FAQs and 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 editor@your-sussex.wedding


Love and unity

Love and unity

Q. How can we include close friends and family members in our ceremony?

A. Stefan Field says: There are many ways to include your friends and family such as having them enter with the bridal party, deliver a reading or poem, or even asking the talented amongst them to provide a musical element. For me, having them join in as part of a unity ceremony is the perfect way to bring families together and welcome each part of the couple into the fold of the other.

You also have the option to include symbolic actions such as pouring different coloured sand representing the family members from individual bottles into one jar bringing everyone together as one. This is a great visual element and a simple way to include your nearest and dearest.

Having friends light a unity candle and pass around the flame or take it in turns to light smaller individual candles also includes them in the service. It's a lovely way to show the close connection between everyone present and part of your special day.

Stefan Field, Ceremonies by Stefan


Together again

Together again

Q. Given the restrictions of the last year, our friends and family will be keen to catch up at our wedding. How can we create a chill out area to give them space away from the dancefloor to chat?

A. Sara Ellis says: It's always nice to have a place for your guests to chill away from the dancefloor. If your venue has a separate ceremony room why not utilise this space again by adding a sofa and props to create a quiet area? This is also great as you're reusing items that you've used during the day. Equally by adding something as simple as a neon sign it creates a welcoming and dedicated space to chill.

Sara Ellis, To Have and To Hire Events


Meaningful moments

Meaningful moments

Q. What tips can you give on making an intimate wedding day super-special?

A. Louisa Porter says: Surrounded by your closest family and friends you really can make a small, intimate wedding incredibly special. Everyone is so much more relaxed and you can give each guest a role to play, making them feel included every step of the way.

Choose fun face masks for yourselves and your guests for the wedding ceremony and take time to select individually chosen favours for that personal touch. In the evening you can play games such as Mr and Mrs, and wedding bingo to get everyone involved, which is something that might not be practical at a large event.

Group photos will show the connection you all have with one another. Plus, time can be spent on your couple shots and focusing on what it means to you to be married.

Louisa Porter, Cottesmere Hotel Golf & Country Club


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 www.your-sussex.wedding/news-headlines 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