Category Archives: Wedding Planning Advice

Simple Upcycling Ideas for Your Wedding Dress

Photography Credit: Leila Brewster Photography (full wedding here)

I love love love the idea of making my own wedding dress. I am, however, more than a little bit sucky with a sewing machine. Alas!

However this week I chatted to eco-wedding dress designer Deborah Lindquist about some simple upcycling ideas.

Launched in 2004, Deborah’s eco-conscious clothing line combines environmental responsibility with a cutting-edge aesthetic. Deborah works her fashion magic with a mixture of environmentally-friendly fabrications and the resulting designs are as striking as they are ecologically sensitive. As a trailblazer at the forefront of the stylish green clothing movement, Deborah is making an impact in the fashion world while remaining true to her love for the environment.

So as you can see, she’s the perfect person to talk about upcycling with, I think even I could do a few of these things…

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Will you marry me?

It’s not a question easily answered. There is a whole life to be created with the person you love so much. What do you like to do together? Who are your mentors? Your inspiration? How would you like your life to ultimately unfold? How do you stay important to each other?

It’s all about the two of you, and how you plan your wedding, what you wear, how you spend your honeymoon and how you unfold the rest of your life together should reflect who you are as a couple. Since the bride usually does much of the planning, it can sometimes look like ‘her’ day, and we all know how that can get…

Photography Credit: Nicole Polk Photography (full wedding here)

I have seen the most creative, happy wedding celebrations ever on Rock n Roll Bride. I love how tradition is mixed with personal creativity to make the day such a celebration of love and happiness. You are, after all, your best influence and teacher. The things, people, and places you love should be an integral part of your wedding.

I’m an eco-clothing designer and I design many things, including wedding dresses.

Four of my brides have been featured on these pages, and I have been so inspired by all of the women I’ve come to know as I’ve created their gowns. I’ve even named some gowns after some of them. Today, I wanted to share with the readers of Rock n Roll Bride some ideas of how to customise your own wedding outfit, and to create a dress that should be named after you!

Photography Credit: Chennergy (full wedding here and here)

Take things from the past

As you begin your search for the most beautiful gown you can imagine, would you maybe like to include something from your past that makes you feel loved?  You can pretty much have anything you want it’s just all about knowing how to incorporate it into your dress.

Recycle and Upcycling

Maybe you felt close to your Grandmother, and she loved to wear the most exquisite beaded wool sweater. It was special, she treated it with care, and stored it safely in her cedar chest. You want to get married in the winter, when the snow is falling. The days are short, and you want to be married by candlelight. You don’t want to wear a sweater, but how about using this sweater in your wedding dress? You could even use the wool to create the top of the dress – perfect for winter! You’ll be warm and toasty as well as wearing a one-of-a-kind creation with a lot of sentimental meaning.

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Should I Book a Professional Wedding Photographer or Get a Friend to do it for Free? A Cautionary Tale…

jamesmeliaphoto_028

Photography Credit: James Melia (full wedding)

You’ve probably seen similar discussions to this on other wedding blogs, however today I wanted to share with you this cautionary tale from a bride who had personal experience of taking the cheaper option and was unhappy with the results. Now, I know spending £2000 on a wedding photographer isn’t possible for everyone, however the point of this post is not to bully you into paying for someone you can’t afford. No, I wanted to share this story with you so that you make your decision with your eyes wide open. I just want to be open and honest with you and to let you know that, as with most things in life, you really do get what you pay for…and if something sounds too good to be true then it probably is.

If wedding photography isn’t that big a deal to you, the great – who am I to tell you that’s wrong? However it breaks my heart when I hear from newlyweds that say “I wish we’d thought more about our photography. We spent more on the cake/my dress/the flowers and now we have no good photos to remember our day”.

OK, Over to you Mrs X…

♥  ♥  ♥

I have asked for this post to be anonymous so that people reading this don’t think it’s a shameless marketing ploy. I may now be a professional wedding photographer myself, but I didn’t want to write this article to promote myself. No, I really just wanted to share this cautionary tale with those of you who might not understand the importance of having great wedding photographs.

It’s been a few years since I got married but when I think back to it I get a sick feeling.  It wasn’t the family argument that happened (don’t get me started on that!), nor was it the fact that we funded it with a loan which we are still paying off.  Nope, the sick feeling is purely centred around my foolishness and the pretty terrible images we now have to look back on for the rest of our lives.

