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

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Eloping. I think at some stage in the often stressful process of planning a wedding we’ve probably all considered it (at least jokingly) but is elopement actually the way to go for your wedding? Time to put it to the debate!


In the Red Corner, arguing for a full-blown wedding with plenty of guests, she loves the craziness, fun and laughter of the wedding guests it’s Dom “The Tog Bride”

In the Blue Corner, arguing the case for a private elopement (anything for a simple life!) It’s Matt “The Gormless Groom”

Elopement Vs Full Wedding
Image Courtesy of

Image Courtesy of

Dom: For me weddings are all about people and sharing the fun, laughter and excitement of your big day with your friends and family. Eloping on your own takes away all of that.

Matt: But having a wedding with lots of people and being the centre of attention all day isn’t for everyone! Big weddings can be great fun but at the end of the day it’s really about celebrating the love the two of you share and you don’t need anyone else for that, having a private ceremony with just the two of you could be really beautiful and incredibly sentimental.

Dom: Your wedding is one of the only times you get to put everyone you love and care for into one room at the same time and have the time of your lives. Your honeymoon is all about getting away and celebrating your love privately but you only get one chance to celebrate your wedding in style!!

Matt: Weddings can be unbelievably expensive and even after spending all that money you might not get the wedding of your dreams! Imagine how far that money could go if you spent it on an unbelievable trip of a lifetime and at the centre of it held your own private wedding ceremony in a stunning location where you might not even have been able to accommodate guests – amazing!

Dom: Your family and friends will undoubtedly want to join you in celebrating your wedding and whilst you should always make your wedding about you, eloping on your own can lead to friends and family in particular feeling left out and hurt. You can’t please everyone with your wedding and shouldn’t try to but including those closest to you as much as you can is important.

Matt: But that desire to please your loved ones can sometimes make it impossible to have your wedding the way you want it at all, particularly if the families don’t get along or if for some reason a family member doesn’t approve of your wedding. Eloping get’s you away from all that and there’s a real romance to the idea of just running away and getting married.

Dom: But there’s a real danger that you might look back and regret not having the big wedding and having “your day”. Lots of couples get the “post-wedding blues” once the excitement and anticipation of the big day is over but it might be a hundred times worse if you never get to experience it at all!

Matt: Planning a wedding is not just expensive, it can be really stressful. Eloping somewhere eliminates the stress and hassle and makes it just about celebrating your relationship and nothing else.

Dom: Your wedding day is a moment of family history – a day that you will talk about fondly with your family for the rest of your lives. With an elopement you miss out on all that, particularly if there’s any resentment from your family about not being invited in which case you might not be able to talk about it at all!

Matt: There’s something very exciting about sharing a big secret that only the two of you know about and then getting to reveal it to your friends and family for lots of individual celebrations later which could potentially be even better than just having one big celebration with everyone!

So those are our arguments but where do you stand? As usual you place your vote below or leave a comment to join in our little debate!

The Friday Fight-Out: Elopement Vs Full-blown Wedding
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matt-avatar WhitenedNow admittedly the title of this piece may not exactly be enticing you to read on, but I assure you the contents of this article are far from tragic and perhaps conversely positive (at least I hope they are!) For the statement “There Is No Hope” is meant not as a reason to start heavy drinking and hide from the world but rather as a Yoda-esque pearl of wisdom “Hope not, do or do not, there is no hope”.

In this case Yoda in fact took the form of the motley team of awesome photographers known as Nine Dots which you may remember we spoke about last week. This nugget of wisdom was of course aimed squarely at their fellow photographers as a reminder not to just hope for things to go exactly their way but to go out there and make it work for them whatever happens. But it got me thinking: the same wise words are equally applicable to Brides and Grooms as well…

In the run up to your wedding you spend so much time hoping for things to go well. Religious or not you’ll find yourself praying for good weather for example. But there’s little evidence that hope has ever actually affected weather patterns or else there would have been a white Christmas every time around my house for the last 30 years. Whether it rains or shines what will be will be but the key is not to approach the day being desperate for something that is completely out of control but simply to be ready to get the best out of the situation you find yourself in and, more importantly, love every moment of it.

Too often Brides and Grooms allow their hopes to be dashed and see their days ruined by it. So many times we see couples hoping for perfect memories of an idea rather than living every moment of the most important day of their lives. Don’t hope for it; live it, love it and laugh any negativity away…

There is no hope.


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Welcome to this week’s (slightly delayed) Friday Fight-Out! We may be a day late but as this week’s debate is all about whether to opt for a Friday or Saturday wedding it’s perhaps rather appropriate! But you’ve waited long enough so let’s get down to this debating business!


