Nostalgia is one of the strongest, most powerful emotions of the collective consciousness. How many of us have thought that things were so much simpler when we were younger? When there were no smartphones, no 24-hour news cycle and we all felt safe enough to leave our front doors unlocked?
It’s all too easy to idealise the past, which is why I think throwback, vintage or retro themed weddings have always been popular. Looking back at things we used to enjoy feels good, so it’s no wonder that we might want to package up that sense of joy and pump it into our wedding day too!
Whether you want to go full-on themed party vibes, you want to take a few ideas from an era that you wish you could have lived through, or you want to recall some of your favourite things from your childhood, there are so many ways to evoke nostalgia in a wedding. This issue of the magazine will show you how.
I love doing photo shoots for the magazine. It is legit my favourite part of my job. It has been a dream of mine for a good few years to get commissioned to put together a wedding shoot abroad and this issue it finally happened! The fabulous people at Marriott, hired us to shoot a wedding and lifestyle editorial for their brand-new properly, W Algarve, which just opened this month.
Self-love, body positivity, feeling confident being in the skin you’re in – it’s such a huge roadblock for so many of us and there’s so much to unpack, where do we even begin? And that’s not even taking into account how much your self-worth can nose-dive when you get engaged and realise how much toxic bullshit is (still) so prevalent in the wedding industry!
The brand-new issue of the magazine is now available for pre-order (they begin shipping next week!) and we’ve themed it around this very important topic. We want you to feeling like your most fabulous self while planning your wedding and we hope this collection of articles, accompanied by stunning inspirational imagery, will help you with exactly that.
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito” – The Dalai Lama
Can I be honest with you? I am really nervous about putting out this issue of the magazine. Why? Because I am terrified of getting it wrong.
As someone who has spent a lot of time on the Internet, and has experienced first-hand what happens when an angry mob attack you for not upholding an absolutely impossible standard of moral perfection, it’s scary to speak up about a topic like sustainability and environmentalism. The fear of getting dragged across the Internet for making a potential misstep has stopped me from even trying in the past.
But the truth of the matter is none of us are perfect, least of all me! None of us is getting it 100% right all the time, and unless you live off the land, eat vegan, don’t have a phone, never use anything plastic, don’t drive a car, wouldn’t dare consume fast food, never buy any piece of fast fashion and you don’t have or plan to have children (one of the worst things you can do for the planet is add more people to it!); then you are not perfect either.
January can be such a dreary time of year but not at Rock n Roll Bride magazine, oh no! We were determined to start the new year off with a positive bang and what could be more positive than a magazine cover like this!? We’ve done a complete 180 on the last issue – going from all things dark and gothic to all the colours of the rainbow!
And guess what? This is also a BUMPER ISSUE which means it has more pages and more content than usual, all for the same bargain price of less than £6! YAY!
Our starting off point for putting the content for this together was the shoot, and we’re beyond stoked to share our first ever male cover star with you! We’ve had the idea of playing with colour and gender norms for a while so we were thrilled to finally be able to make it happen. Our model, Kit, was the perfect person to bring our vision to life. He loved playing dress up and seeing his face light up when we told him he was in big colourful dresses was just so wonderful!
The super-saturated colour palettes were so fun to put together and after such a tough, dreary few years, we can’t think of anything better – anything more needed – than going into 2022 making a bold and bright statement.
When I decided to start theming each issue of the magazine, doing a gothic/ emo themed edition was a no-brainer. I mean If there’s one aesthetic that screams alternative bride more than any other, it’s this.
The shoot for this edition was so much fun. Accompanied by the Throwback Thursday Emo Spotify playlist, my team and I relived our teenage years putting together these looks on the gorgeous Nan.
Speaking of Nan, they are a non-binary model with albinism and when I found them, I knew they were the perfect face to bring our gothic meets high fashion vision to life. I also spoke to them for our Meet the Contributor’s page, and their answer to this particular question was so great (and too long to publish in full) I wanted to share it here too.
As a non-binary model with albinism how do you feel the fashion and bridal industry could be more inclusive and make everyone feel welcome and seen beyond tokenism?
Unfortunately, in the western world wedding traditions are often rooted in patriarchal values that celebrate traditional representations of beauty. This has led to minorities feeling pushed out, as if their version of love holds less value when compared to white, cis, heterosexual love. In the wedding industry people of colour have always been chronically underrepresented. From bridalwear designers never breaking through and have their work recognised, to bridal magazines actively choosing not to have couples of colour in their publications. Even on a personal level, black brides struggling to find a hairdresser to work with their hair or finding a dress that compliments their skin tone or figure. Our perceptions of beauty and wedding tradition are centred around the white ideal.
When the intersectionality of queerness and gender fluidity comes into play, the problem deepens. This has led to minorities and members of the LGBTQ+ community feeling pushed out and underrepresented.
