Tag Archives: Magazine

Happy Eighth Birthday Rock n Roll Bride!

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Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe that this is actually my life. While it isn’t rainbows, unicorns and kittens all of the time, and I’ve never worked longer or harder, I am undeniably grateful that I get to do something I love every single day.

Eight years ago today I posted my very first article on this blog. I was working at a shopping channel and although I enjoyed it most of the time, there was always a undercurrent of sadness in my life. The “Is this really it?” mentality. This was something that had been following me ever since I was 14 years old. I’m sure some of you already know that I had a tough time growing up. I had depression, I self harmed, I had an eating disorder, I even tried to kill myself on more than one occasion. I remember around that time my mother would always say to me, “God had a plan” and “You can’t give up, you are destined for the most wonderful things”. Now, I’m not sure about the whole God thing, but even in my darkest moments I did quietly hope that she was right, and that one day I’d wake up and have it all figured out.

Of course there never was just ‘one day’. There was no single moment when everything changed. These things never work like that and it was a very long process to getting from that place I was as a teenager, to a position where I actually felt I had something to offer by starting a blog. The changes I made in my life between then and 2007, when I registered my free blogspot.com domain, were MASSIVE, and most of them were down to the wonderful man that wanted to marry me. I can’t even tell you how much Gareth has done for me. He quite literally saved my life. He was also the inspiration to start this website. I mean, without him I wouldn’t have been getting married and so I wouldn’t have started a blog to share my wedding planning journey!

So we’re now at 30th October 2007 and I start this site with no agenda other than I want to talk about my wedding (without bothering my friends and family – ha!) It’s the ultimate cliché, but I had no idea what it could become and how it might evolve. We got married in April 2008 and after the wedding was over, I still kept the blog going by sharing cool weddings that I’d found elsewhere online. I used to trawl wedding photography groups on Flickr (oh remember Flickr!?), I would ask other brides in the forums I frequented if I could share their stories, I sometimes re-blogged weddings I saw on other wedding blogs.

However it wasn’t until January 2009 that everything changed. I guess I should backtrack the story slightly and admit that I am the least technical person I know. I touch a Mac and it explodes, I’m always the one dropping or otherwise breaking something on my phone, I know how to use the back-end of my website to upload images and text, but anything more technical than that and I’m a disaster. Thank God a married the ultimate computer geek!

Anyway, its January 2009 and I decide that I want to put Google Analytics onto my site to see how many visitors it was getting. It looked easy enough but me being me, I messed it up and SOMEHOW managed to delete the whole thing! To this day Gareth has no idea how I did it, “But surely there were pop ups saying ‘if you do this the blog will be deleted are you SURE you want to proceed? Really? Are you definitely sure?!'” I have no idea what happened, but all I do know is I did something wrong and the blog was gone forever, KAPUT, DONE, FINITO! Buried in the depths of the Google graveyard.

Yes, there were tears! But Gareth, my geek in shining armour, came to my rescue yet again and set me up with a brand new blog. We bought the .com, switched to WordPress (a much more superior blogging platform to the free one I was using) and I started the whole thing over.

At the time I was SO gutted that my blog was gone, but it was actually the best thing to ever happen. Not only did it mean most of my very early, very embarrassing posts about my own wedding were gone forever (you can see what the old blog looked like here, totally legit right?!) but it also forced me to start again and re-evaluate what I really wanted to do with this space.

It was at this point that I made a conscious effort to only share alternative wedding inspiration. I decided that I wanted to create a place for brides who wanted beautiful yet fun and unique weddings. I wanted to inspire couples to have weddings that reflected them, not one that the wedding industry told them was ‘on trend’. I wanted to share the kind of wedding inspiration I was desperate for as a bride but couldn’t find anywhere. I wanted to create the blog that I wish I’d found when I was planning our wedding.

create the things you wish existed

Poster from ABM Happy Mail

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Issue 5 Pre-Sale and Magazine Subscriptions Now Available!

rocknrollbride magazine issue 5 cover

Do you yearn for a wedding magazine that features brides just like you? Realistic budgets, creative ideas, weddings that you wish you’d been invited to? Is practical, actionable wedding planning advice something you crave? Are you sick of trawling through page after page of advertisements from companies you aren’t interested in and products you can’t afford?

ME TOO, which is why I started Rock n Roll Bride in the first place!

Today I can finally reveal the cover of the brand new issue – Isn’t she a beaut!? Again, we have a gorgeous real bride on the cover, Julia, who’s Queensland wedding is featured inside. From ceremonies in rainstorms to puppy bridesmaids and drag queen officiants, issue 5 features some hella inspiring real weddings.

But we’re not all about the pretty, inside you’ll also find some awesome articles written by some fantastic contributors including my own mum (yes, really!) There’s some killer photography advice for those of you who are having winter weddings, affordable décor ideas and DIY projects a-plenty. I don’t want to give too much away, but believe me when I say this will be the best £4.99 you’ll spend all month!

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Issue 5 will be in stores on November 10th, but the good news doesn’t end there. As well as WH Smiths and independents, the magazine will now be sold in Sainbury’s supermarkets up and down the UK!!

While we would love to be stocked in every single shop in the country (we’re getting there – sloooowly!) if you can’t find one near you, you can always order online, and today we’re opening up pre-orders in our redesigned shop page (thanks Gareth!). Pre-ordered copies will be shipped out first, meaning by reserving yours now you may even receive your copy before it hits the stores.

