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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: Breaking tradition

Do things differently with the help of our local experts

This must be the place

This must be the place

Q. We know exactly where we want to have our ceremony, and it's a gorgeous venue. One problem – it's not licensed for ceremonies! What can we do?

A. Rachel Vine says: Rachel says: As a bride-to-be myself, I can totally relate to this. I recommend having a legal ceremony at your local register office before your planned wedding at your chosen unlicensed venue. Doing this means you can have a personal ceremony on your actual wedding day in front of your closest family and friends.

I've heard some gorgeous (and often very funny!) wedding vows that the couple have written themselves. It also means you aren't restricted at all when planning your ceremony. During a civil ceremony, there are lots of rules that couples often aren't aware of. For religious ceremonies, there are obviously formalities and specific words that have to be said.

If you've got your heart set on your ceremony location and you want the freedom to have a more personal ceremony, then having a legal ceremony before your wedding day is a great solution. You don't have to exchange rings during the formal legal ceremony, either - just say the legal vows and sign the paperwork. Have a wonderful wedding day!

Vive la difference

Vive la difference

Q. Our wedding party is full of very individual characters, and we're looking for clothing that reflects that. Any suggestions?

A. Nicola Whybrow says: Nicola says: Not every bride feels that their bridesmaids need to wear the same dress, but when executed well, the bridal party can still look fabulous in different outfits. It is best, however, to have a running theme of some sort. Perhaps try different dresses in a neutral tone with a pop of colour or amazing styled shoes, and always encourage your bridesmaids to express their individual personalities through their accessories, including shoes, hair detailing, bracelets and earrings.

As for the groomsmen, why not try browns for warm skin tones and navy or greys as an alternative for cool skin tones? Alternatively, choose ties in a variety of different shades of one colour depending on whether they suit bright or muted shades in cool or warm colours. Groomsmen should also show off their own style, panache and personality through their shoes and belts. Flamboyance may not be the look you are after, but well-dressed, dapper and confident definitely is. Remember that quality is key for accessories.

Off the wall

Off the wall

Q. I'd love my wedding album to be filled with fun and unusual pics rather than the normal family lineups. How can we create the ultimate big-day shoot?

A. Tonja Fitz-Johnson says: Tonja says: If you would like your images presented in a creative and personalised album, make sure you find a photographer who will provide you with the shots that reflect your photographic style. After all, if you don't have the relevant shots, the album will not be what you hoped for! The photographer should be designing the album with your input rather than sending it away to be compiled. The albums are often called digital or storybook albums. Make sure you ask your photographer to see a sample of a real-life wedding to get a feel for it.


There is no limit to the combined creativity of you and your photographer, whether a very styled, themed or totally relaxed wedding! I love the wealth of ideas people have and am inspired by telling the story of their day in the form of an album. My clients are always amazed how fantastic the final images look in a large-scale album when we are so used to electronic product.

Midnight moves

Midnight moves

Q. I'd love to surprise my other half with some sexy lingerie on our wedding night, but I don't really know where to start – any ideas?

A. Liz Brighton says: Liz says: Picking out wedding night lingerie can be a daunting task, but it will be the perfect surprise at the end of your special day. Go for colour! The expectation is that brides should wear white when it comes to selecting wedding lingerie, but if you can't break with tradition on your wedding night, when can you? As well as the more traditional colours, the options spread into beautiful pastels, with duck egg blue, pinks and purples offering a romantic tone to your lingerie, while sumptuous reds and classic black pieces with a twist suggest a sexier theme for the wedding night lingerie. Textured pieces in lace or velvet offer a level of sexiness to lingerie and something that is a treat outside of the more functional everyday selection. Try not to pick something too fussy in terms of putting it on. Something you can slip into easily is always the best option when it comes to keeping the passion simmering!