Bride Vs Groom » Wedding Experiences & Guidance for the Bride & Groom

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matt-avatar WhitenedBride Vs Groom has marked quite an extraordinary journey for me, not just in the act of writing (or at least checking and editing) a blog post virtually every day for the last three years but in the unexpected path my life has taken since we began writing it in what seems a lifetime ago. I never expected my life to change so drastically when I asked Dom to marry me, after all we had been going out for seven or eight years before that and I think I’d always known we’d get married one day. But change it did, and this little blog has been following the changes every step of the way.

We’ve been so busy of late that we actually forgot to celebrate Bride Vs Groom’s third birthday and it’s funny to think back over all the changes that have taken place over those three years. When we first pressed the button that turned BvG from a vague idea into a living, breathing (not literally) entity I really was a Gormless Groom. It was only in the previous year that I had actually suddenly found myself attending lots of friends weddings and before that I had virtually no knowledge of the subject other than what I had gleamed from many years of dating a wedding photographer. I knew that getting married was something I wanted but, aside from the occasional vague ideas of how I might propose (and the eventual hard planning, fall-back planning and final profuse sweating and panic of trying to actually go through with it) I hadn’t really given the actual process of getting married much thought.

So, having eventually found a ring and said the four little words that had set me out on a journey seemingly akin to that of Frodo’s journey to Mordor, surviving only with the help of a wise wizard (though in my case the wise wizard in question had considerably less facial hair – fortunate as I intended to marry her), a few months in I found myself wanting to flex my writing muscles and keep a little diary of our adventures into the wedding world. Coupled with Dom’s constant ideas for helpful wedding related articles meant Bride Vs Groom was born.

Around this time, with plenty of help and encouragement from Dom, I was also starting to turn my film-making hobby into a potential side-business as I was planning on leaving my full time position as Chief Technician for a popular regional theatre and go freelance as a lighting and sound designer and technician – a career path that I had been following since the age of 15 and that I was fiercely passionate about. But, having started to create the odd wedding film (along with my soon-to-be brother in law) for some of Dom’s couples, suddenly we found ourselves heavily in demand and the side-business quickly became a full-time job.

So, in the matter of a few months or so, I went from a gormless groom with NO idea about weddings to a daily wedding blogger, wedding filmmaker and fiancé to a wedding photographer whilst simultaneously planning our own impending wedding… it’s fair to say my wedding education was swift and comprehensive! The “Gormless Groom” character may have remained here on the blog but behind the scenes I was gaining growing expertise in the area.

So 3 years in, what has this Gormless Groom really learnt about weddings? Well apart from going from zero to FAR too much knowledge about bouttoniere’s and cufflinks, I think I’ve learnt about what’s actually really important in making a great wedding. It’s not the big headlines you might expect – the venue, the details, the dress, the food… all of these things can of course help to set the tone and make everything look perfect but they are finishing touches: the polish, not the substance of a wedding (and polish too hard and you’ll only damage the finish!) No, there are only three things that for me truly define a great wedding:

unnamedFirstly (and most importantly) it’s about you, the bride and groom, relaxing and completely enjoying yourselves. If you’re relaxed, if you don’t allow little problems or setbacks to spoil your day, then everyone else will follow suit. Yes you want your wedding to be well remembered by everyone else but it’s a billion times more important that you yourselves can look back at it with perfect memories (even if some of your memories from the evening are perhaps a little hazier!)

Secondly it’s about personality. It’s all very well having beautiful, elegant table centres and having everything looking pristine and perfect, but pristine and perfect is rarely the most fun, and weddings are ALWAYS about having fun. Make your wedding about you: an expression of yourselves, your family, your own tastes and no-one else’s. Make it fun, make it lively and atmospheric. Given a choice between a beautiful Horse Drawn carriage for that grand entrance and an awesome wedding band I’d choose the band every day of the week, month, year, decade and century. Create a party mood, make sure everyone’s relaxed and having fun and everything else will fall into place.

Finally it’s about people. DON’T INVITE PEOPLE YOU DON’T REALLY WANT TO BE THERE. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked to remove shots from wedding films because the bride and groom are not really fond of the person being featured. This is probably your one best chance to bring all the people you love and care for together in one place at one time and that’s an amazing thing. Don’t spoil it by inviting people that might spoil your day or that you feel you “have to” invite. Having only great people at your wedding makes for a great atmosphere which makes for a great day. It’s not easy excluding people but in the long term your day will be far better for it.

So, whilst the Gormless Groom’s journey is far from over, so far it’s been quite the adventure and shows no sign of slowing down. The world of weddings is a wonderful place to be and whilst I never expected to find myself so immersed in it I’ve loved every minute.

Bring on the wedding season, bring on the madness, I’m ready for you!

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Pan cake Day (1)

Happy Pancake Day folks! Or, as it’s known in BvsG’s home town of Scarborough, Happy Skipping Day! Yes for us Shrove Tuesday isn’t just about eating far too many pancakes (Gluten free of course), it’s also the day of Scarborough’s annual traditional skipping festival where, after one or two pancake races between local businesses and the traditional ringing of the pancake bell, kids and adults alike head down to the seafront for a good old fashioned skip on the beach! No, honestly, we’re not just high on pancakes and lemon juice, the town of Scarborough really has spent the day grabbing their ropes and skipping like it’s 1927.

So whether you’re celebrating skipping day, pancake day or Shrove Tuesday we hope you’re having a great one! (It’s totally skipping day though, just so you know!)

