Kate Forsyth of Good Day Club is here today with your guide to staying sane and – shock horror – actually having fun while planning your wedding and choosing your dress.
Why does getting married have to happen to a nice person like me?” she asked me. After I finished laughing, I commenced serious contemplation of how wedding planning can be quite so brutal and not that fun for everyone. I, like a lot of wedding industry people, am bang up for all things to do with weddings, but for some it literally ruins their previously happy lives with stress and other people’s expectations and budget blow outs and decision fatigue and whether you have to invite your mother’s second cousin by marriage and adoption.
Having married twice (you may call me Elizabeth Taylor; though I am quite into husband #2, so there is a chance I won’t make it to eight) and worked in the wedding industry for a few years now, I’ve seen and heard it all. May my musings below assist brides everywhere to have a bangin’ fun time during the fiancé phase and skip some of the life sapping and definitely avoidable nonsense.
How exactly does one remain sane while being engaged?
Include a hefty line item in your budget for psychiatrists, psychologists, massages and heroin. If that is not a possibility then I suggest you and the fiancé set yourselves some priorities. What is important to you both for this pretty monumental time in your lives? What sort of engagement do you want to have and what sort of wedding suits you?
That way, when you start to get into the wedding worm hole, wondering if you should release doves or butterflies, you can donk yourself on the noggin and remember that your priority is a relaxed indoor urban wedding, and thus the pigeons, oops I mean doves, will get all disoriented and poop on your guests. And getting pooped on does not make for relaxed guests.
Ensuring that your make-up looks as good as it did at the end of the day as it did when you first applied it is an art form, and never is this more important than on your wedding day.Makeup artist Joyce Connor is here with her top tips to make your make-up last all day
This is one of the biggest days of your life, so as cheesy and cliché as it sounds, you are going to want to look your best. My years of experience as a make-up artist, but especially with brides, mean that I have become an expert in creating looks that last. If you want your handiwork to last all day, here are a few tricks of the trade…
One of the biggest issues you may face is keeping your make-up looking fresh through the tears. Weddings are always emotional, and even if you don’t think of yourself as a crier, you may well find yourself suddenly – and joyfully – tearful. Nerves also have the knack of making you cry, as can memories of those who you love and miss, and who you would have wanted to share your special day with you.
Disabled couples are getting married every day. However, there is very little information available on the things you may need to consider. Author of Wedding Planning for Spoonies, Meara Bartlett, is here today with some advice when it comes to finding your venue.
The venue is one of the most important aspects of the wedding. The venue starts off your planning as everything else revolves around where the day will take place. You should book it as soon as can after you get engaged, as some venues are booked years in advance for the most popular dates. I’m going to break it down by needs for what to keep in mind for a venue if you or any of your guests are disabled.
Do keep your guests in mind of all abilities, distances, and budgets. Don’t put yourself last.
If you have mobility problems or extra things you consider, don’t rush yourself. Allow more time in your wedding planning schedule to find a wedding venue. This article is intended to inspire you, not restrict you. None of this is fully comprehensive. Toss out ideas and keep what you like! Have fun, and we’ll see you at the end of the aisle.
Requirements you may want to consider:
Easily accessible bathrooms Plenty of individual toilets Wheelchair access Smooth terrain Ample parking Enough seating with extra space if needed
The funny thing with weddings is that there is so much said about what you ‘should have’ (many of them untrue!) and definitely not enough information on how to have exactly what you want. This often leads to not getting the full experience when choosing your suppliers, theme, venue or cake.Baker Autumn Rabbitts of Plumb and Rabbitts Cake Studio is here today with her top tips for getting the creative wedding cake of your dreams.
As a cake designer, here are the five things I think you need to pay attention to ensure that you get exactly what you want and the help if you don’t really know what that is!
Give your cake maker the right information
The main things every cake maker wants to know straight off the bat are:What your chosen date is
♥ Where the venue is ♥ How many people you are feeding ♥ And last but not least, do you have any ideas about what colours, style or flavour of cake you might like?
