Matt and Kirsty used Metallica’s The Black Album, and their wider shared love of alternative music, as a rough inspiration for their May wedding day. They named their reception tables after their favourite bands, sent out gig-ticket style invitations and even both changed their surname to Black!
The alt influences continued with the pair commissioning a Tim Burton’s style portrait of themselves to use throughout their stationery and styling for the day. The guests were also all requested to wear black. Kirsty changed from a white Mori Lee dress into a black JJ’s House gown for the reception, both of which she paired with Zombie Peep Show skull stilettos. The bride’s father, a a joiner by trade, built a custom coffin for their guests to use as a photobooth during the reception.
Choosing an elopement followed by a large, classic wedding ensures your vows are only for you. Elaine and Andrew wanted a day to focus on each other, before celebrating with friends and family at a later date.
Opting for a non-traditional venue in true Vegas style, Elaine and Andrew chose Sonic Rodeo, Las Vegas’s newest music mecca, and were the first couple to get married there. With a collection of vintage guitars on the walls and surrounded by music memorabilia, they carefully selected songs to run throughout their ceremony.
Elaine explained, “We made a playlist in the days leading up to the event, a mix of our mutual favourite songs with some sappy love songs. We played it on a speaker during the whole thing, it was one of my favourite parts. I still remember the song that was playing while we said our vows.”
Having been to over 35 concerts together, it was only fitting that Ellen and Dan’s wedding was filled with musical inspiration that spanned many genres. The groom even wrote and had a song recorded for his bride, and there was a surprise appearance from Elvis! Their goal was to have a party with a little wedding mixed in.
Ellen and Dan created a day full of personal touches. They are grilled cheese sandwiches as they had done on their first date, hired a caricature artist inspired by a drawing they had done at a Baltimore Orioles game, and marked each table with a miniature version of a poster from concerts they had attended together. The wedding invitation itself was designed to look like a record sleeve.
A chance meeting in a San Francisco gallery set Shannon and Trevor on course for a unique and chic rock and roll wedding under the glorious Californian sun. They wanted to make sure their day didn’t feel like an uptight affair, rather a party they wanted to hang out at with their friends and family. With live music and no sit-down meal, Shannon and Trevor stuck to their motto of “Do whatever you want”.
Trevor is a musician and, having missed enjoying music with friends throughout the pandemic, their wedding day celebrated the return of rock and roll. They chose the Phoenix Hotel as their venue, a favourite of music lovers. Shannon told us, “The venue already has a rock and roll theme with a large record collection and a great outdoor area with a whimsical feel.” And with fire pits, a pool and strings of lights and paper lanterns to dress their gorgeous, leafy outdoor space, very little additional décor was required, saving time and money. They did dress the aisle, with a neon ‘Til Death’ sign and wooden arbour marking the space for their vows.
Starting their relationship as ‘frenemies’ in a local bar, arguing over which beer was superior, it was fitting that Cass and Mat’s wedding was held in their favourite pub, The Royston Hotel, in Richmond, Australia. Fifteen years after they met, the couple wanted their day to be like the best night at your favourite pub with your closest buddies. With a relaxed vibe and informal dress code, they cranked up the music and cracked open the drinks.
“We wanted the atmosphere in the pub to mimic the feeling you get in those last few minutes, when you’re eagerly waiting for your favourite band to step on stage.” Cass explained. Music was an integral part of the day, with Mat putting a lot of time and thought into creating a playlist for the ceremony to amp up the excitement. They chose You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall & Oates after they had been officially married, and the bridal party then walked out to Dean Martin’s Not the Marrying Kind.
Having already had to rearrange their day twice, Alice and Ben settled on Friday 13th for their wedding, figuring they couldn’t be brought any more bad luck! Good humour was a running theme throughout their day, as well as their shared loved of music – “we wanted it to feel like we were bringing our friends and family to our favourite gig,” the bride told us. They filled their evening reception with glitter, glow sticks, a live band and a silent disco.
There was lots of musical touches throughout; their guitar guestbook, favourite albums as table names and cassette tapes for place settings all helped inspire the theme. The day was filled with thoughtful nods, too – Alice had a friend recreate her parents 80s wedding cake (down to moulding their own silver horseshoes when they couldn’t find exact replicas) and used photos from their parents’ and grandparents weddings as decor. “We wanted little touches that felt thoughtful and worthwhile, like the 5 almonds that signify good health, wealth, happiness, children and a long life, which is a Maltese tradition as I am half Maltese, along with the sticks of Brighton rock to signify where we met!”
Laura and James’ 2018 road trip around Europe inspired the theme for their August wedding day. Laura incorporated maps into her bouquet, James had plane cufflinks, their table centrepieces were named after places they had been and they even had a suitcase that was their card box and a guest globe book. They chose the Baltic Centre of Contemporary Art for their venue as Laura went to university in Newcastle so they have fond memories of the city. It was also where the couple got engaged so it was an obvious choice for them.
“All other little touches just came naturally throughout our wedding planning journey,” Laura told us. “We didn’t want to rush as we wanted to save up for our wedding but also continue living as well, we wanted to still go on holiday and go travelling and we didn’t want to have to stop all of this to save up for the big day so we got engaged in 2017 and planned to have our wedding in 2020. I got lots of little ideas from reading Rock n Roll magazine and also sitting on Pinterest for hours.”
Janie and Brennon met at school, but far from high school sweethearts, they were in fact rival class presidents that had to battle each other at Homecoming for the spirit stick. Brennan won, and while it’s still a touchy subject to this day, after school mutual friendships brought them together where they bonded over their love of art, music and a thirst for wild adventures.
