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: Top tips

Our experts share their top tips

Food, glorious food

Food, glorious food

Q. Can you inspire us with some fresh and exciting ideas for our wedding menu?

A. Sarah-Jane Payne says: Meet the expert: Sarah-Jane Payne has been running West Country Caterers located in Umberleigh, Devon for 23 years. It's one of the leading Devonbased catering companies and is a family-run business, covering all occasions. Sarah-Jane says: I find it interesting how food tastes and trends have evolved over the years. It's quite often celebrity influenced, with brides looking to them on Instagram and in magazines for ideas in choosing their wedding day menu. Also, group weekends away in a hired holiday home are now more popular for intimate wedding celebrations.

We are continuously researching and following the different trends and food varieties. More recently, there has been an increase in requests for vegetarian and vegan dishes. We have been catering for all-vegan menus which has been both challenging and rewarding, using seasonal vegetables and fruits.

Although some traditional ideas are still popular, we are now specialising in more street food for weddings such as paella and curry. Our sharing platters are ideal because they help create a social atmosphere, as are the more casual ideas such as barbecues and hog roasts.

Food, glorious food

Food, glorious food

Q. Can you inspire us with some fresh and exciting ideas for our wedding menu?

A. Eran Hovay says: Meet the expert: Eran Hovav is the managing director and head chef of Eran's Kitchen that was born out of his passion for food, travel and life, with flavours from around the world being at the core of every dish. Eran says: I'm always experimenting with new dishes and flavours using fresh raw ingredients from the West Country. I like to fuse modern British cuisine with traditional recipes from global cultures. For couples wanting something a bit different for their wedding, I particularly like the Argentinian Asado that's a wonderful experience for gathering guests together, plus the authentic, popular barbecue experience that can cater for vegetarian and vegan guests, as well as meat eaters alike. Other ideas I see regular requests for at weddings are bowl food, street food and even a Moroccan tagine feast.

Your day, your way

Your day, your way

Q. We want to book a really good independent celebrant for our Devonbased wedding. Can you advise us on the types of ceremony we could consider, and some great locations for it?

A. Sarah Chapman says: Meet the expert: Sarah Chapman is a professional independent celebrant based in the South West. She helps couples create their individual ceremony by guiding them with their vows, readings and word choices. They can include symbolic and traditional rituals and spiritual or faith-based beliefs.

Sarah says: Choosing a celebrant to deliver your wedding ceremony gives you a range of options that a registrar can't. Firstly, you can hold your ceremony anywhere, not just in a licensed venue. I have performed them in couples' favourite places, for example on the beach, in the woods, on a boat and cliff top, and even in their own garden.

I do also work with wedding venues. For great flexibility and a good choice of areas to hold a ceremony I often recommend Middle Coombe Farm in Tiverton, The Barn in South Milton, Putsborough Beach in North Devon and Bovey Castle in Dartmoor.

Secondly, your ceremony can be bespoke to you both, from the giving and blessing of the rings, exchanging of vows, lighting candles, a personal choice of poetry, and religious or spiritual words. Symbolic Rituals to unite you both can include a Rose Ceremony, Sand Ceremony, Hand-Fasting Ceremony and Jumping the Broom - often couples choose all of these! I have even written Cocktail Rituals and Chocolate Ceremonies to make the wedding personal. Part of the fun is choosing which ideas suit you both best.

The great outdoors

The great outdoors

Q. We want to find a place in Devon where we can plan a relaxed, festivalstyle blessing outdoors and create the day we want without the restrictions of a more formal wedding venue. Where do you suggest?

A. Ian & Nicky says: Meet the experts: Ian and Nicky Richards are the owners of Little Oak Meadow located in Colyton, East Devon. The couple decided to follow their dream and open it to the public as a wedding venue after being inspired by their own daughter's wedding. It's a lovingly maintained site with plenty of options for celebrations.

Ian and Nicky say: Little Oak Meadow is situated in a private, secluded location with plenty of possibilities for an outdoor celebration. We offer couples and their guests overnight glamping accommodation in tipis, yurts or bell tents. This means that a wedding can be a weekend affair rather than lasting just one day. If you're feeling adventurous, you're more than welcome to bring your own tent, campervan, caravan or motorhome for a rural wedding retreat. We are very relaxed, so whatever your requirements we will listen and help create your dream day. Unlike other wedding venues in Devon, we don't offer a standard wedding package. Instead, we build them specifically tailored according to your needs and requirements, resulting in a beautiful wedding in the Devonshire countryside that you and your guests will never forget.

Home from home

Home from home

Q. We're planning a wedding in Devon and want to book a venue where we can invite our loved ones to spend the entire weekend with us and have a house party-style celebration. Where do you suggest?

A. Hannah Evans says: Meet the expert: Hannah Evans is the joint owner of Hallsannery with her husband Charles. It was closed in 2012 for refurbishment where it was restored to its former glory as a late Georgian, early Victorian property and reopened in 2013 as a wedding venue and holiday destination.

Hannah says: Why not consider hiring a large house where your loved ones can gather for a weekend (or even a week) and where there aren't the restrictions that many wedding venues impose? That way, you can create a home away from home atmosphere and host an informal, intimate celebration. Hallsannery House located just outside of Bideford and approximately five miles from the sandy shores of the North Devon coast offers an exclusive, flexible wedding venue. With 11 en suite bedrooms and a sumptuous Bridal Suite home to a four-poster bed and roll-top bath, the property offers plenty of spaces for wedding celebrations including three reception rooms (one with a fire), a dining room featuring a glistening chandelier that's ideal for the wedding breakfast, a farmhouse kitchen large enough for a group brunch or lunch, an indoor and outdoor games room, and even a tennis court.

With a choice of indoor and outdoor ceremony locations and a selection of gorgeous spots for big-day photographs, this Grade II listed manor house provides an elegant backdrop for a house partystyle wedding. It can be themed for weddings in all seasons - think twinkling candles and a roaring fire in winter, and flower-filled gardens and croquet on the lawn in summer. Keeping everything under one roof is simple and budget friendly because most things are included and there's no corkage fee.