EXPERT ADVICE

FAQs and expert advice about venues

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Cheshire and 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

Love Local

Love Local

Q What is your advice on planning a sustainable wedding?
A Chloe says: We're always looking for new ways to encourage our couples to be as sustainable as possible on their wedding day. Many are becoming more aware of the impact their celebrations can have on the environment and we're happy to help if they're not sure where to start.

One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is the use of virtual invitations and websites instead of paper. You can still have beautifully designed invitations but send them via email. Many of these website also help you track your RSVPs. Check out Paperless Post and GreenVelope.

We also discourage the use of single-use items such as flip flops, fans and foam glow sticks. As much fun as they are, these plastics take hundreds of years to decompose and have a detrimental effect on the environment. Try asking guests to bring a pair of flats if you're going to be dancing into the early hours and don't want sore feet!

Think local and seasonal for everything. Not only will flowers and food produce be cheaper and fresher, but it'll have travelled fewer miles thus cutting down on carbon emissions; plus of course you'll be supporting local business. We work alongside some fantastic suppliers in the area who see the value in sourcing seasonal and British goods and will help you plan the menus and floral designs of your dreams.

Chloe, The Oak Tree of Peover

Keep It Simple

Keep It Simple

Q What is your advice on planning a sustainable wedding?
A Katie McHugh says: Embracing the essence of mindful décor, our venue’s natural beauty and lavender gardens
serve as the perfect canvas, eliminating the need for elaborate embellishment.

We encourage the use of minimal, reusable, or biodegradable styling elements, such as
potted plants that not only beautify the space but can also be used later in your guests’ homes. Utilise personal items that infuse your celebration with intimate, meaningful touches.

In alignment with our commitment to sustainability, we also advocate digital invitations and correspondence between ourselves and our couples to significantly reduce paper use. For those indispensable printed elements, we aim to use recycled paper and eco-friendly inks.

Katie McHugh, The Swettenham Arms

Top Green Tips

Top Green Tips

Q What is your advice on planning a sustainable wedding?
A Katie Poole says: I've witnessed an ever-growing concern over our environmental impact, with many individuals looking to make changes to the carbon footprint of their weddings. According to the Sustainable Wedding Alliance, there are approximately 278,000 weddings every year in the UK. Each of these can produce 14.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions. The scale of this is hard to imagine, but if each wedding reduced its emissions by 50 per cent, that's the potential of taking an equivalent of 850,000 cars off the road.

Here are my top tips or small changes that you can consider, without making major sacrifices to the vision of your special day, while still reducing its harmful impact.

•Eco-friendly confetti. A more sustainable alternative is water-soluble rice paper, or petal confetti, offering a vintage look with various colours and 100 per cent natural biodegradability. Both are environmentally-friendly choices compared to traditional paper confetti.

•Sustainable wedding venue. Consider the location of your wedding, where are your guests travelling from to be there? The more central you are to your loved ones, the less travel will be needed. Finding a venue that accommodates both the ceremony and your evening reception will also mean a decrease in required miles.

•Organic wedding attire. There are many bridal shops that use fabrics which are gentle to the earth and sourced by ethical means. This is often referred to as the minimalist bride movement, using materials such as organic silk, English lace, and vegan bamboo to create a sleek luxurious, and sustainable look.

•Earth-friendly invites. Many stationers now offer invitations made with recycled fibres, which are in turn recyclable themselves.

•Zero-waste favours. Some of our favourite sustainable wedding favours are take-home plantable place cards, reusable beeswax wraps, handmade soaps, and personalised reusable straws.

Katie Poole, Carden Park

Winter Warmer

Winter Warmer

Q What is your advice on creating an elegant winter wedding?
A Alicia Cox says: It all starts with the perfect venue. During the winter, the days are short and the nights are long, so it's always worth choosing somewhere that's truly magical during the day and night. Selecting a venue with oodles of charm, characterful spaces and enchanting grounds will provide the perfect start to planning that elegant winter wonderland.

To create an elegant winter vibe, choosing your colour scheme will be the next big step. You may want that modern look and may opt for cleaner colours, white with a hint of emerald green to delight your guests. Alternatively, why not take the season literally and bring that festive cheer with emerald greens, ruby reds and purples? These are always firm favourites bringing a touch of warmth to any special day.

