A Rock n Roll Blogiversary & Five Little Lessons for Aspiring Bloggers

ROCKNROLL BLOGIVERSARY

I don’t remember the exact date I started blogging. My first site got deleted in a moment of technical clumsiness sometime late in 2008, so my earliest posts are no longer on the internet. I’m actually rather pleased that my initial foray into writing about weddings is gone forever though because, man, that shit was embarrassingly bad! I do know that it was sometime during October 2007 that I registered my domain, which makes Rock n Roll Bride SEVEN years old this month and a relative dinosaur in the wedding blogging world!

While looking back is hilarious and mortifying in equal measure, it’s also a wonderful time capsule and a reminder of how far I’ve come. The (lack of) writing skill, the questionable photo choices, the terrible formatting and attempts at ‘branding’. But it’s all part of what got me to where I am today. Not having a clue, bumbling through, excitedly posting things at all hours of the day and night because I was just so damn enthusiastic about weddings!

While condensing everything I’ve discovered about blogging into one article would be impossible, here are five little lessons that I hope will inspire aspiring bloggers.

1. You have to be yourself

“Be yourself, everyone else is taken”. That overly quoted line by Oscar Wilde is a cliché for a reason. As with everything in life, you have to be yourself when it comes to blogging. Forget about trying to be the next whoever, be loud and proud and focus on being you!

People will love you for it. OK so some people might not, but screw them! Trying to be something you’re not is bloody exhausting, it’s much more fun to be unashamedly weird. Plus, the people who think like you do will powerfully connect with your blog because it speaks to them specifically. It’s much easier to write about things you genuinely like, and for people that feel the same way you do. Never try to be all things to all people, its a recipe for disaster.

2. Focus on your readers

Last week I was named Best Alternative Wedding Blog at the Wedding Blog Awards in London. In my unrehearsed, champagne-fuelled speech, I thanked the industry for embracing me, but most of all I wanted to have a massive gush about my readers. “Without them”, I said, “I’d be working in McDonalds”.

Without readers you don’t have a blog at all, so they should be your top priority. When you start to write something, always ask yourself if your readers will get something out of it. Is it helpful or entertaining (preferably both), or is it just something that’s promoting you?

If your content helps people they won’t be able to stop themselves coming back for more.

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A Corpse Bride Wedding: Steph & Lee

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With Halloween just a few weeks away, what could be a better wedding to share with you than Steph and Lee’s epic Corpse Bride inspired day!? You are going to LOVE this one!

They were married in Birmingham, with their ceremony at St Johns church and their reception at Hamstead Social Club. The church setting also offered the most perfect place for their spooky couple portraits – a graveyard!

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“Lee proposed in the pub where I work!” began the bride. “It was our first valentine’s day and we had been out for a posh meal and thought we’d pop in the pub for a few pints to end the night. When we got there, there was a duet singing, so after some dutch courage, Lee wandered over to the singers, snatched a mic (whilst they were mid song) drops to one knee and asked me to be his wife. Of course I said yes! That was six years ago and now we have our two daughters together. We have four gorgeous kids between us!”

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The Wedding Garter: Outdated Tradition or Sexy Addition to Your Wedding Day Look?

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Garters first came into fashion in the 1930s. Traditionally they were used to hold up stockings, and later as sneaky places for women to hide untoward things (like flasks of whiskey!) or small valuables, instead of carrying a purse. These days it’s more of an obscure wedding tradition, the removal and tossing of which allegedly symbolises the deflowering of the bride. Others prefer to believe in the superstition that taking a piece of the bride’s clothing will bring good luck.

Whatever your opinion on the polarising ‘garter toss’, wearing something beautiful, silky and a little bit sexy under your wedding dress is something that I love the idea of. While I had no clue why I should be wearing one myself (the thought to research said tradition obviously never occurred to me!) I wore a black silk one with a massive bow on it for my own wedding, ooh la la! Needless to say, Gareth approved.

