Tag Archives: wedding planning advice

Creating a Realistic Wedding Budget

Creating a realistic wedding budget is so easy. It definitely won’t feel about as enjoyable as stubbing your toe while suffering gastro, and having to listen to Jingle Bells on repeat. Nope.

Here’s a plan to help you create a realistic wedding budget that’ll make your planning journey free from awkward whisper shouting matches with your beloved feat. phrases like, “DO WE EVEN NEED THIS?”, “MY GOD, DID THEY ADD AN EXTRA ZERO?”, and “MONEY DOESN’T GROW ON TREES SHARON!”

Strap in Marry-ers!

Step 1: Get engaged to your dream human. Be super excited. Kiss and intercourse lots. Instagram the shit out of your news. Start a Pinterest board for your radical wedding.

Step 2: Go out to celebrate numerous times. Chat excitedly with your beloved over celebration booze. What sort of wedding do they want? What do you want? Should you get a live band and a DJ? Hold up, what about two DJs who can battle each other, because remember you met at that gig! What should your budget be? Let’s cartwheel down the aisle together! And so forth.

Step 3: After you’ve consumed 1.75 bottles of upper mid-range sparkling (because it’s a celebration, we’re engaged FFS!), decide your budget is £12,000. That’s heaps, you agree. People who spend £50,000 are ding dongs, you giggle together. We’ve got this, insert high fives and a semi-inappropriate public pash.

Step 4: The next day, open a god forsaken spreadsheet. Spend 3.5 hours colour coding the columns and rows. We’re non-traditional you know, we MUST have a colourful spreadsheet.

Step 5: Start adding wedding budget line items to the rows – you know the ones; dress, suit, reception, cars etc.

Step 6: Add monetary values to next to each wedding line item, by wildly guessing a) what you think they’re worth/ you are willing to pay, and b) what your work friend Susan paid for her wedding in 2003. What could possibly go wrong? Remember, it’s gotta add up to your magical £12k that you made up after drinking 1.75 bottles of upper mid-range sparkling.

Step 7: At the bottom of column B, impress yourself by doing a SUM equation in your spready, and total up the cost of ALL. THOSE. LINE. ITEMS.

Step 8: Freak the fuck out, start shouting things like, “THAT’S KARDASHIAN MONEY!”, “OVER MY DEAD BODY!”, and “NO YOU CALM DOWN!”, to your fiancé. Throw yourself dramatically onto your bed, convinced you’ll never be able to marry your boo, unless you can work out how to become a ‘Nigerian prince’ in your own personal internet scam, because everyone knows it’s pointless trying to rob a bank these days.

Step 9: Don’t talk about the wedding for 13.8 days due to extreme cost-related forlorn-ery (it’s def a word and a thing). Meanwhile, secretly Pinterest the shit out of cool stuff for that rad wedding, while wondering if you have the chutzpah and criminal connections to run a successful internet scam. How hard is it anyways, to ask strangers via email if they can mind your £7.4 million for you (a prince/astronaut/petroleum company exec)?

I’ve got news for you, friend, you went about making a wedding budget ALL WRONG.

“What are you talking about? I made a flipping spreadsheet, which included a goddamn formula!” you shout back enraged, spit flying.

Me in hushed, soothing tones; “Spreadsheets usually ARE the answer to everything, but in this case, you need to shut down Excel and back away from those line items.”

Here’s how to set a realistic wedding budget. And it doesn’t start with pound signs…

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Alternative Wedding Rings for the Ultimate Non-Traditional Commitment

Rings by Iz & Co.
Photo by Devlin Photos for Rock n Roll Bride magazine

The exchanging of the rings is one of the most exciting and personal moments in any wedding. You also have to look at your wedding band every day, so making sure your rings are personal and authentically you is super important for even the most non-traditional couples. Whether you want something minimal or a ring that’s never been seen before, there are plenty of unique ring options out there.

The Great Frog

Chances are you’re already familiar with The Great Frog (and if you’re not, check them out immediately – their skull rings are legendary) but you might not know that they do their own range of wedding rings, too. All of their wedding bands can be created in silver or gold, and each is handmade for you. They have everything from the deceptively simple to more unusual geometric styles, so you’re bound to find something that speaks to you.

