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Afternoon Lovely Peeps,

I hope you all had a good weekend.

We are taking a break from our usual festival style wedding today by sharing with you a very personal wedding that is completely inspired by the couples mutual love for rock music and the bride’s talent for art.

Becky and Rob both have a huge love for classic rock and actually met backstage at Shepherd’s Bush Empire during a Michael Schenker gig in 2012. When it came to planning their wedding 2 years later, it was only natural that their mutual passion for rock legends such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Rainbow and AC/DC would fuel the inspiration behind their big day.

Becky’s talent for design and illustration also played a huge part in bringing everything together. She came up with cool ideas such as using the fonts from their favourite rock albums to inspire the design of their stationery and back stage passes. She also drew individual portraits of each of their guests which acted as name placements and wedding favours, adding such a unique and personal touch to their day.

However, what impressed me the most about this very personal wedding was Becky’s ability to find a bargain! She searched the likes of Ebay, Gumtree, Oxfam and Sue Ryder to find some amazing bargains including her stunning lace and pearl floral headdress which she wore in the evening. In fact, Becky managed to save so much money that she ended up treating herself to two wedding dresses! An elegant chiffon dress with a lace bodice for during the day and a more relaxed skater style dress for the evening.

There is a lot to be learned from this wedding of classic rock, so pull up a chair, put your favourite rock album on and get lost in Rob and Becky’s Rock Artsy wedding.

Michael Schenker, A Sofa and One Knee….

Rob and I had known each other at a very basic acquaintance level for nearly 2 years before we finally had a proper conversation on a sofa backstage at Shepherd’s Bush Empire after a Michael Schenker gig in 2012. A few weeks later, we were an item! Almost exactly a year after that concert, Schenker came back to Shepherd’s Bush. We went backstage before the concert started, sat down on the same sofa and then Rob popped the question! Well, to be perfectly accurate, he started popping the question and I squealed “YES!” before he could finish his sentence!  The ring fit perfectly and was just my style – any man who understands your taste in jewellery is a keeper. We even had a song dedicated to us that night!

It was the perfect proposal as it was completely personal. Anyone can get down on one knee in a posh restaurant or on a romantic holiday but this was something that could have only been for us and no other couple. How many other people fell in love on a dressing room sofa after a night of guitar wizardry?

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Looking Out For Number 1….

We spent a while searching through venues in Hampshire and Dorset in magazines and online that we could preferably hold both the ceremony and reception in – The Langstone took our fancy quite early on because of the circular Spinnaker Room overlooking the harbour. After a couple of visits there, we knew it was the place for us.

I walked down to the aisle to “Looking Out For No. 1 (Reprise)” by UFO. It’s a guitar solo with an orchestral backing performed by the band’s then-guitarist Michael Schenker.

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Two Photographers with a Reportage Style….

We really loved the idea of using two photographers so we could get a wider scope of our big day. We loved their combined reportage style as well as their individual talents. They were very thorough in getting to know us and what we were looking for. As a result we ended up with a beautiful set of wedding photos combining relaxed, colourful, informal portraits with striking black and white scenery. We couldn’t have been happier with the final outcome and would recommend Irvin and Charisse to anyone!

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Rainbow Roses & Three Bands….

Blossoms of Portsmouth were our  florists. Originally, my bouquet was going to be just purple and white. Nearer the time however, we discovered via Blossom’s Facebook page that they stocked rainbow roses. They looked absolutely amazing so we put in a call to see if a few could be included in the bouquet – so they did, for no extra charge! Being a bit of a pathetic rock fan, I liked the idea that the colour of my bouquet represented three bands – Rainbow, Deep Purple and Whitesnake!

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A Musical Tinge, DIY Decor and 45 records…

We knew we wanted a musical tinge throughout the day as music was the whole reason we met in the first place.  We went through plenty of wedding blogs to see what other rock couples went for. We found a lot of them to be a bit too gothic and skull-drenched for us but we picked out little portions that appealed to us such as the personalised plectrums and having a guitar as a guestbook. Even if you don’t find loads of ideas you want to copy directly, research really helped our imagination kick into gear and do our own takes on existing ideas or lead to new ones.

I decorated with Amy, my best friend/Man of Honour Richard and old friend Chatty on the morning of the wedding. They helped me blow up dozens of balloons, strap inflatable guitars to the ceiling and tie hearts I made from sheet music to over hanging wooden beams.

We bought some old 45rpms from the bargain section of a record shop and stuck numbers over the labels to use as table numbers for the breakfast. We also had vases filled with sweets as part of the centrepiece of each table – there was bound to be a couple of people at least on each table with a sweet tooth!

Instead of a guestbook, we brought a guitar for people to sign. Some friends who couldn’t make it to the wedding sent us a large signing frame, which we put alongside the guitar in case it ran out of signature space.

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Classic Rock Stationery & Tiny Portraits….

As Rob and I are both huge classic rock fans, we thought it would be fun to theme our stationery around it. Our invitations were in the shape of a record with the details of the wedding on the label and I designed a backstage pass for each of our guests to wear, featuring my drawing of Rob & I with a microphone and a guitar. We also had plectrums made up with our names and the date/location of our wedding to be sprinkled across the tables. We tracked down the fonts AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and Rainbow used on their album covers to write some of the details in! 

