Fabulous 50’s & Multi-Coloured Tulle

As soon as a saw Catherine & Kev’s fabulous 50’s style wedding, my attention was drawn to one thing – that amazing Stephanie James Couture dress! I have been a superfan of the designer ever since I found and fell in love with this amazing multi-coloured tulle creation and OMG Catherine’s had a similar underskirt. She too fell in love with this dress when I featured in a while ago. “My maid of honour, Kirree, found a dress on Rock n Roll Bride made by Stephanie James Couture” Catherine explained. “It was the ‘Lustful’ or ‘Tame Fifi’ dress you featured a while back, as soon as she sent me a link to the pictures I knew that was the dress I needed to get married in! I quickly got in touch with Stephanie and asked if she could make me a similar version and she said yes!”

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Honeyversary.

You might remember Tim & Merrill’s self-engagement shoot (and here) or their ridiculously amazing wedding. If so, you’ll be just as excited to see their ‘Honeyversary’ shoot as I was yesterday. The couple are photographers and have just been married over a year. As they moved to New York pretty much straight after their wedding they never had time for a honeymoon so they decided to take a trip to Palm Springs this month.

They stayed at  Ace Hotel and Swim Club, a wonderfully retro cool and chic place, a style which they incorporated into the style of the photographs? “We love the mid century feel that Palm Springs has” Merrill explained. “All of the houses look so cool and the decorations are so retro-cool! While we were there we swam in the pool for hours on end, bought out all the records at the thrift stores, and of course, we did a photo shoot!”

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Tattoos, Soul & an Awesome Pink Bicycle

Simple, sweet, tattooed Nashville lovelies. I am crazy in love with the pink bike (erm…of course) the vintage records (another trend I’m not yet tired of) and the lake side setting. That water looks incredible and it goes without saying that Rennie & Joe are one hell of a cool couple. LOVE!

I am already looking forward to seeing the results of their Septemeber wedding after Rennie told me, “We have known each other for 19 years (we met at age 11 and were each other’s first kiss), we felt that our engagement photos should showcase the life we’ve built together. We opted to have a simple shoot at our home rather than a ‘location shoot’. Our wedding will be this September and we will feature a 1960’s theme – rock n’ roll, soul, dresses from 1960’s Vogue patterns and vintage motorcycles (Joe has restored a 1973 Norton Commando)”

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How to…Know When it’s Right to Take on Blog Sponsors

Credit: Emma Case Photography

I like writing posts like this. They get my brain a-flexing and they’re always a little bit controversial…and that’s all good to me! I constantly receive emails from newbie (or sometimes even quite established) bloggers from all niches (not just wedding) asking for my help or opinion on how to go about taking on blog sponsors and how to make money from their blog. I try to reply to every single one, however of course how much detail I go into generally depends on my current busy-ness situation. So, I’ve been toying with the idea for a little while to put all my thoughts, musings and opinions (for that’s what these are) into one place so I can hopefully direct future question-askers right here. I’m sharing my own experience and the trials and tribulations I’ve had through this ‘making money from blogging thing’ and am in no way claiming to be an expert. However I hope in some way I can help some of your starting out in this journey we call blogging…oh and for those of you out there that berate me for making money as a blogger…well…I’d suggest not reading on.

When I started blogging nearly 3 years ago I didn’t really understand the potential of the medium or really what it was all about. I had no idea about SEO, I didn’t understand the ‘unwritten rules’ about how or what to blog and  it certainly didn’t even cross my mind that any money could be made from it.

In the Beginning…

I made mistakes. We all do. I blogged things that I didn’t have permission to do so. I didn’t credit properly. I didn’t know that blogs had exclusivity policies…and yes I pissed some people off. When you first start blogging its scary, exciting and exhilarating. You really don’t know what you’re letting yourself in for and anyone who thinks running a successful blog is a walk in the park or an easy money maker needs to get their head examined. Egos, turf wars and a (more often than not) predominantly female group (certainly in the wedding blogging industry) can and does lead to fierce competition for the best features…and something which I’m seeing more now than I ever have before, a hell of a lot of bitchiness. 

