EXPERT ADVICE

FAQs and expert advice about wedding services

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your North West 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@yournorthwest.wedding

Furry Friends

Furry Friends

Q Our friend suggested that we incorporate our dog into our wedding. Is this something that most couples do?
A Lynsey Meades says: Did you know that over 70 per cent of dog owners admit they would rather have their precious pooch at their wedding than friends and family? That shows just how much we love our dogs! Our interest in having dogs at our weddings has increased in recent years, and research shows that 94 per cent of those of us who own a furry canine friend plan to involve them in our wedding.

If you're planning to incorporate your furry friend into your big day, keep in mind that #DogWeddingOutfit currently has over 152,000 views on TikTok and #DogRingBearer has over 10.5 million views. We also discovered that 49 per cent of dogs attending their owners' weddings will be dressed for the occasion and 58 per cent of dog owners say they would change their dream wedding plans if it meant their pup could attend.

Lynsey Meades, Armathwaite Hall

Better Safe Than Sorry

Better Safe Than Sorry

Q My wife-to-be and I are thinking of getting wedding insurance. How do we go about this?
A The Team says: While everyone, of course, hopes that their wedding day will go without a hitch, unfortunately, things can and do go wrong. And when they do, it can leave you significantly out of pocket if you don't have insurance. With the average cost of a wedding coming in at around £20,000, it's a major financial commitment that you want to make sure is protected. Wedding insurance covers you for things such as cancellation and rearrangement, failure of wedding suppliers, personal liability, damage or theft of your ceremonial attire, wedding gifts, rings, photography and more. Here are a few things to be aware of when you're shopping around for a wedding insurance policy for your big day:

Getting the right amount of cover: Many wedding insurance plans offer different levels of cover. So, work out the cost of your wedding by including all your planned expenses, such as venues, catering, photography, flowers, attire, cakes, entertainment, transport, etc. Once you have an approximate budget in mind, choose the level of cover that covers this planned expenditure. For instance, if you are planning to spend around £20,000 in total on your wedding, then you will need to get cover that will compensate you up to that level should you need to cancel the wedding.

Don't delay: While the wedding to-do list may seem never-ending, it's important to not delay when it comes to buying wedding insurance. An ideal time to buy is as soon as you've paid for any part of the event and you have a venue and date arranged so that your deposits are covered. Make sure to check the policy details, as each insurer approaches this aspect differently.

Cheap isn't always best: Make sure to shop around and compare policies. Look at things like the details of the cover, customer reviews and the reputation of the insurance providers. Sometimes the best deal isn't the one with the smallest price tag.

Double check the cancellation policies: Cancellations are never fun, but they unfortunately do happen, so reviewing the cancellation policy is important. Make sure you understand the terms thoroughly and ask questions if needed. A clear understanding now can save you from any nasty little surprises down the line.

Tailor your cover: Whether it's an extra layer of protection for unforeseen circumstances, cover for elements of the celebration, like a marquee, or public liability cover should there be any 'slip-ups' on the dancefloor. Make sure to check the standard policy and review any of the add-ons so that you get the cover you need.

While no one ever thinks about having to claim, things can and do go wrong, and so protecting your special day is a small price to pay for peace of mind.

The Team, WedInsure

Especially for you

Especially for you

Q We want heartfelt vows that we will remember for years to come, but we both struggle to put the words together. Do you have any suggestions?
A Adam Doyle says: Your vows will not only play an important part on your day but are also a reminder of the promises and commitments that you're making to each other. A good starting point is to think about the type of ceremony you're having, i.e. is it a traditional religious ceremonies, civil ceremony, humanist celebration or a non-legal wedding ceremony? Churches are more willing to be flexible and will include some personal vows as well as the traditional format, however, the content is at the discretion of the minister marrying you. Many couples are now choosing to have two ceremonies, a legally binding civil ceremony followed by a bespoke service with family and friends, which is led by a celebrant or a person who is special to the couple.

When it comes to the vows, think about elements that are important to you both, for example, family or cultural traditions. Start your vows by setting the scene, addressing each other by name and confirming your feelings for each other. Next, explain what you know and adore about your partner, their qualities, how they inspire you and the characteristics that you love. Thirdly, what is special about your relationship, and what distinct things do you share?

Think about what promises you want to make to each other, go for a minimum of four and a maximum of six and mix up the serious promises with playful ones.

My advice is to then move onto the visualisation of your marriage. What will you do for each other? How will you help each other through challenges? What will this look like?

Lastly, finish your vows with a confirmation, a traditional blessing or a simple declaration to each other. This could even be your favourite words from a song, a book quote or your favourite poem.

Vow writing can be tricky, however if you follow this format, you will soon find that the words begin to flow.

Adam Doyle, The Writing Forge

A paw-fect wedding

A paw-fect wedding

Q I'm looking for a company to look after our three dogs during our wedding. What should we ask before booking?
A Catherine Smith says: The main things you need to consider before booking are:

Availability – Can the business accommodate your wedding? If they can't do the whole day, is there another way they can help?

Location – Is the company close to the venue? If not, are they happy to provide collection and drop off if needed?

Prices – A series of quotes should be provided for a range of services. Ask about deposits to secure dates and final payments.

Insurance – Find out more about the business, including insurance and licences, to ensure you're booking with a genuine company.

Remember, you can never ask too many questions when it comes to the care provided for your canine companion

Catherine Smith, Thea's Lakeland Walks

Beloved pets

Beloved pets

Q How can we incorporate our beloved pooch into our big day?
A Catherine Smith says: Having your canine companion involved in your big day is incredibly important as they are a large part of the family. Look for a company that offers a range of pet care services to help your big day run smoothly, including the ceremony and photography assistance, full daycare, overnight boarding and even transport between locations. By hiring a professional, you can ensure your dog is part of your day without having to worry.

Here at Thea's Lakeland Walks, we have great working relationships with an abundance of hotels across Cumbria and surrounding areas, ensuring your dog gets exceptional care whilst fulfilling its role as a very important pet.

Catherine Smith, Thea's Lakeland Walks

Pretty as a picture

Pretty as a picture

Q My wife-to-be and I would love someone to live paint our wedding. What should we expect?
A Stuart Barkley says: As a live painter, I enter the breakfast room two hours before your guests go in and paint the room. Then after you and your guests settle, I have as long as the meal takes to capture the scene. Three courses are ideal. It's a great talking point as guests can come over, ask me questions and spot each other in the painting. As I finish, I often ask well-behaved children or guests to draw a glass or cutlery, which is a great photo opportunity. If there is someone who sadly can't be there, I can even represent them with a symbol. When I'm done, I sign and leave it on display for everyone to admire.

Stuart Barkley, The Wedding Painter

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