Category Archives: Wedding Planning Advice

Wedding Entertainment That Rocks!

Looking for unique wedding entertainment inspiration? Here are some hot hacks that will help you make your wedding reception one to remember.

We’ve all bee there – the same cookie cutter wedding reception with a DJ or lacklustre band churning out the same cheesy tracks without tailoring it to the crowd or the couple in the slightest. As you’ve picked up Rock n Roll Bride magazine, I’d imagine that the chances are this is not what you have in mind for your own wedding. So, here are some fun and left-field wedding entertainment suggestions that you might not have thought of.

Book a throwback band

My 5ive-obsessed fiancé put me onto this idea when the boyband reformed as a trio and started performing at some retro festivals across the UK. Traditional wedding bands can be one of the costliest parts of a wedding day and the problem is, you’re likely to hear pretty predictable songs that have been doing the circuit on weddings that summer (and in some instances for the last decade!).

Instead, why not consider booking your favourite ‘past their prime’ pop act, or a lesser-known band that still goes out on tour? Go direct to the management to get the best price. It will still take a sizeable chunk of your budget (but so will a normal band) and the pay-off is something totally unusual, rarely seen at weddings and totally memorable. Follow it up with a set from your DJ that fits the vibe (hello 90s pop!) before leading into your wider playlist.

Mix in a DJ set from your favourite themed club night

Are there any club nights that you and your partner love going to? Consider having a music ‘theme’ for one portion of your DJ set, or look to book a DJ from that night. Whether it’s garage, power ballads or disco, it’s a great way to switch your music up during your reception.

As one of the co-founders of Hungry Heart, an all Bruce Springsteen club night (yes really!) I love it when the couple are really into every song they are hearing and ultimately, if the couple are on the dancefloor shout-singing to their favourite artists, it’s a sure-fire way to keep your dancefloor full and moving.

Tribute performances

Can’t get enough of Beyonce/Britney/Cher/Tina Turner? Me too. OK, so booking the real deal is a multi-million pound affair, but a solo tribute act is a brilliant way to kick off the wedding entertainment, and a real party starter. This can also help alleviate budget stress – ultimately booking a solo act over a band reduces costs as the fee isn’t split between the group. Set aside some budget for some proper lighting for a real spectacle.

Get around venue noise curfews with your own silent disco

Noise curfews can be a big issue at venues, especially at city weddings with residential areas nearby. A great way to dodge the dilemma is with a silent disco; allocate an extra 90 minutes of dancing time by handing over headsets to your guests. The novelty will give them renewed energy after a day full of champagne and prosecco, and will keep them dancing to the early hours. Your DJ should be able to handle the logistics of this easily for you, or there are specific silent disco companies you can hire.

Continue reading

Look Before You Leap: Why Women Shouldn’t Propose on February 29th

Are you a woman thinking of popping the question this month? Take a leap of faith in the comedy writers at Speechy, who tell us why a leap day proposal is not the one.

Wait, what? Every four years thousands of women celebrate a patriarchal tradition that grants them a lame 24 hours to show some agency and ask their significant other for his hand in marriage? What kind of low-key aspirational feminism is this? Sorry, I’m done.

Here’s five reasons why women should absolutely propose, just not when we’re told to…

What’s the craic?

So the story goes, an Irish nun lobbied St Patrick – or Paddy as he was known then (probably) – till he agreed that women, bored waiting for their altar-phobic fellas, should be allowed to do the deed themselves. But only on one day. Every four years.

He even weaved in a caveat so men could refuse the proposal if they gave the woman asking a pair of gloves (to hide her embarrassment at not sporting an engagement ring). Still want to do what some bloke in a funny hat told you?

Trash Talk

Tommy Fury (of Love Island and boxing fame) recently told OK! Magazine ‘any man who lets a woman propose is not a man’. Sorry mate, you’re cute and everything, but any man who finds a woman taking charge of her own destiny emasculating needs to get in the bin.

There’s a long history of societal aversion to confident women. It doesn’t help that the narrative surrounding marriage is often centred on women trying to ‘trap’ men, who mostly recoil in horror.

