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 firstname.lastname@example.org
To view more expert advice on a different topic, please select one from the list below.
Q. Would you recommend sending out save-the-dates and why? We can't decide if they're necessary.
A. Ling Warlow says: In all honesty, I don't always recommend save-the-date cards. But, don't get me wrong, they are a fun way to set the scene and get the buzz going around your big day. I always advise sending them out at least a year in advance, and they're especially important when you're planning to get married around a significant date such as Christmas, New Year, or in the middle of a busy holiday period. Many people book their vacations a year in advance and you don't want your nearest and dearest to miss your celebration.
I also think they're super-useful if you have a lot of guests travelling significant distances, as they'll probably appreciate the heads up so they can book accommodation – hotels often offer better rates for early bookings. So, there are times when save-the-dates are a good idea, but you will need to consider your date and circumstances as they're not always essential.
My top tip? Make them work for you. Why not include a list of local accommodation to make planning their stay easier for your guests? Make them easy to display too, after all, they're there to ensure people remember. Fridge magnets and stickers are fantastic ideas.
Ling Warlow,Dragonfly Couture Stationery
Q. How can we tailor our stationery to suit our barn venue rustic theme?
A. Ling Warlow says: I love to take inspiration from the venue, it's always a great way of tying everything together. While it's lovely to have a colour to bind your theme, I love it when the stationery is used to bring an extra element into the decor on the day, and I often do this using illustration. I also love to use materials which reflect the venue, and the rustic barn styling is perfect for this.
For example, the venue's alpacas were the inspiration for the stationery pictured and I emphasised the rustic theme using natural twine, hessian wraps, wood-grain papers and kraft envelopes. All items were printed on a nice quality 100 per cent recycled board and the autumnal colours referenced the time of year. Like the contrast between the wedding decor and a barn venue's walls, I like the unusual twist of adding crystals to kraft board. It's reminiscent of fairylights twinkling against a rough wall.
My overall advice though would be to keep it simple and keep it green.
Ling Warlow,Dragonfly Couture Stationery
Q. What would a full wedding stationery package involve and what timescales should we be working to?
A. Ling Warlow says: Wedding stationery is a very personal thing and is as complicated or simple as you make it. Although, it probably shouldn't be too taxing! Most important is to think about the information your guests need to know: where and when, local accommodation, a note about gifts, and so on. There are all sorts of additional details you can include too such as menus, a timeline, RSVP card, maps, and song requests. It's always advisable to order a few additional invitations just in case you need to send out a second wave, or you find you've missed someone out.
Save-the-date cards are growing in popularity. They're particularly useful for weekday weddings, bank holidays, or peak vacation periods. You should opt to send these out a year ahead, followed by the invitations three to four months before the wedding.
The next steps are: stationery for your ceremony, the wedding breakfast, and to say “thank you.” For a church wedding, an order of service is a must – either one per guest, or one per couple. Then we come to the wedding breakfast. You'll need a seating plan and place cards, plus signs to help guests find their tables. You may also choose to have menus, a guest book and further signage. If your guests have pre-ordered their menu choices, it's a good idea to remind them of what they have chosen, either by providing menus, or putting their choices on the back of the place cards. Finally, there's the “thank you” cards. If you'd like them to match, consider ordering along with your other items.
Do give yourself enough time to get things right. A professional designer will need two to three months notice. Be sure to ask for samples of card stocks to manage expectations, and proof read everything before printing. Twice!
Q. We're getting married on Valentine's Day. How can we capture the spirit of the day in our invitations without going overboard on heart motifs?
A. Ling Warlow says: Valentine's Day is the ultimate romantic wedding date – you'll never forget your anniversary! So, if you've chosen this date to say “I do,” you need to embrace it!
Why not choose a simple, elegant heart motif that can be echoed throughout your stationery, and put a ban on hearts anywhere else, or simply avoid red or pink. You could also plump for the simplicity of a single red rose or the cheeky appearance of cupid on your seating plan echoed in your cake topper.
The best way of all is to stay true to yourselves. Celebrate each other and the people you love. Your wedding day, regardless of the date it falls on, is a celebration of your love.
Q. How can I tie my stationery in to my Christmas wedding theme without being tacky?
A. Joanne Oliver says: The key is to use subtle seasonal hints in the design. Glitter is perfect for that sparkle effect, with diamanté snowflake embellishments. The use of wintery colours can also be effective such as a deep red or a pale icy blue with hints of silver or white glitter. With the table plan you can have a bit more fun by naming the tables. For example, I love using the names of Santa's reindeer!
In addition, why not have some fun with wedding favours? Use themed place names such as a cracker decorated in your colour palette with a nametag attached or a bauble with the name inside that guests can keep to hang on their tree. Baubles can also serve as save-thedates to be sent out the Christmas before your big day to be used as decorations and a handy reminder.
Join the hue
Q. How can I tie in my autumnal wedding theme across all of my stationery?
A. Ling Warlow says: Your wedding's stationery is the perfect place to bring everything together. You may have chosen certain hues for your flowers, table settings or in your bridesmaids' dresses that can be picked out in your stationery through little hand finished touches such as ribbon. It's a simple way to coordinate everything.
I'm also creating a lot of stationery at the moment where the colour comes from images. There are plenty of pretty watercolours of autumn leaves or floral arrangements online making another a great way of bringing a seasonal theme together.
I do like to combine different methods so I'd include a couple of different colour boards, for example a nice recycled Kraft board and a little burnt orange and ivory. The print design can pick out both and adding a little foil, especially that perennial favourite rose gold, is gorgeous for an autumnal theme.
Once the invitation design is right I then pick out individual leaves and blooms and cut them out to use in the seating plan, perhaps even as decorative items to scatter on the tables.
Stationery is the perfect place to let your imagination run riot! If you feel as though there's too much going on, just pare it back and focus on the palette.