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

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

Hot topic: Big-day suppliers

Local specialist share their top tips for choosing big-day suppliers

...The photographer

...The photographer

Q. What advice would you give me on choosing my wedding photographer?

A. Timothy James says: Finding the wedding photographer that's right for you may feel like a daunting decision especially with so many to choose from but it doesn't have to be. Here are five simple questions to follow to help choose the photographer for your big day.

What is your budget?
It may seem like an obvious starting point but knowing what your budget is for photography will help make your search easier. Regardless of what that budget is, you'll know which photographers and which packages are realistic options. And remember, cheaper photography doesn't have to mean less quality.

❤ What style photography do you like?
Whether it's reportage, fine art or moody monochrome knowing the style you like will narrow down the search for photographers who fit what you're looking for.

You don't need to have an extensive knowledge of photographic styles to know what you prefer; you could simply spend a small amount of time looking through wedding images online or in magazines and make a few notes on what you do and don't like. You'll quickly match words to those styles such as naturalistic, traditional, documentary, fine art, classical, and suddenly you'll know exactly what you want.

How would you like to receive your wedding photos?
Would you prefer a digital download link, a boxed album or a collection of prints? Having some idea of what you'd like to receive when you first view your photos will help identify photographers who offer the packages that are right for you.

Do they have a portfolio and recommendations?
It's essential to always look at the previous work of any wedding photographer you may choose to make sure they are of good quality and they fit effect you're looking for: this could be the photographic style you like but also whether they shoot candid or posed photos. Also check if they have recommendations or testimonials on their website to get an idea of other people's experiences of booking that photographer.

Personality and trust.
It goes without saying that you'll spend a lot of time with the photographer you choose to shoot your wedding, and you're going to want that to be an enjoyable experience. You may get a flavour of their personality from their website but you'll know this best from meeting face to face and most photographers are happy to meet up and chat through their work and approach as part of the decision making process. If you like their personality it'll help you trust them when it comes to the big day.

...The caterer

...The caterer

Q. What advice would you give me on choosing my wedding caterer?

A. Julie Collins says: Go with your gut reaction! Have the caterers taken time to get to know you personally and what you like and don't like to eat? Do you feel like you can work with them? Do they respond to your questions promptly?

As a bespoke caterer we take the time to get to know our couples and clients and we help them to build a menu based on how they envisage the day will flow and what type of dining they want – relaxed sharing food, formal dining or even a mix of styles over the courses. If our couples want fish and chips then that's what they'll have – and really amazing fish and chips at that!

...The cake

...The cake

Q. What advice would you give me on choosing my wedding cake?

A. Angela, Isabel & Lisa says: Your wedding cake is an important part of your special day; not only does it add the wow factor to your celebration it can also serve as additional dessert or sweet treat for your evening guests.

When looking for a reputable wedding cake supplier it's important to choose one who is insured and has a high food safety rating. Additionally, most companies will offer a delivery and setup service. Ask your cake supplier if they have worked with your venue previously, which ensures everything goes smoothly on the day.

A good wedding cake supplier will use high quality ingredients, as a delicious tasting cake is as important as the design. They may also offer a cake tasting or consultation so you can meet the designers, taste their cakes and discuss your design in detail.

...The music

...The music

Q. What advice would you give me on choosing the music for my wedding?

A. Christopher Langdown says: Most people book a band or a DJ for their evening, but are unsure about what music to book for their ceremony, drinks reception or the afternoon wedding breakfast. Here's ten top tips from Romantic Piano:

❤ If you're looking to create a vibrant atmosphere for your ceremony, drinks reception and afternoon wedding breakfast, why not consider having some live music?

❤ In contrast to the evening, music during the day is usually more subtle in the background. An experienced musician will be able to create a perfect ambience for you and your guests.

❤ As wedding guests often range in age from 8 to 80, it's good to choose a musician with a wide repertoire as this will help to keep all suitably entertained.

❤ Live piano music is a great choice for weddings as it's classy, unobtrusive and all styles sound equally fantastic on the instrument.

❤ Make sure you book an experienced musician who will deliver a top quality performance. This will definitely make your big day even more enjoyable and memorable.

❤ Ask if they have Public Liability Insurance and whether all their equipment is fully PAT tested as many wedding venues now insist on this.

❤ Enquire whether your musician has verifiable reviews from previous couples and ask to hear examples of their work.

❤ Make sure you have a proper contract and that the booking is confirmed in writing.

❤ Check what would happen if they became ill just before the wedding and whether they have a contingency plan.

❤ Ask your musician whether they would be able to learn any special requests in advance.

...The florist

...The florist

Q. What advice would you give me for choosing my wedding florist?

A. Judith McCormack says: Flowers are an important part of your wedding day, they will help create the look you want to achieve whether that's elegant, romantic, whimsical, wild or minimalist.

Your starting point is to think about the style you like and the mood you want to create. Do your research, there's so much information online, on social media and in magazines.

Make sure you start your research early, florists who are in demand are often booked up to 12 months in advance.

Ask for recommendations from newlywed friends, wedding planners or venue coordinators. Instagram is a great place for inspiration and to get an insight into a florist's style, approach and work. Wedding directories and blogs are good sources of information too.

Have a clear idea of your budget and be upfront about it, it's essential for the florist to know so that they can advise on the best designs and whether what you'd like is achievable within budget.

Book a meeting with your preferred florist or with your shortlist of florists; then you'll be able to get a feel for whether they understand what you're hoping to achieve and you can judge whether you feel confident in their abilities and that you're comfortable with them. Most of all you should choose a florist whose style you love.

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 West Midlands Wedding when making any enquiries.

Warwick Registration Office
The Belfry
Warwick Registration Office
The Belfry