Author Archives: Kat

Why You Should Have a Gift List (Even if you Already Live Together)

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For many couples, the idea of creating a wedding gift list probably feels a bit awkward… like you’re expecting your guests to buy you something. Believe me, I know the feeling. It was my birthday last week and I felt so awkward about the whole “So what do you want for your birthday?” question that I just told everyone the same thing and ended up with three Jo Malone Oud and Bergamot candles. Not that that’s really a problem mind, it smells freaking amazing.

Believe it or not, the majority of your guests really do want to buy a present for your wedding. So here are six reasons why I think you should suck up the awkward and start that gift registry!

Lots of your guests will want to buy you a gift

Your wedding is one of the most special in your entire lives and most of your guests do actually want to give you a gift to commemorate that day. It’s also a chance for them to help you build your lives as a married couple and maybe even buy you a future heirloom that will forever remind you of them.

It’s makes it easy for your guests

A wedding gift list makes it much more straight-forward for your guests and you get what you want. It can actually be harder if there’s no gift list at all, since many of your guests will wonder what the protocol is, how much to spend, what you’ll find useful etc. Having a list also avoids my problem of duplicate gifts because once someone buys something for you, it comes off meaning you won’t end up with 37 Jo Malone candles (although OMG how good would your house smell?)

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You’ll have gifts to keep for ever

There aren’t many special occasions when you get to choose gifts that will become family heirlooms in the future. This is the time to register for something you might never have the money to buy for yourself.

You can ask for exactly what you want!

Gift lists are no longer boring or old-fashioned. Nowadays you can tailor-make a gift list to reflect your personal style. If you don’t want or need a new toaster, then you don’t have to ask for one! A Prezola gift list can include anything from homeware to honeymoon contributions, cash to charity donations!

Some guests think asking for cash is rude

Although there’s less of a taboo with asking for cash as there used to be, some guests (maybe your older ones) are often less keen on giving cash. They might not be sure how much to give, or are worried it’ll just go on boring things like bills! While you can add cash contributions to a Prezola gift list, you should still include plenty of physical items for your more traditional relatives.

Online gift list services are great for busy couples who like to do their ‘wedmin’ online

Unlike gift registries in high street shops, online gift lists tend to offer way more flexibility as you’re not limited to one store or chain. With Prezola, the UK’s leading specialist online wedding gift list company, you can add items to your list from anywhere online. They list over 30,000 products from 300 different shops including Wedgwood, Le Creuset, The White Company, Graham & Green and Soho Home. Using an online gift list is also super easy and means you can create and add to your list on the move or at home on the sofa, without having to go into a store to do so.

Using Prezola is completely free, including using their dedicated Personal Shopper service, free delivery of all your items and optional gift wrapping. If you want to include cash contributions, a honeymoon fund, charity donations, gift vouchers or to add bespoke gifts from sites they do not already represent, then there’s a flat one-off fee of just £59.

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Fifteen

rocknrollbride 9 year anniversary

When I tell people we’ve been together for fifteen years, they’re usually either surprised, impressed or a combination of the two. “Yes he was my first real boyfriend”, I say, “No we didn’t go to school together” and “Yeah, actually, I did get married pretty young.”

When you’ve been together as long as we have you find yourself counting on your fingers to work out exactly how many years have passed. Fifteen took me by surprise though. I was just sixteen years old when we first met (although we started dating shortly after my eighteenth birthday because it took you a while to convince me to go out with you!) so that means that on our next anniversary I will have known you literally half of my life… HALF OF MY LIFE! How is that even possible and when did we get so goddamn old!?

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Spend the Day Together

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Hey you, loved-up-engaged-planning-my-wedding you, can I have a word please? I hope all your planning is going well and that you are gearing up for the day of your dreams. Me? I’m a wedding photographer and I have been for many years now. And here’s a funny thing that after all this time, I’ve only just realised. Like, it’s hit me smack in the face like a wet kipper, realised.

NOBODY TELLS YOU TO SPEND THE DAY TOGETHER

And you know what? Unless you make a concerted effort to, then chances are you simply won’t. Think about weddings: Most couples spend the entire morning apart, they come together for the ceremony (you won’t actually remember much of this bit) then as soon as the confetti has been chucked, you will be talking to the people you know and your lover will be talking to all the people they know. Then apart from your portrait session, chances are you won’t come together again until it’s time to sit for dinner.

Take a good look at most of the weddings on Rock n Roll Bride over over and over again the images with the couple actually together are portraits and formal moments. Cake cutting, speeches, first dance.

Now why do I care? Well, because as a wedding photographer this is the conversation I’m probably going to have with you:

“We love your photography, it’s really natural looking. We hate being in photos, so don’t want to do lots of posing. It would be great if you could just capture us in little moments over the day.”

