Margo and Deven had to change their plans for their September 2020 wedding so many times that they threw themes out the window. Instead of focusing on flowers or décor, they were inspired by the nature they got married in.
Married in the backyard of Deven’s family home, the whole wedding ended up being DIY and the couple spent $15,000. Margo got to flex her design skills on lettering and graphic design for their place cards and other stationery, and the pair worked together on choosing things like music. A particularly fun project was making the best of the situation and personalising hand sanitiser bottles for their guests.
Alex and Sarah stuck to their guns for their August 2020 wedding, and despite planning it for over two years, decided to go ahead anyway. “When we originally booked our Thursday date, it was because we both work in the music industry so summer weekends we’re usually working at festivals,” the bride told us. “Not only did it end up being way cheaper than a weekend wedding, but our friends and family were more than happy with the idea of making a long weekend of things as they had plenty of notice.”
“As the year unfolded and it became apparent that we weren’t going to be able to have the celebration that we originally planned, we decided to go with the flow and have our day as best we could, which was of course stressful at times with the ever-changing goalposts. Reduced numbers meant we ended up being able to claw back some of our budget, which was a relief as in the planning we’d nearly doubled our intended spend! We now have a nice little starter for a honeymoon, once it’s safe to travel again.”
Thirteen years ago this month, I registered the website rocknrollbride.blogspot.co.uk so I had somewhere to talk about planning my wedding. The year was 2007 (before Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook groups where a thing) and the way most of us connected with other people online was through closed forums or websites such as LiveJournal and MySpace.
The now defunct You and Your Wedding website and forum was my hang out of choice. I was in there every single day posting about our wedding ideas and getting inspiration from the other members. I made some great online friends. I’m not quite sure where the idea came from, but one day I decided it might be fun to start my own blog (this new thing that I’d seen a few members talking about) where I could host my own content, create my own logo and upload as much or as little as I liked. I enjoyed the forum, but a lot of it was too traditional for my tastes and forget about finding ideas in magazines, it was much of the same. I still bought and obsessed over every single one though, desperate to find some unique ideas that I could incorporate into our own day.
The first official Rock n Roll Bride website was a gem, let me tell you…! My favourite part of this is that we got married in April 2008, and you can see that in May I was already writing a post about potential vow renewal outfits. Jeez Kat, chill ya boots!
After the wedding, I kept on blogging, sharing other people’s weddings from the forum, as well as content I started to find on places like Flickr and via other blogspot blogs. Then, at the end of 2009 I accidentally locked myself out and deleted my entire site (that’s a story for another day!) which is what was the catalyst for me deciding it was time to ‘do this properly’. So, I bought the .com and Gareth transferred everything over to a better blogging platform.
Enter stage left: the inaugural rocknrollbride.com! Isn’t she a beauty? (LOL!)
By this point I had started to connect with people offline, who were also launching wedding businesses and were looking to do things differently, too. I booked a few paid advertisers and I was getting sent weddings from all over the world from people who wanted to be featured on the site! I did a couple of shoots (with me modelling, some were cute others were terrible) and even managed to do a trade with a designer who created a header for the blog. I was on my way!
Things grew quickly at this point. A couple of other UK based wedding blogs had sprung up and the industry was starting to pay attention. I got invited to fancy events and catwalk shows, I was interviewed by the press, and by the end of 2010 I was earning more from Rock n Roll Bride than I was from my full-time TV producer job. It was time to take the plunge and run my business full time – scary!
In 2011 I found Nubby Twiglet (now better known now as Shauna Haider from We Are Branch). She was an artist and budding graphic designer and I loved her style, her blog and her design work. Even though she was in Portland, Oregon, I approached her about rebranding my website. She designed me a new logo, blog header and some navigation icons for the grand sum of $200, and I did a new photo shoot with my photographer friend Emma Case to celebrate.
Also in 2011, Rock n Roll Bride was invited to exhibit at a wedding show, and we decided to create a free ‘magazine’ to give out to attendees to show them what we were all about. The magazine was so popular that we decided to do a regular, yearly edition, which we then sold on our website between 2011 and 2014…
There’s an old saying that some people enjoy getting married so much they go on to do it more than once, which was exactly true for Caroline and Michael – except this time, all three times were to each other! Buckle up dear reader, because this one is a whopper!
The couple spent €16,000 (total!) to have three celebrations, which is less than half of the usual wedding budget of a traditional Irish wedding – major props for the creativity and DIY efforts! A big fan of Rock n Roll Bride, Caroline wanted to find a way to express all the sides of their personalities and the best way she could come up with was to have three separate events.
As lovers of nature, they originally wanted to get married at the Grand Canyon, but the logistics were too much of a pain. A search on Instagram uncovered Rainbow Vista in the Valley of Fire, just outside of Vegas, and it was perfect. It gave them the opportunity to be in nature and have a connection to the earth.
For the desert ceremony Caroline wore a BHLDN dress with crystal-encrusted Crown and Glory veil and El Jardin de Valentyna floral headpieces. “We’re so glad we decided to elope for our main ceremony,” Caroline said. “It felt amazing to walk into our little set up together and hear…nothing! The area was so peaceful and quiet, with just our celebrant and photographers. We did a handfasting with ribbons that we picked for their significance, then read our vows to each other. It was amazing to sit down afterwards and have our delicious cake together while looking out at such an incredible landscape, having that time just to process everything by ourselves.”
Bryony said she always wanted to get married on their anniversary, so when she and James got engaged (on their 4th anniversary) and she realised that not only did their 6th anniversary fall on a Saturday but the date was 22/02/2020, it was settled! They opted for a celestial theme very early on and as shes not a fan of flowers, they didn’t have any! Instead of floral bouquets and buttonholes, she made star and moon ones out of glittery card (which cost lest than £50 in materials!) She also made their cake and place names. Her dad made the moon photo backdrop and her mum made her iridescent sequined skirt using a YouTube tutorial!
“We felt really lucky to have all these creative people around us who practically jumped at the chance to help us,” Bryony said. “I tried on some ‘proper’ dresses but none of them felt like me. My top was second hand from Depop (with a Primark vest underneath), my headpiece was Crown and Glory and I found my veil on Etsy.”
In total they spent around £6000 on the day, keeping costs low was helped by all of the DIY and finding a new venue that exactly suited their needs and budget. Around half the budget was on food and drink and they splashed £500 on hiring a Routemaster bus, but to them it was totally worth it as it was such a fun experience and made for great photos!
“I didn’t want our wedding to look like I had just copied everything from Pinterest so I made it as personal to us as I could”, she continued. “I’m sure there were little details that a lot of the guests weren’t even aware of. Our wedding rings were engraved with a map of the stars the date and time we got engaged, and then I named all of our tables after stars, constellations and planets that were on that star map. I really wanted our love for each other to shine through above all else.”
Micaela and John knew they wanted to tie their wedding in with a three week trip of the US, but beyond that, they were easy! “We originally thought we’d rock up to a Vegas chapel,” explained Micaela, “but I was not like most brides and planned everything last minute. A week before the wedding I was going to book the chapel and found out that the ones we were interested in charge extra for bringing your own photographer, which we had not budgeted for, and they charge a lot for a 10-minute ceremony anyway! After chatting with our photographer, he suggested we travel out to Salvation Mountain – he’d remembered me mentioning our interest in it and we decided why not!”
“We hadn’t sorted flowers, a minister or a cake. The drive was five hours away from where we were staying in Vegas. We got there all sweaty and covered in dust, my hair was a mess and my make-up had melted off, but it was perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing.”