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Ask the experts

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 editor@yoursouthwaleswedding.com.


To view more Q&A's on a different topic, please select one from the list below.


Hot topic: Evening entertainment special

Ease those big-day worries with help from our experts

And all that jazz

And all that jazz


Q. We're having a drinks reception in the evening before the disco kicks off in earnest and I'd like to create a buzz in the room. What would you suggest?


A. Hannah Mitchell says: The right background music will set the tone at your reception in no time at all. A live performance will add impact, creating a magical first impression as your evening guests arrive. Piano is the perfect choice for ambience, heightening the romance in the room. It's subtle enough not to overpower guests' conversations while, at the same time, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. There are different styles to choose from, such as classical, easy listening or jazz. Alternatively, request a mix of genres to provide something for everyone. Whatever your song choice, linking your wedding breakfast and evening reception with live tunes is a great way to add sophisticated glamour and elegance to your big day.


Night vision

Night vision


Q. Our numbers are restricted during the day, but, luckily, we've invited lots of our friends to the evening reception. We want to make sure that we get lots of pics of everyone enjoying themselves. Have you got any tips for getting top-notch shots after dark?


A. Christopher Davies says: Creating professional images in low light is tricky but most good compact cameras have useful programme modes that allow you to use the flash with a slow shutter speed to freeze the subject while creating light trails from the disco lights, which will give your reception images a fun, vibrant feel. Look for Slow Sync Flash or Night Mode with Flash on your camera.

Be careful to hold the camera as steady as possible when using the slow sync setting as slow shutter speeds can lead to blurry photos. Using both hands to hold the camera close to the body will help to keep it still and reduce the risk of fuzzy photos.

I'd suggest having a practice run at a local nightclub or pub before the big day so you are used to using the camera in low light conditions.


Put your hands up to the ceiling

Put your hands up to the ceiling


Q. We've booked the venue of our dreams and are now planning our evening reception. We want the dancefloor to be packed all night long. How can we please a crowd of all ages with such disparate tastes in music?


A. Martin Goddard says: Choosing the right band for your wedding can be a tough task but the following three key criteria should help you to separate the wheat from the chaff. First, you should look for a professional function band. Second, the group should have experience playing at weddings and last but certainly not least, the ensemble must have an extensive repertoire of songs to cater for all ages.

To appeal to all your guests, look for live performers who can play a wide range of styles (pop, rock, soul, motown, chart etc). A good wedding band will offer different packages, from an acoustic set, solo piano and DJ service to the full live band, complete with song preferences.


Tight squeeze

Tight squeeze


Q. I'd love to have a photo booth at our evening reception, but I'm not sure how it would work logistically. Can you talk us through the space requirements and any key considerations?


A. Leighton Brookfield says: These days, most photo booths are designed in sections so they can fit easily through narrow doors and are light enough to be carried upstairs. In more than 200 events, we've never failed to find a suitable location to set up the booth, but there have been some very tight situations. It's useful to let your venue know that you've hired a photo booth, and to tell your wedding coordinator its dimensions as well as the total area needed for its operation. A power point is always required so you'll also need to bear that in mind.


Bring your own

Bring your own


Q. I'm having a marquee wedding in my parents' garden and my other half has his heart set on draught beer. What do we need to consider when looking for a hire bar? Is it possible to decorate the bar to fit in with our theme and colour scheme?


A. Jordan Curran says: Always look for a company that will go the extra mile. Talk to a few and you'll soon find the ones who want your day to be a success as much as you do. Ideally, the bar should be set up 24 to 48 hours before the event to let the coolers and fridges get really cold. Usually the marquee company can supply power but, if not, your bar provider should be able to organise generators. In terms of decorating the bar, look for companies that offer bespoke options – such as a spot-lit panel that can be used to display photos and bottles or flowers to suit your theme and colour scheme.


Contact our experts...


Christopher Davies, Photographer


Christopher Davies



Hannah Mitchell, Pianist


Hannah Mitchell


Jordan Curran, Bar hire specialist


Jordan Curran

Bar hire specialist


Leighton Brookfield, Photo booth provider


Leighton Brookfield

Photo booth provider


Martin Goddard, Musician


Martin Goddard



This week, the editor loves...

Looking for the new pompom? These painted metal 'barn stars', made by the Amish people of Pennsylvania, would look great hung from the ceiling or propped on a mantlepiece at a rustic do. They're said to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits to boot. Available in three sizes and six colours, prices start from £28. www.lovestruck

Georgina Cassels
Georgina Cassels, Editor of Your South Wales Wedding magazine

Loved by Your South Wales Wedding magazine


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Readers' poll

Who cares more about your big day - you or your hubby-to-be?

Definitely me, all he has to do is turn up!
He'll be doing the 'man stuff' such as suits and cars but he hasn't a clue about flowers.
I've been surprised by how involved he wants to be - but the details are my domain.
He's the original groomzilla - he has an opinion about everything.











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