You will notice I haven’t added the dreaded ‘what is your budget?’ question because this can change once you realise how much choice you have and how important the cake is to you. Often, cake makers already know how much it is going to cost roughly based on the answers above so do ask for a rough quote for a basic cake if you want to get an idea before you commit.
Also, I really recommend sending some images of other cakes that you like. Don’t worry if they’re not exactly what you want; a rough idea of the style you’re after will help us create a more accurate quote for you.
At this point you may also want to ask if they can cater for allergies/dietary requirements if needed and if they charge extra for delivery and set up.
Ask for the cake flavours you really want and find out if you can taste some
I think the cake tasting is the best bit of wedding planning! Your caker maker may do in-person consultations or post cake sample to you directly. I often get asked if fruit cake is the only option and hell no! In fact, I’ve only made four fruit cakes in the seven years I’ve been doing this! Everyone orders sponge flavours these days and I haven’t had many clients ask about the tradition of freezing the top layer for a future anniversary either.
As you’re reading Rock n Roll Bride magazine, you probably already know that you want to make your wedding a reflection of the two of you, so you don’t need to do any traditions that you don’t want to.
Hire a baker who reflects your personal style
Think very carefully about who you are hiring. If their Instagram feed is all pastels/white and you want a galaxy themed cake with Sesame Street characters on it, they are probably not for you! Bakers quite often choose which work they take on, assessing the design asked for and figuring out if it’s something they can do. Asking for something to be designed for you using your Pinterest boards or ideas for your wedding styling is always a brilliant idea, but make sure you are choosing someone who can deliver!
Allowing your cake maker to play and create something in their own style will guarantee you get something incredible; I have been known to add complimentary extra top tiers and details just because in am so in love with the design! Just like any other designer, we know our strengths and stick to them, hence why it’s so important to have a good look at someone’s website and social media to make sure they would be on board with your wildest cake dreams.
Don’t hold back with your ideas to personalise
There are no limits to what you can have and usually the more personal, the more fun it will be for the baker. If you love your cat or dog why not have them on the cake in sugar form, as a topper or a painted portrait! I once did a deep red marble cake with doggy paws delicately tailing up one side. No flowers, just the paw prints and a topper of them with their dog. SO CUTE!
However, you also don’t have to have tons of detail if you don’t want to. Go with your gut about what feels like ‘you’.
Only have a big cake if it is important to you
The ultimate rule for being a rock ‘n roll bride (or groom!) is that there are no rules, and that it’s your day you so you should do it your way! Do not worry about other people’s tastes or options. If you like it, have it! But similarly, if you’re not really fussed about a traditional tiered cake, there are so many other options.
As a cake maker, I feel that if you want an epic showstopper cake, then that is worth paying for. Asking a friend or family member to bake and stack a tiered cake is a big responsibility if it’s a really important element of the day to you, so only do this if you know they are up to the challenge! It takes years of practice to get wedding cakes right and I don’t advise throwing it out there for a family member to do unless you know for SURE they can deliver on the day. Nothing worse than having a cake collapse as you try and cut it or worse the sponge is too soft and crumbles into a billion pieces when the kitchen at your venue try and cut it into finger portions! Cake making is a science. You definitely get what you pay for.
If you have smaller budget, or you really aren’t fussed about a traditional looking cake, then they are plenty of other options – cupcakes, doughnuts, cake pops, a profiterole tower, wheels of cheese!? The world is your delicious oyster.
Whatever cake or cake designer you choose, I hope my words have helped you allow them to create something magical and personal for you. There is nothing like looking back on the day and feeling like every aspect, even the cake, reflects the two of you perfectly.
Autumn Rabbitts is a black business woman, a graduate of Central Saint Martins and The Royal College of Art, and has been running her own wedding cake company – Plumb and Rabbitts – for the past seven years in the North East of England. She enjoys feeding people (and herself), spending time with husband and her five daughters, and has a deep love of illustration, calligraphy and fashion.