For the wedding favours, I produced a tiny portrait on an easel for each guest and the band members to go with the placecards we already had prepared. This was a very last minute plan as we stumbled across the tiny blank canvases one month before the wedding and thought it would be such a fun idea. Trying to track down photos of each guest without letting them know about the surprise was incredibly difficult in such a short space of time though! Luckily they were finished with a mere 2 days to spare.

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Top It Off….

We got an amazing deal with Ann’s Designer Cakes for a 4 tier cake, each tier a different flavour (chocolate, vanilla, lemon and red velvet). We also ordered a cake topper from Top It Off who fashioned little cartoony figurines of us.

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No Cringe Worthy Modern Pop at Our Bash!

The band were friends of Rob’s called The Barnstormers. They are all professional musicians from other bands who get together to play more informal shows now and then. They had a setlist of classic songs plus a couple of tunes we wanted to be chucked in. At one point, my dad got up and sang “Mustang Sally” with them and Lyla, the lead singer, roped me in to singing “Highway To Hell” alongside her! Doogie White, Rob’s best friend and former lead singer with Rainbow got up to sing a few tunes as well.

We also hired a DJ to keep the music going while the band took a break. We made sure the playlist was to our liking, no cringeworthy modern pop at our bash!

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Favourite Moment….

There are so many to choose from. Here’s a few of them!

Becky: Rob was worried that the song I chose to walk down the aisle to was too short (1 min, 14 secs) but I raced down there with half the song still to go! He looked so handsome that I had to get to him as quickly as possible.

Rob: While I was waiting for the wedding to officially start, I happened to glance back at the door where Becky would enter the room. I caught a glimpse of her waiting and she absolutely took my breath away at her beauty.

Rob: Saying our vows in front of close friends and family. We really poured our hearts out to each other.

Becky’s speech was also very emotional. We had many in tears at the wedding including Becky’s dad!

Becky: Rob’s vows and his speech were absolutely beautiful. He always tells me that he doesn’t have a way with words but everything he said to me that day were the most wonderful things I’d ever heard. Sammy has clearly inherited his charm as well – she cornered me alone while I was fixing my make-up, gave me a huge hug and told me “I love you Becky, you’re the biggest star I know.” I nearly had to do my mascara again!

Becky: Our first dance was fantastic. We’re not ballroom-grade, we just found ourselves swaying and moving around in a circle, it felt so dreamlike and we couldn’t stop beaming at eachother. Our faces were aching from smiling so much! Rob then slid on his knees towards the band and bowed down in front of them repeatedly – it was hilarious!

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Any Advice….

Be willing to put in the effort to find some good bargains. It may be time consuming but as we all know, weddings are rather pricey so if you can get more for less, both you and your guests will feel the benefit!

If, like us, you’re a couple forming a stepfamily through marriage – let your children/stepchildren get involved with the planning in some shape or form. After all, this isn’t just the union of a couple, it’s the union of a family.

For example, Sammy and I shopped for her outfit together. The reason she went for the dress she wore is because it was purple like the other bridesmaids but featured embroidery like mine – in her mind, being halfway between bride and bridesmaid was the perfect look!

Rob also bought Sammy a necklace with a personalised message which he gave to her during his speech. She wrote about this necklace at school after the teacher asked the class about the most precious thing they own. It was so sweet!

If you and your fiancé(e) share a common interest that plays a big part in your life, don’t be afraid to show it. Even though some of our guests weren’t as crazy about rock music as we are, they thought it was great how personal the wedding was to us and really enjoyed all the little details. People are more likely to remember a wedding if it’s a bit offbeat – and you don’t need to abandon every tradition to make this happen! A few people expected me to have a very rock and roll wedding dress,  but I’m dressed in band t-shirts and bold, striped leggings every other day of the year – so future brides, if you want the classic white dress, just do it!

Make the most of your talents and connections! Rob’s past in the music industry got us a cracking wedding band and my arty background allowed me to have a greater sense of control over the stationery and favours that most people would leave in the trust of others.

If you have grand plans or have perfectionist tendencies, don’t have a quick engagement. We were engaged for nearly 2 years and that suited us perfectly because it gave us ample time to get things to our liking. Book the venue, photographer and any other big features as early as possible. The earlier things are booked, the more time you both have to relax as your wedding day approaches. Being engaged should be a really fun time in your relationship, not a ticking clock where you’re constantly under pressure to book things! That way you can enjoy the countdown so much more and be giddy with joy on the day itself. Weddings go by in such a blur that you want every moment to be purely happy.

And Finally….

Ever since we got married, I’ve gone into wedding supplies! The mini portraits I drew for our guests went down much better than expected so now I provide the same service for other couples. I’ve catered for just the bride and groom, top tables and whole weddings. At the moment I’m working on my biggest wedding so far, a party of 70. If it weren’t for our big day, I wouldn’t have found this niche!

The Line Up

Photographers: WistfulTwo Photography
Venue: The Langstone Hotel
Bride’s Dress: Grace Karin
Bride’s Shoes: Oxfam Wedding Shop
Bride’s Lace & Pearl Floral Crown: Sue Ryder Charity Shop
Bridesmaid Dresses: Berketex Bride
Cake: Anna Designer Cakes 
Cake Toppers: Top It Off UK  
Flowers: Blossoms Florist 
Band: The Barnstormers, featuring: BenjyLyla Andy and Doogie
Stationery: Becky Welton

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