Even in progressive countries, queer couple are still often forced into the binary by the distinctly heteronormative and conservative nature of weddings; often being asked ‘Who’s the man in the relationship?’, ‘Who’s wearing the dress/ who’s wearing the suit?’. Forcing these gender norms and stereotypes on queer couples is so harmful and particularly problematic for non-binary people. Queer love doesn’t have to resemble cis-het love to be understood, valued and respected.
It’s clear more representation of BAME and LGBTQ+ communities is needed, not in just showing and displaying black and queer love in publications but by brand putting in the effort to embrace and accommodate all types of beauty. It’s not hard to change mesh lining to suit a deeper skin tone. It’s not hard to design gender neutral garments for weddings. Despite the belief that black and/or queer love doesn’t sell, there is demand and there’s a whole demographic of people whose expressions of love are being undervalued. There’s space for everyone in the bridal industry. We all deserve to feel beautiful and special on our wedding days.
WE COULD NOT AGREE MORE!
So, what will you find inside the issue? Well, as well as ideas on how you can add some more macabre elements to your wedding day look and style, you’ll also find real wedding inspiration for whatever kind of theme you’re going for. Not all the weddings are gothic themed as we want every issue to feature a broad and diverse range of weddings and people. There’s also plenty of practical advice on how you can bring your own creative vision to your day, especially if your loved ones aren’t exactly on board with your ideas!
FORTY ISSUES? How on Earth did that happen? It’s wild to think back to when we published the first issue of the magazine (waaaaay back in January 2015!) and how much has changed since then. I can now to look at all those magazine stacked on my shelf and realise just how much content we’ve produced, just how many people have read a copy and just how many weddings have been influenced by it. Blows my damn mind!
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what the wedding industry will look like when all this Covid crap is finally fully behind us. Will lots of people still choose to have smaller gatherings? Will elopements continue to be popular? Or will people go entirely the other way and want to have the biggest, most ostentatious party ever? This got me thinking about the Renaissance (a fervent period of European cultural, artistic, political and economic ‘rebirth’) following the Middle Ages (also known as the Dark Ages)… History tends to repeat itself, after all.
Now I don’t know about you but that all feels very familiar to recent times so that, alongside one of my favourite childhood movies, Labyrinth, inspired the theme of the issue and it’s cover shoot!
If you want a fairy tale wedding day style that’s got an edge of tradition but still feels unique and creative, then you are going to love it. I know I always say this but could this be my most favourite shoot ever!?
Although we’re starting the theme each issue with the shoots and articles (the next one being goth and OMG you are going to love it!), one thing which will remain as diverse, inclusive and eclectic as ever are the real wedding stories we publish.
It’s always been really important to me and my team that we share a wide range of wedding styles, themes and people in every single issue, and nothing about that is changing. Just you wait until you get a load of these beauties!
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue… Although we’re not usually ones for tradition, that old adage is something we were thinking a lot about as we put our new issue together – particularly the BLUE part.
The wedding blues are something we’re seeing a lot of our readers talk about at the moment. If you’re feeling totally exhausted about having to postpone YET ANOTHER TIME or if you’ve just got the classic post-wedding blues, then this issue is for you. And our cover shoot, created and submitted to us by The Good Florist, reflected the message of the issue perfectly.
However you’re feeling about wedding planning right now; whether you’ve decided to scale back and elope or you’re still holding out for the big wedding, my only hope is that Rock n Roll Bride magazine will continue to inspire you to do your day in your own unique way.
Issue 39 is now available for pre-order, and if you order your copy today it will be winging it’s way to you before it goes on general release on July 1st. You can subscribe via the PayPal buttons at the top and bottom of this post, or if you’d just like to order this one issue, you can do so here.
It shouldn’t be radical for a wedding magazine to showcase the fact it’s not just able-bodied people who get married. Even though real strides have been made towards inclusive sizing and more POC representation in recent years, disability is still often left out of the diversity debate.
For our May/June issue I wanted to create a beautiful editorial using two disabled models. Gemma, who’s on the cover, and Renee were such a dream to work with and I’m thrilled beyond belief to finally be sharing this issue, and this shoot, with the world!
Working with disabled models is actually something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. Of course, we have published weddings where one, or both of the couple have a disability, and we’ve shared a bunch of articles with advice for planning a wedding with disabilities in mind, but creating our own editorial was proving tricky. Not least of all because we had to find the models.
That was until I discovered Zebedee Talent Management who have the most incredible selection of models with varying disabilities (wedding pros, you need to check them out for your styled shoots!)
When you’re disabled, planning a wedding can feel even more daunting than usual, especially when it comes to figuring out what to wear. With this dreamy editorial we wanted to give you some fun options that scream Rock n Roll Bride through and through. Sequin kimonos, Swarovski crystal boots, big princess dresses and iridescent inspired make-up… all these things can be yours, no matter what your body looks like.
