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

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Today we’re stepping back into the ring once more to battle out between two completely opposing ideas: on the one side – going” unplugged” for your wedding with guests banned from taking photos or videos throughout the day and on the other embracing technology to the full and actively encouraging the guests to take and share their photos and videos as a community during the wedding through the use of custom websites and hashtags. So which of these two extremes is the right direction for you? Time to put it to the debate!



In the Red Corner, arguing the case for going unplugged although there’s nothing she loves more than trying to get a shot of the bride coming back down the aisle and finding that you are in fact taking a shot of someone’s iPad instead, it’s Dom “The Tog Bride”

In the Blue Corner, arguing for incorporating technology and social media into the wedding to make the most of it, he’s battling this side of the argument despite his desire to #KillAnyoneWhoUsesTheWordHashtagInAnActualSentenceOutLoud it’s Matt “The Gormless Groom”

Going Unplugged Vs #YourWedding


Dom: We often find that guests spend so much time photographing their friends weddings that they don’t fully engage with the moment and see it with their own eyes! If your guests are going to see you get married through a digital screen you may as well just not have any guests and stream a live video online instead!

Matt: The fact is that these days our phones and tablets are never far from our side and we enjoy using them and sharing our experiences on Facebook etc. For some guests taking pictures and sharing your day online is part of the entertainment of the day and, if they’re going to do it anyway, you might as well provide a place to do it that allows you all to see and share!

Dom: If you’ve hired a professional photographer and videographer then there’s absolutely no reason for any of your guests to take photos or videos and they’re more likely to just get in the way of the photos you actually want! Often the photographer finds their shot blocked by a phone or iPad or find their attempts to get some intimate couple portraits ruined by the entourage of would-be photographers who join them and make the couple feel uncomfortable in front of so many cameras!

Matt: If your photographer/videographer is only providing a limited number of hours coverage then photos and videos from your guests can help fill in the blanks so that you have something to remember those parts of the day by, especially if you’re not having a professional at all!

Dom: More often than not all the photos taken by the guests are never even seen by the Bride and groom or the majority of the other guests so it’s rarely worth taking them in the first place!

Matt: It often takes photographers/videographers quite a long time to get the finished professional images to you and guest shots can help fill in the blanks in the meantime!

Dom: Weddings often take place in low-light environments meaning that guests cameras will be setting off flashes constantly through the day which are not only distracting but can again destroy the professionals photographs as it makes it virtually impossible to balance the light in the room correctly when catching other people’s flashes.

Matt: When you use something like a wedding hashtag to share all the images, taking the pictures becomes a fun activity at the wedding and one for everyone to enjoy! Various services are available that allow you to have a screen set up showing all the pictures live on the screen the second they’re shared on the hashtag and the results can sometimes be hilarious!

Dom: Good professional photographers have the knowledge and experience to get the balance right between being in the right place to get the best shot and not being too obtrusive and interfering with the events in front of them. Guests simply don’t have this experience and many a time we’ve seen guests standing in the middle of the aisle during the ceremony to get their shot or block half the guests from seeing the speeches by standing in the wrong place – it’s incredibly distracting for the bride and groom and detrimental rather than an enhancement to the day.

Matt: Guests tend to be able to capture a very different type of photograph from the official photographer because those around them are more happy to be daft and silly in front of a fellow guest’s camera than in front of a pro. Sometimes the guest photos, particularly in the evening, are the most relaxed and fun images of the day, particularly if the official photographer has a more formal style.

Those are our arguments but where do you stand? Place a vote or leave a comment to join the debate! Go on, you know you want to!

Going Unplugged Vs #YourWedding
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Lately we’ve been hearing a lot of conversations about what it is that makes a great wedding photographer and just how on earth that can be determined. Can we really compare two photographers (often of contrasting styles) and come to a conclusion as to which is better or is it all simply a matter of opinion? A little while ago we delved into the subject to see what conclusions we could make and as it’s “Throwback Thursday” we thought we’d take another little look at what it is that makes a great photographer…

dom the tog bride finalone2In the past we’ve talked a lot about the different styles of wedding photography, the different types of posing, approaches to shooting, framing, light manipulation, processing… the list goes on. But whilst we’ve tried to be as in-depth about each aspect of wedding photography as we can the question we keep being asked is this: What makes a great photographer?

