Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Glos & Wilts Wedding magazine. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to email@example.com.
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Our regional experts talk big-day tips and Christmas weddings
Q. We love the idea of having a magical marquee wedding at Christmas. Are they winter venue choices? Do you have any practical advice and ideas for styling them?
A. Charles Early says: During winter, when it's dark outside, the important thing is to create a cosy atmosphere for your wedding and guests, and marquees provide just that. The first requirement is that the space is kept warm. Indirect marquee heaters placed outside the tent will blow warm air under the sidewalls to circulate into the guest space. These heaters are controlled by a thermostat, prompting them to turn on when the temperature drops below the required level. Multiple smaller heaters are preferred more than the larger units because they are less noisy.
The next most important element is using lights to create a magical atmosphere. Up lighters are best for background light, while fairylights, lanterns and strings of festoon lighting are used for effect. If the tent is lined (which will provide added insulation), then a light colour lining will help to enhance the lighting easier than a dark interior. A darker feel will look effective dressed with a starcloth twinkling across the ceiling and spotlights highlighting the table centrepieces, floral arrangements and other key features.
Consider the entrance to the marquee. A porch is a good idea, particularly if it's enclosed, meaning guests will be spared icy blasts whenever someone enters or leaves the tent. A hard floor will provide some insulation from the ground, which may be waterlogged or frosty, and it's important to provide space and facilities for coats, umbrellas and even wellington boots!
Q. I'm about to start planning my wedding and want a large affair. Can you offer me any advice before I start?
A. Julia Sibun says: ♥ When you first start planning your wedding day, sit down together (with both sets of parents if they're contributing towards the day) to work out your budget before you start to book suppliers. Try to be realistic and stick to it during the planning stage. If your parents are contributing, be mindful that you may need to ask for their input from time to time!
♥ A wedding planner can take the stress out of the day for you by coordinating and overseeing the various suppliers and contractors, as well as being responsible for the timing on the day, leaving you to completely enjoy it without any worry, stress or responsibility.
♥ When planning, don't ask too many people for their opinions, as sometimes this can become confusing and may blur your vision on what you would both like for the day.
♥ Always be honest with your choices and decisions because it's your one and only wedding day, so it's important that it reflects your personality and ideas.
♥ Send out your invitations earlier than you think you need to because guests need plenty of notice, and always give an RSVP date that's earlier than you need it by – some guests will need to be chased for their replies!
♥ Key items to book first are your church, venue, photographer, wedding dress, catering (including the bar) and then your entertainment.
♥ A good way to consider selecting your suppliers is to chat to friends who have recently married for their recommendations, and don't forget to task those suppliers to recommend people that they have worked alongside. Often, a small network of suppliers all work together extremely well, which can achieve excellent results as they know how each other operate.
♥ Always ensure that your band arrives, sets up and sound tests in good time before your guests arrive at the reception so that they have a surprise when first hearing them and have not been disturbed during the reception.
♥ Be prepared for the unexpected because arrangements may not always go to plan, but always try to relax because your guests are there to be with you, enjoy your day and are completely unaware of any small hitches!
♥ Don't forget to allocate the flower table arrangements to family and friends at the end of the evening a lovely surprise to take home with them!
♥ Brides are told, and it's true, that the day passes very quickly. It's so important to enjoy every moment and to not rush it. Give yourself plenty of time for the ceremony, reception and party. A good photographer will always record all those wonderful moments that you may miss!