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If you’re looking for a garter for your own wedding, then you should call off the search party because The Wedding Garter Co. are the place to get gartered-up! They pride themselves on their handmade and beautiful pieces made right here in the UK. They work in lace, silk and tulle and every single bead, crystal and pearl you see on their items has been sewn by hand in their workshop near Bath.

They sell their items direct to their customers via their own online boutique. The garters range from £45-£98, and include free delivery to the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the European Union!

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Retro Inspired London Golf Club Wedding: Ria & Nicky

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Two brides, two gorgeous dresses and two sides of bridesmaids! Ria and Nicky wanted a wedding that screamed ‘them’! That meant they threw caution to the wind, and tradition out of the window. “I’m friends with Nicky’s sister so we met on a few social occasions, such as parties, concerts and completing a London to Brighton race”, began Ria. “However we finally developed a fancy to each other when a group of us went to Proms in the Park in 2011. I was technically ‘straight’ at the point I met Nicky, so she had no idea I liked her! Since that night we have been inseparable and the rest as they say is history.”

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“We wanted our wedding to be relaxed, fun, entertaining and as non-wedding(ey) as possible”, she continued. “It sounds silly saying that, but just because we wanted to get married, didn’t mean we had to sign up to all the traditional and the usual expected activities at a wedding. We basically wanted a massive party with our family and friends where we could all have fun, relax and just enjoy the day.”

Both brides wore dresses; Ria in a long, white number and Nicky rocking a shorter, red one. “Nicky wanted to wear a non-traditional red wedding dress and I went more traditional”, Ria continued. “We also had 10 bridesmaids between us! Being two feminine ladies challenged how it would all work together, so we steered away from dressing everyone in just one colour. We felt it wouldn’t work and wasn’t really us. Instead, our bridesmaids all wore a vintage style swing dress in different colours. We didn’t want bouquets and so we all had fresh gerberas in our hair instead. Nicky carried a parasol that was her mum’s. She had it at her own wedding over 40 years ago!”

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1920s Themed Wedding in South Carolina: Heather & Jeremy

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Heather and Jeremy had a distinctive 1920s vintage theme for their South Carolina wedding. Held at The Farm at Ridgeway, the Friday wedding was a true labour of love, with the bride hand crafting and collecting nearly everything herself. She scoured thrift shops and antique stores and got a lot of things from Etsy.

“I have always loved all things old timey and the romance and sweetness that vintage lace, keys, napkins and little details bring back to life”, Heather explained. “The things that were distinctly different about our wedding was the time we spent to go out and hand pick each and every item that was used to decorate the venue and the time I spent crafting. I did everything from making the invitations and programs to assembling the bouquets and making the napkin rings for each place setting. We asked that all guests dress in 1920s inspired clothing, almost everyone did!! We also played 1920s music throughout.”

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The bride bought her gorgeous dress from Etsy for just $199! The vintage gown was made of lace and was from the early 1900s. The condition was almost perfect and Heather only had to give it minor alternations. Her headpiece was homemade to match.

Her bridesmaids were given pretty much free reign on their dresses. Heather’s only stipulation was that they were light in colour and vintage inspired. Her flowergirls wore dresses that the bride made herself from curtains found in a thrift store for 50 cents!

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Pretty Pastel Wedding inspired by Mexico and Music: Adrien & Nate

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Adrien and Nate met through their mutual love of music. The bride was in a band, Trouble Lights, and the groom booked them to play at his music festival. So clearly, music was going play a big part in their wedding. They were also inspired by the décor of Mexico, but they added their own unique twist to it.

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“For our wedding, we were inspired by all of our artistic friends”, Adrien began. “Everyone involved with the wedding was also someone we know personally – the musicians, the caterers, the decorator, the photographer, the officiant, the bartenders…. We wanted music to be the main theme of the wedding so we booked the DJ and the bands the moment we nailed down a date. We are also both inspired by Mexican décor and color schemes, which inspired the big roses and the Papel Picados in the décor. However we wanted to go with a slightly more muted color scheme, so we took the colors found in Mexican folk art and created a pastel version – peach and aqua with touches of red, white, black, pale pink and pale blue. These colors fit well with the beautiful Iowa countryside locale.”

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