Here is a selection of Q&As from Your South Wales Wedding magazine. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Our experts give their best advice on what to do after the big day
Q. Thank you cards are on my to-do list after the big day but I'm worried about missing people off. How do I keep track of who bought what and how do I personalise the card so that I'm not saying the same thing to everyone?
A. Anna Carter says: It's good to get organised with a plan for thank you cards before the wedding. Two popular options are to either coordinate them with the rest of your stationery or to use one of your wedding photos.
When you're opening your cards and gifts, ask a friend or family member to make a note of what you receive. If you wrote a list of people for your invitations, this can be useful to record the corresponding gifts.
One way of keeping the task manageable, while having the opportunity to personalise your thank you cards, is to have a small message printed in each with some space for you to write anything additional you'd like.
Q. We've hired loads of things for our nuptials including vintage crockery, chair covers, suits and other bits and bobs. We leave for our honeymoon the day after our wedding and I'm stuck as to how we're going to get everything cleaned and returned without paying a late fee. Do you have any suggestions?
A. Karen Nelmes says: Why not ask family and friends to help out by collecting the items that require cleaning, or even ask the company if you could pay a little extra for them to pick them up and clean them? Some companies will do this if requested, and it's well worth it if you want to relax after the big day and not put extra pressure on family.
Some venues may even do it if they don't have a wedding the following day, or maybe ask a staff member if you could pay them to do the job of packing the items away ready for collection?
Q. I've chosen the dress of my dreams for our wedding and couldn't bear to part with it afterwards. I've heard some horror stories about red-wine stains and dresses that are ruined after the celebrations, do you have any advice on the best way to preserve it?
A. Hannah Bishop says: Get your gown cleaned by a wedding dress specialist dry cleaners – many offer a special service where your dress comes back in a lovely preservation box. Most boutiques would be able to advise on a recommended dry cleaners
Q. We had our wedding just over two weeks ago and are going through our photographer's gallery. There are about 1,000 images to choose from – do you have any tips on what we should be selecting as they're all so lovely?
A. David Williams says: Don't choose photos to please others, it's your wedding album so pick your absolute favourites, even if it does mean missing out on the more formal photographs such as cutting the cake or a group photo. If there's an option to purchase your wedding photographs in high resolution format, do it! It means you can print or put your own little album together with the photographs you couldn't get in your main album.
Q. I've ordered beautiful flowers for my wedding and don't want them all to go to waste once the day is over. Is there anything you can suggest to give them a second lease of life or can I have them preserved in any way?
A. Claire Jones says: You've chosen and paid good money for your wedding flowers so of course you're going to want to get the most out of them. In my consultations, I try to include ways in which you can re-use the flowers after the wedding. For example by making the table centerpieces with oasis dishes within the arrangements you can give them to special guests after the wedding who can take them home and get more pleasure out of them.
Also reuse the bridesmaid bouquets by placing them along the top table in cylinder vases with a luggage tag saying 'thank you for being my bridesmaid'. Not only will this keep the flowers fresh throughout the day it also provides excellent decoration for the top table and the bridesmaids can then take them up to their room or home with them.
You could preserve your bouquet by drying or pressing some of the flowers, or ask a professional preserving company to freeze dry your bouquet and frame it.
Q. I've been so caught up in organising the details of our wedding that I've completely forgotten what comes next! Could you suggest a list of the first five things I should do once our big day is over?
A. Paula Burns says:
1 Pick up all your personal items from the venue
This is always a bit of a chore once the wedding is over – a bit like packing to come home after a great holiday! Therefore it's important to designate someone to do the job.
2 Pay any outstanding invoices
Most invoices are paid in full prior to the wedding but there may be a few bills, like those relating to extra wine or entertainers who weren't paid on the day.
3 Send out thank you cards to all your guests
This goes without saying. It's only polite to say thanks to your guests for their gifts and for sharing your day.
4 Return the hired suits
Don't forget to return all the hired clothing to ensure you don't incur any extra costs. This should be done within a week of your wedding unless you have agreed otherwise with the suppliers.
5 Get your dress dry cleaned
Yes it's sad that your day is now over and it's very unlikely you'll be wearing your dress again, but regardless of whether you've decided to keep it or sell it, get it dry cleaned as soon as possible.
Bridal boutique owner
Wedding hire specialist
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