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Kat Williams of Rock N Roll Bride on Weddings and the Pandemic

Rock N Roll Bride is the website and magazine for alternative weddings. If you’re planning a unique or outside the box wedding, look no further. We caught up with Kat Williams the woman behind Rock N Roll Bride to talk about her book on planning an alternative wedding, the magazine, the website, her new podcast The Confidence Club, and building a niche focused business. We ended up talking about wedding postponements, overcoming challenges, balancing positivity with the darker things in life, the power of an online community, and the best mindset one can have during a pandemic.

We put together an excerpt from the interview here online for some insight into weddings with everything going on in the world right now. To read the full interview grab a copy of the Spring 2020 Issue.

interview by : Jennifer Link Kieffer
photographs : Rebecca Carpenter Photography

Auxiliary Magazine Kat Williams Rock N Bride

The recent “Change the Date” article on the Rock N Roll Bride website featuring a couple that has been forced to postpone their wedding due to the pandemic was inspiring. What advice do you have for other couples facing postponement? And what advice do you have for businesses and vendors navigating this?

KW : To couples I would say, it’s okay to be sad and it’s okay to be angry. The thing you’ve been planning for potentially two, three years is not going to happen as you imagined. I feel like we’re all collectively going through this weird experience kind of like grief at the moment. From what our life was like a few months ago to dealing with what our new reality is. I think if you’ve been planning a wedding, which is a pivotal moment in life for so many people, it’s okay if you’re sad about it and angry about it. I always say that if you’re feeling sad or anxious, it’s kind of pointless to be sad and anxious about things you cannot control. You cannot control what’s going to happen in the world. You can’t control if this is going to go on for three months or six months. You can’t control when the government is going to lift the ban on social gatherings. There’s no point stressing yourself about that right now. All you can do is focus on what you can do for your own situation. So if you were planning to get married in the summer, I would still aim to celebrate that day in some way, like maybe it’s just going to be at home, or maybe just do it with your family if you’re able to leave the house by then. You could just have some sort of acknowledgement of that day and that still gives you something to look forward to. It could be something really small, it could even be just like a date night on the sofa. Whatever it is, there’s so many little fun things you could do.

Once you’ve set your new date, then you can start your planning again and just because you’re maybe getting married in a different season doesn’t mean you have to change your wedding completely like, as I said there’s no rules. If you always wanted to have a colorful summer wedding, there’s no reason why you can’t have a colorful winter wedding. I think we just need to get some perspective, yes it sucks and yes you’re allowed to be sad about it, but just be grateful that you’re healthy and you’re alive and you’re still going to get married and your love is still there and that is absolutely not changing.

From a vendor point of view, just be respectful of your vendors as well because they are obviously a lot of them dealing with how this is going to impact their business which is really catastrophic for them. Most of them are trying as hard as they can to be accommodating, so just be like, work together I suppose on that. For the vendors I would say this is a time to really show us what you’re made of. It’s all very well and good thinking, “Oh I’m in this business for love and it’s so lovely, la la la,” when it’s easy, and when you know your money’s going to come in. It’s easy to run a business when the going is easy, but when something like this happens and the rug is pulled from under you, this is the time when you really have to step up and show us what you’re made of. Again there’s nothing good about this situation it sucks, but I also think if you frame it in your head correctly it’s a huge gift. Because it’s also giving you some time to have a fucking breather, like when have you ever had a summer off? It’s giving you some time to spend time with your families, to focus on what you really want. Maybe you’ve been on that hamster wheel for years just churning stuff out because you’re so busy. Now you have to stop, so it’s giving you the chance to think about what do I really want my business to be? Do I still want this type of business? Do I want to offer something different? I’ve been through, like everyone probably, all the emotions under the sun… how is this going to impact my business? Is no one going to have any money to advertise? Are people still going to want to buy the magazine if they’re not planning their wedding for another year? But at the same time I’ve been using this time to think about what I really want to do and thinking about how I can help my current clients, to keep them with me. So yeah, it sucks but also I think it’s going to be quite amazing for the industry and for the world. We’re all going to have this time to think about what we really want and reframe our thinking in that way. And some businesses will close, of course they will, it’s inevitable. But it doesn’t have to be if you are tenacious enough to keep going.

