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 firstname.lastname@example.org
To view more expert advice on a different topic, please select one from the list below.
The perfect match
Q. There are so many make-up artists out there. How do I chose who is right for me?
A. Jane Dare says: Here are my top tips for picking the perfect artist for your big day…
* Start by researching magazines, websites and reviews. Then, meet your favoured artist. They will play a very important role on the day, you want to gel with them and feel confident in their ability.
* The best artists are in demand, so summer weekends and bank holidays are booked up quickly. Personally, I would never compromise my service by attempting two bookings in one day.
* Discuss the products they use and the training they've had. A week's make-up course may be enough if your artist is talented, but experience is also important. Can they handle the pressure and cope with your whole entourage?
* Saving money is important, but do question it if an artist is much cheaper than others you look at – there's normally a reason!
* Celebrities and models have a stunning dress, hair and make-up to complete the look – don't compromise! You don't want to look back and wish you'd had your make-up done professionally.
Image credit https://www.shootingpixels.net
Q. I have a simple, flowing gown. What accessories can I add for a bohemian vibe?
A. Jess Robinson says: We love this look and it can be achieved with some key pieces. The trend for boho jewellery is all about quality over quantity, and a great way to epitomise a bohemian look is through an organic design. Our hand-sculpted silver bud bracelet has stunning natural forms and textures that will capture the look you're going for. The piece is made from recycled silver, it's locally made and can be worn long after your big day. You'll find it on our website or in our Bristol store.
Caption: Silver Emerge bracelet RRP: £172.
Turn up the volume
Q. Q I have very thin, straight hair. How can I create volume?
A. Katie Winter says: Incorporating hair accessories into an up do is a fantastic way of giving the illusion of thicker hair. In preparation for your trial, I'd suggest buying some 100% human-hair clip-in extensions and a piece of hair jewellery. This doesn't have to be your final chosen piece, but something to use at the trial to show you how it can really accentuate volume.
Blow-drying the hair using mousse will give volume and improve the overall structure. Next, curl the hair with a small tong to create a tight curl; as straight hair tends to drop, this will leave behind a beautiful wave. Alternatively, if you love wearing your hair down, the extensions will allow you to have fuller hair for the day. Use a root volume powder and a little bit of back-combing to create the look you're dreaming of.
Image credit: https://www.morganjamesphoto.co.uk/
The one that I want
Q. There are so many make-up artists to choose from. How do I find the person that's right for me?
A. Jessica Mills says: I believe the most valuable way of searching for a great make-up artist is through word of mouth from someone you trust. The likelihood is if they rate them, you will too! I'd also suggest talking to artists at any wedding shows or venue open days you go to in order to not only get a feel for their work but also how you get on with them personally. Your chosen expert will be working very closely with you and will be helping you get ready on the most important day of your life, so it's important to be relaxed in their company.
I would have a good search online and in magazines; social media is a good way to scan through portfolios.
Finally, I'd suggest taking a look on The Wedding Industry Awards website to find the best suppliers in your area. After winning two awards myself, I've found it gives brides the accreditation to prove that I can provide a first-class service.
Image credit https://oobaloos.co.uk/
Q. I don't wear a lot of make-up normally. How do I create a perfect big-day look while still feeling like me?
A. Jane Dare says: Even if you're not confident with make-up, it doesn't mean it should cause you any stress on your big day. Great skin will always show off your beauty look to its best, so follow a daily cleansing routine and include regular exfoliation.
Start with a Smashbox or Estée Lauder primer, followed by a long-lasting foundation such as Estée Lauder Double Wear mixed with a tinted moisturiser or cream highlighter for a radiant appearance. Apply in minimal layers and buff each one – try The Body Shop brushes for brilliant quality and price. Add concealer and dust with translucent powder before using a cream blusher on the apple of the cheek with light contouring and a touch of highlighter.
For the eyes, think neutral or pale pink tones; the Naked Palette by Urban Decay works every time!
Next, add natural lash extensions or several fine coats of waterproof mascara. Lightly smudge eyeliner into the lash line and finish with a soft shadow blended under the eye for a subtle, romantic feel. Choose a natural lip colour and add a dab of gloss to the centre to make your lips pop. Finally, set everything with a finishing spray.
Image credit https://www.louisem.co.uk/
Q. What accessories should I consider for a sparkly Christmas theme?
A. Katy Nochar says: There are many ways to incorporate some sparkle into your festive wedding, but we'd always recommend styling your accessories based on your dress choice. If you've gone for a simple number, then a dazzling statement belt or a crystal hair accessory would look fabulous. If your gown is heavily embellished, you may want to go for a more subtle approach with a fine crystal-edged veil or a gently twinkling hairpiece.
Other fun ideas would be glittery heels, or even dress your bridesmaids in sequin gowns. Our brides love a marabou feather or faux fur wrap to keep off the winter chill. We have a huge range of options and we offer accessory appointments to all brides.
