Tag Archives: Personal

Wedding Planning in Marrakech


You might remember that in July I went to Marrakech with Gala and Shauna. Well, I loved it so much that I convinced my sister Rachel (who’s getting married next July) that we totally needed to do a winter sun vacation for “wedding décor research”.

It might sound like a ridiculous indulgence, but when we actually looked into it properly it wasn’t such a mental idea. She wants to buy or hire lots of Morrocan-style throws, rugs and lamps for the wedding but we were quite frankly astounded at the cost. Even the hire places we looked into had a minimum spend that was over what she wanted to shell out on décor and this way she gets to keep it all afterwards!

Our flights were only £120 and we’re staying in a much less fancy Riad than I did last time meaning that the whole trip is costing us less than £300 each. Plus it’s going to be a really fun pre-wedding adventure.

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Happy Wedding Day Carly and Tom!

carly and kat and uni looking like children

I just wanted to pop by quickly today to say HAPPY WEDDING DAY to my bestie Carly (and, I guess, her fiancé Tom – ha!) The photo in this post was taken twelve years ago. My goodness, when did we get so old!?

Carly was the very first person I met at university. We were put in the same house and our rooms were right opposite each other. We bonded over our mutual love of tea (true story) and the fact that we both liked to party just a little too hard – oh the stories I could tell!

I don’t have a whole heap of friends, but even after all this time she is still one of my favourite people on the planet. We always joke that our lives couldn’t be more different. She’s a police officer in London (!) and I’m well, me, but it doesn’t matter one little bit. Whenever we do see each other it’s like nothing has changed, we chat at a million miles an hour and laugh about the most ridiculous things! She saw me at my worst and we even have matching tattoos that we got when we left uni, aww.

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Happy Eighth Birthday Rock n Roll Bride!

headshots 2015 shell de mar (30)

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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The Salvage Project

the salvage project

Last year, my beautiful friend Jo lost her battle with depression. I miss her so much and not a day goes past when I don’t think about her. Once the dust settled after her death, her boyfriend Chris and I had long chats about him doing an project in her memory, with proceeds going to charity. On Thursday, what would have been Jo’s 31st birthday, he launched The Salvage Project.

Chris explains the project better than I ever could. The ‘About Jo’ section of the website reads, “I refuse to dwell on her illness as it simply didn’t define who she was to anyone. Jo struggled with a variety of mental health issues throughout my time with her. She hid it from everyone with the exception her closest family and I.

For the purpose of narrative and facts, only: Jo took her own life in February 2014.

I saw this project develop whilst she was alive and, for Jo, ‘The Salvage Project’ was an escape. It was a ‘place’ she felt like she had a real purpose and somewhere that she saw a future. I’ll always remember her face when we’d finish a certain part of a logo or website. She’d bounce and clap and squeal with excitement. I remember, she used to uncontrollably waddle around like a penguin when she was excited.”


“It was ‘her’ project. The Salvage Project gave her a sense of independence and a feeling of self worth. She’d learned to use side effects of her illness, such as attention to detail and perfectionism to create one of the few things she was genuinely proud of. This project contributed to moments where she was truly herself and I’m so grateful I was around to see how it made her feel.

From the start, we always referred to this as ‘The Salvage Project’. The word ‘Salvage’ took a much deeper interpretation when I started revisiting the project, after she passed away. Jo left behind mountains of her work including chests of beautiful jewellery and notes on the direction she wanted to take with business ideas and branding. Stepping into her office at our home was like stepping into a time capsule of her ‘happiest’ times.

To me, ‘Salvage’ refers to the act of scrambling through the aftermath of devastation to find, develop and launch a project she’d worked so hard towards. I wanted to ‘salvage’ my positive memories of her instead of ‘moving on’. I told myself that ‘If I can’t say goodbye to Jo, I want my memories of her to be from when she was at her happiest’.”

the salvage project1

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Happy New Year! Rock n Roll Bride: An Overview

happy new year portrait

I know many of you have been reading for a while, but with a new year rolling in it’s always nice to start afresh and take the time to reintroduce myself to anyone who might be new around these parts. I published an Idiot’s Guide to Rock n Roll Bride this time last year, so if you haven’t already you should definitely check it out to help you get your bearings. A few things have changed since January 2014 (and not just my hair colour!) so I’m quickly going to go over them now.

Blog schedule

During the week the blog is updated twice daily with lovely real weddingsadvice columns and general inspiration for alternative brides (and grooms!) There’s also a couple of updates over the weekend too.

My posts go up at 8am and 3pm GMT but I’d suggest subscribing via RSS or joining me (and 143,000 others!) on my Facebook page so you never miss a beat. You can also find me on all usual social platforms: Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Over the past few years I’ve also been actively writing about running your own small business in The Green Room area of my site. It’s been a blast and I’ve loved doing it, but I’ve decided to let it take a bit of a back seat for 2015. It’s not being scraped completely, but it will probably be updated a less often. Why? Well, because…

I’m publishing a magazine!

I am now the Editor in Chief of the UK’s newest wedding magazine! Over the past three years I’ve written and self-published an annual magazine, but it was recently picked up by Giraffe Media (who also publish Wedding Ideas Magazine) who are putting my baby into REAL LIFE SHOPS.

The bi-monthly mag costs £4.99 and will now be sold in WHSmiths, Morrisons and independent newsagents (with more to be added soon). For my readers that aren’t in the UK, or those of you that would prefer it to be delivered straight to your door, you’ll be able to buy a subscription online SOON. The details of this are still being finalised but I’ll share the link with you the second I have it – I promise! This is all HUGE and incredibly exciting and I can’t bloody wait for you to see it. Issue 1 is in stores on January 8th!!!!


Here’s the cover of issue 1. Isn’t it AWESOME?! (If I do say so myself!)

Oh and there may well be a launch party at some point too! Would you want to come?!

The Blogcademy

But that’s not all (yes, I’m a busy gal)! Alongside my besties Gala Darling and Shauna Haider, I am one of ‘the headmistresses’ of The Blogcademy. It’s a two-day workshop which helps aspiring bloggers and small business owners harness the power of the internet to turn their business dreams into a reality!

Since our launch in 2012 we’ve taught nearly 1000 people how to get started, make waves, live their passion and MAKE MONEY doing what they love… and we ain’t stopping yet!


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Introducing: Rock n Roll Bride for Crown and Glory – The Bridesmaid Collection!

rock n roll bride for crown and glory hero shot

Rainbow loving babes, stop what you are doing! The day has finally come, my brand new collection with Crown and Glory is ready for you to get your glittery paws on!

When Sophie and I sat down to brainstorm the new designs, we came up with the idea of a collection specifically aimed at bridesmaids. While that’s not to say brides can’t wear these (or you can’t wear them every day – I have been!) we noticed there was a distinct lack of super cool, colourful and affordable accessories specifically for bridesmaids… so we decided to do something about it!


Glitter and rainbows are my idea of heaven, so this is where we started. I wanted everything to either be bright, or glittery… or both! In all honestly, I just wanted to design pieces that I’d wear myself.


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