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Story Frames: One Day…


Today our Story Frame features the incredibly sweet moment when the Bridesmaid (desperately excited at getting to dress up like the beautiful bride) put their shoes together and dreamed of the day it would be her turn to be a princess. It’s moments like these that truly tell the story of the day and of the things that really matter.
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The Kids Entertainment Inspiration Board

Kids can be amazing fun at weddings, they’re so full of excitement and happiness on the big day that it’s lovely to see them running around having fun! But there are times during a wedding where for kids it can be a little less exciting and in order to avoid them becoming a distraction it’s a good idea to find something to keep them occupied. So from bubbles to magicians to colouring books to costumes here are a few of our favourite ideas to keep the kids entertained on the big day!


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The Friday Fight-Out: Venue Coordinator Vs Self Coordination

Many popular wedding venues employ their own full-time wedding coordinator to take care of all the couple’s needs from arranging the decoration to overseeing the catering. There can be definite benefits to having someone who really knows the venue and with previous wedding experience there to help, but is it always best to have a coordinator or better to go it alone and take full control of your day? Time to find out!


In the Red Corner, fighting this week for self-coordination, for her own destination wedding the lack of a wedding co-ordinator along with a bit of a language barrier meant that everything really was self coordinated right down to buying the fabric to make the drapes and tablecloths (although being the first wedding ever to take place at the venue it did also mean she had no idea how many guests could be seated at a table until they were arranged the night before the wedding) it’s Dom “The Tog Bride”.

In the Blue Corner, fighting for a little extra help from someone who knows how to get things done at their venue, well after all he was the one left trying to coordinate the transformation from a restaurant to his wedding reception venue ready for the following day with all the little headaches that go along with that, it’s Matt “The Gormless Groom”.

Venue Coordinator Vs Self Coordination
Wedding Venue coordinator vs self coordination

image by York Place Studios

Dom: Often the best ideas come when you look at a room with a fresh pair of eyes and no preconceptions about how things should be done. Venue coordinators of course always do their best to help with everything and want it to be perfect for every bride and groom but sometimes having seen the same venue over and over can start to restrict rather than enhance your ideas for how best to use it.

Matt: Occasionally that may be the case but many coordinators are very open to new ideas from the bride and groom and are happy to just stand back from the creative process and simply facilitate and make the dream a reality.

Dom: Venue coordinators often impose rules on the day or may only allow you to use their own recommended suppliers who you may not really want. Choosing a venue that is simply a blank canvas allows you to really make it your own and use the suppliers you want to use rather than the ones the coordinator has a relationship with.

Matt: Sometimes though those relationships can be incredibly useful! Wedding coordinators work with a wide range of suppliers and immediately know who to go to in the local area to help with different requirements. They will know that one particular supplier’s tablecloths have a slightly more vintage feel than the others, they will know that one particular band always gets the guests dancing long into the night whilst that particular DJ thinks he’s in Ibiza. Sometimes a little experience and local knowledge pays dividends and can help you to avoid making the wrong choice.

Dom: Experience does count for a lot but if you choose your suppliers wisely you don’t necessarily need that experience to come from a wedding coordinator. The local coordinator might well feel they know the best spots for the group photos from past experience but only the photographer is actually equipped to make that call. The coordinator may believe that the speeches can be heard perfectly through the in-house sound system but it’s the sound technician who has the greater experience at knowing whether extra speakers should be used

Matt: There are so many little details that go into a wedding that you may not even have considered such as is there enough power for the band and caterers, how do you facilitate disabled access for those elderly relatives and their wheelchairs, how can the maximum number of seats be achieved in this particular room? It’s not always the big decisions that can cause real problems, it’s the little ones that no-one else would think about until the day itself but that will be second nature to the resident wedding coordinator.

Dom:  You only get to plan your perfect day once and (without becoming a bridezilla about it!) it can be so much fun to put together. Passing so much of the responsibility on to a professional coordinator can rob you of some of that experience  which is all part of what goes into the buildup to the day!

Matt: Most people live busy lives and there’s plenty of big decisions to deliberate and worry over without having to concentrate on all the little details too!

Dom: Venues sometimes charge extra for the privilege of having a wedding coordinator which can increase the cost of the venue hire whether you wanted a coordinator or not.

Matt: Sometimes certain venues (particularly heritage sites) have certain rules that need to be observed to protect the venue and the coordinator can help to make that happen without you having to worry about it.

So those are our thoughts but where do you stand? Would you prefer a venue to have a specialist coordinator or to be let loose to work it out for yourselves? Leave a comment to join the debate or simply place your vote in our poll below!

The Great Wedding Venue Coordinator Debate!
Wedding Venue Coordinator Vs Self Coordination


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The Experts: Indian Wedding Photographer Bhavna Barratt

Bhavna Profile PicToday we’re thrilled to introduce you to the first of our new Bride Vs Groom resident experts! We’re on a mission to give you the best advice on all things weddings and that’s why we’ve enlisted the help of some expert specialists to make Bride Vs Groom the one-stop shop for everything the baffled Bride and Groom need to know!

