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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

Mum's the word

Mum's the word

Q. What new mother-of-the-bride styles are available to get my mum looking her best?

A. Jo Halford says: We have all kinds of mums walking through our door, and we're finding more and more customers want something a little different and fashion-forward.

One of the most on-trend styles at the moment is the tea dress. It is a flattering design for all shapes and sizes and you can find it in wonderful prints and vibrant tones, making it wearable for other occasions too.

We've also found our Condici dress and jacket combo with a balletlength pleated skirt has been very popular. This is great for customers who like a longer skirt while keeping a fashionable edge.

You can never go wrong with a little sparkle, and the cold-shoulder sleeve has become a must in the fashion industry. John Charles has created a beautiful outfit in rich tones for the modern mum with these stunning elements.

To have and to hold

To have and to hold

Q. We've decided to have a celebrant-led wedding so we can get married outside. What suggestions do you have for making the ceremony personal to us?

A. Kate Mortimer says: Consider why you chose your setting. Does it represent your love of the outdoors? Does it hold deep personal significance? Or did you like the venue and getting married outside was an exciting option? Try to keep these reasons in mind when planning your ceremony.

Al fresco nuptials lend themselves to quirky décor, whether that's bright colours, wildflowers or fun themes. Try to choose elements that represent your relationship. I recently had a couple who chose to reflect their love of the sea; it worked beautifully in their rural setting. Handfasting also works brillaintly outdoors – a rainbow of ribbons fluttering in the wind looks spectacular.

With a celebrant, you really can make the day your own without being tied into set words or ceremony elements. I get to know my clients really well, and it's so rewarding conducting a ceremony with deep significance to them.

Let's dance!

Let's dance!

Q. What are your top tips for getting our first dance looking on point?

A. Steph Kelsall says: ❤ Start preparations early. The last thing you want is to be worrying about remembering your steps in the lead-up to your big day. You want your dance to be second nature, no matter how intricate or simple the steps, which is why you must…

❤ Practice, practice, practice. Nothing will speed up your progress like rehearsing regularly. This will result in the creation of muscle memory, which is what you want to achieve by the time your big day comes around. Practicing is also a good excuse for spending quality time with your partner.

❤ Choose a song with meaning. No matter how non-traditional or cliché, find something that is significant to you both. The first dance is all about showcasing your personalities and love for each other, so whether you want to portray your fun side or be romantic, your instructor will help bring this across in your choreography.

❤ Rehearse in similar attire. For ladies, bear in mind that heels can interrupt our balance and dictate the size of steps manageable. I always recommend that brides show their choreographer their dress as certain moves may need to be adjusted dependent on the size, weight and shape. Gentlemen, your shoes may be slippery depending on the sole, and you may need to undo your jacket button or dance in a waistcoat to avoid any tears in clothing – we don't want any of those kinds of splits!

❤ Have fun! It's scientifically proven that dancing makes you happy, so enjoy every minute of the preparation and execution of your special newlywed moment. I regularly hear from my clients that it's one of the best parts of their special day.

Mic drop

Mic drop

Q. I want to give a bride's speech on my wedding day. What should I include and how can I manage any anxiety?

A. Michael J MacMahon says: Nerves are natural; most people fear public speaking. The good news is that a little fear helps you give a great speech, if you manage it. Here are a couple of strategies to help:

❤ Tell yourself you don't have to do it. A bride's speech isn't traditional, so don't let anyone know your plan – apart from your partner, maybe. Prepare the speech, but don't decide whether to give it until the last minute. My daughter used this technique for her wedding and it really helped.

❤ The second method works well for visual people. Try sitting down and breathing deeply, then think of a favourite place where you feel relaxed. Give that place a name. Then, just before the speeches, say that name to yourself and take your mind there for a few moments.

When it comes to what to include, luckily it's totally up to you; there are no conventions to worry about for a bride's speech. Stories work best – people love them. For example, think about what events in your relationship showed you the qualities you like best in your partner? As the old saying goes, people won't remember all your words, but they'll always remember how you made them feel. For more ideas, you can get a free speech template here www.michaelmacmahon.com/speechchecklist