Q. Q I'm having a black-tie Christmas wedding. What hairstyles will work for my bridesmaids and I?
A. Holly Hawker says: After being a wedding hair specialist for nearly ten years, I can say that glam winter weddings are my favourite! A simple blow dry isn't enough for this special occasion; you want to turn heads with the perfect finish.
The bride is the main attraction. I'd give you an elegant up do with lots of volume and softness. Having your hair up means your locks will stay looking perfect throughout the day. Hairpieces are a must for this style; look for twinkling rhinestones to finish the look off.
For your best girls, I think a soft plaited up do would be amazing for your nuptials. A messy up do is also a hot trend this year and looks effortlessly chic.
Searching for the one
Q. Q What should I expect from my first bridal appointment?
A. Bethanie says: When you arrive at your first appointment, you'll most likely be asked if you have any styles in mind, but don't worry if you haven't – that's what you're there to discover! In our boutique, you'll be greeted by one of our friendly team and shown around the shop while we explain our different designers and what you can expect.
Take time to look around the store and pick out anything you might like to try, and remember to keep an open mind at this stage. Dresses look completely different on the hanger so ask your consultant for suggestions.
Once you've found your selection, it's time to head to the changing room! In our boutique, we can personalise and alter the gowns for you; we thrive on creating your dream dress. Throughout your appointment we'll discuss your likes and dislikes so we can work hard to find exactly what you're looking for. Take your time, and you'll find the dress that makes you feel special and comfortable and will help your take the spotlight on your big day.
Real bride Lisa from our August/September issue
Q. For those that have been inspired by real bride Lisa, how can you channel this big-day look?
A. Hannah Hoskin Love says: Lisa had a classic, slightly retro look, which complements a red lip. Here's how we did it:
The face. I used Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation and Shape Tape Concealer by Tarte Cosmetics, which I gently patted in under the eyes. This is a great technique, as the warmth of your hands pushes the product down and gives a better finish than any brush. I contoured lightly with a darker shade of foundation by Urban Decay and added a light dusting of rosy pink blush by NYX. I used my fingers again to apply the highlighter for better control.
The eyes. Estée Lauder Camouflage Makeup was used as a primer to provide a flawless matte canvas. The soft brown smoky texture was created using Morphe eyeshadow and Ardell Demi Wispies lashes. I used NYX Eyebrow Gel to complete the look because it gives fantastic long-lasting results.
The lips. I lined Lisa's signature lips with a red liner by MAC and filled them in with NYX's Soft Matte Lip Cream. This product lasts really well and doesn't look dry, although I do advise my brides to take a lippy with them so they can top up after eating and drinking. This will be the only thing that needs altering. The products and techniques I use mean you'll still have a perfect face at midnight.
Lisa rocked her glam look and has inspired other brides of mine to do something similar!
Image credit https://www.adamrumble.co.uk/
Hannah Hoskin Love
Real bride Ellen from our August/September issue
Q. How can you recreate Ellen's look?
A. Fraire Sweet says: We wanted to show off Ellen's natural beauty, and we did this with a gorgeously simple look. Here are some pointers to help you to achieve this:
* Make sure your skin is prepped and hydrated. Use a good moisturiser, and drink lots of water.
* Gradually build coverage in layers, not all at once.
* Ensure your foundation is blended down on to the neck.
* Stick with neutral palettes for a timeless feel.
* Add a pop of highlighter to your cheekbones to finish it off!
Image credit https://nishahaqphotography.com
Our April/May cover star
Q. What do you love most about this cover star look from one of our previous issues?
A. Jane Dare says: This flawless look starts with a great skincare routine. Avoid face wipes and cleansers that can dry the skin, cause irritation and leave dry patches – cream cleansers are best unless your skin is oily. Follow this with a toner, and apply a moisturiser designed for your skin type. I love Tropic, and as an ambassador I always use its natural, vegan range.
Next step is priming the skin. I recommend Smashbox primers or Benefit POREfessional for larger pores. Choose a concealer that's closely matched to your skin tone and use under the eyes, on your lids, around the nose and on any blemishes. Apply foundation with a brush in downward strokes, and use a buffing brush or complexion blender to even out. Estée Lauder Double Wear Light is my preferred base, and I like to mix it with a little tinted moisturiser for extra radiance.
Finish off by dusting the whole face with a translucent loose powder. In hot weather, less is more. Heavy layers will slide off so let your natural beauty shine through!
Image credit https://www.louisem.co.uk
A timeless beauty
Q. What is a classic bridal beauty look that'll always look great in photographs?
A. Emma Louise says: A polished and perfected version of yourself is a great option for your wedding day. Finding out what you like to wear day-to-day and into the evening gives me a good understanding of how you'll like to look on your special day. My job as an artist is to enhance your individual style and to get you camera-ready for the photographs you'll always treasure. For me, classic beauty is all about neutral tones, soft brown smoky eyes with just enough definition to make them stand out. Liquid liner can give a vintage feel, so unless this is your go-to look, I'd stick to a more diffused finish with kohl pencil blended at the edges.
