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 email@example.com
To view more expert advice on a different topic, please select one from the list below.
Q. It's time to choose a photographer, and I've no idea where to begin. What would you advise?
A. Melissa Barker says: Start by choosing a style. Are you naturally drawn to bright, bold images, or do you prefer a dark, more moody effect? Each supplier will have their own shooting and editing style, so it's important you do your research and decide which style you like before booking.
Next, decide on a budget that you're willing to spend. The majority of photographers will have set packages on their website but offer extras if you want something more bespoke. If you're struggling to find a supplier that fits your price range, get in touch and see if they offer half-day coverage instead. This is a great way of saving money and means you'll still be able to capture the most important parts of the day.
With so many photographers to choose from, it can feel a little overwhelming. Look through local websites, social media and check magazines to get a list of potential suppliers. Once you have a list, narrow it down to three options. Check those three have the style you like, are available on your date, fit your budget, offer any additional extras that you want and most importantly have good reviews. Set up a meeting in person or via video chat with each of them to see if your personalities gel. Before the meeting, create a list of questions to ask, such as do you have insurance? Have they worked at your venue before? How much deposit do they expect upfront and when does the final instalment need to be paid? After the meeting, if you feel particularly comfortable around one of them and like their answers, contact them about booking.
Melissa Barker,Your North West Wedding editor
Q. Our venue is gorgeous inside and out. How can we make the most of it with our wedding photos?
A. Andy & Karen Boyle says: We're so lucky in this region to have such an amazing variety of venues from canvas to castles. You may be pitching a tipi in a fabulous landscape, relaxing in an atmospheric country pub or celebrating in a magnificent mansion. Whether you looked at a dozen venues or knew the first was the one for you, it's the unique features that will have stood out to you. Our job is to find the stunning attributes of the location and use them to capture your wonderful memories, and we'll start by having a chat with you about your favourite spots, the elements that made you fall in love with it.
The exterior of your venue can look so different in the daylight to how it does lit up at night. There might be glorious gardens and outdoor features that look stunning as you take a stroll together at dusk, making for some amazing low-light shots. If we're lucky there'll be a great sunset to wish you good luck.
Many venues have stunning staircases, which afford us so many opportunities. Fireplaces and furniture too, whether they be traditional or ultra-modern, can really make a formal or fun statement. Plus, you get to sit down for a few minutes and have a drink!
Even if you think there's nothing that stands out to you, we'll have visited your venue, had a good look around and come up with a cunning plan. It's incredible what can be found and made into something fabulous. Your job is to enjoy time together with your loved ones on your big day. Our job is to create the beautiful reminders.
Andy & Karen Boyle,Andy Boyle Photography
You're a natural
Q. We're both a bit camera shy and are feeling anxious about a lot of photos on our wedding day. Can you offer us some advice?
A. Karen Boyle says: Don't worry, it's your photographer's job to make you feel as comfortable as possible. The chats you'll have with us in the run up to your big day help us discover what you like and what you're worried about. There are very few concerns we haven't heard, so don't be afraid to share yours so that we can put your mind at ease. What's more, you'll be having such a wonderful time with friends and family, most of the time you won't even notice us taking photos. Occasionally we'll say: “Just look this way,” then you're done.
Of course, we all want some stunning portraits, just the two of you, so we'll sneak you away from your guests leaving them to drink to your happiness. We'll have already found the perfect areas of your venue, so no time will be wasted and we can have a little fun and let you have a little quiet time together too. Fear not, you won't be gone so long that your guests will have started the wedding breakfast without you!
One way to get some fun practice in is to book a pre-wedding shoot with your chosen photographer, either in the studio or at your favourite location. Whatever worries you may have, you'll have a good time overcoming them.
After all's said and done, what you'll remember when you look through your wedding album is having a wonderful day together with your loves ones.
Karen Boyle,Andy Boyle Photography
Choosing your storyteller
Q. Stacey is an award-winning photographer covering North Wales and the North West who describes herself as a “passionate perfectionist.”
A. Stacey Oliver says: Choose a photographic style you like – every photographer has their own, so go with your instinct. I try to tell a story in pictures, but also like capturing those killer couple shots. I love it when couples are willing to give me creative freedom. So, do your research, check out their portfolio, google reviews and social media. It's also a good idea to ask to see a full wedding album. It's crucial to meet your photographer as soon as possible, either in person or via a Skype or Zoom call, to make sure you click (pardon the pun). After all, they're the one supplier who'll be with you most of the day. I recommend booking an engagement or pre-wedding shoot, as this can help you get to know each other, so you'll feel much more comfortable and at ease on the day itself.
Your photos are one of the most important things to invest in, they should be a timeless account of the most important day of your life. So, set a budget with this in mind.
Stacey Oliver,Stacey Oliver Photographer
Change of plan
Q. Our worst fears were realised when the government specifically banned weddings, meaning we're faced with the disappointment and challenge of rescheduling ours. Can you offer any advice?
A. Matthew Rycraft says: Of course, there's a lot to reorganise, so it's good idea to start prioritising. If you need to reschedule a wedding as a result of COVID-19, your top priorities should be as follows:
- The venue. Your number one priority is to contact the venue. Ask if there are any dates available later this year, or even next, and if any deposit paid can be put towards the new date.
- The photographer is your next port of call. Under the current circumstances, all wedding suppliers should be supportive, so get in touch to see if they can offer any flexibility. Don't delay as they may book up well in advance.
- The dress. As clothing stores are also closed at the moment, your wedding dress supplier should agree to move your fitting to whenever it's required. They should also be able to hold the gown for as long as necessary.
- Flowers. Bear in mind, if you were planning a summer wedding that's become a winter one, you might want to begin rethinking your floral choices.
Communication is key. Get in touch with suppliers, and if they really can't help with the new date start search for good alternatives. I have a preferred list of suppliers and we're here to help.
Matthew Rycraft,Matthew Rycraft Photography
An air of romance
Q. How can we make the most of our venue's indoor and outside spaces to create the most romantic couple shots?
A. Kevin Brown says: There's such a wide range of venues available for weddings in the region from castles to village halls, so there's nearly always a great place to capture some romantic shots. We always do a thorough recce of the venue before the big day, especially if it's one we haven't worked at previously. We're constantly on the lookout for the best light and backdrops. This creates a great opportunity for a pre-wedding shoot, which means you get to run through your day, and get used to being relaxed in front of the camera.
City and town venues often have lots of photo opportunities within a short walk, especially Liverpool.
If you're concerned about your venue not being located in a scenic spot, sometimes simply shooting from a different angle means an unsightly background can be avoided. There are usually plenty of doorways, alcoves, brick or stone walls and other little gems if you look hard enough.
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.
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.