FAQs and expert advice about wedding planning

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


Fun at the fair

Fun at the fair

Q. My partner and I want a carnival-themed wedding, but we're feeling overwhelmed by the amount of choice available. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Deanna Melia says: This is the first time I've heard of someone having a carnival theme, but I think it's a brilliant idea! To plan the perfect wedding, you need to ensure you have a budget in mind, as this will alter the number of choices available to you. Start by getting your guest numbers set in stone, so you know how much money you will have left for decorations and activities.

I strongly advise hiring a wedding planner as they can find the most suitable venues and stylists for you so that you don't feel so overwhelmed.

Hire a caterer who provides carnival-style food such as hot dogs, pretzels, burgers and doughnuts. You could even create a sweet cart and have lots of fairylights everywhere for when the sun goes down.

Bright colours would be perfect for your theme. Think of reds, blues and whites.

Have your waiters walking around on stilts in fun outfits, and look for themed stationery to tie the whole day together.

The most important thing is to stay calm, take it one step at a time and don't feel the need to do everything at once. Begin with your venue and guest list, and once that's sorted everything else will fall into place.

Deanna Melia, Your Forever After


Plannins SOS

Plannins SOS

Q. I'm feeling overwhelmed by the planning process. What are your top tips for creating a stress-free wedding?

A. Alicia James says: Firstly, a very big congratulations on your engagement! This time truly is a muddle of emotions, and as much as you're bursting with happiness, it's only natural to feel a little overwhelmed. My biggest tip is to try and write everything down, even if at first it seems scary, write down everything you want your special day to feel like, a to-do list and any venues or inspiration you may have. Get it all down on paper, and then start to organise it from there. By having it all laid out in front of you, it allows you a little more headspace! Try to prioritise what you would like to get done and give yourself small tasks each week, so it doesn't feel like you have to do everything at once. By ticking things off your list, you will start to feel super productive and energised to do even more. The main thing to remember is to enjoy every single moment, it's a special time and goes by in the blink of an eye, so try to embrace it.

Alicia James, Alicia Marie Weddings


Planned to perfection

Planned to perfection

Q. We've recently got engaged, but due to lockdown, we're struggling to plan anything! What should we book first?

A. Annabel Candler says: Congratulations and welcome to the world of wedding planning! Start by creating a rough guest list, so you know your potential numbers, then begin looking at venues. Everything pivots on that choice, from the decor and food to the accommodation and budget. I suggest getting this box ticked asap. Once you've found your dream venue, you can begin to tick off the next big items, such as catering, photography and the celebrant/registrar. Think about what are your essential elements and how getting the right supplier will affect the event. Keep in mind that the ones you want may get booked up quickly, so get cracking!

Annabel Candler, Weddings by Annabel


Rest and relaxation

Rest and relaxation

Q. I'm feeling stressed and overwhelmed by the planning process. What are your top tips for planning a stress-free wedding?

A. Celia Gaze says: Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. While the process is magical, there are often hugely stressful bits. Here are my top tips for planning a stress-free day.

- Buy a journal. There are so many gorgeous wedding planners out there and trust us yours will become your bible. Good ones will prompt you with questions and tasks you need to complete before the big day. List all your suppliers and their contact details in there, so everything is in one place and keep all the ideas you collect at wedding fairs in it too.

- Getting wedding insurance. Before you do anything else, look into wedding insurance. It usually costs around £100, and although that seems like a lot of money, it's worth it to give you peace of mind and protect you if anything goes wrong.

- Make sure you have contracts in place. Before you hand over any money, it's wise to ensure you have a written contract from your chosen supplier. It's tempting to do things verbally, but it's important to get everything in writing.

- Don't try to please everyone. You'll find as soon as you get engaged people will start sharing their opinions. Pick the things that you're happy to compromise on so family and friends still feel valued and included.

- Look after your wellbeing. Meditation, breathing exercises, yoga and gratitude journaling are all ways you can improve your mindfulness. Listen to music, look at wedding imagery and spend time in nature to help relax and de-stress.

- Stay healthy. Many brides chose to undertake a new beauty or skincare regime to look their big-day best, but it's important you do it in a way that will improve your health rather than making you feel more anxious.

- Ensure your venue has a dedicated wedding planner. Before you book a venue, consider how much the staff will help you plan your day.

Celia Gaze, The Wellbeing Farm

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