This article originally appeared in issue 36 of Rock n Roll Bride magazine. You can purchase the latest copy here, or why not subscribe to never miss an issue?
If you’re on your own self-love journey (yay!) and want to share it with your friends so they too can nix the diet chat and self-loathing, read on…
It’s near impossible to avoid internalising the message that certain bodies (young, thin, white, able-bodied) are more worthy than others. Diet culture and the beauty standard are like the two evil step sisters ruining many of our Cinderella stories.
Even if you’re one of the lucky ones who has managed to opt out of diet culture it’s still a daily battle to love yourself.
At Rock n Roll Bride, we’re proud that you, the readers, are pretty switched on when it comes to knowing that happiness isn’t a number on a scale, but we also know that being body positive is still a niche compared to the amount of people believing that their body needs changing.
How can you create a more positive group of people around you? That’s what this article is all about! Your friend might be a few steps behind you on their bopo journey or might not have even taken their first step.
Before we crack on though, it’s important to note that a) you can never force change in anyone else, you can only change yourself (and that’s powerful) and b) we can never fully know the reality of another person’s experience, so staying compassionate and non-judgmental is absolutely essential when putting out your own body positive attitude.
Here are twenty small ways which can inspire positive change in your friendship group and family.
I’ve watched Say Yes to The Dress with my mum for years, so when the first big COVID lockdown ended and all the bridal boutiques were only allowing one or two people to accompany the bride, I felt fine about not taking a big entourage. More often than not, a big group can end in tears, and not the I-just-found-my-dream-dress kind! My auntie is a keen dressmaker, and generously gifted me a budget for my wedding dress, so I went with her and my mum.
To start with, for me, wearing white (or ivory, whatever) is always how I’ve pictured myself on my wedding day. Not because I want to present myself as pure and celebrate my pre-marriage chastity, but because it’s what I want to do. I also want to wear a veil. Not because I want to demonstrate modesty in the presence of God and my future husband, but because they feel fabulous and look amazing. That’s just my personal approach. Whatever anyone wants to wear on their wedding day, if it makes them feel their most confident, comfortable and happy, they should just do it.
Besides colour, there were four things I wanted to be sure of about my dress:
1. I wanted it to be made by an ethical, environmentally conscious brand that values its employees.
2. I wanted a dress that worked with the parts of my body I am not confident about, without feeling caged-in by corsetry and boning.
3. Given that this is the most expensive item of clothing I’ll ever own – and the fact that wearing anything just once is neither sustainable or responsible, even if it is a wedding dress – I wanted to be able to repurpose the dress and wear it again.
4. I wanted it to make me feel like Galadriel, elf queen of Lothlórien… because I’m a massive geek.
For me, the place that offered all of these things was Katya Katya in London. Before I went to Katya Katya, however, I went to Maisie Darling in Lutterworth. My fiancé and I are having a humanist ceremony, which is still not considered a legal marriage in England or Wales (lots of petitions to sign online about that idiocy if you want to look into it). To get the legal bit done we’re heading to the registry in my hometown the day before the big day. I was planning to wear a dress I already own for this, but my auntie’s gift means I’ve been able to find a wedding dress for this ceremony too. I plan to sell this dress after the wedding (on stillwhite.com or bridalreloved.co.uk) and will be donating the money to Girls Not Brides, a global partnership committed to ending child marriage and enabling girls all over the world to fulfil their potential.
When I first saw Katya Katya dresses on Pinterest, I fell in love. And when I discovered their strong ethos – in-house production exclusively using fabrics from Italy and France to reduce ecological footprint; ensuring great working conditions for employees and paying them all a national living wage; offering a dress-shortening service after the wedding so the dress can be worn again – I knew without doubt that I wanted to find my dress with them. Not only that, but pretty much all the elements of their dresses are interchangeable. For example, as someone who doesn’t feel confident about her upper arms, Katya Katya will be adding sleeves to my dress. Female-led, Katya Katya really seem to understand how to help their brides feel their most confident.