Author Archives: Kat

Extravagant Alice in Wonderland Wedding: Rachel & Raymon

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Rachel and Raymon based their wedding on Rachel’s favourite childhood book and film – Alice in Wonderland! They had oodles of personalised and special details including the mismatched chairs, the vintage door seating chart, having clocks as table numbers and their chequered dance floor.

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“I met Ray through my older sister”, began the bride. “Her husband had been close friends with Ray since high school.  We hung out as a group a few times then Ray finally asked me out for dinner. Being the protective older sister that Victoria is, she didn’t approve at first since Ray was three years older than me.  Long story short, everything worked out and we all couldn’t be happier that we can call each other family!”

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45 Things You Don’t Know About Me

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You’ll have to forgive me because this is nothing to do with weddings or business. But today I thought I’d draw back the curtains and share some of my secrets with you. I love finding out new things about the bloggers I read regularly, and I thought you might too. So here are 45 things you (probably) don’t know about me!

1. My favourite movie of all time is Back to the Future (closely followed by Back to the Future Part Two!)
2. My celebrity crush is Kiefer Sutherland.
3. I am obsessed with the Vampire Diaries and True Blood but I hate Twilight.
4. My first pet was a goldfish.
5. I once watched a whole season of The Hills in one sitting. I felt dumber afterwards.
6. Someone once genuinely asked me if pink was my natural hair colour…
7. …if you’re interested it’s actually dark brown.
8. I love me some pre-2007 Britney.
9. My cat, Rachel, is named after one of my sisters.
10. Gareth was my first serious boyfriend (aww!)

Kat and Gareth

11. I hate a messy house but I hate housework even more.
12. I have seen every season of 24 at least twice.
13. I hate chocolate! Yes, seriously. Most people don’t believe me but I literally can’t stand the stuff.
14. I used to love cross stitch. I once made my Nanny a little yellow duck picture and she still has it on top of her piano!
15. As a teenager I was obsessed, and I mean super-fangirl obsessed, with Boyzone. I saw them in concert eight times!
16. Ronan Keating? I still would…
17. I’m 5 foot 7 and I have size 7 feet.
18. I drink at least five cups of tea a day. Some days it’s actually closer to ten. Milk, no sugar please.
19. I can’t sing at all but when I’ve had one too many I will totally hog the karaoke.
20. I used to play the saxophone but I hated playing in public. I was forced to join the orchestra at school and so I used to just sit there pretending to play.

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How Do I Monetise My Non-Consumer Driven Blog?

Photographed by www.laurapower.co.uk

Hi Kat, I’m a blogger and I have a conundrum. I hope you can help. Lately I’ve been finding that when I write about anything life-advice related I get a huge response, and people really enjoy the discussion topics. In comparison if I post about something more trivial, like interiors, fashion or beauty it seems a bit like filler content to me. They get a bit of a response, but nothing compared to the meatier stuff.

What I really want to do is just remove all my categories and keep going with my blog as a place for life advice, women chat, a little light feminism and a place to be inspired.

The big problem is (and this is why I didn’t do it in the first place) is that I’m really struggling to know how to monetise that kind of blog. When you’re writing about STUFF it’s easy, people pay you to promote their STUFF (geddit?) but what if it’s just me writing things I think will help people? How do I then turn a profit? Who are my advertisers? How do I reach them?

These are all things stopping me from following my heart when it comes to my blog but there must be a way around it, I just haven’t thought of it yet.

Is there a way to make money from your passion if it isn’t immediately and obviously a commercial venture? Or should I just accept that writing about make up, clothes and interiors is the way to get people to sponsor?

Photographed by www.laurapower.co.uk

When it comes to blogging, the number one rule is that you really need to write about the things you are truly passionate about. If you don’t it will be completely obvious to your readers, but more importantly, it will be no fun for you! Who wants to spend their days writing reviews of products they don’t really rate or sharing fashion trends they don’t really care about?! 

Following the masses is not what will make your blog successful. There are a million other bloggers doing beauty product reviews, Pinterest round-ups and sharing their outfits. In order to stand out, you need to make yourself memorable – and different – by being yourself!

I’m so happy for you that you’ve found the path you want your writing to take, that’s more than half the battle. There are too many bloggers out there doing the same old thing and they’re all fighting tooth and nail for the same advertisers.

However, in saying that, I don’t think every single article you publish needs to be the equivalent of the next War and Peace. It’s actually quite nice to mix things up with a few lighter, or as you say filler, posts. Otherwise your blog might end up being all very heavy and intense! Everyone enjoys a little escapism now and again, even if they don’t bother to comment on it telling you so.

