Who Pays for What

by Dave Wise


Wedding Kiss

It was a while ago now that I got married, 14 years to be exact, but I still remember the conversation I had with my father about who pays for the wedding. I was aware of the tradition: the bride’s family paid. That always struck me as odd and I still think it’s strange. The bride’s family must be really keen to get rid of her if they’re also willing to pay so much money out to do so; if I were a little more cynical I might take that as a warning. The tradition is a little antiquated today; I think it’s fairly safe to say those days are well behind us. Of course George Clooney allowing his bride’s family to pay for his wedding seems a little of a farce in this regard–I wonder if her family also paid the legal fees for the prenuptial agreement?

My father said to me “If you want to take this girl into your life, then you should start as you mean to go on. Rely on nobody apart from yourselves, and your lives together will start exactly how they will end: together.”


Bride and Groom










My father was right, my wife and I planned every element of our wedding together, counted every penny and prepared to become husband and wife from the very outset. As he said, we were together. As much as our funds really didn’t like the idea, we began our union long before the actual wedding day. Marriage is after all a series of never-ending compromises as two people learn to operate as one. Of course we remain individuals throughout it all and in reality, with the exception of each other, our personal interests lay in very different places. We still joke today about some of the silly things we spent money on for our wedding, mostly for other people’s benefit and not our own. We do still agree that the show is important and the support of our family and friends has been and continues to be essential.

Today as society and the world, in general, starts to come closer together, and traditions from each party are often very different, fending for yourselves from the outset becomes not just the norm, but essential. Each new generation teaches the previous generation new values, whilst they may at the time baulk and complain at the breaking of tradition; over time they realize that what you’ve done is create a firm foundation for your new life of negotiations that lies ahead of you.



















If you’re lucky enough to have both sides keen on contributing in some fashion to your special day, then find something of equal value and standing for each to contribute towards, you do not want your day remembered with resentment. You will undoubtedly be reminded of that every day by each aggrieved party. That additional strain is not helpful when just being married is hard enough. We got around it by simply not taking from either side, if we couldn’t afford it, it didn’t happen. There should be no regrets, so each person in the union being very much in control of their own destiny not only stops feuds before they start but allows each of you to understand the compromises being made and why.


Best Man

Dave Wise

The strange reality of the world around us is that everything we see within it is merely the reflection of light. Without the play of light bouncing to and fro between objects then back to our eyes, we wouldn’t perceive any of the beauty, any of the delights, which cause our emotions to react.

Dave Wise has been at home behind the lens for 38 years, shooting images in one form or another. Since the tender age of 5 when his grandmother gave him his first camera, Wise has found a sense of freedom and happiness in taking pictures. His many years of observation have solidified what he has always known of the beauty in the world of reflections, and ever since he has made it his life’s work to still them in the art of photography. In Wise’s mind, his work of passion is an on-going negotiation between himself and the world so as to allow him to capture—even briefly—every one.

Dave’s path has been varied and it’s that variety that shows in everything he does. He has an old East End, London soul and his passion for photography and life is obvious from the very first moment you meet him. “Continuing to wake up breathing is great,” he says. “Everything else achieved is just the icing on the cake.” It is his passion for his craft that inspires him from day to day. “The thought of tomorrow is so exciting, a new project or venture on the horizon, being one step closer to the next endeavor, where you are ready to start all over again.”

The producers of the hit TV show ‘Britain’s Next Top Model’ has described Wise as “Part of the fashion elite.” The compliment is proof of the success of his journey in taking photography from a quiet obsession to where it is now—his sole purpose of being. He does not forget nor take for granted how far he has come.

Dave’s list of clients spans editorial work, campaigns and celebrity portraits, including Vogue, FIASCO, S Magazine, MTV, Ralph Fiennes and Gillian Anderson. He has also appeared on national and international television as an expert in his field.

There is a British saying, “Away with the fairies,” to describe an artist losing himself in the surreal space of creativity. When Dave isn’t experiencing this paradigm of artistic context, chasing reflections or dreaming up images, he spends his time with his family, as a proud father of two beautiful children and a devoted husband.

Written By
More from Dave Wise

Who Pays for What

by Dave Wise   It was a while ago now that I...
Read More