What Exactly IS a Rock n Roll Wedding?

Credit: Malgosia Bela by Mario Testino via Fashion Gone Rogue

The question I dread when I meet people for the first time (which is of course the question that they then always ask) is “So, what’s the most ‘Rock n Roll’ wedding you’ve ever seen?” (and yes, they sometimes even do the air quotes {{shudder}} )

First off CHRIST, if they knew how many weddings I’d seen over the last 3 years their heads might explode. It is a lot! How do I choose between them all? How can I possibly pick just one? Or even just one style of wedding? The great thing about Rock n Roll weddings is the vast differences between them all. It would be like a choice between a pair of Vivienne Westwood shoes or a huge big pink cupcake. They are not mutually exclusive and I want both please!

The other thing that happens to me a lot is people say (usually in comments and anonymously I might add) “Well that wedding is not very Rock n Roll is it? Why did you feature that?” or even worse I once got “Who the hell are you? You’re not 50’s rockabilly in style at all! You are a fake. You are not Rock n Roll!” Erm…correct! I am not 50’s rockabilly in any way. Have I ever claimed to be?

Credit: Steve Gerrard Photography

There appears to be a bit of a divide when it comes to being ‘Rock n Roll’, in particular reference to the things I post. Apparently some things are just too Rock n Roll and are others not Rock n Roll enough! Can I ever win!?

The problem is that everyone’s perception of what constitutes ‘being Rock n Roll’ is completely different. It’s a personal choice– which again is what makes Rock n Roll weddings so awesome – the variety. I LOVE LOVE LOVE gorgeous vintage weddings and I got NUTS over elaborate gothic extravaganzas. I flip out when I see hot tattooed brides and I can’t wait to blog weddings with adorable diy details. There is nothing more utterly fabulous than seeing a couple put themselves and their own personal style into their wedding. THAT, my dears is what being Rock n Roll is all about and it actually hasn’t got anything to do with having tattoos or listening to jive.

Credit: Glimpse Of Soul

One of the worst things I ever read was a comment somewhere (not on Rock n Roll Bride thank goodness) which said something along the lines of (I’m paraphrasing here) “I hate all this alternative wedding stuff. How can I get ideas for my own wedding when the wedding looks like that? It’s too personal to that couple and that’s not what I like.”

I nearly died.

I wanted to scream – Has the wedding industry literally stripped you of everything you are as a person? Are you seriously planning a wedding that’s going to be just like everybody else’s? Are you reeeeally the epitome of cookie cutter sameness? EEEEEEK!

I was actually a trifle concerned that the land of the wed had destroyed all semblance of brain cells in this poor bride-to-be’s teeny tiny little mind. JESUS.

Credit: Devlin Photos

So, if you see a wedding featured on these here pages and you think “Well that’s not very Rock n Roll at all” or “That’s not me. I wouldn’t do that. I don’t like it” Then I have totally succeeded in my goal – to bring you the most diverse, weird, wonderful, delectable, delightful and inspiring weddings for you to indulge in on a daily basis. You lucky little kittens.

Oh and for the record, the answer to that inevitable question is always something mumbled along the lines of “I dunno, something in a graveyard I think.” To non wedding/ Rock n Roll obsessive’s like us that is always quite an impressive answer. Radical huh?!

Credit: MangoRED

From my About page:

Rock n Roll Bride (Noun) A Rock n Roll wedding is a wedding where the couple actually acknowledge that to plan a good wedding, they have to incorporate themselves and plan what they love for their day.  They laugh in the face of the wedding industry and the wedding magazines that tell them what they need to do to make a ‘good wedding’.

It’s not about being ‘cool’, being a rebel or even thinking of the most unique idea you can, it’s about planning a wedding that reflects you and your partner and declaring your love in your way.

