Tag Archives: dear kat

The Pre-Wedding Freak Out

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Dear Kat

My girlfriend and I got engaged in June and we’re getting married quickly, over Christmas this year. Having to plan a wedding is such a short amount of time is causing so much stress between us. We are mostly paying for everything ourselves and our budget is also very small, just £1000.

I am doing a lot of the decorations myself to save money, and we’re hosting it in our own house (this is all whole other stress!) My sister is making the cake and we’re catering it ourselves. We’re both hoping to find second hand or high street dresses too. I don’t know how to cut costs more than we already are but we keep fighting about the expense of everything. I’m trying to convince her I’m doing the best I can, but we still argue constantly about the wedding.

I’m worried our wedding is going to be rubbish because our budget is so small and because I’m not as naturally creative as some of my friends. I’ve been to their weddings recently and they’ve all been SO COOL. I know it’s not supposed to be a competition, but I can’t help but feel our wedding is going to be uncreative and boring in comparison.

While getting married is supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life, there’s also a whole heap of stress that can come with it. Organising such a big event (even if it’s a small wedding!) is a part of that, but today’s couples also put a lot of extra pressure on themselves to have the most unique day possible.

While our parents might have worried about what their weddings said about their status or bank balance (the bigger the better!), modern day brides and grooms have a whole other set of pressures. Now, it seems that it’s more about using your wedding to show just how damn cool and laid back you are. “Oh no, it was so easy, I just threw this wedding together in a few weeks… and oh yes and I handcrafted everything completely on my own… in my sleep. I was such a laid back bride dontyaknow? Oh this old thing, it’s just something I came up with because it’s ‘so us’!”

I guarantee that all those cool as cucumber couples will have had their own moments of pre-wedding freak out too. So first of all, don’t beat yourself up for having moments of panic. It’s perfectly normal.

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Here are just a few pieces of advice that will hopefully help you in your moments of dismay.

Realise that it’s just one day

Yes, getting married is a big deal, but as ironic as it might be for me to write on a wedding blog, it’s just a wedding. It’s only one day in your life and it’s supposed to be fun! Weddings are about celebrating your love and they’re a nice way to start married life. They are not compulsory. If you wanted, you could run off to the register office and get married quick as a flash! Everything else is just accessorising.

Just remember, how this day goes does not define the rest of your life. So chill out and stop demanding so much from yourself.

Ask for help

It’s almost impossible, especially with a low budget or DIY wedding, to do everything yourself. You are not Wonder Woman! While it’s awesome that your family are helping you with things for the wedding, I bet there are other things you can outsource too.

Even if it’s just the decorations; grab a few bottles of wine, gather your besties, and have an afternoon of crafting together. It will be much more fun than struggling with papier-mâché and sticky back plastic all on your lonesome!

You also need to ask for help from your girlfriend. Sit down with her and discuss how you’ve been feeling. Be calm and open and listen to what she has to say too. It is vital that you move forward together and you do this thing as a couple. There is a lot of “I’m doing this” in your email. It is both of your wedding days after all.

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Do I Need Bridesmaids?


Hey Kat! I’m getting married in September and have been stressing over The Bridesmaid Situation for a while now. So my question is, what’s the Rock n Roll version of a bridesmaid and what does she do?

As much as I love channelling Blair Waldorf it just seems a bit minion-y, like an on-display clique, since I don’t have an obvious set of BFFs and hate to “draw the line”. Help!

I’m going to let you in on a secret: There isn’t really any reason, other than tradition, for bridesmaids (or groomsmen for that matter). Allegedly, bridesmaids came about because in Roman times the law required female witnesses at the wedding, dressed similarly to the bride, in order to confuse the evil spirits who wanted to cast bad luck over the marriage. So there you go. Evil spirits and tradition maketh the maid.

Although lots of people make a very big deal out of choosing their wedding party, for the modern, non evil spirit fearing bride, the actual duties of a bridesmaid are pretty limited. They can still be a very useful commodity though as their main function is to assist you with the wedding planning.

They have a few main tasks, and depending on what kind of alternative wedding you’re having these things may or may not even be relevant to you.