It’s a question that in all honesty I’ve always skated around, mostly because despite the basic standard of a photographer clearly being the first important hurdle to leap on the track to choosing who will be capturing those all important memories for you, I remain unsure whether the question is really a valid one. Overall I would have to say that beyond the basic requirements of being able to use the camera properly the answer, in its most simple terms, is perception. There are undoubtedly incredible photographers out there who are yet to attain the recognition of their peers as a true ‘great’, yet their images might speak to you personally in a way that even the most acclaimed photographers cannot achieve. Similarly even the work of those considered true greats in the wedding photography community is only as good as their restrictions allow them to be.

What we define as great photography is of course completely subjective. You might look at a photographer’s technical ability in order to attach a value to their work and this might certainly shed some light on whether they know what they’re doing or not. Anyone who tells you that there are no rules in photography is talking nonsense; of course there are rules and certain shots will simply not work no matter how good you are, but the trouble with looking purely at technical skills is this: there may be rules to photography, but for me the ones who are the true artists are those that learn to break them successfully.

Of course that basic technical knowledge is essential – a photographer that can’t operate the camera properly is no use to anyone, but beyond a certain point technical skill becomes almost irrelevant as natural creative instincts take over. It’s quite possible to be a camera geek and know exactly what setting to use in every situation and even capture technically impeccable shots with precisely the right light balance, composition and framing and yet end up with an image that lacks any character, emotion or intrigue.

So should the question be not ‘what makes a great photographer’ but what makes a ‘creative photographer?’ Perhaps, but by it’s very nature creativity cannot be constrained or boxed within guidelines. Some of the factors that can certainly contribute include an understanding of how to use light for effect rather than simply for balance, a keen attention to detail and constant readiness to react within a split second of seeing (or even to pre-empt) a special moment arising, but it’s mostly about being able to translate the unique way that you see the world through the camera, and in doing so reveal something of yourself in the process. Picasso clearly saw the world in an entirely different way to Monet and would doubtless paint an entirely different picture of exactly the same object but both might be considered creative masterpieces for entirely different reasons.

what makes a great photographer?

Two factors that certainly have a part to play alongside creativity though are experience and consistency. Experience in itself does not of course equate to good photography and sometimes it’s the fresh faced newbie that produces the more exciting image, but in the constantly changing and unpredictable environment of a wedding experience certainly helps. Consistency is also very important – anyone can get lucky and capture one great image, even on the simplest of cameras. But you need your photographer to do it week in, week out and in every situation, lighting condition and surrounding.

Wedding photography of course provides a curious twist on the generally accepted definition of a good photographer because here personality and customer service become impossible to ignore. Landscape photographers have no cause to worry about the happiness of their subject, fashion photographers work with professionals whose job it is to look good in front of the camera. Wedding photographs are about the people, and unless the photographer can forge a good connection and understanding with the couple then in most cases they’re unlikely to produce photographs that can truly be considered great. Good communication skills and a genuine care for the subject then must surely be considered a key part of a good photographer’s skill-base.

I said at the beginning of this post that the answer to what makes a good photographer is perception – both theirs and yours. The big factor in whether you connect with their images is their perception of the world and their environment and if you feel a connection to that style then it’s really up to you whether you perceive them to be good or not. Photography is personal to the viewer and however much we photographers individually may cringe at some images and applaud others there’s really no right or wrong answer. All we can say is make sure you do your research, look at lots of images, read testimonials and make up your own mind. Technical skills and peer reviews may be an indicator of a good standard of work but unless those photographs make you, personally feel something then what we can tell you makes them good has no kind of relevance at all.

