Ask the experts

 

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your London Wedding magazine. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yourlondon.wedding.

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

Hot topic: Big-day beautiful

From barre to breakout prevention, build your big-day body confidence

No barres held

No barres held

Q. I keep hearing about barre classes and I'm curious – would it be beneficial to a bride preparing for her big day?

A. Zhivka Slavona says: Based on ballet, barre classes incorporate classic moves from the dance medium such as pliés, battements and port de bras. There are numerous benefits to regular practice, especially for brides-to-be, among them:

- Postural awareness: Knowing how to hold your body and work from your centre in functional movements will help create that poise and grace. From tricep dips and attitude lifts to lunges, planks and isometric holds, the barre classes will help you switch your core on, improve stamina and flexibility.

- Confidence: All barre classes help build the lean and graceful body of a dancer, without breaking a sweat. Sculpt your arms, back, bum and legs and rock your dream wedding dress. Add a releve in each exercise and you'll feel effortlessly comfortable even in the highest stilettos. Get your plié going to achieve the dreamy ballet feet with pointed toes, strong ankles and sculpted calves.

- Get wedding dance ready: After just a couple of ballet, barre or fusion classes you'll start noticing your posture and body tone visibly changing and your confidence and coordination dramatically improved. Pirouette, tendu, rond-de-jambe, arabesque – you name it, you'll nail it.

- Fitting around you: Making group classes can be tricky when juggling a busy, pre-wedding schedule. You can arrange a dedicated one-to-one session or sign for a block of classes with your favourite instructor to perfect your technique and address even the smallest areas of concern.

Open air but not open ended

Open air but not open ended

Q. We're hoping to host our big day outdoors next summer but, while we're aware the ceremony won't be legal, we'd like it to have the same gravitas. Can you talk us through the role of celebrant and the legal formalities we'll need to complete too

A. Rosalie Kuyvenhoven says: Congratulations on your engagement! It's great to learn that you're considering a celebrant to create and conduct this special moment for you.

A celebrant-led ceremony is built around you and your story together and will create a lasting memory for you and your guests. You can choose your own music, readings and ways to express your vows. If you'd like to add some extra magic you can add a symbolic ritual. A celebrant travels anywhere and you can have your ceremony wherever you want.

When a couple decides to work with me, I first ask them a lot of questions to get to know them, such as: What makes them smile? How did they meet? What dreams do they share? We typically meet a few times, in person or virtually if they live abroad. We also talk about the structure and logistics of the ceremony. Do they have a theme? Who would they like to involve?

After I have a good picture of the couple's story and their wishes I write a draft script. I send this to them to check it reflects the tone, sentiment and content they're looking for. Anything can be changed at this stage but most of the time, they're amazed to see how it all comes together.

We tweak content until they're absolutely happy with the ceremony script. Closer to the date, I liaise with the other suppliers who are involved in the ceremony: wedding planner, venue manager, photographer, videographer, musicians, and others. I make sure everyone understands the logistics and flow of the ceremony so things run smoothly on the day.

A celebrant-led wedding is not legally binding. You'll need to sign the paperwork with a registrar, which you can do at any time before or after the celebrant-led ceremony. Many couples I work with keep this very simple and most registrar offices offer a very basic option. Your local council will be able to tell you more. Happy planning!

Spot of bother

Spot of bother

Q. I'm prone to breakouts at times of stress and I'm worried that, as the big day approaches, my acne will flare up. What's your advice for preventing spots?

A. Aaron Gilpin says: My advice for preventing acne breakouts in the lead up to a wedding is to take some proactive steps to minimise the impact. Acne is essentially driven by our hormones, which are readily affected by stress. As we all know, planning a wedding can be a stressful time.

Depending on how much time you have, book in with a specialist skin service as part of your wedding preparation. You may want to consider skin peels, medical skincare or LED phototherapy in the months leading up to the wedding.

Basic everyday tips to reduce likelihood of breaking out include:

- Try to keep processed food to a minimum – simple carbs will stimulate floods of insulin in your body, which will impact the skin negatively.

- When you wash your face / hair / shower / bath, keep the water temperature down. High heat will stimulate your skin to produce oil and therefore increase your risk of breaking out.

- Find ways to address your stress management whether it's walking, meditation or mindfulness. - Have an effective spot treatment at the ready for use the minute a spot starts to appear.

- Despite what you read in the media – do not apply any oil-based product to your face – the aim is to reduce oil and not to add to it.

- Do not pick at your skin – you are very likely to make it look worse!

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