Their wedding theme was a mixture of their musical interests and references to their 4th of July wedding date. “I would say the song Born to Run had the most influence on our wedding. We are massive Bruce Springsteen fans and that song is one that we fell in love while listening to. It is a love song that really captures the spirit of restless youth yearning to hit the road and live life to the fullest, which is directly linked to the romantic ideas of freedom. We have always tried to embrace life to the fullest and have a deep appreciation for the time we have on this earth, so having it reflect in the decorations & vibe of our wedding really made it that much more special.”
Nicole and Brandon are both huge music fans so they wanted to incorporate music into as many details of their wedding as possible. From the invitations which were record and cassette tape designs, to the flowers made from sheet music and even the centrepiece which were all instruments. The favours were guitar picks, magnets, buttons and stickers and were set up like a merch table and the music that played throughout and the reception was a combination of guest requests (which they asked on the RSVP cards) and their own favourites.
The day was held on Coney Island, at Gargiulo’s Restaurant. “Coney Island is such an iconic place that many of our friends had never seen”, Nicole told us, “it was great to be able to share one of our favourite places with our favourite people. The all-Italian never-ending food was definitely unique. Our DJ was very unconventional and created a great flow from the ceremony into the Italian Goodfellas-esque cocktail hour, energetic intros, and eclectic dance party. The punk rock after party definitely surprised the guests and took the event to a different level. We got so many complementary messages from our guests about the details and unique experience.”
When Rock n Roll Bride was created in 2007, I wrote a manifesto, which has remained the same to this day. It states,
Rock n Roll Bride is all about the charm and unique nature of ordinary people’s extraordinary weddings. Our passion is inspiring couples to plan the wedding that they really want in a world dictated by tradition.
Being ‘Rock n Roll’ is not about being cool, a rebel or even thinking of the most unique idea you can. It’s about planning a day that reflects you and your partner and declaring your love in your own special way. You don’t have to be wacky; you don’t have to be offbeat and you don’t have to be intentionally quirky – you just have to be you.
We often refer back to this when accepting weddings for publication, and although on first glance you might think Melina and Steve’s Santa Fe wedding looks a little more on the traditional side, when we heard all about how they took every detail of the day and made it their own, we were convinced they were every bit a rock ‘n’ roll couple!
They met in college but fell in love by going to concerts and enjoying live music together. They really wanted their wedding décor to emulate their relationship and journey together so they tables were all named after venues they had seen shows at and their guestbook was made up of vinyls.
Music is pretty darn important to most Rock n Roll Brides, and some of you will have had a dream first dance song picked since before you even got engaged. Be it a number from the nights out you used to go on together, what was playing on the radio during your first date or a song from one of your joint favourite bands. But if you have wildly different music tastes, or the thought of slow-dancing to yet another Ed Sheeran song makes your toes curl, it can be difficult to know where to strike a balance. We reached out to the amazing Rock n Roll Bride community to see what they’ve chosen and compiled them into this handy list – why not listen to the Spotify playlist with your love over a bottle of something cold one night and see if one resonates?
Of course the starting point for any Rock n Roll Bride playlist would be rock songs, but your favourite Slayer number might not be suitable for slow-dancing to. While we whole-heartedly approve of a first-dance mosh pit, here are some more family-friendly options to keep Grandma happy while still being true to who you are:
Foo Fighters – Everlong (acoustic) The Cure – Just Like Heaven You Me At Six – Take On The World Biffy Clyro – Rearrange Foo Fighters – Best of You Killswitch Engage – Always The Hunna – Lover Sum 41 – With Me Led Zeppelin – Thank You A Perfect Circle – The Nurse Who Loved Me Metallica – Nothing Else Matters
If you’re more disco that deathmetal, you’re still worthy of an alternative first dance – despite what a lot of wedding DJs will tell you, there are more options than Lonestar! Here are some off-beat pop options:
Yellowcard – Only One Picture This – Saviour Randy Newman – We Belong Together Queen – You’re My Best Friend Fleetwood Mac – Everywhere Elton John – Tiny Dancer P!nk – True Love
Amy and Darren used traditional weddings they’d been to together to influence what they didn’t want from their own big day! Instead, they wanted their wedding to be fun and to feel like one big party. As they’re both big music lovers, they focused on their shared interest and the bands they’d seen together to theme the decor. Throw in wedding outfits that reflected their personalities, instead of things they ‘should’ wear, and you’ve got yourself a very Rock n Roll Bride worthy wedding where the couple ignored tradition where it didn’t suit them, and ran with ideas that made it personal to them!
With a £12,000 budget and a long engagement, Amy and Darren were finally married in April 2019 and this part of the day was traditional; they had a church wedding, which they’d both always wanted, and Amy was given away by her dad. They had a religious ceremony and readings, and a confetti exit. Their reception was where they really let their personalities shine through.
Both big music fans, Broden and Marnie met at a Jezabels gig in Brisbane. They bonded quickly, geeking out over their mutual music taste, and after exchanging thousands of messaged post-gig, they became a couple. They didn’t officially get engaged in the traditional sense. They were apart for a few months (Marnie in London and Broden in Australia) and one night during a marathon five-hour Skype call they just kind of mutually decided that they should get married. Instead of an engagement ring for either of them, they got matching mallard duck tattoos on their chests.
They were married in September, back in Brisbane, and once they found their venue, Cupo, they knew it was the one. “We wanted the same kind of vibe as the dingy bars and music venues we love to hangout in”, wrote the bride. “We wanted to capture the vibe where we feel at home but we also wanted some dashes of class in there – somewhere you could imagine a rockstar hanging out. We wanted it tough around the edges with just enough glam and one hell of a party.”