EXPERT ADVICE

FAQs and expert advice about wedding planning

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

The Beauty of Nature

The Beauty of Nature

Q What are your top tips for planning an outdoor wedding?
A Melissa Cullen says: Probably the biggest challenge you'll face when planning an al fresco wedding is – all together now – the weather! But if you plan, plan, and plan some more, you'll find ways around it while still having the best open-air celebration you could wish for.

Make sure everyone's adequately informed. When you send out your invitations, make sure you're clear on which parts of your day will be celebrated outside so that guests know to make their own arrangements in terms of attire and protection. Keep an open line of communication with your suppliers too, and collaborate with them on wet-weather backup plans. For example, at what point will you be prepared to make the decision to take it all inside? Who is going to be responsible for moving the whole shebang?

Check on the access to your venue. If you're tying the knot in a field, is there parking nearby? Are there accessible roads and paths to get to you? If not, think about how you can overcome these challenges. Perhaps you need to lay on extra transport from a local car park, for example. Also, think about accessibility from the point of view of any less able-bodied guests you may have coming.

Sound tends to drift away in the open air, so make sure you have all the tech in place to ensure everyone can hear you as you say, 'I do.' You'll also need to check with the venue whether there are any restrictions on late-night music, as you don't want to disturb the local wildlife or residents! Also on the tech front, do you have all of the creature comforts in place, such as loos and generators?

Have a think about what cover you want to provide for you and your guests. This is, of course, crucial for the comfort of all, not only in terms of wet weather protection but also from the sun – we've had some scorchers in recent years. Once you've settled on a vibe for your nuptials, this should all become clear. An elegant, lined marquee is ideal for a classic wedding, whereas a tipi is the perfect choice for a boho or rustic vibe.

When it comes to styling, really take a look at your setting and plan ways in which you can complement it with your theme. Nature can do an incredible amount of heavy lifting on this front if you strive to work with it rather than against it.

Melissa Cullen, Your East Anglian Wedding

Seasonal style

Seasonal style

Q We're getting married in the autumn and want to reflect the season in the look and feel of our wedding – what would you suggest?
A Valerie King says: Following the long hot summer, we've been looking forward to the bright clear skies and beautiful vibrant, rich earthy tones of autumn. It's a great season for weddings providing a wealth of natural material for the big-day styling. Here's a few ideas to help inspire you:

- For your colour palette choose tones which reflect the natural seasonal changes, with accents of golden yellow, terracotta, burnt orange, bronze, deep red, russet brown and warm green.

- As the evenings draw in, create ambience with glowing candlelight and fairylights throughout your venue. Using brass or copper lanterns and candleholders works beautifully with a warm colour palette and weaving fairylights through trees is a fabulous way to illuminate the changing colours of the autumn leaves.

- For your ceremony décor use bold backdrops with autumnal floral installations and coloured muslin or cheesecloth drapes. Decorate the aisle with lanterns and vintage rugs in red and orange tones and include some beautiful handwritten signage on reclaimed wood as a lovely personal touch to welcome your guests.

- Fill copper and brass urns with seasonal or dried flowers in warm tones with vibrant pops of colour. For a harvest theme, wheat sheaves, dried oats, poppy heads, dried ferns, and grasses will add extra texture to your floral arrangements. Make the most of the displays by reusing them after the ceremony to decorate the reception.

- For the table styling incorporating brown glass apothecary vases or stoneware ones to display vibrant autumn florals provides a striking contrast. Dinner candles in warm accent colours such as orange, ochre and rich red, look incredible paired with cheesecloth or linen table runners and napkins in complementary tones.

- Bring the outdoors in by adding natural elements from your surroundings. Forage and gather dried leaves, pine cones, acorns and seasonal fruit to add a natural warm hue to the table décor and place settings.

- Add a textured element to your table plans and place cards by using paper made from recycled material and eco-friendly fibres or seeds with the addition of beautiful handwritten calligraphy to impress your guests.

- Include rustic elements like hay bales, baskets and vintage crates filled with apples and pears and a variety of pumpkins and squashes to add depth of colour and texture to your venue styling.

- Create a cosy and inviting chill-out area for your guests using vintage cane furniture or velvet sofas with warm throws, vintage rugs and cushions in orange, russet, red and yellow tones.

- It's the season for fires, hot punch and toasting marshmallows, so to keep your guests cosy while they're outside, provide baskets filled with blankets to snuggle up in.

Valerie King, Samphire Vintage Props

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