Tag Archives: Our Wedding

13 Things You’ll Wish You Did On Your Wedding Day

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Hindsight is a wonderful, if not mildly frustrating, thing. It’s all very well and good learning a lesson from an experience but most people don’t ever go back to have a second wedding! So here are 13 things from my own experience that I recommend prioritising on your wedding day.

1. Start the DIY early

We didn’t have a lot of DIY in our wedding (we did the stationery ourselves but that was about it) but even then I wish we’d started it much earlier than we did! These things always take longer than you anticipate so give yourself a fighting chance and get those craft supplies out sooner rather than later! I can’t think of anything worse than still having DIY to do the night before your wedding. That is so not fun!

2. Have your hair and make up done by a pro

I did my own make up, but looking back I really wish I’d had a professional make up artist to do it. I hadn’t yet discovered just how amazing make up done by someone who knows how to contour and properly blend eye shadow can be. I had a few trials in the run up to our wedding but I must have been going to the wrong people because I left each one thinking “Meh, I can do this myself, what’s the point?”

While, in the end, my make up was okaaaay, I would have looked, and felt, a million times more beautiful if I’d had it done by someone else.

I strongly advise having at least one trial before the wedding day (of both hair and make up) to make sure the person you book understands exactly what you want. Bring photographic examples with you to show how you want it to look, and afterwards have someone take photos of you from every angle. It might look great in person but you’ll want to know how it photographs too.

By the way, if you’re in the UK I love and recommend Elbie Van Eeden and Lipstick and Curls for hair and make up, and Allison Cameron for make up. Other artists that I’ve worked with and loved around the world are Regan Rabanal (make up), Kristen Jackson (hair) and Eryk Datura (make up) in New York, Your Beauty Call in Vegas (both), Lauren aka Queen of Blending in LA (make up) and Bernice in Melbourne (make up).

3. Delegate!

A lot of couples don’t seem to like asking for help, but believe me, most of your friends and family will be happy – thrilled in fact – to lend a hand. You can not do everything yourself, especially on the day, and especially if you are having a DIY wedding!

Its also a really good idea to have a specific person in charge of certain things, for example the playlist (if you’re not having a DJ or band), keeping the photo booth ticking over and riot-free, and for rounding up wayward family members for the group photos!

4. Have a ceremony rehearsal

We had a rehearsal the day before our wedding and at first I thought it was going to be weird, “Who needs to practice?? I thought, “surely I just walk down the aisle and say ‘I do’?”.

But there’s a lot that goes into some ceremonies (particularly religious ones) so it’s a really good idea to have a run through. In ours, we actually had to respond with “I will”, not “I do” so I would have got that wrong for starters..!

It’s also good to find out in advance things like what to do with your bouquet, who’s going to pass you your vows and when, and where you have to go to sign the marriage certificate.

You’ll also probably be really surprised just how poignant the ceremony is. I’m not a teary, emotional person but I burst into (happy!) tears when we were practising our vows. I’m glad I didn’t do it in front of a church packed with every single person I know!

Oh and practice your walk down the aisle. I practically sprinted down the thing I was so nervous and excited. I was at the bottom before the song had really even begun. Take your time!

5. Have a back up copy

…Of everything! The music, the group shot list, the seating plan… you just never know. Give one of each to a responsible bridesmaid or groomsman.

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Our Wedding Featured in Wedding Ideas Magazine (Again!)

Back in the Summer I was asked by Wedding Ideas Magazine, who originally featured Gareth & my wedding waaay back in 2008, if we would like to take part in a Real Life Weddings Revisited feature. Being a huge poser, I of course jumped at the chance (and Gareth came along for the ride – again – too!) I also thought it would be a nice opportunity to share our wedding with all the new readers of the blog who probably won’t have seen it before.

As you can see, our wedding certainly wasn’t the most Rock n Roll out there. The wedding industry in the UK was a very different place in 2008, and my disillusion with most of the choices that were offered to us at that time was actually the catalyst for starting this blog and campaigning for alternative weddings everywhere!

