Dark Romance Campsite Wedding on Friday 13th

Maysa and Lee got married on Friday 13th last year in a gorgeous intimate reception on a private campsite in Ohio that’s owned by their friends. Describing their wedding as ‘almost like they invited Jason Voorhees or something’ their autumnal day oozed dark romance.

Both the ceremony and the reception took place in Shannon’s Pond, a secluded woodland campsite owned by the couples’ friends with a large pond at the heart of it. Covered in a canopy of trees, it made for perfect first look photos for Maysa and Lee. From the start of their relationship, Maysa knew she wanted to wear a red wedding dress and built the wedding around both this and enhancing the nature around her. Her stunning strapless number from Holly’s Unique Weddings and Gowns was only $650 (and totally bespoke!), which she wore with jet black jewellery from Charming Charlie, a headpiece crafted by her cousin Shae, and rose gold Converse.

A lot of the elements of the day focused on their loved ones, from the venue to the finale entertainment. Before the day, Maysa and her bridesmaids made the bouquets and boutonnières at a DIY party held at the Flowerman, alongside all of the DIY decor, including painted glass bottles and all of the stationery made by Maysa and her grandmother. The favours were all homemade hot chocolate mixes!

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Elegant Gothic Castle Wedding (with a Black Wedding Dress!)

Bunny and Michael’s elegant castle wedding is an absolute STUNNER. Their big day was gothic whilst still being glamorous, grungy yet gorgeous, and dark without being dull. These scenes look like they’ve been lifted straight out of a fantasy world (not that we’re complaining, in the slightest!)

Even though it looks like it could be nestled in mysterious Transylvania, their venue was the glorious Hempstead House in New York. Bunny explains that both her and Michael “fell in love really hard with this venue, so there was no doubt [we] were ready to do what it took to have it.” And we can totally see why – those airy feature windows and intricate corners inside, with that incredible walled ceremony garden and it’s expanses of candyfloss coloured sky beyond.

It’s all too easy for venues to give loads on the outside but have been forgotten about on the inside, but all these gorgeous portraits captured by Mike Zawadzki Photography and Tara Tomlinson Photography prove this is the cream of the castle crop, full of nooks and crannies and ever-changing shafts of light that keep throwing up more never-seen-before magic.

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Non-Sucky Bridal Tees: Rock n Roll Bride Merch is Here!

One of my favourite things is connecting with you guys on social media and something I hear over and over in our private Facebook group (where we’re about to hit 13,000 members, whhhhaaaat!?) is that there’s a huge lack of non-sucky, non-cheesy, non-eye-roll-inducing bridal t-shirts available. T-shirts that you can wear on your hen do, to wedding shows, getting ready the morning of the big day itself… or maybe even post-wedding to celebrate your new wifed status.

So I did some research, and while occasionally a high street or online store will bring out a wedding tee, if it doesn’t 100% blow (do NOT get me started on the whole ‘shedding for the wedding’ thing!) it will usually sell out faster than you can add it to your cart and checkout. So I knew what I had to do, I needed to design my own!

INTRODUCING: The Rock n Roll Bride t-shirt collection!!!

We are launching with three designs, available on either black or white organic cotton. Each tee is made using fully sustainable fairtrade approved materials and is printed right here in the UK.

These super-duper soft boyfriend-fit t-shirts can be worn by guys or gals and are all available from an XS to an XXL. The sizing is generous. I’m a UK size 12 and I’m wearing a medium in these photos (tied at the back or tucked in, with the sleeves rolled) however I think I’d fit into a small too if I wanted an overall slimmer fit.


You’re a non-conformist in your everyday life, so you should definitely bring that into your wedding too – do your day, your way! This design is available in two colour options….

Pink on white

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Retro Kitsch ‘Date Night at Disneyland’ Wedding

With its late 50s/ early 60s fashion and and a sugary pastel palette, Megan and Matthew’s super cute Disney-infused wedding day is a retro-lover’s dream. If you are Disney-obsessed, you’re going to be in heaven over this one!

Their theme was ‘Date Night at Disneyland,’ based on the weekend dance parties held at Disneyland in the 1950s. The bride said, “We grew up at Disney parks, got engaged at Epcot, and travelled to many Disney parks together. It would feel wrong for our wedding to be about anything else. Visually, we were really inspired by the late 1950s/ early 1960s, which was the golden age of Disneyland. Our single biggest inspiration was the artist Mary Blair and her seminal creation It’s a Small World. The dedication to our theme is what set our wedding apart. We made almost everything ourselves – the stationery, the centrepieces, all the décor. My parents were really worried with how outrageous everything was going to be because when you tell people, ‘We’re having a Disney wedding’, they expect a big Cinderella dress and everything with Mickey on it.”

The bride said the ceremony was supposed to be outside on a deck at their venue, the Woman’s Club of Portsmouth, but the weather had other plans, “I had made pink and yellow tulle curtains to hang over us, and we purchased large balloons to guide the way. Unfortunately, it rained. A lot. We had to make the call to have the wedding inside, which ended up being OK. We kept the ceremony short and sweet. We wrote our own vows and sobbed the whole time. My bottom false eyelashes were all the way down my cheek by the end. Matthew’s vows were really thoughtful and sweet, and mine were goofy, which is classic us! We were able to livestream the whole thing on Facebook for our friends and family that couldn’t make it, which was really nice.”

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Ritual Union: A Wedding Shoot With A Difference

I think we can agree that this styled shoot is what the word ‘fierce’ was always destined for. From the bodycon lacy red dress worn with golden spiked crown, to the hot shower scene, to the flaming ring of fire drawn around the couple in the ceremony shots!! Photographer Jamie Allio wanted to shake things up a bit in the world of weddings when she devised this photo session.