When things go back, hopefully eventually, what are some ways you think we’ll see couples think outside the box?

KW : I feel like surprise weddings are going to become more of a thing actually, what’s happening in the world. Weddings where they invite people to an engagement party or a birthday party and they do a pop-up wedding. Which I think is a really nice way to do it because then you know the people that are there are actually there because they love you, not really because it’s a wedding and they thought they should go. So I like that idea. Weddings are going to be so different. I think they really are, and I think people realize what impact it’s going to have on the wedding industry. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing but it will be different. People will probably be saving their money more and being more creative with how they spend it. They might be having shorter wedding days or less guests. Who knows where we’ll be, but yeah I think it’s a really interesting time for sure.

You’ve recently launched a new podcast, The Confidence Club. You interviewed Gala Darling in the second episode and talked about how this time is a unique chance to show up and do things you haven’t done yet. You talked about how the businesses that show up now are the ones that will be ahead when the world gets back to some sense of normal. You’re living this advice and launched a podcast! What allowed you to overcome the fear and anxiety of this time so you could create?

KW : So I definitely had a few days, or like a week or so, where I was like, “Fuck, the world is over, how are we going to do this?” You know sitting on the sofa crying for no reason and completely spiraling and thinking the worst is going to happen. I actually sat down with my husband and he was like, “Right, tell me everything that is going to go wrong.” And he was like, “So what happens if all the advertisers go away?” And I was like, “Well, that means that we can’t afford to print the magazine.” He said, “Okay, so if we can’t afford to print the magazine then what does that mean?” Well we can’t do the next issue and then maybe we can’t do the issue after that, and in my head I was going too far ahead and I think it’s really easy to spiral and catastrophize. But when you sit down and actually think about every single thing that would have to happen for the worst case scenario to happen, it’s actually a lot of things that would have to go wrong. I think it’s really important at this moment to not think too far ahead and not worry about what could happen. As I said before, there’s no point worrying about things we can’t control. All we can worry about is what we can do for ourselves. So I was like, okay, so potentially maybe something will happen with the magazine and we can’t do it in the same way we’ve always done it. But what am I going to do right now to either prevent that from happening or make myself feel better in this moment rather than sitting here and spiraling? And I was like well there’s nothing I can really do about the magazine right now because no one is buying ads. So I can do my strongest to sell the next issue but also kind of write it off. If the next issue doesn’t have as many ads as we would normally have then I’m fine with it because there’s no point flogging a dead horse. What I am going to do, instead of sitting here worrying about that, is use the time to do something else that I’ve been wanting to do. I don’t know about you but my inbox has never been so quiet because no one’s doing anything. I’m like, okay, how am I going to fill my day? I can’t go out and see my friends, so I’m going to sit here and Google how to start a podcast. And I did it. Do you know what, I’ve been thinking about it for so long and in my head I thought it was going to be really really really difficult, and it really wasn’t! I figure it out in like three hours.

Just start doing one thing towards it. You just do it task by task by task. Then you’re like, oh, and then you’ve done it. You’re like, oh, fucking easy. What was I panicking about for so long? Sometimes we look at people that are so far ahead of us and we think they’ve got this really successful podcast or business or magazine and we can’t ever fathom ever getting there, but they’ve gone through all the steps already. It’s totally possible, you just have to take it at your own pace.

Read the full interview in the Spring 2020 Issue. Find all things Rock N Roll Bride at rocknrollbride.com and follow Kat Williams on Instagram @rocknrollbride for her insights, adventures, and podcast.

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