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

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Today’s story frame is definitely one of our favourite recent images from probably the craziest type of dance floor there is: a Jewish Wedding reception! This shot captures the moment our Groom Hernan jumped fearlessly onto the waiting hands of all the fellas at the reception and crowd surfed along the line in a simple game with the aim of getting from one side to the other. We’re pleased to say that unlike many of the groomsmen, Hernan was completely successful! SO much fun!
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Earlier this week we featured a little post about the possibilities that wedding websites can cater for and just how easy it is to set one up, and so today we thought we’d delve a little deeper and have a bit of a discussion about the relative merits of having a wedding website over sticking with good old fashioned pen and paper. So which way should you go? Time to put it to the debate!

In the Red Corner, keeping things analogue and arguing to keep things on pen n’ paper, but then unlike Matt she does actually understand how pen & paper actually work and doesn’t have the handwriting of a poorly tutored rhinoceros, it’s Dom “The Tog Bride”

In the Blue Corner, lover of all things digital and, having road-tested one himself earlier this week, arguing for the wedding website. he claims to keep a digital office to save the rainforests but in reality has just been typing so long he can’t remember how a biro operates, it’s Matt “The Gormless Groom”

Wedding Website Vs Pen n’ Paper

Website Vs Pen & Paper

Dom: Whilst there are one or two companies offering specifically designed wedding templates, making and designing a website is a matter of personal taste and if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for pre-designed they can end up being expensive and incredibly time consuming to set up, time and money that could perhaps be better spent on the wedding itself.

Matt: If you have lots of guests coming to your wedding it can be much more time consuming trying to keep all of them in the loop with any changes or details they might need to know. Having a wedding website provides a simple way for all your guests to find the most up-to-date information about the wedding along with a whole host of info you can’t easily put in a letter such as interactive maps and videos.

Dom: Digital messages and information just seems so much less personal, whereas creating beautiful invites and personalised stationary is a lovely thing to receive in the post. After all we only ever seem to receive bills and bad news in the post these days, it’s so nice when someone posts something lovely and happy through the door!

Matt: There’s so much you can do with a wedding website without much hassle thanks to some great templates. They can provide an easy way for the guests to RSVP, share photos and videos and even include an online wedding gift-list or allow people to donate to a honeymoon or a house-improvement fund rather than buy you stuff you don’t really need!

Dom: Making stationary yourself and sending out hand-written letters isn’t just more personal for the guests, it feels much more special for you as the bride and groom. Weddings are traditional events and somehow doing everything digitally just feels wrong. There’s nothing like hand-crafting written invitations or scribbling down notes in your pretty wedding notebook or sending out thank-you cards you’ve made yourself, it’s all part of the wonderful planning process!

Matt: But a wedding website is not just for the guests either! A website can allow you to express your personality in ways stationary can’t and also provides you with a one-stop-shop for all your wedding information whilst allowing you to send anything you want your guests to see out instantly, from table plans to schedule updates to local hotels and parking spaces.

Dom: Having a wedding website sometimes means people just check the website rather than talking to you personally which might on the face of it be considered a good thing in terms of time saving, but weddings are an amazing way of bringing you closer to your friends and family and in my book that means having more, not less contact with all of them in the lead-up to the day. There also might be privacy issues as those that you actually don’t want to find out any details about your day can easily stumble across it!

Matt: Wedding websites are useful not just in the lead-up to the wedding but on the day itself. For example guests can check the schedule to see if they have time to nip back to their hotel room or you can provide maps to venues so anyone lost on the day itself can look it up on their phones and be sure they can get there.

Dom: But lots of wedding venues are in areas with little or no phone signal and if guests are relying on being able to look up where they need to be on their phones and haven’t got a physical copy of the details you actually could end up with far more lost guests, not less!

Matt: With templates like the one we looked at earlier in the week setting up a wedding website is so quick and easy (and free!) that even if you do want to send out paper invites and information it’s probably worth having a wedding website anyway to provide additional info you can’t get into the letter.