“Essentially, the wedding industry can sometimes rub me up the wrong way, and rarely does ‘traditional’ or ‘normal’ inspire me”, she explained. “More then that, I really just want to see more people following their hearts when they’re planning their wedding day. I think it should be a representation of who they TRULY are, not whatever is trending at the moment.”

Enter ‘Ritual Union’: The shoot that delivered Jamie’s wish and then some! “We have the couple getting ready together in a shower filled with flowers, a wedding party made up of a fortune teller, a witch doctor and a high priestess, and of course a ritual in place of a traditional ceremony with a ring of fire around the couple. Fire was the very first thing on the drawing board, and everything else was created around that. The symbolism of the couple creating that ring around themselves, followed by the man crowning his bride was very powerful.”

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How I Started Rock n Roll Bride (AKA If I Can Do it, You Bloody Well Can Too!)

Photo by June Photography

One of the questions I’m asked the most often is “How did you start Rock n Roll Bride?” There’s a short version that I reel off without a second thought, but after reading this post by my friends at Bespoke Bride I was inspired to put digital pen to digital paper and write about it in much more detail. Maybe it will help you if you’re just starting out with your own business, or maybe it’ll be nothing more than a welcome distraction from that other thing you’re really supposed to be doing right now! Regardless I think it’ll be a fun exercise for me to journey back down memory lane for a bit.

Gareth proposed to me on April 12th 2007, exactly five years to the day since we started dating. Although I was never really the kind of person to ever think about her wedding (I knew Gareth was ‘the one’ but as a child of a messy divorce he’d told me many times he wasn’t sure if he ever wanted to get married), I threw myself into wedding planning WHOLEHEARTEDLY. I have quite an obsessive personality and if I like something I REALLY REALLY like it… to the extreme!

I went out and bought every single wedding magazine and like many of you, I’m sure, immediately felt incredibly disappointed with what was on offer. I didn’t really like ANYTHING, but as it felt like something semi-traditional it was the only option, we started planning our wedding, inspired by what we saw. The thought that we didn’t have to get married in a fancy wedding venue, I didn’t have to wear a white dress and chair covers were something we could chuck out the proverbial window didn’t even cross my 24-year old mind.

A few months later, I was spending one of my many frantic Googling sessions looking for slightly cooler wedding stuff when I stumbled across some American wedding blogs: Ruffled, Green Wedding Shoes and the now defunct Eastside Bride, The Unbride and Snippet & Ink. They had all just started and they weren’t the big, glossy online publishers you see today. They were basic blog layouts with simple designs and were updated daily, being run by girls just like me who were also planning their weddings. Although not everything they shared was quite my style, the fact that these bloggers were updating their sites every day made them a constant source of inspiration. Plus, their ideas were definitely more palatable than what was being offered by Brides Magazine.

I was immediately hooked, checking in with my favourites every single day. After a few weeks, sometime around mid-October 2007, I decided I wanted in on the action and started my own wedding planning blog! With literally zero technical ability I managed to set up rocknrollbride.blogspot.co.uk (someone else now has that domain so if you visit it the stuff on there has nothing to do with me!) using some free blogging software and a design template. I can’t remember, or find, what I had as my ‘logo’ when I first launched, but after our wedding in April 2008, I took some of our wedding pictures, opened Photoshop and created the most god-awful blog header I’ve ever seen…

The name was inspired by our first meeting with our wedding photographers who said we were definitely the most ‘Rock n Roll’ couple they’d ever had! Looking back, we so weren’t that alternative (especially not compared to all the amazing couples and weddings I see now) but I’m grateful for that throwaway comment!

I blogged about everything and anything to do with weddings, posting multiple times a day. I was OBSESSED. I didn’t care (or realise) how rookie it was, or that the website was ugly as sin, or that my writing wasn’t great and was FULL of typos. I just wrote and uploaded and published on repeat for about eight months.

Oh, and I should probably mention at this point that I kept my online presence a total secret from everyone I knew in real life… yes even Gareth!

OK so fast forward to late 2008, and although by this point we were married, I still kept sharing wedding stuff (in secret) on the blog. The site had quite a loyal, if not small, following by this point. Remember this was before most social media (I had a personal Facebook but wasn’t yet using Twitter. Instagram and Pinterest didn’t even exist!) so I didn’t really know exactly how many readers I had, but I’d see the same names popping up in the blog comments.

Anyway, I heard about this thing called Google Analytics, something you could put on your site to see how many people were visiting it. And despite being completely technically inept, I attempted to install it myself and somehow, SOMEHOW, I deleted the whole fucking website. Yes, it was GONE, erased from the internet forever!!

So, I went to my new husband, who by the way is a computer genius (yet I was even too embarrassed to tell him that I was writing about weddings online) and told him I had this blog… about weddings… and that I’d kinda accidentally deleted it. TO THIS DAY Gareth has no idea how I managed to do this, and although at the time I was so gutted that all my work had gone (HA!) it was actually one of the best things that could have happened. It forced me to start again and re-evaluate what and why I was doing it. Like, if I was really into this whole wedding thing, and I wanted to keep writing about them, the website had to have a purpose. I was no longer a bride so it couldn’t just be a personal diary anymore, it had to be useful to people, it had to offer something different to the other wedding blogs I was reading. He helped me register rocknrollbride.com and start using a much better blogging platform called WordPress. I started it up again in January 2009.

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