Category Archives: Paid Partnership

Under The Spotlight – Erica Berger

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Self Portrait by Erica Berger

As you are probably all well aware, I have a bit on an obsession with amazing photography and sharing fantastic undiscovered talent with you all. I first came across Erica Berger very early on in my blogging career and have continued to be blown away by her innovation, style and use of colour ever since. I am honoured to bring you this extra special edition of my ‘Under the Spotlight’ feature. Be sure to go check out her website and flickr – she has one of the BEST streams on Flickr I swear!

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WIN ♥ A Gorgeous One of a Kind Brooch from WristieLove

This contest is now closed

Let me introduce you to WristieLove, an online store selling beautiful organic, vintage or repurposed jewellery pieces that have that mix of intrigue and curious design down to a tee. Owner Sana describes her little shop as Your source for Wedding & Everyday Casual Pretty which perfectly sums up her ethos. This lass from California has always been put on edge by over-formality and she’s right you know, I wouldn’t limited these pieces to just your wedding day – in fact I wish I could wear one everyday!

I think anyone can be well dressed and look ‘pretty’ if they OWN their style, casual or not. She told me I specialize in one of a kind accessories and metalwork. This includes etched copper tags, corsages, brooches and bags that feature curious and sometimes quirky design elements. All of my pieces are hand crafted incorporating organic, vintage (eco in its original form) or repurposed materials.

Each piece is even shipped in cute recycled boxes…swoon!

But that’s not all – contest alert! Sana will work with the lucky reader to style a custom clockhand brooch specifically designed for the winner and based on their very own wedding! How awesome is that?! To enter, check out her Etsy store and pick your favourite clockhand brooch. Then comment below saying which is your favourite plus your wedding theme, colour scheme and ideas.

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Credit: S.MP NYC

I can do one of a kind custom work based on any piece of mine that they see. It is like adding a hem to your favorite pair of pants for a better fit. And it allows my shoppers to incorporate any color or material they like.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s see those comments. You have until Thursday 15th October to get your entries in and the winner will be announced on Friday 16th.

This contest is now closed

Under The Spotlight – Lara Jade

So I don’t usually post a selection of photographers work, preferring to focus on one wedding, engagement or photo shoot instead of a bit of a mish-mash. However I believe I am able to make an exception for Lara Jade. The twenty year old (yes I know!) fashion photographer, originally from Tamworth but now living in London, is quite frankly so inspiring and talented that she really deserves every single image of hers to be posted.

Lara’s fashion and editorial style is second to none. Just check out these images and tell me you’re not in love with them?

Unfortunately with her being so fabulous and all, her work is often stolen and used illegally (and yes I did get permission for this post!) If you fancy hearing more about this then I just found this fab BBC video all about it.

Thanks to the gorgeous Lara for working with me on the post (note: I now have a total girl-crush on her.)
If you are a photographer or vendor yourself and are interested in being a subject in an ‘Under the Spotlight’ feature then get in touch for all the info!

Credit: Lara Jade Photography

Under The Spotlight – The Flashdance

I am very excited to bring you another fantastic vendor for your wedding planning loving…If you haven’t heard of Michael Antonia and The Flashdance, well my dear where have you been? Not only has Michael been making waves all over the place, but he only went a DJ’ed bloody Speidi’s wedding!

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Credit: Jesse Chamberlin/Our Labour of Love

Michael has also mixed an exclusive and very fabulous set (and recorded to video woo!) especially for Rock n Roll Bride..how exciting is that? I am hooked. This is totally my music style, I will definitely be saving the longer (and if possible even better) mp3 version to listen to in my car! If you too would like to groove like an idiot whilst driving down the highway then drop me an email to kat@rocknrollbride.com and I’ll be happy to email it to you too!

rock & roll bride exclusive mix from Michael Antonia on Vimeo.

 A ‘lil disclaimer from the ever polite Michael:
This mix might be a bit abrasive for the office environment! This video contains music that I wouldn’t play at a typical wedding, but you aren’t a typical reader now are you?! I also play stuff that is waaaaay easier to dance to and not quite as angry, but hey, this is rock & roll bride, I thought i’d get loose! -MA 

But it doesn’t stop there, oh no! I also got to interview Michael… don’t say I never give you anything!

Who are you and what do you do?

Michael Antonia / The Flashdance DJ 

I run www.theflashdance.com & I dj events, weddings, and parties of every kind, all the time, everywhere. I am based in Los Angeles. I also have a really rad family and I collect old cars and cactus. 

 

What/who are your influences? What music do you love?

