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

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Best-UK-Wedding-Photographer-90It’s that time of year when photographers are looking over their best images of the year, and today’s story frame is one of our personal favourites which we’ve affectionately nicknamed “How Low Can You Go?”
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When planning your wedding one of the first decisions you need to make is the style of wedding you’re looking for. Do you want the traditional elegant “princess” style wedding or are you looking for something a little different, perhaps a little more rustic? From here all your decisions as to the decoration, dress and venue can start to be made so we put our two expert debaters into the ring to present the arguments for either side…


In the Red Corner, presenting the arguments for the alternative wedding, she was always more of a Lion King and Jungle Book kind of a girl rather than the traditional Disney Princesses, it’s Dom “The Tog Bride”

In the Blue corner, arguing for the more traditional wedding (preferably with a big giant cake that’s made available to the videographers at the end of the night) it’s Matt “The Gormless Groom”

Traditional Vs Alternative


Dom: For me weddings are all about having fun and sometimes including lots of tradition and trying to create an elegant feel can end up stifling that a little. Alternative weddings in less formal surroundings tend to have a more raucous atmosphere and that’s often where the most fun is to be had!

Matt: Your wedding is supposed to be the most special day of your life and I think getting married in a huge grand venue that you would normally never set foot in really cements that feeling. It gives your wedding the wow factor and helps make it even more memorable.

Dom: Memories are not created by venues or fancy decorations, they’re created by people and interactions and those happen most naturally in a more relaxed, laid back setting.

Matt: There’s something special about doing everything quite traditionally, in the same way that your parents, grandparents and ancestors have done over the centuries. That historical family tie is something that I think is important to carry on.

Dom: But in the past weddings were forced to be traditional – they pretty much HAD to take place in a church with the reception in a specific kind of fancy venue but now the possibilities are endless with all kinds of amazing venues from fields to barns to fairgrounds available to you.

Matt: The traditional wedding is what I think everyone dreams of when they’re a child and it’s amazing to actually realise that dream as an adult.

Dom: Your wedding should be a reflection of who you are as a couple and unless you are very formal people then it can be very difficult to express yourselves properly with certain traditions getting in the way!

Matt: A lot of wedding traditions are a lot of fun and a traditional wedding doesn’t have to be overly formal. The setting may be different but the day is still about the people who are there and there’s no reason a traditional wedding should be less fun than an alternative wedding.

Dom: Alternative weddings are often easier to organise on a more limited budget as they can take place absolutely anywhere and the aim is more about having fun than being grand, impressive events.

Matt: How often do you get the chance to hold an elegant soirée with all of your friends and family? For most people your wedding is the only chance to have this kind of celebration and it’s definitely one to take advantage of!

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

Traditional Wedding Vs Alternative

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It’s Throwback Thursday time, a chance for us to remind you of some of our (hopefully) most helpful posts we’ve published on Bride Vs Groom over the years! And today we’d like to revisit a little post on how you can help your wedding videographer to capture top quality audio and the processes involved…

Matt The Cinematographer1Perhaps the most difficult job for your videographer on your wedding day is how to capture top quality audio whilst making sure they don’t miss a moment of filming your day. Most wedding videographers are very small teams or even just one individual and are unlikely to have someone allocated solely to looking after sound as would be the case in film or TV work. Sound is in itself a very specialist area and one that can be affected by all kinds of factors, and whilst a good videographer will take every precaution to ensure the key audio from your day is recorded in the highest possible quality, it’s not always within their control. 

Whilst most videographers will be recording audio from camera mounted mics throughout the day it’s the ceremony and speeches where the sound becomes particularly important and where additional sound sources may be required. It’s also here where the videographer can quickly run into problems.

radio-micsMany videographers will make use of either radio mics or audio recorders to give them the best possible chance of capturing crystal clear audio. These will require lapel or tie clip microphones which are attached somewhere on the clothing, typically on both the groom and the officiant who will be looking after the ceremony. Now this can cause one or two problems, after all the groom naturally wants to look his best for his wedding day and having a microphone, however small, clipped to your tie or suit is hardly the greatest fashion accessory. It’s for this very reason that the Bride is rarely given her own microphone – the last thing any videographer wants is to spoil the look of the dress, so if we feel so strongly about protecting the appearance of the bride why do we not apply the same philosophy to the groom?

Well the answer is quite simply that at some point the videographer has to find the compromise between making sure you look your best and making sure that they capture the quality of sound your film demands. It’s relatively easy to place a mic fairly discretely onto the groom’s suit which, as you are generally facing each other for the vows and key audio moments, will generally also pick up the bride perfectly well. The officiant will also be standing nearby but not necessarily close enough to pick up the softly spoken couple and hence they will also often be mic’d separately so that all the key speech is picked up. A microphone can of course simply be placed reasonably close to the action and placed correctly will certainly pick up the words, (indeed this is often there anyway as backup even when the groom is mic’d) but the problem with this is that it will also pick up all of the ambient sound too much more loudly than a lapel. In some cases this is no bad thing, after all the guests are also an important part of your ceremony, but it does mean that (particularly in big echoey churches) the sound often becomes “muddy” and lacks the clarity and warmth that a lapel mic can provide. As any microphones need to be both out of the videographer’s shot and, more importantly, not getting in the way or looking ugly during your ceremony the chances are they are going to be placed further away or at a different angle than is optimal and so the quality is always going to suffer. Consequently, whilst there are no definite rules and your videographer may choose a different way to capture audio on the day, if you’re asked to wear a mic it’s generally best to go with the flow and allow them to place it as discretely as possible.

