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Ask the experts

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your London 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@yourlondon.wedding

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

Hot topic: A good wedding

From vegan food to re-usable décor, we quiz the city's suppliers on ethical nuptials

Reuse, recycle

Reuse, recycle

Q. We're really keen to minimise the impact of our wedding on the planet but we're finding it tough – any suggestions?

A. Johnny Roxburgh says: Johnny says: Ethical weddings are becoming increasingly important with couples placing emphasis on their nuptials being plastic-free and considering aspects such as food waste management and re-use of flowers. The reality is that it's often logistically difficult to send food and flowers to those in need due to health and safety regulations, however this is an issue that's likely to see much improvement over the coming years.

That said, there are other elements of the day that are relatively simple to be re-used. One of my clients bought very expensive fabric for the tablecloths, which she then turned into curtains after the wedding. She had an excellent laundry service!

Plant the idea

Plant the idea

Q. We're planning our menu and we'd like to service vegan food both for environmental reasons and because the majority of our guests are vegan. Any tips?

A. Arjun Varma says: Arjun says: Vegan weddings are at a turning point and are becoming a fast-rising global trend; and with veganism establishing itself as a permanent lifestyle choice for people around the world, the demand for plant-based products and services has skyrocketed in the past few years. The rise of veganism means that the event industry is expected to cater for guests with such dietary preferences. Wedding planners and event organisers need to give vegan couples peace of mind and a sense of normalcy when planning their big day by being familiar with the nuances of a plant-based lifestyle. This also means that the once-typical wedding vegetarian dish consisting of oily veggies with pasta is thankfully now a thing of the past.

A lot of event organisers are striving to go further to not only meet the ever-growing demand for accessible vegan food but also to create entire events that are sustainable and eco-friendly. Following in the footsteps of Princess Eugenie, brides-to-be are thinking more about the planet while planning their big day, and not only choose to go vegan or vegetarian but to be as sustainable and plasticfree as possible too. Of course, it helps that linen napkins and glass or metal straws look much chicer than their plastic counterparts.

Speak up

Speak up

Q. I'm not a natural public speaker and I really want to nail my wedding speech. Any advice?

A. Laurence Bernstein says: Laurence says: For many of us, the prospect of speaking at a wedding can ruin the entire build-up, not to mention the day itself. Unsurprisingly, there's a growing demand for help from professional speechwriters. Here are my top tips:

❤ BE RELEVANT We've all heard a classic 'cut and paste' wedding speech and seen a sheepish best man recite jokes that he sourced online. Relevance means writing about the bride or groom in a way that could only be about them. For example, a best man wanted to talk about how often the groom got into trouble growing-up. It turned-out that he loved cartoons as a child and still wears his red and black school rugby shirt, so we suggested a theme that compared him to Dennis the Menace. That was relevant and fun – the speech went down a storm.

❤ MAKE IT HEARTFELT – BUT NOT TOO MUCH! Speak from the heart! Don't be afraid to show vulnerability and remember that your guests will have invested their time and money in being with you – and this is an opportunity to demonstrate that it's worth it. But please inject some humour to provide some much-needed balance.

❤ BE CLEAR You can write the best speech in the world but you still have to deliver it. Rehearse it out loud, becoming familiar with your words and emotions. Practice breathing slowly and looking your audience in the eye. Edit the words until they become punchy and easy to deliver. Clarity is crucial to an audience.

❤ SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE You're not expected to bake your own cake or sew your own dress so why write the speech alone? Speechwriters take all your anecdotes and ideas and craft them into an eloquent speech that retains your voice. If delivery isn't your thing either, you can also hire a delivery coach.

Pass it on

Pass it on

Q. Why would I have to pay inheritance tax when paying for my child's wedding? What has it got to do with the government?

A. Martin Brieger says: Martin says: Inheritance tax (IHT) is an undoubtedly emotive and political subject. But the simple fact is that, should you give a gift to someone and die within seven years, the government counts it as inheritance and will potentially want a slice of that value. This includes things like paying for other's weddings. Proponents argue that, without inheritance tax, the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor. They argue that taxing people on their inheritance redistributes income and helps society as a whole. Those who are against it say that it is a financial fact that inheritance tax is a double tax i.e. you are being taxed on something that has already been taxed previously. Moreover, opponents say it's a basic human right to pay or contribute to your child/ grandchild's wedding, which the state should have no say in.