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Ask the experts

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your East Anglian 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@youreastanglian.wedding

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

Hot topic: Newly engaged couples

Local experts share their top tips for newly engaged couples

Winter warmers

Winter warmers

Q. We've just got engaged and want to get married in December 2020 as Christmas is our favourite time of year. What special touches can we add to our wedding to give the day a festive feel?

A. Katie and Bethany says: Katie and Bethany suggest:

❤ As alternatives to traditional reception drinks, give your guests that warming feeling with a glass of Sloe Royale, mulled local cider and wine or an Amaretto Fizz. And for a non-alcoholic option how about a cucumber and ginger mocktail or mulled apple juice?

❤ Opt for a Christmas-themed menu with turkey, lamb or beef for a seasonal carve-your-own roast to get your family and friends involved.

❤ Liaise with your venue about decorations. Some, like Bruisyard Country Estate, provide a Christmas tree and can work with you to create a magical festive feel with festoon or fairylights.

❤ Make your wedding cake the ultimate seasonal centrepiece with gingerbread houses or a traditional Christmas cake.

❤ An outdoor firepit is a great way to keep your guests toasty if you're venturing outside for photos or fireworks, you can even bring your own cosy blankets to hand out.

❤ If you're planning to stay over for a wedding weekend, a working open fireplace is great for gathering around for a cosy atmosphere, as well as plenty of grounds for bracing walks and space to kick off your wellies.

Light up the sky

Light up the sky

Q. My fiancé proposed on bonfire night so we really want a fireworks display for our wedding but we're not sure how to go about it to ensure maximum wow factor.

A. Vanessa White says: Vanessa says: Fireworks are a way of making your day stand out and the best way to achieve this is to use professionals. Look for experts that specialise in design artistry using the latest ranges of pastel shades and unusual colours, complemented by new effects like swirling flowers alongside old favourites to delight your guests. Choreography is key, filling the sky with patterns and layers, like a colourful rainbow arch or a loud whistle and crackle to make everyone jump. You can even take it to the next level and personalise your display with your initials lit up in a display.

First and foremost, check that your chosen venue allows fireworks. Some will only permit low-noise displays, which can be just as stunning. The cost doesn't have to be scary either. An evening display needs last no longer than five minutes to give you a spectacular finale. Shows can be designed to suit you and your budget and it doesn't have to be complicated to arrange. After getting in touch, setting a budget and sharing your ideas, we do the rest, from site visits, risk assessment, liaising with the venue, design firing and clearing up afterwards.

Ideally book a year in advance, especially if you're getting married in the peak summer season in order to allow time to visit the site, discuss your design ideas and how best to bring them to life. That said, we've turned around a display in a matter of weeks for a last-minute request.

Five-point plan

Five-point plan

Q. I said 'yes', what now?!!

A. Caroline Gould and Victoria Ewing says: Caroline and Victoria say: Firstly congratulations, you're about to embark on an exciting journey planning your wedding. Here's our top tips to help get you started:

1. Set a realistic budget
You may have already put money aside for your special day, now is the time to think about how much you feel is reasonable to spend on all the different elements and keep at least five per cent back as a contingency. It may also be worth setting up a dedicated bank account for your savings. If you set your budget right from the start, it will be much easier to stick to.

2. Draft a guest list
It's difficult to book a venue (and ultimately set a date) if you don't know how many people you want to invite. Some venues may only be licensed for a limited number and you don't want to cram everyone in. Likewise, you wouldn't want 60 guests to be lost in a room big enough for 300.

3. Must haves
You'll both have ideas on what you want for your wedding day. Now is the time to talk and agree on a few 'must haves'; things that are important to you both so you can prioritise.

4. The theme
The best way to pick your theme is to scour bridal magazines and research online for inspiration. Start collecting pictures of the things you like, don't worry whether they match or not. Create files of your favourite cakes, dresses, flowers, colours and other details. Once you've started to build a collection, a theme will soon start to emerge naturally.

5. Get help
Planning the big day is a LOT of work, you'll need some help either from a professional wedding planner or friends and family. So assemble your wedding team now and spread the workload.

One final bonus tip! Communication is key, if you don't tell your suppliers what you want, they can't provide it. Be up front and clear about your budget and do your research to find the right suppliers for you.

With this ring

With this ring

Q. I'm planning to propose to my partner on Christmas Eve and want it to be a surprise. I've no idea what kind of ring to choose, what size to get or how to go about it, without giving the game away.

A. Laurie McGrath says: Laurie says: A surprise proposal is a wonderfully romantic thing to do. However, if you're considering a bespoke engagement ring it's not always a good idea to create a one-off piece without your other half being involved; after all they have to wear it every day!

We have a great solution for this dilemma, our 'Proposal in a Box'. For a small deposit, you receive a beautiful presentation box with handwritten cards inside showing your consultation date, your jewellery designer and even suggestions of places to stay over if you want to make a weekend of it. We may have already hand-drawn a sketch to start off your design or sold you a beautiful gemstone, which can all go in the box too. Then once you've popped the question, you and your partner can start your newly engaged life by designing your own bespoke engagement ring together.