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

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matt-avatar WhitenedWhilst I seem to have on the whole missed the accent and the natural mistrust of using all 3 letters of the word “the” when just one will do I’m a proud Yorkshireman born n’ bred (apparently my Yorkshire routes do seep through when using conjunctives like “and”) and consider myself incredibly lucky to have spent much of my life in such a beautiful county with, overall, such a warm and friendly population. So, whilst unfortunately unable to go out and find myself a vantage point along the route this weekend I was thrilled to turn on the TV and see Yorkshire in all its glory being admired by a global audience, and didn’t it look stunning.

Never have so many millions of people tuned in to watch people ride bikes and listen to hours and hours of glorious commentary about dry stone walling, a topic which I’m sure all viewers will now appreciate forms the basis of virtually all conversations down t’ pub in t’ shire, (after all many of them are over a hundred years old you know!) and I for one started to think that Yorkshire looks a bloomin’ lovely place to visit!

In fact as the bike spokes whizzed down the winding roads and men in silly shorts were spurred on by people draped in French flags (I should state for the record that this is the only occasion when Yorkshiremen are happy to embrace the French) I started to realise just how little of this amazing part of the world I had actually really visited. I mean certain areas I know very well and our travels for weddings do take us to many towns and villages all over the county, indeed I’ve probably driven through most of the cyclists route at some point or another, but at so few of them have I actually stopped to really appreciate it. So I decided it was about time I put this right in the only way that seemed sensible at the time: I bought myself a bike.

Well technically I bought myself an exercise bike but having hit the record button on the TV I figured this was just as good as the real thing, better even as I wouldn’t have to wear lycra and could stop for a burger with comparative ease and regularity! After revealing the true extent of my genius to Dom though and watching her raise her eyebrows in pure respect and admiration I decided, in another inspirational moment, that perhaps I should also consider the outdoor variety of cycling. So, once again, I bought myself a bike.
Not just any bike though, a folding bike! A bike that could fit comfortably into the boot of my car, giving me the freedom to roam further across god’s county, to visit areas inaccessible through cycling alone, to park up in the car park of any one of Yorkshire’s fine Ale establishments bike helmet in hand and drink until both cycling and driving become completely impossible, getting fitter all the time by the mere presence of my humble folding bicycle.

Handily it will also fold up small enough to fit into the loft where it will doubtless live once my good intentions wear off along with the guitar, running shoes and, let’s face it, the exercise bike. But for now, dear friends, allow me to depart per chance to dream of flying down the open roads admiring Yorkshire’s amazing dry stone walling.

Le Matt’s Le Tour de Yorkshire begins…


My last biking trip around Yorkshire went oh so well…

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Today we’re going to bend the rules a little. Each week we normally feature a single frame that really tells the story but, whilst the second frame of this series tells you exactly what the story is here we couldn’t resist showing the moment in full as the doting father of the bride enters to see the beautiful Tara in her wedding dress for the first time. The emotional was just palpable and this overwhelmed father’s expressions simply say it all.



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Today’s Friday fight-out comes to you a little later in the day and we’re sure you’re all getting ready for a Friday night out on the town and maybe a little dancing, so it got us thinking about how to create the best atmosphere on the dance floor. One of the factors that is scarcely really considered are the lighting and sound systems and whether these should be left to the band/DJ to supply or whether you need a specialist supplier to kit out your venue. So let’s see if we can find the solution!


In the Red Corner, charged with fighting the cause for the DJ/band to supply the lighting, after all having been unable to find a PA company on a tiny Island in the Canaries for her own wedding she was pretty relieved when the band turned up with a basic sound system! It’s Dom “The Tog Bride”

In the Blue Corner, fighting to bring in the experts to get the best out of your lighting and sound on the day, he has an extensive background in designing the lighting and sound for events having worked for a Scottish Events Hire company for many years (even if every gig he turned up to in Scotland did seem to feature the proclaimers!) It’s Matt “The Gormless Groom”

DJ PA & Lighting Vs Lighting & Sound Specialist


Dom: Many bands own their own PA & lighting systems and will bring them with them and set them up free of charge, whereas an external supplier is likely to charge quite a lot of money to light your event.

