Here is a selection of Q&As from Your West Midlands Wedding magazine. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to email@example.com.
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Advice on wedding-day etiquette
Q. I'm a little confused about who in my party is meant to get flowers and who needs buttonholes on the day – can you help?
A. Emily Wisher says: More and more frequently, couples are totally rewriting the rule book and doing things their own way when it comes to flowers. However, if you want to stick to tradition, the first thing a bride should think about is her bouquet and if she wants hair flowers, as that's usually the starting point for the florist's designs.
The second consideration is usually the bridesmaids' posies, blooms for the flowergirls and buttonholes or corsages for the mums and maybe granny or that special aunt.
The groom, best men and ushers all traditionally sport a dapper buttonhole that gives their wedding suit an extra special flourish. Don't forget the older men in your life too – dads and grandpas often love a buttonhole, for the sense of occasion and to make them feel part of the very special wedding party.
Q. We're planning quite a short engagement but know that some people send out invites or save-the-date cards months in advance. Could you tell us what's acceptable in terms of 'notice'?
A. Johnathan Wilson says: Having made thousands of save-the-date cards and wedding invitations for hundreds of clients, my advice is to give as much notice as possible to your guests to ensure they can make arrangements to attend your big day.
Many people book holidays a long way in advance, so by sending save-the-date cards, your loved ones can ensure that they're available to celebrate with you.
Q. I want to have seven bridesmaids for my big day but can't afford to pay for dresses and shoes for them all. Is it ok to ask them to pay?
A. Karen Hamilton says: It's fine to ask them to pay as long as you realise you may have less of a say in what they wear. If girls are buying their own dresses they may want to wear them again. A great idea is to choose the colour or fabric and then let each bridesmaid choose a dress she's happy wearing. This also looks amazing as the bridesmaids are comfortable, which will make them confident on the day.
Q. We're on a tight budget for our wedding and are thinking about asking a couple of our guests to do our photos and video rather than hiring a professional. Is this a good idea, does it put pressure on them and could we end up regretting it?
A. Michael Spooner says: I understand the temptation of budgeting certain elements of your wedding, which can cost thousands. You could be forgiven for thinking you can cut costs with your photographer. However an amateur is someone who is either learning his or her craft and accepts work for little or no fee and likely means that they may not have all the necessary equipment that a professional photographer does. Someone who does this for a living will have invested a lot of money into his or her equipment and, crucially, is experienced – again, something that an amateur is not; it's not all about the technicalities. Weddings are fast-moving and events only happen once. They may also feel the added pressure of having to organise your bridal party, your guests and, in some cases, the venues and staff. The real question for you is this – when you look back in 20 years' time, what do you want to show your family and friends?
Q. Loads of my friends have children now, but to be honest, I just want an adults-only wedding day. Is that OK or is it frowned upon?
A. Jacqui Park says: This is such a common question for couples trying to organise their guest list. At the end of the day it's your wedding and if you want an adults-only day that's your choice but it needs to be put across clearly, so as not to offend people.
Make it clear from the start it's an adult's-only wedding by addressing your invitations to exactly who is invited. Do not print 'Adults Only' as this may cause offence.
If people query the invitation, do call them out of courtesy, this will be hard but don't back down from your decision and explain that due to budget restraints you're unable to invite everyone, even if it's not exactly true.
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