Ask the experts

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Bristol and Somerset 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@yourbristolsomerset.wedding

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

Hot topic: Wedding dilemmas

Our experts solve your dilemmas

Fabulously festive

Fabulously festive

Q. We're planning a Christmas wedding in a stately home. Where do we turn to for help in creating this look?

A. Becky Storey and Emma Chapman-Burnett says: Winter weddings are a magical occasion, and what better place to celebrate than in a beautiful grand home? With their high ceilings and traditional interiors, settings like this have stunning features that can be wonderfully enhanced.

Choosing a theme, creating a moodboard and collecting images of your favourite styles is a great starting point, and it means sourcing décor to match is much easier. If you're stuck, we recommend asking to see photographs of previous weddings at the venue and also checking out photographers' Instagram accounts.

To achieve a sophisticated and timeless look, we suggest working with a local florist who knows their seasonal blooms. Creating overhead floral installations intertwined with subtle lighting creates an intimate look in larger spaces, while dramatic floral garlands over fireplaces outline the beauty of traditional features.

Different textures such as linen cloths or effortlessly displayed napkins give a soft look and add personality. Styling doesn't need to be pristine to be elegant, and this goes for crockery too. There are many companies offering fabulous alternatives to white plates that give a personal touch. Finally, keep it simple. And don't overlook the details you love.

Dress to impress

Dress to impress

Q. I'm quite short, and my partner is very tall. What gown can I choose to give the illusion of height?

A. Fiona Newbery says: There's a common misconception that a shorter dress will make smaller brides look taller. However, a tea-length style just cuts you off below the knee. I'd recommend a full-length gown in a mermaid or fit-and-flare style. The length will elongate your body regardless of whether you're wearing heels.

For the bodice, look for sweetheart or V-neck cuts to create the illusion of height. Avoid belts or detailing that cuts you off at the waist, and steer clear of tops and bottoms in different fabrics or textures.

A fabric that works particularly well is satin. The smooth line draws the eye up the whole dress, giving the extra length. For your accessories, try a quirky birdcage veil to add height, while the addition of a feather will give it a vintage flourish.

The finishing touch

The finishing touch

Q. What items can we use to dress our rustic barn for a traditional Christmas feel?

A. Catherine Cooke says: There's nothing more romantic than a December wedding. However, doing justice to a rustic barn venue at this time of year can be challenging. First and foremost, pick your colour scheme. Once you've established this, you can then start making plans for how to make the space inviting and celebratory. Using ribbon is a cost-effective and fun choice. You can use it to liven up beams, chairs, table legs and supporting posts.

The obvious palette choice for the season would be green and red, but for a fresh take, why not opt for bright red and grass green to add a vibrant pop of colour to what can be a dull barn interior? Don't forget all those little touches like table decorations, seating plan and menus – they can all be embellished with a touch of colour.

East meets West

East meets West

Q. I'm Indian, and my partner is English. What styling touches can we use to incorporate both our backgrounds?

A. Radhika Nathwani says: We love styling fusion weddings, as it brings together two beautiful cultures. Begin by considering which elements of your backgrounds you'd like to bring into your special day. This could be specific colours, cultural aspects or themes.

Next, think about your venue, as that will have an impact on the type of styling you choose. For example, if you've opted for a quintessentially English barn, you could choose Indian accents to create a contrast. Try adding swathes of draping to the ceiling beams, hanging lanterns and atmospheric mood lighting. To finish off the look, incorporate vibrant floral centerpieces and votives.

When it comes to colour schemes, try regal and traditional Indian wedding colours such as red and gold. Tie this in to your flowers, stationery and draping. You could also use pretty Asian patterns to complete the look.

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