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The Visual Guide to the Key Wedding Roles

It’s always an honour to be asked to be a part of a friend or loved one’s wedding but not everyone is clear on exactly what their role requires. To help you along your way the good folks at have created this visual guide to the key wedding roles and responsibilities explained. So whether you’re the groom or an usher here’s what you need to start thinking about…


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A Photographer’s Thoughts: What is an E-Shoot and How Do You Get the Best Out of It?

dom the tog bride finalone2Engagement shoots are offered by many photographers primarily as an opportunity for you to get used to being in front of the camera before your big day and to get to know how your photographer works. They can undoubtedly be very useful for this purpose but they’re more than that, engagement shoots can be a fantastic experience in their own right.

For those of you who are new to the world of wedding photography an engagement shoot (also known as an e-shoot or pre-wed shoot) is a photo-shoot, usually taken out on location somewhere, with just you, your partner and (usually but not always) the photographer who will be photographing your wedding day. Many photographers will include e-shoots in their wedding packages although this is by no means always the case and will often be charged as an optional extra. But if you do decide to have an e-shoot how can you make sure you get the best out of the opportunity? Here are our top tips:

e-shoot and how do you get the best out of it

Make it fun. This is a shoot for you and no-one else. There are no grandparents asking for formal shots, no guests demanding your attention, no crazily expensive clothing you’re trying to protect. This is your chance to just have a good time and get some professional photographs of you guys just being you.

Be yourselves. These photos should represent you as a couple. Don’t think about posing or worry about doing something daft, just interact the way you always do – tease each other if that’s you, be all soppy and romantic with each other if that’s you. The more you give your photographer the more they can give you back and the more of your personality they can inject into the way they take your photographs. The magic of engagement photographs is that they reveal how the couple truly are with one another, otherwise it might as well just be any two people posing however the photographer has asked them to.

Suggest some locations that mean something to you both. The very best photographs come when there’s not only a real connection between the couple but when they clearly feel completely at home in their surroundings. Maybe it’s the place you met, maybe the place he proposed, maybe just where you take your dog for a walk. Wherever it is it should be somewhere that feels natural to you.

Wear something you feel comfortable in. Unless you’ve all agreed that you want to go ultra glam for the shoot then you want to choose clothes that you feel good in – something you think makes you look good but also something that you actually enjoy wearing. Smart casual is usually the name of the game on this one, oh and if you are going to wear high heels then make sure you bring some flats too, you never know where you’ll be going and the last thing you want whilst trying to get some relaxed pictures is a stabbing pain in your feet! It may also be sensible to bring some boots with you in case you decide to go somewhere a little more adventurous…

Have an adventure! Let go of your inhibitions and go and have some fun! Listen to the photographer’s ideas and explore your surroundings fully to get the best shots and enjoy yourselves more in the process! This also gives the photographer the opportunity to play around with the shots and try out different angles to help them discover what will work best for you on your wedding day.

Hair and Makeup. As we’ve already said most photographers prefer your engagement shoot to be natural shots of the two of you rather than ultra glam, but if you feel better about yourself and can project more confidence in the photographs when wearing a little makeup and doing something with your hair then go for it. There are no rules for the e-shoot, just don’t overdo it!

Bring a Prop. Aside from trying to smile naturally for the camera the thing most people have problems with when posing for pictures is what to do with their hands. If you’re worried about this or you’re a natural fidgeter then bring something along to keep your hands busy! We’ve had couples bring guitars, picnic baskets, even bicycles to their engagement shoots and aside from keeping your hands occupied they can help to add an extra dimension to the shots.

Bring your pets along! Not all photographers allow pets but they can be a great and very natural addition to the photos, after all this is a shoot all about you guys and if for example you spend lots of time walking your dog then it makes perfect sense for them to be in the shots too! Also if you already have kids many photographers would encourage you to bring them too and make it a full family day out.

Use the engagement shots as part of the wedding. If you’re having professional photos taken of the two of you why not make use of them at the wedding itself? You could use them on your invites, perhaps have a framed photo of you both for guests to sign, have the pictures on display during the reception… there are all kinds of ways to really make use of your pics!

Take the opportunity to really get to know your photographer. They will after all be with you throughout the most important day of your lives and it makes everything easier if you really trust them and enjoy their company on the big day. Talk to them, interact with them, joke around with them, maybe even go for a cup of tea somewhere with them during the shoot. That way you can feel truly relaxed with them on the day.

e-shoot and how do you get the best out of it

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The Monday Musings: The Bigger Picture

Matt - The GroomDo you ever get the feeling that your to-do list is never going to go down? The feeling that wherever you go there’s always tonnes to do? For those of us working in the wedding industry winter is generally supposed to be our quiet time, the time we use to catch up and then relax a little in preparation for the crazy hours and constant shooting and editing that wedding season brings. The time to reflect on what can be improved, perhaps work on new techniques, look at things that could be done differently. This year though, for us winter has been anything but relaxing…

Last year was an amazing time for both of our businesses and we each took great strides towards being the practitioners we would like to be. We worked incredibly hard all year and started to see great results from it, but once the wedding season passed we still hadn’t finished our mission. As winter set in we started another huge task that had evaded us for years: refurbishing the studio – a huge task and one that had quite a steep learning curve to it having done much of the work ourselves. Alongside that though we were still working on shoots, finishing off editing tasks and of course working on this very blog including starting to put in place some exciting new ideas that we’re looking forward to sharing with you all.

