Tag Archives: Personal

Why I’m Quitting Rock n Roll Bride

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When I started this blog I had no idea just how far it could take me. From quitting a well paid full time job to all expenses paid trips to Australia! I co-founded a workshop that taught over 1000 people all over the planet and launched a print magazine!! It really has been a wild ride and I wouldn’t change anything that’s happened for the world.

Over the past 8+ years I’ve woken up excited to turn on my computer and crack on with work (and that’s something I thought I’d never have in my life)… that is until it started to get too difficult. It stopped being fun. It started feeling like more of a chore than a labour or love. And if you don’t love something any more, why would you torture yourself? Life is just too short.

So I’ve come to a big decision. Its been really hard to make but I hope you’ll understand. I’m quitting Rock n Roll Bride. I’m not sure what I’m going to do next but I know it won’t be anything to do with weddings.

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A Valentine’s Love Letter to Myself

A Valentine's Love Letter to Myself

Dear Kat

You’ve been thinking long and hard about what to publish today. As a blog dedicated to love and marriage there’s a certain amount of extra pressure on Valentine’s Day. There’s so much expectation about what you might write about. Do you share a Valentine’s themed photo shoot? Do you write a love letter to your husband (again!)? Do you publish one of the thousands of press releases you’ve been bombarded with from companies who want to sell your readers flowers and chocolates and extravagant gifts? Do you just skip it all together!?

You were lying in a rose-scented bath the other day, thinking about this and looking down at your squishy belly, simultaneously wishing your body looked different. You starting thinking “I wonder how much happier I’d be if I looked more like those #fitspo girls on Instagram?”

And then it hit you.

Valentine’s shouldn’t just be about expressing love for others, it needs to be about expressing some love for yourself as well.

You’ve struggled with loving yourself for as long as you can remember. You might be extroverted and seem confident about most things on the outside, but I know that internally you’re constantly criticising yourself. The way you look, the way you act, the things you say… not pretty enough, not thin enough, not smart enough, not cool enough…

Today I want to tell you to give yourself a break. You’re ROCKING this thing called life. Your business helps so many women realise their true beauty and how awesome they really are. You give them permission to embrace their weirdness and just be themselves. You tell them to never conform and to be happy with who they are. You need to do this for yourself too!

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A Day in the Life

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This week I was interviewed by two industry websites, Wedding Daily and The National Wedding Show. While the first asked me all about my 2015, and plans for this year, NWS asked me to write a “day in the life” type story. I laughed when I got this assignment because my working life is anything but glamorous or exciting… as you will see! 

I would imagine that when most people think of someone who runs their own blog and magazine, that they would presume that their working life would mostly consist of fancy offices, design meetings with their extensive employees, and cocktails at lunch. Well, I hate to burst the Amanda Priestly bubble, but my daily working life is literally nothing like that!

The full-time Rock n Roll Bride team is myself and my husband Gareth, and we work from our small, two bedroom house in Reading. We have a freelance design team, Shauna and Samantha of We Are Branch, based in Oregon, who do all the graphic design for the website and art direct the magazine… and we do everything over email!

Glamorous it is not, but it’s vital that we keep our businesses lean to make a profit, that means keeping our costs as low as possible. The biggest expenses for most small businesses tend to be extra full time employees and office space so we’ve chosen to work from home and keep our team as small as possible.

So what does a usual day look like for me? Well, if I’m in the office then it goes a little something like this:

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8-10am (depending on how I’m feeling, yes, being your own boss really is the best): Wake up and immediately pick up my phone and check social media before I get up. I then put on comfortable clothes (my daily uniform is sweatpants, a t-shirt and my alpaca fur slippers which were ridiculously expensive but are the softest and most amazing thing I’ve ever put on my feet) wash my face, clean my teeth and make a cup of tea the size of my head.

10 – 12pm Checking emails, replying to anything super-duper urgent, writing a couple of blog posts or magazine articles before lunch. I do my best writing before lunchtime or early afternoon so I try to do anything that really needs my brain to be at its best here.

12 – 1pm At some point I usually stop for something to eat and another cup of tea, maybe take ½ an hour away from my computer to have a cheeky lunchtime Netflix sesh. Why not hey?!

1 – 4pm For the rest of the day it usually is more of the same. Pulling together blog posts and magazine articles, replying to emails, chatting to my designer about the next issue… Gareth is a late riser (he works late into the night!) so when he gets up we usually have a quick chat about the day, what needs doing and where we both are.

We work in separate spaces so he then goes off to his office and cracks on with whatever he needs to do. Issue 6 just launched last week, so at the moment he’s spending a lot of time packing and shipping out the subscription and online orders. We’d had 750 to do this week so this is no mean feat!

4pm I usually stop for a proper shower or bath late afternoon. As I said I do my best work first thing, so I don’t really want to waste time bathing as soon as I get up. I suppose I could get up earlier to have a bath before I start work, but where’s the fun in that?! I prefer to use it as another excuse to get away from the computer and indulge in a Lush bath bomb without needing to rush back to work!

5 – 7pm Wrapping up anything that needs urgently doing that day. Compiling invoices, more emails… Go food shopping if the fridge is bare!

