Author Archives: Sophie Cooke

After the Vows: Attachment Styles and their Role in Your Relationship

Did you grow up with the myth that “love is all you need” to make a marriage last? From a psychotherapist and relationship coach Gloria Zhang’s perspective, here’s why that’s a pile of doo-doo, and what you should do instead…

During the last legs of my former relationship, I felt like a deprived puppy begging for scraps of affection. Like most relationships, it started off just fine and seemed to reach a plateau. That is until we found ourselves in the most popular case of couple’s Russian roulette: The Pursuer-Distancer dynamic.

Sound familiar?

I felt needy and they felt trapped.

The clingier I became, the more they needed space.

And every time my partner got annoyed; I would get a flashback to being a seven-year-old kid again who was receiving the cold shoulder from disappointed daddy.

The mindboggling part is that neither my partner or I were “bad people”. We genuinely loved each other and had soccer-field sized list of common interests. So why couldn’t we meet the other person’s needs?

Despite the seductive appeal of “Rollercoaster Relationships” that is oh-so-glamorised in Hollywood (The Notebook, anyone?), it makes for a miserable love life.

And it is trust and safety that makes for a lasting relationship, not drama.

The key to improving, and maybe even rescuing your own relationship is understanding WHY this dynamic occurs between you and your partner.

Continue reading

Dark Wedding Styling That Won’t Make Your Guests Panic! At the Disco

When a white wedding isn’t the thing for your inner emo or goth.

The subcultures we dwelled or dabbled in during our formative years leave lasting impressions, even as we emerge from our younger years appearing quite different. If you were (or are) an emo or a goth, you probably felt like weddings really weren’t for you with all that conforming to tradition, whiteness and lack of music that set you on fire.

But goths and emos get married too! Case in point; your great self reading this very Rock n Roll Bride magazine. It’s hardly an accident that you chose the only wedding mag that shows weddings wayyyyyy outside the realm of white and traditional.

So, if you want to have the dark and moody wedding of your dreams, but without the stress of making your guests Panic! At the Disco, here’s your fool proof guide.

Continue reading

I Do … & I Don’t: A Feminist’s Guide to Being a Bride – The Perfect Bride

When it comes to the expectations put upon a bride, the patriarchy has done us all a great dirty wrong by creating yet another unattainable standard for women to try to meet. I know— shocking, right? This one tends to go by the cliché of the ‘perfect bride’.

The perfect bride will look the most beautiful she has ever looked on her wedding day. She will be an effortless host to her friends and family: gliding about like a silken swan; laughing in all the right places; glowing when appropriate; accommodating for each individual attending, as if they themselves are her personal guest of honour. And… she will manage all of this on potentially one of the most emotionally-challenging, mentally-demanding, physically-exhausting days of her life, without making it seem like any work at all. The perfect bride, simply put, will not be human. Or, in other words, she does not exist.

Ask yourself… is the thing your friends, family and significant other most love about you the fact that you are perfect? No. It isn’t. And even if you were perfect (which you aren’t, none of us are), let’s be honest… it would probably be the thing your friends and family loved you in spite of, not because of. Who wants a perfect friend? Who can relate to or connect with or be vulnerable around perfection? So why strive for it on your wedding day?

I’m saying this because, though it was magical, memorable, joyous, elating, happy, fantastic, wonderful, special, hilarious, emotional, spectacular and incredible… my whole wedding day was not perfect from start to finish. And I believe I’d be doing the readers of this magazine— and the ethos of what it is to be a Rock n Roll Bride— a disservice to pretend otherwise.

Strike one in pursuit of perfection (and I’m pulling no punches here, reader): I had such bad diarrhoea for the whole morning on my wedding day that we started referring to the downstairs loo as “the scene of the crime”. I’m not sure if it was the gluten the night before or if I just had a nervous tummy, but it was like the scene from Bridesmaids and it was not okay. Strike two: During the journey to the venue, I had my first ever anxiety attack and had to get out of the car.

Continue reading

I Do … & I Don’t: A Feminist’s Guide to Being a Bride – Changing Your Name

Can you believe it, our real bride’s penultimate column! We can’t wait to share how Rachel’s Tolkien inspired garden wedding turned out in our next issue, but for now, she’s discussing a topic that pickles every feminist bride’s brain at least once – should you change your name when you marry or not?

