Ask the experts

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Cheshire & Merseyside 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@yourcheshiremerseyside.wedding

To view more Q&A's on a different topic, please select one from the list below.

Hot topic: Summer weddings

Our experts offer stellar advice on creating an idyllic summer wedding

Fun in the sun

Fun in the sun

Q. We're getting married next July and would like our pictures to reflect the season. What can you suggest?

A. Karen Boyle says: July, the height of our glorious British summer when your wedding options are wonderfully wide. Many venues offer outdoor ceremonies in their beautiful grounds, giving us opportunities to photograph you from different angles, seeing you and your guests set against a gorgeous panorama, as well as up close with the fabulous light around you. What's more, trees are in full leaf, giving us amazing backgrounds and dappled shade to pose beneath, plus bark contrasts amazingly well with wedding dresses and flowers.

Long, warm evenings allow relaxed outdoor shots and fantastic opportunities to get creative with the colours in the sky. If you choose to have your ceremony in a church, the summer light coming through stained glass allows one of us to frame the two of you with the stained glass in its full glory and the altar in front of you, while the other is capturing all of the more intimate detail of the smiles, laughs and tears. This is the benefit of having a second shooter!

Even if the weather isn't kind you can still have fun with brollies making this a feature of your photo album. All you need to do is share your love and enjoy your special day.

Oh-sew chic

Oh-sew chic

Q. After much searching I've found a dress but I'm still not totally sure that it has everything I'd dreamed of. How can I make it mine and what's the alterations process?

A. Maria Shenton says: Look around for a specialist bridal seamstress that has lots of good reviews or recommendations and don't be frightened to discuss all your concerns and ideas with them. Their aim is to make you feel comfortable and look a million dollars on your big day. Social media is a good place to start on your search.

We'd usually start fittings six to eight weeks prior to you wedding date. The number of fittings would depend on the type of dress, fabric and the alterations required. On average most brides need three fittings, with the final fitting being around seven days before the big day, leaving enough time for last bits of hand sewing and steaming. Remember to take your underwear and shoes to all your fittings, also if you have a bigger skirted gown you may want a separate hoop and/or petticoat.

Candid camera

Candid camera

Q. I'm not keen on formal group shots but want to make sure we get snaps of all of our guests. What can you recommend to ensure the informal outdoor atmosphere of our day is reflected in our photographs?

A. Michelle Mahoney says: Choose your photographer wisely. It's the candid informal photos that really tell the story of your day. To get these, first and foremost, your guests need to feel comfortable with your photographer, so much so they forget we're even there. Being subtle and discrete with the camera – a photography ninja – helps as well! If you hire someone who's friendly and informal, yet professional, your images are going to reflect this.

Also, be sure to brief your photographer on your preferences. They need to understand that whilst you may not fancy having lots of formal group shots you still want to have photos of your guests to cherish. This way they can organise and prepare themselves to make sure they capture the best images of all your loved ones.

Fantasy flowers

Fantasy flowers

Q. What blooms and colours should I go for to complement my summer wedding?

A. Gemma Wakerley says: What can be more romantic than the scent of flowers on a warm summer breeze? The sweet perfume of sweet peas, roses, delphiniums, and hydrangeas conjures up the image of an English country garden. Light hued blooms in pink, white, blue and lilac are often chosen to complement a summer wedding. On the other hand, if bolder colours are more your thing, why not opt for a more exotic look? Nothing says summer like a simple arrangement of sunflowers or the tropical vibe of bright hibiscus flowers in a wedding bouquet.

Some of our favourite summer flowers are: agapanthuses, peonies, roses, stocks, hydrangeas, dahlias, sweet peas, nigellas, strelitzias, gingers and heliconias.

Blooms on budget

Blooms on budget

Q. We want showstopping flowers but are working to a tight budget. What are your top tips for cost effective wedding blooms?

A. Rachel Peers says: My first suggestion would be to use flowers that are in season and grown in the UK. Saving on import and transport costs can have a significant impact on the bill, not to mention the benefit of freshness, supporting local growers and reducing your carbon footprint. Your florist will be able to advise what will be in season at the time of your wedding.

The second way to achieve eye-catching floral designs on a budget would be to allow your florist the freedom to choose blooms appropriate to your colour palette and theme. This is a great option as there are certain varieties that for many different reasons will be cheaper than normal at the time of ordering. Allowing your florist free reign will enable them to buy smart and make the best use of your budget.

Finally, take advice from your professional florist. They want you to have the flowers of your dreams as much as you do and will work with you to achieve your goals. This may mean making a few small compromises, but by choosing an experienced and proven florist you won't be disappointed.

Substance and style

Substance and style

Q. My husband-to-be works with his hands all day. Can you recommend what we should be looking at for his wedding ring, so that it's hardy and doesn't get damaged quickly?

A. Stephen Slade says: For 20 years we've only been selling precious metal rings – platinum, 9ct and 18ct gold, and palladium. However, in recent years we've been asked for materials that don't scratch, which has always been an issue with easily damaged precious metals. While we've always recommended that our customers be patient as scuffs will eventually merge into the finish of the ring and in time stop being noticeable, we've now started selling tungsten rings. These less expensive alternatives are incredibly scratch-resistant and have proven to be extremely popular with men for this reason. It seems that hallmarked precious metals take a back seat in favour of durability for today's groom.

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