1. To be there for the big events like dress shopping, centrepiece choosing and DIY crafternoons.

2. To be emotional supportive in times of pre-wedding crisis because let’s face it, this shit can be stressful.

3. To plan you a kick ass hen do/ bridal shower/ bachelorette party.

4. To wear something pretty, walk down the aisle with you, carry a bouquet and be in the pictures.

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I Hate The Way I Look in My Wedding Photos

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I‘m aware that you like to help people with the planning of their wedding, however mine has now passed. It was a beautiful day and I’m so in love, but I hate my dress. Everytime I look at my photos, I feel sad. I’m a large girl and unfortunately my chest seems to have taken over my photos. When buying my dress I specifically stated that I didn’t want my chest to be very obvious in my dress and it was just a nightmare. I was just wondering if you had any advice on how to love my dress and feel happy when I look at my photos? 

I receive emails from women worried about their wedding every single day. “Will it be cool enough?” “How do I deal with my meddling mother-in-law?” “Why are my bridesmaids being such arseholes?”

But sometimes I get an email like this one, and more than with any of the others, I want to drop everything, find the person in real life and give them a massive hug.

I know just how you feel. I spent years loathing the way I looked, critiquing my appearance in every minute detail, hiding behind big, baggy clothes and turning and running if I saw anyone holding a camera. Even though I still struggle with my appearance on a daily basis, I’ve come a long bloody way. And you can too.

While you might not like the way you looked on your wedding day and every single photograph makes you cringe, that’s not the big problem here. The real obstacle is the way you’re thinking about yourself.

Yes, your wedding is a special moment in your life, but it is just one day. The relationship you have with yourself lasts a life time and so that’s the thing you should be focusing on. So I want you to put away that wedding album and start focusing on all the blessing you have in your life.

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Your Wedding Dilemmas Solved: Post Wedding Blues, Overcoming Shyness, & Much More!


With a brand new year just around the corner, I’d imagine a lot of you are starting to seriously SWEAT IT about your upcoming nuptials. Fret not dear reader, because I’m here to help! I put a call out on Facebook the other day asking if you had any dilemmas you’d like help with and oh boy did you! In fact I received so many questions both on Facebook and via email that I’ve decided to do a few of these Q&A style posts over the next few weeks. I love doing them and I hope I can help some of you out.

If you have a wedding related question, concern or problem, feel free to email me too. While I can’t reply one on one, I may well turn it into a future blog post or magazine article!

Can you help me with dealing the post wedding blues? Or preparing for after the wedding? I wish I had planned for it as I feel quite down now the wedding is over. Sarah Helen

If you’re not prepared for them, the post wedding blues can hit you like a high speed steam train. Feeling down once your wedding is over is perfectly normal though and not something you should be ashamed of. It doesn’t mean you’re any less happy to be married, it’s usually just because you loved planning your wedding (and put so much of your heart, soul and time into it) that you’re feeling a bit lost afterwards. Hell, I got them so bad, I became a full time wedding blogger!

While the post wedding blues aren’t something you should feel bad about, you shouldn’t wallow in them either. Take a short amount of time to ‘grieve’ that your wedding is over but then make a conscious decision to (in the nicest possible way) get over it! Now is the time to throw yourself wholeheartedly into your marriage. Plan some fun days out together, keep up your date nights, talk to each other and have lots of sex!

Sure, planning a wedding is amazing, but believe me, being married is way better!

I’ve written more about the post wedding blues here.

How do we break the news to the parents that we’re eloping? Its a fine line between planning our dream and pleasing our parents… Pascale

When you’re having a unusual or alternative wedding it can be hard to navigate between doing what you really want and keeping the people you love happy. But here’s the unfortunate truth: In life, whatever the situation, it is impossible to pick one outcome that will satisfy every single person that your choice affects. Even if you had the most traditional, family-pleasing wedding, there’d be someone who didn’t like your menu, or someone who hated the band…

If I was you, I’d sit down with your parents and your fiancé and just be honest with them. Remind them that eloping isn’t a sign that you love them any less, it’s just what you feel is right for the two of you. It might be hard on them, but ultimately you do have to put yourselves first. You’ll only regret it otherwise. As much as a wedding is about celebrating with family, it’s also about starting your new life as a team… a partnership… and putting that person and your relationship before everything else.