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

Wedding Website Vs Pen n' Paper
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It’s time for another “Throwback Thursday” and today we thought we’d take a look back at a little Jargon buster we put together to help you to understand just what the heck those photographers are actually talking about! So here’s our little Wedding Photography A-Z…

When you work professionally in any industry it’s very easy to find yourself inadvertently talking in technical jargon that means nothing to anyone who doesn’t do that particular job. Photographers are no exception and this can sometimes lead to a little confusion when it comes to meeting prospective photographers for your wedding or when ironing out the final details. So we thought we’d try to break down a few of the terms you might come across when speaking to a photographer into their simplest form to help you to understand what it is they really mean. Several of these terms may of course have a more complex technical meaning but this is basically what you need to know…

Ambient Light: The natural light present in a room above and beyond any lighting being artificially manipulated by the photographer.

Aperture: The aperture is mainly used to control how blurred or sharp a particular part of the image is. A Wide Aperture might for example cause the background to be blurred out with the foreground sharp. A narrow aperture would result in the whole image being sharper.

Backup: Additional copy of an image in case the original becomes lost or damaged. Photographers tend to have an awful lot of these!

Blog: You’re reading one! In photography the blog is generally where the photographer’s most recent work is shown.

Bokeh: The aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of- focus areas of an image.

Camera Body: A Camera without a lens attached

Candids: Photographs taken without the knowledge of the subject. A documentary photographer specialises in candids.

Canon: Manufacturer of some of the most commonly used cameras and lenses for wedding photography.

CF Card: A Compact Flash Card – type of memory card used in many professional cameras

Cloud: A place where you can store images digitally online and share them with multiple users/devices. Not to be confused with big white fluffy things in the background of your pictures.

Depth of Field: The effect of blurring or sharpening parts of the image, generally connected to the aperture settings. A picture that is sharp in the foreground and blurred in the background has a shallow depth of field.

Documentary: A Documentary photographer captures events as they happen without interfering or posing the subjects.

Dropbox: A method of transmitting large files or large quantities of files such as photographs safely and securely over the internet.

DSLR: Digital Single Lens Reflex camera. The type of camera most professional photographers use and the digital version of a traditional film SLR camera.

E-Shoot: An engagement or pre-wedding photo shoot with the couple.

Exposure: The amount of light allowed into the camera when the shutter is pressed. If the exposure is too long the image will look washed out, if it is too short the image will look too dark. Photographers may choose to purposefully over-expose or under-expose an image to create a particular effect.

Fast Glass: In photography ‘Glass’ generally refers to the lens. ‘Fast glass’ usually refers to a lens capable of a very wide aperture and good low-light performance.

Fill-light: Light used to “fill-in” shadows on the subject in addition to the primary light-source.

Fish-Eye: Type of wide-angle lens used to create a distorted image typically used to create a wide panoramic image.

Flash: Burst of light used to help brighten an image. May be used directly (pointing directly at the subject) or indirectly (bouncing light off a wall or object to soften the effect).

FOTB: Father of the Bride

F-Number: The F number relates to the setting of the aperture. F1.2, for example, is a wide aperture which might be used to obtain heavy background blur.

First Look: When the Bride and Groom meet in their wedding outfits and see each other for a private moment before the ceremony.

Full Frame: The size of the sensor inside the camera. Sensors may be full frame or cropped. Each will result in a different effect when looking through the lens.

Grain / Noise: The pattern of tiny dots that make up the image. A grainy image has bigger, more visible dots.

Group Shots: Posed photographs of particular groupings of the couples’s family and friends.

HDR: Short for High-dynamic Range Imaging. A set of methods used to capture a greater dynamic range between the lightest and darkest areas of an image.

High ISO: High ISO’s allow more light into the lens and therefore help the photographer to shoot in low-light conditions. However higher ISO’s do add to an increase in grain in the image which is sometimes desirable and sometimes not!

High Res: A High-resolution image – very high quality image capable of being printed at a large size whilst retaining its quality.

