Tag Archives: wedding planning advice

Bridal Body Confidence with Harnaam Kaur

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Harnaam Kaur has polycystic ovary syndrome, which meant she started growing a beard from aged 11. Battling to remove her hair every day, and bullied at school, she started to self-harm and considered suicide. Harnaam is now a body-confidence and anti-bullying activist. She fully embraces her unique look and hopes to encourage others to do the same.

I absolutely love weddings. I grew up attending Sikh, Hindu and western weddings and although each event was very different from the next, each time I would look at the bride in awe, transfixed by her beauty and elegance. Each and every one of them looked like a goddess, and I remember feeling excited about dressing up and being a bride myself one day.

Wearing the most gorgeous dress, carrying the prettiest floral bridal bouquet and marrying the man or woman of your dreams – there is so much to look forward to at a wedding! However I would imagine that for most of you, making preparations for your big day can be quite stressful, not only because you’re concerned about how it will turn out, but because of anxieties about your body or appearance.

Although there are pressures for woman to look a certain way whatever their race, in talking to my friends I have found that Asian women are put under a very particular kind of pressure to look perfect when they walk down the aisle. One of my friends who got married recently spent so much time in the morning worrying about if her make up was perfect (and if her skin looked light enough), whether she looked bloated from breakfast, and if all her body hair was removed properly that she was almost two hours late. I had another friend who told me that her future husband said he would only marry her if she had laser treatment all over her body to remove her excess hair. I’m pleased to say that she didn’t marry him in the end!

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Now, I understand that most brides want to look perfect on their wedding day, but it’s a fine line between wanting to feel happy and confident, and making yourself look a certain way because friends, family or society tells you that you should! Why do so many women feel the need to conform and fit into what other people say is beautiful?

Another added pressure I’ve noticed in Asian culture is the desire for brides to not only please her future husband, but his family as well. Too many times to mention I have overheard Indian mothers saying certain girls were too short/ too fat/ too tall/ too hairy to marry their sons. Every time I am absolutely horrified. I have always been shocked by how much women are judged for the way that they look, and although it happens to men too, it certainly doesn’t to the same extent.

I started growing thick hair on my body and face when I hit puberty. At 11 years old I was diagnosed PCOS which is a condition where there is an imbalance in hormones within the female body. This led me to have more male hormones then female ones which meant my hair grew like a man’s and I developed beard. I used to shave and wax my face but at the age of 16, after years of being bullied, self-harming and feeling suicidal, I thought enough was enough and I let it grow out. Since then, I have never felt more content, happy, and in love with my body.

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Unhelpful Husbands-to-Be

Dear Kat, I’d love some advice on how to get my fiancé more involved in the wedding planning without being accused of harassing him or being a bridezilla!? Essentially, I want to know how we can make it fun for both of us and not appear to be a chore. I’m happy doing most of the organising, but when it comes to the stuff I can’t really do (such as his suit) or things I need his input on (the guest list, the music, the food) he just rolls his eyes, huffs and gets annoyed! Help!

Men are such interesting creatures aren’t they? I have to admit, at first I was completely stumped on how to reply to this because its something I struggle a bit with too! I am very action-oriented. I hate to sit on things that need doing, whereas Gareth will take forever to motivate himself to do something and it drives me fucking insane. Granted, when he does get to whatever the task is, he always does a brilliant job (whereas my penchant for rushing right in sometimes ends up with a bit of a haphazard result!) But sitting around waiting for him to do things is very frustrating. I guess what I’m saying is I totally feel your pain!

Instead of trying to answer this myself, I actually decided to chat to Gareth about this, as he’s much more likely to be able to see things from your fiancé’s point of view. Here’s what he had to say. I hope this helps.

“Well, it’s a tricky one with such little info, because there’s going to be an underlying issue which is causing him to get so easily annoyed. It could be as simple as he’s got something on his mind which is really bothering him (finances, health, work) or it could be more difficult to tackle problem like anxiety or depression.

The trouble is, once a subject like picking a suit is raised frequently enough at the wrong time to cause anger, it becomes a trigger point forever more. So even mentioning it at a good time can lead to a reactionary outburst.

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Can We Please Stop Booking Cheap Photographers and Moaning About Them ‘Ruining’ Our Weddings?

Deep breath.

This week, yet another news story about an amateur photographer ‘ruining’ a couple’s wedding photos hit the headlines. “Poor couple!” the comments read, “What a terrible woman this photographer is!” “She deserved to get sued!” The comment threads (including on the photographer’s business social media accounts, which have all now been deactivated) read like the modern day equivalent to the Salem witch hunts. They might as well have been chanting “BURN THE PHOTOGRAPHER!”

Now I’m not saying the photographer was wrongfully called out here. In this particular instance the photos that we made public were, for all intents and purposes, utterly terrible. There are also always two sides to any story so I’m not even going to get into the claims that she was 45 minutes late, only took 15 photos of the reception and spent more time in the photo booth than doing anything else. That’s really all superfluous to the point I want to make.

However, what is important is that when these types of stories come out, the recurring theme always seems to be that the couple hired a cheap, brand new or (as in this case) student photographer yet still expected their photographs to be of the same quality that a seasoned professional charging ten times more might deliver. There appears to be a complete lack of value placed on what a professional wedding photographer actually does. And believe me, its way more than having a fancy camera, lighting equipment and retouching software installed on their computer.

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How to Plan a Festival Wedding: Being Interviewed by Helen Anderson

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I’ve followed Helen Anderson; YouTuber, Instagram megastar and all round cool girl, for a few years now. I think I first found her when she did a video about how to get pink hair or something! I secretly always thought she was funny, awesome and that if we met we’d probably hit it off immediately.

