Category Archives: Personal Rambles

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 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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Scaring The Shit Out of Myself in Sweden

anything worth doing is always scary

There are certain things that come up in my line of work that I think “You know what, I really should do this, but I’m terrified.” It happened when I quit my full time job, when I first travelled across the world on my own and when we decided to start our own publishing company… And it happened again when I was invited to speak at Way Up North, Europe’s first wedding photography summit being held in Stockholm. Although I was scared, I found myself saying yes. I mean being asked to be in a line-up with some of the most amazing wedding photographers on the planet is kind of a big deal. I would have been a fool to turn it down.

I’ve been in a prolonged state of panic ever since I signed up (am I REALLY going to do this!?) and next week it’s finally here. It’s happening. I’m flying to Sweden next Monday to speak in front of 500 wedding photographers about why they should be blogging. AND I AM TERRIFIED.

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San Francisco, DisneyWorld and the Last Ever Blogcademy Workshop in New York

disneyworld with the blogcademy (41)

Phew, what a whirlwind. I feel like I’ve been living life on an constantly speeding-up treadmill this past couple of weeks! I really haven’t done a personal life update on the blog in forever, so I figured today I’d quickly fill you in on what’s been going on.

After our Blogcademy workshop in San Francisco, Gala, Shauna and I had a week free before our last ever class in New York. So what do three slightly deranged friends decide to do to fill the void? Go to Disneyworld of course! I’m not going to lie, visiting The Happiest Place on Earth has always been a childhood dream of mine, so finally being in the position to be able to do it was literally more exciting to me that any other trip we’ve taken. I am an unashamed Disney NUT. I’ve seen every movie from Snow White to Inside Out and I’m not even embarrassed to admit that I think Frozen is one of the most amazing movies (and soundtracks) of all time. Yep, I’m super cool.

There’s so much I could tell you about it’s hard to know where to start, but let’s just say my highlights were the Halloween fireworks, the live Hocus Pocus show, riding Space Mountain at midnight, taking photos with Donald Duck, Chip and Dale and Goofy, buying the best souvenirs (Mickey hat with my name on it, a half pink half blue Aurora mug, Maleficent pill box, too many enamel pins for life) and visiting 11 counties in one day at Epcot! If you ever have the chance to go to Disney, JUST DO IT. You will not regret it.

disneyworld with the blogcademy (87)

After our Disney adventure it was time to head to NYC for our last ever in-person Blogcademy workshop. It’s so funny that this ended up being our last class, because it’s also where we held our very first class in 2012, and one of the girls that attended that first class was our assistant for the weekend! Talk about coming a full circle.

People have asked us a lot why we’re ending The Blogcademy and I’m sorry to disappoint you but there’s no big conspiracy and we all still love each other – ha! It’s just time to refocus our energy on to other things. After all I now have a magazine to produce every other month. I can’t be leaving the country for two weeks at a time any more! For those of you that didn’t make an in-person class, remember The Blogcademy Online workshop is still available if you want to learn the blogging ropes from us. The content of the online course is exactly the same as the live one, only it’s kinda better because you get to learn from the comfort of your own home and at your own pace.

The past fortnight has been wonderful, but as nerdy as it sounds, I’m so happy to be home and getting back to work. I hit the ground running on my return to the UK when I attended the National Wedding Show in London yesterday. I’ll admit, when NWS initially approached to speak at the The Wedding Theatre, I was a little sceptical. Undoubtedly each of us caters to very different ends of the wedding market – they’re all about the very traditional, mainstream wedding world and as you well know, that really isn’t my thing. While most of what was on display there didn’t interest me in the slightest (the Slimfast food cart made me cringe and angry in equal measure!) I was thrilled to meet some really cool suppliers who were exhibiting including Fur Coat No KnickersPrezola, Jason Charles Jewellery and Bohemian Jewellery Tattoos to name a few. The organisers were so super duper lovely too and made me feel right at home.

To everyone that came along to hear me speak and get their magazines signed I LOVE YOU! It was wonderful to meet, hug and chat to you all. You really are the BEST!

disneyworld with the blogcademy (1)

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New Look, New Adventures

rocknrollbride 2014 redesign mock ups (4)

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.

rocknrollbride 2014 redesign mock ups (11)

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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