What a difference 3 years can make huh?

I loved our wedding. It was perfect for the 2008 Kat & Gareth and was no doubt the best day of my life. My dress was gorgeous, my husband was perfect and our photographer’s were the sweetest ever. My Mum made our gorgeous cake and I spent hours over our DIY stationery. However I hated my flowers and I felt the cheesy covers band were an utter waste of time (and money!) – but nothing’s perfect hey? And you know what, on the day the little details didn’t matter. I was just so excited to be getting married and seeing this article brings it all back!

Our article is out in the Feburary issue of Wedding Ideas, available nationwide from January 26th!

Wow. How different do we both look?! Gareth has long hair now and I’m a permanent pinky!

What happens after you say I do? We catch up with past real-life wedding stars as they reveal their best big day advice

Rock n Roll Bride Kat first caught our eye when her wedding came into the office back in June 2008. We loved her fun sense of style and her original touches, but looking back, there’s still a lot she would have changed. “If we were to get married again it’d be totally different,” says Kat. “I’d have a lot more DIY details, loads of colour, wear a short funky dress and have my hair pink!”

Kat and Gareth became Mr and Mrs Williams on the 12th April at Greyfriars church in Reading and held their reception at the The Elvetham, Hartley Witney. Incredibly, Kat originally struggled to fall in love with her Sottero and Midgley gown – “It was the first dress I didn’t hate” – but now has a wonderful working relationship with it. “It must be the most worn wedding dress ever! In my job as a wedding blogger, I’ve done so many photo shoots since the big day.” When it came to the budget, this contemporary couple kept costs down by having some of their friends perform rock versions of hymns during the service – a detail we particularly loved!

So has marriage made a difference? Married life hasn’t really changed us, but it’s the little details that have changed,” explains Kat. “Calling him my husband is amazing and being referred to as his wife is just adorable.”

“Marriage has made us feel like we can plan more of our future together,” adds Gareth, “without having to worry about the present so much.”

So what does the future hold? “Well I’m continuing to be obsessed and surrounded by all things weddings with my blog (rocknrollbride.com),” adds Kat. “And Gareth wants babies but that scares the life out of me! I’m happy with our two cats, thank you very much!”

My favourite photo from the day. This is sooo me (and so Gareth – looking at me with a confused expression!)

Our wedding photographs were taken by English Rose Weddings
Our recent ‘pink hair’ photos were taken by the fabulous Emma Case

You can see more on our wedding right here and the full photo shoot of Gareth & I here!

Two Year Marriversary Love

On the 12th April 2007 my boyfriend and I headed to the river for a chilled out 5 year anniversary picnic which ended with him asking me to marry him.

Our engagement session by David McNeil - More photos can be seen here

On the 12th April 2008 my fiance and I got married.

Our wedding. Photos by English Rose Weddings. Some of my favourite shots can be seen below (and even more here)

On the 12th April 2009 my husband & I headed to Brighton to celebrate our first year of marriage at the fancy pants Grand Hotel. 

My bridal shoot by David McNeil (more here)

On the 12th April 2010 a long haired husband and a pink haired wife (oh how things change!) will be having a quiet night together. No mess. No fuss. No bells. No whistles. Dinner, Alice in Wonderland at the cinema and love.

The past 2 years haven’t always been easy and haven’t always been blissful but today the computers will be switched off and we’ll just be together. That’s what’s important and that’s how we want to celebrate. Love rocks and I love my husband.

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Rock n Roll Bride Featured in Cosmopolitan Bride Feb/March 2010

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Happieeee New Year!