When she got engaged last year I tweeted her to say congrats and offered to send her a magazine, and to my utter surprise she not only replied, but told me she’d been reading my blog for years too! What followed was a whirlwind internet romance of mutual fangirling (we’re both not ashamed to admit that we’re a little bit obsessed with each other – ha!) and messages like “OMG one day we have to actually meet OK?”

Then, a couple of weeks ago, she emailed me to ask if I’d like to film a video with her all about planning a festival wedding. It took me approximately 5 seconds to reply and we arranged for her to come down to Reading for the interview at my house following week!

As you can see, my predictions were very much correct. I LOVE her. Like, I’m pretty sure we’re officially best friends already. I’ve invited her to the National Wedding Show to come and hang out again too, so it’s not too long until we get to meet again. Yay, aren’t new friends just the best?

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20 Articles To Help You Plan Your Alternative Wedding

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My favourite kinds of articles to publish are the ones where I can give some really practice wedding planning advice. It was the kind of content I really craved when I was organising our own wedding because wedding magazines didn’t ever seem to delve any deeper than “How to choose the right wedding dress for your shape” and “10 things he does that proves he really loves you” (give me strength!)

So I dug around the blog archives to gather he most popular advice posts from the last 12 months. Have a browse, read some things you might have missed, maybe even revisit some of the pieces you enjoyed the first time round. And if any of your friends got engaged over Christmas, you might want to pass these on too!

As a side note, if you ever have any questions or dilemmas surrounding wedding planning, please feel free to email me and I’ll try my best to turn it into a blog or magazine article in future.

Wedding planning advice for the newly engaged: Did you get engaged over Christmas? Freaking out just a little bit? This step-by-step guide will help you get started.

I’m a bridesmaid and I’ve been asked to dye my hair and lose weight for the wedding: I was horrified to receive this email and my readers were just as perturbed to read it too! I think we can all safely agree that this bride in this instance is just a real arsehole.

The pre-wedding freak out: Stressing out about everything? Read this article and chill ya boots lady!

How to get the most awesome engagement photos: Those dreamy, Pinterest-worthy pre-wedding shoots don’t just magically appear, but with a few simple preparations you too can get utterly some gorgeous pictures.

What’s your love language?: Having a fabulous wedding is one thing, but having a fabulous marriage is way more important. The Love Language principles have really helped Gareth and my relationship, and I’d encourage every single one of you to read this post.

How to ask for a discount without offending your suppliers: Weddings are expensive and everybody loves a bargain, but how can you ask for a discount without mortally offending your vendors?

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The Pinterest bride: Pinterest is awesome, but are you in danger of becoming just a littttttle bit obsessed?

Wedding traditions, what are they good for?: What is the point of all this garb? Are they all really necessary? (Spoiler: NO!)

Your wedding does not have to be the best day of your life: Unpopular opinion – your wedding is just ONE DAY. It’s what comes next that’s the most important thing.

Self esteem, body confidence and learning to love yourself: My babe Gala Darling schools us in the magic art of Radical Self Love for brides.

The six most common wedding concerns and how to quash them: Stop ya frettin’!

How to banish your inner bridezilla: Are you guilty of turning into a bit of a bridal monster?

My top ten most effective weight loss tips for brides: Believe me, they won’t be what you’re expecting!

How to make sure your guests enjoy your wedding: Worried about keeping your guests happy? Here’s a few simple things you can do.

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I’m a Bridesmaid & I’ve Been Asked to Dye My Hair & Lose Weight For the Wedding…

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Rainbow country fete wedding

Hi Kat
My best friend is getting married really soon and I’m a bridesmaid. She has asked me to dye my hair dark brown or black, and to lose 10kgs for the wedding. 

Now I know that may not seem like a big deal but since leaving high school I have always channelled my personality into my hair. I’ve had pink hair for the last five years and switch it up occasionally with purple, blue, or green. I really don’t want to have my hair coloured darker as its such a pain in the ass to go through the whole bleaching process again. Am I being over-sensitive? Or is the bride’s word the law?

As for the weight loss I understand she wants me to look thin in the pictures, but I like the weight and body shape I have now. I feel like if she knew me and loved me she’d accept the way I look and the way I am. This is seriously stressing me out and making me quite depressed. Any advice?

If you’ve ever walked down the street and felt a million pairs of eyes on you, looking you up and down, wondering what would posses you to look and dress the way you do. then welcome to the club! It seems bonkers to me that in 2015 having unnaturally coloured hair still seems to shock so many people, but it does. In my (blue) head, those narrow minded people are the weirdos!

But I have never, ever felt judged by my friends for the way I present myself. Not only are most of them just as colourful and weird (by the way I say ‘weird’ as a massive compliment) as me, but even the ones that aren’t appreciate my differences and enjoy asking me about what colour I might dye my hair next and if I’ll get any more tattoos. I can’t for one second imagine being best friends with someone who didn’t think like that.

You’ll have to excuse me because it’s taking all my strength to not simply reply “WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS THIS BITCH’S PROBLEM?” and leave it at that. But asking someone to fundamentally change who they are for your wedding is not OK! Requesting that you to wear a dress you don’t necessarily love is one thing, but she’s expecting you to permanently strip the very things that define you and make you the beautiful, glorious individual that you are. That is just unacceptable. You are not being over-sensitive or unreasonable. I’m sorry, but your ‘friend’ sounds like a right royal bridezilla.

As for the weight loss thing… I mean, I can’t even fathom why someone would say that to another human being, least of all their best friend. We all know how strongly I feel about this issue anyway. Its bad enough when it comes from strangers, but from your best friend? Unforgivable.

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