Expert advice about wedding planning

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


Small is mighty

Small is mighty

Q. We're in the process of downsizing our wedding, how can we still make the day everything we've dreamed of?

A. Claire Field says: An intimate wedding gives you the freedom to express your own personality with no boundaries on style, theme or venue. It's easy to get caught up with the idea of a 'big day,' but a small, bespoke ceremony makes this personal moment of connection beautiful and touching.

Venue choices become much broader with a smaller wedding, and expenditure decreases the fewer people you invite, allowing you more to spend on the finer details. Think small on numbers, but big on details! For example, flowers can be more creative: flower crowns, blooms entwined in your hair, flower walls, bigger bouquets, floral centrepieces and scattered petals – the possibilities are practically endless.

Your wedding breakfast will also become a much more intimate affair, with no more fretting over the seating plan. A table of 15 can be stunning with vintage crockery, glassware, flowers and candles. You can also serve more interesting dishes, perhaps locally sourced, seasonal food, as simple or extravagant as you like. The freedom of a downsized wedding enables you to create the day of your dreams by bringing your vision to life.

Don't forget though, you can still have a huge wedding party once rules allow. You could even choose two totally different looks. Whatever you do, don't hold back. This is your moment, don't be afraid to make it your day, regardless of the size of your guest list.

Psst… Head over to to see the shoot by Claire and a fab team of Sussex suppliers who got together to demonstrate these ideas.

Claire Field,Claire Marie Hair and Makeup


Brave it

Brave it

Q. What style of ceremony would suit an intimate or micro wedding?

A. Merie Brown says: I must confess, it was an honour to be asked this question! In truth you could go online and see hundreds of reasons why an intimate wedding is a good idea. It's worth remembering: a ceremony with any number of guests is a special day, as you show the world how much you mean to each other, regardless of how many people are watching.

The best option for you is an individual day styled just for you. With some guidance and magic words, we can turn any day into a memorable one. You just need to be brave and have the courage to have the event that's perfect for you. In short, an intimate wedding can be any style you want, it's you that gives it the magic, not the size of the guest list. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and be bold!

Merie Brown,Orange Rose Ceremonies


Neat petite

Neat petite

Q. We're feeling a bit daunted by the prospect of scaling our wedding right back to 30 guests. What advice can you give?

A. Sally Gallis says: This is something that can cause a lot of worry, so you're not alone. Government guidelines limit your guest list to 30 people, which means whoever's in the room counts towards this number: the officiant, the both of you, a photographer, and any witnesses already makes six. So, deciding on who the lucky ones are without upsetting anyone will no doubt be tricky. My advice is to explain that the government guidance is putting you in a difficult position and that your decision is nothing personal. If they care they'll understand. Think of those who are a big part of your life and, if they weren't there, how upsetting would it be for you? Write a list of your VIPs, the people you can't imagine celebrating without, and try to make it fair. Some other things to consider:

- However lovely it may be to have your grandparents there; any elderly relatives may be shielding.

- Infants are included in the count, even if they're sat on someone's lap.

- Can you remove plus-ones? Remember, an intimate wedding can still be a wonderful celebration, and just think of the party you can have later.

Sally Gallis,Luna and The Lane


Eco vows

Eco vows

Q. How can we make our wedding more sustainable?

A. Katherine Hudson says: Just because your event is for one night only, it doesn't mean what you use should be. It's perfectly possible to make a few small tweaks to maximize the eco-clout of your event…

Cutlery and tableware can be hired, and some companies will even take it away dirty. If you're using food trucks for the evening, insist on biodegradable plates and cutlery. Wooden or banana leaf plates add to a rustic theme and are much better quality than white plastic. You could even encourage sustainable behaviour such as asking guests to bring their own cup.

Using real foliage foraged from the surrounding area and hiring plants to decorate your venue is greener than buying cut flowers. Consider also options like bunting or flower fairylights, or even some well-chosen artificial flowers.

Choose a caterer specialising in local produce. Opt for organic food, and minimise waste by catering for precise numbers. Excess leftovers? Why not donate them to a food bank? You may also consider going veggie, as this type of menu will drastically reduce carbon emissions.

When looking for a venue, try to find one close to most of your guests. You could set up group transportation by hiring a coach if needed. Finally, source local suppliers, with products that haven't travelled across the globe to be there.

Katherine Hudson,Arabian Tents


Where to start with an outdoor wedding

Where to start with an outdoor wedding

Q. We're planning an outdoor wedding, but there's so much to think about! Can you give us some guidance on where to start?

A. Lorna Reeves says: While the UK has an abundance of beautiful outdoor spaces, we also have somewhat unpredictable weather, so you'll need to hire cover – for rain or shade. Therefore, in order to make a start on your planning, you'll need to consider the two main priorities that will dictate everything else: guest numbers and food.

How many people do you want to invite to your ceremony and reception? Any extra in the evening? Once you have decided, make some calls. Suppliers can give you accurate prices and help when you call to book a marquee, tipi or tent. Cover suppliers have so much experience. As long as you can tell them your date and size of wedding, they can advise you on what you might need including extras like electricity and loos. Ask questions. They will help!

Next – food! With so many options, from hog roasts and picnics to afternoon teas and served meals, the world is your oyster. Start with thinking about what you love to eat. Go to caterers armed with that information plus your party size, and they'll work with you to provide your dream menu within your budget.

Make those first essential decisions, and you enable experienced suppliers to help you by making the next steps clearer.

Lorna Reeves