Ask the experts

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your North East 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@yournortheast.wedding

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

Hot topic: Wedding woes

Unsure on etiquette but don’t know where to turn? Our North East experts are here to help

Happy honeymoon

Happy honeymoon

Q. We're on a tight budget and can only afford £2,000 for our honeymoon. How can we make the most of our funds to ensure we still enjoy a two-week break to remember?

A. Eve Moir says: Working to a budget does not have to mean your honeymoon can't be special. This year, I've arranged some amazing trips to Europe for newlyweds. One that springs to mind was in Greece, staying in a beautiful family-run hotel. With the owners' help, I organised rose petals on their bed and a perfectly chilled bottle of champagne to greet the couple after they checked in. Lots of hotels are more than happy to jump on board when they hear it's a celebration and love working with me to congratulate their guests. Another brilliant idea is to use a Honeymoon Registry Service, such as the fantastic one I offer, to boost your funds and allow your family and friends to contribute to paying for your honeymoon as a gift for your wedding. It's so easy to set up, and your guests can add funds online or by speaking to me directly. You can see the total amount you have to spend at any time. There are endless possibilities, whatever your ideas and wishes are. Plus, I will always endeavour to make your dreams come true!

Cut the cake

Cut the cake

Q. Everywhere I look, I see brides with lavish wedding cakes, complete with towers of tiers and decorations that must cost a fortune! How can I make sure my single-tier wedding cake still makes an impact?

A. Alicia Thompson says: A wedding cake is the quintessential centerpiece of the reception, so having a three- to fourtier cake or a single tier makes no difference in my eyes – instead, it's all about the flavour and design.

There's a wedding cake to match any budget, so having a single-tier cake can be showstopping. Flowers, textures, ribbons and the use of colour can make your cake look amazing. A wedding cake should also be personal to the bride and groom, in keeping with the theme of their wedding or being a little more creative, so don't be afraid to speak to your cake maker about going against the norm when it comes to look and taste. Classic flavours are vanilla, chocolate, lemon, red velvet and salted caramel. However, extra flavour can also be easily added with preserves such as strawberry, lemon and blackberry.

Fire starter

Fire starter

Q. My partner and I are organising our 2020 summer wedding and want to make the use of the outdoor space at our farm. We're looking for alternative entertainment that will really get the guests talking…

A. John Young says: As a farmer myself, I know the joys of hosting on one's own land, so here are three examples of what you could do. First, why not plant willow this season and weave it as it grows over the next year into a beautiful growing bridal arch? You can also gift wedding favours of trees and shrubs, having ready-made holes dug in your land. That way your guests can just pop them in for a brilliant legacy of the day – a growing commemorative arboretum! As for some alternative entertainment, imagine walking handin- hand over hot coals for each other in a magical bespoke fire-walking ceremony as the sun slips below the horizon. You can invite your family and friends to add blessings within the fire before it's lit, before walking over the coals and finishing your evening with photos around a beautiful fire heart.

Romancing the stone

Romancing the stone

Q. My fiancé popped the question, and now it's time to find the perfect engagement ring. I want something that stands out from the norm, so what other gemstones can we consider that aren't regular diamonds?

A. Jemma McFarlane says: Sapphires can be the perfect alternative when choosing a gemstone for your engagement ring. They are usually less expensive than diamonds and can be sourced to suit most budgets. Blue is the most popular, but you can get purple, green, yellow, pink or even a colourless sapphire.

When it comes to hardness, sapphires rank just below diamonds. They are extremely durable and tough, don't easily break, chip or damage and can withstand heat, chemicals and light.

When choosing, consider a shade to match your style, personality and skin tone. You should also think about the cut. Brilliant cut (round) and princess cut (square) are the popular choices, but you you may prefer a marquise cut (pointed oval), trillion cut (triangle) shape or a pear cut among the many available.

Smaller scale

Smaller scale

Q. We're looking for an exclusive wedding venue with history behind it but don't have the budget (or guest list!) to hire out a massive stately home. What do you suggest?

A. Dave Milbourne says: The idea of creating you own personal wedding is something that adds even more to your special day. Luckily, there are a number of smaller venues around that offer the opportunity for you to have a totally bespoke event. The refurbished Old Town Hall Newburn is a beautiful Grade II listed property built in 1904. Our main room boasts oak-panelled walls, an oak floor and corniced ceilings and can accommodate up to 60 guests for a formal meal (and 100 for a less formal event). What's more, we allow you to create a unique and personal event, letting you decorate and personalise the rooms yourself for a wedding you will always remember.

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 Your North East Wedding when making any enquiries.

Gisborough Hotel
Radisson Blu Hotel Durham
Alnwick Castle Ventures
Bamburgh Castle