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Ask the experts

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Hampshire and Dorset 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@yourhampshiredorset.wedding

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

Hot topic: Winter weddings

Local experts tackle your winter wedding queries

Seasonal stunners

Seasonal stunners

Q. What type of cake would you suggest to complement a winter wedding theme that will taste as good as it looks?

A. Jennifer Bronsell says: For a showstopping centrepiece, you can tie in the design, colour and decorative details with other elements from your day and present it on a styled cake table with seasonal touches to add to the wow factor. Adding a dash of sparkle to a white tiered creation is perfect for a romantic fairytale design while cascading sugar leaves provide the perfect finishing touch to add an outdoorsy, natural feel. For something different and mouthwatering, a Christmas themed croquembouche is sure to impress; delicious with glistening toffee snowflakes, finished off with a festive wreath.

Winter winners

Winter winners

Q. We're planning to tie the knot in December 2019 and I'm not sure what kind of accessories, fabric or style of wedding dress to go for to beat the winter chills. When and where should I start and what should I be looking out for?

A. Anya Murrell says: December is the perfect time of year for embracing sumptuous fabrics and sparkle, or maybe more individual style. With Christmas on the calendar you may be feeling festive or want to keep the yuletide theme at bay, whatever you decide your wedding can celebrate the elements of winter you love best.

So, where to start? Choosing your dress is a big decision and you want to get it right. Most boutiques carry styles for the different seasons all year round, as brides shop for their dress at any time in the lead-up to their big day. A good bridal consultant will ensure they know your wedding date in order to make appropriate suggestions.

For chilly weather, think rich mikado satin or crepe and for a lighter look, organza with lace overlays. Whether you're after big skirts for maximum impact or fitted silhouettes, these fabrics are sure to say 'winter wedding'.

Sparkle can add extra style, such as a headpiece or belt and we particularly love the adaptable hair vines that have been proving so popular this year.

We like to encourage individuality, so if you're not fond of long trains, or feel veils are more of a bother than a beauty, we love the trend for bridal capes. Heavier fabrics look great outdoors, while lighter chiffon or tulle give a fairytale effect. So why not experiment when searching for your dream look?

Rustic romance

Rustic romance

Q. We're celebrating our winter wedding in a rustic barn and want to create a warm and inviting atmosphere with plenty of wow factor. Any ideas?

A. Sian Bowron says: Lighting is key to creating a cosy, romantic setting for a winter wedding and you can really go to town with twinkling fairylights, uplighters and different-sized candles, preferably LED ones for a barn setting. Use them in glass votives, jars and even bottles and dot them all around, especially in any dark, forgotten corners. They look great in clusters and you could even opt for a rustic focal point, like the one pictured, for extra effect. Lanterns are another great addition, ideal lit up with a string of LED lights inside.

Food for thought

Food for thought

Q. We're having a 2pm ceremony and want to make sure our guests don't go hungry. What would you suggest for our winter celebration that will not only be delicious but hearty and warming too?

A. Claire Moore says: Winter offers some fabulous produce with big flavours, think pumpkin and ginger soup served in a beer and chilli cob loaf – just delicious! The wet bread smothered in the leftover soup is pure comfort food.

To keep hunger pangs at bay, serve some delicious cocktails and tasty canapés post-vows such as Conker Gin, spiced apple and tonic; chorizo Scotch eggs, bloody Mary ketchup and buttery rosemary crumpets; Somerset brie and chilli jam.

For the wedding breakfast get your guests interacting with plenty of oohs and aahs at the table. Give them something to talk about with large sharing rustic roasts; perfect for the winter months. Our platters are filled with local meats, roasted roots, Yorkshire puddings and all the trimmings with a rich pan jus. For dessert, we're modern-day traditionalists and love a bit of stodge! For heaven in a bowl, my raspberry jam and rose sponge, served with hot vanilla custard is hard to beat!