Sofia Zakia

One way of making sure your wedding bands are unique to you is to get them engraved. Sofia Zakia has a range of out-of-this-world wedding rings, including these utterly beautiful constellation bands which you can have etched with the constellation of your other half’s zodiac sign – I can’t think of a better way to match without really matching.

If the zodiac’s not your thing, there’s also a huge range of gorgeous rings made with different stones and diamonds, inspired by everything from goddesses to the cosmos. A ring inspired by a Greek goddess is definitely something I’m on board with.

Kipkalinka

For those of you a little more inclined to head towards the dark side, you should head over to Kipkalinka’s Etsy page. Her wedding bands are dainty but still full of character, with an amazing variety of metals and jewels so you can find something that suits your bad ass personality. Those simple skull bands would make amazing matching couples rings, whilst her various coloured diamonds would make the perfect showstopper.

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Being Yourself on Your Wedding Day Takes Huge Balls

Everyone wants to have a unique wedding day that reflects their identity, after all, there are few occasions where you can be as deliciously indulgent as you want (making your friends do literally anything your heart desires, mwahaha).

But as the planning process can take its toll and every well-meaning family member and previous bride puts in their two pence worth, it can get harder and harder to stand strong in your ideas of YOUR perfect day. Not to mention the trad bridal magazine (thank god for Rock n Roll Bride!) spouting ‘advice’ which just doesn’t feel like you. It’s all too easy to get up to the big day and feel like you’ve sacrificed every weird and wonderful personal detail that you wanted.

Yup, being yourself and planning a big day that is authentically yours, well, it can take huge balls. The first step in cultivating an ‘I matter and my opinion matters’ attitude is to realise that it’s not selfish to put yourself first. In fact, you are the most important person in your life (sorry not sorry, life partner). We also all need to re-frame what exactly putting yourself first looks like and realise that self-love not just ‘nice to have’ but a vital necessity. Self-love is often marketed in a way that’s cringey, touchy-feely and maybe even self-indulgent.

But in reality – it takes a punk ass attitude. Let me explain why. Sadly, like a lot of good things, the phrase has been co-opted by diet culture, women’s magazines and Instagram wellness accounts. So, it’s easy to bundle the whole concept of self-love with green smoothies, gym-worthy abs, overpriced yoga classes and out of reach wellness retreats.

There’s a lot of articles out there that link self-love with self-improvement and this often leaves us all feeling guilty for not achieving it. Be mindful of anyone talking about self-love while also selling you something which is telling you that you’re not good enough as you are.

As a society, we spend too long treating the symptoms of the (dis)stress in our lives. For example, you’re feeling totally overwhelmed by your DIY wedding decoration planning (the
symptom is stress), so you book a massage to feel relaxed. This is a temporary ‘cure’ and in my opinion this is self-care. This is where self-love and self-care are different. Self-love It isn’t about any nice activity which you choose to do, or not do.

Now don’t get me wrong, self-care is awesome and important but a massage isn’t going to sort out the root cause of your problem e.g. the huge, overwhelming feeling of DIYing chair ribbons. Doom.

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Overcoming Planning Procrastination

Struggling with motivation? On a one-way journey to procrastination station? That’s okay! Chances are, life is screaming past you at a million miles an hour. Getting engaged is a gorgeous, sparkling moment, but now it may seem like you’re adding another thing to your already jam-packed to-do list. And if you feel guilty for admitting that, you’re not alone.

Engagements can be stressful and as the list of wed-min tasks grows by the day, you may find you’re less and less inclined to do anything about them as you slowly drown in layers of tulle and sequins and Pinterest boards. You’d rather just hide. Cue more guilt paired with a rising panic that “all the good vendors will be booked!” So, here’s some encouragement, which I think also applies to life in general.

JUST START!

