, helping you perfect those all-important finishing touches and giving you peace of mind – you don't have to sacrifice the styling or decoration and it'll still be your dream day! For example, a statement backdrop for your aisle will provide an Insta-worthy opportunity for photographs.
We offer bespoke styling and décor packages and I would be happy to accommodate these for smaller weddings to a budget if required.
Elizabeth Wong,Elizabeth Weddings
Q. We're tying the knot next year and although we're in lockdown, I want to still stick to my wedding planning to do list. What should I keep in mind when choosing a cake supplier at this time?
A. Daisy Pratt says: Daisy says: Firstly, congratulations! I hope you have been enjoying planning your wedding so far. I know that the current situation with lockdown hasn't made things easy for anyone, but I think having your wedding to think about will give you both something really lovely and positive to focus on during this time!
You are right to be thinking about your wedding cake supplier too. One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give, especially if you've been scanning Instagram for cake inspiration and you have found a cake designer whose style you really like, is don't delay in reaching out to them. Cake designers can get booked up quite far in advance, but due to the current situation with covid-19, many of this year's weddings are now being deferred until next year meaning that dates are getting booked up even faster than usual.
Having said that, you shouldn't feel pressured into making a decision quickly. A good cake designer will be happy to give you first refusal on your wedding date, should another couple get in touch before you have had a chance to make your final decision and book.
Another thing to help you when choosing a supplier to work with, is look at how they are adapting their service to suit couples during this time. For example, as social distancing has prevented in-person cake consultations/coffee meetings, I've started offering Zoom catch-ups! In principal, it's a great way for couples to have an informal chat with a cake designer, get to know a bit more about them, their style and ethos, and also for them to find out more you, your wedding plans and ideal cake budget. It's so important to have a lovely rapport with all of your wedding suppliers. Planning a wedding can have its stressful moments and having a friendly team around you who are adaptable and helpful, is worth its weight in gold!
Finally, lots of cake designers are also offering tasting boxes by post, which is another great way to help you decide. There is usually a cost involved, but nothing beats receiving a box of freshly prepared cake flavours to enjoy with a cup of tea together in the comfort of your own home!
Daisy Pratt,Very Vanilla
Q. We really what some innovative wedding themes for our upcoming nuptials; what do you suggest?
A. Abi d'Aulerio says: - Veganism – Believe it or not, there are actually a lot of spirits which are vegan. You need to watch out though, as some drink processes can include filtration with animal products? Depending on the level of veganism, you also need to watch out for the glue on the labels – this can be an animal by product! We are attending a few vegan events in 2020 including Basingstoke's Vegan Food Fest which is an exciting new adventure for us and cant wait to be apart of the vegan community!
- Non alcoholic beer – As people are looking for a healthier sustainable lifestyle, non alcoholic beer is becoming more and more popular. We attended the International Drinks Expo in London in 2019 and tried non alcoholic Effes which tastes exactly like the alcoholic version (minus the hang over)! Spending time in Munich this Christmas, there were 100s of non alcoholic beers in the supermarkets, which I'm sure is going to make its way over to the UK this year!
- Colour – A key wedding colour trend for 2020 is blue and our beautiful horsebox bar fits perfectly within the theme. With an oak wood finish and copper fittings, it's the perfect addition to any DIY wedding for 2020.
Q. We don't have a formal dress code for our big day – what advice can we offer any guests unsure about what to wear?
A. Nicola Whybrow says: Nicola says: The English weather doesn't exactly make it easy to decide what to wear to a wedding. Add to that the pressure of looking chic, yet comfortable with potentially many hours on your feet, and wedding guests have a major dilemma. Here are some tips on how to look effortlessly stylish at a wedding:
Tried and tested. Unless you are the bride, never wear a new outfit for the first time to an important event such as a wedding. You don't know whether it will be comfortable or whether it might let you down.
Stand out. Many wedding guests will still wear a traditional shift dress with a matching fascinator but if it suits your personality style, why not try wearing a gorgeous jumpsuit with heels instead? Be true to yourself to look and feel your best.
Not the time for business. Gentlemen, choose a statement tie in a beautiful silk or add an interesting colour in a detail of your outfit to avoid looking like you're at a business meeting.
Stay warm. If you worried about staying warm and stylish in the evening try a faux fur stole, a beautiful cashmere cardigan or a statement shawl.
Flats are in. There is nothing worse than watching someone struggle through a wedding in a pair of killer high heels. Have some spare flats in your bag for dancing in but make sure they still work with your outfit.
Staying out for summer
Q. We've got our hearts set on an al fresco, boho-style big day, but some members of the wedding party are expecting something more traditional and indoors-based. How can we make sure everybody is happy?
A. Jennifer Hall says: It's important to remember that this is your wedding. Family and friends will always have an opinion on what you should and shouldn't do, but it's what you want to do that really matters.
The main concern guests have about an outdoor wedding is being uncomfortable. Make sure you're telling your guests on your wedding website or in your guest information all the details; if there's a chance it may be muddy then let your guests know to bring their wellies. If it's going to be hot and sunny, make sure you have plenty of shade, so people don't have to sit in the hot sun, and make sure there's plenty of water available. If it's going to rain, make sure you have adequate shelter for your guests such as a stretch tent. And if it's going to be a bit chilly, look at bringing in some firepits and have some blankets available. As long as your guests are well prepared and comfortable, they will be happy.
Rain or shine
Q. What are the most important things to remember when it comes to having a summer wedding?
A. Becky Steljes says: The weather seems to always be at the forefront of our summer brides' minds. Generally, if you've picked a summer wedding – you're hoping for good weather and if you get it, great. My advice always stays the same though, don't just plan your wedding around having good weather; make sure that you've got a really good plan B up your sleeve. There's lots of ways to make sure you won't be disappointed if you wake up and the weather hasn't gone to plan.
Have a chat with your photographer prior to the day and make a stormy/rainy day photo plan too. We have had some of the most amazing wedding photos taken during less than perfect weather conditions here at Hillfields Farm. Make the most of the dramatic settings or get some cute umbrellas close to hand and have some fun!
Be organised! This generally goes without saying when it comes to weddings, but people tend to be busier in the summer months and often get holidays booked early. Make sure you get your save the dates and invites out early to avoid disappointment.
When it's time for you look for local businesses to help you with your wedding, take a look at our advertisements below. Most will have links to their own websites. These advertisements are updated regularly so please revisit often and mention Your Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wedding when making any enquiries.