It’s a (Wo)man’s World – On Being a Man in the Wedding Industry: A Guest Post by Adam Crohill

Today I’ve asked my buddy Adam from a rival wedding blog (I say this in jest, we love each other really!) to write a guest post about being…well…a man. It’s something I’ve thought about a bit recently, what with Gareth taking a lot more of an active role in our business and all – what is it really like being a man in this so heavily female dominated industry? Not only are weddings often perceived to be ‘all about the bride’ but most of the people that work in the industry are female too!

Obviously this isn’t a topic I could really discuss myself with any semblance of authority, so here’s where my mate Adam comes in! Over to you fella…

Photography Credit: Chris Barber Photography

Hi, my name is Adam and I affectionately refer to myself as “The Man” at the wedding blog Rock My Wedding.

Don’t worry, the irony of the tag line which I have bestowed upon myself is in no way lost on me, but more about that later. Let’s go right back to the very start.

I’m sure a lot of people in the industry wonder exactly how I came to be one of the first (if not the only?) active male wedding blogger in the UK. As most people are aware Rock My Wedding was the brainchild of Charlotte O’Shea, so how on earth did Adam Crohill become involved in all that wedding stuff? I am not married to Charlotte (although people do sometimes make that mistake – “As if” is my usual comeback… said in the style of a disgusted teenager). It has been suggested on occasion that Charlotte and I might be brother and sister but once again, although amusing, this is very much incorrect. The real story is that we used to work together at a small software and design company.

I was a designer working for the marketing department, focusing on new media (that’s the internet thingy that lives inside the magic computer box), corporate branding and design. One lunch break this torrent of blonde hair bustled its way up the spiral staircase and into my office. It asked if I knew anything about blogs… How to make them… How they worked etc…

The short answer was no. I knew nothing. The very long answer turned out to be ‘yes’.

You see, Charlotte is the sort of girl who won’t take no for an answer. The truth was that I didn’t know a thing about blogging… I had zero experience. It might be sacrilege to admit it, but I had been a web designer for 6 years and at that point I’m not sure I had ever even visited a blog.

But, after five minutes with the wedding ninja (yeah that’s what I call her – more about that in a bit too) I was totally sold on this wedding blog idea. Within a few days not only did I know what blogging was – I knew all about this thing called WordPress and I knew it was the right tool for the job.

Within two weeks of that initial meeting a few scrappy drawings that we had sketched out over subsequent lunch breaks had become the Rock My Wedding logo. Within two months we had the bare bones of Rock My Wedding up and running in a live environment. It was at this point, after having achieved so much in such a short space of time, that I thought to myself that we might actually be a bit of a force to be reckoned with. Charlotte has incredible drive – and we appeared to be on the same wavelength from a style and design point of view. My techie skillset was the final link in the chain.

Photography Credit: We Heart Pictures

Since then things have gone, well… mental. Ronan Keating once said that ‘life is a rollercoaster’. Well he wasn’t bloody lying. We have had ups and downs, we’ve had our share of failure but we have also had loads of success. The most important thing is that we really did listen to Ronan when he said ‘you just gotta ride it’ (all night long). Because sometimes running a wedding blog does take all night long, and sometimes you just don’t feel like riding an all night rollercoaster. Ronan Keating is clearly a very astute man.

Success is a funny thing. I think I can now safely sit back and say that our blog is a success. If my making an appearance in the Rock n Roll Bride Green Room isn’t a measure of success then I don’t know what is to be perfectly honest.

With success comes a few interesting downers that I didn’t think I would have to deal with. Charlotte and I get talked about occasionally, and not the nice talk. I was once described on a forum as being ‘creepy’, because I am male and yet somehow I feel that I can talk about weddings. Apparently that is not allowed.

Charlotte has come up against it too but she just does what a little ninja does best – chops though all the crap with her super speedy ninja hands… then dons her “Let your haters be your biggest motivators” t-shirt and does a little dance.

Seeing the blog as it is stands today though is so much more than enough to outweigh the crap we get to hear about from time to time.

