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Ask the experts

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your London Wedding magazine. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yourlondonweddingmagazine.com.


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


Hot topic: Getting the timings right

Help your day run without a hitch with our experts’ advice

Night owls

Night owls


Q. I love the idea of a candlelit dusk wedding so we plan to get married at around 7pm. As it's not the traditionally 'done' thing, I've no idea how to plan the rest of the day/evening! What do you suggest?


A. Tara Sura says: Depending on your choice of ceremony venue, ask your guests to arrive a little earlier so they too can enjoy the evening. Arrange for some drinks and canapés to be served around an hour before your ceremony starts, and organise some light entertainment like a magician or caricaturist. You'll find that guests typically stay on a little later too for an evening reception, as they haven't been there all day.

Depending on the duration of your ceremony and how far it is from the reception venue, there may not be enough time to fit in a three-course dinner and an evening party. It could work better to have a standing canapés and drinks reception as your wedding breakfast instead, which is also a great way save money.

The best part of an evening ceremony is the photographs. Don't forget to take some time to soak up the candle-lit surroundings with some beautiful photos at dusk.


Camera ready

Camera ready


Q. What are the usual timings for a photographer on the big day? When do they generally start and finish – is there a limit to the amount of hours they will cover?


A. Helena Amor says: The wedding photographer usually spends the majority of the day with the bride and groom. In my experience, the most popular package is full coverage, as couples tend to want their entire day captured. This starts with the bridal preparations and ends at the evening party. Personally, I stay around half-an-hour after the first dance to take photos of the guests dancing too, as that way I am able to capture everything. The time I finish depends on when the first dance is scheduled for, which can vary from wedding to wedding.

While I'd always recommend you have the whole day covered, if you'd prefer the photographer to be present for less hours and offer shorter coverage, this can also usually be arranged.


Cake concern

Cake concern


Q. What are the time frames when it comes to ordering a bespoke cake? We're hoping to get married this summer but it only leaves us six months to plan everything – is that enough time?


A. Charlotte Green says: Six months is certainly enough time to order your wedding cake. Most designers request a minimum of three months' notice for bespoke cakes, but if you have your heart set on a particular cake maker, then do book as early as possible. They are limited in terms of how many cakes can be worked on at one time, and how many can be delivered and set up on a given day. If your date is already booked, you may be left disappointed.

I recommend ordering the cake as soon as the venue has been secured. Ask if you can pay a deposit to reserve your date with the cake maker, but delay your consultation for a month or two, until you know more about your big-day theme.


Plan of action

Plan of action


Q. My partner and I have planned our wedding together and so far everything has gone smoothly, but how do we make sure it all comes together on the day?


A. Jessica Barnie says: I suggest you hire a wedding planner to assist you with finalising all your arrangements so you have absolutely everything you want in time for the big day. Planners can be hired for the last six weeks of the process and not only will they be there for the day of your wedding, they'll also be in contact with all the relevant suppliers to keep everything on track.

If you don't want to hire one for the remaining six weeks, another option is on-the-day coordination, whereby you hire a planner to oversee and run the day itself. This allows you to sit back and enjoy the celebrations, safe in the knowledge that all your hard work and plans are in the hands of a professional.

Alternatively, if your venue has an in-house event coordinator, meet them a month before to discuss your day and ask them to ensure everything is executed perfectly. They are there to make your plans come together flawlessly, and going through all the details with them in advance will give you the peace of mind you need.


Cater for success

Cater for success


Q. Our wedding is at midday and the evening party won't finish until the wee hours: what catering should we provide, and at what times, to keep everyone going throughout the celebration?


A. Jessica Barnie says: Typically the ceremony will last half-an-hour and is followed by the reception where your guests will mingle for a maximum of an hour-and-a-half. At this point it's traditional to serve canapés and drinks in order to keep everyone going until the wedding breakfast.

When it comes to your main event, the usual options are a seated dinner or a buffet spread. If you go for the seated meal, this can sometimes last up to four hours once you factor in speeches and toasts too, as well as any entertainment you may have hired.

Vintage afternoon tea has become increasingly popular of late. This can be served at any time throughout the day and most caterers will provide you with a selection of finger sandwiches and other party food, presented in tune with your wedding theme.

When it comes to evening catering, you could provide a sweet table full of goodies, including a choice of cakes, a chocolate fountain, candy floss machine and other treats. This will not only look fantastic but will keep everyone's energy up through the night.


Contact our experts...


Charlotte Green, Bridalwear Designer


Charlotte Green

Bridalwear Designer


Helena Amor, Photographer


Helena Amor



Jessica Barnie, Wedding Planner


Jessica Barnie

Wedding Planner


Tara Sura, Party designer


Tara Sura

Party designer


This week, the editor loves...

These stunning statement crystal earrings from designer Merle O'Grady would send anyone green with envy! They'd make a gorgeous addition to a vintage-style sequinned bridal gown, or perhaps a beautiful pressie for your much-love maid-of-honour. Priced £90, visit www.merleogrady.com

Lauren Dowey
Lauren Dowey, Editor of Your London Wedding magazine

Loved by Your London Wedding magazine


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Readers' poll

Who cares more about your big day - you or your hubby-to-be?

Definitely me, all he has to do is turn up!
He'll be doing the 'man stuff' such as suits and cars but he hasn't a clue about flowers.
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