Here I am a few years later, now a ‘pro’ photographer myself (who knew that would happen!!) and I now have a new found understanding of the skills required to shoot a wedding. I find myself wishing I knew then what I know now. You may have read articles from photographers before staying how important it is that your wedding photographer has experience, knows how to handle lighting and uses the right equipment etc, and while I am here to reiterate these points, I’m not here to say these things to pimp my own services. I figured this article could be a little cathartic for me and I really hope I can help you think a little bit more about your decision – whether that be to spend money on your wedding photography, or to go for the cheaper option of hiring someone with no experience – maybe a friend with a nice camera who has offered to do it for free. Please note that a ‘nice camera’ does not a good wedding photographer make!

We got married in December and I now appreciate that winter weddings, where you come out of the ceremony to the cold and dark, are bloody hard work and really difficult to photograph.  I understand that romantic candle lit receptions might look gorgeous in ‘real life’ but require a certain level of skill to capture on camera, and above all I now know that all of the money I spent making the venue look beautiful and cosy was pretty much wasted.  OK so our guests will always remember how beautiful the venue looked, but for me the day flew by so fast and I don’t remember much of it myself!  Every time I mention my wedding my Mum says “But it looked so beautiful” and whilst I’m sure that’s not just her being kind (it’s really not her style) it has made me hate my own wedding because I don’t look back at my photos and see a beautiful wedding, I look at them and see horribly dark and blurry photos.

You see, not realising the true impact of what I was doing, I asked my friend to shoot my big day.  He had a DSLR and could take amazing pictures of cars so he must be able to shoot my winter wedding right? Wrong!

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What Makes a Good Wife…and Am I a Bad One?

Photography Credit: Dan Busta

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a wife…or more specially a ‘good’ wife. I guess with the new year kicking in and all, I started a-pondering about where I am in my life and what I’m supposed to be doing next…

Anyway, Gareth & I often joke that I’m a bad wife (at least I hope he’s joking). The roles are anything but traditional in our house. As many of you will already know, Rock n Roll Bride is the sole source of income in our household and most of the work that goes into it is on my end – that’s not to say that the things Gareth does aren’t extremely valuable and important – just that he doesn’t spend 12 hours a day glued to a computer screen is all!

Photography Credit: Home Works by Miles Aldridge for Vogue

So because of this, I hardly do any housework. I put off food shopping until we have literally nothing in the fridge but mayonnaise and gin, having long haired kitties means our carpets are almost always covered in a thick layer of white fur, and my floordrobe has got so huge that we might as well get rid of my wardrobe because there’s nothing in it anymore (although in my defense, it does provide a comfy snoozy spot for those kitties of ours).

I joked on facebook and twitter last week, “Our house is not messy, its just like a museum…everything we own is out on display” and baby I wasn’t kidding.

Oh yeah and I can’t remember the last time I properly cooked!

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Post It Notes: 16th December 2011: Let’s Hear it for the Boys!

This week’s wedding Post It Note was submitted by Carina of the fabulous Love Me Do Photography. I loved reading the ideas she presented in her article, some of which I’d never even thought of. We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas for getting those boys involved in the comments section too so get those thinking caps on!

…and as a side note, if you’d like to submit an idea for a Post It Note article, feel free to drop me an email, I’m always looking for new ideas for this series.

Let’s face it, weddings are very ‘bride heavy’. We gush about the bride’s dress, hair, shoes, and everything else feminine that goes into a wedding. But really, the wedding (and marriage) is about two people coming together; most often being a bride and a groom ( I’ve haven’t noticed this problem in same sex weddings so kudos to you!)

I’m not looking into getting in a debate over men vs. women here. We can have a whole talk about equality, but that’s not what I’m getting at. I just think that it would be pretty cool if we make a little room for the guys to express themselves through the styling of the wedding. I’m talking about your wedding and how much more awesome it can be if the groom is celebrated as much as the bride. In a sea of frilly decor, I can barely see the groom and I silently say to myself, “Where has your manhood gone?”

Maybe most guys aren’t into picking out the flowers, and they don’t need things like their hair and make up done, so that’s understandable. But most of the grooms I’ve interacted with have a great sense of style and are quirky and fun. Also most grooms I’ve met are so in love with their brides, that they’ll agree to anything as far as the wedding planning goes, and that’s where I want people to stop and take a breath.

Times are changing and the metaphor of the bride as a present for the groom is being outgrown. Nowadays, instead of the bride’s parents throwing a wedding for her to be sent off to the groom, couples are planning and paying for their wedding themselves. Let’s make sure there’s room for some male and female style here!