It is an interesting point that some of my personal skeptics have made though…  I am pretty sure that I am not creepy but what right do I have as an unmarried man (not gay though to dispel another possible rumour) to write about weddings? What do men know about weddings? The whole concept isn’t very manly is it? Well… Let’s try and man it up a bit:

A wedding is essentially an event. This event requires branding and marketing by way of formal invitations that reflect the spirit of the event. On the day there will be more marketing materials that communicate where people will sit, what they will eat and at what time. This is what I have done my whole working life. I’m good at it and I understand it.

Photography Credit: Depict Photography

At weddings there will often be live music and pre-recorded music, I have spent my youth (and years beyond it) playing in bands, gigging and recording music. I feel I know this arena as well as anyone currently supporting U2 or Coldplay on a world tour could. Maybe a slight exaggeration, but you get the gist.

Fashion plays a massive role for both the bride and groom in a modern wedding and fashion has always been a huge passion of mine. I even like shopping. I’ve just realised that I’m not really “manning up” weddings at this point… but what the hell – I’m justifying it to myself at least!

To top it off I am a super keen photographer – I am clearly not at a level where I would ever feel I could shoot a wedding – nor would I want to, but I understand what good photography is, I have a flair for design and composition.

Right, what else? Umm… Flowers…

Oh yeah… Maybe don’t ask me too much about flowers actually. Or make up.

Photography Credit: Mark Seymour Photography

So what advice could I offer to other men in this funny little female dominated industry of ours? Well most of you will probably already understand that the wedding industry is actually pretty much like any other media/creative environment…only with a lot more emphasis on the girly bits. With our blog we are trying to hammer the final few nails into the coffin of this notion.  We see lots of really active grooms involved in every stage of the planning process – we have even had real weddings written and submitted by grooms. And why the hell not – it is one of the most important days in a man’s life as well.

So, if weddings are changing then any outdated ideas within the industry can change too. My one piece of advice is for guys in this industry is to play to your strengths and be open and honest about your weaknesses. When I get asked for advice from our readers I am more than happy to talk stationery, photography, décor, music and fashion until the polka dotted cows come home. However if the question is on flowers, hair, make up, shoes or the subtleties and merits of one dress over another – then I point them in Charlotte’s direction.

People can spot a faker a mile off, and I understand that just because I work for a wedding blog it doesn’t mean I have to know everything.  In fact, that is good advice for any walk of life or profession.

I don’t think I ever really knew it until the wedding ninja opened my eyes to the wedding industry (and threw me in at the deep end), but I kind of think I was destined to come here. It feels right. I am seriously switched on by it. Not in a creepy way.

Photography Credit: Adam Crohill

I have already met tons and tons of great people and made a whole army of new friends in the process. Only last Friday as I was running around Soho in a bright red top hat with 5 fantastic photographers working on a series of retro couples shoots that I had organised. As I stood there directing and dishing out props for the shoot, a job made more difficult as one of the photographers had donned roller boots and a feather headdress and was proceeding to cause actual havoc, I thought to myself “Is this an actual job?”

…And it is. It’s the best bloody job in the world.

Who knows where this rollercoaster will take us next. But I’m sure as hell going to keep Ronan’s words of wisdom close to my chest.

All Images: via Rock My Wedding

43 comments

  1. Charlotte

    SO happy this is on here – love the fact that the industry works together rather than against one another!!

    PS rocknrollbride and rockmywedding are the only two sites I still regularly check since getting hitched as they both still offer so much inspiration “beyond the aisle”…! X

  2. Post author

    Thanks Charlotte – yes exactly! we may both be wedding bloggers but we offer very different views on all things wedding…and as i said in my intro this is a blog post i could never have written myself!

  3. Urmmmm… ‘a job made more difficult as one of the photographers had donned roller boots and a feather headdress and was proceeding to cause actual havoc’??????
    I think you’ll find it was most entertaining watching that very talented and gorgeous photographer trying to stay upright.

