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 editor@anessex.wedding

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

Hot topic: Wedding woes

Local experts offer stellar advice on wedding woes.

Capture this

Capture this

Q. I really want to capture our big day on video but my husband is convinced that there's no need to hire anyone as his uncle has a camcorder. What would you advise I do?

A. Andy Coultrup says: Your wedding is a day that deserves to be remembered in fine detail – just think of all the effort you, your partner and your families have put into making sure it's absolutely perfect.

There's a lot to take into consideration – the venue, decorations, flowers, bridal party attire, the dress, hair and make-up, and the groom. I'm sure you'll agree it's a lot to remember to the untrained wedding mind.

In this day and age everybody is able to make videos, either with their smart phones or small cameras, so it's very easy to believe a friend or relative can film the best day of your life. However, this would be a mistake for a number of reasons:

❤ One camera with limited battery life A videographer will have a minimum of three devices on the day, with multiple batteries to ensure no moment is missed. Filming with multiple cameras provides better coverage, more editing options and most importantly a back-up should anything unexpected happen.

❤ Poor sound A professional will carry expensive pro audio equipment, again having multiple options and back-ups. Sound is possibly the most important part of any wedding film as well as the most difficult part to get right – don't let an uncle's bad cough or the cry of a young guest spoil your magical memory.

❤ Editing Video edit software is not cheap, and the time and training that goes into understanding the full power of it can take years to master. By hiring a videographer, you're not only paying for the safe filming on your day but also the creative art and skill they have trained for.

❤ A wedding videographer may not be as costly as you think. If you didn't add a videographer to your wedding budget list because you thought it might cost a lot, then be sure to re-consider your options. Shop around, contact videographers to find out what you can get for your money and be sure to compare prices depending on how long you'd like them to stay during the wedding – you may find yourselves pleasantly surprised.

Snap decision

Snap decision

Q. My wife and I can't decide on the type of photography we want for our wedding and need to book a professional ASAP. What do you advise?

A. Ayshea Goldberg says: My advice is to do a little homework first – find out if there are any wedding fairs in your area coming up and go along to them. Meet all the photographers there and look through their sample albums to see what shooting, posing and editing styles they use. Ask questions and let them explain what they do and their approach. If there aren't any fairs in your local area, then do some research online, looking at different professionals and the styles that they have in their portfolio. Following photographers on Instagram is also a great idea.

Then I'd suggest setting up meetings with a couple of photographers to sit down and chat properly. Ask in more detail about their styles and get them to explain any terminology that isn't clear to you – we're happy to explain what we mean by reportage and fine art. We'll talk you through how we achieve our images and you'll be able to decide if that fits with your desired result. By looking at complete wedding albums you'll be able to see how a style flows and whether it works for you.

Weather dependant

Weather dependant

Q. My husband-to-be and I are planning an al fresco wedding in the spring. With the British weather being so unpredictable should we have a contingency plan in place incase there is a down pour?

A. Victoria Vince says: Yes, we'd always recommend a back-up plan, as with the good old English weather you never know what is going to happen!

At Braxted Park, we can cater for both inside and outside weddings, so you'll have a picturesque setting for your ceremony come rain or shine. The idyllic Knott Garden is the perfect spot for al fresco nuptials, surrounded by spring blooms and plenty of colour from the flowerbeds. Should you decide to exchange your vows indoors, the Orangery is full of elegance and character, offering wonderful views of the gardens and a truly romantic place to say your 'I dos'.

Our glass-sided Pavilion, situated within the beautiful Walled Garden, really does bring the outside in. Overlooking the vibrant gardens and impressive water features, it's the ideal spot for your reception at any time of year.

I do, I do, I do

I do, I do, I do

Q. My wife-to-be and I are looking for a bespoke ceremony that reflects us but we're not sure what options are available. What would you recommend?

A. Shelley Bell says: Being engaged is an exciting time, but it can also be really daunting. Like you, lots of my couples are looking to get away from what's become the norm.

American poet, Maya Angelou once said, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This is something I hold at the core of everything I do.

I love my job as a celebrant and I'm lucky that I get to work with some really fantastic venues and suppliers, all of whom want you to have the wedding day you've always imagined.

I like to spend time getting to know couples over a cup of coffee or two, so we work out what is important to you for your ceremony. Together, we can build a plan and I can even direct you to professionals who have looked after my previous clients with everything from tables and chairs to gin bars and tight rope walkers.

If you want to get married dressed as hedgehogs or have your ceremony on the Hogwarts Express, I say, bring it on! If you're looking to have your ceremony with just the two of you on a secluded beach with your dogs as ring bearers, that's ok too. For me, it's all about making your big day into your best day and I'm always honoured to be able to help any couple achieve that.

If you want to involve friends and family members, pets, hymns, prayers or excerpts from your favourite songs, it can be made a reality – if it's really important to you that aunty Marjorie is there to play a violin solo during the evening, then let's work together with the venue on a twilight ceremony. The options really are endless.

Beautifully in bloom

Beautifully in bloom

Q. My husband-to-be and I are tying the knot on Valentine's Day and have no idea how to decorate our village hall venue. What would you suggest?

A. Joanna Brown says: Village halls are fantastic as you're starting with a blank canvas, so the clever use of flowers can make them look stunning. If you're having long tables then I'd opt for garlands of foliage running along the centre with small vases full of pretty flowers and lots of candles threaded through – it's still the winter season so it's a great way to add a little romance of the occasion.

Just because it's Valentine's you don't have to choose the traditional blooms, especially as prices will be at a premium, instead mix some red tones in with pinks, blues and ivory with lots of seasonal foliage and berries to give a rich luxurious look. For added wow factor, fairylights or candles will leave the space looking gorgeous.

Village halls can often be very quirky so highlight these areas by adding foliage and lanterns along window ledges or wrapping beams with bunting and lights.

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.

Pontlands Park Hotel
Orsett Hall
Signature Wedding Show - The Brentwood Centre
Hatfield Place