Author Archives: Kat

How To Spice Up Your Wedding Night

Last week, an article allegedly published by an Irish wedding magazine in their Winter 2018 issue went viral. In it, the writer had some sage (ahem) advice for wedding night sex. My favourite comments being that obviously you’ll be a virgin, you should absolutely forget the foreplay and that you might want to consider a sex tape because, ya know, your hair will be all on fleek and shit.

Here at Rock n Roll Bride we couldn’t let this momentous occasion pass us by without putting our own two cents of advice for the best wedding night of your life. Thanks to the crushingly funny Hannah Millard (she also takes lovely wedding photos you know) for our alternative suggestions.

You’re welcome.

Its 1.30am and you’ve just fallen out of a taxi at your wedding night accommodation. The reception is closed and you can’t find your key card, so you spend twenty five minutes waiting for the night manager to arrive and let you in. The night manager appears, could this be the first time he’s encountered another human being? He stares at you disdainfully, with the cold, dead eyes of a serial killer and begrudgingly unlocks the door.

You finally make it to your room, you’re knackered and sweaty and drunk because your friends kept handing you jagerbombs and you’ve been up since 5am. Your hair’s stuck to your forehead, you’ve got individual eyelashes stuck to your cheeks like whiskers and your mouth tastes like a bin – It’s time to get naked!

That’s when you remember that it took twenty minutes and a highly trained team of bridesmaids armed with a crochet hook to wrangle you into a dress with twenty million buttons. Under the dress you’re wearing structural, functional underwear. There’s no bridesmaids, no crochet hook, only your spouse whose hands can’t stop shaking because they’re hopped up on red bull and coming down off a massive adrenaline high. You briefly consider ringing the night manager to come and bring the hunting knife he almost certainly has but also, you don’t want to get murdered.

You’re both gassy as fuck because you’ve lived like Henry VIII all day. You’ve consumed a surplus of booze, cake, cheese, coffee and a three course dinner and it’s all good and curdled because you jumped around on the dance floor to ABBA (even though before the wedding you vetoed Dancing Queen and threatened the DJ with death if they played it, because when all’s said and done it’s a banger and… y’know… JAGERBOMBS). Before the day you’d agonised over picking a special wedding day perfume because scent is the strongest sense associated with memory, but now the only aroma that will truly take you back to the day is truly eye-watering.

After an hour of dress wrestling (dresstling if you will) you give up and collapse in a farty heap on the floor next to a king sized bed with towel swans on it who are silently judging you as you fall asleep, ready to start the rest of your lives together.

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So You Want to Write a Book..?

I got my book deal in April 2018. It was a big moment of celebration for me as it’s something I’d been thinking about wanting to do for over five years. I caution my use of words here – THINKING ABOUT – because that’s really all I’d been doing. I hadn’t actively been working towards getting a deal or writing a book at all. Because of this my experience of this whole process is probably quite different to that of someone ardently pursuing it. However, I hope sharing the things I’ve learnt throughout the process will still be interesting and useful to some of you.

Did you have a literary agent? How do you go about getting an agent? What does an agent do?

I started working with my manager, Sharon, in June 2017. She approached me (we already knew each other because of her background in PR) and I signed with her to have her manage my bigger brand projects and collaborations. As soon as we started working together, she mentioned how she’d love for me to write a book. I told her it’s something I’d been thinking about but I wasn’t sure how to go about it. We had a lot of other projects on the go back then so we put the idea on the back-burner for a while.

Although not solely a literary agent, Sharon acts as the middle (wo)man between me and whichever business or brand I’m working with. In other words, she does all the negotiations/ deals with the contracts etc and SHE IS A GODSEND. Of course, I check everything over myself too, but it is fantastic having someone who can speak on my behalf and who understands more about that stuff than I do. Also, let’s be honest, it’s much easier for someone else to sell you than for you to sell yourself and for them to ask for more money or a better percentage because you’re British and a creative and generally very awkward about that stuff.

So, when Ryland, Peters and Small approached me at the end of 2017, Sharon was involved in every step. She was in every email chain, at every meeting, and she was the one that checked and double checked the contract, renegotiating parts if necessary and making sure everything was in order.

What was your initial pitch/ meeting with the publishers like? Did you have to go in with sample chapters and all your ideas laid out?

Because my publisher approached me, our first meeting was quite casual. I went in with some copies of our magazine but they already had a pretty good idea of who I was and what they wanted the book to be about.

I’d jotted down a few sample chapter ideas to present them with and I mentioned some things I thought wouldn’t work and why. Luckily, we were completely on the same page and they loved all my ideas! After this, I started working with my editor, Alice, and we came up with the chapter outline, word count and flatplan.

How did you get from having an idea for a book to knowing where to start with writing it?

The flatplan was invaluable and is something we use for the magazine too. It’s basically a document that lays out every page and shows where each chapter will go and in what order (and in the case of the magazine, where the adverts will be). Once we had this decided we were able to work out how many words each chapter had to be based on how many pages it had been assigned and how many images we’d need to source or shoot to fill the allocated space.

Having this break down made the whole process much less scary. I was basically working chapter by chapter rather than trying to think of the book as a whole. Unlike fiction, each chapter was a self-contained entity, and from my point of view they were like writing individual blog posts or long magazine articles. The whole process then felt much less overwhelming because I’d basically be practising doing that for the past decade!

Publisher vs self-publishing – how did you decide?

As someone who self-publishes a magazine you might have been surprised to find out that I went with a publisher for my first book. I’ve also have friends who have self-published books with massive success, so I guess I always thought this might be the route I’d take one day too.

