Tag Archives: wedding planning advice

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!

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

10 Alternative Wedding Readings from Books

Through thick forests and ancient worlds and feelings that live just beyond the tips of your fingers, books can share some of the most exciting emotions and depths. Corinthians is a cutie, but if you would rather expand your horizons to include some of the dreamiest novels and authors, then here are some suggestions to do just that.

To quote the wonderful late Sir Terry Pratchett, “Stuff literature, I’d much prefer a good book!” and these all fall firmly into that category. Let your weddings sing and dance and stomp free, and invite your favourite characters to the party…

For dreamers – From Nicole Krauss’ A History of Love

“Once upon a time, there was a boy. He lived in a village that no longer exists, in a house that no longer exists, on the edge of a field that no longer exists, where everything was discovered, and everything was possible. A stick could be a sword, a pebble could be a diamond, a tree, a castle. Once upon a time, there was a boy who lived in a house across the field, from a girl who no longer exists. They made up a thousand games. She was queen and he was king. In the autumn light her hair shone like a crown. They collected the world in small handfuls, and when the sky grew dark, they parted with leaves in their hair.

Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.”

For wisdom – From Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Talents

“Kindness eases change.
Love quiets fear.
And a sweet and powerful
Positive obsession
Blunts pain,
Diverts rage,
And engages each of us
In the greatest,
The most intense
Of our chosen struggles.”

For forever – From Phillip Pullman’s The Amber Spyglass

“I will love you forever; whatever happens. Till I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I’ll drift about forever, all my atoms, till I find you again… I’ll be looking for you, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we’ll cling together so tight that nothing and no one’ll tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you… We’ll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams… And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me.”

For friendship – From J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

“Luna had decorated her bedroom ceiling with five beautifully painted faces: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and Neville. They were not moving as the portraits of Hogwarts moved, but there was a certain magic about them all the same: Harry thought they breathed. What appeared to be fine golden chains wove around the pictures, linking them together, but after examining them for a minute or so, Harry realised that the chains were actually one word, repeated a thousand times in golden ink: friends…friends…friends…”

For hope – From Emily Dickinson’s The Complete Works of Emily Dickinson

“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.”

Continue reading

Cultural Appropriation and Diversity in Weddings

Diversity is most definitely a hot topic right now, we have our socio-political climate to thank for that. Rock n Roll Bride has always been about accepting everyone that feels marginalised – regardless of whether that’s because you identify as LGBTQ, you’re from a minority group, you’re plus sized, disabled or just a little bit goth! Basically, if you don’t see yourself being represented by the mainstream wedding media, at Rock n Roll Bride we want to say pull up a chair and join us.

But we don’t always get it right. There was a VERY heated discussion on cultural appropriation in regards to weddings in our private Facebook group recently. The reason I think it can cause such uproar is because often these things fall on a sliding scale – what offends one person may not offend another and the cultural history of something in America, for example, might not have the same significance to people that grew up in the UK.

For me personally it is a very difficult thing to discuss publicly. I will be 100% transparent with you here and admit that it actually makes me extremely uncomfortable. I don’t want to get it wrong and I don’t want to cause even more offence. However, I do think it’s something that needs to be addressed, least of all so we can all become better educated about it in a non-judgemental space. I don’t know all the answers, no-one does, but I hope that by opening up this discussion we can learn something and become a more actively inclusive group.

After a recent (very lengthy!) discussion with my friend Nova of Nu Bride, I’ve invited her to write this article. Nova is a diversity advocate and does incredible work on raising awareness around race and culture. She is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to this stuff and I’m honoured to publish this piece for her.

Over to you Nova!

I often get asked how to fuse cultures together without them looking like, ‘mish-mash’. How to respectfully celebrate cultures that might not be your own without appropriating.

Nu Bride is all about celebrating difference and encouraging you to have a wedding that acknowledges your western side and is also representative of who you both are in a way that at times honours more than one culture, something more and more couples are keen to do. So, with a growing online cancelling culture, how do you do that without culturally appropriating?

What exactly is cultural appropriation?

In black and white (no pun-intended): Cultural appropriation is ‘the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society.’

The key component to cultural appropriation is remembering that it only becomes problematic when a dominant group of people (for example, white people) take on the culture of a minority group of people (for example Native American Indians) who have historically been marginalised / oppressed in some way and who still face discrimination pertaining to their culture. It could be anything from clothing, food, sacred religious artefacts or hairstyles like braids or dreadlocks, for example. It is generally considered offensive when it is done in a way that stereotypes, exploits for commercial gain, or is taken without consent.

Here some examples to bite your teeth into:

Beyoncé Slammed For Cultural Appropriation After Performing At Indian Wedding

Gucci Criticised For Cultural Appropriation On A Global Scale

The jury is out for if this wedding example is appropriation or not, I will let you decide after you have digested this article in full.

Continue reading

How To Spice Up Your Wedding Night

Last week, an article allegedly published by an Irish wedding magazine in their Winter 2018 issue went viral. In it, the writer had some sage (ahem) advice for wedding night sex. My favourite comments being that obviously you’ll be a virgin, you should absolutely forget the foreplay and that you might want to consider a sex tape because, ya know, your hair will be all on fleek and shit.

Here at Rock n Roll Bride we couldn’t let this momentous occasion pass us by without putting our own two cents of advice for the best wedding night of your life. Thanks to the crushingly funny Hannah Millard (she also takes lovely wedding photos you know) for our alternative suggestions.

You’re welcome.

Its 1.30am and you’ve just fallen out of a taxi at your wedding night accommodation. The reception is closed and you can’t find your key card, so you spend twenty five minutes waiting for the night manager to arrive and let you in. The night manager appears, could this be the first time he’s encountered another human being? He stares at you disdainfully, with the cold, dead eyes of a serial killer and begrudgingly unlocks the door.

You finally make it to your room, you’re knackered and sweaty and drunk because your friends kept handing you jagerbombs and you’ve been up since 5am. Your hair’s stuck to your forehead, you’ve got individual eyelashes stuck to your cheeks like whiskers and your mouth tastes like a bin – It’s time to get naked!

That’s when you remember that it took twenty minutes and a highly trained team of bridesmaids armed with a crochet hook to wrangle you into a dress with twenty million buttons. Under the dress you’re wearing structural, functional underwear. There’s no bridesmaids, no crochet hook, only your spouse whose hands can’t stop shaking because they’re hopped up on red bull and coming down off a massive adrenaline high. You briefly consider ringing the night manager to come and bring the hunting knife he almost certainly has but also, you don’t want to get murdered.

You’re both gassy as fuck because you’ve lived like Henry VIII all day. You’ve consumed a surplus of booze, cake, cheese, coffee and a three course dinner and it’s all good and curdled because you jumped around on the dance floor to ABBA (even though before the wedding you vetoed Dancing Queen and threatened the DJ with death if they played it, because when all’s said and done it’s a banger and… y’know… JAGERBOMBS). Before the day you’d agonised over picking a special wedding day perfume because scent is the strongest sense associated with memory, but now the only aroma that will truly take you back to the day is truly eye-watering.

After an hour of dress wrestling (dresstling if you will) you give up and collapse in a farty heap on the floor next to a king sized bed with towel swans on it who are silently judging you as you fall asleep, ready to start the rest of your lives together.

Continue reading