JPEG: The most commonly used format of digital photographs, useful for sharing images for general use. Generally used for the final image.

Leica: A very expensive type of camera many photographers like to fornicate over!

Lens Hood: a “top-hat” for a lens used to help control the amount of light hitting the surface of the lens.

Lightroom: Professional software from the same editing suite as photoshop – used to help with the selection and editing of photographs.

Macro Lens: A type of lens typically used for extreme closeup photography, e.g. for capturing flowers close up in great detail.

Monochrome: An image formed using a single colour, e.g. a black and white photograph

MOTB: Mother of the Bride

Negative: A strip of film containing the original image captured by an analogue camera

Nikon: Manufacturer of some of the most commonly used cameras and lenses for wedding photography.

Portraits: Posed images of the couple taken on the wedding day.

Pixels: The tiny dots that make up an image. An abbreviation of ‘Picture Element’.

Photoshop: Professional software commonly used to edit or manipulate an image.

Prime lens: Prime lenses are the opposite of zoom lenses. These lenses don’t offer the option to zoom in or out (the photographer must physically move or change lens to make the image closer or further away), but generally offer superior optics and better low-light performance to their zoom counterparts.

Processing: The ‘process’ of selecting, editing and finalising an image.

Raw: The file type typically captured by top quality cameras. Completely uncompressed these tend to be huge files designed for manipulation or reproduction of the image. The equivalent of an analogue negative, where a JPEG would be the finished print.

Reportage: A style of candid photography generally grouped with Documentary photography.

Saturation: How Rich the colours look in a photograph. Photographers often manipulate the saturation of an image to enrich/desaturate the colours at the editing stage.

SD Card: Short for Secure Digital, a type of memory card used in portable devices and commonly as a second backup card in professional cameras.

Second Shooter: A second photographer who works with the primary photographer to help to capture more photographs and different angles. Especially used in wedding photography where the photographer needs to capture photos in more than one place at a time, e.g. the bride and groom getting ready. Also occasionally known to hide behind grassy knolls…

Shoot: Many photographers are also part-time assassins. Some however use the term “shoot” to refer to a photography session.

Shutter Speed: The amount of time the camera is capturing the image, If an image is moving then a slow shutter speed would cause it to blur, a fast shutter speed allows less light in but would create a sharper image. Contemporary photographers sometimes use slow shutter speeds with the couple standing still to create interesting lighting effects.

Shootsac: Type of lightweight camera bag that looks a bit like a handbag/manbag!

Spot Colour: Selective use of colour in a photograph, e.g. a black & white image of the bride and groom having a red boutonniere in contrast with the rest of the image.

Telephoto: A type of Lens with a massive zoom! Allows the photographer to shoot from a long way away… think paparazzi!

Tilt-Shift: Type of lens used to manipulate the perspective of an image. Can be used to blur/sharpen parts of an image in ways not possible with a traditional lens.

Tog: Abbreviation for a photographer used mainly on social networking sites such as twitter. Also an article of clothing, but we’re not interested in that kind of thing here!

Trash the Dress: A post-wedding bridal shoot where rather less care is taken about looking after the wedding dress!

White Balance: A function of the camera designed to compensate for different colours of light, e.g. sunlight is a different colour from a lightbulb.

USB Drive: A portable memory stick increasingly used to provide digital images for the couple to copy to their computer. The USB drive is starting to replace CD’s and DVD’s as the photographer’s preferred format.

Vignette: Faded or shaded edge of a photograph.

Zoom Lens: A type of lens that allows the photographer to change smoothly from a long-shot to a close-up or vice versa without having to physically move backward and forward.

So those are just some of the phrases we reckon you might well come across whilst talking to your wedding photographer, but there are definitely more that could be added to the list! If you have a term you think should be included in our jargon-buster, or if you would like us to explain a particular term you’ve heard then leave a comment below! 

NOTE: This post is designed to simplify things for those not in the know, so please explain any additions as simply as you possibly can, avoiding further technical language!

