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: Expert advice

Our experts solve your dilemmas

Wedding walkies

Wedding walkies

Q. How can I include my dog in our big day without it being a burden on my wedding party?

A. Rebecca Shalka says: More and more venues are realising the importance that our beloved pups have in our lives and so are becoming pet-friendly. It might not all be plain sailing though, which is where Adventure Tails' dog chaperone service comes in. We can support you in having your dream wedding, which of course includes your furry friend. We aim to take the pressure off of you and not impose on your guests so everyone can enjoy the day. Each event is totally personal to your requirements, but we can treat your pooch to:

❤ Pre-wedding meet and greet
❤ Wedding morning prep including exercise, grooming and dressing
❤ Full chaperone service for the day
❤ Transport to their overnight accommodation
❤ Help with doggy ring bearer duties
❤ Overnight stay pre- and post-wedding (depending on location)

A moment of calm

A moment of calm

Q. What are your top tips for staying relaxed in front of the camera?

A. Peter Carruthers says: Lots of couples are nervous about being in front of the lens. We help our brides and grooms to feel less conscious by creating a moment, rather than a pose.

We'll take you away from the action for a while and calm everything down. It's a great opportunity to have a few minutes together amid all the chaos and excitement to reflect on the day and realise it's all about you as a couple. We want you to be comfortable and enjoy spending time together so we can get some lovely laid-back images. Your day will be busy and it'll go really fast, so these moments are very important.

The ideal setting

The ideal setting

Q. What should I consider before I book my venue?

A. Fiona Thom says: Your venue will set the scene for your whole wedding, so it's important to make sure it ticks all your boxes. Here's a checklist of things to consider:

❤ What overall appearance do you want? Do you sway more towards a rustic barn, glamorous manor house or chilled-out marquee?

❤ What are the logistics of the day? Do you want a church or civil ceremony? Does the venue offer exclusive-use or will you be expected to share your day with other guests or wedding parties?

❤ Who are you inviting? Does your chosen setting have the capacity for all your loved ones?

❤ What's the availability? Do you have a specific date in mind such as a birthday or anniversary? Many places get booked up far in advance so check this before setting your heart on it.

❤ What do you want to eat? Can the venue offer the catering options you'd like?

❤ Where will you and your guests sleep? Can your chosen place accommodate everyone overnight and offer a breakfast in the morning?

❤ Are there lots of photo-ready spots? Will the grounds provide a romantic backdrop to capture the special moments of your day?

Picture perfect

Picture perfect

Q. We don't want to spend hours posing for photographs. How do we make sure that all of our loved ones are captured?

A. Anna Marie Cooper says: No one wants to waste precious time on their big day posing for endless photos, and most photographers would much rather be getting those fantastically natural moments of love and laughter.

Timing is key here. I tend to get quite involved in the running order and make sure we can fit all the great photo opportunities in. Up to two-and-a-half hours between your ceremony and reception is ideal so you can get a shot of everyone together as well as a number of pre-planned formal shots. Please note, these don't really have to be formal – why not have fun with them and show your personalities? I'd also recommend planning in time to chat with your friends and family so I can get those candid moments. A team of two shooters really helps to make the most of this time.

I love to capture unposed shots of the newlyweds. Ask your photographer to plan these around pretty spots at your venue and work out times to get the best light. Finally, make sure you choose a professional who values the same things as you. For me, it's the laughs, looks and quiet moments that should be filling your album.

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.

Hatfield Place
Best Western Ivy Hill
Prested Hall Ltd
Pontlands Park Hotel