Matt: Specialist companies can generally suggest the best solution for any size of budget and, with their expert technicians and designers, make sure the room is attractively lit and the sound properly set up with even the simplest of setups which don’t have to be all that expensive.

Dom: Bands in particular are likely to have their own specific lighting and sound setups that they’re used to working with and they may struggle to get the sound right or achieve the type of atmosphere they want with the lighting if someone else is in control or if the equipment is different.

Matt: Lighting and Sound companies use highly skilled technicians who are very used to adapting on the spot and making the lighting match the mood of the music perfectly. If the band want to mix themselves they can generally plug their mixer into the system so that they have the control, but a skilled sound engineer can then balance the signal they send through and make it sound as good as possible for the rest of the room.

Dom: If you’re limited in space then the last thing you want is technicians with big desks taking up more room! If the band are in control they take a much smaller footprint and you don’t need extra technicians walking around or storage for large emptied flight-cases!

Matt: Bands and DJ’s are musical experts, not sound experts and often don’t consider the room as a whole properly. They will often push their speakers too hard or under spec the number of speakers required meaning the room is not filled with sound and the sound ends up incredibly loud and distorted near the speaker and inaudible further away. A skilled sound engineer will know exactly how to get the best out of the system and make sure you get the best possible quality sound.

Dom: Bands and DJ’s tend to have one set-up that they use and put together whilst getting their instruments set up which is generally fairly quick. An external company may need more time to set-up and then sound check with the band and, depending on the complexity of the setup, may even need to come in the day before which might add to your venue hire costs!

Matt: Bands and DJ’s tend to use very cheap lighting equipment which often don’t create the best effects whereas lighting and sound hire companies are often able to hire out very expensive equipment quite cheaply as it’s always better for them to earn some money hiring it out than have it sitting in a warehouse so you can end up with much better and less “cheesy” lighting effects on the dance floor.

Dom: Some lighting and sound companies insist on having a technician remain with their equipment which can push up the cost significantly, particularly if they need meals and drinks!

Matt: Bands and DJ’s tend to focus purely on effects lighting rather than general room ambience which sometimes means that when the venue turn their house lighting off for the dancing the room is left very dark. This rarely looks great and can be a real problem for the photographers/videographers who may not be able to get a decent shot in such dark conditions.


So those are our thoughts but where do you stand? Place your vote below or leave a comment to join the debate!

The Great Lighting & Sound Debate
DJ PA & Lighting Vs Lighting & Sound Specialist
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Bhavna Profile PicSo you’ve read all about the pre-wed events that take place during a Hindu wedding, before the actual wedding ceremony itself takes place.
Whilst writing this article I suddenly realized how complicated Indian weddings appear to non-Indians, there is so much that happens before, during and after the wedding that its sometimes hard to keep up with it.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the whole process so much that, you forget to enjoy the special day. The best advice I can give you is to embrace it, enjoy it, learn about the rituals and get involved, they can be so much fun if you know what they entail, and as mentioned in the previous article – almost all events in Hinduism are filled with traditions, customs and rituals. Also, when in doubt, just nod and say yes to everything.

So, the day of the actual wedding this is what to expect.

In Hinduism, marriage is considered one of the most sacred of bonds. It unites not just the bride and groom but also their families.

ultimate guide to a hindu wedding photo1

The Baraat (also known as Jaan) – Grooms arrival

The wedding ceremony is hosted by the brides parents and as such most times takes place in the brides city. The groom and arrives with a lot of grandeur and music, sometimes the groom will arrive on a horse or an elephant, there will be lots of guests dancing infront of the groom and the dhol player will be beating the drums to announce their arrival.

