Ask the experts

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Berks, Bucks and Oxon 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@yourberksbucksoxon.wedding

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

Hot topic: Wedding planning

Our local experts offer stellar advice on planning your big day.

Get ready for love

Get ready for love

Q. We're finally engaged, and I'm so excited! Can you offer any idea of a sensible timescale and what our priorities should be?

A. Karin Tindall says: Congratulations on your engagement! A very good first step is sitting down and working out a rough guest list. Figure out how many people you will be inviting for the day and for the evening. This will help greatly when you take the next step: looking at venues. Most venues will book up around 12 months in advance. My next suggestion is not as much fun but equally as important: your budget. Visiting wedding fairs can be a nice way of getting a good grasp on the cost of suppliers in your area, from florists and cake makers to photographers.

Once you have a budget in mind, visit your shortlist of venues and secure what will become a very special date and place. Now the real fun begins, including finding the dress. A wedding gown purchased from a classic boutique will require around six to nine months from placing an order to being ready for collection. Use the time gathering inspiration from magazines, Instagram and Pinterest, planning and ordering your flowers, cake, stationery (sending savethe- dates is very sensible), transport and other touches to create your perfect day. Enjoy the planning!

You can dance

You can dance

Q. My partner has two left feet. What can I do to get them ready for the first dance on our wedding day?

A. Kiri Cullen says: If you are worried about how your first dance will turn out, have some lessons. Having a professional dance teacher come to your home or a local studio will help to make sure you feel at ease. The thought of dance lessons can be daunting, but one-to-one tuition really helps compared to attending a group class, wherein participants often end up standing at the back and hiding. If you have the lessons at home, you have your own space, you don't need to travel and you will end up feeling more relaxed.

We often get told by wedding couples that they have two left feet, but they are normally so surprised and impressed with what they can do even after the first lesson. Most couples learn a minute's dance in the first lesson, and that is a realistic average. Start planning early by looking at videos and songs online that you like the look of and book lessons around two months before the wedding date so you have enough time to prepare – and so that you won't forget on the day. Good luck!

Piece of cake

Piece of cake

Q. We love cake and have loads of ideas for our big-day bake. How should we go about looking for a cake maker, and how far in advance do we need to plan things?

A. Victoria Carr says: The best way to start looking for a cake maker is online. Cake makers will post their best work on social media or on their websites to showcase the best of the best! Use hashtags like #weddingcake or #[insertlocation]cakes to find someone local to you or your venue, and then drop them a message.

I get bookings between two months and two years in advance. It can vary, and as long as I have availability, I can turn around beautiful wedding cakes in a few weeks. To be safe, though, it's best to start looking at planning your wedding cake six to nine months in advance.

The most important thing to remember about your wedding cake is that you are always right. The cake needs to be perfect for your day, so always bring any ideas and themes with you to your consultation. At Victoria's Sponges, we offer free wedding consultations with a selection of cupcakes to take away with you and try in your own time before you make any commitments.

It's a wrap

It's a wrap

Q. We're looking for a videographer but we're not sure where to begin. Can you help?

A. Rachel Vine says: Think about the style of wedding you're having, and then looking to see if local videographers have filmed similar styles. If you're getting married in a church, are there examples of church weddings in their portfolios? It's important they are considerate of the service and won't be intrusive. Or are you having a tipi wedding reception with a festival vibe and wanting a film that captures all the fun? If so, look for a videographer who specialises in that.

Consider what you'd like the edited films to look like. Do you want the whole ceremony and speeches as well as highlights? I'm engaged myself, and when thinking about a videographer for our own wedding, we wrote down our criteria and then asked in wedding groups on Facebook for people to comment if they thought they matched it. In particular, we wanted a music video style that focused on highlights, our guests as well as us, clips timed to the beats and the ceremony, speeches and first dance in full. This helped us decide whether the videographers were right for us or not, and I'd recommend doing the same for all your suppliers.

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