2015: Triumphs, Failures and Lessons Learned

headshots 2015 shell de mar (10)

The last twelve months have been HUGE for Rock n Roll Bride. We saw the magazine in physical stores, we worked with (and then ditched!) a external publishing company, and then we started our own! It also saw the last in-person class of The Blogcademy, and we signed up for massively exciting collaboration with the National Wedding Show! PHEW.

My highlight of 2015 was taking Rock n Roll Bride magazine from a small, self-published mag, to one sold in shops up and down the UK. Seeing it in WH Smiths for the first time (when I was on the cover no less!) was a feeling I can’t even describe. I went in with my mum on the first day it came out and she bought, like, 5 copies!

There have been ups and downs on the magazine journey. Most of you will know that in June, after producing three issues with another publishing company at the helm, we decided to break out on our own and start our own limited company to produce the entire thing ourselves again. Going from a team of around nine people to just three was obviously going to take some adjustment, and would mean that my work load tripled, but it was one billion percent the right decision.

Not only did we have complete control again (something I value very much, Rock n Roll Bride is my baby after all!) but having a much smaller team means there would be less overheads, which is super important if you actually want to make money!

In retrospect, the match with the publishing company was not a good one, but it’s not something I regret doing. If we hadn’t worked with them the magazine would have never, ever got into stores. In fact before we signed with them I was ready to pack it all in because I had no idea how to take it to the next level. Although the partnership didn’t work out how we expected, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity they gave us. Its helped our business develop in a direction that we probably would have never got to on our own.

Things have been moving on in leaps and bounds since then. Sales are increasing, the companies who are advertising with us are more in-line with the brand, and we were asked to partner up with the biggest wedding show in the country for next spring! Pretty amazing, considering we still work from home (which I love, #dailysweatpantparty for the win!) and our third team member, design wizard Shauna of We are Branch, is based 5000 miles away in Portland, meaning we do everything via email! 

Bigger and better, onwards and upwards! I am so excited to see what happens with the magazine in 2016. I didn’t start this blog to eventually turn it into a print edition, but now that its happened, it just feels SO RIGHT.

Continue reading

DIY Back Garden Wedding Inspired by Africa

colourful back garden wedding_matt_badenoch_photography (29)

Emma and Leigh had their wedding in their own back garden. They wanted something relaxed and colourful, and inspired by some of their favourite places.

“The inspiration for our wedding grew over the few months we were engaged, we didn’t set out with an initial plan but knew we wanted it to feel relaxed, colourful and have a country element”, said Emma. “I lived in Kenya for a while and love the bright colours of African material. I bought some when I went to Uganda last year and began making bunting. A shop in Tetbury called Artique is an Aladdin cave of Indian artefacts. The owner showed us bright wall hangings and large umbrellas which they have used at Womad festival. We also wanted to bring in a country feel. I love sunflowers, so this also added to the expanding bright colour theme.”

colourful back garden wedding_matt_badenoch_photography (4)

The ceremony was held at Westonbirt Arboretum and the bride arrived in her Grandpa’s consul. “It was much more relaxed and personalised than we could have ever imagined”, she explained. “There were spontaneous fist pumps between Leigh and bridesmaids as they came down the aisle. We had lovely readings that were chosen by our friends and two special songs sung by our talented friends.”

colourful back garden wedding_matt_badenoch_photography (2)

Continue reading

The Flying Kiss: An Amusement Park Engagement

The Flying Kiss

If you’ve just got engaged, then you might be thinking about doing an engagement shoot with your photographer. They are a fantastic way to get to know the person who will be there on your wedding day, but also to practice in front of the camera and get some fabulous images to boot! (You can read more of my advice for getting great engagement pictures here).

The Flying Kiss

While many couples opt to keep things casual and fuss-free, maybe shooting around their own neighbourhood and wearing comfortable clothes, others like Federica and Stefano choose to go all out! The Italian pair dressed up and went to a fun fair for their pre-wedding shoot.

“The idea behind the shoot was that love is fun!”, said photographer Simona. “Everything is illuminated when we are in love, things dance around like a carousel and life has the delicious taste of cotton candy! We wanted to reflect that in these photos.”

The Flying Kiss

Continue reading

Pretty in Pink: A Vintage Village Hall Wedding

Pretty in Pink Tattooed Wedding - Photography by Vicki (68)

Oh 
Danni and Ben, your wedding gives me LIFE. I am so excited to share it on the blog today.

This gorgeous heavily-tattooed pair were hitched in Maidstone, at a venue called Kent Life. “Our wedding theme was a bit of a mixture of 1950s, rural farm life and a tea party!” said Danni. “We love the 1950s anyway, I have a huge collection of dresses already and we just love the music and the dancing. I really love that our wedding was personal to us and wasn’t generic.”

Pretty in Pink Tattooed Wedding - Photography by Vicki (21)

“One of the highlights of the day was our fire breathing burlesque dancer!” she continued. “That’s pretty different to most weddings! We just wanted to be ourselves and also to make sure there was a lot going on all day. I would never want anyone to say they were bored, so we had wooden games, a sweetie table and a Rat Pack tribute. We also had close up magic and it really created such a great atmosphere with people crowding round and laughing!”

Pretty in Pink Tattooed Wedding - Photography by Vicki (31)

Continue reading

Bohemian Festival Wedding with African Roots

Bohemian Festival Wedding with African Roots_MillieBenbowPhotography (74)

Chris and Jen wanted a bohemian, outdoor wedding inspired by their love of festivals and each other. “We’re lucky to be able to have a pretty bohemian lifestyle”, the bride said. “We like to travel and we like to let our hair down at festivals. Many of our friends come from theses and other creative pools. Chris has African roots and we both wanted to acknowledge this in the symbolism and ceremony of our day. So I guess our theme was… us?”

Bohemian Festival Wedding with African Roots_MillieBenbowPhotography (33)

“The inspiration for our wedding has to have been the party we envisioned throwing for all our family and friends. We knew from the various cabaret/ music tents we’ve hung out together in what kind of feel we wanted. First we found the venue, Wyresdale Park near Preston. We wanted somewhere that people would be able to stay for the full weekend and that we could have the reception outside.”

Bohemian Festival Wedding with African Roots_MillieBenbowPhotography (36)

Continue reading

Science, Stars and Everything We Love

Science, Stars and Everything We Love (49)

Lulu and Alex’s June wedding was held at The Historic Overlook House in Portland. Their wedding theme was based on a sentence that they came up with on early in the planning process. “Science, Stars and everything we love”, Lula said, “and we only picked things we really loved. We obviously had our favourite colours but also dinosaurs riding pine cones, temporary star tattoos (our son loves temporary tattoos), food from our favourite restaurant, Erlenmeyer flasks, wood tables and chairs, paper crafts, mercury glass, and all the weird beautiful flowers and eucalyptus I could have asked for.”

Science, Stars and Everything We Love (16)

“Our wedding was so especially ‘us’ in every way possible and everyone commented on that throughout the day”, she continued. “We didn’t pick a random theme and we weren’t obsessed with Pinterest even though we incorporated a lot of DIY ideas and printables from the internet. The day was also geared towards families. We made a chalkboard table for an entire kid area with printable colouring books, lots of lemonade and (non-alcoholic!) cider.”

Science, Stars and Everything We Love (19)

Continue reading