People often get my surname wrong. Even though I’ve spent my life spelling it out for people down the phone (‘B – E – Double T – E- S – Worth’), over the years I’ve been Butterworth, Butterscotch and even Battleworth. But, despite the 31 years of typos—and the fact that I often just say ‘Jones’ when making a booking to avoid confusion— Bettesworth is my name. And I’m extremely attached to it.

I always liked coming first or second in the register at school (unlike Kat, who hated coming last and then married a man whose surname was even further down the alphabet than her own! Sorry, Kat!). I like my name’s uniqueness. I like that it connects me to my beloved late Grandpa, to my parents, to my own family tree.

And yet, by the time you read this, I am going to become someone else on paper… because I have chosen to take my husband’s name when we get married.

I find this phrasing so interesting. Traditionally, the bride ‘takes’ the name of her new husband. Not ‘is allocated’ or ‘is given’. She ‘takes’ his name, implying that she had some say in it, when actually it was more to do with the ownership of the woman exchanging from her father to her husband, by name; a non-negotiable component of the transaction of marriage.

For me, the use of the word ‘take’ suggests that the ‘she’ in question gains something. But what? And, in turn— because where there is gain there tends to be loss— what is ‘he’ losing? He holds onto his own name, his prior identity, while she becomes someone else. What is that implying; that before becoming someone’s wife she was without meaning; that her years as a Miss are irrelevant now she is a Mrs?

And excuse me, his title doesn’t even change. From now on, each time she introduces herself to someone new it comes with a relationship status notification. Roughly translated, ‘Hi, I’m Mrs So-and-So’, means, ‘Hi, I’m married’. His introduction is ambiguous; it doesn’t matter either way whether he is married or not, while she is defined by her status as a married woman from the start. Is that not oppressive? Is that not the covert patriarchy chip-chip-chipping away?

Whatever your gender and whoever you’re marrying— whether you’re changing your name or not— like so many wedding traditions, we have to admit: the origin of this one is sticky. Right?

Continue reading

How to Plan Your Wedding Like the Boss That You Are

PEW PEW PEW! You’re engaged to the best person ever and now it’s time to plan that wedding! I want to help you release your inner Riot Grrrrl, enjoy the wedding planning process and feel like the boss rock ‘n’ roll bride that you are.

This is a big deal and an exciting time in your life. So, let’s power right past (or in fact, swipe left) on the wedstress and overwhelm like it’s just another fuck boi on Tinder. Let’s do this, pew pew!

Here’s your three-step guide to power planning:

Vibe check + set those priorities, gurl

Every boss feminist and general ass-kicker-at-life knows that priorities are where it’s at. Knowing what you want is such a power move and equally as important; it’s the key to giving overwhelm and unwanted stress a super wide berth. Even if you’re a bit of an indecisive dilly dally Nelly, you can use priority setting to make this so much easier. How?

Sit down with your partner on a chair or a couch or a rowboat, and talk about how you both want to feel at your wedding, and how you want your guests to feel. That way your boss-ass planning starts off on a terrific footing – you’re giving your wedding a vibe check first up instead of naming things (you know, a Pinterest driven laundry list of material elements) you want to have (Festoons! Florals! Balloons! Cake!) that don’t necessarily gel with how you want this celebration to feel for you and your loved ones. Feels before festoons. 

Make a list of those feels. Then and only THEN, make that list of stuff you might like to have at your wedding. Nail those feels and vibe and the rest shall come easily. For example, if you decide together that you want your wedding to feel intimate, wildly romantic and uncompromising, then perhaps eloping or a micro wedding are the right fit for you two sexy love birds. 

Should your feels list centre around fun, frivolity and having the best time ever, you’ll quickly know to hire a warehouse, line up a killer DJ, and dress like you showered in super glue then army rolled through glitter, sequins and tinsel.

Continue reading

A Vietnamese-American Hallowedding

For their October wedding day, Hasan and Emily wanted to respectfully tie together elements of the groom’s Vietnamese culture, the brides own family traditions and her love of Halloween. “It was very difficult for us to find aesthetic inspiration,” Emily began, “because most of what we found were mono racial couples or interracial couples who lean into a traditional wedding for just one culture. Then the multicultural wedding inspiration we did find were your standard white/cream/blush classic theme, which is not us. I wish we had found Rock n Roll Bride sooner!”

In terms of a timeline for the day, the couple were inspired by Emily’s own parents wedding tape. The opted for a Vietnamese tradition for the reception dinner – a family-style, 7-course Asian feast, and they worked with their planners Something Blue Orlando to use their imaginations and conjure up a wedding all of their own.

Continue reading