In the Red Corner, arguing for the more orthodox Saturday wedding, she was never much of a Saturday shopper after all, it’s Dom “The Tog Bride”

In the Blue Corner, arguing for a Friday wedding which is definitely completely unrelated in any way to any football matches that may or may not be played on a Saturday (come on your reds!) it’s Matt “The Gormless Groom”

Friday Vs Saturday Wedding

Friday Vs Saturday

Dom: More of your guests are likely to be available on a Saturday than a Friday, it’s the weekend, time to relax and be away from work for most people!

Matt: But actually so many people work weekends these days how much better really is it? Many of my friends for example would find it much easier to take a Friday off than a Saturday, it really just depends on what you do for a living!

Dom: Saturday is the day that people traditionally expect you to get married on and you might find some suppliers only work weekends.

Matt: Saturdays tend to be much more popular dates than Fridays making it considerably more difficult to get the venue, band, caterers, photographers, videographers etc that you really want to book than on the comparatively quiet Friday.

Dom: But many of those suppliers will still have a wedding on the Saturday anyway which may well make it logistically impossible for them to be part of your Friday wedding as well, so there’s often no advantage.

Matt: Getting married on the Friday means you can make a full weekend of it – invite people to stay locally and spend Saturday nearby too so they can drive home on the Sunday and enjoy longer with your friends and family as well as making it a nice weekend break for the guests too!

Dom: If your guests have children who are at school it may be very difficult for them to get away on a Friday and they may find themselves having to pay lots of money for babysitters which could make it prohibitively expensive or difficult for them to attend.

Matt: Friday weddings are often considerably cheaper as for some suppliers they are “bonus” weddings on days that they wouldn’t expect to book and they can therefore afford to do it slightly cheaper.

Dom: Saturdays tend to be easier to travel as there’s less rush hour traffic and for those needing to travel up the night before it’s usually easier to get away from work early on a Friday than a Thursday as everyone’s already winding down on a Friday!

Matt: For destination weddings it’s often more expensive to fly or stay in a hotel at the weekend and so it is often better to go for a Friday or midweek wedding than a Saturday.

So those are our thoughts but where do you stand? Leave a comment or place your vote!

The Friday Fight-Out: Friday Vs Saturday
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Dom Matt Pad Photo Video1We’re sorry for the radio silence lately on Bride Vs Groom, now being the time when the crazy world of weddings tend to quiet down a little we thought we’d take our opportunity to relax by rebuilding websites (including this one…coming soon!), continuing to edit and travel madly all over the place in an effort to improve ourselves and seek additional inspiration for the coming year… relaxing right?

Over the last week though we’ve had a particularly exciting time! A little while ago we were invited by some photographer friends to take part in the amazing Nine Dots photography workshops but we were involved not as participants or as workshop leaders but as models for the day! As regular Bride Vs Groom readers will know this is something we’ve now done a few times for various workshops, presumably because in photographing me the workshop attendees can be shown what to do to make even the most challenging of subjects to look good!

Being on the other side of the lens though is always a fascinating experience for the two of us as photographers and videographers, particularly being shot by photographers with a differing style but similar philosophy to our own. Learning what it feels like for a bride and groom to be photographed, what feels comfortable or uncomfortable, what feels natural or too controlled, where the lines blur between a great shot for the photographer and a great shot for the couple. The most important message of this particular workshop though was all about passion and finding your voice…

Finding your own style, fighting the urge to imitate and being the best version of yourself is one of the hardest things to do in life. It doesn’t matter whether it’s finding your style as a photographer or figuring out the type of wedding you want to have as a bride and groom, so often we all take the easy choice to please everyone rather than make the often more difficult decision to take a risk on making choices that make us happy too. The four amazing photographers that together form Nine Dots each have a clear voice in their work, a recognisable and coherent style and yet it’s clear that even they don’t feel they have completed their journey to being exactly the photographers they want to be. What they do know though is that if and when they feel they’ve taken the best shot of their careers it’s time to go out and take something better. To get to where you want to be in life takes passion, it takes a commitment to ride through the hard times and stay focussed on the good. It’s a journey that never fully ends but that has only one direction: forwards.

Last year was professionally undoubtedly one of the most successful we’ve had and we’ve been incredibly excited by everything we’ve been up to. So how did we celebrate? By rebranding our businesses to something that we felt better reflected who we really are then jetting off to Italy for Dom to follow one of her passions, Street Photography. The aim was to practice shooting in a style that she wants to bring more into her work and be inspired by her surroundings and desire to be better not just as a wedding photographer but as a photographer in general. Trips to Amsterdam and New York will be following soon and we can’t wait to see what we can learn about ourselves along the way.

So whatever it is you love, just DO IT. Be original, be yourself, be the person you in your heart want to be. It may not come easy but it’s time to start the journey, and when you do you won’t want to stand still or look back. Be inspired by life and everything else will fall into place.


p.s. for all our photographer readers, if you want a little inspiration to help you on your way get yourselves to the next Nine Dots workshop, I left inspired and I’m not even a photographer!!

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Dom Matt Pad Photo Video1Hello from Italy lovely Bride Vs Groom readers!