If you’re the bride and you’re trying to figure out the planning, I’m sure you run things by your fiance for his opinion, but maybe have him be responsible for a few factors. Maybe you pick the flowers and he picks the DJ. Or better yet, pick everything out together and make sure you’re allowing him to weigh in any opinions, tastes or responses. Don’t just allow yourself to get what you want if he might want something a little different.

If he just doesn’t have time, or doesn’t have any desire to do any of the planning, how about planning something special that he could really nerd out on? Allowing your groom to get into the planning will not only get him more excited about the day, but also it helps fuel equality in your relationship and will be good experience in the two of you working together.

Now really, you can do anything with the styling. I mean, it’s your (both of you) wedding day, and do what you want, have fun with it! But making sure it’s about both of you and your relationship together will make it even more special.

Here are some great ideas I’ve seen which highlight the groom on the wedding day:

Signature Drinks

signaturedrink

The bride’s favorite and the groom’s favorite!

Homebrew

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Post It Notes: 9th December 2011: How to Save Money on Your Wedding Food

Today I thought I’d run few a few ideas on how you can save money on the catering/food at your wedding. It’s often one of the biggest expenses but it doesn’t have to be.

As always I’d love to read any of your own tips in the comments so hit us up with them!

Pot Luck

Photography Credit: Matt Miller of  Our Labor Of Love (full wedding here)

One of my favourite trends from America, the potluck style reception is something I’m seeing more and more of in UK weddings. The basic premise is that you ask your guests to each bring their favourite or signature dish. Result? An eclectic and yummy buffet experience at a fraction of the price.

Buffet

Photography Credit: Rosie Parsons Photography (full wedding here)

The wedding buffet often gets a bad rep for being a cheap (looking) and slightly tacky option. However the key is to forget soggy sandwiches and Iceland sausage rolls. I love the idea of an amazing Turkish spread, a Chinese inspired buffet or a classic English afternoon tea. Also think about having pretty plates and crockery for your guests to use instead of disposables. Makes all the difference daaaarling.

An Informal Meal

fish n chips weddingh

Photography Credit: Little Flowers Photography

A traditional sit down meal is probably the most expensive option for wedding day food out there but it’s the one most people go for. Instead, think about what you’d really love to eat. Fish n Chips? Bangers n Mash?

Non-traditional options are often much cheaper. I don’t think anyone enjoys dry wedding chicken anyway!

Using a Non-Wedding Caterer

Photography Credit: Steep Street Photography (full wedding here)

How about having pizza delivered to your reception or an Indian takeaway? (YUM!) Obviously the style and location of your wedding will determine if this is a viable and suitable option but I do love this idea. Lisa & Alex for example, had their reception in a bowling alley, so a pizza delivery suited their party perfectly!

Also how about using your favourite restaurant as your wedding caterer. A lot of establishments will do a catering option, just don’t mention the ‘W’ word (you’re having a party) and you’ll be surprised at the difference in price.

Alcohol

drink ideas at weddings

Photography Credit: Rosie Parsons Photography (full wedding here)

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Post It Notes – 2nd December 2011: How to Save Money on Your Wedding Dress

For this week’s wedding note I thought I’d blog some money saving ideas relating to the wedding dress. Although, yes, your wedding dress may well be the most expensive dress you’ll ever own, I’m well aware that the average price of somewhere between £1000 – £2000, is going to be out of a lot of bride’s budgets.

Vintage

Photography Credit: Annamarie Stepney Photography (full wedding here)

Vintage wedding dresses are hugely popular right now but this does mean that a lot of vintage shops have hiked up their prices. But if you do your research, you can still get vintage gowns for a song. Try non-wedding specific shops like Beyond Retro where prices are likely to be lower. Vintage wedding-specific dress shops like For Coat No Knickers in London will even alter your own dress if you find a bargain elsewhere.

Vintage Reproduction

Photography Credit: Martyn & Clare Wheatley (Sinister Pictures) (full wedding here)

Vintage reproduction dresses are also a great way to get the vintage ‘look’ without the price tag. A frustrating thing about searching for genuine vintage dresses is that often the sizes are very small. Places like Vivien of Holloway, Honeypie BoutiqueDolly Couture and Peppermint Pretty, make gorgeous vintage-inspired gowns that are both affordable and can be made in any size.

Charity Shops

Photography Credit: Emma Case Photography (full wedding here)

Why not check out your local charity shop? Barnardos and Oxfam even have specialty wedding dress branches where you may well pick up an utter bargain!

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