To be featured on this site, you don’t have to be cool.  You don’t have to be ‘out-there’ or ‘offbeat’, you just have to be you ♥

Credit: Kriech-Higdon Photography

I want to know what you think! Let me have it in the comments (and if you have more ideas and opinions about what you like/don’t like seeing on Rock n Roll Bride then please take the time to go fill out my readers survey. One very lucky reader will be winning over £900 worth of bootie!

35 comments

  1. Love what you said. To me a ‘Rock n Roll’ wedding is anything different. Even just down to the little details like zebra print shoes, instead of white shoes. Or some crazy birdcage and feather veil, rather then a long white one. I do how ever LOVE the crazy stuff thou too. The tattoo’s and bright red crinolins and stuff. I just love all of it! If I could re-do my wedding I wouldnt have went to traditional. But its been hammered into our heads so much as little girls what a wedding is supposed to look like. I wish I had known about your blog 3 years ago when i got married! It would have been SO much more fun!!!

  2. Julez

    Kat you are AMAZING!! and in this blog you just summerized what I want to hear from my idol. That my wedding, whether it be budget or not, traditional or non-traditional, not necessarily rockabilly or goth, can still be a rock-n-roll wedding. Great, great article. & touche on your answer to the inevitable question. totally blew me away 😉

  3. tarara_boo

    to me a rock’n’roll wedding is one which represents the couple well, not everything is about the bride….
    it’s also one where everyone can let their hair down, relax and have a good time, not worried about what others might think of them…..
    that’s how i hope mine will be anyway.

  4. Jo

    Surely if people want the cookie cutter wedding they have literally hundreds of magazines/blogs. Rock and Roll Bride is for those of us who are individual and seek inspiration that we can adapt to suit our wedding. Or simple to be reminded in this all to often beige world, that these amazing, creative and individual people are out there. It took my fiance and I 16yrs to decide to get married because we could not stand the though of being “traditional”. Now I’m an avid follower of your blog and it makes my heart sing that so many others feel the same, and we can and should, all have our wedding our way.

    Keep up the amazing work.

    Jo xx

  5. Eve

    I think a rock and roll wedding is one that reflects the styles and personalities of those getting married, and not what everyone ‘expects’ a wedding to be! I don’t think a wedding has to conform to any certain standards or expectations, it should just make everyone happy!

  6. Matt BW

    I did a wonderful one recently that ignored most of the traditional expectations of a wedding. I had so many reality check moments as it was so unlike a regular wedding It was a wonderful change and really enjoyable as a photographer.

    It so reflected the couple and was done just like they wanted, that to me was a rock and roll wedding. It’s easy to say I wish more people did it but if they did it would become the norm and lose it’s charm. Here’s to individuality.

    Great blog keep up the good work.

  7. To me a rock n roll wedding is any sort of wedding that sticks two fingers up to the conventional, dyed in the wool idea of what a wedding should be. Your blog is full of amazing couples who did it their way, stamped their own style all over the day and didn’t necessarily spend the equivalent of a third world country’s national debt in order to achieve the wedding that was perfect for them. I love looking at all the different weddings you post about precisely because they aren’t the same as you can find in most mainstream wedding magazines and websites. To sum it up if weddings were singers then most would be Celine Dion but yours are all P!NK!

  8. A wonderfully well written and inspiring post.
    I think it speaks to all the couples planning their forthcoming nuptials as well as the photographers hoping to document them.
    It’s a great reminder on being true to oneself.
    Love it.

  9. What inspirational read! I suddenly have an overwhelming urge to stand on my desk and shout “Oh Captain! My Captain!”. I wish more brides were Rock n Rollers…

  10. so, recently I’ve been feeling a bit down about this website, as slowly weddings are starting to become (not have become) a little more on the normal side with gorgeous photographer and a couple of pink cupcakes.. I always thought rock n roll weddings were more rockabillly or punk or goth or hippy/grungy but after this post I’m definately starting to rethink my stance on this, and I’m going to have a look back through the blog and appreciate some of the other weddings in a whole new light. Thanks, Kat <3

  11. Post author

    i appreciate that comment Anon. and Im pleased that youre going to go back and re-look. Of course everything I post does depend on a) what I find or b)what people send me – the more rock n roll couples there are doing things really differently yet beautifully the more awesome posts I get to share – so keep ’em coming!!

    i always try to post a mix of styles and themes of weddings not just rockabilly/tattooed or whatever (which may be my personal faves) to make sure i can cater to the whole Rock n Roll spectrum! Just because some of the things I post arent your style and dont float your boat doesnt mean the next thing i post wont!