  4. It makes me sad in my heart to hear that people called you ‘creepy’. Or just talk nasty in general. I don’t understand it, you’d think folks had something better to do with their time, eh? Like… I don’t know… get on with their own lives maybe?

    Anyways, great post Adam. I like that you’re a big-wedding-man-geek.

    Kat – this is the first time I’ve visited The Green Room. I foresee me loosing a few hours in here tonight.

  5. Post author

    well there you go Naomi – another reason for us to work together even though we;’re ‘rivals’…ive just gained a new reader!

  6. I was going to comment, being the female half of a company that does serve the wedding and event industry, the other half is my male counterpart, Dominic, whom Adam did meet not so long ago at Fetcham…so I am going to forward this article to Dom and then perhaps leave the comments to him….I reckon these 2 boys have a lot in common, (aside from the fact weddings aren’t the total core of our business) but in the same vain, to give my 2 pence worth…. I feel I can have boy views on things too as I wasn’t born into, but somewhat fell into the wedding industry and still see it much in the same way as Adam described as an extension of our usual design and banding projects, they are essentially the same thing and, for us, being in stationery this is very much our philosophy too. Well written Adam! Helen (Cutture)

  7. Post author

    Totally agree Helen – i think having a boy on board for the male view point can only make us better and more rounded a company too!

  8. vix

    Hooorahh for the “Blogfather”

    Adam you rock the blog world and you are not at all creepy! whoever said that is a little bit weird!!!

    Vix

    xx

  9. It’s always struck me as peculiar that in a world where women are ‘given away’ and men, predominantly, do all the talking (well, when it comes to the speeches at least – on a side-note it’s great to see more brides and mums joining in on this aspect of wedding days; at least I’m seeing it more often) that the wedding industry is so bride-centric. I suppose it’s down to chasing the dollar, so to speak, and where those spending decisions are seen as coming from but there are other significant demographic markets and there’s been a massive and ongoing social shift in the female-male dynamic across every aspect of life in recent years, for the better. There is a groom involved, and increasingly he’s wanting to be more actively involved and less feeling like a spare-part (and let’s not forget it’s not just brides and grooms, it’s brides and brides and grooms and grooms too). It’s positively healthy for men to develop and project a voice in this sector, both from the standpoint of what’s socially right and it makes great business sense too. It makes for a more rounded ‘product’. It’s worked brilliantly in the field of wedding photography; traditionally highly male dominated (and all too often with a curmudgeonly air about it all), the significant increase in the number of bright, energetic and creatively innovative female photographers (and bright, energetic and creatively innovative male photographers for that matter too) has pushed that sector of the ‘wedding industry’ to new heights. The involvement of more men in the traditionally female dominated aspects of the industry is equally as likely to stimulate positive evolutionary leaps.

    Adam may not be up to scratch on his make-up but I can attest to the fact that he delivers great skin-care advice!

  10. Brilliant post Adam, so well written in fact that it’s as if you’re here chatting to me rather than me reading it. I have to say that one thing that this top bloke didn’t point out is just how willing he is to give up his own time to ‘talk shop’, dish out useful advice and help with computer techie issues. He’s also got a brilliant sense of humour too. And Adam – you owned that red top hat!

  11. michael jackson

    I tip my hat to you Adam, bravo sir, bravo. A brilliantly written blog entry and really inspiring too. I’m just about to dip my big fat man sized toe in the girly waters of wedding photography but frankly I can’t wait!

  12. Thank you Kitty for posting this, I think Adam feels he has finally “made” it 🙂

    In a behind the scenes sense Adam adds to RMW (and always has had) more than perhaps readers realise. I can come up with the words and the pretty, it’s Adam who comes up with majority of the really unique creative stuff.

    Oh and if you want one of those T-shirts just shout – Adam will make you a hot pink one pet.

    Big Man Blogger Love

    Charlotte xxx

  13. Oh Adam, I thought you were cool until you actually quoted Ronan Keating.

    You always sound so humble when you speak, people don’t realise how much you bust your balls for RMW, and I don’t understand what sort of desperate housewife could possibly dare call you creepy. Creepy my arse, apart from the Ronan Keating incident you are wonderful.

