Expert advice about wedding planning

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Bristol and Somerset 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


Planned to perfection

Planned to perfection

Q. We're so busy that it's hard to find time for wed-min. My friend suggested hiring a wedding planner, but I'm worried about handing over control – should I bite the bullet?

A. Karolina Wahlman says: Even if you have plenty of thoughts and ideas, you may not always have the knowledge, time or motivation to realise them. Sharing your vision with a planner doesn't mean you hand over the reins – see it instead as adding a professional member to your team. They'll work with you towards the same goal: making your wedding incredible. Most planners can help you with all or parts of the process, depending on your requirements.

You can turn to a planner to assist you in sourcing venues, liaising with suppliers, putting together palettes and moodboards and for help with budgets and paperwork, such as timelines and run sheets. During all stages, you'll have support and receive advice to help you avoid mistakes and save money.

I also offer on-the-day coordination, which is an excellent service if you've managed all the preparations yourself but want someone to make sure the day runs smoothly, leaving you to relax and enjoy every minute of your special day.

Find an expert you feel comfortable with who listens to you and understands both your hopes and worries for the day, and they'll be a great asset.

Karolina Wahlman


A helping hand

A helping hand

Q. With the pressures of a full-time job, I'm feeling swamped by organising my nuptials. Is a wedding planner right for me?

A. Caroline Green says: Broadly speaking, a wedding planner offers professional support and guidance from the first point of contact to the wedding day. They usually help with developing the design concept, sourcing suppliers, admin tasks and on-the-day coordination. They can take on as much or as little of the organisation as you'd like, and as such most planners offer a range of services tailored to suit your needs.

For time-pressed couples, having a planner alleviates an enormous amount of pressure. When you first get engaged, trawling through magazines and venue brochures is fun. However, nailing down the options and creating a clear vision of the day can be stressful – particularly if you have minimal experience of pulling together large-scale events. Enlisting an experienced planner such as myself can be invaluable for managing the more time-consuming tasks, offering advice on big decisions and overseeing the whole process. This leaves you free to take care of the more enjoyable aspects of planning!

Caroline Green




Q. We got engaged on Valentine's Day, and after the initial excitement, we're now facing the huge challenge of actually planning the day! Where do we start?

A. Radhika Nathwani says: To help you along your way, we've put together our top 10 things you should consider when planning your dream wedding…

- First, you'll need to have an idea on your guest numbers, as this will help when looking at venues.

- Don't underestimate the time it takes to find suppliers, get quotations and book. Ideally, you'll want to give yourself 12 to 18 months to plan.

- Book your key suppliers as soon as you can. Venues, caterers, photographers, videographers, florists and make-up artists all get booked up months, if not a year, in advance. You don't want to miss out on your first choice.

- As soon as you finalise your wedding date and venue, send out savethe- date cards to your friends and family.

- In the initial stages, it's good to think about your budget. It's daunting, but the earlier you do this, the easier it is to make decisions. It also helps to prioritise what's most important.

- Allow yourself a 10 per cent buffer on top of your ideal budget. You'll find that along the way you'll opt for larger floral arrangements or more courses for your evening meal, which will increase the total spend.

- Magazines, Pinterest and Instagram will become your inspiration heaven – but remember to keep your budget in mind, as it's easy to get swept away.

- You may find you get opinions from various loved ones, and there are lots of decisions to be made. Just remember it's your big day and you won't be able to please everyone.

- It's easy to get in the habit of doing wed-min after work and on the weekends, so try to plan date nights every so often to spend some wedding-free time together.

- Organising your dream day is very time-consuming and often becomes stressful for couples. If you're combining it with a busy work and social life, it may be worth getting an expert on board who can make it a breeze.

Radhika Nathwani


East meets West

East meets West

Q. I'm Indian, and my partner is English. What styling touches can we use to incorporate both our backgrounds?

A. Radhika Nathwani says: We love styling fusion weddings, as it brings together two beautiful cultures. Begin by considering which elements of your backgrounds you'd like to bring into your special day. This could be specific colours, cultural aspects or themes.

Next, think about your venue, as that will have an impact on the type of styling you choose. For example, if you've opted for a quintessentially English barn, you could choose Indian accents to create a contrast. Try adding swathes of draping to the ceiling beams, hanging lanterns and atmospheric mood lighting. To finish off the look, incorporate vibrant floral centerpieces and votives.

When it comes to colour schemes, try regal and traditional Indian wedding colours such as red and gold. Tie this in to your flowers, stationery and draping. You could also use pretty Asian patterns to complete the look.

Radhika Nathwani


For the love of dogs

For the love of dogs

Q. We'd love our fur baby with us on our wedding day but don't want to give that stress to one of our bridesmaids or groomsmen. What can we do?

A. Andy Cleary says: We understand how important your pet is to you and how much you want them to be involved in the happiest day of your life. We also know that you need to ensure that your four-legged friend's needs are completely attended to, leaving you free to celebrate your special day without the risk of any mishaps.

We provide a fully bespoke service. Whether you want your dog to be your ring bearer during the ceremony or you'd like them be included in those all-important photographs, we'll make that happen. We're fully insured and DBS checked, so you know your beloved pet is in good hands.

Andy Cleary