As you nurse your sore heads I have some very exciting news to share…and what a fantastic end to 2009/start to 2010 it is. I have been featured in what is undoubtedly the best bridal magazine in the UK – Cosmopolitan Bride! Oh the excitement. I hope you Enjoy my tidbits of advice and words of wisdom all about how to plan the perfect Rock n Roll wedding. I just have to say a huge ass thank you to Gemma & Miranda at the magazine for asking me to take part and to every single reader of my little blog for believing in me because after all without you coming here to read my incessant ramblings none of this would be possible. You are all literally making my dreams come true.

So go get a strong coffee, a diet coke, a litre of water and a fry up (or whatever so need to sort your post NYE hangover out) and have a little delve into my wedding obsessed mind.

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Wedding Wisdom – The Blogger

Kat Williams, 25, from Reading, started Rock n Roll Bride (rocknrollbride.com) as an online mood board of ideas for her wedding on 12 April 2008. Since then, what she describes as her mix of “quirky real-life weddings and cool photography” has rocked the wedding scene, attracting more than 60,000 visitors a month and 2000 followers on Twitter. Thanks to her experience as a bride, and seeing at least 20 wedding albums a day, Kat empowers bride to say “I do” in a so-you way.

I didn’t realise you could do things differently
When I started planning my wedding I thought you had to do the church-then-a-nice-hotel-reception thing. If I did it again I’d keep the church, as this means a lot to us, but I’d go less formal and more personal. I’ve had pink hair since I was 16 – I had pink hair when I met my husband and it was pink when we got engaged, but I went brown for the wedding to keep people happy. Looking back, I wish I’d kept it pink, because it’s pink again now and probably will be for the new few years. Brides often tell me: “I thought my ideas were weird, but now I’ve seen weddings that do things differently, it makes me feel more comfortable about having what I want.”

If a supplier doesn’t get your vision, DIY
I asked my florist for pale vintage colours. The reality? Bright Purple. It didn’t matter on the day, as I was so excited about getting married, but looking back I think, “Urgh, they’re not what I wanted,” and I wish we’d done them ourselves. Consider sourcing your own wine, too – it’s often cheaper to buy it and pay corkage, plus you get nicer stuff – and bringing in caterers if the hotel food isn’t great. It’s extra work, but so worth it.

It’s who you’re marrying – not where – that matters
When the venue cancelled three months before our day, I just thought “I want to marry Gareth. If we get married in our parents’ garden it really doesn’t matter.” After phoning lots of places, we found an amazing venue that was available, but twice the price. So my Dad (who can be scary!) rang the old venue and made them pay the difference as compensation, so we got a much better place for the same price. 

Horrible bridesmaid dresses are a crime against humanity
No one should be forced into an ill-fitting frock. Our bridesmaids chose their own nice LBDs and shoes - but often it’s the boys who let the side down. The bride spends hours (days, even) choosing a dress she feels gorgeous in, while the groom wears a hired morning suit. Get him to wear what he wants to wear, not what he thinks he should. Gareth wore a sharp custom made suit and skinny tie costing £450 and looked fab, plus he got to keep it.

Bring a Rock n Roll Bride isn’t about rock and roll
She’s someone who doesn’t conform to what other people expect of her. So if you’re really into punk rock and tattoos or deep-sea diving, then put that into your day. A wedding’s not about being cool or copying someone else 0 it’s about doing what’s right for you.

What’s new for ‘I do’? – Turn your back on tradition with 2010’s so-now W-day crazes
1. Outdoor ceremomies                                    
2. Photo booths                                                    
3. Cupcakes (still!)                                              
4. Balloons                                                              
5. Personal details                                            
6. Centrepieces instead of flowers              
7. No receiving line                                            
8. Chalkboard signs
9.  Bright shoes with a white dress
10. Engagement photo shoots
11. Grooms in Converse trainers
12. Short dresses worn with birdcage veils 
13. Mismatched bridesmaid dresses
14. Dogs at weddings
15. Fake moustaches for fun photos

You can check out our wedding pictures and more details here and on my flickr is you are so inclined! So, what would your tips for wannabe Rock n Roll Bride’s be?

Who Loves Ya Baby?

