EXPERT ADVICE

FAQs and expert advice about wedding planning

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Kent 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@yourkent.wedding

The Main Event

The Main Event

Q We're looking to host our nuptials outside, but would still like to create some breakout areas rather than have just one large open space − how could we achieve this?
A Georgie Porter says: Firstly, be aware of the elements, Britain is notoriously unpredictable, and having a marquee/ tipi or pagoda can offer a lovely cover from both the sun and the rain. You can also dress your cover with beautiful flowers or lighting.

Seating is a must! Having sofa areas with low tables or even a more rustic approach using haybales gives your guests the option to sit down.

Use lighting to enclose the space, this is very commonly seen in Italian weddings using festoon lighting to create a sparkling skyline, not only adds an aesthetic touch it also lights up the event at night.

You need an area for the bar and food; creating space for people to enjoy the food and drinks on high tables with stools is very popular.

And finally, a dancefloor! Regardless of if you're outside, having an area with a raised stand for the band and outlining the dancefloor (with either specialised portable flooring or a simple makeshift lantern outline), your guests will gravitate towards that space.

Georgie Porter, Gigi Events

Wedding Planning

Wedding Planning

Q Weddings having changed so much post-covid, we're feeling overwhelmed with what's available to us! What 2024 trends can we be inspired by to narrow it down?
A Freya Jane says: 2024 is set to be a year of fun, fashion and entertainment and as a wedding planner who puts guest experience at the forefront of her work, I'm here for it! Live performers are becoming a focal point of weddings and generally throwing a real good party is going to be key for our 2024 couples.

Photography is leaning more towards the editorial style, with film photography also making a comeback. More brides are going to be opting for versatile or multiple wedding dresses to switch up their look throughout the day. With social media becoming increasingly important, there's more emphasis on having Instagrammable, fashion-forward wedding dresses. So, aesthetics will continue to grow in individuality.

Immersive entertainment such as audio guest books, 360-degree photo booths and selfie mirrors are also set to be highly sought after. Here are some more of my 2024 wedding trend predictions:

•Champagne towers
•Removable wedding dress sleeves and long gloves
•Grazing tables
•Sparklers and cold sparks
•Signature cocktails
•Wedding content creators
•Sax players
•Short veils
•Drone videography
•Wedding breakfast entertainment

Freya Jane, Weddings by Freya Jane

Elegance and Charm

Elegance and Charm

Q What is your advice on creating an elegant winter wonderland wedding?
A Nicky Clements says: You can start with your colour palette, and opt for something sophisticated such as deep burgundy, forest green, and shimmering gold or silver. These colours evoke the richness of the season and complement the natural winter surroundings. Pick fabulous winter florals like deep red roses, white peonies, and pine cones for your floral arrangements, these will not only look fabulous but smell wonderful. Adding candles and greenery can create a romantic and cosy atmosphere too.

For a wintry touch, dress the wedding party in luxurious fabrics like velvet or silk. A beautiful shawl can keep the bride warm and add a touch of elegance.

Now we get onto the décor. As it will be dark earlier on your wedding day, you'll get to maximise the effect of all your candles. Also, use elements like crystal chandeliers, twinkling fairylights, and mirrored accents to create a wintry vibe indoors.

By carefully curating these elements, you can transform your wedding day into a winter wonderland filled with elegance and charm, creating lasting memories for you and your loved ones.

Nicky Clements, Nicola Rose Weddings & Events

Perfectly Planned

Perfectly Planned

Q What is your advice on planning an outdoor wedding?
A Nicky Clements says: An outdoor wedding can be an incredibly beautiful and memorable experience for both you and your guests. However, ensuring everything runs smoothly requires careful consideration and attention to detail.

First and foremost, have a back-up plan as al fresco weddings are susceptible to unpredictable weather conditions. Hire a stretch tent with pretty sofas, chairs and low tables placed on large rugs. This will give you both shade on a sunny day, and cover from drizzly rain.

Have plenty of ice-cold drinks readily available that are easy for the guests to pick up. And why not have a mini freezer packed with delicious lollies? Also, pretty hand fans personalised with your wedding date for the ladies would be a nice treat.

If it rains, no problem. Have to hand plenty of inexpensive umbrellas for your guests to grab should the heavens open. Lay down mats creating pathways, to protect elegant shoes from wet grass and dirt, also great for high heels.

Plan for plenty of lighting. Outdoor weddings often extend into the evening, so plan some illumination accordingly. Use fairylights, lanterns or candles to create a magical ambience. Ensure too that there's adequate lighting for pathways, seating areas, and the dancefloor.

Finally, remember to have fun and embrace the unique charm of an outdoor wedding! With proper planning and attention to detail, your special day will be a magical celebration surrounded by the beauty of nature.

Nicky Clements, Nicola Rose Weddings and Events

Bring me a hire love

Bring me a hire love

Q Tell us how to plan a wedding sustainably.
A Joanne Scott says: There are more ways than you think to make your wedding day as sustainable as possible. Lots of small gestures can make a big impact on the environment. Don't go out of your way to search charity shops and boot sales for décor items. Travelling around week after week sourcing items that you'll have no use for after the wedding isn't helping to keep your carbon footprint down. Instead, hire what you need. There's a misconception that it'll cost more, but in the long run buying your own styling items that you can't reuse or resell just creates waste.

Flowers are crucial to the look of your wedding day; we get that, and aren't saying you can do without them, but you can make a conscious effort to go as green as possible with your blooms. The best way to do this is to go seasonal and go local. This will dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of flying in out-of-season varieties and it's more cost effective too. Just ask your florist about their supply chain to make sure the blooms are grown locally, rather than provided by a wholesaler who actually gets them from overseas. Always ask your florist too whether they use floral foam in their designs, as this equates to single-use plastic and won't break down in landfill.

Guests often prefer to use their cars to get to the venue as it can be out of the way, but this will leave a heavy carbon footprint. Why not encourage loved ones to take public transport to get them close, and arrange a coach to collect them all, take them to the venue, and back again at the end of the night. It will reduce pollution and avoid the need for lots of cars to be collected the following day before your hire period runs out.

A bridesmaid's dress doesn't have to be worn just the once. You could give your bride tribe a colour palette and let them pick a gown that's gorgeous and glamorous, as well as being one they'd happily enjoy wearing again and again. This way, it doesn't have to sit in the back of the wardrobe for years before being thrown out.

Joanne Scott, The Wedding Dolls

Keep calm and marry on

Keep calm and marry on

Q I'm feeling stressed and overwhlemed by the planning process. What are your top tips for planing a stress-free wedding?
A Natasha Hildyard says: If you're feeling stressed and overwhelmed by the planning process then don't panic. The ideal thing to do would be to hire a wedding planner who can take away all the worry and make organising your big day an enjoyable experience. If a wedding planner is out of your budget though, look for a good app or journal with time sensitive checklists to help you prioritise.

Try not to involve the entire wedding party. While many hands make light work, too many opinions can overwhelm you and steer you off course. Instead, choose one or two members of your posse you can rely on who've been through the process before. Finally, remember it's all about the big picture. Your wedding day will be happiest day of your life and you're marrying the love of your life!

Natasha Hildyard, Natasha Spencer Weddings

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