Nowadays blogging, particularly in the UK seems much more prominent. Most people now do seem to be aware of the magnitude of blogs, how important they are to suppliers, wedding vendors and brides and therefore have some kind idea of things like exclusivity and transparency. I wanted to be open and honest about my (sordid haha!) past so you can all be acutely aware that I ain’t some kind of guru. I’ve made the same mistakes a lot of newbie bloggers have and will continue to do. I was just a few years ahead of you is all. So firstly, don’t beat yourselves up about it. When I got my first ‘Oi, you’ve copieeeeed me’ email I died a little bit inside. But do I care now? Do I hell! Learn from it. Move on and become a better blogger.

OK, soul-bearing over, let’s get on with the real reason behind this post shall we?

As soon as I started blogging, I loved it. I’d found something I enjoyed and the inner geek inside me rejoiced that there seemed to be like-minded people like me out there. I worked extremely hard to make connections within the industry – both with other bloggers and with suppliers and vendors. I definitely learnt the hard way how to do this and it took at least a year before I actually met anyone in this country (everything and everyone was in The States at this point!) Even though, looking back at how much time and effort I put into establishing myself, it was a pretty hard slog, I’m happy to say that not only have I somehow come out the other side making a living from doing what I love, but I’ve made some pretty damn awesome friends along the way.

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A Non-Vanilla, Love-Filled, 1950’s Delight

An excitable email from a newly married reader always brightens my day and LeeAnn’s may have been one of the most excitable I’ve received in a while! I just had to share the story behind her and husband David’s gorgeous 1950’s influenced wedding with you today.

“After gorging my eyes on a ga-jillion bridal mags and internet images,  I felt I was living a white-out groundhog day” LeeAnn began. “I quickly became downhearted about organising my own BIG DAY, the no-fun casting my eye over “traditional” gowns (this one? no, that one? no, repeat), the vanilla-ness of invites, pink-and-white themes to the power of 42,000! Where did the love go?”
 
“I think it was a Wednesday and my heart stood still….stopped, popped, blew up and nearly burst with love at the teeniest tiniest little picture of a 50’s style wedding dress!  The simplicity, the classic lines, the Frou-Frou…No other designer, strapless, flowing, ruched, lace, beaded, train or no train gown was going to be the winner! This was IT for me! Even better than this, the prospect of “ankle-age” (showing off one’s ankles) and the Shoes! The Shoes! (Oh! Heart! Don’t fail me now!) Enter, stage left, Lisa of Dragonfly Dress Design in Glasgow, who put my ponderings to paper and really really listened to all my wishin’ and hopin’ that I could pull off such a beautifully timeless gown, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps? And so began my love affair with tulle…the gown she handmade for me, words just cant explain how awesome I felt wearing it, and I just adored the teeny little birdcage veil she also worked her magic on.  What a woman!”
 
“Soon came the realisation that a bridal gown like this went hand-in-hand with songs of yesteryear that I love, Dion’s ‘Runaround Sue’ and Little Anthony’s ‘Tears on my Pillow’ being two of my all time Top 10.  They may not be specifically linked with the 50’s, but the images they evoke in my mind when I hear them and singalong, I think I had a major Light-bulb moment when I pictured myself in my dress. The Jigsaw came together relatively easy after that. David was cool with all I suggested and put forward (I did give him some input, honest), the look of horror on parents and grandparents faces when I explained I was doing something “a wee bit different” to the norm.  It actually became a delight to seek out the alternative.”

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A Sunday Kind of Love – My Daddy

Credit: English Rose Weddings My Dad & I on the morning of my wedding

I’ve been struggling to think how I could possibly top last week’s Sunday Kind of Love – Jasmine Star & Being Free to Succeed post. After wrestling with trying to ‘go one better’ this week I forgot what this Sunday is all about. Daddy’s.

So Happy Father’s Day Dad. I sent a card…I hope you get it on time! Sorry I don’t get to see you as much as we’d like. Life always gets in the way.

This Sunday is dedicated to the Dad’s all over the world. Make sure you tell yours that you love him.

Credit: English Rose Weddings My Dad’s speech. Emotional indeed.