FAQs and expert advice about venue styling

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 way forward

The way forward

Q. We've postponed our wedding until next year due to Covid and are wondering what trends and influences are likely to be around then.

A. Valerie King says: Valerie says: The pandemic has certainly had a tremendous impact on weddings and influenced couples expectations causing a shift in tradition. We have seen a significant move towards more intimate personalised ceremonies and micro weddings, along with growing love for celebrating outdoors with close family and friends. Although the crisis inflicted significant restrictions on weddings, it also inspired many couples to break free from some traditions to concentrate on what's really important to them and their big day. With an increasing focus on sustainability, more than ever people are mindful of their impact on the environment, reducing waste, keeping costs down and the importance of making responsible decisions. This had led to rising demand for eco-friendly wedding planning and styling which can still be beautiful and glamourous. Here are a few tips on how to incorporate green credentials into your décor and table styling.

- Avoid single-use products and plastic that's harmful to the environment and local wildlife.

- Hire your decorations, table and glassware from a wedding supplier or stylist. It's cheaper than buying your own and encourages a culture of re-use.

- Use vintage, preloved and reclaimed props such as old vases and bottles. Stoneware, copper and brass vessels look wonderful dotted around the venue tables.

- For cosy corners and chill-out areas think cane furniture and low-level pallet tables made from reclaimed wood with rugs, comfy pouffes and cushions, great for relaxed outdoor weddings at tipi, barn and marquee venues.

- Save energy and set the scene with romantic candlelight using lanterns, vintage brass or cut-glass candlesticks, or recycled glass jars with non-toxic natural beeswax or soy candles. Don't forget to check with your venue first though to see if they allow real candles.

- Dress your venue with handmade decorations including macrame and bunting made from cotton or vintage fabric. Ribbons in your wedding colours look great too and can be used again after the wedding.

- For the tables natural hessian, cheesecloth or linen runners and napkins will set off your tableware beautifully and can be hired through event décor and other suppliers.

- For the flowers there are many eco-friendly options such as choosing a local sustainable florist, who uses seasonal flowers, foraged greenery or dried flowers in plastic foam-free arrangements. Succulents and plants are another great option and you can always donate your flowers to a residential care home or hospice afterwards and brighten someone else's day.

We created this intimate, sustainable tablescape with local artisan florists Daphne and Doreen Flower Studio (www.daphneanddoreen.co.uk) who provided the stunning floral urn arrangements and beautiful hanging ribbons with tulips. The soft peachy blush colour of the cheesecloth table runner and muslin gauze napkins was achieved by hand-dying the fabric with leftover avocado pits and skins.

Valerie King,Samphire Vintage Props


Going green

Going green

Q. We're still not sure what time of year we'll be getting married so it's hard to picture the décor and special features. We know we want our day to be as eco-friendly as possible and big on wow factor – any suggestions?

A. Sue Huckle says: Sue says: During these testing times I've been doing a lot of reflection and have been reminded of the importance of eco-credentials and the sustainability of the things we surround ourselves with, both in our everyday lives and all the important milestones in life such as weddings. Our range of posh plants is ideal for decorating all kinds of venues from castles and halls to marquees and barns! With beautiful real bay trees, spirals and olive trees, as well as faux blossom trees available to hire, it's an eco-friendly way of transforming a space without breaking the bank and with only a tiny carbon footprint. The trees adorn the venue and are then brought back to the nursery to live on until the next wedding! The deep green of the bay trees and the blue-grey of the olives provide a timeless elegance whatever the season and transcend fashion and trends by offering the beauty of nature.

Sue Huckle,Posh Plants


To theme, or not to theme

To theme, or not to theme

Q. We've just started planning our wedding and already I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. There's so much to choose from, it's hard to stick to a specific theme and I've found myself falling in love with lots of different things. How can we link it all together?

A. Antony Lamb says: Antony says: Above all it's important to be you and to be comfortable with your choices. It's your day, for you to enjoy. Guests will get more out of the wedding if it reflects you as a couple rather than fitting in with any set theme or trend. Sustainability is going to be big for weddings next year and you can incorporate this into your day, as much or as little as you like. We've seen a huge uptake in people hiring larger items such as games and furniture made from sustainable materials and by hiring you're not adding plastic and other items to landfill that have only been used on the day. We've also seen a rise in demand for wedding props to hire made from natural materials like wood, cotton and hessian.

