Author Archives: Kat

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.

Anti-Bride

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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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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Cat Themed Wedding in Romania

If there’s one wedding theme I can always get on board with its a cat themed wedding. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll already know how obsessed I am with my own furbabies so obviously as soon as I saw Elena and Sebastian’s feline-featuring big day I was ready to feature it!

The pair were married in Romania, at The Wedding House in Giurgiu. “Our wedding theme was ‘Dancing Cat’!”, began the bride, “we nicknamed the event our ‘purrfect day’ though! We were both inspired by the things that we love: Our cats and animals in general, dancing, nature, greenery, strong coffee, anything-with-gin, thai food, lights (even better cat-shaped LED lights!) and having a general positivity about life.”

The couple wanted their cat theme to run through every aspect of their day. “It was very important for us to create a visual identity that we could integrate in all aspects of the wedding”, she continued, “from the invitations, to decorations, to our first dance. This is why our wedding rings have a tiny message written on the inside with a cat pun! This is also why we used Lolcats on our invitations, even if many people didn’t understand it! It goes without saying that we were very lucky to have an incredibly talented friend that draws and illustrates and that she created the perfect design for us. We were so thrilled with it that I had a bigger version printed and framed for our house. She also designed our wedding logo which we had printed onto stickers which we put on everything. We also turned it into pins that guests could wear instead of flowers.”

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Intimate Artists’ Wedding in the Sydney Blue Mountains

Sarah and Simon, both artists, wanted their wedding to be completely and utterly them. They chose to elope, with just three witnesses in attendance in a private cabin in the beautiful blue mountains outside Sydney. After the ceremony they made vegan lasagne for everyone. There were dried flowers, handmade map invitations and the bride wore a black (completely non-bridal) dress!

“We first met when Simon was travelling through Europe and spent some weeks in Berlin where I was living”, began Sarah. “We’re both artists and we met by chance at a life drawing evening run by some mutual friends.”

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Win a Luxury Honeymoon Experience at Dar Jaguar in Marrakech!

If you’ve been following me for a while then you’ll probably already know that Marrakech is one of my favourite cities. The colour, the people, culture, the shopping… it’s just heaven. The medina is crazy busy and, at times, a little overwhelming, but there is also much more to do here than just shop. There are beautiful, colourful gardens all over the city, rooftop terraces with spectacular views and hammams to get the scrub down of your life in! You will come home with a suitcase full of spices and colourful homewares, hands covered in henna and hearts full with all the joy of Morocco!

Yes, the culture is very different to the UK and it can be slightly unnerving on your first visit, but if you throw yourself into it wholeheartedly, I know you’ll fall in love with it too. And with flights from the UK costing as little as £100 and the flight time less than 3 hours, it’s the perfect honeymoon spot for Rock n Roll brides.

In fact, I love Marrakech so much I’ve been four times in as many years, and yes, I do plan to go back later this year too. You can’t keep me away!

On two of my four trips I’ve stayed at Dar Jaguar, owned by British designer Lucia Silver, and it’s fast become one of my highlights of each visit. The riad is decorated in Lucia’s eclectic style and includes a leopard print entrance-way, four poster beds and enormous locally-made chandeliers. Each room has its own theme and the honeymoon suite, The State of Grace, features ebony walls, hand-carved details, a romantic balcony overlooking the courtyard, an open fireplace and a golden bathtub!

There’s a bubbling fountain in the middle of the courtyard which has multi-coloured rose petals floating in it 24/7. And the plunge pool, complete with yet another chandelier hanging above it, is the perfect spot for cooling down after a long day wandering in the medina or riding camels!

The staff, Fatiha, Khalid and Fatima, are also some of the kindest, loveliest people I’ve ever met. Nothing is too much trouble (Khalid actually once helped us try to order a pizza when it was all we wanted to eat and Fatiha helped me RUSH through the medina when I was late for my flight home!!) Plus the food they make is some of the most delicious I’ve ever eaten.

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Autumnal Wedding with a Hint of Halloween

Leanne and Dave were married on Friday 13th at The Wellbeing Farm in Lancashire. Their inspiration started with the wedding date, Friday 13th.

“We just wanted to make the wedding about us, not snobby but meaningful and fun”, said the bride. “We didn’t try to make our wedding alternative or different we just knew we didn’t want the posh do, its not true to who we are as people. I guess people would think the Halloween décor is alternative for a wedding, but I think the most non-alternative guest would agree that everything was beautiful and ‘us’.”

Leanne wore the most stunning red dress from Amanda Wakeley‘ (her non-bridal collection). She paired it with a leather jacket she’d owned forever, Kurt Geiger shoes and a Vivienne Westwood bag. Her simple hair slides came from Sara’s Boutique on Etsy.

They disregarded a lot of wedding traditions including not having a bridal party (“instead I choose to include my close family members and they dressed themselves”), opted to serve a collection of their favourites cakes instead of one big, traditional one, and they didn’t have any flowers at all.

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