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My wedding planning journey: How my emo past is shaping my emo future

09 Mar 2020

Detailing why her emo roots will be playing a big part in her big day, bride-to-be Ashleigh Tuttle takes us on a trip down memory lane

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Image gallery

When I was 12-years-old, I took part in a school talent show. Even at that age I was sure I was going to be a famous singer (spoiler alert: I’m not!) and that if I could only win this show I’d prove to everyone at my high school I was the best thing they’d ever heard.

I was into a bit of everything back then: pop, rock, techno, you name it. But it was all relatively soft stuff. I liked singing and listening to music, but I wasn’t THAT bothered.

With the help of my mum, we decided the song I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker by Sandi Thom was my best chance of glory. However, my little schoolgirl look wasn’t going to cut it. So we back-combed my hair, sprayed it green and orange and doubled up on the eyeliner and black eyeshadow. And there my friends, is where the next 10 years started.

It’s not a massive surprise I didn’t win the talent show, but I felt like I gained so much more from that day. Here was a completely different world I didn’t know existed, and I wanted to find out more.


I felt around this time (pre-2008) the ‘emo’ generation was just starting to come into prominence. It felt like my time to shine. So I dyed my hair red and black, wore black everywhere, especially heavily on my face, and had these great black boots that I adored... although they broke when it snowed and I pulled the zip too hard – one of the saddest days of my life. 

So what does this have to do with weddings you might ask? Well, I kept that persona for about 10 years, with the blackness being most prominent until I was 16 and decided I wanted to turn into Hilary Duff from A Cinderella Story for my prom. The love of the music and all things gothic continued though, and is still a big part of my life to this day.

My fiancé is also into similar music, has tattoos and piercings and had long hair that made him look like a rock star when we first met (he still looks like one now to me, just a much neater version). I was definitely more emo than him, but it’s still something that was a big part of our lives when we were growing up.


So we’ve decided to incorporate our emo roots (alongside a Disney theme) into our wedding day. Granted, I won’t be wearing a black dress (though the one I’ve fallen in love with was black when I tried on the sample), and gothic candles will be kept to a minimum, but when we went to speak to our DJ, Gary Sulter, this is something we definitely put across. He told us he can definitely incorporate some of emo-style music into the wedding.

Our first dance will be split between two of our favourite songs from the emo era, and I might even try and slip some Fall Out Boy or Slipknot into the day too! We both have tattoos and piercings, which I’m sure we’ll be showing off. Although, if I’m honest, I am gutted I won't be wearing my great clunky boots down the aisle. 

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