EXPERT ADVICE

FAQs and expert advice about wedding planning

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 editor@yourberksbucksoxon.wedding

Happy Planning

Happy Planning

Q Should we visit a wedding fair?
A Joanne Kent says: Whether you have been planning your wedding for a while, and only have the finishing touches to arrange, or whether you've recently become engaged and are at the beginning of the wedding planning journey, visiting a wedding fair is a must for every couple.

Wedding fairs work well because you get the chance to meet the suppliers who you are entrusting your special day with, and spending your money with. You can't build up that trust and relationship via a computer screen.

The best wedding fairs will offer a wide variety of experienced exhibitors who can help give you practical, sensible solutions at reasonable costs, whatever your budget. You'll also find the latest must-haves and trends by visiting one which will help bring all of those finer details together. Many companies also offer discounts to couples they meet at a wedding fair which aren't available elsewhere.

A Wedding Showcase or Open Day is usually organised by the venue in which it is held and is quite often a smaller event aimed at couples who have already booked to celebrate their special day there, or who are considering the venue as an option.

A Wedding Fair is usually organised by an external company, such as Berkshire Wedding Fairs. These large events are where you'll meet plenty of exhibitors, some of which will be recommended by the venue where the fair is held. All couples are welcome, whether they are celebrating at the venue itself, or are just wanting to connect with the exhibitors and have booked a venue elsewhere.

Joanne Kent, Berkshire Wedding Fairs

Happy Planning

Happy Planning

Q We're an engaged couple living in Oxfordshire where we both work full-time so there isn't much time left for wedding planning. We're thinking of marrying in Europe and hiring a planner to arrange our special day for us from here. How does the process work?
A Sofia Gallo says: In recent years, there has been an increase in destination weddings with 2022 proving to be popular for Italy, with the Amalfi Coast topping the list. France, Greece, and Spain are other popular hot spots.

Here are my five top tips when starting to plan your wedding abroad:

• Take the questionnaire on the www.gov.ouk website by searching 'marriage abroad' - it's a great starting point to understand the minimum requirements because not all European countries allow for civil ceremonies so this tool will guide you through the first steps and even recommend approved translators.

• Consider at least 18-12 months of planning time when wanting to marry abroad. The requirements may change from town to town and bureaucracy can play a big part.

• Be aware of the hidden costs. If you're looking for a legal ceremony, there may be some requirements that will inevitably cost you, such as document translations by a recognised translator or CNI (Certificate of No Impediment) to be requested at the local registry office. You may also need to stay at the chosen location for several days before the wedding.

• Have a budget in mind alongside the services you may need. This will help you stick to it and have a clear vision of what you would like on your wedding day.

• Look for a wedding planner who can assist you with all of the above taking some of the wedmin off of you and providing you with a budget tool that will help you make your choices wiser.

Sofia Gallo, Weddings and Events by Sofia

Perfect planning

Perfect planning

Q Why hire an on-the-day wedding coordinator?
A Jessica Ghansah says: It's the day of your wedding and you've got 120 table settings to put out, the DJ can't find the venue and you've left something important at home. Weddings can be stressful. You should be enjoying the best day of your life, not remembering who ordered the vegetarian or vegan option or where you put the cake knife (you did bring the cake knife, right?) A wedding coordinator is the ultimate wedding hack - ensuring your perfect day runs perfectly and that the inevitable stresses of planning, supplier coordination and getting your loved ones happily together in the same room sit firmly behind the scenes. Treat yourself to an early wedding present and start your happily ever after today.

Jessica Ghansah, Jessica Ghansah Weddings

Happy Planning

Happy Planning

Q We're newly engaged and both work full-time, should we hire a wedding planner?
A Charlotte Thackeray says: Getting engaged is a whirlwind! It's such a special time, but couples suddenly find that people will have advice and opinions about what you should do. Sometimes, after booking a few suppliers, you might think 'what next' because, after all, planning a wedding isn't something you do every day. For me, providing experience and advice is where a wedding planner is important, picking trusted suppliers, managing budgets and providing guidance based on experience. There are many different types of wedding planners and coordinators so it's important to find one that works for you and who you get along with. As a planner who specialises in DIY weddings, I know that I'm not going to be the planner or coordinator for everyone. My couples tend to want to do a lot of it themselves, but want my advice and for me to check things over. Other planners will do everything if you're particularly short on time and some will work with you over a condensed period

Charlotte Thackeray, Charlotte Suzanne Weddings

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