7pm I do all the cooking so come 7pm its dinner and wine time! I tend not to work after 7pm if I can help it.

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Happy New Year & A Welcome to New Readers

View More: http://hijune.pass.us/kat-williams

The festive period is one of the most popular times of year for engagements, so I figured that the first day of a new year was the perfect opportunity to take some time to say a big fat “HELLO!” to any new readers. Even if you’ve been reading for a while, maybe you’ll learn something that you didn’t before!

Hi, I’m Kat!

…and I run this blog and accompanying print magazine (more on that below) alongside my ever-suffering husband, Gareth. My days are mostly filled with writing and organising content, liaising with advertisers and answering around 60 billion emails! I also spend the majority of my time in sweatpants which makes me irrefutably happy.

Gareth, on the other hand, does the behind the scenes operational stuff. From all the techy website things to dealing with the printing and distributing of the mag, he’s definitely less public-facing than I am but he is the backbone of the business. I couldn’t do it without him!

We work from our two-bedroom home in Reading, UK where we live with our babies, Henry and Rachel, the most gorgeous Maine Coon kitties you ever will see! Rock n Roll Bride has been going since 2007 and has been both of our full time jobs since 2011. I still love it so much and I never, ever want to do anything else!

Blog Schedule

The blog is updated every single day of the week, usually twice Monday – Friday. The majority of the content I share is real weddings because they’re just what you guys love seeing the most! And I get it, when I was planning my wedding (way back in 2007-8) perving over other people’s weddings was how I got most of my ideas too.

In between all those envy-inducing weddings I also share the odd bridal photo shoot and engagement session and I try to write as many advice pieces as I possibly can. So if you ever have any wedding planning woes or dilemmas, don’t hesitate to drop me an email. I may well turn it into a blog post in future.

If you are newly engaged then these are some past articles that should help you get started with your wedding planning. You’re very welcome!

Wedding planning advice for the newly engaged
Alternative engagement ring ideas
20 unique engagement rings for under £500
How to plan a wedding

The magazine!

Rock n Roll Bride print magazine was launched this time last year (wow, where has the time gone?) It’s a bi-monthly publication and you can currently buy it in WhSmiths, Sainsbury’s and some small, independent newsagents. We hope to add new stockists as time goes on too. Alternatively you can order one online or subscribe via our shop page. We ship worldwide and postage to the UK is FREE. Issue 6 hits the newstands on January 7th!

rocknrollbride magazine issue 6 cover

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Happy Christmas (& Issue 6 Sneak Peek!)

rocknrollbride magazine issue 6 sneak peek

I have an early Christmas gift for you… a teeny sneak peek of issue 6!! Isn’t she a beauty?! I seriously can’t wait for you to see the full thing, and there’s not long to wait because its on sale on January 7th.

For those of you that are extra impatient, we’ll be taking pre-orders from first thing Saturday morning. So if turkey, tinsel and family politics get all too much, make your excuses and pop by our shop page on Boxing Day and order yourself a treat for the new year. We will also be able to accept new subscribers then too, what a great way to spend any Christmas money (lucky you!)

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2015: Triumphs, Failures and Lessons Learned

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The last twelve months have been HUGE for Rock n Roll Bride. We saw the magazine in physical stores, we worked with (and then ditched!) a external publishing company, and then we started our own! It also saw the last in-person class of The Blogcademy, and we signed up for massively exciting collaboration with the National Wedding Show! PHEW.

My highlight of 2015 was taking Rock n Roll Bride magazine from a small, self-published mag, to one sold in shops up and down the UK. Seeing it in WH Smiths for the first time (when I was on the cover no less!) was a feeling I can’t even describe. I went in with my mum on the first day it came out and she bought, like, 5 copies!

There have been ups and downs on the magazine journey. Most of you will know that in June, after producing three issues with another publishing company at the helm, we decided to break out on our own and start our own limited company to produce the entire thing ourselves again. Going from a team of around nine people to just three was obviously going to take some adjustment, and would mean that my work load tripled, but it was one billion percent the right decision.

Not only did we have complete control again (something I value very much, Rock n Roll Bride is my baby after all!) but having a much smaller team means there would be less overheads, which is super important if you actually want to make money!

In retrospect, the match with the publishing company was not a good one, but it’s not something I regret doing. If we hadn’t worked with them the magazine would have never, ever got into stores. In fact before we signed with them I was ready to pack it all in because I had no idea how to take it to the next level. Although the partnership didn’t work out how we expected, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity they gave us. Its helped our business develop in a direction that we probably would have never got to on our own.

Things have been moving on in leaps and bounds since then. Sales are increasing, the companies who are advertising with us are more in-line with the brand, and we were asked to partner up with the biggest wedding show in the country for next spring! Pretty amazing, considering we still work from home (which I love, #dailysweatpantparty for the win!) and our third team member, design wizard Shauna of We are Branch, is based 5000 miles away in Portland, meaning we do everything via email! 

Bigger and better, onwards and upwards! I am so excited to see what happens with the magazine in 2016. I didn’t start this blog to eventually turn it into a print edition, but now that its happened, it just feels SO RIGHT.

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