“BUT I CAN’T!” I hear you yell, “I might make a mistake, or find a better dress later down the line or pick the wrong flower crown!” Okay, I get that, but here are my reasons to just make the tiniest step in the right direction:

BECAUSE IT’S THE HARDEST PART

Be confident. This is all new! It’s not easy taking a step out of your comfort zone. It’s called that for a reason, but once you’ve taken that first step, you’ll see the next step more clearly and it’s an easier walk from there. Remember, there is no single way to do anything, especially when it comes to weddings! Don’t feel pressured to have the most on-trend day, or try to ‘beat’ your friend’s wedding. Start with a blank page and plan it your way. But you don’t have to achieve the world in a day, hings take time. The hardest part is that step that shows your commitment to an idea and your confidence in seeing that idea become a reality. Making a teeny tiny start will give you a wonderful sense of achievement that should spur you on.

WHY NOT?

What’s stopping you? Have a good look at the reasons that are stopping you from starting. Is it a fear of letting someone down? Making bad choices? Too much to fit in your head? Let me reassure you, most people will feel these things. At first, your engagement feels like this warm, cosy bubble with just the two of you inside it, and then suddenly you have to invite EVERYONE in (we seriously considered eloping at this point!). It’s okay to identify the things that are stopping you, but you need to believe in yourself – that you can overcome anything. It may seem overwhelming, but by breaking things down into manageable chunks and tackling one thing at a Time, life will seem simpler.

HAVE FAITH. IT WILL BE FABULOUS

Trust yourself and your ideas. You got this far! You know yourself and your partner better than anyone. If you’ve had a good idea and have that tingle of excitement about it, you need to trust that you can do it. Years down the line, you may well think that you’d do your wedding differently – I know I would – but you’ve got to think about the here and now. What makes you happy? Be confident in your choices and try not to worry about making ‘THE RIGHT’ decisions. Fill your day with your favourite things. But try not to get overwhelmed by the small details. Your wedding will be phenomenal because ultimately, it’s the day you’ll marry your best friend. The best is yet to come – keep that in the front of your mind!

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Inclusive Wedding Vendors: Choose Wedding Suppliers That Will Make Your Wedding (and the World) Way More Wonderful

Your wedding alone doesn’t have the power to save the world, but it does have the power to make you, your partner, and your guests very happy, and in the process, the choices you make for how to celebrate can help the wedding industry, a place known for its gender stereotypes, sexism, consumerism, ableism, and racism become a little less terrible. Jen Siomacco, Editor-in-Chief of Catalyst Wedding Co. shares some of the things to look out for when choosing your wedding suppliers.

The key to having a bad ass wedding that you remember fondly, both for the vows you make and the fun that’s had, is to craft a day that is true to you, your partner and your shared priorities and values. Between global warming, Brexit, Trump and a variety of other political and cultural issues currently at play in the world, it can be hard to know how to best reflect your values in a way that doesn’t detract from the joy you want to feel on this very important day.

Regardless of what style of wedding you want, you’ll need to choose the right suppliers to help bring your dream wedding to life. So, how do you find ones who also share your values? With thousands of different suppliers to choose from, this can be a daunting task. Thankfully,
there are a number of great resources for finding equality-minded vendors: Rock n Roll Bride (of course) Catalyst Wedding Co., Nu Bride, Smashing the Glass, Equally Wed, Love Inc., Munaluchi Bridal, A Practical Wedding, Dancing with Her and H&H Weddings are just a few publications that offer large directories of progressive wedding vendors who put diversity and LGBTQ+ inclusion at the centre of what they do.

If you are still having a hard time narrowing down your list of options, here are a few things that you can look for or ask suppliers in order to decide if they are the right fit for you and your values.

You can tell a lot about how inclusive a wedding supplier is by the language they use on their website and in their marketing. Their language provides you insight not only into who they are as people, but into who they are most experienced in serving as clients.

DOES THEIR LANGUAGE TALK PRIMARILY TO BRIDES, OR ASSUME A HETEROSEXUAL RELATIONSHIP?

If so, that is usually a good indicator that they aren’t used to serving clients in the LGBTQ+
community, and often are focused only on serving female brides. Your wedding day is
about you and your partner, and you want to hire a wedding supplier who is going to listen to
both of you and what you want.