Every faith has its own amazing wedding traditions and little cultural differences from Sikh weddings to  Muslim weddings to African weddings to Jewish and Christian weddings and all of them are extraordinary to be a part of. There’s so much we can learn from each other’s cultures when it comes to weddings and we’re here to do our best to help you whatever type of wedding you’re planning. That’s why we’re absolutely thrilled to welcome Indian Wedding Photographer Bhavna Barratt to our expert panel to help couples of all faiths and cultures with planning their big day. The lovely Bhavna photographs weddings of every culture across Europe and, having personally seen her in action we can’t wait to see what she has to share with you all! But first we thought we’d get to know Bhavna a little so we caught up with her over a cuppa chaa and asked one or two questions…

Indian wedding photographer expert03

image by Bhavna Barratt

Bhavna, how long have you been an Indian wedding photographer?

This is my second full year of being an Indian wedding photographer.

How did you get started?  

I’ve always been an ambitious individual, aspiring to work for myself at some point in my life. I’d been taking photographs for a while and had been photographing family and friends weddings. When I got made redundant I jumped at the chance to start my own business.

I love weddings and I love photography. So naturally, I was drawn to wedding photography, I have never looked back.

What’s your favourite Indian wedding you have ever photographed?

Ooh, this is a tricky question, I have thoroughly enjoyed every Indian wedding I have photographed, I am grateful that I have had such wonderful clients who have had the best weddings.

Why weddings?

Photography is my passion, sounds a bit cliché right? But it really is. I get giddy with excitement before a pre-wed or a wedding because I know I’ll be out, doing what I love doing the most. I then I look forward to showing the couples the stunning images, the smile it brings on their faces, brings with it a sense of fulfillment, I just love that.

What sets you apart from other Indian wedding photographers?

I’d like to think it’s my vision and style of photography…I like to look at things from a non-conventional perspective so I guess that helps set me apart.

Indian wedding photographer expert02

image by Bhavna Barratt

What is your favourite trend in Indian wedding photography currently? 

Flash Mobs! I love all the dancing at Indian wedding receptions anyway, pair it with a good flash mob that is well choreographed and filled with lots of energy, totally amazeballs.

You’re going to be sharing your top tips and advice with us, but what would you say is the most important thing to consider about your Indian wedding photographer?

As a wedding photographer, I am with the couple the entire day, so I think the most important thing when considering your Indian wedding photographer, is to make sure you book someone that you click with, get on with and someone whose style you like. This way you’ll feel comfortable and relaxed when you’re around them and get more natural photos, also don’t cut back on your photographers, choose the best you can afford, these are memories to last you a lifetime.

Why do you feel it is important to use a professional Indian wedding photographer?

A wedding is one of the biggest days of your life, you have planned and planned a gazillion times again to make sure everything goes the way you want. You’ve bought the most beautiful lengha (dress), booked the best make up artist, the venue of your dreams, then wouldn’t you want all this captured perfectly by someone who knows what they are doing?

What can a couple expect from you on their big day?

Oodles of laughter and fun, some tears (I’m an emotional lady), someone who joins in on the dance floor and captures those amazing moments.

On the day, I’m not just the photographer, I’m there pinning the sarees in place, letting them know they need to touch up their make up, making them feel comfortable, asking the bridesmaids to get the bride a glass of water and being supportive. In fact one of the first things I’m known to do, is have a cuppa chaa with the bride during bride preps.

I’ll do everything I can do make sure the day goes smoothly and you get the photos that you can treasure.

What’s the best thing about your job?

I love being around people in love and around families, and I quite like the chaos of a wedding, it ‘s a happy chaos, it brings back fond memories of my large family unit in Tanzania. It’s a journey that I feel privileged to be part of (oh and I love all the gulab jamuns I get to eat)

Indian wedding photographer expert

Image by Bhavna Barratt

Welcome on board Bhavna! You’re going to be hearing an awful lot more from Bhavna very soon and we’ll also be opening up the opportunity to ask questions for each of our experts in the near future, but in the meantime you can find out more about the lovely Bhavna on her website:


Profile photo by Tux & Tales Photography

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A Photographer’s Thoughts: Too Many Cooks…

dom the tog bride finalone2Finding the perfect wedding photographer for you from the hundreds working in the industry today can be a challenging thing, but here’s the rub: After spending all that time isolating your decision to only one you may just find that you have an entire guest list’s worth of photographers turn up on the day.

These days we all carry cameras around with us at all times and we’re always snapping away looking for a great shot. We all see amazing images on the internet every day with all kinds of dramatic backdrops and incredible light and we all have an opinion on what makes a great photograph. There’s nothing wrong with this at all and it’s great that we can all share our memories so easily on Facebook and other social media, the problem however comes when those opinions are at odds with those of the professional the couple have hired to capture their day.

We’ve often spoken about the importance of trusting your photographer and this is particularly important when they are perhaps looking at alternative locations or positioning for their shots from what you might expect. Guests and family members alike are often full of ideas of shots you should ask your photographer to take or locations that they may seen work in another photographer’s shots but amongst that sea of voices it’s important to keep an ear out for the one hiding behind the camera – the one that is trying to tell you that right here, right now that shot is simply not going to work.