All in all it’s been something of a busy year and I think it’s fair to say that the work/life balance hasn’t exactly been on an even footing. So much so that despite it being a very successful and exciting year professionally, Dominique and I celebrated finally having a tidy house again yesterday harder than we celebrated Dom winning an award earlier in the year.


Considering that apart from for weddings we theoretically don’t work on Sundays we were both surprised to find that yesterday was in fact the first Sunday we had both had off and spent no portion of in the office since probably this time last year. It was in fact almost the first full day we had both spent in our house since that time too. People often tell us how nice it must be being paid thousands of pounds for working just one day a week, being abled to take a lie-in whenever we want or just decide we can’t be bothered with work and spend the day watching TV instead and they’re right. How nice that must be for whichever lucky sod has managed to achieve it. Personally though I’d settle for the odd 48 hour working week rather than the 60-80 hours most self-employed photographers and videographers enjoy.

But this year we’re determined to move a step closer to that goal. We’ve completed most of our major projects we had planned and have been working hard to get that valuable work-life balance back. So with a finally tidy-house, a newly refurbished studio with the final pieces of furniture arriving any minute now and a year ahead that’s shaping up to be something really special, now is the time to try to reap the benefits of all the hard work we’ve put in. The work-life balance is after all incredibly important and it’s that time put aside to relax that inspires you to be able to push even harder when work begins again. We love what we do whole-heartedly but sometimes in the relentless pursuit of your dreams it’s it’s easy to lose track of everything else. It’s time, in short, to kick back with a cup of tea and get ourselves ready for the upcoming storm.

Exciting times lay ahead, and by god, we’ll be ready for them!

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Story Frames: Happy Reflections

Story Frame

Today our story frame comes from the wedding of Caroline and Keith, featuring the overjoyed Caroline as her Bridesmaids get ready to help her on her way to her magical midday wedding ceremony. This shot shows the hilarious few seconds just after the maid of honour (pictured left) has emerged from beneath the folds of the dress, a fantastic moment that definitely eased any last minute nerves!
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The Unusual Transportation Inspiration Board

Bored of the traditional wedding car? Fed up with horse-drawn carriages? Looking to make a lasting impression with something just a little bit different? Today we have the inspiration board for you! From bicycles to balloons there’s no end of cool ways you can travel from A-B and make sure your grand entrance is one your guests will never forget!


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The Friday Fight-Out: Veiled Vs Unveiled

Weddings have undergone many stylistic changes over the years and the traditional sight of the groom lifting the bride’s veil to see her for the first time as she reaches his side has gradually become less common. But is the traditional veil something that should be worn at a wedding or are the alternative options a better way to go? Time for our two expert debaters to go head to head and present the arguments in this week’s Friday Fight-Out!


In the Red Corner, she sat firmly in the middle ground for her own wedding by choosing a birdcage veil to keep the tradition alive but without hiding her face, but this week she’ll be fighting for the unveiled look, it’s Dom “The Tog Bride”.

In the Blue Corner, keeping things traditional with the classic veil although he did have a nightmare before his own wedding of lifting the veil and finding small Dog’s face underneath, it’s Matt “The Gormless Groom”

Veiled Vs Unveiled


Dom: These days the groom normally looks back and watches as you walk down the aisle towards him and it’s always an amazing moment as your eyes meet for the first time. Having your face covered until you reach his side means that you don’t get much time to fully take each other in and enjoy the moment as the ceremony commences immediately afterwards.

Matt: But there’s something really special about that moment the groom lifts the veil and is truly the first to see her properly that has some sort of magic to it and it can be just as emotive. If you speak to your officiant beforehand and ask them to give you a moment after lifting the veil you can still have the chance to enjoy the moment fully.

Dom: The traditional veil often just isn’t in keeping with the more modern style of wedding dress and for most people the look, shape and feel of the dress being absolutely perfect is more important than having a veil.

Matt: Wearing a veil is one of those long-standing wedding traditions that have so much rich history entwined with them. They somehow just complete the bridal look and can look really beautiful.

Dom: There are so many really cool headwear options for your wedding like floral hairpieces or jewels… most brides now want to express themselves more and show off their personality but a full length veil can make you look more of a generic bride.

Matt: But veils also come in all kinds of styles and can show off your personality just as much as the other options as well as making a real statement to compliment the dress.

Dom: Veils can sometimes be a little unruly, can get caught on things and can generally get in the way on the day. The last thing you want is to be fiddling with your veil throughout the ceremony!

Matt: The veil just brings that added sense of a little mystery and helps to increase the excitement as the bride walks down the aisle yet is still not fully revealed.

Dom: Veils are an added expense on what is typically already an incredibly expensive dress. Many of the alternative options are much more affordable and equally as dramatic.

Matt: For many of the older generation the veil rather than the dress necessarily is the iconic image that they associate with the bride and often what inspires a huge emotional response when they see it which you wouldn’t want to lose.


So those are our arguments but where do you stand? Will you be wearing a veil for your wedding? We’d love to hear from you so do leave a comment to join the debate or you can simply place your vote in our poll below!

The Great Veil Debate
Veiled Vs Unveiled
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