  12. Your right Kat, a Rock and Roll wedding is about the couple, it has to be a refelction of who you are, not conforming to what your told you should do by other people.
    It’s about adding your imagination to your day, adding your personality, not just doing the same thing as the last couple.
    Weddings are a once in a life time opportunity to tell the world how much you love each other, so why not tell your story the way you want to tell it, in a way that is true to you as a couple!
    As I always say……..’Have the wedding you want, not the wedding you are tole you should have’
    That’s a Rock n’ Roll Wedding!
    xx

  13. wow, i love this post. you hit the nail on the head. i can’t believe some people would go as far to say that you, as the blog owner, are not rock and roll enough?? what the heck?

    anyway, i love your range of weddings, and i love love love seeing peoples own style in their weddings, its so terribly cute and it MAKES the weddings more special. and honestly, i am not even engaged right now, i have a boyfriend, but we haven’t got a wedding to plan… but i know when we DO, i will be looking at this website more and more and more… than i do already… which is quite a lot… hehe… to get more ideas for our very own rock and roll wedding.

    fuck the haters!!! 😛

    xox

  14. A rock and roll wedding is a wedding that’s breaks the boundaries of every other cookie cutter wedding out there. It’s about being more personal and less about what anybody else thinks. It’s about those little added extras. I think kats blog is about giving the people who don’t get featured in perfect wedding magazines the credit they deserve and to show true love in it’s crazier forms!

  15. B

    I just want to say that I’m grateful for you and your blog. Is everything in here my taste? No. Does everything you post give me ideas to think outside the norm hum drum wedding industry and know that it is absolutely ok and our wedding is not about what anyone else thinks? Absolutely. Thank you.

  16. I think that the fact you can’t easily define a Rock n Roll wedding is its very beauty. If you define it, you restrict it. So for me, Rock n Roll Bride represents Freedom.
    Vive la liberté
    xxx

  17. Elesha

    I never have, and never will, understand why some people have to get so personal – if all the weddings featured on here were the same, then surely that would defeat the object??!

    Our wedding back in April was probably the furthest thing from a Rock n Roll wedding, it wasn’t vintage or rockabilly or gothic or diy – but it suited us, it was what we wanted and we loved it. We had fantastic day celebrating with all our friends & family. It wasn’t about being different for the sake of it, but doing it the way that was personal to us – and that was being with the people we love, and we certainly rocked the dance floor later on! We even had a comment about how nice it was to go to a ‘proper’ wedding, whatever that means?! 🙂

    But that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy reading about the ‘other’ styles shown on here, I do – they’re fab!

    Keep doing it the way you do Kat, it’s great to see lots of different ideas and draw inspiration from the varying ways everyone chooses to celebrate 🙂

  18. Zoe

    In the desert of the wedding industrial complex, your blog is a little oasis! Keep it up Kat. Rock and Roll is a state of free-ness. I think you are right on the money.

  19. I think it’s something fun, something filled with character, something loud and slightly bonkers. Rock and Roll is anything but traditional and most certainly not traditional Rock ‘n’ Roll!! It’s stamping your mark on your day.

    (ps. I hate ‘air quotes’ too!!)

  20. Post author

    thanks for all your comments. i love you all and i LOVE that you all seem to ‘get’ it.
    i have suceeded in my mission!

  21. That comment about “how can i get inspiration for my own wedding” mage my blood boil… each wedding should be unique, for goodness sake! That’s what we like about this blog.

