Ask the experts

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Sussex 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

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Hot topic: Love is in the air

Our experts advise on lovely romantic touches for your big day

Love is in the air

Q. I'm so excited to be getting married to the love of my life and want my make-up to reflect how I feel. What would you suggest I consider?

A. Claire Reed says: - For a beautifully romantic look I'd suggest that you keep the focus on your lips. Keep your eye make-up look simple and smoky by priming the lids with MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly and set with a matte skin-toned eyeshadow.

- Next, I'd line the upper lids with a black gel liner and gently diffuse with a black eyeshadow to extend into a wing for a more dramatic look.

- Finish by using lashing of black mascara or strip lashes for extra wow factor. Line your lips with a bold red and then fill in with a pillar box shade, such as Chanel's New York Red.

The food of love

Q. We're massive foodies and wanted our cake to be a key part of our day. Are there any particular themes, colours or motifs we should consider for a romantic-style bake?

A. Emma Lawrence-Hedges says: Valentine's Day is one of the most romantic times of the year to get married. The important thing to consider is the level of detail you're looking for with the cake – do you want to make a big impact, or be beautifully understated?

The first thing that comes to mind is hearts, roses, and the colour red. Those wishing to move away from the traditional theme can still capture the romance of the day with colours such as pinks, purples and creams; or embellishments such as diamantés and lace, and flowers such as lilies and orchids.

Heart-shaped tiers are a classic for this day, however, if you wanted to go for a more modern look you could consider details such as heart stencilling, confetti or piping work.

Couples wanting a simple but effective design can opt for delicate ruffles or edible lace accompanied by a single heart cake topper.

The rustic, naked cake is still very popular, so theming this around Valentine's Day could be with the focus of natural flowers. Perhaps deep red roses and gypsophila, or even calla lilies for their delicate heart-shaped head.

Finally, how about telling the story of how you met with black silhouette shapes of a bride and groom against a white background?


Q. The photos are probably one of the key elements of our wedding as this is what we'll be able to look back on in years to come. As we're planning on a Valentine's-themed day, how can we make the pictures look as romantic as possible?

A. Ryan McLaughlin says: To make wedding photography look as romantic as possible It's a good idea to consider a pre-wedding shoot to get comfortable in front of the camera, and allow your photographer to learn what your best side is.

On the big day itself, after the group shots, I personally like to take couples aside for a private shoot to allow them some together to reflect on their day and be carefree.

I find the initial consultation is so important to ensure the photography is bespoke to them – allowing it to be as romantic as possible.

A token of my affection

Q. One of the most important parts of our wedding is going to be when we exchange rings. This is such a symbolic moment for us and I wondered if there was anything we should consider to make it extra meaningful. What do you suggest?

A. Andrew Leggett says: From a jewellery perspective, the romance in in wedding can be more about the feelings than the look. There is no magic recipe for injecting love, but it's something that often just happens naturally when the couple puts extra thought into their choices.

Every couple is unique, and each person will have different feelings about what is important to their special day. Often it's something that no one else would notice. When choosing wedding rings, for example, many couples just purchase off-the-peg, without too much thought. For others the rings they will exchange at the very moment they become a married couple, carry great symbolic importance.

Whilst mass-produced rings would be sufficient, if you like the idea that your wedding rings are individual to you, why not consider going bespoke?

When you deal with a goldsmith you and your partner can both be involved in the design process. You have the opportunity to include any personal touches that will make it even more special.

If you have some jewellery with sentimental value you might like to use some of the materials in your wedding ring. An inherited family piece might be unwearable in its current form, but the precious metal and any small diamonds can be incorporated into your ring.

You might also plan to wear other pieces on your wedding day. A pendant or a pair of earrings to complement your engagement ring could be created by the same goldsmith, and again if you have jewellery with sentimental value that you don't wear, the materials could be used.

Another way of personalising is to have it engraved. A thoughtful message inside your ring is something that only you and your partner will know it is there, but it's another detail that adds meaning. As with every other aspect of your wedding, the more thought you put into the little details, the more special your day will be.

Capture the moment

Q. I'm so excited to get married and I'm really looking forward to looking over all the photos in years to come. For this reason, I know I want the day to look and feel great but don't know where to start. How can we add a timeless touch of glamour into our style?

A. Illy Goodall says: I think the best way to add a touch of romance and elegance into your celebration is to personalise your vows or choose a special piece of music that reflects you both as a couple, or references your individual love story.

Why not look to song lyrics, film quotes, poetry or simply write a few words from the heart if you don't know where to begin? Speaking of music, the song you choose as a couple whilst walking down the aisle will be such a special moment it's sure to jog a few memories long after you tie the knot.

If you want to add some loving touches in terms of décor, I tell my couples to personalise their table plan and include things that reflect them – colours, words or pictures. This is such an easy way to add a personal touch.

If you're still stuck for ideas then why not name your tables after all the paces you've visited on dates, or all the holidays you've been on together? Each table could feature a photo of you at that location to help remind you of how far you've both come.

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