Village Fête Summer Wedding

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Anna and James were married in Anna’s parents’ garden. After the ceremony they hosted their village fête inspired reception at Elham Village Hall.

“Above all we wanted a celebratory feel, and for everyone to have a fun and relaxed day”, began the bride. “We wanted a combination of natural, relaxed, homely, village fête style, and also some really heartfelt bits with personal vows and our love story during the ceremony.”

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“There were quite a few musical performance elements throughout the day. For example, dancing entrances by the groom and groomsmaids (to the track Whatta Man), and the bridespeople (to the track I’m Every Woman). We also also sang during our vows to our favourite duet, Islands in the Stream. We also put on a surprise choreographed dance to Gett Off by Prince to kick off the dancing later! Plus we had a walking New Orleans-style jazz band to take us from the garden to the village hall. Lots of people from the village came out to watch, which was really lovely.”

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A Day in the Life

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This week I was interviewed by two industry websites, Wedding Daily and The National Wedding Show. While the first asked me all about my 2015, and plans for this year, NWS asked me to write a “day in the life” type story. I laughed when I got this assignment because my working life is anything but glamorous or exciting… as you will see! 

I would imagine that when most people think of someone who runs their own blog and magazine, that they would presume that their working life would mostly consist of fancy offices, design meetings with their extensive employees, and cocktails at lunch. Well, I hate to burst the Amanda Priestly bubble, but my daily working life is literally nothing like that!

The full-time Rock n Roll Bride team is myself and my husband Gareth, and we work from our small, two bedroom house in Reading. We have a freelance design team, Shauna and Samantha of We Are Branch, based in Oregon, who do all the graphic design for the website and art direct the magazine… and we do everything over email!

Glamorous it is not, but it’s vital that we keep our businesses lean to make a profit, that means keeping our costs as low as possible. The biggest expenses for most small businesses tend to be extra full time employees and office space so we’ve chosen to work from home and keep our team as small as possible.

So what does a usual day look like for me? Well, if I’m in the office then it goes a little something like this:

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8-10am (depending on how I’m feeling, yes, being your own boss really is the best): Wake up and immediately pick up my phone and check social media before I get up. I then put on comfortable clothes (my daily uniform is sweatpants, a t-shirt and my alpaca fur slippers which were ridiculously expensive but are the softest and most amazing thing I’ve ever put on my feet) wash my face, clean my teeth and make a cup of tea the size of my head.

10 – 12pm Checking emails, replying to anything super-duper urgent, writing a couple of blog posts or magazine articles before lunch. I do my best writing before lunchtime or early afternoon so I try to do anything that really needs my brain to be at its best here.

12 – 1pm At some point I usually stop for something to eat and another cup of tea, maybe take ½ an hour away from my computer to have a cheeky lunchtime Netflix sesh. Why not hey?!

1 – 4pm For the rest of the day it usually is more of the same. Pulling together blog posts and magazine articles, replying to emails, chatting to my designer about the next issue… Gareth is a late riser (he works late into the night!) so when he gets up we usually have a quick chat about the day, what needs doing and where we both are.

We work in separate spaces so he then goes off to his office and cracks on with whatever he needs to do. Issue 6 just launched last week, so at the moment he’s spending a lot of time packing and shipping out the subscription and online orders. We’d had 750 to do this week so this is no mean feat!

4pm I usually stop for a proper shower or bath late afternoon. As I said I do my best work first thing, so I don’t really want to waste time bathing as soon as I get up. I suppose I could get up earlier to have a bath before I start work, but where’s the fun in that?! I prefer to use it as another excuse to get away from the computer and indulge in a Lush bath bomb without needing to rush back to work!

5 – 7pm Wrapping up anything that needs urgently doing that day. Compiling invoices, more emails… Go food shopping if the fridge is bare!

7pm I do all the cooking so come 7pm its dinner and wine time! I tend not to work after 7pm if I can help it.

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Festival Wedding in West Sussex

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Geoff and Holly’s wedding was never going to be boring. They met at the Road Festival launch party and have gone to every festival together since. When it came to planning their West Sussex wedding they wanted to bring the thing that brought them together into the celebration.

“We were aiming for it to be relaxed and comfortable,” Holly said. “I loved looking at wedding blogs for ideas, and we were inspired by the countryside.”

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“The main thing that made our wedding unique was that we made every guest wear a headpiece of some sort. We also held a competition for 1st, 2nd and 3rd this completion got very heated. This is what we put in our invite ‘HAT ARE MANDATORY FOR ALL WEDDING ATTENDEES. As all of you know, Geoff and I are hat people and what better way to acknowledge us a couple than have all of our friends and loved ones wear the best, most outrageous hats they can find. As for the rest of the dress code, we are happy if you are happy. But out of respect for Geoff’s secret surprise, please don’t come naked’.”

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Watercolour and Origami Garden Wedding

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Melissa and Ulysses were married in Davao City in The Philippines. Their wedding was themed around the bride’s favourite things – watercolour and origami. The main colours used were pale teal, yellow and coral.

“I was inspired by modern origami”, she said. “Originally I wanted everything to be origami but with the time constraint and limited materials I focused on the flowers and butterflies. I love making origami and although I already knew some basic designs, I learnt way more for the wedding. We hired a wedding coordinator to help us decorate the venue and so I also taught her to make origami butterflies. She is the one who made our origami flower bouquets.”

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“The colour scheme and origami might not be a new thing when it comes to weddings, but as I do graphic design for a living, instead of going for a crafty DIY paper theme I envisioned it that it would look clean and modern. I also designed all the stationery. My sister works for an animation studio so she drew all the illustrations.”

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A Dark, Woodland Fairytale Wedding

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Both being incredibly artistic, Abigail and Davide wanted their winter wedding to reflect their love of art, folklore and history. They were married at The Williamsburg Winery, in Williamsburg, VA.

“We wanted to incorporate our taste in dark, whimsical fantasy with our love of history”, said the bride. “Also, nearly everything about our wedding was handmade and had our own little twist on it. The cake was inspired by my favourite author, Edgar Allan Poe, and the topper was a raven sculpted, cast and painted by our good friends from Dellamorte & Co.”

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“The addition of my parents’ fossil and antique collection, the handmade dress, our party favours, programs, menus – everything was our design and made by us! We of course needed help with the floral arrangements, catering, and rental furniture, but it was a wonderful merging of local artisans who understood our unique style.”

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