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Your Magazine Has Been Dispatched

Your magazine has been dispatched

Did you know we create a bi-monthly magazine? Of course you did, because between you all you bought 1,000 copies through our website within two days of its official release date. Sure, we had pre-orders up for a while before hand but we didn’t expect to sell even half of that over the next two months! And while this is undoubtedly great news it came with some real challenges and forced us to scale up our logistics on short notice. Here’s how we did it.

From 2011 to 2014 we were self-publishing, self-distributing an annually produced magazine. It was a labour of love, spawned from a weird idea, which furnished us with far more praise than we ever expected. The business model was pretty basic: We would print 1,000 copies per issue and they would gradually sell over a 12-month period until they were all gone. Two or three times a week I would take a trip to our local Post Office to send out the orders. The counter staff there got to know me well, they knew what I was sending and between us the process became relatively efficient for its scale.

But regardless, there were times when that arrangement would prove problematic. For instance, with every new release we would have a flood of orders. The 2013 release saw us receive 198 orders on launch day alone. When I walked into the Post Office that day the manager looked understandably distraught. He put a staff member on my delivery and asked me to come back a few hours later to pay the… *ahem* sizable bill.

This all changed in January, when we started working with a 3rd party publisher. Along with getting our magazine in high-street stores like WHSmiths, their distributors would hold all the stock and take responsibility for shipping out the online orders – no longer would our dining table be a small-scale warehouse for packing and shipping magazines! Unfortunately, the appeal of leaving it to somebody else soon wore off as customer satisfaction hit an all-time low. Every week we were dealing with customers’ who were waiting for their orders to arrive. And it’s not as if there were thousands and thousands of magazines to ship, we were only taking in the order of a few hundred online sales per issue at the time. Yet in our four year magazine-selling-history we had never had so many customer service problems as we did during the first half of 2015.

So what was going wrong? There were two main problems, first was the sheer number of people involved in shipping the product. It had gone from one (i.e. me) to a dozen, spread through three different companies. Any customer queries had to propegate through the entire chain before the buyer had so much as a response, let alone a resolution, to their questions. The second problem was economics, it was only cost effective for the distributor to send out our customers’ orders once a fortnight which meant some people had to wait nearly two weeks after making payment before their magazine even left the warehouse! It doesn’t matter what size your business is, this just isn’t good enough in 2015.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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Be Seen By Thousands of Potential Clients for just £50!

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Rock n Roll Bride magazine is an unstoppable force. Every single day I receive comments and emails from brides and grooms that are thrilled that it exists. There is no other wedding magazine that caters to couples wanting to plan a wedding that’s a bit left field: From extravagant Alice in Wonderland weddings to quirky pub parties, from budget backyard shindigs to achingly cool elopements, and from gothic wonders to collaborative DIY celebrations! I am extremely proud that Rock n Roll Bride shows such diversity.

One of the things I am most passionate about, besides showcasing beautiful, achievable and unique wedding content, it being able to use the magazine to support small or indie businesses. The Etsy sellers, the part timers, the babes working their butts off from their back bedrooms (I’m with you on that one!) Unlike other wedding magazines with fancy offices and massive overheads, our team is small meaning our costs are (comparatively) low. It is really important to me that we can offer ad options that the businesses my readers really want to know about can actually afford.

It’s all very well and good having the most amazing business idea ever, but if no-one knows about it, it might as well not exist. So if you make something awesome, or offer a killer service that you want brides and grooms to know about, then Rock n Roll Bride magazine is the place for you to be featured.

This is your opportunity to find the kind of kick ass clients you’ve always dreamed about.

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Rock n Roll Bride Magazine Issue 4 On Sale Today!

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I’ve been like a kid at Christmas, desperate to rip open her toys for weeks but finally – finally – the day has come. Issue 4 of Rock n Roll Bride magazine hits UK newsstands TODAY. Cue the fireworks!

So, who wants a sneak peek inside this eagerly anticipated issue? As you can see the whole magazine has been completely redesigned to reflect our new branding including a new masthead and a colour palette of deeper pinks and gold accents.

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And oh yes, this issue does have a unicorn and skull wedding inside!! No big deal…

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New Look, New Adventures

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Oh the excitement! There has been a lot going on behind the scenes at Rock n Roll Bride HQ over the past few months. Not only have we taken the magazine back completely in-house, but we’ve secretly been squirreling away to re-brand too! Its been a non-stop party of design, logistics and approximately sixty squillion emails coming and going each day.

If you have your own business, nothing feels better than a re-brand. We’d been rocking the old look for more than five years, so it felt like the perfect time have a little facelift. The business has changed so much since the old design was rolled out so it felt only right to reflect our new developments with a more grown up appearance.

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I worked with my babe Shauna of We Are Branch (the best designer and friend I could ever ask for – FACT) and to say I’m thrilled would be the understatement of the year. The new design is much more editorial, feminine and modern. I LOVE IT SO MUCH, especially the new blog header. Isn’t it sooo pretty!?

The layout of the website was still working well for us so the functionality is still mostly the same. Apart from the logo, the only other major change is that we’ve relocated the main navigation to the very top of the page. On mobile devices we now have a five simple icons pinned to the top of the screen which you can use to move between the main sections of the site.

You can still find the content where it always was, the most popular articles at the bottom of the page and the ‘rockstar vendors’* (aka wedding suppliers that I think are rad) listed down the right hand side. From the front page you can also still click through to see the full gallery of images for each featured wedding. Easy!

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