Pan cake Day-2 (1)

Photos by Dominique Shaw

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Bride Vs Groom, Wedding BlogLast weekend I went out to celebrate my friends 30th birthday, it was great to catch up, share news and reminisce about school and the life we had together. It got me thinking though; although my journey shaped me as a person there are some things that I wish that I had known when I was at school and that now at the age of nearly 30 I am very aware of…

1. Wear whatever you like. It is so easy at school to be swayed by the fashion of the week but actually there is nothing better than being yourself, so wear what you like and embrace being you.
2. Learning is cool. I was a little swot at school and loved to learn but always felt a little guilty as it was considered geeky to want to pay attention and get good grades. Now I wish I hadn’t cared at all and had delved further into the learning process.
3. Be who you want to be. This is the big one. Don’t feel under pressure to bow to what your peers do, follow your path, follow your dreams and stay true to yourself.
4. And similarly …. Go for the career you want. Don’t listen to people who say you can’t achieve this, aim for the stars! It is your life and your destiny. The world is your oyster, all you have to do is grab it.
5. Don’t obsess about wishing you were taller, shorter, thinner, fatter. These things don’t really matter and can’t be changed. Concentrate on loving yourself and being the most awesome version of you.
thingswishihadknown-logo-sml6. Look after your body. You only get one so concentrate on that, don’t abuse it, care for it and your life will be all the richer for it.
7. Use an electric tooth brush. It’s a small thing but don’t take for granted those pearly whites, look after them and buy the tool to do it!
8. Exams aren’t everything. For some career paths you may need to attain certain grades and it’s important to do the best you can, but once you’re out of the education system itself passion and commitment can get you far further than a grade on a piece of paper.
9. Love what you do, money is secondary. Chances are you’re going spend most of your days at work so you might as well really enjoy it! Money may be able to make the hours away from work more enjoyable but if you love what you’re doing every single day then that becomes less important.
10. One life, live it. We only get one chance at life. Never settle for second best, never allow others to make you unhappy or settle for a future that isn’t the one you want. There will be inevitable set-backs on the way, there will be disappointment and temporary unhappiness. But unhappiness should ONLY be temporary and never an accepted norm.


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Today’s story frame features one of our favourite moments from any church wedding: the moment the Bride and Groom walk back down the aisle and emerge into the sunlight as Mr and Mrs. It’s a moment of so many emotions: the excitement of finally being married, the intimacy of the couple’s first brief moment away from the guests and that mix of relief and happiness that everything has gone just the way you planned. For this happy couple the joy was just written all over their faces…
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Happy Valentines Day everybody! We hope you’re having a 14th of February filled with romance wherever you are in the world right now, and to celebrate we’d like to share this fab infographic created by the good folks at Giftcloud. There are all kinds of cool and quirky valentines traditions that take place around the world at this time of year and here are just a few of the most fascinating ones…

Valentines Traditions Around the World

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Well folks, tomorrow is Valentines day, one of the most romantic days in the calendar and consequently (according to certain surveys) one of the most popular for marriage proposals. So, to aid those considering a valentines proposal, we thought we’d revisit the topic of whether the Valentines proposal was a good idea or not and put it once again to the debate…

Valentines Proposal Vs Any Other Date

DISCLAIMER: If you’re definitely planning on proposing tomorrow then congratulations, you’re absolutely doing the right thing… there’s really no need to read on here!


In the Red Corner, disagreeing with the stats and fighting against the valentines proposal, well she did have to wait that long for a proposal from her ‘gormless groom’ that limiting the options to just one day would have made it even worse… it’s Dom “The Tog Bride”

In the Blue Corner, fighting for the valentines day proposal although he actually proposed on Christmas eve which is apparently the date most men think is ideal… man he’s cliché! it’s Matt “The Gormless Groom”



Dom: Valentines day proposals are considered by some to be little bit cheesy and you wouldn’t want the person you’re proposing to to be thinking that way and be disappointed with your proposal as a result…

Matt: But valentines day is supposed to be a day set aside to celebrate love and romance… surely that’s the best possible day to make such a romantic commitment!

Dom: But your proposal is a romantic enough day to celebrate in itself! Whilst I appreciate you and fellow members of your gender may be unaware of this it is actually possible to have more than one day of romance per year!

Matt: I’m almost certain there was a subtle dig in there somewhere… anyway it may be possible to have more than one special date but it’s a lot easier to remember them if they’re all combined into one!

Dom: You’d think wouldn’t you. But isn’t it more special to remember the day you proposed as a day that was truly yours rather than one that is already special to half the world?

Matt: Your date will always be your date and be special to the two of you, but choosing a date that may already have great significance to the two of you like valentines day can help to make it extra special – a day already filled with memories throughout your relationship.

Dom: Valentines Day isn’t really a day of romance though, it’s a made-up holiday that happened to catch on!

Matt: Aren’t all holidays made up to some extent though? Whether you believe it was the date of the birth of Christ or the date of the winter solstice or just a day that was chosen through convenience, we all decided to celebrate christmas in the way we do so isn’t it just as valid to choose a day to celebrate something that intrinsically affects everyone to some extent – love?

Dom: Your partner is more likely to be expecting a proposal on valentines day, taking away some of that amazing element of surprise that can make a proposal even more special.

Matt: But if your partner’s expecting a valentines proposal do you really want to let them down?

So those are our thoughts but where do you stand? Leave a comment to join the debate or simply place your votes in our weekly poll below!

Valentines Day Proposal Vs Any Other Day
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