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Ask the experts

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Devon and Cornwall 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@yourdevoncornwall.wedding

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

Hot topic: Jewellery and photography

Our regional experts talk jewellery and photography

Add a little sparkle

Add a little sparkle

Q. We're newly engaged and I wondered how my hubby-to-be and myself go about shopping for our big-day jewellery? He'd like a keepsake watch and I'd like some crystal earrings and a pearl necklace, plus we need to purchase our wedding bands. Any advice would be great!

A. Natasha Manley says: At Drakes, Plymouth we start by asking you as the bride a few questions to help you find your wedding jewellery such as how are you going to be wearing your hair on the day? Is your dress plain or sparkly? Do you want a matching set or different pieces? What is the neckline of your dress like? Will you be wearing your jewellery again after your wedding day or is it going to be something you just wear on your special day, and how would you like your wedding ring to sit with your engagement ring? All these questions will give our knowledgeable team an idea so that they can help.

How long in advance should the jewellery selection take place?
Wedding jewellery is often the last thing couples think about but at Drakes we believe the more time left between the purchase and your big day the better. When it comes to buying your wedding bands we would recommend buying them at least one month before your big day but ideally a few months before to allow for more flexibility. Buying them further in advance means that you can spread the cost over a period of time either with our Deposit Scheme or Interest Free Credit options. Buying your wedding bands earlier will also mean that you will have time to have something bespoke made if you can't find anything you love in store. The Drakes Jewellery Hospital are able to create shape-to-fit wedding rings that will sit perfectly with your engagement ring. Pricing of rings is also likely to change over time as the cost of different metal types fluctuates.

Do brides shop based on trends and celebrity trends or on their emotions and what they like and feel suits them?
Picking wedding jewellery is such a personal and individual experience that's often down to how the couple are feeling on the day. Wedding ring choices are also often determined by the style of the engagement ring. Drakes have seen an increase in the number of brides that purchase wedding jewellery similar to that worn at the recent royal weddings which is something they expect to see for a few years to come.

Should couples buy their dress and suit first, in order to match the jewellery to them?
Most couples tend to buy their suits and dresses first and try to match their jewellery choices based on what they will be wearing on their big day. Brides who have chosen a sparkly dress tend to go for plainer jewellery and those with more subtle dresses often go for something with a little more sparkle.

How do I choose a watch?
If you're looking for a keepsake watch to wear on your wedding day, Drakes can fit your chosen timepiece perfectly to your wrist, free of charge. Choosing it often comes down to how regularly you're going to wear it. It's important to try on a selection of watches so that you can get a feel of it and ensure that it's comfortable and creating the look you're trying to achieve. At Drakes we have a wide selection of brands to suit all budgets and tastes.

Benefits of shopping at Drakes:
❤ We pride ourselves on the experience our customers receive while in store, for example, receiving a complimentary glass of prosecco and locally made chocolates while choosing their wedding jewellery.
❤ Couples who purchase their wedding rings from us will receive a wedding guestbook (turn to page 13 to read more).
❤ We also offer Drakes Rewards on purchases made in store, ideal for putting towards buying gifts for other members of your wedding party. Drakes also have a fabulous selection of gifts for bridesmaids and the best man, from hand-crafted bracelets to cufflinks.
❤ Drakes offer free engraving on selected rings and watches purchased in store.

Bird's eye view

Bird's eye view

Q. Why is it important to consider drone filming in a wedding photography package? What can it achieve that traditional filming can't?

A. Jamie Haigh says: Many of the venues where weddings are held are naturally stunning but often not fully visible from ground level. Drones are now used as standard by those in film and television production because the technology they carry offers the ability to capture clear footage with high definition quality utilising all angles of the venue that simply cannot be captured from the ground.

Can most venues cater for drone photography?
Most wedding venues are suitable for aerial filming and photography but we never take that for granted. During the consultation phase, the venue will be contacted and strict pre-flight checks will take place to ensure the safety and legality of any flight. In the few cases where a flight is impossible, we use a very tall sky pole to which a camera is attached to still get the feel of the aerial shot.

How do I ensure the operator is both qualified to use the drone safely and deliver quality pictures?
If you're thinking of hiring any videographer or photographer, my advice would be to do your homework. Have a look at their website, ask to see comments from previous clients, check their portfolio and most importantly meet or talk with them. This is your special day and cannot be repeated so a good working relationship where you feel comfortable will make for a far better end product. We pride ourselves on the fact that we have become genuine friends with many of our clients. If your photographer or videographer is offering aerial footage or stills, check that they have their PFCO (Permission for Commercial Operations) licence to operate a drone professionally. As with standard videography and photography though, the PFCO is not a guarantee of artistic ability or experience, speak to the pilot and ask to view previous work. Some pilots work largely in the commercial and inspection field, doing things like roof inspections and as such may have little or no artistic skills or experience.

Is the quality of the pictures the same as a normal camera?
As with any job, the right equipment is imperative. I've seen many operators at wedding fairs with drones that are not much more than toys or hobby-level models. We use video cameras, DSLR's, 360-degree and time-lapse cameras alongside our drones to create a production quality end product. All of our professional equipment produces imagery of the very highest quality and our drones are no exception.

What reaction do you get from guests? Is there anything they need to be made aware of?
Guests are usually very impressed and often have questions about the equipment. We always enjoy taking the time to chat with anyone about what we do. There is nothing that guests need to be aware of from a safety perspective, all precautions are taken and there is always a safety operative to monitor the situation whilst flying and help should anything arise.

Is it expensive compared to a standard film package?
No, not at all. We offer aerial filming as standard with all our videography packages and are competitively priced, with all packages including a shorter length film for use on social media and a feature length film. In addition to this, we also capture stills for use in our films, so whether your photography is done by us or by an outside supplier, you'll also get extra photographs free of charge.

Does the weather affect when the drone can be used?
Yes and no, obviously there are limits but we have drones for every occasion. If you're brave enough to be out in the open, we have a drone that can cope with those conditions.

Are there any additional benefits?
One of the things that we like to offer are interviews with guests. During the evening, we set up an interview area and invite people to join us individually, in couples or groups to have a chat and leave messages for the bride and groom. We also invite the bride and groom separately, to leave a message for their new husband or wife. This all makes for some relaxed, funny, emotional and completely natural footage, which integrates brilliantly with the films and gives it a really personal feel.