DO THEY TALK ABOUT YOUR WEDDING AS “THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE”?

Many modern couples know and accept that their wedding is only one day, and it is not always perfect. Make sure your suppliers think about weddings in the same way that you do, or else
you may find yourself battling not only societal pressures about what your wedding day should be like, but also battling your suppliers over what you really want for your day.

DO THEY ASK FOR PRONOUNS?

If a supplier asks for your pronouns (for example, he/him/his, she/her/hers, or they/
them/theirs) on their contact form, that’s usually a good sign that they have experience working with non-binary and transgender clients. That also means that they will respect the pronouns and gender identities of you, your partner and your guests.

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Wedding Dress Wobbles & How to Stay Sane When Planning Your Wedding

This is your guide to staying sane and – shock horror – actually having fun while planning your wedding and choosing your dress. 

Why does getting married have to happen to a nice person like me?” she asked me. After I finished laughing, I commenced serious contemplation of how wedding planning can be quite so brutal and not that fun for everyone. I, like a lot of wedding industry people, am bang up for all things to do with weddings, but for some it literally ruins their previously happy lives with stress and other people’s expectations and budget blow outs and decision fatigue and whether you have to invite your mother’s second cousin by marriage and adoption.

Having married twice (you may call me Elizabeth Taylor; though I am quite into husband #2, so there is a chance I won’t make it to eight) and worked in the wedding industry for a few years now, I’ve seen and heard it all.  May my musings below assist brides everywhere to have a bangin’ fun time during the fiancé phase and skip some of the life sapping and definitely avoidable nonsense.

How exactly does one remain sane while being engaged?

Include a hefty line item in your budget for psychiatrists, psychologists, massages and heroin. If that is not a possibility then I suggest you and the fiancé set yourselves some priorities. What is important to you both for this pretty monumental time in your lives? What sort of engagement do you want to have and what sort of wedding suits you?

That way, when you start to get into the wedding worm hole, wondering if you should release doves or butterflies, you can donk yourself on the noggin and remember that your priority is a relaxed indoor urban wedding, and thus the pigeons, oops I mean doves, will get all disoriented and poop on your guests.  And getting pooped on does not make for relaxed guests.

Is it even possible to avoid being stressed while planning a wedding?

Some stress is part of life. It’s OK and normal and won’t kill ya. The key is to keep it to the good level of stress – you know, the smallish amount of stress the pushes you along and energises you, rather than the type that has you shouting “NO YOU CALM DOWN!” at your fiancé and Kirsty at the BT call centre.

Ask for help. Don’t do it alone. It’s a pretty big project so make sure you split tasks with your beloved and perhaps ask your bridesmaids and friends to help with things, and mums. Mums love helping. And Dads, don’t forget dads.

Keep things simple – there are literally thousands of things you can include in a wedding and within each of those things, there are a gazillion choices. The internet has a lot to answer for in this regard. So even though you can scroll for days and see hundreds of options, you don’t need to see every single veil that exists in the northern hemisphere to choose the right one for you.

Why are all the wedding dresses so gross? Where are they hiding the good ones?

The internet is full of garbage. There are great dresses out there, but they are under a mound of internet garbage as big as the Pacific Ocean rubbish vortex, which for those who don’t follow rubbish related news, is the size of Texas.

Instead, go and check out some of the excellent wedding blogs such as Rock n Roll Bride (duh!), Green Wedding Shoes, Hello May, Bespoke Bride, Way Out Wedding, Mr & Mrs Unique and Together Journal. Within those blogs, there are real brides wearing real dresses in real weddings, so it’s a great way to see dresses on real humans instead of model humans (who, like model aeroplanes, are only meant for show). Check out the designers and retailers of the dresses you dig and you will avoid the sifting through the internet rubbish pile for 1000 years.

Note: NEVER Google Image search for wedding dresses. Unless you have drunk lots of wine and want to do the laughing. It is the worst type of garbage and it will not help you on your quest. Help me, I’m drowning in a sea of sweetheart necklines and marble staircases and Chinese rip-off dresses that definitely won’t meet your expectations even if you did only spend £67 incl. shipping.

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