Ask the experts

Here is a selection of Q&As from An Essex 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

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

Hot topic: Keep calm and marry on: Advice from local experts

Local experts offer stellar advice on wedding woes

Don't sweat the small stuff

Q. My husband-to-be suffers with anxiety and although we're only tying the knot in front of a few of our nearest and dearest, the thought of posing for our big-day album has sent him into a tizz. How do I find a photographer who will put him at ease?

A. Adam Prescott says: Finding a professional photographer will be key, as they'll have many photo shoots under their belt and will be able to adapt their approach to help you. Ideally, I'd be looking for a photographer who specialises in documentary or reportage style photography, where they capture the day without you really noticing they're present – try to keep any formal shots to a minimum. Opt for a more natural approach catching you as you interact with your guests.

You'll soon know upon contacting your supplier if they're going to be the right fit for you both, take the time and look at their portfolio – especially if they do other forms of photography other than weddings as this shows a wider set of skills and the ability to adapt to different situations.

Also discuss the little things that will help to put him at ease like, does the photographer use a silent camera during the service? What will they be wearing, as you want them to blend in as a guest and not stand out! Also, don't be tempted to ask a friend to do your photos as this invariably ends in tears.

Pretty as a picture

Pretty as a picture

Q. We're looking for a photographer for our nuptials and have no idea where to start. How can I ensure they're professional and what type of questions should I be asking them before making a decision?

A. Anna Marie Cooper says: When searching for your photographer, it's really important to meet them, and to see their albums.

You can find people initially by asking friends or venues for recommendations, looking in magazines, like this one, or by searching the web. Just remember the photographer's website is a showcase of their best images, but you can't tell if they're the right fit just from that. When you meet them, you should be looking for:

- TRUST You'll spend a lot of time with your photographer on the day. They should be personable and calm. Are they trying to understand who you are and what is important to you?

- STYLE How do their images look and feel? Are they posed or natural? Personally, I think it is important to capture a balance of the two, that way you're really capturing the story and get people looking their best. You must ask yourself if you like a posed or natural look? Is this photographer a good fit for your choice? Will they take your ideas onboard?

- EXPERIENCE Ask them how they handle difficult weather or light. Do they have a variety of albums with a good number of images in? Have they shown you enough to know they're reputable, and can handle your day with ease?

- BUDGET Some photographers offer albums, digital prints, or a mixture of the pair. I'd steer away from purely digitals as I know too many people that still have their wedding day sat on a USB. A beautifully captured story in an album is something to be treasured and can pick you up on a grey day.

Decide what you both want at the end of the day? I've never heard one regret from couples that receive a stunning album.

Good luck! There's lots of help out there to get you started!

Delectable delights

Delectable delights

Q. My wife-to-be and I want to marry during the festive season but the idea of a three-course roast fills us with dread. What other food options do we have?

A. Anna-Maria Hawke says: So, you're planning your big day during the dark winter months. Have you thought about incorporating festive flavours? How about seasonal Pimm's served in champagne saucers Audrey Hepburn-style for your welcome drinks or a decadent Earl Grey Martini? For a Christmassy flavour opt for cinnamon scones and clementine possets to complement your afternoon tea.

Very Vintage Tea Party brings together vintage styling and afternoon tea to your special day, everything is baked, prepared and hosted by our fabulous team – leaving you to enjoy your special day.

Fiesta forever

Fiesta forever

Q. My soon-to-be wife and I are real adrenaline junkies and want to plan the perfect action-packed honeymoon to celebrate our nuptials. What would you recommend?

A. Richard Cope says: Why not become a rockstar at the luxury all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya, Mexico? When it comes to watersports the area boasts a beautiful coastline for snorkelling, diving and submarine tours, or you can take jet boats down the serene surrounding rivers. Feel like James Bond while soaring over lagoons in jet skis and jet packs, zip lining over lakes and jungle, or even swim in striking underground rivers. There are numerous water and adventure parks to check out too. Or, if desire a much needed pamper to your vacation then the resort features a luxury spa on-site.

If you have any energy left, I'd suggest a visit to Woodward which is minutes from your hotel, it specialises in lifestyle sports such as BMX biking, skateboarding, scooters and Parkour. Plus, there's also long drops for skateboarding and skiing as well. Then there's the unmissable 12-section Ninja Obstacle Course. Mexico is largely unaffected by hurricane season but if that's a concern we can take you to Dubai where there's just as much adventure.

As a personal travel consultant, I meet with and visit many suppliers, resorts and leading hotels across the globe to build relationships and know my clients will get the very best and most individual service available.

Top of the trends

Top of the trends

Q. I'm quite trend-driven and really want to wow my guests with a gorgeous bouquet and floral displays at my nuptials – what's going to be big in 2019 floristry?

A. Alice Thomas-Scrine says: Ivory and blush blooms paired with foliage have undoubtedly been the main trend for 2018 and will continue to shine in 2019. However, bold tones, daring pairings and mix 'n' matched palettes will be a definite feature in next year's weddings too.

Neutral, classic hues supported by an array of lively tones defines the spring and summer seasons, the colour pop is usually following Pantone Colour Institute Colour of The Year. Predicting a scattering of reds, blues and oranges to add depth and romance to a bouquet with an introduction of more tropical plants such as the South African protea flower.

Arrangements are going to lean towards low floral centrepieces, with opaque grey and concrete containers becoming a firm favourite. The unforgettable floral arch at Meghan and Harry's wedding is definitely inspiration for a statement piece, as will hanging flower hoops to add that extra wow-factor to the big day.

Our on-line advertisers

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 An Essex Wedding when making any enquiries.

Signature Wedding Show - The Brentwood Centre
Hatfield Place
Prested Hall Ltd
The Warren Golf and Country Club