Ponkhwanu (Ponkhna)

On arrival at the wedding venue, the groom is greeted by the brides mother and a small ceremony is performed to welcome him and his family to the wedding. It can get really crowded at this point as everyone stands around the groom and the brides mother and her family. The brides mother will place a tikka (red vermillion dot) on his forehead and then hold up five instruments each with a message for the groom, these are each thrown individually in one of the four directions.

At this point the brides mother could also try and get hold of the grooms nose, you may have seen some groomsmen trying to protect the grooms nose! This is a mischievous and fun tradition. If she succeeds in grabbing his nose, he’ll have to do ANYTHING his mother in law says for the rest of his married life.

The groom is then escorted to the mandap by the brides mother, where prayers are offered to Lord Ganesha first and then a small ceremony takes place to honour the groom and sanctify the mandap under which the wedding ceremony will take place.

The bride’s parents then wash the groom’s feet , the couple once in the canopy, are also given the respect befitting the spirits of Lord Mahavishnu and Laxmi as the union of these two spirits is seen as the most perfect of Hindu marriages. Washing feet with milk and honey is a sign of respect.

WATCH OUT FOR THE SHOE STEALING – The groom has to remove his shoes before he gets into the mandap at which point the bride’s family tries to steal his shoes and then ransom the shoes back to him.  The groom’s family tries to protect the shoes. A fun chaotic fight breaks out over the shoes. Best advice: take off your shoes as soon as you enter the building and hide them, OR just let the bride’s family win and have their fun!

MP (333 of 576)Kanya Padhar – Brides arrival

As the Hindu wedding is A shawl also called an antarpat, is drawn in front of the groom to prevent him for seeing the bride before the ceremony starts, this is a symbol of their separate existence prior to marriage.

The bride arrives with her maternal uncles (mama’s) who walk her down the aisle and to the mandap.  This is an emotional moment for the bride and her parents who see her in her wedding attire for the first time too.

Once the bride has sat down, the shawl is lowered slowly. I love this part of the wedding, the expressions of the bride and the groom seeing each other for the first time, are almost always priceless.

MP (378 of 576)

Jaimala – Garland exchange

This is an important ritual in a Hindu wedding, it symbolizes mutual approval of the bride and groom to enter into marriage. Another funny tradition takes place here, where the brides brothers may lift her up so that the groom struggles to put the garland on her.

Kanyadaan (Giving the bride away)

In Hinduism, for the bride’s parents it is considered to be one of the biggest blessings to give their daughter away. The bride’s parents will offer their daughters hand to the groom by placing a leaf with rice and flowers on the grooms hand, and then as the groom accepts the marriage, their hands are joined together.  A married woman then uses the grooms scarf and the brides saree to tie to knot that will keep them together during the next step of the ritual.

Phera (Going round the fire)

This is the most important part of the Hindu wedding ceremony. It is where the bride and groom walk around a sacred fire to affirm their marriage. The brides brothers will pass on an offering of sesame seeds and barley to the bride and groom who them pour it into the fire along with some ghee as an offering to the fire God. There are FOUR pheras. Each phera signifies their union.

On the last time around the fire, the first person to sit down rules the family and wears the pants in the family. There’s lots of heckling that happens here!

hindu wedding guide

Saptapadi (The seven steps/blessings)

These steps are the vows that the couple make to each other, and the marriage is deemed complete. Seven betel nuts will be placed by the couple’s feet, they then have to repeat the vows and touch the betel nuts with their toes.

1. To bless the couple with an abundance of resources and comforts, and for them to vow to be helpful to one another in every way.

2. To bless the couple to be strong and for them to vow to complement one another.

3. To bless the couple with prosperity and riches on all levels

4. To bless the couple with eternal happiness.

5. To bless the couple with a happy family life with their offsprings.

6. To bless the couple to live in perfect harmony and for them to vow to stay true to their personal values and their joint promises.