Tommy also said, ‘if you weren’t meant to follow your gut, you wouldn’t have one’, which we can’t argue with to be fair. If your instincts are telling you you’re ready to propose, go for it. But do it your way, on a day you choose.

Cha-ching!

Hear the sound of retailers rubbing their hands together with glee? Yep, everyone from Premier Inn to Poundland is exploiting this quadrennial trend, with proposal packages and men’s ‘token’ engagement rings. Capitalism has never been friendly to women – tampon tax much? A leap day betrothal might sound like Hallmark Heaven but it’s nothing less than fuckery for feminists.

It’s about as original as a romantic snog in the rain

If a Hugh Grant film is the epitome of your relationship goals, you probably should get yourself down to Poundland for some bling. But there are cooler ways of proposing. Do something hyper-specific to the two of you. Board game pub regulars? Mime asking for his hand in marriage during a round of Articulate. If he’s in a band, get his mates to tie your proposal in with a bespoke performance of The Clash Should I Stay or Should I Go Now, complete with seething mosh pit.

‘I have to do it now cause like… in another four years I’ll be…’ gasps

What? More awesome? With better taste in table décor? At the peak of your career? Financially killing it? Time is not the issue here.

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

A Decade in Wedding Trends: From Vintage Tea Cups to Food Trucks, a Nostalgic Look Back at the Last Ten Years

Batsheva Hay

A brand-new decade is here and it’s made us come over all nostalgic. Rock n Roll Bride was launched in 2007, so we’ve seen a hell of a lot of wedding themes and trends come and go. With the help of our friends at Most Curious (who are pretty darn excellent at predicting trends IMHO) we thought it would be fun to look back at the last ten years and have a bit of a laugh at our own expense. For your viewing pleasure, here’s a nostalgic glance back at the last decade in wedding style.

The 2010-2012 Starter Pack

Top row:: Princess Lasertron, David McNeil Photography, Tux & Tales Photography
Middle row: Elizabeth Rose Events, Emma Case Photography
Bottom row: Little Photography Studio, Sally T Photography, Shell de Mar Photography

Taxidermy was your go-to table centre, with no question of ethics (or taste) regarding the stuffed roadkill squirrel that was holding your table names. Wedding dresses went tea length and 50s inspired and you definitely need some kind of miniature hat, chin length birdcage veil or heirloom jewellery to complete your look.

Real flowers are not needed in an age where bouquets could be made of buttons or brooches and guest books are drunkenly written via much bashing of keys on fusty, hardly working typewriters. Jam jars used as vases, floral bunting and gingham were the decor items of choice, Inexplicably, moustaches on sticks were also everywhere.

The 2013-2015 Starter Pack

Top row: Free People. Joanna Millington, Nick Tucker Photography, Karina Jensen
Bottom row: Ellie Gillard Photography, Modern Vintage Weddings, Alistair Vertard, Helios Images

If you were getting married mid-2010s then you’d likely have gone for a more boho vibe. Converse trainers started being worn instead of ankle-crippling heels. Your dress would have almost certainly included lace, fringing or bell sleeves, or you may have opted for one of those brand-new separates (long skirt and cropped top vibe) that were starting to make an appearance.

Feather headdresses briefly became a ‘thing’ before everyone realised what cultural appropriation was. Bridesmaids in mis-matched outfits started to gain popularity. Living rooms stared being be set up outside so that your Nan could find herself sitting on a Chesterfield sofa in a field, being brought Prosecco or ice cream from a cart. What’s not to love?

The 2016-2017 Starter Pack

Top row: Devlin Photos, Vanilla Photography, Nicki Komorowski Photography
Middle row: Dionne Kraus Photography, Ellie Grace Photography, Camera Hannah
Bottom row: Claire Penn, Erin Wallis Photography, Camera Hannah

Gigantic flower crowns hit the big time and defined an entire generation of brides, their bridesmaids and even their dogs. Grooms, and indeed all groomsmen, all started to arrive in cowboy boots, man buns and definitely beards, with extra points for Stetsons and any other Arizona desert appropriate wear… even though your wedding was in Swindon.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading