Category Archives: How To…

How to Take Awesome Photos on Your Android Phone

HOW TO TAKE AWESOME PHOTOS ON AN ANDROID

Instagram is – by far – my favourite social media platform. I love to take and share daily snaps and shamelessly stalk others who do the same. It’s the one social network that I visit and don’t instantly feel like people are just trying to sell me something!

While I’m well aware that there have been a lot of articles about how to take great phone pictures written in the past, this one is different…

As a die hard Android fan, I figured there must be others out there who, like me, want to know how to take and edit great photos, but don’t want to convert to the dark (ahem, iPhone) side. So here are my top tips for taking great phone photos alongside a comprehensive list of all my favourite photo editing apps for Android users!

Take lots of photos

I never take my photos with Instagram’s built-in camera. The way to make sure you’re sharing only the very best shots is to take lot of snaps using your phone’s camera and then pick your favourites to edit and post. Just make sure you delete any duffers or your phone’s memory will fill up faster than you can say “wanna take a selfie?”

Use A Better Camera app

The eight mega-pixel camera on my Samsung Note 2 is awesome but when I downloaded the A Better Camera app my photos got a million times better. It has loads of useful functions such being able to adjust the ISO (just like on a SLR), a HDR option and settings for panoramas. The night mode is particularly great, and means that even if the light is a bit gloomy you can still take a pretty decent snap.

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Don’t use your phone’s camera at all…

I recently invested in a Samsung NX3000 camera and it might just be the best thing I’ve ever bought (no really!) It has lots of amazingly snazzy features, but my favourite has got to be it’s build-it wifi which means I can take a snap on the camera and then instantly transfer it to my Samsung phone with just a few clicks. WHOA, the future is awesome!

A lot of my most recent Instagrams have been taken in this way, but still edited on my phone. Is it cheating? Maybe a little… but when you get such an awesome tool in your life it would be crazy not to use it.

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Help! My Fiancé & I Have Very Different Tastes – How Can We Style Our Wedding to Reflect Us Both?

Photography Credit: Sweet Caroline Photography (full wedding here)

Last week I received the following email from bride-to-be Tiffany…

Dear Rock n Roll Queen,

My name is Tiffany and I’ve been a quiet reader for a while. Reading your blog has always gotten me excited for my own wedding and I’m happy to say, that after 8 years, me and my fiance are going to get married. It’ll definitely be diverse since his parents are Scottish, mine are American and he is Canadian.

But, I digress.

You see, I have a problem. I look at weddings on your blog, admire how unique they are and can’t help but want mine the same way. After all, I’m a weird, unique dork. I wanted my colors to be neon green and hot pink, with glow sticks in my bouquet, splatter paint tablecloths, video game favors, lego bride and groom toppers and so much more. But my fiancé is so old-fashioned and ORDINARY. He doesn’t want our wedding to stand out and be memorable.

So I toned down EVERYTHING. Ordinary favors, ordinary toppers, light green and light pink… nothing unique. The problem? I don’t wanna be upset at my own wedding because there is nothing of me there. Me and my fiancé both LOVE video games but he’d rather decorate our wedding with flowers?! He said that weddings should be approached with maturity, but when I look at your pictures, it’s obvious that people are fine with letting your inner child out.

Anyway, I’m getting married in September and I wanted your advice. How should I approach Ian again? I already talked about compromising. I just figured, with your expertise, you would understand and know how to handle it.

Much love, Tiffany

So I mulled this over and emailed Tiffany back to ask if it was OK to share her email and offer some advice via a blog post. I figure that way, if any more of you are having similar woes you can benefit from this too.

I actually got chatting to the ever wise Roo about this topic as she’s had some experience with feeling like her wedding ideas were being stifled too, and so we decided that she’d address this subject. She’s good at that is our Roo…

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Dear Tiffany,

When Kat forwarded your message to me, my interest (and empathy) was immediately piqued. You see, I too am stifling my inner child for the sake of my wedding – for the most part, anyway. Like you, this blog has long been bookmarked as a constant source of fantasy wedding inspiration, and when Lamb and I got engaged I was beyond excited at the prospect of all my scrapbooking coming to life. I figured that our dreamy dream wedding would soon be a reality, but as luck (well, yours and mine) would have it, I was mistaken. Like you (again), there have been aspects of our wedding planning that I would say have been – for lack of a better word – hindered. Unlike you, however, the culprit isn’t my husband to be; the culprits are our parents.