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Laura Babb - Tom & Sally

Today we’d like to share the fun-filled wedding of Tom and Sally at one of London’s quirkiest venues: the Asylum, captured by photographer Laura Babb. Whilst the Asylum, now a unique artist-led project and exhibition space in the centre of Carolina Gardens, was never actually home to anyone who might be described as ‘crazy’, it’s clear that a little craziness was never far from the minds of the guests with double-decker buses, foosball and some fantastic speeches drawing big reactions from the crowd!

The day, as photographer Laura tells us, didn’t start quite so well though with Sally’s taxi rather unfortunately breaking down somewhere off the Old Kent Road. Fortunately Sally’s exuberant happiness on this amazing day could not be shaken and, with Laura quickly coordinating a replacement taxi to pick them up, they arrived at the Asylum without further delay. There Sally’s mum walked her lovingly down the aisle toward the waiting Tom for a gorgeous ceremony in their dramatic, crumbling surroundings.

With Tom and Sally now husband and wife the celebrations continued with drinks in the surrounding Carolina gardens before all jumping on a traditional Red London bus and making their way to The Rosendale pub in Dulwich – the perfect, relaxed setting for this lovely pair and one with a little secret bonus – a rooftop with stunning views over the London rooftops, particularly when there just so happens to be an incredible Sunset!

Congratulations to Sally and Tom on their incredible wedding and thanks so much to the talented Laura Babb for sharing it with us today!

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You can find more info about Laura Babb photography via the links below:
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  • Voyteck - November 5, 2014 - 1:37 pm

    this venue is amazing! great work Laura :)ReplyCancel

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Ok chaps, if you’re anything like me you’ll have already spent weeks staring at various rings on the internet, trounced around a few shops, maybe even enlisted your best mate to help y0u (or at least buy you a pint between jewellers) and still you have no idea what kind of engagement ring your (hopefully) soon-to-be Mrs would want. Fortunately the guys at are here to help with a flow-chart infographic to help you on your way! Just try not to look too knowledgeable when you wander around the jewellers with your mates, trust me – you’ll get some very strange looks!



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matt-avatar WhitenedOn Thursday Dom and I celebrated our 2nd Wedding Anniversary, an anniversary apparently traditionally celebrated with cotton. However, after discovering that Dominique’s love of quirky traditions didn’t quite stretch to the idea of her spending our anniversary darning my socks with the rather lovely needle and thread I presented her on the eve of our anniversary I came swiftly to the conclusion that I needed a back-up plan. Fortunately I had one in hand…

Now, as evidenced by our dancing around the studio to one of the songs from The Muppets Most Wanted this morning, Dom and I are most definitely big kids at heart and so I decided that the only way forward was to go on a top secret adventure. And, as any fellow Famous Five fans will know, all great adventures start with a Steam Train.

After awakening the wifey with breakfast in Bed and a cotton dress purchased opposite our wedding venue in La Palma, she was whisked away with not a clue what was happening and we were dropped off near Pickering’s North Yorkshire Moors Railway station where a classic Steam engine awaited for our adventure to begin…


After a stop off at Goathland station (aka Hogwarts Station in the first few Harry Potter films) for a cup of tea (obviously) and a quick look around we jumped back on the train, Dom even more confused as to where we were actually going, particularly after I pulled out the champagne to toast the occasion! There really is something magical about travelling by Steam Train, particularly as I’m normally the designated driver and being able to drink whilst travelling is definitely something I can get on board with!

Now, as we all know from Peter Pan, no adventure is complete without a Pirate Ship…

We eventually pulled up in Whitby and, right on cue, as we walked along the harbour the old Whitby lifeboat was ready to depart, merrily flying the Jolly Roger and all set for an adventure on the high seas. Now the infamous curse has in the past meant that we never actually manage to achieve a boat trip (something Dom loves to do) but nonetheless out we sailed for a quick trip to see Whitby from the waves. (Our boat was a former lifeboat after all, how badly could the curse strike!)

After a voyage on some increasingly large waves we returned safely to harbour and had a nice walk through the gothic streets surrounded by some very strangely dressed figures in the run-up to Whitby’s Halloween celebrations! (Whitby was, after all, famously home to Count Dracula)! Now Dominique is intolerant to Wheat and Gluten and consequently we occasionally treat ourselves to Gluten free fish & chips at the Magpie restaurant and this, Dom assumed was the ultimate plan for the evening. Therefore it was with a look of befuddlement that she followed me into a tiny tearoom for some Gluten-free Marble cake!