Venue staff are often particularly forceful in this regard. So often the photographer will turn up at the venue on the wedding day to be greeted with the words “let me show you where you might like to do the group shots.” Now don’t get me wrong, this can be extremely helpful and present the photographers with locations they may not otherwise have come across, indeed the vast majority of venue staff are extremely helpful and accommodating in all areas of the wedding. However every now and then the words “might like to” become “will do”, and the photographer can quickly find themselves standing in front of 100 guests taking a photograph that they know will look terrible against their own advice.


There are all kinds of reasons why this scenario comes about. Firstly every photographer will have their own style and will be looking for different things from the photographs. The fact that another photographer likes to shoot in a particular place at that venue doesn’t mean it will make a great shot for someone who shoots in a very different way. There’s also the unfortunate possibility that the person who regularly shoots at that venue (on whom the staff may be basing their experience) may not be as creative or as technically skilled as the photographer that you have chosen for your big day. More importantly though it is really the light in that precise location at that exact time that makes the difference between a great shot and a completely unusable one.

The most common example of this is when a venue has an amazing view that you naturally want to take advantage of. After all, everyone knows that when you go on holiday you stand in front of a pretty view and that that’s what photography’s all about. The trouble is that unless the light is perfectly balanced between the background and the subjects in front the photographer may well find themselves taking a picture of either the couple and their guests or the beautiful view behind but not both. For group shots in particular the photographer will always be looking to get the light looking right on the guest’s faces, but if they’re in shadow and the background is brighter then the end result is going to be lots of happy guests standing in front of a big white light and not the epic backdrop you thought would make such a beautiful shot. Equally if the light is too bright overall you’ll end up with people squinting and a generally harsh, ugly texture to the photograph and if too dark you simply won’t see anything very well at all. Sometimes this can be balanced out using flash or other artificial lighting equipment but for various reasons this is not always the case.

Sometimes though the location just fundamentally doesn’t work – for example there may be a location that seems to naturally accommodate a group such as a set of steps that all the guests can fit on. However if the width of the group means the photographer has to step back a long way and be positioned considerably lower than the guests then you’re going to end up with a photograph of 200 people’s nostrils. Sometimes however good the shot seems in theory it’s best to follow the professional’s experience and let them find an alternative spot, whatever the guests or the venue staff may think.

So for your big day make sure that it’s only the photographer that takes charge of the photographs. Drown out the other voices and listen to the one with the real experience to know what’s best. There may be 200 photographers at your wedding just bursting to offer advice but just remember, you only hired one of them and they’re the only chef left in that over-filled kitchen stirring a broth cooked to absolute perfection.

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  • Sarah - April 2, 2014 - 12:34 pm

    What a great post!! I think this should include the guests, too, that keep tapping you on the shoulder asking when you’re going to do this shot, or that shot, and you know full well it’s not going to happen because the bride and groom don’t want it!ReplyCancel

    • bridevsgroom - April 2, 2014 - 1:08 pm

      Thanks Sarah and glad you enjoyed the post! Guests are certainly one of the groups who like to share their opinions on how the photographs should be taken and that’s why I think it’s so important for the couple to drown out those other voices and follow the guidance of the expert at hand.ReplyCancel

    • Jay Emme Photography - April 2, 2014 - 2:24 pm

      AGREED! There was a circumstance where I pretty much had to give up on the shot I was trying to get, because guests interrupted non-stop telling me I was in the wrong place. Guess what? It was a scenario mentioned in this post – gorgeous people or gorgeous view. Both was just NOT going to happen.


  • Camera Hannah - April 2, 2014 - 1:49 pm

    Perfect! A really helpful post. I hate that moment when people say “photographers usually take a photo here” and you know it’s just not right for you. I still struggle to say a polite no because I worry about looking like a pretentious dickheadReplyCancel

  • Chris - Smudged Photo - April 2, 2014 - 2:44 pm

    So so true, especially if you’re working at a venue that has a “recommended photographer” that runs through the motions at every wedding. The staff tend to just suggest the same places over and over. It’s frustrating and one of the reasons I don’t like to see a venue before I shoot there. It’s easy to get ideas in your head that might not work in the light on the day etc etc.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - April 2, 2014 - 8:23 pm

    Yes, Yes and more yes. I really enjoyed reading this post and I was nodding throughout!ReplyCancel

  • Dom / York Place - April 3, 2014 - 10:53 am

    thanks for the comments guys! :) ReplyCancel

  • Belinda - April 3, 2014 - 5:32 pm

    Great post! Every bride needs to stop in and read this.ReplyCancel

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Same Sex Marriages – The Facts

This week we’re celebrating the legalisation of same-sex marriages and today we’d like to share a fab infographic created by the guys at all about the recent history of Same Sex Marriages and how we reached this historic point. Here in the UK we may not have been the quickest to take up the equal rights mantle but at least we’ve finally taken an important step along the way!


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