Ask the experts

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your West Midlands 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@yourwestmidlands.wedding

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Hot topic: Summer wedding worries

Our local professionals answer your summer wedding worries

Sun's out

Sun's out

Q. We're having a summer wedding, I'm concerned on our group images that the sun will be in everyone's eyes and it might all take too long... do you have any suggestions?

A. Samantha Davis says: When I work at a wedding on a beautiful, bright, summer's day, the sun shining and the Pimms flowing, it's sometimes difficult to drag the wedding party away to take group images.

I always find a great spot with a nice background, get a bit of blue sky and generally have the sun in the background/overhead (without casting shadows over guests' faces). I never face people into the sun at midday (which is generally when group images are taken after the ceremony). I purposely underexpose the images so that once I start the editing process I can bring out the image perfectly exposed with everyone's eyes open – the magic of knowing how your camera works and how to make photoshop do some of the work!

As a rule, I arrange with my couples prior to the day a list of their most-wanted group images. I always advise 'the fewer the better' for them and for guests. An album of staged group images isn't generally the most memorable part of the collection of images I take, however they are essential as not to upset family members who have travelled to your wedding and not seen you since you were 10.

On a summer's day the reduction in the amount of group images can be essential so the bride and groom don't feel bored and be left desperate to try their canapés or have a chat with their guests!

Game on!

Game on!

Q. For our summer wedding we want guests to spend plenty of time outside, how could we entertain our guests within the venue's grounds?

A. Aria Barrett says: I had the same problem on my wedding day! Our venue had beautiful outdoor space I wanted people to enjoy, and I wanted guests to mingle and have fun whilst we had our photos taken. We decided to have a few garden games. I couldn't find a supplier I liked, so thankfully my dad made me a carnival! Everyone loved the games, they were used all day, and nothing is more fun than watching your nan beat the best man at almost everything. It rained on our day, so we just moved things inside. But my best bit of advice... always let the bride win!

Dressed to impress

Dressed to impress

Q. My groom-to-be is very fashionable and would want an on-trend big-day look – what would you suggest?

A. Danielle Harvey says: Firstly, the cut is important for a contemporary silhouette, opt for slim-fit for both the trouser and jacket. When it comes to colours, variations of blue are still proving popular from navy to cobalt blue. This hue is easy to accessorise as it complements any colour scheme. Although the 'rustic' trend is evolving into a more country-chic-vibe, tweed is still a great, versatile look fitting to rural venues – to make this style on-trend, have your groomsmen in mismatched tweeds. For the fashion-conscious, a truly classic look that will never date is the black tuxedo – suave, sophisticated, you can't go wrong, a modern touch would be to include a personalised monogram in the lining of the jacket with the wedding date and initials.

Daytime entertainment

Daytime entertainment

Q. Weather permitting, we'd love to have our wedding reception al fresco but we're worried about the entertainment. Would performing outside effect our choices of which act we could hire?

A. Steven Robertson says: First of all, there's no need to worry about your entertainment. If your venue has an outdoor performance space that has an adequate power supply and protects your entertainers and their equipment from the elements, your choice of entertainment will be almost unaffected.

If your act will be outdoors with you, then choices won't be as extensive, but there are still a wealth of options for you to consider.

Fortunately for you, two of the most popular trends in wedding entertainment right now are George Ezra-style singer-guitarists and Mumford & Sons-style acoustic folk bands, both of which match perfectly with a wedding under the sun and stars.

Performing on acoustic instruments, these bands are both practical and a stunning showpiece at your celebrations. Whether you'd like laid-back live lounge covers to conjure a dreamy atmosphere or upbeat acoustic twists on party hits to get everyone dancing, an acoustic act is a versatile choice that can deliver both. And if the rain comes, they can quickly pack up their instruments to move the celebrations indoors!

Cake expectations

Cake expectations

Q. Which style of cake finishing would withstand the heat at our summer wedding?

A. Caroline Bailey says: So a great question especially if this summer is as hot as last year's! Fondant icing (also referred to as sugar paste) is by far the best covering to consider during the summer months and even though it's soft when the cake is first decorated, the fondant icing creates a firm covering before the other decorations are added.

I always ensure that the cake is not displayed in full sunlight as this could potentially affect even fondant-covered cakes and sugar paste decorations. I'd always advise couples to talk to their cake creator about set up times, if they're getting married mid-afternoon it may be possible to arrange a later cake set up which would work better.

If you're unsure always ask your supplier to liaise with your wedding venue regarding the set up arrangements, room layout and where the cake will be displayed; getting answers to these few questions will reduce any cake worries in hotter weather.

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