  14. I love this post – I’ve always wondered how Adam’s involvement came about! Wonderfully written A and K. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the male side of the industry as increasingly I’m finding grooms leading the wedding photographer search and often they have more ideas than their fiancees. I’m also shooting my first civil partnership very soon and it’s great to be able to do that.

    I find the online presence of females in the wedding industry to be greater (participation in facebook groups, twitter etc..) and it’s a great motivator for figuring out ways to include the men.

  15. This is rather excellent. No matter how many references Adam makes to Ronan Keating, it still didn’t put me off reading! It’s great to hear the viewpoint from the other shoe and I can’t believe you guys have had crap sent your way, that’s awful, shame on them. Least you have such a good spiritual guide as Ronan to see you through the difficult times and end up with an awesome blog created from sheer determination and hard work. Claps all round.

  16. Peridot

    I’m actually pretty bloody outraged – “creepy”? What sort of twisted person came up with that? I’m quite prepared to have a redheaded temper-tantrum over this if you’ll just hold my coat…

    I actually really hate that ‘oh it’s all about the bride’ attitude – it’s a MARRIAGE people, and therefore includes (at least) one man in the main line up. I’m not good with numbers but that’s at least 50%.

    And I think it’s GREAT to have a male perspective on all things wedding (although quoting Ronan Keating is a tad worrying but I guess everyone has their quirks…!)

  17. Peridot

    PS Not entirely sure that Mr Keating is quite suitable to be quoted in a wedding post after his ‘shenanigans’ with his (private) dancer!

  18. Thanks for the love guys – especially you Andrew. I’m sending you a special big sloppy kiss.

    I’m a tiny bit gutted that Mr Phill managed to sum up his thoughts in a much more eloquent way than me in about 20 lines… never mind. I Live and learn – well said Sir! Sudocrem is in the post.

    Jenny – Ronan Keating may well be one of the most underrated philosophers of the 21st century. Don’t you dare diss him!

    Thanks guys – and gals.

    Adam x

  19. Tracy M

    Great to see Adam spread his little wedding blogger wings elsewhere on the interweb! Though of course, if he had real wings, they wouldn’t be little hummingbird type ones, they’d be great big manly eagle wings. Ahem.

    My husband sometimes quotes Ronan Keating so I am in equal parts comforted and appalled to discover that he is not alone! 🙂

    It is horrible to think of the nasty people who lurk in chatrooms making snide comments. If being a man who is confident enough to put himself out there in the female-dominated world of wedding blogs and give his opinions and advice with the humour, class and not-insignificant-amount of endearing quirkiness that Adam bestows upon us is interpreted as ‘creepy’, then I like creepy! It’s clear that Adam brings a huge amount to the appeal of RMW, both behind the scenes and front-of-house.

    RMW and Rock n Roll Bride were my favourite wedding blogs when I was planning my own wedding, and I still read them both now I’m married. It’s great to have friendly, supportive online communities like this when there’s so much bitchiness out there.

    You go guys! (I’m going to be quiet now)

    xx 🙂

  20. Jenny

    Love this post, Adam! Great to hear your perspective on the wedding industry and I really think RMW has gone from strength to strength with your voice being heard more and more.

    And opening with a Ronan Keating quote…I love you even more now! 😉

    xXx

  21. Kelly Reds

    Haha hello ‘creepy’ Adam. That actually made me laugh out loud, you are by no means creepy by the way, more ‘hot to trot’!!!

    I think having a guy perspective is brilliant. It has made me consider Andy more and although he may not ‘volunteer’ his ideas/thoughts/information I love poking it out of him. Adam, I really admire the work you and Charlotte do. You guys are the bestest.