My biggest influences? Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, John Lennon, Elvis, Dr. Dre, Jack White, Salvador Dali and anyone who has ever made me laugh.


What do you love about weddings?

I love to see people who love each other get really dressed up, get really drunk, and dance their faces off! Ask anyone who knows me and they will say that is my favorite thing to do. I enjoy seeing people blissed out in love, but the crazy, drunken, dance moves in a great suit or a beautiful dress trumps all!

 

What do you hate about weddings?!

They are usually very unorganized…  


What do you think makes a good/bad wedding DJ?

GOOD = timing, and the ability to read what music is communicating well and to predict what will work 20 minutes later. Being a good (wedding) dj is the same skill set as being a good improv musician, you need to be able to change tempo, style, and key at a moments notice, miss a cue and you are in real trouble! 

 

BAD = (let’s skip the obvious hokey pokey / powder blue tux bit) a big mistake is trying to please everyone… can’t be done… a wedding needs mini targeted sets of music from different genres and time periods. It is easier if you can mix and layer new and old music together, but it can be done (though it’s a lot harder) by fading songs in and out at the right time. Song selection is only half the battle, observation and execution is the hard part!  

  

What has been your most monumental moment in your career to date?

I have had the opportunity to play with a ton of my dj heroes.. Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, dj z-tip & dj p, Fatboy Slim, dj Shadow, Cut Chemist, etc I once played for over 10,000 people, that was pretty blown! But mostly mini moments on ordinary dancefloors when everything is working perfectly… there is nothing in the world like looking out and seeing people loosing it, cheering, sweaty as hell. The most monumental moment is when I can do no wrong.

 

How (if at all) have blogs played a role in you promoting yourself as a DJ?

Blogs have played a tremendous role in promoting The Flashdance! I’m so blessed that you guys like what I’m doing enough to write about it. 

 

As for club / festival / fashion show stuff, I have been doing it for so long that work organically comes my way, but a wedding is a one off event that you can’t invite a booking agent, or club owner (or even a potential client) to. I rely heavily on blogs to get the word out (I have a few other tricks too!)  

 

Any advice to someone who might want to get into DJing themselves?

Practice way more than you would ever imagine possible. Get a gig (when you’re ready!) in a small place where you can get used to performing in front of people. Don’t ever try to play music that you don’t like because you think you have to, or because someone else plays it. Make sure you are having fun because it is a ton of work and not nearly as glamorous or cool as most people think it is.

 

*** sidenote *** if you can’t dance you have no right djing. You will never understand what makes people dance if you can’t do it yourself, so either figure it out or try something else.

 

I see you use vinyl and not newer technologies like CD players, software, or IPods. Why is that?

If you want to be taken serious as a dj you need to play vinyl. There are computer programs out there that can mix mp3s together for you and, to me anyway, it sounds like a machine is doing it. Ask a concert pianist why he/she prefers a grand piano to a Casio keyboard you’ll get roughly the same answer. When you make an art too easy to create it becomes homogenized and boring. Yes, it is a lot harder to mix records than it is to use some of the newer technologies but if it is done right there is nothing that comes close, and aesthetically there is no contest! Plus, as a bonus…people love it, especially older people which is a great way to connect with parents and grandparents at a wedding before you have even done anything. Most older people think that djs are a cheap substitute for a band, but they see the vinyl come out and become intrigued.

If you are a vendor and are interested in being a part of our new ‘Under the Spotlight’ feature, please feel free to drop me an email to kat@rocknrollbride.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

Under The Spotlight – Ari Rosenfield

Behold…the brand new feature! With ‘Under the Spotlight’ I aim to showcase some fabulous vendor talent from DJ’s to Dance Lessons (if that’s your thing!) and from florists to tattooists (hey, we all need tattooists right!?)

First up Ari Rosenfield, a DJ from Boston who I have been lucky enough to interviewed for your audio pleasure. Ari (DJ name Beat Train) has also put together a (wedding-friendly!) mix exclusively for Rock n Roll Bride that won’t offend your eardrums. Think indie rock, alternative, new wave and post punk but in a style that will still get your Grannies up and shaking their thing (sorry should that be thang) on the dance floor!

