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 email@example.com.
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Local experts give their advice on big-day gifts
Q. My best girls want to buy me a photo shoot as a wedding present; I've read about engagement, hen party and trash the dress shoots but don't know which to go for. What's involved in each and what do you advise?
A. Sacha Miller says: This really comes down to personal taste and the situation involved. The hen party could be an afternoon tea followed by cocktails in a stylish hotel, and this would lend itself well to a few photographs of the occasion. Though if the event is likely to end with the hen party eating kebabs in torn fancy dress outfits, maybe this is best left undocumented!
When you think of trash the dress shoots, images are conjured up of a bride lit by beautiful sunshine, reclining in crystal clear waters, as waves gently roll on to a golden, sandy beach. Whilst this may be true in Fiji or Florida, the reality in the UK is less enticing. This is a much less popular option, and given the cost of some wedding dresses I'm not totally surprised.
I'd personally recommend an engagement shoot, which involves both the bride and the groom and will provide you with a lovely set of photographs to use for your savethe- dates, wedding invitations or a framed picture for guests to sign on the actual wedding day.
Also, your nuptials can go so fast and unless you want to spend the majority of the drinks reception taking portrait photographs of the two of you, I generally advise limiting these type of shots so you can enjoy more time with your guests. A pre-wedding or engagement shoot will allow the opportunity to have a longer and more relaxed session beforehand.
Q. We're having a traditional Welsh wedding and would like our favours to reflect the patriotic theme of our day. What do you suggest we give each guest?
A. Jo Roberts says: I can't think of anything better than welshcake wedding favours. Your local loved ones will enjoy them and any of your friends and family who are new to Wales will be able to taste one of our best kept secrets. Available in a variety of delicious flavours, from original to white chocolate and lemon, they can be designed in romantic heart shapes for your big day and presented in individual bags finished with ribbon. Just make sure you order yourselves a couple of extras as I'm regularly told by newlyweds that they'd have gone down a treat as a late night snack if they hadn't all been snapped up at the wedding.
Q. My partner and I love the idea of hiring a video booth so guests can record a message for us. We're worried it will take our family and friends away from our evening celebration for too long though. How do you suggest we organise it?
A. Martyn Lyons says: To avoid this, the video booth should be in place all evening, meaning your guests can record their message whenever they like during the celebrations – early on or later into the night. They're also free to say as much as they wish, from just a simple five-second message to say 'Hi there!' to a five-minute sing-along. Your friends and family won't need to drag themselves off the dancefloor for very long to take part, they'll have great fun doing it and you'll enjoy watching it back for years to come.
Q. We're not sure how best to direct guests towards the kind of wedding presents we'd like. What do you advise and are there any different gift ideas you'd recommend?
A. Paula Burns says: My advice is to think outside the box. Once the standard thing to do was register a list with a department store and send it out to your guests, but times have changed. Think specifics – would you like to create a special garden area? If so, ask people to purchase vouchers from a key supplier. Do you have a favourite restaurant or a passion for a particular type of food? Then a good way to ensure that your future date nights are sorted, is to ask guests to give vouchers for various restaurants. How about cinema vouchers? If you both love films, this is a great way to fund your trips to see the latest blockbuster together. Requesting contributions towards your honeymoon is another popular option. There are many travel agents who'll set up an account linked to your specific destination that your guests can contribute to.
There's no rule that says you can't combine a few options and don't forget to be creative with the words you use to request your gifts too. Guests will love your originality and will have lots of fun helping you create your experiences.
Q. I'd like to give my husband-to-be a special gift to open on the morning of our wedding that he can wear on the day. What do you suggest?
A. Tony Watkins says: For something special, I'd recommend an IWC Portuguese Chronograph watch. This is a truly elegant and sophisticated piece from one of Switzerland's most respected watchmakers. Perfectly proportioned and beautifully made, it's sure to add a touch of timeless style to his look on the day and into your married life. Well looked after, this watch should last your lifetime together.
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Make that all-important 'cutting the cake' moment even more showstopping by using your very own personalised cake knife or slice. This hand-stamped, vintage-style, silver plated cutlery, marked with your names, date and a few special words, makes a lovely touch on the day and a wonderful keepsake beyond the occasion too. Priced from £34 from www.
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