Wedding expert Kate Smallwood hosts brand new Inspiration Sessions at The National Wedding Show this Spring

31 Jan 2013

Kate Smallwood returns to The National Wedding Show at Olympia Grand this Spring to host the brand new Inspiration Sessions, offering advice on everything from the latest wedding trends and bridal fashion to choosing the perfect cake and flowers.

Kate Smallwood is a journalist and presenter specialising in weddings. For the past 15 years she has worked for some of the UK’s biggest bridal magazines. She presented The Wedding Experts for Wedding TV and is regularly asked to comment on weddings for television and radio. Kate has been advising brides at The National Wedding Show since 2003 and sees it as the highlight of her wedding calendar.

Here are Kate’s top tips for newly engaged couples:

1. Tell the world - You’ve just got engaged - so shout it from the rooftops! Think about how you’re going totell your nearest and dearest, and decide whether or not to have an engagement party

2. Set your budget - Work out what you can afford to spend on your big day, allocate roughly what you’re going to set aside for each element and stick to it. Remember - it doesn’t matter whether you have £10,000 or £100,000. Fabulous weddings can be created no matter what you spend and going in to debt is NOT romantic

3. Write an initial guest list - Before you can book anything, you need to know how many guests you’d like to invite. Sit down together and make a list. Chances are, your first list will be long and you’ll need to cut it down a little!

4. Make a date - You’ve said ‘yes’, now you need to decide when you’re going to say ‘I do’. Consider whether you’d like a summer or winter wedding and try to avoid key dates like bank holidays, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day - suppliers may be more expensive, and guests may have other plans

5. Choose your engagement ring - Unless your fiancé has bravely chosen your ring already, you’ll probably be planning to shop together. Stick to your budget, do your homework and have a good idea of what you’d like before you splash the cash

6. Find your venue - As soon as you have an idea of your guest list, start looking for ceremony and reception venues. Decide whether you’d like a civil or religious ceremony and get hunting

7. Choose your helpers - You’re planning a wedding and you’ll need a little support along the way. Ushers, best man and bridesmaids are key, so think about who you’d like to share the experience with and pop the question

To find out more about The National Wedding Show, visit