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Ask the experts

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Kent 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@yourkent.wedding

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

Hot topic: Mind, body and soul

Our experts discuss how to combat the impact an indulgent Christmas and the stress of planning a wedding can have on your body, getting you back on track and fighting fit for the big day

In confidence

In confidence

Q. How can I relieve some of the stress of planning my big day?

A. Katie Mahey says: The countdown to your wedding can be stressful, and there is so much to think about. You want everything to be perfect and everything you have dreamed of. It's normal and to be expected to have some nerves because it is the biggest day of your life! However, some brides, grooms or other members of the wedding party are overcome with fear or anxiety in the build up to the wedding. It may be the worry of being the centre of attention, the fear of giving a speech, wanting to become a non-smoker before the wedding or not feeling confident in your own skin. The good news is that it is possible to make the changes that you want to make in time for your wedding day. Through the use of hypnotherapy, it's possible to build your confidence, helping you feel in control and able to enjoy your wedding day to the fullest!

Hypnotherapy can reduce anxiety and worry while boosting your confidence, alleviating those prewedding nerves, reducing the nervous feelings of sweaty palms or butterflies in your stomach. And it can give you the help to say your vows or your speech with confidence. It's a wonderful, relaxing experience that will empower you to make the changes you want to make.

Body cleanse

Body cleanse

Q. How can I relieve some of the stress of planning my big day?

A. Cathryn Ambrose says: Many people look at new year as a fresh start to their health and fitness regime. After weeks of parties, unhealthy treats and over-indulgence, it's important to look after your body and find ways to get back on track with your health goals. The winter is also the time when bugs are rife, and this puts extra stress on your immune system.

Cleansing the body is a way to eliminate toxins that can be produced by your body or obtained from environmental or manmade sources. They include free radicals, pesticides on food, chemicals in everyday products, prescription drugs and pollution, to name just a few. While our bodies have their own detoxification process, it struggles to keep up with such a toxic burden, so it's important to give it a helping hand with the cleansing process.

The aloe vera plant has natural anti-inflammatory properties, assists in the cleansing process, aids digestion, supports the immune system and gastrointestinal health and contains antioxidant vitamin C, which protects cells from oxidative stress. Have a look at some aloe vera cleanses on the market to get your body back on track.

Dance your way to wellbeing

Q. How can I relive some of the stress of planning my big day?

A. Robeira Crosswell-Crouch says: In the run-up to your big day, it can be hard to make time to exercise, but the benefits are so worth it. We suggest the dance fitness programme FitSteps, devised by two of the world's most highly regarded ballroom dancers, Natalie Lowe and Ian Waite, in collaboration with Olympic swimmer Marc Foster. This dance workout mixes the graceful steps of ballroom and the up-tempo steps of latin to create fun-filled classes, and you won't even realise you're exercising!

While you're being active, it's important to improve your heart rate, tone and strengthen your muscles and re-energise your mind, all of which can be achieved with FitSteps. Dancing will help you to concentrate so much on the steps while listening to the music that your mind is instantly freed from any overload, so it's great for stress relief. A recent study has proved that this particular form of exercise is superior to repetitive physical activities such as walking or cycling.

You can even get your bride tribe together and learn a routine for your wedding or create a flash mob twist to the big day!

Mind over matter

Mind over matter

Q. How can I relieve some of the stress of planning my big day?

A. Yvonne Roberts says: Most people come to me because they can't stop thinking when they should be sleeping or when they are so stressed that their shoulders, backs and necks are constantly sore. The most obvious thing anyone can do is breathe. Not just breathe like you normally do – but consciously breathe. There are many simple exercises you can follow that can transform your life from chaos to calm. This is the basis of all meditation practices.

However, outside of the obvious advice to breathe, I would also recommend that during your most stressful times, you do the following:

❤ Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. If you can't avoid them totally, try to reduce your intake. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants, and alcohol is a depressant when consumed in large quantities.

❤ Do something physical over and above what you normally do. For example, go for a brisk walk among nature.

❤ Try a relaxation technique every day. A simple breathing exercise will be enough to change your whole physiology.

❤ When you're more relaxed, you will sleep better, which will dramatically change your mood. This will also allow you to see things with more clarity and make decisions based on fact, not emotional need.

Too blessed for stress

Too blessed for stress

Q. How can I relieve some of the stress of planning my big day?

A. Gillian Smissen says: We all lead busy lives, and planning a wedding is becoming increasingly stressful, but it shouldn't affect your physical or mental health. Massage therapy is the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body. It helps alleviate many chronic pain conditions, eases pent-up tension, increases blood flow and stimulates the lymph to remove toxins and impurities away from tissues, making muscles more efficient. Planning your wedding can increase stress levels considerably causing symptoms of:

❤ Headaches
❤ Fatigue
❤ Sleep problems
❤ Anxiety
❤ Irritability
❤ Inability to focus
❤ Depression
❤ Restlessness

Studies have found that massage therapy can reduce stress because it boosts the hormone oxytocin, known as the love hormone. An increase in levels of this particular hormone can reduce stress levels, ease anxiety and create more positivity in relationships.

Serotonin and dopamine also increase, having a calming yet euphoric effect and making happier bridesand grooms-to-be.

Wedding workout

Wedding workout

Q. How can I relieve some of the stress of planning my big day?

A. Rich Knox says: The majority of couples have one goal in mind when they embark on a fitness programme in the lead up to their wedding – to look and feel great in their dress or suit. However, one of the many positive effects of exercise, is that it can reduce stress and anxiety, helping you to cope mentally and emotionally with all the preparations leading up to the big day.

❤ Give yourself six months before your wedding date to start a workout regime. This will allow for your personal goals to be realised.

❤ Set an achievable goal, whether it's losing weight or building muscle. Understanding your goal will motivate you further and keep you on track.

❤ Encourage someone to come to the gym with you so that you can motivate each other.

❤ Discard the bathroom scales and take more notice of how you look and feel. Watch your skin firm up, your waist lose inches and visually see muscles develop.

❤ Vary your exercise routine, and if possible, include plenty of compound movements such as squats and lunges, which exercise several muscle groups simultaneously.

❤ Don't assume that cardio is the only answer to shedding body fat. Building muscle will tap into burning this area, so combine your cardiovascular training with resistance work.

❤ Finally, if you're new to exercise, aim for 45-60 minutes, two to three times a week to put you in a great position to achieve the body you're looking for and create that sense of well-being.