Antony Lamb,Vintage Partyware


Spring fever

Spring fever

Q. What special touches can we add to our spring wedding next year to reflect the season?

A. Briony De’Ath says: Briony says: There's a whole range of things you can do throughout your celebration, not just with the decorative details but the wedding breakfast too. Here are just some ideas to get you thinking:

- The food Think about serving your guests lighter dishes and make the most of all the new vegetables coming into season. Spring greens, Savoy cabbage and spinach make for a splash of colour on the plate and taste amazing. You could also consider a dessert table in place of a traditional option and go to town decorating it with fresh petals and herbs such as sorrel and basil which complement sweet courses surprisingly well!

- The venue styling As spring heralds the beginning of the growing period any touches which remind your guests of the beauty of nature are always a good idea. Flower walls, either real or silk ones, provide a wonderful backdrop for your photos and will evoke the season. You can also create a beautiful effect with your wedding cake.We've seen wonderful creations featuring either fresh seasonal flowers or the most realistic sugar versions. You'll also have the benefit of not only slightly lighter nights but also sunset during the early evening, so make the most of it for romantic photos. Some of our couples have had wonderful golden-hour shots taken on the meadows behind the barn. Once the sun has gone done fairylights and lanterns outside also make for fantastically dramatic photos at night.

- Colour palettes Pastels, fresh green tones and pops of clear, bright colours typify a spring wedding. Source local seasonal flowers, there are a wealth of British-grown varieties starting to appear at this time of year. We find the natural and neutral tones of the beautiful old wood and brickwork at Hales Hall are the perfect backdrop for a soft palette. You can also easily work some delicate shades into your scheme using pastel-coloured linen table napkins.

Briony De’Ath,Hales Hall, Norfolk


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.

Katie and Bethany


Bringing the outside in

Bringing the outside in

Q. We want to include lots of natural touches and decorative details to reflect the season for our October wedding. Any ideas?

A. Jo Pywell says: Jo says: I love natural and simple styling and for me it's all about the detail. Autumn is the perfect time of year to be inspired by what's all around us, especially the wonderfully rich colour palettes with gold, burgundy and burnt orange tones which all look stunning for a seasonal tablescape.

Bring the outside in and make use of what nature has to offer. Our countryside, forests and woodland areas are full of rich pickings – and all for free! Acorns sprayed gold look great scattered in among your floral arrangements. Fern works well too when it turns that gorgeous golden brown colour and adds extra interest and texture too.

Candlelight always creates a sense of romance so go all out, if your venue allows. Brass candle holders, copper and metallic details reflect the light beautifully and log slices create a lovely natural rustic vibe for your table setting, especially on long trestle tables. Willow hoops decorated with fairylights and trailing ivy are always a winner for filling any blank empty spaces at your venue. Add some ribbon or a few flowers for extra impact and just have fun using nature for inspiration.

Jo Pywell


Seasonal shades

Seasonal shades

Q. Autumn is our favourite time of year and we want our wedding to reflect all the warmth and colour of the season. What would you suggest?

A. Vanessa Harness says: Vanessa says: Autumn is a great time to be bold with your colours. You don't have to stick to orange, yellow and green, think rich, deep, bold tones. The daylight hours are shorter and it's darker outside, so use colour to accent your wedding and bring the outside elements in using foliage and berries.

- Try deep plum, dusky and neutral pink shades with lots of foliage in varying colours to add depth and texture, creating interest in a variety of different displays from bouquets to entrance archways and table centrepieces.

- Autumn is generally a season for warmer tones which can be reflected in your bridalwear by opting for softer shades instead of bright white and adding gold accents to details like the stationery or tableware.

- Use interior lighting and uplighters to give your venue a welcoming atmosphere. Combined with candlelight it creates a feeling of warmth and intimacy and is a great way of making a large space feel cosier.

- When it comes to the table design, coloured glassware works well with gold cutlery or gold glass vases as low centrepieces.

- If your venue allows, coloured taper candles are also great for adding height, colour and interest to your tables or cake display.

Vanessa Harness

When it's time for you look for local businesses to help you with your wedding, take a look at our advertisements below. Most will have links to their own websites. These advertisements are updated regularly so please revisit often and mention Your East Anglian Wedding when making any enquiries.

Kings Lynn Town Hall
MJR Events
Outdoor 365 Group