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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 etiquette

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

Close to home

Close to home

Q. My future father-in-law knows a wedding photographer in Brighton - and he's desperate for me to use them. Should I follow his advice or look for someone in Sunderland, where my fiancé and I live and are getting married?

A. Michael Hope says: Michael says: I would always recommend that the wedding couple choose their wedding photographer themselves. It may be OK to have recommendations from friends or family, but the photographer will be working closely with both the bride and the groom for the majority of the day, and there needs to be a connection. A photographer can have all the talent and passion in the world, but if he or she isn't easy to get along with, it will be an uphill battle.

A local photographer is also easy to meet – you'll want to catch up prior to the wedding day for at least a wedding consultation to go over their own thoughts and ideas for the day or even for a pre-wedding shoot. It's also best to hire someone with knowledge of the area and who has photographed at the wedding venue in question. Finally, a local photographer will have knowledge of what the traffic on the day may be like, as well as inside knowledge of the best locations to use in the vicinity of where the wedding is taking place.

Bake off

Bake off

Q. My partner and I are huge bakers – making cakes is how we met! We want our wedding guests to be surrounded by scrumptious cake but not just in terms of the actual wedding bake. What other fun ways can we incorporate our love of baking into our big day without getting our hands dirty?

A. Laura Ellen Graham says: Laura says: There are so many creative and fun ways to incorporate tasty treats into your big day. Why not consider hiring us to make you a personalised cookie or signature cupcake? They make excellent wedding favours, and we can take inspiration from your favourite cocktails, childhood sweets or even your go-to breakfast bap – maple and bacon cupcakes, anyone? Personalised touches are what makes a wedding, so how about a dessert table too? The perfect accompaniment to your wedding cake, they're often filled with a much wider variety of goodies for your guests to nibble and graze on throughout the evening. From doughnuts to macarons and pastries to cheesecakes, we can provide them all. Guests can be served by our staff or help themselves to an array of personalised goodies arranged beautifully on our vintage traile

Drink up

Drink up

Q. We want to serve drinks at our wedding that will really get the guests talking. What are the best alcoholic and non-alcoholic choices for a summer garden celebration?

A. Charles Elliott says: Charles says: For warm, summer garden celebrations, it has to be seasonal and appropriate for the occasion. We love the fresh taste of elderflower – paired beautifully with cucumber, lime, apple and ice, it's perfect for a summer's day. You can add gin if you want to offer guests an alcoholic drink, served in cut crystal high balls and garnished with cucumber ribbons. For a nice colourful contrast, we like a regional taste, and that's got to be our Durham Summer Cooler. Working with local supplier Durham Distillery, we use its strawberry and pink peppercorn liqueur, served in a champagne flute topped with bubbles and garnished with strawberry and mint. It's summer in a glass!

Music to my ears

Music to my ears

Q. There are so many wedding pianists to choose from in my area! What should we look for to make sure we end up with the best?

A. Angela Hall says: Angela says: Music is an extremely important part of your wedding day, and hiring a live musician can create magical moments you will cherish for the rest of your lives. Choosing your own music adds a personal touch and creates a relaxing and romantic atmosphere throughout the day.

It's important to find a musician who matches your taste and budget and who will work with you to create the ambience you're looking for.

I offer a completely personal service to my couples, working closely with them to build a bespoke musical programme for their wedding day. Often, a couple will have a particular song they would like included in their day but feel that it doesn't match the mood they are hoping to create. I make my own arrangement of the song with a twist – I've played brides down the aisle to heavy metal, songs from video games and even raps!

Let's play

Let's play

Q. My fiancé's not a big drinker and, as such, is putting off sorting out his stag do. What alternatives are there for him and his mates that don't involve pub crawls and tons of booze?

A. Dave Dunn says: Dave says: Having been on a number of stag parties in recent years, there are a good variety of things to do that don't involve heavy drinking. One of my favourites has to be go karting, as it's hugely competitive and great fun. Paintballing always goes down really well and often turns into an all-out battle. Then, of course, there's my business, Go Gaming – something completely different. We offer gaming parties from one hour to full days on our mobile gaming unit and have the latest consoles for the stags to battle it out across a wide variety of the latest games. For those who like a bit of retro gaming action, there are consoles such as the Sony Playstation (1) and Sega Dreamcast, among others, to choose from.

Helping hand

Helping hand

Q. What are the advantages of having a wedding stylist for our big day?

A. Katie Hart says: Katie says: A wedding stylist will be the best friend you never knew you had. They will work with you and your budget to style your venue just how you imagined and more while matching your wedding aesthetics with your individual styles. Stylists have everything at their disposal to create the perfect ambience – they will give advice on different props to use and even indicate where is best to locate different aspects of your day. Your wedding stylist will pull together all of your ideas to create a fresh and personalised day, using their experience and excellent relationships with the best suppliers to ensure your dreams become a reality. Many wedding stylists will also have their own (or access to) wonderful collection of trendy and bespoke props to add those extra special touches to your venue