Expert advice about wedding planning

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your South Wales 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


Planning SOS

Planning SOS

Q. Our wedding was postponed due to COVID-19, and we're feeling overwhelmed by the idea of replanning everything. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Vanessa Shipman says: It's a deflating feeling to have carefully planned and organised everything to then have it cancelled. I feel for all the couple that have been affected this year. My best advice would be to try and see the extra planning time as a bonus.

You've already done the hard work of choosing the perfect venue and suppliers, the real challenge now is the admin involved in rescheduling to a date that works for everyone. I won't lie, this can be quite a juggling act, but it's possible to streamline the process. The first step is focusing on your venue. Find out asap what dates they have available, then send out a blanket email to all your suppliers with the various options (remember to include your key guests). Fingers crossed there will be a date that works for everyone but have a plan B in mind just in case.

If it all feels too overwhelming, there are wedding planners across the country who will be more than happy to take care of this for you.

Vanessa Shipman,TogetherNess


Planned to perfection

Planned to perfection

Q. My wife-to-be and I are getting married next spring, and the only thing we've booked is our venue. What should we book next, and how do we know a supplier is trustworthy?

A. Zoë Marie Binning says: If you've already booked your venue, hopefully, you'll have thought about the sort of day you want and how much you're prepared to spend. With the average wedding costing upwards of £20K, you need to make sure that you're prioritising, especially if you're on a tight budget.
- Half of your budget will go on your venue, food and drink, so make sure you're keeping enough aside for everything else.
- The best suppliers can get booked up quickly, so it's important to be organised.
- Photographers should come first. Make sure you meet a few and go with someone you feel super comfortable with.
- Flowers are central to making your day look amazing, so that should be your next priority. Again, meet a few and go with a supplier who understands your vision and inspires you with ideas.
- Next, go and see cake makers. Your big-day bake will be a focal point for your theme, and the tasting session is one of the best parts of planning.
- Always do your research! Ask for testimonials, check out their feedback on social media and don't book the first company you come across.
- My podcast The Icing on the Cake will guide you through the planning process step-by-step, making sure you ask the right questions and consider everything before committing.

Zoë Marie Binning


Walking in a winter wonderland

Walking in a winter wonderland

Q. We're having a Christmas-themed wedding, but we're not sure where to start with the planning process. Do you have any ideas?

A. Jennifer Holdway says: - Set your budget: Establish what you want from the day and how much you want to realistically spend. Once you've decided on an amount, stick to it.
- Pick a style: Create a moodboard, joint Pinterest account, or purchase a scrapbook. Once you've gathered enough images, you'll start to notice a pattern of particular colours or styles you both like.
- Theme: Look for silvers, golds or deep shades of blue and green. Once you've picked a hue, it will make choosing suppliers a lot easier.
- Venue selection: Venues charge more at Christmas and are often booked well in advance, so you'll need to be flexible with dates or book a year or more in advance. Be prepared that churches will be unavailable if you want to get married on Christmas Day and your guests may have other commitments.
- Time of day: Catering for breakfast and lunch tends to be cheaper than dinner. The time of day will also impact your photographs. Talk to your photographer before the big-day and explain what you'd like to capture in your pictures.
- Invitations: Send festive-themed invitations at least three to six months before your wedding and save-the-dates as soon as you've secured a venue.
- Legal requirements: If you're getting married in the UK, then you'll need to give notice at your local registry office at least 29 days before.
- Bridal party: You may already know who you want in your bridal party. If not, don't feel pressured into making a decision. The role requires those selected to support you in the run-up to and on the wedding, so think carefully about who you want to fulfil the position.
- Guest list: Just because you invite someone to the ceremony, doesn't mean they have to come to the reception and vice versa. You'll also need to decide if you want your guests to bring a plus one or children.
- Suppliers: Ask your venue if they have any recommended suppliers or engage the services of a wedding planner to help. Don't book the first supplier you come across. Compare prices and do your research before booking.

Jennifer Holdway


An al fresco celebration

An al fresco celebration

Q. We're planning to have an outdoor celebration, but I'm not sure where to start. Do you have any ideas?

A. Bethan Davies says: - Outdoor weddings are becoming more popular in the UK. Begin by creating a wish list. Jot down all the things you'd like to include such as props, catering, styling, rings and attire. Then decide on a budget. Sit down with your family and work out how much you want to spend on each area.

- If you want an informal meal, look at hog roasts, barbecues or fish and chips.

- Be creative with the space, and fill it with games, lights and lanterns.

- Look at country manors surrounded by beautiful woodland. The trees can be used to hang fairylights to create a magical setting.

- Don't forget to have a backup plan in case of bad weather!

Bethan Davies

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 South Wales Wedding when making any enquiries.

Llancaiach Fawr Manor
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Llancaiach Fawr Manor
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