  22. Kelly Reds

    I have just read the other comments and sense people are more outraged by the nasty comments you guys recieve. I think it is important to laugh it off as these people with no balls are sat behind their computer screens wishing they’d come up with the idea first! There will always be meanies in the world, but remember the goodies far, far out weigh them 🙂

  23. A brilliant post by a brilliant guy… it’s so refreshing to have a male’s perspective on the industry and we’re yet to see Adam work a bridal gown! Watch this space! 😉

  24. Lauren A

    What a fab post, how could anyone say Adam is creepy?! I think it’s wonderful thing to have a male perspective on a wedding blog.

    Also, is this “let your haters be your biggest motivators” t shirt an ACTUAL t shirt?! I want one!!!

  25. Girly boy/ blokey women who cares? It’s all about being cool, honest, artistic and jam packed with integrity. I can report that Adam is entertaining company over lunch, talks a good wedding and I’m sure he and Mrs Caudery actually had more seriously challenging musical tastes than Mr Keating.

  26. Ok, Obviously at the moment I am more than happy being “The Man” at Rock My Wedding… But if I ever did decide to leave for pastures new – can I maybe get back to a few of you guys if I ever need a reference?

    I mentioned on twitter earlier that quoting the legend that is RK may well prove to be my “Ratners” moment but what the hell – maybe there is no such thing as bad publicity? I seem to have been able to turn the fact that I was once called creepy to my advantage

    Thanks to pinky for inviting me into the green room today – it’s been great.

    Adam x

  27. AUDREY HOPKINS

    A lovely post from my favourite Man on the Blog! Can I also remind you that the Ronan Keating song that you quote “Life Is A Rollercoaster” was written by Gregg Alexander (of The New Radicals fame) and he’s a smart cookie, so you are reedemed!! Thank you for playing Words With Friends games with me – and when you’re not too busy – please challenge me again! It was great to meet you the National Wedding Show in Earls Court last October – cannot believe how HOT it was that day!!!!! RMW has helped me to formulate the ideas and issues that I have wanted/thought about since announcing my engagement last August, and I am grateful for all the work you, Charlotte, Vix, Jenny and the others do.

    Heartfelt thanks,

    A xx

  28. Great post Adam! I think it really is important for both the bride and groom to have their say, hence why we started Bride Vs Groom! Like you I was thrown head first into the wedding world by an expert (though no mystery with us, we actually are engaged) and, although I *ahem* “occasionally” grumble and spend half my time trying to figure out what the heck my Bride is actually talking about, all of our decisions are made together and considered equally by both of us. We each have our own ideas, areas of expertise and different experiences that are helping to shape our wedding and indeed our blog as well, and it can only be better for that. Rock My Wedding is brilliant but would probably only be half as good without your input and your understanding of how the groom might be feeling in this female dominated wedding world… Keep up the good work!!

  29. It’s great to see a guy in a wedding blog. I agree, men belong in the industry alongside women.

    We see Grooms becoming more involved in planning the Wedding each year, in particular entertainment.

    Weddings are evolving to include themes and couples are thinking more about things together because they are being given more to think about thanks to Wedding Blogs.
    It can only benefit the blog that both have male and female input. Kat explained to me this week (at Photography Farm) how Gareth has become more involved and how she values his input.
    I can relate to this as my wife Sarah has recently taken a larger role in both of my wedding businesses. Her views and skill sets are a big factor in attracting clients, even though my area of work/s are both male dominated.

  30. MrsA-to-be

    Adam, you total legend! This is such a cracking post – a coming together of two wedding blog ‘tour de forces’ – great stuff.

    I concur with Naomi et al about the ‘creepy’ comment. The person who wrote that is clearly an utter douchebag. I mean, seriously, do these people not realise that they’re only making themselves look stupid with comments like that?!

    I have to agree with Jenny about the Ronan Keating comment *sniggers*, although this is coming from someone who loves Dolly Parton and Meatloaf, so I probs shouldn’t judge!

    Keep up the awesome work lovely – you guys do an amazing job!!

  31. awesome post 🙂 Being from Switzerland, I may not fully get how the wedding industry works in UK but I certainly am capable of recognizing an awesome wedding blog when I see it 🙂 Thanks for making me discover that other amazing blog!

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