It’s not just the groom that has occasionally been known to turn down a mic though, officiants are notorious for refusing microphones, either because they are already wearing one for the PA system or because they “have a big loud voice which you’ll have no problem hearing”. Again the problem here is not missing the audio as such, or indeed the actual volume of the voice but the difference in quality having a mic closer to the officiant offers. Sometimes (although rarely in old church systems) the videographer can take a feed from the PA system radio mic but where possible it’s a good idea to speak to your videographer about whether they will need to mic the officiant so that this can be mentioned to them ahead of time so that they can fully understand why that microphone is required.

Bride vs groom mic-1

Similarly if you are having a PA system and a handheld radio mic for your speeches some videographers will either ask the sound engineer to provide them with a feed for recording the handheld mic or will provide you with an additional microphone purely for the recording. If you are planning on having a PA system then make sure you mention it to the videographer so that they can plan accordingly and they can then let you know whether they will require a feed ahead of time to prevent any problems. It’s important to remember that using this system though the recording is only as good as the feed the sound technician provides and so the quality may not always be fully controllable by the videographer.

The final area of live sound that videographers are commonly asked to record though is the band. Bands are often very expensive to hire and form a key part of your day so it’s completely understandable that you might want to include some live audio from them in your film. However the art of recording bands is extremely tricky and in the majority of cases your videographer is unlikely to be able to capture high enough quality sound for any recordings to become a seamless part of your soundtrack. Whilst sometimes it’s possible to get a reasonable feed direct from the PA system or, more rarely, with recorders placed in front of the band, to get a truly high quality recording requires an additional mixer and microphones focussing purely on the recording rather than the live sound, and this is something that very few videographers are likely to be able to offer. Sometimes it’s best to just go with another piece of music or ask the band whether they have any pre-recorded tracks that can be used for the film, that way the audio will blend with the rest of the music and not take you out of the moment when watching it back.

So when it comes to audio trust in your videographer. Trust that they will only use sound that is appropriate to the film, trust that they have no intention of listening to private conversations and trust that they have the audio expertise to know what they need to do to capture the best sound quality they can on your day. They may use the techniques above or they may have their own variations that they find effective, but only they will know what they need to do to capture the type of audio they’re looking for.

It’s often said that sound and music is 50% of what makes a great wedding film, let’s help your videographer to make your film 50% better.

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Dom Matt Pad Photo Video1As any of our long term readers know we would ALWAYS recommend having a professional photographer and videographer to capture the most important day of your lives. Friends and family should be there to enjoy your day and take it all in, not be worrying about taking photos or videos and the last thing you want is for them to be distracted and actually miss out on properly experiencing the key parts of the day like the speeches and ceremony. In fact we’d go so far as to say a blanket ban on guests using their cameras during the speeches and ceremony is probably not a bad way to go. Outside of the key traditional parts of your wedding though it’s time for your guests to get in on the action…

There are now so many cool ways you can integrate photos and videos into your day outside of the official photographers/videographers and here are a few of our favourites for you to ponder!


The Photo Booth

Photo booths saw a massive surge in popularity over the last year or so and they’re always guaranteed to be popular with the guests! All your friends and family can have so much fun grabbing silly props and costumes and creating the most daft poses they possibly can before seeing the images instantly printed for them and even mounted into a special album with guest messages, what’s not to love!

Or, if you want to take it to the next level…

The Slo-Mo Booth (Video Courtesy Super Frog Saves Tokyo)

Slo-Mo booths look set to be big in 2015, taking the basic idea of the Photo Booth but this time doing it video style! Take the silly props and costumes, add in a little glitter and confetti and have your guests dance around like crazy to create a little slow motion madness! Then, at the end of the night you can have all the clips edited together, add a little music and create a hilarious video to share with all of the guests via social media.


The Selfie Stick

2014 was officially the year of the selfie and lately we’ve been seeing the latest trend to make those selfies a little easier: the Selfie Stick! Issue yourselves and your bridesmaids and groomsmen with a selfie stick and watch them go, creating all kinds of daft selfies to remember the day by!



With Impossible Projects reinventing the polaroid film a few years ago Polaroids are back! Grab yourself a couple of classic vintage polaroid camera, load them up and pass them around the guests on the dance floor – guaranteed to get some hilarious photos as they quite literally shake it like a polaroid picture and with a couple of lines of string and some clothes pegs you can have them instantly on display for all to see!


Instax Cameras and Printers

Or, if you prefer something a little more modern pick yourself up a Fuji Instax instant-printing Camera to achieve much the same effect as the old polaroids, or even pick up an Instax printer so that guests can instantly print their mobile phone pictures to again be hung up or put straight in the guestbook.


Super 8

We adore old film cameras and the Super 8 is the classic video point and shoot. Pick yourself up a bargain Super 8 camera on ebay, grab some film and let the guests shoot away through the evening to get some of that classic vintage family film style. Somehow it always makes me think of The Wonder Years… love it!



If you want to provide an instant sharing platform for both photos and videos then set up an instagram or other social media page and simply make sure everyone knows the hashtag! Pretty soon you’ll be seeing all kinds of photos and videos from people’s phones appearing and if you can set up a screen or projector then guests can even enjoy watching them right through the evening!

So those are just a few of our favourite ways for your guests to enjoy both photos and videos through the day but there are so many options out there that can provide a fun addition to your official photos and video and for once it’s ok to say cheese!

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