We have had to compromise on a lot of decision-making surrounding our wedding – from what part of the country it’ll be in, to what kind of venue we’d like, what type(s) of entertainment we could have on offer – even down to the cake. As frustrating as it is, it’s important to remember that there are solutions; it just takes a certain amount of patience and a lot of forward thinking.

 Photography Credit: The Rogue Magnolia (full wedding here)

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Professional Make Up Tips for DIY Brides

Hi Kat,

Firstly, I wanted to say that out of all the blogs I visit over various genres, your’s is the most consistently updated and therefore interesting blog I’ve come across.

My predicament is that me and my future husband are planning our wedding from London to take place in our home New Zealand. We are flying back there in February to get married on the beach with our closest friends and family.

My hope is to do my hair and make up myself. This will require deciding on a look (I know I want bright red lips!) and buying the products that won’t sweat off in the summer sun (it will be the middle of summer when we get married.) My makeup skills are amateur at best, and I’d like to know how to strategically paint myself pretty!

I’d really appreciate if you could give any tips of good long wearing products, what to avoid and options for learning to apply.

I’d really appreciate your advice,

Ruth xxx

Well there’s one lady I knew I could call on to help Ruth with her dilemma – my bestie, make up artiste extraordinaire, Elbie Van Eeden!

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When Kat emailed me about doing a post on DIY hair/make-up brides, I knew that it will be a tricky subject. I strongly believe in the difference it makes to have a professional take care of your hair and make-up on your wedding day, in both technique and products.  Photographers are now even more keen on using hair and make-up artists in engagement shoots, just to make their work easier when it comes to retouching.

But I know some brides get married abroad, or won’t be able to afford a hair and make-up artist. A lot of brides would consider going to a department store for make-up trials.  Whilst it is a good idea, and you often get the money you spent on the lesson off any product you buy, unless you know that the brand works on you, it could be a frightening experience.If you’re scared about being bullied into buying products from one make-up range at a store, book a consultation/trial with a independent make-up artist. That way you know you’ll have an unbiased opinion about products, and you could buy the products at your own time, once you’ve seen the results. They will be able to teach you about different techniques, what NOT to do, which brushes to use, and how you could use the make-up after your wedding day.

It’s also a good idea to wear the make-up all day, to see it in different light, and to see how long it stays put before committing to buy anything. If you book a trial, feel free to bring someone with you (preferably someone with a good eye for make-up and hair) so she could help you remember and assist you on the day.

The best make-up products are often expensive, but things like foundation and concealer are worth investing in. You’ll be having your photo taken all day so you don’t want any ‘cakeyness’, or even worse, a ghostly appearance on your photos! There are too many women out there with the wrong colour foundation – make sure you don’t make that mistake on your wedding!  Once the wedding’s over, you could still use it, even if it’s just for a night out, if you’re not a ‘make-uppy’ person.

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How to…Master Perfect Make Up for a Destination Wedding

After the popularity of the last post I ran in conjunction with Sandals and Martha Stewart Weddings, I am pleased to report that I have part two of their video series to share with you.

Susannah, who was married at the Sandals Royal Plantation Resort in Jamaica, is a make up artist and wanted to share with us some of her top tips for perfecting your wedding day make up when getting married in a hot climate. I’m thrilled to share this today and I hope you find it useful if you’re thinking about going the DIY route with your wedding make up.

For more information about having a destination wedding with Sandals and Martha Stewart Weddingscheck out their website right here.

* Sponsored Post

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How to…Dress as a Wedding Photographer

After such a great response to last weekend’s post about How to Dress as a Wedding Guest, I got thinking about how I could expand this mini-series. I had a few photographers in the comments asking if I had any tips of how they should dress to shoot weddings. Now clearly I’m not a wedding photographer myself so I thought instead of trying to guess my way through answering this question, I’d ask some of my favourite photographers to share an outfit they might typically wear to shoot a wedding.

Here’s what I learnt from the girls…

♥ Pockets are important – for memory card, lip balm, run sheets, your mobile phone etc.

♥ Comfy shoes are a must. Heels are to be worn with caution.

♥ Layers are great for changing weather (especially for the UK I’d imagine!)

♥ If wearing a dress that tights or leggings are often donned to avoid any embarrassing knicker flashing when getting into awkward positions to get that shot.

♥ It’s important to make a bit of an effort. As Chloe Browne put it, “I like to look smart and I think it’s good for my clients to see that I’m not “coming to work”, but that I’m going to their wedding. It’s also really important for me to feel like I fit in and it’s often something that my clients bring up at their first meeting, so I know it’s important to them too.” You don’t want to look like the ‘staff’ but similarly not like a guest…

♥ Dark colours are preferable as they are less likely to show up the dirt (again, after getting in all those funny positions!) but the most important thing is that an outfit is comfortable, doesn’t crease (again, when getting into all those funny positions) and is easy to clean.

♥ You need to find the balance between something that’s not too expensive (it’s likely to get ruined!) or too cheap (no one wants to look cheap or have their clothes falling apart mid-wedding.)

♥ Pretty accessories are usually kept to a minimum so not to get in the way, however some bits of  ‘flair’ can be great for distracting children when doing the group shots!

♥ Camera bags don’t have to be ugly to be practical.

♥ Waverley dress
Reiss, £97

♥ Double breasted linen jacket
Zara, £49.99

♥ Gallic Knot Sandals
Monsoon, £28

♥ Megan Orange Butterflies Headband
Kaang on Etsy, $20

♥ Shootsac lens bag
Shootsac, $179

♥ Waisted Dress with Scallop Collar
ASOS, £25.00

♥ Sketchers Shape-ups
Sketchers, $85

♥ Navy polka dot alice band
River Island, £4

♥ Kelly Moore classic camera bag in grey
Kelly Moore Bag, $199

♥ ‘Pearl Lowe’ Butterfly Dress
Peacocks, £20

♥ Swedish Hasbeens
H&M, $59.95

♥ 3/4 length shrunken blazer
Topshop, £55

♥ A4 Barbara Wiggins Metallic Document Wallet
Newsroom Online, £59.99

♥ Pieces Donna Leather Travel Bag
ASOS, £130

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How to…Dress as a Wedding Guest

I get a surprising number of emails from readers asking what they should wear to weddings they’ve been invited too. So today I thought I’d use this as an excuse to do some fantasy shopping. I was browsing on the River Island website and was pretty darn inpressed with their new dress collection – they have so many designs that would be perfect for weddings this summer! River Island isn’t actually usually a shop I go into…however I think that might be about to change.

I think they key thing is to dress appropriately to the theme of the day and usually this can be determined by how and where the ceremony is taking place -ie a church wedding might mean the wedding could be a more of a traditional affair so maybe you should tone down your inner goth.

I think if you know the couple well it’s easy enough to ask what the dress code might be, but just in case you’re off to the wedding of your second cousin twice removed, I hope some of my recent finds can give you a few new ideas…

♥ Yellow bow prom dress
River Island, £44.99

♥ Red or Dead womens red or dead tegan glitter high heels
Schuh, £100

♥ Vivienne Westwood, Classic orb patent-leather tote
Net-A-Porter, £845

♥ Glitter & Twisted Lace Collar Necklace
Dollydagger, £40.80

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How to…Pose in Your Wedding Photographs – What to Do (& What Not to Do)

kathownottopose1010Before I start, I just want to say one thing…ARGGGH!

Yeah that’s right, I’m posting some pretty hideous (and ahem hilarious) photographs of myself today. I hope you’ll find this slightly scary post both helpful and funny…that’s the idea anyway! So, ready to see me looking haaawt!?

Looking naturally beautiful on your wedding day is something that’s often referred to by some as a bit of a given. “On your wedding day you’ll be so glowingly happy that you will look as stunning and radiant in the photographs as you did when they were taken” they say…and they’re right…right!?

Well yes and no. I’m sure you’re all with me in some degree on this one, that there are certain areas of your body that you’re never going to be happy with. No matter how often your fiancé says you’re beautiful, when you look at a photograph of yourself your eyes are always first drawn to your arms/nose/chin/stomach aren’t they? Yeah me too…

Let’s be honest with ourselves here and say that we are all a little bit worried about how we’re going to look in our wedding photographs. Looking at yourself in a photo can be seriously HARD if you have a hold ups about how you look, and actually even if you don’t. There isn’t a person in the world who hasn’t taken a bad photograph, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll be praying that the happiest day of your life will be reflected as such in the photographs. Not to freak you out any more, but after all these are the photos that will remain on your parents’ and grandparents’ mantelpieces forever.

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“Now come on…!” I hear you cry “Kat Williams we’ve seen you in hundreds of photo shoots and you always take a good picture.” Well I’m here to burst that little bubble for ya right now ladies (and gents.) If you could see the photos that end up on the proverbial cutting room floor after one of my shoots…well…you certainly wouldn’t be saying that! And before you say so, no I’m not just being modest. I can take a seriously BAD picture. Just ask all the photographer’s I’ve worked with!

However what I have learnt over the past few years of prancing about in front of the camera, is how to pose (and be posed) correctly. I now know how to position and angle my body to accentuate my good bits and hide my wobbly bits. Today I want to pass that knowledge onto you. The point of this post is not to make you dwell in the parts of yourselves that you dislike, but to celebrate the parts you do like and to learn how to look the very best you can. I am a firm believer that everyone can take a beautiful photograph – all it takes it the right photographer (for you) and some clever posing. I seriously hope you will thank me for it too, because sharing some photos of me looking well…awful…is quite a momentous thing for me!

So last week I met with my friend, photographer David McNeil to take some good and badly posed shots in order to show you what to do and of course not what to do in your wedding pictures or bridal/engagement/trash the dress shoot. Thank you so much for all your comments on last Friday’s post about this subject – we’ve tried to cover all the areas you asked for so I hope you get some ideas of how to look as smokin’ as you feel in your wedding photographs.

OK, deep breath…

Chin / Neck

I was both surprised and comforted that so many of you seemed to have the same most hated area as me! I detest my chin and neck area (what is it with my fat neck!?) It’s so easy to get that awful double and/or dimply chin look in photographs too… argh!

Bad

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In order to combat this, raise your chin by a few degrees and twist your head slightly away from the camera. Then, either focus your eyes a point above your natural eye line or look back down the lens. Tilting your chin upwards will elongate the neck, pull the skin tight and smooth out any wrinkles/folds. Even if your photographer is shooting from a low angle (argh scary!) or straight on, this pose will look a million times better than looking straight at and directly down the camera. See…?

Good

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How to…Make Your Own Wedding Garter By Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess

Photography Credit: Arrow & Apple

If you’re a wedding blog junkie like me, you will probably have seen Elsie & Jeremy’s beautiful wedding photographs on a number of the ‘big boy’ blogs this past week. However I’m super excited to be getting a piece of this beautiful handmade wedding to share with you too. Over the next few weeks I will be posting a number of DIY tutorials that this super crafty lady made for her wedding.

First up, a DIY garter…

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For my wedding I became a bit of a shopaholic. I ordered tons of pretty things from Etsy shops and boutiques. There was just one detail that stopped me in my tracks, the garter! I don’t love traditional satin garters with itchy lace that are available. After looking online at other options I decided to DIY my own garter! It was so much fun and easy as pie. I hope this little DIY will inspire some of you to whip up a special garter for your big day!

Step 1: Find some pretty lace and trim that you fancy! measure around your leg (about halfway between your knee and hip) and cut a piece of lace that is 2 inches smaller than your leg. 

Step 2: Use fabric glue to adhere a cute trim to the middle of your lace piece. I found a tiny daisy trim that I loved!

Step 3: Stitch the garter together with one inch of elastic in the middle. Fold the lace (see photo) to hide the elastic and edge from the back of  your garter. Last, stitch on a pretty bow if you please!

How To…Make Your Own Paper Flowers

So today’s DIY tutorial from wedding planner Andri Benson of Always Andri doesn’t have to be restricted to just weddings (although how flipping adorable would these make as bouquets or centrepieces?!) I can totally imagine a big old bunch of these sat next to me on my desk.  So so pretty! And what a great use for all those pages and pages of magazine adverts? Let’s save the trees people.

Enjoy!

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What you need:

♥ Shredding Scissors
♥ Masking or sticky tape
♥ Floral tape
♥ Wooden BBQ skewers
♥ Magazines

1. Tear colourful ads from magazines, I like Vogue or wedding magazines as they always have loads of full page double sided ads.

2. With the colours you like to see more of facing up, fold the page in half and then concertina each page back on its self so you have 3 folds.

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How To…Make Your Own Skull Badge Wedding Favours/Boutonnieres

Today’s tutorial comes from fellow wedding blogger Lou of Whimsical Wonderland Weddings. I asked her if she’d like to create an exclusive DIY tutorial for the readers of Rock n Roll Bride after I feel in love with the DIY tutorials she’d done for her own blog. My only stipulation was that it ROCKED…and I think she’s got that down! Pink skulls? Yeah..that’s pretty damn Rock n Roll.

I love the idea of these cute badges either as wedding favours, or instead of traditional floral boutonnieres.

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When Kat asked me to do a DIY tutorial for Rock n Roll Bride, I have to say I was a little nervous. But after following Kat and her awesome blog for a while now, I know Kat loves two things…. Pink and skulls… So I have come up with super cute pink skull broach. Perfect to use instead of boutonnieres, favours, in your bouquet or as cake toppers on your wedding day, or to wear day to day to accessorise your outfit.

Don’t worry about them being perfect, it adds to the homemade look and it means each heart is different.

What you need:

♥ Coloured Felt
♥ Stuffing {I used cotton wool balls}
♥ Contrasting Thread or Wool
♥ Needle
♥ Scissors
♥ Scrap Fabric
♥ PVA Glue
♥ Safety Pin

1. Cut your skull shape, double the fabric to ensure two perfectly matched pieces.

2. Put the two felt skulls together and pin in the centre. It’s now time to start stitching, using a blanket stich…

3. To start the brooch pull the needle and thread through the top layer of the felt, and pull the thread through BUT leave a length of thread inside the skull.

4. Making sure you don’t pull out the previous stich, put the needle and thread behind of both pieces of felt and pull through both pieces of felt.

5. Don’t pull the stich entirely through, but leave a loop at the top of the felt.

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How to…Make Your Own Fabric Bouquet

Photography Credit: Kristin Rogers Photography

The eagle-eyed amongst you may recognise the above image from Nicole & Aaron’s ‘Just Married’ Session that I blogged back in February. As I was blogging it, I fell a little bit in love with Nicole’s handmade fabric flower bouquet so I thought I’d try my luck and ask her if she’d be willing to share how to made it with my readers. Luckily for me (and you!) Nicole was more than happy and excited to share her tutorial with us. Enjoy this guys and as always, if you make this yourself I want to see pictures!

Nicole has her own blog, Knitcole, so if you are interested in seeing more of her work then be sure to go check it out. The bouquet she made especially for this tutorial is even for sale through her blog (along with others) for the less crafty among you (ahem…like me!)

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I am so excited to share this sweet little bouquet tutorial with all of you! When my husband and I decided to have our wedding photos taken I knew I wanted to have a special element in the photos and my handmade bouquet turned out to be just what I was looking for! I was so happy that I spent the extra time and effort to make something so special that I can look at every day and remember our special moment.

First, get all of your supplies ready. You may not need everything here, but I’ve found that there are all nice to have. Here’s what you’ll need:

1. Fabric
2. Tools: Scissors, Rotary Cutter, Self-Healing Mat, Ruler, Compass, Glue gun with lots of glue.
3. Notions: Felt, Embroidery Thread or Regular Thread, Green Cloth Floral Wire, Buttons, Embellishments.

For this tutorial I decided to make my bouquet nautical themed so I choose a lot of red, blue, white and yellow fabrics and found buttons and some gold rope that made perfect embellishments.

First thing you need to do is create your flowers. I like to use two types of flowers, (Yo Yo Flowers and Ruffle Flowers,) but you can also add any other kinds of flowers; crocheted or knitted flowers, felt flowers, etc.

1. To make Yo Yo Flowers you will need to cut out circles in varying sizes. I like to use a compass so I can make many different sized circles without having to cut out different templates. I recommend circles that are no smaller than 3” in diameter.
2. Using a needle and thread sew around the edge of the circle. You don’t have to be too careful here, just try to stay close to the edge.
3. Continue sewing around the circle, the fabric will gather as you go.
4. Once you get all the way around knot your thread and you’re finished!

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How to…Make Your Wedding Day All About You {Guest Post by Carina Romano}

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read an email or comment from a bride-to-be, stressing that her wedding wouldn’t be “blog-worthy enough” and that totally makes me sad. I LOVE to feature all kinds of weddings, detail-heavy or not. I actually back this up on my About page:

“There is no ideal Rock n Roll Bride. What I love isn’t necessarily what floats your boat. What makes the weddings (and therefore my site) so fab is YOU! I try to share a diverse variety of weddings, photo shoots and general gorgeousness so I know you’ll find something you love here. The only thing I ask is that each feature is a perfect representation of the couple and their individuality. Think tattooed punk brides next to eco hippy chic weddings and DIY extravaganzas placed side by side with elaborate Alice in Wonderland themed weddings and your half way there.”

“It’s not about being ‘cool’, being a rebel or even thinking of the most unique idea you can, it’s about planning a wedding that reflects you and your partner and declaring your love in your way. To be featured on this site, you don’t have to be cool.  You don’t have to be ‘out-there’ or ‘offbeat’, you just have to be you.”

I got chatting to my friend Carina Romano of Love Me Do Photography about this very subject a little while back and she had some great things to say on the subject. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject in the comments!

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“Your wedding is going be awesome because it’s YOUR WEDDING. Like. Really. It’s meaningful and beautiful and wonderful because you’re getting married.

We wedding blog folks are so surrounded with wedding photos and details, I think in a way we start to think weddings are… usual, or something. Un-special. Especially when we compare ours to all of the gorgeous or unique or expensive or handmade weddings we get to see all the time.But you don’t need all that junk to make your wedding special. Because it just is.” (quote from Liz, one of our past brides)

Wedding blogs are great (especially this one, duh!).  They are full of ideas and inspirations for the wedding you are planning.  They make you look forward to how great your wedding will be, and you’re thankful for a culture that shares and spreads ideas and how-to’s for the creation of your perfect day, done without having to hire a team of designers and being able to do it yourself, your way.

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How To…Make Your Own 1960’s Inspired Mod Floral Hair Wreath (Tutorial by Elsie Flannigan)

I heart Elsie.

I’ve been following her awesome crafty blog, A Beautiful Mess, for the past year or so am not afraid to admit that I’m a bit of an super fan. Elsie got engaged to Jeremy in August and so secretly I was hoping she’d share all her wedding planning and DIY ideas on her blog. Last week I received an email from Elise and her sister Emma telling me that not only have they started their own wedding blog, Le Wedding Party, but that Elsie would like to share some of her amazing DIY tutorials on Rock n Roll Bride! Eeek…I am so excited that she even knows my little blog exists, let alone that she wants to share her stuff with us!

I hope you enjoy Elsie’s awesome 1960’s headband tutorial, and if you do be sure to let us know because there are many more where this came from if you want them!

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I adore mod 1960s styling! One of my favorite collections from this era is enamel flower brooches. I love the colors, shapes and seemingly endless variety that exists in the vintage universe.

Supplies needed: 7 to 12 Vintage Enamel Brooches (I purchase these anytime I am vintage shopping as well as on Etsy and eBay), elastic, scissors.

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