Category Archives: Wedding Planning Advice

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.

Continue reading

15 Alternative Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

15 Alternative Valentine's Day Date Ideas (1)

I don’t know about you, but the thought of going out to dinner on Valentine’s day and sitting in a crowded restaurant with a hundred other couples isn’t my idea of romance. In fact Gareth and I have NEVER been out for dinner on V-day… and we’ve had 14 of them together!

Dinner and a movie is BORING y’all, and who wants to celebrate with something played out and obvious? So, for your romantic pleasure, here are 15 alternative and unusual ideas for this weekend!

Brunch

Not all dates have to happen at night, especially as Valentine’s falls on a weekend this year. Start the day off right with an opulent brunch. You can go somewhere fancy or make it at home and eat it in bed!

Go on a bike ride

Doing an activity together is much more fun than just sitting, staring into each other’s eyes. How about a brisk walk or bike ride followed by a pub lunch?

Visit a museum

Museums are cool. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

Be a tourist in your own city

You know those historic places in your own town that the tourists flock you and you’ve never found the time to visit? Now is your chance! If you don’t live in a big city, why not hop on the train to your nearest big smoke and have a day of adventure?

Cook a three-course meal

Going to the supermarket together and picking out the ingredients is all part of the fun too. You could each do a course (Come Dine With Me style) but I think it’s better if you do it all together and it’s something you’ve never made before. Even if your soufflé ends up looking like a pancake, you’ll just laugh through it (and then order a takeaway!)

15 Alternative Valentine's Day Date Ideas (3)

Go see a band

You could go and see someone you already like, but its way more interesting to Russian Roulette it! Check out your local paper’s live music section and go see someone you’ve never heard of. They could be terrible, or they could be utterly amazing – that’s all part of the fun!

Take a class

Pottery, jewellery-making, spin… There are so many classes you can take, so why not do one together? It’ll be even better if it’s something neither of you have done before. You’ll probably be surprised just how much you enjoy it. Gareth and I once did a ring making workshop together. We had the BEST TIME and we got to make each other some rings, which we both still wear to this day!

Get lost in nature

Take a long walk on the beach… at your nearby woods… up a mountain! Just start walking and see where you end up!

Video game arcade

No explanation needed here. Get hopped up on sugar and embrace your inner geek!

Zombie apocalypse!

Yep, seriously. In Reading (where I live) one of the old, disused shopping malls in the town centre has been taken over by zombies. If you’re looking to finally face those zombie fantasies then the Zombie Shopping Mall is the date for you!

15 Alternative Valentine's Day Date Ideas (4)

Continue reading

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

helen anderson rock n roll bride

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?

Continue reading

20 Articles To Help You Plan Your Alternative Wedding

Patricia Haas Photography (3)

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?

Patricia Haas Photography (4)

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.

Patricia Haas Photography (2)

Continue reading

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

VintageBarnWedding_RhapsodyRoadPhotography__0023

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.

VintageBarnWedding_RhapsodyRoadPhotography__0048

Continue reading

The Pre-Wedding Freak Out

Cult styled shoot jonathan david studios-31

Dear Kat

My girlfriend and I got engaged in June and we’re getting married quickly, over Christmas this year. Having to plan a wedding is such a short amount of time is causing so much stress between us. We are mostly paying for everything ourselves and our budget is also very small, just £1000.

I am doing a lot of the decorations myself to save money, and we’re hosting it in our own house (this is all whole other stress!) My sister is making the cake and we’re catering it ourselves. We’re both hoping to find second hand or high street dresses too. I don’t know how to cut costs more than we already are but we keep fighting about the expense of everything. I’m trying to convince her I’m doing the best I can, but we still argue constantly about the wedding.

I’m worried our wedding is going to be rubbish because our budget is so small and because I’m not as naturally creative as some of my friends. I’ve been to their weddings recently and they’ve all been SO COOL. I know it’s not supposed to be a competition, but I can’t help but feel our wedding is going to be uncreative and boring in comparison.

While getting married is supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life, there’s also a whole heap of stress that can come with it. Organising such a big event (even if it’s a small wedding!) is a part of that, but today’s couples also put a lot of extra pressure on themselves to have the most unique day possible.

While our parents might have worried about what their weddings said about their status or bank balance (the bigger the better!), modern day brides and grooms have a whole other set of pressures. Now, it seems that it’s more about using your wedding to show just how damn cool and laid back you are. “Oh no, it was so easy, I just threw this wedding together in a few weeks… and oh yes and I handcrafted everything completely on my own… in my sleep. I was such a laid back bride dontyaknow? Oh this old thing, it’s just something I came up with because it’s ‘so us’!”

I guarantee that all those cool as cucumber couples will have had their own moments of pre-wedding freak out too. So first of all, don’t beat yourself up for having moments of panic. It’s perfectly normal.

Cult styled shoot jonathan david studios-7

Here are just a few pieces of advice that will hopefully help you in your moments of dismay.

Realise that it’s just one day

Yes, getting married is a big deal, but as ironic as it might be for me to write on a wedding blog, it’s just a wedding. It’s only one day in your life and it’s supposed to be fun! Weddings are about celebrating your love and they’re a nice way to start married life. They are not compulsory. If you wanted, you could run off to the register office and get married quick as a flash! Everything else is just accessorising.

Just remember, how this day goes does not define the rest of your life. So chill out and stop demanding so much from yourself.

Ask for help

It’s almost impossible, especially with a low budget or DIY wedding, to do everything yourself. You are not Wonder Woman! While it’s awesome that your family are helping you with things for the wedding, I bet there are other things you can outsource too.

Even if it’s just the decorations; grab a few bottles of wine, gather your besties, and have an afternoon of crafting together. It will be much more fun than struggling with papier-mâché and sticky back plastic all on your lonesome!

You also need to ask for help from your girlfriend. Sit down with her and discuss how you’ve been feeling. Be calm and open and listen to what she has to say too. It is vital that you move forward together and you do this thing as a couple. There is a lot of “I’m doing this” in your email. It is both of your wedding days after all.

Cult styled shoot jonathan david studios-48

Continue reading