A true winter wonderland wouldn't be complete without plenty of sparkle and lights. Choosing the right lighting is just as important as your choice of flowers for example, particularly with those shorter days the proper illumination helps to tie your day together. Don't forget those candles! Candlelight will give you that sought after romantic, warm, cosy feel.

Simply gorgeous white trees, crystal garlands, wreaths, Christmas trees, and frosted decorations are but a few styling options to choose from to bring your winter wedding to life. Why not delight your guests with a few cosy touches too, such as making soft, fluffy blankets available in your colour scheme? And when choosing your venue, don't forget to look out for those real open fires

Alicia Cox, Talhenbont Hall

Sights, sounds and smells

Sights, sounds and smells

Q What is your advice on creating an elegant winter wedding?
A Steph Pringle says: So much about the colder months can inspire your wedding day with added romance. Embrace the unique charm of winter and you can make your occasion as warm and inviting as it is elegant.

Rich feature colours used as accents in your wedding décor can bring a romantic warmth to your big day. Contrast deep tones such as forest green or burgundy with white and gold accents to evoke a cosy winter feel. Amplify this inviting atmosphere and make your palette shine by adding plenty of candlelight to your décor for a winter-inspired ambience.

There may be a chill in the air, but that doesn't mean you can't embrace the outdoors during your big day. Think eucalyptus, waxflower and pine as key foliage to bring the outside into your styling. Plus, if your chosen venue has an outdoor space such as a courtyard or garden area, why not transform it into an al-fresco hub for your guests with twinkling fairylights, comfy seating and thick blankets, not to mention a few heat lamps or even a firepit? Serve a hot reception drink such as mulled wine or Bailey's hot chocolate in your very own wedding-day winter wonderland.

Steph Pringle, The Manor

Home is where the heart is

Home is where the heart is

Q Tell us how to plan a wedding sustainably.
A Rachel Leon says: We're glad to see more and more couples approaching their big days with sustainability in mind. Incorporating waste-reducing aspects in your wedding is a great place to start. From hiring key décor elements to utilising eco-friendly dried flowers, there are some fantastic ways to minimise on-the-day waste.

What's more, sourcing a venue and wedding suppliers close to home can also help to support the environment. Not only does this assist in reducing carbon emissions from travel for large wedding parties and suppliers, but it gives your big day its own local character.

Rachel Leon, The Manor at Greasby

Spring has sprung

Spring has sprung

Q This issue we asked the experts how to inject your wedding days with the spirit of spring.
A Julia Mutch says: We embrace the seasons here and following the frosty winter months, we welcome spring and the arrival of lighter days. Is there a better season to celebrate your wedding day? The Tithe Barn is set in a hundred acres of private parkland with wild meadows and enchanting woods for you to explore, so there are endless idyllic settings for beautiful photographs of your special day.

As the weather grows warmer and the grounds begin to come alive and burst into colour with bluebells, crocuses and daffodils. We associate the season with shades of purple, yellow and soft sage green – there are so many pretty blooms that you can perfectly incorporate into your springtime wedding décor.

Since the British weather can still be unpredictable, an indoor/ outdoor option is essential and a thoughtful idea is to provide a basket with blankets or shawls for guests in case conditions turn chilly. They could complement your colour palette and be tied with a pretty ribbon. Your guests will appreciate being able to stay cosy.

Spring is a beautiful season for colour palette inspiration, with fresh pastels that are so easily translated into pretty bridesmaids dresses, decorations, wedding stationery and table settings. It's a lovely idea to gift your centrepieces at the end of the evening to special guests allowing them to enjoy your big day for a little longer.

Julia Mutch, Meols Hall

Showered with love

Showered with love

Q This issue we asked the experts how to inject your wedding days with the spirit of spring.
A Event In A Tent says: Spring is all about new life. Every colour is brighter, and the grass is so much greener. With this in mind and in relation to outdoor venues, such as our tipis, it's the perfect time to dress every single beam with bright flowers and greenery. Foliage wrapped around the poles looks so beautiful and really sets off a springtime wedding. Adding centrepieces with spring flowers such as daffodils, hyacinths and irises also brings the vibrancy inside. Outside, plant pots and garden furniture lend themselves perfectly to the theme you've laid out within.

