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 email@example.com.
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Our experts help you plan a contemporary day
Q. I've booked an ultra-modern warehouse venue and want my cake to reflect the styling. How can I make it look contemporary?
A. Eva Rose says: Choosing the design and flavour of your wedding cake should be the fun part of the planning. After all, you do get to sit down and eat cake! When designing, it's easier to start by getting your ideas down on paper. Pull together a mood board with elements that reflect your day, from the colour scheme to your dress, flowers, stationery and anything special to you as a couple. This will help your cake designer understand your vision and create a bespoke cake just for you.
Metallics and splashes of colour are very fashionable for 2015. For a contemporary feel, I'd recommend keeping the design simple and elegant. Clean lines, sharp edges, minimal design work and colour are key to this ultra-modern look. If you choose to decorate it with flowers, choose large blooms to make an impact.
Don't forget the flavour. Citrus cakes are always great for summer weddings, adding a burst of clean flavour after a delicious meal. Or why not play around with other flavours such as orange, lime and coconut, pineapple and passionfruit?
Q. My husband and I hate stuffy, posed shots and want a modern reportage style for our wedding but our parents are insisting on some group pictures. How can we give our family portraits a contemporary twist?
A. Julie Michaelsen says: Group shots are not everyone's favourite part of the day. Your photographer should work through them quickly and efficiently without being pushy to make sure the bride and groom can get back to their guests. However they're a lovely gift for parents and also have a deeper significance in terms of future generations. Many photographers enjoy getting their group shots participants to do weird and wonderful things such as the Zoolander 'blue steel' pose to get a creative finish. I like to ask my groups to do simple things, for example, for all members to look at the bride and groom (people automatically smile more naturally), which always results in a more interesting and genuine image. In the day and age of the 'selfie', this also makes for a more contemporary family portrait.
Q. I love slick modern spaces, but am having trouble reconciling that with the trend towards vintage or rural looks. How can I style my dream venue without compromising the contemporary feel?
A. Martina Margheri says: Everyone wants their big day to be flawless, pristine and inspirational. The décor of your venue will lay the foundations for a fresh and joyful atmosphere. Over the past couple of years, vintage and rustic styling have dominated the wedding scene. From a chic Deco do to more eclectic styles, here are a few simple tips to give your big day some old-fashioned flair.
First, find a venue with character that can pull off a polished, yet alternative and quirky look. Remember, when it comes to dressing a space, less is more! Use rustic wooden tables and benches, dressed with linen runners in muted shades and some cushions. Old-fashioned crockery will add an aura of romance, and don't worry if it doesn't match; it adds to the charm. Whether you're having an outdoor or indoor ceremony and reception, flowers are a must. Sunflowers and wheat centrepieces are ideal for more rough and ready themes. If you can't resist a more classic look, light your wedding up with glittery chandeliers; but candles in glass jars, tin can lanterns and festoon lighting are all you really need to create a romantic atmosphere.
Q. I've booked a modern venue and am planning to style my day to match but in keeping with my contemporary theme I'm keen to avoid any outdated traditions and would like to mix up the traditional running order so my wedding is as up-to-the-minute as possible. What would you suggest?
A. Dominique Douglas says: The great thing about modern weddings is that you can do things your way. The traditional running order generally goes like this; ceremony, drinks reception, dinner, speeches, cake cutting, first dance, dancing and evening bar.
Why not change things a bit and have the cake cutting and speeches during your drinks reception? Or how about your first dance after your ceremony? One thing I like to suggest to my brides is that they (or one of their bridesmaids) make a speech. Traditionally, only men made a formal speech; ladies speaking at the wedding is very 21st century.
I've also noticed a growing trend for brides to keep their bouquet instead of throwing it to the single ladies, and a tradition that seems to be dying out altogether is the removal of the garter.
Finally, many couples are making their first dance a little more special, rather than the traditional shuffle to music. Why not take a few dance lessons and create a routine? It doesn't have to look like you're auditioning for Strictly Come Dancing, but a few coordinated steps and the odd dip to the music will thrill your guests.
Q. Our wedding is a modern marriage in every way, not only because we are planning minimalist decor at our warehouse venue but also because we're a gay couple. Obviously there's very little convention for a marriage between two men, so we're looking to create new traditions. How can we tweak the format to suit our big day?
A. Dorothy Edwin says: A wedding ceremony, whether same-sex or otherwise, should be more about what is meaningful to the couple than tradition. Keeping your wedding personal and stamping your personality on the event is one way to ensure your guests feel connected and engaged with the celebrations.
Many couples today pay for their own weddings and honeymoon. While it might leave your wallet a little light, it gives you free rein to do what you want.
For example, you may prefer to write your own wedding vows as an expression of your love, celebration and commitment to each other. You could also decide to wear your wedding ring on a different finger.
You'll also need to decide which surname to answer to; who will give the speeches; and whether to ask friends to get involved as best men and women, or to dispense with this tradition altogether.
Venue styling and wedding planning
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