7. To bless the couple so that they may be the best of lifelong friends.

bhavna barratt - ultimate guide to hindu weddings

Sindoor and Mangalstura

These two rituals complete the Hindu wedding.  The groom places sindoor (vermillion) on the brides forehead and adorns her with the mangalsutra which is a black and gold necklace. Mangalsutra in lay mans terms means an auspicious thread, in the culture and to the rest of the world a woman wearing a mangalsutra and with vermillion through her forehead is also a sign that she is married.  The mangalsutra is said to have powers that protect a marriage.

Vidai (Goodbyes)

This is one of the most emotional parts of the day. When the bride bids farewell to her family, most Indian brides will have lived with their parents and to leave their maternal home of many years and to leave her parents is no doubt going to be emotional. Definitely have some tissues ready, every time I see the father or the mother of the bride cry, I cry with them.

ultimate guide to hindu weddings part 2

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this, more to come next week, have a great weekend folks.

PS: Expect lots  of delicious food, colourful clothes and happy chaos!

Indian Wedding Photography by Bhavna Barratt
Profile picture by Tux & Tales Photography

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Dom Matt Pad Photo Video1Today we’d like to kick off a little series of helpful tips to help different members of the wedding party with all those little details they may not have thought about. The devil really is in the details and it’s amazing how it’s little things like these that so often cause problems on the day, so here we go with a little advice just for the bride!

The Devil’s in the Details: The Bride

The Devil’s in the Details: The Bride


You of course want to show off those AMAZING Jimmy Choos but when it comes to photos outside it’s usually a good idea to have some alternative footwear with you to get from A to B as we all know heels and grass/soft ground are rarely the best of friends! Also make sure you have some emergency flats with you for the dance floor, after all you’re going to be on your feet all day!

Lacing the dress

Lacing up a wedding dress always takes far longer than you expect, particularly if you’ve only ever done it with assistance from the experts in the shop! Allow plenty of time to get into your dress (although in doing so do remember that you’re probably not going to be able to use the facilities for quite some time so don’t start too early!)

Get the bridesmaids ready first

If your photographer is joining you to capture some getting ready shots then it’s generally a good idea to make sure the bridesmaids are ready in their dresses by the time they’re helping you into yours as it (generally) looks better in the photos.

Bring some scissors and a small sewing kit!

I’ve lost count of the number of times a call of “have we got any scissors?” has gone out whilst we’ve been capturing the bridal prep. There’s always a packet that needs opening or a thread that’s come loose so make sure you’re well equipped! A sewing kit is also always handy just in case someone loses a button or needs a quick adjustment to their dress!

Chewing gum

On your big day you and all your entourage want all your breath to be minty fresh, but do remember that people constantly chewing doesn’t look good in the photos or video!

Suncream, painkillers, plasters

Brides dressed all in white with a bright red sunburnt face is not the greatest look so make sure you bring that suncream. Also have some plasters available in case of blisters and some painkillers for anyone who’s started the celebrations early the night before!

Phone numbers

Make sure you have all your supplier’s phone numbers just in case and make sure if you’re not going to have your phone near you that someone else has charge of it just in case a supplier needs to get in touch with you for any reason on the day!

Signage / balloons

If you have photographers / makeup artists / florists etc turning up to your house or wherever you’re getting ready then it’s a good idea to make it clear outside that they’re in the right place as it’s not always easy to identify the right house. Hanging some balloons on the door or having some nice signage outside means they can’t miss it and helps to avoid any late arrivals!

Consistency for the guys

If the father of the bride or any other male members of the wedding party are getting ready at the same location as the bride make sure they know how they are supposed to look to match the groomsmen. That means agreeing the type of knot for the tie, deciding on the shape of the pocket squares and all those little groomsmen details that need to be consistent.

Being ready for the evening

It’s a good idea to have extra makeup with you to top-up in the evening and also bring with you anything you need to change your hair up in the evening if you decide to “let your hair down”!

Old Cars Are Slower!

Having a classic wedding car or even a horse and carriage can be a really beautiful touch but do remember they’re often much slower forms of transport than your own car and you need to allow some extra time to get there.


We hope these tips help you to avoid any little issues on the day and we’ll be back with more tips for the rest of the wedding party in the coming weeks!

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