Brighter days ARE coming and my God, are we ready for them! However you feel about the recent government announcements regarding weddings, it’s safe to say that things are finally moving in the right direction. The last year has been absolutely insane but with the vaccine roll out on track and the weather starting to get better, it finally feels like the end is in sight.
Another England-wide lockdown over the last two months meant that our usual fashion editorial had to be put on hold for this issue. Luckily for us, some friends of Rock n Roll Bride came through and sent us this incredible shoot. Shot in the Judaean Desert near Jerusalem, photographer Alon Gruber and stylist Karin Zimerman used pieces from Lee Kodo’s latest collection to create this dreamy yet rugged desert editorial. This shot was just PERFECT for the vibe I wanted to go for with this cover too, what a blessing! Guy Simon Tov also made this stunning video:
Whether you’re newly engaged or this is the second (or even third) version of your wedding that you’re planning, our brand-new issue is now coming at ya with all the information and inspiration you could possibly want. If you would like to order this single issue you can do so here, or subscribe by filling out the form at the top or bottom of this post. UK postage is free, and we ship worldwide! All orders are processed securely through PayPal (and if you don’t have a PayPal account you can just use the PayPal system to pay via credit or debit card).
So, what has this beauty of a new issue got in store then? Well… A little bit of this:
Print advertising used to be the go-to avenue for wedding industry advertising. Nowadays though, many companies might worry that ‘print is dead’ and that consumers are no longer engaging with magazines like they used to.
There’s little question that overall the number of readers of print media has declined, however Rock n Roll Bride magazine was specifically created after unprecedented demand from our online audience for a print edition! We launched with an audience already ready to buy which is why we’re bucking this trend.
Print ads have a larger impact on the consumer
Print ads are much more likely to stick with a reader. You generally have more space to create an impactful ad design than you do with an online banner ad, and people reading magazines are MUCH less distracted than those browsing online. They’re not simultaneously chatting to their friend on Facebook, browsing ASOS or scrolling through YouTube as they’re reading a magazine. The magazine has their full attention which means they’re much more likely to notice and pay attention to your advert.
It’s tangible, and therefore more trustworthy
The internet is flooded with fake advertisements that can lead you to getting a virus or signing up to a dodgy subscription website. Print advertising can’t do any of this, so people don’t view them as potential scams like they might do with some internet ads. Print advertising has been around forever and so people have no reason to mistrust it. There’s more of a barrier to entry for a company to advertise in magazines, over just being featured online, which creates an automatically higher level of trust between you and your potential customer. Being featured in a magazine also still conveys a certain level of professionalism. If you want to be respected, print is still one of the higher quality mediums.
I think it’s pretty safe to say that very few of us will be sad to see the back of the year 2020. For most of us it’s been painful, its been stressful and it’s been life changing. Things that we took for granted now feel like luxuries and things we assumed would be a given just, well, weren’t.
Wedding postponements, businesses closing, the ever-changing government guidelines – there’s been a lot to deal with in the wedding world particularly, and while it would be all too easy for me to regurgitate the clichés about love not being cancelled and us all being in this together, I think it is important to acknowledge that for many of us, this year has been one of the hardest of our entire lives.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve personally loved seeing how people have been adapting to this ‘new normal’ with their weddings (and wedding businesses) and in many ways this year has forced us to take it all back to what a wedding should actually be about. Getting married is not about spending an amount you really can’t really afford; it’s not about caring what other people think of your decisions and it’s not about having a guest list of 200 people.
Sure, a big wedding is absolutely awesome, and if you plan to have the large celebration later next year, more power to you. BUT if you were only doing those things because you thought you ‘should’, well, 2020 has been the perfect opportunity to do a complete 180.
It’s here, it’s finally here! Our last issue of the year is now available for your reading pleasure and we only bloody shot our editorial at the Natural History Museum! Yeah you will absolutely KICK YOURSELF if you don’t order this one.
When the events’ team at the museum reached out about wanting to work with us I just about fell off my chair. With the museum being closed due to Covid, we had the run of the place, making all our fairytale fantasy wedding dreams come true.
And before you ask, yes, you can get married here too! The museum offers exclusive hire of their magnificent spaces, including Hintze Hall, with incredible Victorian architecture and soaring arches which provide a truly remarkable backdrop. There are actually twelve galleries in the museum that are licenced for weddings, both big and small AND they currently have a very special offer valid for weddings until the end of the year, where you can hire the space for £5000. If you’ve ever dreamt of taking wedding photos like this then this is your chance! To enquire about this just drop their events team a line via their website contact form or give them a bell during office hours on +44 (0)207 942 5434.
But that’s not all, as usual this issue is PACKED with 165 thick, glossy, delicious pages of alternative wedding awesomeness. From real weddings to fashion and style inspiration, thoughtful essays and advice articles a-plenty…