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Today we have a little treat ready to warm your heart in defiance of the cold weather. Mou never really proposed to Siming and whilst their Chinese wedding was all planned back home he thought it was about time he did things properly and, with a pre-wedding shoot already arranged in London with the fantastic Pretty in White Films Mou decided to grab his opportunity with both hands! So, as they enjoyed a day in London and a stay at the beautiful Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard, here’s how their lovely London proposal went down…

Pretty in White Film

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matt-avatar WhitenedLet’s face it, these days pretty much everything is done online and the latest craze to grip the wedding world seems to be the wedding website – you and your guest’s one stop hub to find out everything they need to know about your wedding. When wedding websites first started to appear I have to confess we were a little sceptical, after all building a full-blown website is a lot of work and whilst we could see how things like online RSVP’s might save a bit of time (as well as a small forest), surely this kind of thing could just as easily be done on Facebook where all of our friends are already easy to find (even if a Facebook message is perhaps a little impersonal despite its simple practicality!) and overall having a website just seemed like one more potentially costly and definitely time consuming thing to think about.

However, as the web marches boldly on and building websites has gradually become a little simpler we thought it was time to revisit the subject, particularly as a simple search for “wedding websites” now reveals all kinds of new options that previously hadn’t existed in creating a very quick, very simple website that even the most fearful of web design can handle. Rather than have to get familiar with blogging templates like wordpress or the many and varied custom website builders which are supposedly simple but can be a little pricey, nowadays various companies are offering excellent (and free) ways of building a specific wedding website which comes pre-equipped to help you with everything from sending out RSVP’s to providing maps of venues and local accommodation, to creating a guest book to providing space for guests to upload their photos and videos of the day to helping you to create your table plan and notify the guests of where they’re sitting online rather than all scrabbling to see the seating plan on the day!

So to find out just how quick and simple it really was we thought we’d have a go and see for ourselves just how quickly we could have our own wedding website and what exactly it offered.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 16.09.54As we’ve already mentioned there are dozens of different companies offering ways to create your customised wedding website and we definitely recommend you look around and see what each offers before you decide where to build your website as they will not all be offering the same options and some may well charge. We’ll probably take look at more examples in the future, but for the purposes of today’s quick experiment we chose one of the most popular:

We chose zankyou primarily because it was free and appeared to offer a variety of looks, and indeed it was extremely quick and simple to create an account and get started. We’re pretty picky on how websites should look and we liked the clean layout and simple backgrounds. This is in no way meant to be a review of Zankyou so we won’t go into all of the details but we were very impressed with how simple it was to understand the user interface and the various easy-to-access options that it provided us with.

After creating a simple homepage which allowed us to upload photos, videos and even google maps to show people where the wedding would be taking place, we took a look at some of the other options available. We were pleased that we were able to create a guest list which could be stored and used to create RSVP’s, notify guests of updates to the site and even create a table plan – incredibly handy for us (particularly as we could simply cross check whether the tables were actually full according to who had RSVP’d and we could share the information with the guests themselves so that they could check via their mobiles exactly where they would be sitting. We could include an itinerary of the day with clear timings and maps of how to get there and it even allowed us to show hotels near to our venue – incredibly helpful for anyone looking to stay over and I daresay we could have marked parking spaces on as well if we had wished.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 16.31.48

As well as helpful features for the lead-up to the day the website also included features for after the wedding including a guest-book and an area to upload photos and videos. Another very helpful feature is that the website can manage your guest-list and even allow guests to make financial contributions towards your honeymoon or even towards a fund for house ware rather than everyone buying you that same toaster!

Overall I was extremely impressed with what we were able to do in a very short space of time (we set up our site with some basic info in around half an hour, although as ours was a made up wedding it may take a little longer to fill in the actual details!) and we can definitely see how, once set-up it would be a great resource for both the guests and the bride and groom. We may at some point do a more in-depth review of some of the options available to you both from zankyou and other companies, but for now please feel free to browse our very quickly composed demo wedding website to see the kind of options that are available to you if you’re looking to create a no-hassle wedding website of your own via the link below:
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