After all, if you’re covering a sensitive topic, everyone will have an opinion. There’s also always something someone else can add to the discussion in the comments. Yet when it comes to posts about more trivial matters such as interior design, fashion or beauty reviews, there’s really not much you can say in response, other than something like “This is cool, I want to try it too”. Most people just won’t bother. I’ve written about why I think blog comments are down before, and if you haven’t, I’d encourage you to have a read.

To have the most success with these ‘filler’ articles you always need to keep who your readers are in mind. Why do they love your blog? What are their interests? What do they like to read other than your website? What do they do in their spare time? Maybe instead of being high street darlings they’re the kind of people who’d prefer eco home ideas, or charity shop shopping. Remember, they all still live in houses and wear clothes, they just might not care about expensive kitchen gadgets or the latest trends.

Photographed by www.laurapower.co.uk

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Science and History Themed Museum Wedding: David & David

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David and David met online in 2006. They chatted for a few days and then had their first date at a local tapas restaurant. They both studied at the University of Manchester, so they chose the Museum at the university for their wedding venue. It is an amazing Victorian gothic building, and whilst they didn’t really want a ‘theme’ per-se, there was definitely a scientific and national history thread running throughout the celebration.

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“The venue was the inspiration”, they began. “We had some great spaces to fill – not to mention a T Rex threatening to upstage us during the ceremony – so we placed a big emphasis on using lighting to set the scene and add ambiance during our reception. A real highlight was the use of dry ice in our table centrepieces – a great effect which surprised our guests.”

“Fortunately the whole thing went off very well – no disasters! The readings during our ceremony were all excellent, but our friend Judith really stood out with her reading of ‘Us Two’ by A. A. Milne. It was nice to be told by guests who were recently married that our day was better than their own weddings!”

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Honeymoon Travel Guide: 10 Essentials for a Long Haul Flight

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If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from doing so much travel, its that packing the right things can make or break the flight. Even the longest journey in cramped economy can be much more bearable if you go into it prepared. I wouldn’t dream of hopping onto a plane without any of these things now!

1. Headphones. The more noise cancelling the better! Screaming children, clattering trolleys and general aeroplane commotion can make even the most serene of travellers have a meltdown. Gareth has these Bose QuietComfort headphones and the more I travel the more I think I need to invest in a pair too. But whatever headphones you have, bring them. Goodness knows they’re probably going to be better than the crappy ones they give you on the plane!

2 A good hydrating moisturiser. Finding the best one has actually become a bit of an obsession for me! I bought this Clarins HydraQuench recently and its definitely the current front-runner. They also do a mask in the same range which would be great as a post-flight treat for your skin.

I adore this Hydraluron Moisture Booster stuff too. I wasn’t convinced when I first tried it, but a couple of days in and I was completely converted. It makes my normal-dry skin soft, smooth and just generally lovely.

I also just nabbed myself a Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Hydra-Pure Smart Spray to try the next time I fly. It looks great because you can actually use it on top of make up! See, I told you it was an obsession. Dry aeroplane skin is the worst!

3. I am 100% fanatical about Dr. Bronner’s Castile SoapThis shit is actually amazing. You can use it for everything from washing your face and body, to cleaning your clothes, washing your hair, and even cleaning your teeth! Now, instead of packing a million different products when I go away this is pretty much all I need (although in all honestly I haven’t quite been brave enough to try the teeth cleaning yet!) I like the peppermint one, although to be fair it’s the only scent I’ve tried so far. Remember to grab yourself a 2oz travel sized one if you’re going to bring it on the plane with you.

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Retro Day After Photo Session at Home: Chelsea & Randy

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Chelsea and Randy eloped and so didn’t have professional photographs taken. But they wanted something to remember this special time in their lives so they booked Joan and Jon of BellowBlue Photography for a photo session that completely optimised them. This was not a styled shoot, it took place at their own home, decked out in all it’s retro finery. They used their own car that they drive every day. The barber shop is where Randy works.

Chelsea had her wedding dress custom made by a close friend. She also did her own hair and make up and wore her own cat eye glasses. She bought them on eBay and they are 1950s vintage.

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“Before Randy and I met, I had seen him play his upright bass at a few local shows and I was totally captivated by him”, began Chelsea. “He is the best upright slap bass player that I have ever seen. I finally got the chance to meet him at a mutual friends house in the summer of 2011. He showed up with a washtub bass that he had made himself. That night he also played clawhammer banjo and I was just blown away, I thought ‘I want to hang out with this guy more!’.”

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