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 email@example.com
To view more expert advice on a different topic, please select one from the list below.
Q. There's such a huge trend for street food at weddings that my fiancé and I are keen to jump on board! How do we know which is the best to choose?
A. Carl ODwyer says: Carl says: Street food is trending more than ever of late and getting very popular for weddings, especially for evening time. Key things to look out for are to check a business via their social media profiles, to see how popular they are – and how much they engage with their social following. Check out their reviews on Facebook, Google and Trip Advisor, and if possible contact a couple of wedding reviewers for feedback on their service and value. You can also choose to visit them at events or their usual trading place to get a feel for their customer service – and of course try their food before you commit. It's best to get several quotes from different vendors, too, to help you ensure you make the right choice for your big day.
Q. We're having an outdoor wedding in the summer, and I wanted a cream and jam wedding cake. My sister says we'll be attacked by wasps! Is there an alternative?
A. Clare Koch says: Clare says: Since summer is the most popular wedding time, we cake-makers have to be prepared for any weather and condition. Research is sometimes necessary, but any cake that is outdoors is going to be susceptible to the elements. There's the worry of it being too warm and melting icing or rain spoiling it, so a cake at an outdoor wedding should be covered as much as possible. Insects are going to be attracted to any sweet food source, but you could possibly fill plant pots with repellent such as thyme plants, citronella or have peppermint oil in burners. With the trend continuing for naked/ semi-naked and buttercream finish cakes, this can be more worrying than other wedding cakes, as they don't have the support of a fondant finish and should definitely be discussed at the consultation.
Q. We want 200 guests at our evening reception, but my mam says that's far too many. How much do wedding venues help when such a large party needs to be catered for?
A. Nicole Wardle says: Nicole says: Wow – what a popular couple you are! A big evening reception is great; there'll be such a fab atmosphere, a nice full dancefloor and lots of fun. The key is to make sure your venue is comfortable with your numbers, and do take their advice on catering options. Venues are very flexible these days, with lots of different options on tap.
It is your venue's responsibility and duty of care to advise a realistic capacity for your evening reception, and if your numbers fall within this guideline, then you should all have a wonderful night. The bar will be controlled, the restrooms well checked and the area spacious enough.
In terms of stress, the only thing to consider from your perspective is getting around everyone to say “hi” and maybe have a dance with them – that's a lot of people to see!
I would highly recommend a good entertainment base to make sure such a big group has lots of ways to enjoy themselves. A live band or DJ, casino tables, photo booths, magicians and caricaturists are all super-popular options.
Q. We're having a relaxed reception in our local village hall – but there's no bar on-site! What are some affordable options that don't involve me organising all the drinks?
A. Nicola Robinson says: There are many ways around this, and you could always start by asking your guests to bring a bottle to your celebration, getting some to bring mixers while others bring wine and beer. You could also delegate this task to an organised bridesmaid – or if you want a fully stocked bar, why not hire a company like mine? I specialise in vintage and quirky mobile bars and stock over 14 types of gin, have local craft beer on draught and a wide range of other spirits, as well as bubbles, wine, lager, cider, soft drinks, cocktails and mocktails. We also have our vintage mobile bicycle bar, Gin Wizz, which is available for free if you hire welcome drinks.
Q. If my mam says we should have sugared almonds for our favours one more time, I'll scream! Are there any other ideas that incorporate the North East?
A. Jessica Tomlinson says: There are lots of alternatives available, including options to add a splash of personality to your table setting. Remind her that wedding favours should reflect your taste as a couple and tie in with your theme, all the while acting as a keepsake for your guests to remember the day by.
The North East boasts a wide range of local drinks, food and gift producers, making everything from spirits, scented candles, personalised tea bags and quirky cake pops. We make gin and vodka at Durham Distillery, including miniatures of Durham Gin – a unique blend of 10 botanicals paired with locally-sourced spring water. If you're avid gin lovers, a Durham Gin taster could be the perfect favour. Why not personalise each bottle with a name tag to double up as a place setting?
Q. We're having a fairly relaxed wedding, but my mam's insistent we should have sit-down catering. My parents are paying, and I don't want to upset them – is there any kind of compromise?
A. Jane Madden and James Hopper says: As a wedding caterer, you want everyone to enjoy their day – but most importantly, the bride and groom. We'd start by explaining carefully to your mum that food served informally doesn't have to lack in quality. There are tons of ways you can enjoy street food stalls, barbecues or delicious canapés without having to sit down. Show your mum some more relaxed catering suggestions, such as fish and chips in traditional newspaper, hog roasts and even mobile pizza ovens. You can just as easily cater for any dietary allergy with these sorts of options – we frequently have to hide our beetroot, quinoa and halloumi burgers from the meat eaters or they disappear before the vegetarians get to us!
Jane Madden and James Hopper