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

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matt-avatar WhitenedLast week we published some top tips aimed at helping the Mother of the Bride understand her role and how best to help the bride both in the build-up and on the day of her daughters wedding. Today it’s the turn of another key member of the bridal party: The Father of the Bride.

The Father of the Bride undoubtedly has a key role to play in proceedings both before and during the wedding but, much like the mother of the bride, it’s not always an easy role to perform (as demonstrated in the movie “Father of the Bride”!) In the lead up to the wedding your role so often seems to revolve mostly around getting the credit card out again and seeing whether you can take out a mortgage against the garden shed, but on the day the Father of the Bride is one of the most involved and most important figures so here’s our tips to help you get through the big day!


  • If you’ve agreed to pay for all or part of the wedding then make sure you set a basic budget from the start so that everyone knows where they stand. And remember: painful as it may be, if you are paying then (unless asked otherwise) your job is to stump up the cash, not make the decisions! Give your daughter and soon-to-be son-in-law the freedom to make their own choices but make sure they know you’re available if they need any help with anything – whilst it’s important not to interfere you also don’t want to seem uninterested!
  • If you haven’t already then make sure you invite the groom’s family around for a drink and try to get to know them a little better before the big day. These people are going to be an extended part of your family and so it’s great if you all get along well before the wedding!
  • When writing your speech don’t just look up jokes on the internet, the father of the bride’s speech doesn’t have to be funny and it’s always most effective when you speak from the heart. Your daughter doesn’t want to hear you recite a story you found on google that wasn’t really relevant to her, she wants to hear the way you felt when you saw her in her dress, the stories from her childhood, the moment the groom asked you for your daughter’s hand in marriage, the way you really feel about her. Don’t be afraid to be a little emotional – the best speeches always are!
  • Also on the speech theme, if you’re going to include a list of thank-you’s in your speech then check with the groom first whether he will be doing the same. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with repeating one or two of the really important thanks there’s nothing worse for your audience than hearing the same full list repeated by both of you!
  • On the morning of the wedding without trying to stress anyone out keep an eye on the time! Unless you have a particularly complex grooming ritual then chances are you’re going to be ready before the girls and, in a flurry of hair and makeup, it’s very easy for them to lose track of how long they have left!
  • If it’s all getting a bit too girly for you in the morning then (logistics permitting) go and see the boys for a bit in the morning. Chances are they’re probably relaxing with a pint somewhere whist the girls frantically get ready!
  • Make sure you get your moment to see the Bride for the first time. It’s always such an emotional moment and you need to allow yourself the space and time to take it all in. If possible try not to see your daughter whilst she’s getting ready so that you get the full impact and once again don’t be afraid to let your emotions show.
  • During the day be the co-host to take some of the pressure off the bride and groom. Whilst it was traditionally the F.O.T.B who played host on a wedding day that responsibility has gradually shifted towards the bride and groom themselves so whilst you should certainly welcome all the guests and help with the hosting duties, try not to take centre stage too much!
  • Make sure you get to have your father-daughter first dance. It doesn’t have to be a big public “performance”, if you’d prefer a quiet, more private moment then simply grab your daughter whilst she’s on the dance floor and enjoy your dance together with a little less of the spectacle that an announced father-daughter dance brings with it. If possible though do try to have your dance early in the evening as many photographers/videographers will leave not long after the bride and groom’s first dance and this special moment with your daughter is one that makes some truly beautiful shots on camera.
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With the low light of winter light now well and truly now in effect, today we thought we’d bring back a Photographer’s Thoughts covering the importance of selecting a photographer whose work resonates with you not just in the bright, warm sunshine of Summer but the cool blues and shadowy lights of winter. So if you’re in the process of planning a winter wedding and haven’t chosen your photographer yet here’s a few thoughts you might want to take a look at…

dom the tog bride finalone2As Autumn has well and truly taken over from the beautiful summer we’ve had it’s the time of year when we start to talk to brides and grooms about their upcoming winter weddings. Personally I love winter weddings – there’s something about the light on a crisp winter morning with perhaps a touch of frost icing those last remaining leaves on the trees that puts a touch of magic in the air and makes for some really interesting photos. It also tends to mean that the day is more about the people than the setting as more of the day is concentrated inside and for a documentary photographer like me that can actually be a real advantage.

Winter weddings also offer numerous advantages for the bride and groom – venues and suppliers often offer their services much cheaper during the winter months as demand is always lower and it’s also just a lovely festive, family-orientated time, but there’s one thing that, whilst seemingly obvious, some Brides and Grooms often miss when it comes to booking their photographer – a winter wedding is fundamentally different from a summer wedding.

Last week we spoke about Pinterest boards being presented to the photographer filled with images that may not match their style or the type of setting in which the wedding is taking place, but there’s one more fundamental element that truly defines the way a picture is going to look: light. It’s easy during the summer months to book your photographer based on those beautiful warm, bright pictures that are appearing on their blog of their most recent weddings from the peak of summer or from destination weddings in warmer climes, but it’s so important to remember that (unless that photographer is doing an awful lot of false processing) that warm texture isn’t being created by them through some magical photographic technique, the light is fundamentally there to be captured and it’s simply down to the skill of the individual photographer just how effectively they make use of it.