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I love a challenge but natural and little moments is pretty tough when your couple are on opposite sides of the room or the only significant time they are together is the obvious ‘wedding moments’. I feel like I’m always doing my best to orchestrate ‘natural’. In your couple session, I’m actually hoping to catch those little seconds in between when you think you are being shot, when you are lost in a giggle or just finally looking your favourite person in the face without 100 guests trying to congratulate you. I’m thinking I will get natural when we are walking back from the couple session and you are relaxed as you think formal photos are done with. I’m stalking you all day, camera poised ready but more often than not, I won’t get another shot with you both in it until you are sat at the dinner table.

Once I really thought about it, I began to wonder, is there anything I can do to make a difference?

I shot a wedding last Saturday and I knew that the couple felt super awkward at their engagement shoot. So in the morning I explained to my very lovely bride that if she wanted lots of natural photos to consciously spend the day together with her husband. I told her to make sure they walked together from the ceremony venue to the reception, that they worked the drinks reception together talking to both of your friends and families, that they didn’t just do a first dance together, they did a few. I told them spend the day together to be present through it all.

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Bridebook: The Digital Wedding Planner in Your Pocket

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Magazines, blogs, Pinterest, Facebook groups, YouTube… there are so many places that engaged couples can go to get ideas for their weddings. However finding inspiration is almost the easy bit, it’s getting down to the nitty gritty – taking those ideas and making them a reality – that is difficult!

Enter the online wedding planner, Bridebook.co.uk. Launched in September, the site has grown fast, with over 24,000 couples now using it to help them plan their weddings! Bridebook want to remove the headache surrounding wedding planning by offering couples one single online space where they can keep track of everything they’re going to need.

You can keep on top of your spending with their budget calculator, manage your RSVPs, track your guest list and even find your suppliers through their directory of over 139,000 UK wedding vendors!

Available both online and via their brand new iOS app (launched a month ago it’s already the #1 wedding planning app in the UK! Android launch is coming soon), the site is compromised of five main wedding planning tools: A checklist, the budget calculator, guest list management, a supplier shortlist/directory and advice.

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Checklist

Bridebook is completely customisable so when you sign up you can put in your wedding date and they will automatically break down your to do list into manageable tasks to do month by month, according to how far away your wedding date is. You can also add any of your own tasks (for example if a you want to be reminded to complete a payment to a supplier or go to an event).

Budget

Simply enter your ideal budget and their algorithm (based on the averages of tens of thousands of past weddings) breaks down how much you should aim to be spending on each aspect of your wedding. Even better is the column where you input how much you actually spend so you can keep track of where you are going over or under budget.

Guest list

The guest list tool allows you to add guests under your or your partner’s name (or both), a direct link to a guest’s plus one, their RSVP status, whether they are a day or evening only guest, and all of their information from address to dietary requirements. It’s an easy way to track all of your guests in one place, so whenever you get an email or text RSVP all you have to do is open the app (or go online) to add them.

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Whose Wedding is it, Anyway? Managing Meddling Family Members!

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Weddings and juggling family politics seems to go hand in hand. So much so that may be feeling like wedding planning is more of an exercise in negotiating family dynamics than a celebration of love. But don’t worry, Rock n Roll Bride is here to help!

You’ve set the date of your wedding and you’ve already decided that it’s not going to be a traditional affair. Your wedding is going to be special, out of the ordinary, something that you’re both going to be proud of. You’ve decided on the theme and it’s all going so well: you and your fiancé agree on all the things you want and you’re kind of wondering what all those brides before you were making such a fuss about. This is fun and easy!

But then something unpleasant happens. It’s like when your smoke alarm goes off when you thought nothing untoward was happening on the stove. Suddenly, everyone has an opinion on your choices and obstacles like anxious bridesmaids and meddling mothers get in the way. In expressing their ideas, they seem determined to destroy yours. Sometimes it’s just the sighs and silent shakes of the head which can crush you even further.

I remember the strained words we had over our wedding song. You would not believe that a three-minute bunch of crotchets and semibreves could cause such a rift. Mum laid the back of her hand across her forehead, much like a Renaissance figurine, “You can’t have THAT song!” she cried, “for heaven’s sake, it’s a wedding!”

You might think I was planning to play a funeral march, or the Hokey Cokey. Dear Lord, no. I wanted Queen, I Want to Break Free‘ I don’t think my mum got the irony.

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Eclectic Pagan Wedding with The Grateful Dead!

Eclectic Pagan Wedding with The Grateful Dead! (37)

Tiffany and Jared’s wedding was inspired by their eclectic tastes and their mutual love of world travel. They also incorporated elements of paganism, and The Grateful Dead!

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“The entire wedding was DIY”, explained the bride. “As a production designer, it was a dream to design the venue from scratch and with only our vision. It was beautiful. The bridal party spent the week before the ceremony using the site as an artist’s retreat to build structures, hand-paint signs, build sets, and curate the space. Every single item was hand selected, fabricated, altered and curated with meaning and intention.”

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