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Woop Woop, here we go…

Rock n Roll Bride: Hi Ari! So, who are you and what do you do?
Ari:My name is Ari Rosenfield (my DJ name is Beat Train, but I preferred to be called Ari). I’m a professional DJ/Audio-Visual Geek and owner of Beat Train Productions, which is a boutique DJ firm based in Boston, Massachusetts. The focus of my company is to provide dynamic DJ’s who possess skill, versatility, and style (and, it’s equally important for us to be reliable, professional, courteous, and humble).
RnR Bride: What/who are your influences? What music do you love? 
Ari: My perspective on DJ’ing is heavily influenced by my background in filmmaking. In film and TV, the music is one of the key tools to help convey a mood, create an ambiance, and ultimately will greatly influence the audience’s perception of the movie or television show. For me, one of the most interesting parts of being a DJ, is the opportunity to cast a spell over a group of people and to use my music as a tool to create a lively atmosphere.

Of course the other thing I love about DJ’ing is the music. I’ve always been obsessed with music, and have somewhat diverse musical taste. I’m into everything from punk rock to jazz to downtempo to soul to funk to pop to hip hop to psychedelic to folk. A few of my current favorite songs are “Microphone Fiend” by Eric B and Rakim, Superfly by Curtis Mayfield, E.V.A. by Jean-Jacques Perrey, “Black Betty” by Ram Jam, “Empty Bed Blues” by Bessie Smith, “Ponta de Lanca Africano “ by Jorge Ben, “Rudi, A Message To You” by the Specials, “Sunshine of Your Love” by Ella Fitzgerald, and “We’ve Got A Groovy Thing Goin’” by Simon & Garfunkel.

I guess I should note that part of being a good DJ is being able to separate my own subjective opinion about what I like with my professional objective opinion about what people will actually respond positively too. While I might find a good opportunity to play “Black Betty by Ram Jam on a semi-regular basis, I would rarely, put Simon & Garfunkel or Bessie Smith into my DJ sets.

RnR Bride: What is your passion?
Ari: At the moment, what I’m most passionate about is DJ’ing and working hard to build up a great reputation for my DJ company. Otherwise I’m passionate about cinema and filmmaking (but I am on hiatus from that for a few years to focus on DJ’ing). Otherwise I guess you could say that it’s a big ambition of mine to try to be an honorable person (and to run an honorable business).

 RnR Bride: What do you love about weddings?
Ari: I meet nice people. They are usually generous enough to feed me (delicious) food. People usually show up with their dancing shoes on and are ready to have fun.

RnR Bride: What do you hate about weddings?!
Ari: Hate is a strong word. Occasionally there have been mean drunk people that I’ve met that have unfortunately been less pleasant than some friendly drunk people I’ve met. But anyways, that’s part of the job, and I don’t let it bother me.

RnR Bride: What do you think makes a good/bad wedding DJ?
Ari: Ultimately, in the end, if everyone’s dancing the whole night and having fun, you’ve probably succeeded as a DJ. If that’s the case, the DJ probably came prepared with a wide selection of music and successfully read the crowd to see what worked well, and did a nice job mixing the music together. They probably also did a good job not doing anything to alienate themselves from the crowd like many DJ’s do (like playing line dances, showing up poorly dresses, or being an obnoxious emcee who loves to hear the sound of their own voice).

RnR Bride: Any advice to someone wanting to book a DJ for their wedding?
Ari: It’s probably not a wise idea to hire a DJ who wears sparkly vests or leopard skin suits. Besides that….Personally, in my opinion, it’s very important for the DJ to meet with the couple prior to the wedding to get an idea of what sort of party they want to create (Many DJ companies, unfortunately, will send someone to DJ a wedding that has not met the couple before). Otherwise, I wrote an article on my blog listing a few important criteria (listening to their music mix, feeling out whether their focus is quality or quantity etc). If you’re curious you can check it out on my blog here.

RnR Bride: Why would you say someone should go for a DJ over a band at their wedding?
Ari: Bands are pretty cool (some are at least). Unfortunately, most bands can’t offer the musical diversity that a DJ can (how many bands do you know that can play 80’s, soul, and old school hip hop?). If you have it in your budget, hiring a band as well as a DJ to switch off every hour or so is really fun and helps keep the evening lively.

RnR Bride: Anything else you’d like to add?/Any questions you have yourself that you’d like to answer?
Ari:Here’s a little about the music mix I’ve recorded for Rock N Roll Bride:

Recently I had a client who wanted to work with me to find a mix of music that took into account their taste in punk rock, alternative, and indie rock. We also wanted to pick music that would be accessible and engaging to those at the wedding reception that had little knowledge of bands like the Shins and the White Stripes. So here’s a mix of a few of the songs played at that wedding.

To save this mix to your computer please Click Here

Also if you are curious to hear some of my other mixes you can find them here and here

If you are a vendor and are interested in being a part of our new ‘Under the Spotlight’ feature, please feel free to drop me an email to kat@rocknrollbride.com. I look forward to hearing from you!