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Ask the experts

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your London 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@yourlondon.wedding

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

Hot topic: Venues special

From initial query to signing on the dotted line, our experts have your venue hunt sorted

Doing your research

Doing your research

Q. How can we narrow down our venue search?

A. Rachel Bellon says: Choosing a venue can be an overwhelming task. There are a huge number of options out there, from rural rustic barns to grand city halls, and it's hard to know where to start. With such choice on offer, before visiting venues it's a good idea to know what your priorities are for your big day, whether that be show-stopping food or creating the ultimate party atmosphere.

Working out your budget is a key element of the decision making, and having an idea of your guest list early on is invaluable, as this means you can narrow down the list of venues by capacity as well as location. Ask each venue about hire costs before you arrange a tour so your shortlist contains affordable options only. Have a think about what style of wedding you want and let this lead you, although don't be afraid to visit somewhere different too – you may be surprised when you see it in person.

I do, I do, I do

I do, I do, I do

Q. We're poised to book our venue and ceremony – can you talk us through the process?

A. Steven Lord says: Congratulations on your engagement! You're free to get married anywhere in England or Wales that is licensed for civil marriage and civil partnership ceremonies. These include local register offices and approved venues. Each registration district sets its own fees for civil ceremonies. If you're having your legal ceremony in an approved venue, you will need to contact the district where the marriage is taking place to confirm that registration officers will be available on your chosen day and time. An additional fee will be required for this.

Before your marriage or civil partnership can go ahead, it's a legal requirement to give notice before your ceremony. You must do this, at the latest, 29 days before the ceremony date (71 days before, if either of you is a non-EEA national). This must be done in either your local or designated register office. It costs £35 per person to give notice and must be done in person. Further fees may be required dependent on your immigration status. Once these legalities are completed, you're then free to plan the finer details of your ceremony day. Try to stay calm and enjoy every minute, it goes so fast!

Book it!

Book it!

Q. We think we've found the one – what should we check before we sign on the dotted line?

A. Nicky Pratt says: Once you've found a place that ticks all the boxes, your head needs to take over. You must check that everything you need is factored in and that, logistically, the space is going to work for you and your guests.

A few core considerations might be things such as access and finish times at the venue; you can always ask the events team for advice on timings for the big day.

Furthermore, it's crucial to have your finances in order. Make sure you've budgeted in costs for each core element of the big day and have an idea of the total cost to avoid any unpleasant surprises down the line.

Coupled with this, clarify the invoicing terms of your big-day space, so you can make payments on time.

The entertainers

The entertainers

Q. We want our wedding to be one big party – what should we look for in a venue?

A. Glenn Mainwaring says: First think about the season and the flow of your day – you may want to prioritise outdoor space for a summer wedding so your guests can make the most of the weather.

Next, if you want to party into the wee small hours, then bear in mind that some venues only stay open until midnight or earlier! Make sure your chosen venue operates a late license before you confirm your booking.

Food and drink are key to any party – so always insist on a menu tasting.

Last, don't be afraid to ask for a discount – London venues can be so competitive and there's no harm in asking. If you're successful you'll be able to splash out on a top-notch band.