I have a couple of bits of blog love to share with you. Firstly, myself and my gorgeous hubby Gareth were interviewed for Hot Pink Petticoat, go check it out if you fancy reading about life after the wedding! Also, after they featured our wedding in their last issue, I dropped the guys at Wedding Ideas magazine a little email to say thank you and gosh darn it, they only went and printed it!

Just wanted to drop you a line to say thanks for featuring our real wedding last month (Kat & Gareth). I picked up the magazine to flick through in the newsagents and was like ‘ooh that’s us!’ – it is very cool. Also I saw a letter from Verity in your letters page about her blog and I thought I would share mine too..it’s an alternative and kick-arse approach to weddings – rocknrollbride.com!

ps I can’t believe they actually printed the words kick-arse! hehe

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Been Done? Who Cares?

You know this about me already but I’m a huge activist for being yourself on your wedding day, however crazy, out there or even mundane (oh yes) that may be. As all the veteran readers will know, I ran a contest for free wedding photography a while back, and have now gotten to know our winners pretty well. I was chatting to the Bride to be, Vana, on the phone the other day for no joke, literally an hour about all things wedding (jeez that gal can talk he he!) and I’m sure she won’t mind me telling you this. She was running a few of her newest wedding ideas by me to ask my opinion as to whether I thought they had ‘been done’ (for some reason she thinks I must be some kind of expert on such things…)

I said this to her, and on her recommendation I am now going to say this to all of you…do not worry about tack, about being over the top or if something you really want seems to be springing up everywhere in blog-land and has therefore, in your eyes, ‘been done’. Just remember this teeny tiny pearl of wisdom…Your wedding guests won’t have been scoring the internet looking for wedding ideas for the last year so will have no idea if something has ‘been done’ or not!

To me, our wedding was not completely nuts. We kept it quite simple with a black and white theme and a few personal touches, but we had so many people saying to us it was the most stylish and cool wedding they had ever been too…they hadn’t spent the last year looking at other people’s weddings and comparing themselves after all!

So don’t doubt yourself… Are you lusting after that cute Stephanie James Couture dress but are worried that in 10 years time the adorability will look as dated as the poofy sleeved meringues of the 80’s? Pah, if I got married in the 80’s I would have wanted to remember the 80’s…2008 was the greatest year of my life and I want to remember that year through my wedding pictures.
Have you have been dying to have cupcakes as your wedding cake ever since you started planning your wedding, but are worried because now everybody seems to be doing it? Well a lot of people that are getting married may be yes, but everybody in the entire world?…erm no.
Are you worried that your wedding isn’t cool enough because you spend all day looking at weddings that seen so much crazier/chicer than yours? (You are not alone by the way, I felt the exact same thing) Let me tell you this – you are more likely to regret planning a wedding in a style that wasn’t really ‘you’ than one that perfectly matches you and your fiancé’s tastes.

So quit stressing about what other people will think and just do it already…and then send me the photographs afterwards!

Now for a couple of trends I love and therefore don’t care if they’ve ‘been done’. Let me know if I’ve missed any of your favourites!

1. Moustaches – Daley Hake 2. Bicycles – Fuller Edge Photography
3. Slideshows – Jonas Peterson 4. Photo Booths – Josh Goleman
5. Short Dresses – Melissa Brown 6. Vintage – Katherine O’Brien
7. Converse Trainers – The Nichols 8. Balloons – Kate Headley
9. Cupcakes – Tec Pejata 10. Mis-matched Bridesmaids – Flint Photography
11. Silly Sunglasses – Cameron Ingalls 12. Martha Stewart Pom Poms – Lillian & Leonard 13. Red Dresses – Rosie Parsons 14. Umbrellas – One Love Photo
15. Coloured Paper Lanterns – Tiffany Aicklen 16. Non Floral Bouquets – Crissy Farah  17. Felt Bouquets – Austin & Cassandra Photography 18. Bird Cage Veils – Victor Sizemore