We’re over in Rome right now: the land of history, architecture and apparently selfie-sticks! But, having found ourselves a little cafe with wifi to enjoy a pizza (when in Rome right?) we thought we’d stop and say hello to you lovely lot!

The reason for our visit is that we’ve decided it’s time we spent a little more time following some of our passions outside of the work we love and, with Dom a firm lover of street photography, we’ve hit the streets of the Italian capitol in search of images that inspire us. Photography and filming may be our day job but sometimes in the midst of capturing so many wonderful weddings it’s easy to forget to shoot images just for ourselves rather than our couples and this year we plan to correct all that! So we’re off again now to hit some more inspiring parts of the city so we’ll say ciao for now and leave you with one of our favourite images of the trip so far! Small Dog would be proud…

Rome 1

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For the last couple of days we’ve been down in London acting as models for the amazing Nine Dots Photography workshop which has been an incredible experience. And as we’ve been listening to some great photographers talking with such passion about wedding photography it got us thinking again about the best way to keep and display your images after the big day. So today we thought we’d revisit a rather important Friday Fight-out from a few years ago: Photographic Memories, Print Vs Digital…

In a world that’s gone digital mad; a world where everyone carries a camera on their phone 24/7, where online Facebook and Flickr albums make sharing your pictures fast and easy and where iPads and digital photo frames can display all of your photographs on endless rotation in crisp high definition, in this modern world is there any real point in printing your photographs? Isn’t print that just an outdated media? Let’s find out as we suit up our armour, mount our trusty steeds and prepare our weapons for… The Friday Fight-Out!!!


Photographic Memories – Print Vs Digital

In the Red Corner, representing printed media, seemingly with plans to more or less coat all of the walls in our house with our wedding pictures, she works with some of the finest album makers in the world, it’s Dom “The Tog” Bride.

In the Blue Corner, he’s finally reclaimed his ipad from Dom, has become a little bit obsessed with Snapseed and Instagram and hasn’t got around to printing any pictures since 2008 when he printed a huge poster of John Terry missing a penalty in the Champions League Final and sent it to his Chelsea loving Uncle, it’s Matt “The Gormless” Groom.


Dom: Your wedding photographs are something you want to treasure forever. They’re not just some Facebook picture of you and your mates out for a drink, this is the most important day of your lives, something you want to treasure, to keep safe, to show your grandkids in your old age. For me your the photos should be kept safe in something tangible, something beautiful, an album that you can be proud to own. It may be easier to store images digitally but they don’t give you the same feeling and that’s important.

Matt: Images taken digitally somehow seem to belong in a digital world. These days you expect to get a lot more wedding photographs than in the days of film photography and you simply can’t fit them all in a printed album. Photographers tend to provide CD’s or even USB disks in very nice presentation boxes for you to keep them safe and have that feeling of ownership, but at the same time you can (depending on the copyright)  stick them up on Facebook and share them with your friends and let people comment on them which is a really amazing thing!

Printed media doesn’t just mean albums. Having your wedding pictures up on the wall or around the house can be a lovely decoration and an amazing constant reminder of your special day. Having them printed on canvas, blockmounts or photo blocks can make them extra special and also make great presents for family members!

Matt: But digital media can now do the same but with far more flexibility! Smart TVs are now so thin and practically edgeless that they almost look like photo frames and can be mounted on the wall in much the same way. They can be used to run slideshows of all your pictures rather than just one and be a real talking point and can be bought for a similar amount as a decent album. Tablet computers or digital photo frames are also a great way of doing the same kind of thing and there are more things that you can do with them.

Dom: But with the possible exception of digital photo frames you’re not realistically going to have them running all the time and a digital screen somehow just doesn’t have the same feel as a printed image. You can’t touch the page, feel the picture. It’s the same as with a book: Digital e-readers like Kindle’s are brilliant for convenience but most of the time I’d still rather have a worn tatty book that I’ve had for years and can remember the smell of the print; something that I have an emotional attachment to. A digital picture engages just one of the senses: sight. A printed image engages sight, smell and touch and whether we realise it or not our bodies remember each.

Matt: Print fades over time and it can be easily damaged. Imagine how mortified you’d be if anything happened to your wedding album! Keeping them in digital form means you can back them up all over the place!

Dom: But technology also changes at a rate of knots! Not so long ago the high-tech way of displaying your images was to put them on 35mm slides and project them with a slide projector. Now that technology is so old that barely anyone has the means to actually show their slides. Although media is nearly always transferable by some means you have to invest a lot of time keeping up and changing your images before the next big technology advance renders all of your digital images useless!

Matt: That was certainly true of old technology, but it’s much easier to adapt and change a digital image to another format than to change something that’s in print. Photo sharing has now taken on such mass popularity that the technology is always going to have to allow users to easily update their images into new formats or there would be a mass outcry!

We’d love to know where you stand on this argument, to join the debate leave your comment below or find us on twitter!

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