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Hot topic: Winter weddings

Our experts advise on wonderful winter weddings

Ring in the New Year

Q. I went the extra mile for my fiancée's engagement ring and wanted to know how to choose, and how to make, her wedding ring equally special?

A. Neil Duttson says: The main rule is not to upstage the engagement ring but to add a personal touch to the wedding band.

My suggestions are as follows: You could engrave the interior of the wedding ring with a personal message or perhaps even the all-important date. I've engraved all sorts of messages in English, Swahili, Chinese, Swedish, Danish and French. Another idea and something I've added many times are the couple's birthstones to the interior of the ring. We bury the stones in the metal within the interior of the ring so that only the top is seen when the ring is removed.

The width of the piece should be equal or slightly thinner than the width of the band of the engagement ring and ideally in the same metal. For one client I've made three ultra thin diamond wedding bands to match all outfits! White, yellow and rose gold. She wore one on her wedding day and the other three were tucked in her stocking during the ceremony so that all three rings were present at the church.

Pack it in

Q. We're going on our honeymoon this winter; but with all the exciting wedding planning I haven't actually given this much thought. What should I do?

A. Rachelle Speed says: Planning a wedding is one huge to-do list, and you're probably thinking right up to that big day, but not the days that follow! However, if you're looking to plan a honeymoon, it's best to get a head start. I've put together a few tips to help you reach the runway in one piece:

1. Take care
Eating well, drinking plenty of water, and light exercise is key to a healthy mind and body. Make the effort to go outside and breathe in the fresh air, keep hydrated, and enjoy good food. Your energy levels will rise, and sugar levels will stay constant, making you more capable to take on any wedding planning hiccups!

2. Game plan
Honeymoons are your chance to relax as newlyweds, but as well as lazy days together it's a chance to experience a new destination in the world. Once you've chosen your perfect spot start an ideas board straight away. Use platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram to look up where you're heading to, and find excellent restaurant reviews and fun activities, then save them for later! You'll soon have a folder full of quirky and brilliant ideas, and you're ready to plan your itinerary; having already done half the work on your lunch breaks.

3. Pack smart
Whether you're heading to the snowy mountains, or warm exotic seas, it helps to pack smart. You'll inevitably want to take your whole wardrobe, but all you really need to remember is to stock up on bikinis, sundresses, and a good pair of flip flops – they'll carry you far. As will lots of layers for the colder climates. Do pack toiletries before you travel as well.

Worried winter skin

Q. My skin always looks a bit dull and tired in the colder months. What are the best ways to make it look radiant?

A. Emma Coleman says: It's common for skin to become dry during autumn and winter as we're bombarded with radiators, car heaters and cold outside temperatures. Here are some ways you can protect skin from becoming dried out and dehydrated in the lead up to your special day:

- DIY Kitchen Facial Mask to keep skin soft and hydrated during the frostier months: Avocado and oats make a wonderful blend as avocados are high in carotenoids, a type of antioxidant that fight free radicals, while oats moisturise by boosting the skin's vitamin E levels. The oats also exfoliate as you apply this mask. Simply mash one quarter of a ripe avocado in a bowl, mix in a teaspoon of oats and mix well. Apply over face (and neck if you like), massage in then leave for 10-15 minutes, remove excess with a tissue and the splash face with cool or tepid water. Repeat once weekly and always avoid the eyes. Eat the rest of the avocado to boost skin from within!

- Does your skin sting when you cleanse? Swap for a cleansing balm instead, which will effectively remove expired dead skin cells and bacteria whilst maintaining your skin's natural sebum or oil levels. Try Inner-Soul's Roses and Lemons Tender Cleanse Balm available at

- Boost your body's selenium levels – I'm slightly obsessed with this mineral as it's a powerful antioxidant, protecting against ultraviolet-induced damage and promoting tissue strength. Selenium can be found in Brazil nuts, yellow fin tuna and spinach. If taking in supplement form, the daily recommended dose of Selenium for adults is 55mcg.

Well groomed

Q. How can I choose an outfit so I look just as head-turning as my beautiful bride on our big day?

A. Bluewater says: From traditional attire to laid-back alternatives, grooms-to-be can explore a huge selection of wedding outfits.

Grooms with traditional tastes can browse through ready-to-wear morning suits and tuxedos. There's something to suit all tastes at Moss Bros, with trousers, jackets and shirts available in modern slim fits and classic cuts across fashionable fabrics and colourways. For a laid-back look, opt for separates by pairing a blazer jacket with chinos or casual trousers. At Moss Bros, men's mix-and-match suits give gents the freedom to customise their look by choosing a separate jacket, trouser and waistcoat to suit their own style. If the groom wants to go the extra mile, they can visit Hackett for a tailor-made suit and expert advice. For men's footwear, head to Ted Baker where you'll find a stylish selection of traditional and contemporary shoes, including vintage-style brogues, dapper suede and leather loafers.

Inject some personality to bridal party outfits with the addition of colourful accessories and modern shirts. There's a great selection of shirts, bright socks or patterned ties, bow ties and braces at stores including Charles Tyrwhitt, Hawes & Curtis, T.M. Lewin and John Lewis.

Magic and sparkle

Q. How can I make my wonderful winter wedding look as enchanting as possible?

A. Blessing Enakimino says: Choosing an enchanted winter theme is achievable. The trick is to have lots of white finishes – think crisp linen for your tables with a bit of sparkle or sequin.

For your chairs, I'd advise choosing ice chiavari chairs with white seat pads. Then, as it's an enchanted theme, I'd suggest a sweetheart top table with seating for just the happy couple. Upgrade your couple's seats to a pair of white thrones or a large white sofa.

Create an ambience using up-lighters in shades of blue and pink. The main key to turning your room into an enchanted magical space is the use of large props – add in large blossom trees covered in snow with crystals. Use wild centre pieces with crystals cascading from each branch, have clear vases filled with white shimmery pine cones with cinnamon rolls hidden underneath them – so the sense of smell is heightened alongside the sense of sight! Hang crystal chandeliers everywhere possible across the ceiling. Create a waterfall-effect in a corner, surrounding it with moss covered in fake snow.

Adding an ice sculpture will be a wonderful bonus. Drape the ceilings with white fairylights and some walls with white chiffon with white fairylights behind them. Throw in a few enchanted props such as fairies and other magical creatures if you choose – hide them within flower arrangements, centrepieces, etc. If the space has large open fireplaces fill them with lit large block candles in varied height conical vases. These ideas should give you a good all round look for your theme.

Whatever you do, make it about you – it's your wedding!

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