Clear spring days are great and ideally what you'd wish for on your wedding day, but if the April showers show up, they don't have to ruin your outdoor nuptials. Tipis are so versatile – if you planned to have it all open but feel this is too much of a risk at this time of year, you can opt for a clear extension. This lets all the light in to make sure your venue still feels bright and airy, but also keeps your guests nice and dry.

Event In A Tent, Hannah Mayo

Al fresco

Al fresco

Q What are your top trend predictions for 2023?
A Michelle Stubbs says: In 2023, we’re expecting to see more outdoor ceremonies. With the relaxation of wedding laws in England and Wales, couples are no longer required to marry beneath a permanent structure in a preregistered wedding venue, but are now permitted to hold their ceremony anywhere within the grounds of their licensed venue. So, we’re anticipating a lot of bookings for our surrounding 117-acre grounds.

When it comes to new wedding trends, we’re expecting to see a lot of mirrored aisles in the new year. They really are a beautiful addition to any wedding ceremony and reflect all the beautiful surroundings and scenery.

Don’t be surprised to see a lot of outfit changes from the bride too, as wedding wardrobes are also in for 2023. Hugely popular on TikTok, we can expect a fully-planned set of outfits taking us right from the engagement party right through to the honeymoon.

Michelle Stubbs, Delamere Manor

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Q What can we add to our barn-venue wedding celebration to give it a warm and cosy Christmas feel?
A Rachel Leon says: Taking inspiration from the sights and sounds of the season can make your winter reception shine. Achieve warmth with a rich feature colour in your décor, such as burgundy or forest green with glittering gold accents. Plus, nothing evokes rustic charm in a barn space like foliage to bring the outside in. Add some delicate mistletoe or eucalyptus to tables, or go all-out with a dazzling Christmas tree.

There's plenty of time to pop champagne throughout your big day, so why not offer the warmest welcome to your guests with a glass of mulled wine or a boozy hot chocolate on arrival?

The soundtrack to your celebration can elevate the occasion: an acoustic live act or playlist featuring romantic guitar covers of your favourite Christmas tunes is a subtle way to spread the festive cheer.

Once daylight gives way to the dark of a winter's evening, there's no better décor accent than candlelight. You don't have to be limited to adorning your tables either: floating tea lights from centrepieces and stacks of pillar candles around your reception will amplify the romance and warmth of your gathering.

Rachel Leon, The Manor

Please be seated

Please be seated

Q I've been putting off the seating plan as the thought terrifies me! Do you have any advice on making it work?
A Natalie Norman says: Though difficult to arrange, a formal seating chart can make things much simpler on the day, especially when it comes to serving your guests the right food. So, where do you start? First, check the tables and their arrangement. Most venues provide circular dining tables, but they do differ in size and capacity, so this will ultimately dictate your seating arrangement.

From here, you can begin grouping your guest list. Our advice would be to keep mixing to a minimum here. For example, if you have a group of friends from university, seat them together. Although you want people to mix and mingle, guests will feel much more comfortable if they're sat with at least a few familiar faces.

As far as positioning goes, etiquette states that you place close friends and family as near to the main wedding party table as possible. This is a way to show their importance and significance and will help special guests feel like a big part of your day.

When creating your seating plan we can't recommend a digital chart enough. Apps like WeddingWire, Wedding Mapper and AllSeated make it easy to plot your wedding breakfast with drag-and-drop functionality to rearrange guests until you've cracked it.

Natalie Norman, The Mere Golf Resort & Spa

Follow Your Cheshire & Merseyside Wedding Magazine on Instagram

VISIT SITE

Subscribe to Your Cheshire & Merseyside Wedding Magazine for free

VISIT SITE

Follow Your Cheshire & Merseyside Wedding Magazine on Facebook

VISIT SITE

Follow Your Cheshire & Merseyside Wedding Magazine on YouTube

VISIT SITE