  22. rock n roll is about being yourself, tattoos or no ink, pink hair or normal hair, its about cocking “the usual” a d and saying I want my wedding to be a celebration of two awesome people getting together and we wont listen to no order of proceedings nothing. 😉 So its about being your own wedding designer.

  23. I think it is about as someone mentioned before – fun, and being individual, though that is not as catchy as being called rocknrollbride – thefunandindividual blog! From looking at the posts here, the brides and grooms always look so happy and having fun – you don’t really see that in wedding magazines you see the details, the formals and models in wedding dresses for sale. But here on the blog, you can see really see what a photographer can do – capturing the personality of the bride and groom and their day to the fullest.

    When I got married, I wore a bright pink wedding dress – I LOVED it. A white dress did nothing for me. There were people who disagreed with my choice of dress colour – they couldn’t understand why I wanted to do something outside of the ‘norm’ but I wasn’t going to wear white just to make them happy and I don’t like white. To this day, five years later people remember that dress fondly – they don’t remember nothing else about that day but they remember that.

  24. Anytime my BF and I see someone or something off beat, non traditional, unique, or even genuine we find ourselves saying, “Wow, that’s Rock and Roll!” This is why I’ve blog-stalked RnRB since I was turned on to it by a featured bride to be. It’s the concept of doing things your own way despite the [sometimes judgmental] opinions of others. Own your life in every way…THAT’S Rock and Roll!

  25. Some people still think “rock ‘n’roll” means the 50’s and Elvis,(which IS included,of course), but to me ‘rock’n’roll’ is an attitude and you have it in SPADES!!
    I have never seen any wedding featured on here that I didnt think fitted in with what you and your blog is all about. Some of them are not my type of rock ‘n’roll but they ALL fit.
    Your blog and the photographers you feature are a total inspiration,and I thank you and them(and the people who’s weddings are featured) for setting my imagination on fire.)
    Thankyou.

  26. Leeluu

    I don’t know. I’m not convinced.

    The wedding I commented on in a negative way was pastel, pouffy, and Beautiful with a capital B. But that wasn’t really the problem.

    I just didn’t get the feeling that anything about that wedding was “personal to the couple” or unique in any way. I mean, really….how many times on other wedding blogs have we all seen the dreamy and stunning diluted light photos, the pale pink flowers, the pouffy white dresses, and the mason-jar favors?

    It was the ultimate cookie-cutter wedding, in my opinion.

    To me, rock and roll means different. And I expect that from this blog. That’s why I come here.

    And while I suppose that wedding may have had subtle differences than all the others out there, I swear it could have been a page ripped from a past issue of Martha Stewart Weddings.

    PS-For the record, I’m not a Martha-hater! ha ha I just think that she is the ultimate cheerleader/saleswoman for the evil WIC. (Wedding Industrial Complex) I don’t think anything she does is very rock and roll…except when she does Halloween stuff, I guess. She kinda rocks the hell out of Halloween. 😉

  27. Leeluu

    **Ammendment**

    I just looked over the wedding that’s got me so irked again. (ha ha, why I care so much, I have no idea)

    I saw something that kind of upped the rock and roll factor for me, that I didn’t notice before.

    The bride changed into a traditional red asian-style dress??!! Cool.

    Ok.

    Damnit.

    You got me. (I think I missed it the first time because I thought it was a picture of a guest, and not the bride)

    Hooray! A unique detail. 😉

    I retract (most of) what I said.

  28. I have to admit that I wish i would’ve gone a bit more rock n’ roll with my wedding 4 years ago. I actually have friends who told me they were surprised I went so traditional. The only thing a bit different about my wedding was the music. I mostly did it for my traditional family. My husband and I rock n’ roll every other day ; )

    Love your site! Such inspiration!!

  29. MB

    Is it so terrible to have a traditional looking wedding? If you consciously make choices and know that you have choices, that’s fine. I think the only tragedy is brides doing what you “have to do” because “that’s what you do at weddings”.

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