However that’s not to say that you shouldn’t try to compromise. How about suggesting that you or your parents throw a post-wedding party once you get home?


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How To Deal With People Who Want to ‘Pick Your Brain’


Dear Kat
I understand the irony of my emailing you about this, but I need your help! I’m a wedding photographer and my business is going pretty well. I’ve been shooting full time for two years now and I’m really proud of how much I’ve achieved. It’s taken a lot of work, but it’s been worth it!

My problem is, I’m now starting to get a lot of emails or private Facebook messages from friends and strangers asking if they can ‘pick my brain’. Sometimes they fire questions at me, but most of the time they’re asking if we can meet for coffee or if they can come and see how I work at a wedding!

While I’m honoured that people think I’m worthy of asking advice, I can’t help but feel annoyed about it. I’ve worked my BUTT off for the past two years to get to where I am, and these people seem to want me to give them all the answers for free! Don’t they realise there’s no quick answer and that hard work and time is really what it takes? You must get a lot of this too so I was just wondering if you had any advice on how I should deal with it?

When you reach a certain level of success, it’s inevitable that people will start to come out of the woodwork and innocently ask you for advice. Yes, it can be irritating, but the fact that this is happening is actually an amazing opportunity for your own business to grow.

Don’t feel bad about saying no!

First off, you should not feel bad for saying no. I say no to people everyday and I never feel guilty about it! You are only one little person and you can’t help everyone. You shouldn’t ever feel burdened by other people’s problems just because they asked you about them.

“Brain picking” meetings are particularly exhausting because they usually don’t have a specific goal. A lot of the time you’ll be trying to figure out exactly what the other person actually wants from you. To me, there is nothing worse than vaguely asking for advice. Let’s drop the foreplay and get to the point already! Does that sound harsh and mean? Maybe a little, but I’m a busy girl, I ain’t got time for fannying around!

If someone is asking to “pick your brain” then the implication is usually that they don’t really know what they want or need, they’re just hoping that you can give them all the answers. I personally avoid these kinds of meetings like the plague.

However I do think that you should always reply to each and every message you get, even if it is to say that you can’t help them. People will generally appreciate that you’ve taken the time to send them a note back, and it shouldn’t take you very long if you create some templates.


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How to Get Started in the Wedding Industry


I got an email last week from a reader who wanted advice on how to get started in the wedding industry. “For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be part of the wedding biz”, she wrote, “But where do I begin? I am pretty crafty and I just love all aspects of weddings. I must spend most of my waking hours sifting through your website, Etsy and Pinterest. I’ve saved thousands of pictures of bouquets, décor of every theme, you name it. I want so desperately to be a part of it, I just don’t know where to start.”

This is quite a common conundrum for people starting out on their career path. They might have a vague idea about what industry they want to go into (fashion, weddings, music…) but not a clue about where to begin.

As surprising as it might be, we all have to start in the same place – right at the beginning. While you may want to simply wake up one day with a fabulous career, and knowing exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life, in reality that just doesn’t happen. What you really need to do is find a way into the industry you want to work in. You might start as someone’s assistant, by doing admin and filing in an office or by selling your homemade treasures on Etsy.

You have to put yourself in a position where you’re exposed to the things that will eventually influence your career path. It’s not going to land on your lap if you’re not out there hustling for it, and you’re certainly not going to get there by sitting on the internet creating elaborate Pinterest boards all day.

The likelihood is that it won’t be all you’ve dreamed of in the beginning. Foot-in-the-door jobs are hard work, unglamorous and probably even a little boring. Your boss might be horrible, your tasks monotonous, the hours long and the pay crappy. But you have to do these jobs before you can work your way up to where you really want to be.

Before Rock n Roll Bride I worked in television. For years I did runner and assistant jobs, my first of which earned my a whopping £10,000 a year. However, when I left the industry I was producing three hours of live television a day, managing a team of eight and earning significantly more. I would have never have got there without doing the hard work, shit pay jobs first.

So don’t worry if you don’t fall in love with your career right away. No-one ever loves their entry level job, what matters is that you’re in the right industry.

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