After more tea and cake we jumped back on board the train and, champagne in-hand set off once again, our eventual destination unknown but with Dominique now assuming that we must surely be returning to Pickering, probably for a Chinese at the restaurant opposite the station. Little did she know that was not exactly what I had in mind…

Now I’ll be honest, at this stage I was a little concerned that for a plan involving Dom and I things were, let’s face it, going rather too well. Normally our trips have one or two problems, for example getting near to starvation after every restaurant was booked up for both lunch and dinner on Dom’s birthday. The flat tyre we got on our mini-moon in the lake district. The power supply to my Mac breaking on our actual Honeymoon forcing us to race around Portugal searching for Apple stores so that I could finish off a piece of work, and of course the hurricane that hit our tropical island wedding. Surely this had all been a little too slick so far!

And so I was almost relieved as we got off at Levisham station to see there was no phone (or indeed google map) signal nor chance to hire a taxi and, in fact, no street lights or signposts to help us find our eventual destination. Thankfully there was one helpful signalman who pointed us in the right general direction and so off we set on foot for what I knew to be a mile or so’s walk. In the dark. Really really dark. Across the Moors, did I mention the moors? After a great start things had all gone a little Wuthering Heights on us…

I should defend myself here by saying that whilst I knew the distance involved after having our destination recommended to me by my generally lovely in-laws who don’t usually try to kill the pair of us off, I was rather unaware of the lack of street lights or signposts or, indeed the scary scary moorland surrounded only by the glistening eyes of what we could only hope were sheep by the dim light of our phones. After walking up hill for what seemed like an eternity we eventually turned the corner and sadly saw no sign of life in the distance. Fortunately, shortly after coming to the conclusion that this would in fact be our last wedding anniversary having condemned us both to certain death, a car came past and slowed to greet us.

Our luck being what it is the car was, of course, completely full. However the passengers were able to confirm that we were heading in the right direction (and that Heathcliffe was not, to their knowledge, rampaging across the Moors accompanied by a savage werewolf) and so we continued on our path.1426512_10154826248205093_507309626907544718_n

With Dom looking slightly concerned not only about her impending death but also by the fact we were looking likely to have to get a train back before we had even started our dinner I decided this was the moment to reassure her that we would not only be eating once we reached our location but would in fact be staying the night, and spurred on by this added purpose, we strode boldly towards Levisham.

To our surprise we eventually made it and were able to clean up and have a glass of wine in our room before going down for what turned out to be a stupendous (and rewardingly enormous) meal before retiring to a comfortable bed for the night.

The walk back to the station in the morning was surprisingly beautiful by daylight despite the angry looking (and very sharply horned) Highland Cattle we had presumably passed the night before blocking the road at regular intervals. As it turned out though mere enormous cows were the least of our worries as we returned to the platform station to find signs warning us of the enormous number of poisonous Adders in the surrounding moorland. Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?!

Anyway, to conclude the story, after bravely standing on the bench hiding from snakes whilst awaiting the train we returned to Pickering for some Gluten-free fish & chips at one of the town’s finest before returning home to share our tale of near-death adventure. Needless to say, Small Dog was not impressed that, firstly we had gone for a trip across the moors without him, and secondly that I had lived to tell the tale. Still, all good adventures need an evil nemesis and Small Dog was more than up for the role.

So happy anniversary to my gorgeous wife, I’m looking forward to many more adventures in the years to come.


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Colehayes-Park-Wedding-Photography_0086Today’s Story Frame captures a perfectly delivered reading from Hollie & Kieran’s amazing Colehayes Park wedding ceremony, much to the bride and groom’s delight! The reading itself was a fitting one, delivered to the travel-loving couple as it was surrounded by bunting made of maps! It was such a perfect moment and I just love Hollie’s reaction in the background!
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