When it comes to that luscious lip, I'd recommend a tone that's not far from your natural colour. Buffing the same shade into your cheeks gives a harmonious feel that accentuates your natural beauty. Highlighting the higher planes of the face is very on-trend. Blend cream products into the complexion for a glowing-from-within look.
Image credit: https://sumartdesign.com
Designs on you
Q. Q I don't like showing my arms, but so many dresses I've seen are strapless. What options do I have?
A. Laura Braidwood says: All of the designers we stock offer a range of styles with different strap and sleeve combinations, and we have plenty in store alongside strapless gowns. What you see on the rail is not necessarily how the finished dress might look. If you fall for a strapless gown but still want some coverage, there are always options.
Some of our designers offer a customisation programme. This enables you to add straps or cap sleeves to an existing design. We also have a range of jackets and shrugs for further coverage, with the added benefit of being able to remove it later on. Our in-house alterations team can also help with more bespoke requests, which can be discussed at a consultation. We love working with our brides to bring their vision to life.
Q. My besties are all different ages, and not everyone wants to go out partying for my hen do. What can you suggest for a pre-wedding celebration that everyone will love?
A. Rachel Bibb says: A pamper party is a great way for your hens to have fun and bond prior to the big day. At Green Pamper, we bring the spa experience to you – wherever that may be at a time to suit you. With treatments ranging from massage to manicures, there's something for everyone, and it's the ideal way to while away an afternoon and get ready for a bit night out – or in!
The hen night has been replaced with the hen weekend. Instead of one night on the town, why not consider a stay in a beautiful holiday home. These can often cater for large parties, and you have the freedom to choose different activities to make it extra special. Still going out? No problem! We can help you to get ready or soothe away the headache with a scalp massage the morning after. With us, you can rest assured that we'll help take care of the environment as well as your gorgeous girls.
Q. I want my skin to look amazing on my special day. Can you give me advice on what make-up to use?
A. Heather Card says: I'd recommend a good skincare regime in the months leading up to your big day to ensure your skin is in tip-top condition. Make sure you remove your make-up every day to prevent your pores from clogging, and always remember to moisturise.
On the day, having your make-up airbrushed will give you a healthy glow, leaving you feeling refreshed and radiant. I use Airbase make-up, which is kind to the complexion with its added vitamin A and E and antioxidants. It improves the elasticity of the skin and reduces the signs of fine lines. Silicone airbrush products give a dewy finish that's suitable for all skin types. However, you can mattify it depending on your taste. It can be used to apply foundation, contour and blusher. Its longevity and durability makes it perfect for those precious wedding photos, and you'll feel confident and flawless on your wedding day.
Image credit: https://www.west70.co.uk/
Q. What tips can you suggest to get my hair, skin and nails looking their best for the big day?
A. Ella Hewton says: We often think about what products we can use to improve these things, but what we put in our bodies can be just as important.
Start by consuming plenty of fruit and vegetables; eating a rainbow every day will help you take in lots of antioxidants that can fight cell-damaging free radicals and repair the body's tissues. Hopefully the run-up to your big day will be plain sailing. If you do find yourself getting stressed, then try to avoid reaching for those comfort foods that are high in sugar and fat. They're not good for your overall health, as well as for your skin and hair.
Another tip is to stay hydrated. The amount we need to drink varies between individuals but a good rule of thumb is six to eight glasses a day – more if you're hot or very active. Our skin is about 64 per cent water, and dehydration can make it look dry. I always keep a bottle with me and aim to fill and drink it twice a day. Alcohol and caffeine are diuretics, which means they increase the fluids we lose. They can also be triggers for symptoms of more serious skin complaints, such as rosacea and urticaria, so enjoy in moderation! If you have a specific concern, it's worth getting in touch with our dermatologist.
Q. How do I create bigger lips using make-up?
A. Becky Flynn says: With any look, it's important to start with moisturised lips. I always fully line them to help with longevity, so this is the time to slightly overline them if you want a fuller effect. Start at your cupid's bow, and use a similar shade to your own colour. Make sure that you meet the liner back at the corners of your mouth, otherwise it can look unnatural. For your bottom lip, start at the edge and move towards the centre.
Next, fill in with your chosen lipstick and pop a clear gloss or balm in the middle to create a fuller look. To define it more, you can apply a concealer in a lighter hue than your foundation using a tiny angled brush. Finally, add a contour shade with a little fluffy brush under the centre of your lower lip. Just a small amount here will make your lips pops.
Image credit: https://www.jodiehurdphotography.com