In the winter months though the light on your average day has an altogether different quality to it – a cloudier sky is likely to cause a colder colour to the light, that beautiful dappled light through the trees isn’t going to be the same because the leaves simply aren’t there to create the effect and, more generally speaking, unless you happen to get lucky you’re just less likely to have that glorious sunlight beaming away behind you and creating an instant stunning backdrop. Photography is effectively defined as the controlled addition of light to a photosensitive surface, Put more simply, photography is basically painting with light and in art terms if you imagine the summer light as a bold saturated acrylic paint and the winter light as a less potent powdered water colour it’s clear that the two finished paintings are never going to look quite the same.

That is not to say that the two paints, in the right hands, can’t produce something equally beautiful, indeed it may be the watercolour that you most connect with, it’s just that they’re never going to have exactly the same feel or texture. It’s also important to remember that for some artists acrylic paint is their medium and for others watercolour, and not all artists are equally as skilled and comfortable with both.

Winter Wedding photography by York Place Studios

So when booking your photographer for a winter wedding make sure you’re not purely judging their work based solely on their summer images. Take a look at their full portfolio and make sure that you like the way their style looks under winter conditions. A good photographer will of course be able to adapt to winter or summer conditions alike but for some their style is much more suited to one than the other and it’s definitely something to take under consideration. For example someone who likes to shoot very bright, vibrant images is likely to have to adapt their style more than someone who likes to shoot things a little darker and you need to be comfortable with that adaptation and fully understand the type of images you’re likely to receive.

It’s not just the quality of the light itself but the amount of it that is actually available that affects the way photographers may choose to shoot in winter. Rooms that would in summer be brightly lit by the sun may become much more shadowy and consequently some photographers will look much more to use flash to fill in any gaps in the available light. There is of course nothing wrong with this but you might need to be prepared for a lot more flashes going off than you would normally be expecting. Some photographers will also choose to use their own artificial lights to increase the available light level in the room. which again can solve a lot of problems but perhaps might be slightly more intrusive than a photographer that is used to shooting in dark conditions and prefers to still make use of the naturally available light. Neither is the wrong way to do it but each will impact on your day and on the photographs differently and it’s up to you to decide which you would prefer. 

There’s also the matter of the group shots and it’s important to remember that in the heart of winter the light is more or less gone by 3.30pm so if you’re planning outdoor group shots you need to schedule them to happen well before then and you’re even more likely to need to fall back on an indoor contingency plan in a well-lit room.

But when you do find the right photographer for you and if you’ve thought about the timings of the group shots (and accepted that it might actually NOT snow beautifully at the perfect moment!) your winter wedding photographs can be absolutely stunning. Winter is a very special time to get married with all kinds of new and different textures and inspirations for the photographer to capture. But when you’re flicking through those portfolios just remember the key component of what makes up those pictures – light, light and less light!

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We love  a little bit of wedding tradition here at Bride Vs Groom and today we’d like to take a little look back at how the traditional white wedding dress has changed over the years from the early 1900’s right through to the present day. It’s always amazing seeing how some of these styles come and go only for similar styles to return years later or even for some of the originals to return as hand-me-downs across the generations. So to give you a little bit of info on wedding dresses through the ages here we have a lovely infographic from the good folks at

PerfectRing IG Oct

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Do you ever have one of those days where no matter how good your intentions, time just seems to escape you? Where a simple task like going to pick up a Chinese turns out to require an actual trip to China? Where a quick trip to the shops to finalise a pre-arranged phone upgrade ends up in a lengthy heated discussion, four fruitless phone calls to customer service (they really should change that supposedly calming lift music to some angry heavy metal to reflect the true emotions of those kept on hold or at least take requests if your call is so bloomin’ important to them) and finally several hours searching the web for alternative deals. AGAIN! This is of course a completely metaphorical example you understand…

Fortunately, here in this great nation we long ago came up with a solution for all time-sucking activities. An equation more complex to explain than the time-bending fifth dimensional theoretical physics explored in Interstellar. Whilst accepted universally as fact by all but the staunchest of inhumane bosses, even the greatest minds are still at a loss to resolve this strange time-warping phenomena as it seemingly defies our theories of both general relativity and quantum field theory, but nonetheless, however busy the day and however badly behind schedule you may be, there’s always time for tea and cake.

So stop trying to convince yourself you don’t have time, for once that kettle goes on time travels with you. (Incidentally for those that question how on earth Santa gets around every child’s house on earth in one night why do you think he has so many mince pies? and you KNOW there must be a kettle constantly boiling on that sleigh, not only for the time-bending attributes but lets face it, he must be knackered!)

So time to put the kettle on and watch time freeze around you. Just make sure you get the formula right!




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1795423_10152799006305049_8337829782565144498_oWriting a wedding speech to appeal to all of your audience is no easy task, and it seems that one young lady was not best impressed with the speakers efforts! Thankfully with a colouring book available theres always alternative entertainment!
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