However, the thing that put me off and ultimately made me procrastinate on writing a book for so long was just how much extra STUFF I’d have to do (on top of actually writing it) in order to self-publish. Things such as hiring an editor, hiring my own designer to put it together, researching printers, working out what kind of print stock to use, paying for the books to be printed, figuring out how to get the book on Amazon as well as all the costs involved in producing the photo shoot!

In the end, it actually felt like a huge relief to be working with a publisher who not only took care of all of those things but already had the expertise. If I’ve learnt one thing throughout this process it’s that publishing a book is VERY different to publishing a magazine!

Also, let’s not forget, I got paid upfront too by way of my advance. If I was entirely self-publishing, I’d effectively had been working for nothing until the book was released. I’m so happy I decided to work with Ryland, Peters and Small on this book. They were fantastic from start to finish.

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Putting the Win in Wine: Win Four Bottles of Your New Favourite Rosé Wines from Wine Chat!

There’s not many things in life better than wine… except of course FREE wine! Which is why I’m so excited to have partnered with Wine Chat, purveyors of the most delicious (and most awesomely illustrated bottles of) wine in all the land.

Wine Chat is a collaboration between Boutinot Wines (they make wines from all over the world, and have winemakers based in France, Italy and South Africa) and Veronica Dearly, who uses her witty sense of humour and super creative skills to illustrate the labels.

Their Pink AF Pinot Grigio Rosé (available at Morrisons for £7.50 a bottle and on offer in February down to £6!) has been my go-to ever since it was launched last year, and not just because my bestie Veronica illustrated the bottle.

They wanted to do a range of wines that was completely different to the boring, stuffy wine labels that you normally see. They wanted to develop wines that would talk to the everyday wine drinker rather than the wine expert, hence the front labels are jovial and funny, and the back label is chatty as well as informative (and speaks in a language we actually understand). The wine is still always great quality too – even my dad, Mr Wine Connoisseur, loved it at my book launch party!

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How To Get the Best Out of Attending a Wedding Show

Going to your first wedding show can be a daunting experience. However, if you’re properly prepared and you go in with an open mind they are really, really fun! One of my very favourite alternative wedding shows is The Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza which is taking place on March 16th & 17th in Birmingham. I’ll be there signing books and showcasing our brand-new veil collection with Crown and Glory (it’s the only wedding show you’ll be able to see these beauties in-person this season) so I hope to see lots of your beautiful faces there!

Arrive early

The Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza kicks off at 12pm on the Saturday and 11am on the Sunday and run until 4 or 5pm. They are always busiest at around the mid-way point. If you’re an early bird I would absolutely recommend getting up and arriving as close to opening time as you can. That way you’ll have the most time possible to be able to see everything and you can go and see any favourites before it gets really crowded.

Wear comfortable shoes

There will be a lot of walking and standing around so be sure to wear something comfortable – especially on your feet! For less able-bodied babes, The Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza’s venues (Fazeley Studios and The Bond which are right over the road from each other) are completely accessible so there’s no worries there either.

Bring some essentials

Snacks, a notepad and pen to jot down ideas/ contact information, cash and/or your debit card and, of course, your BFF or partner to enjoy the show with! There are food trucks at The Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza where you can grab a quick bite, but I always like to come prepared with my own soft drinks and snacks just in case! If you are working to a specific colour scheme it might be a good idea to being swatches too so you can see if the items you like will work with your overall vision.

Go with an open mind

The very best thing about attending an in-person event rather than doing everything entirely online is that you may find ideas or suppliers that you never would have found through your searches on the interwebs. Although obviously you probably have a good idea of the specific things you’re after, be sure to look and everyone’s stands and talk to as many of the exhibitors as you possibly can. You may be pleasantly surprised at what’s on offer and find things you never would have thought of yourself.

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Nature Inspired Pot Luck & DIY Wedding with the Groom in Dungarees!

If there’s one thing that unifies and defines what makes a wedding a ‘Rock n Roll Bride wedding’ it’s that the couple getting married have a day that perfectly reflects them, their relationship, their families and their love. This is so very true for Tara and Shags who were married at their family’s property which sits alongside Muddy Creek in Delta, PA.

The florist bride did all the decor and flower arrangements (the flowers were all handpicked from their own home), they had their guests bring a dish for the meal instead of a gift, and the groom wore dungarees without a shirt underneath as this was the very outfit he was wearing when they first met. Sweet or what!? Even the entertainment was effectively DIY with the band, Bustle & Bump, being made up of their friends.

“We met at a friends wedding five years ago”, began the bride. “We had known each other for years but exchanged numbers at the wedding. He was shirtless, wearing bib overalls. I asked him what he had going on underneath and he replied, ‘boxer briefs’. We have been together ever since.”

“Our wedding theme was nature and white lace. I grow up alongside the river and couldn’t think of getting married anywhere else. I collected vintage amber glass for over a year in preparation along with yellow or green tablecloths. I wanted the lighting to be mostly natural and wanted to line the tables with candles. My inspiration was the peace and beauty of nature.

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Vintage Rockabilly Meets Back to the Future Inspired Wedding at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

Are you ready for a little touch of wedding magic? Because Carrie and Bill wedding held at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is about to bring it! This has got to be one of Philly’s coolest and most unique venues, what an incredible spot to say “we do!” It is a non-profit organisation, folk art environment and gallery space that you can hire to get married in! So cool right?

The wedding itself had a vintage Rock n Roll theme with with rockabilly and tattoo culture plus punk vibes thrown in for good measure. The decorations at the reception included cassette tapes made into vases, lanyards as escort cards (VIP passes!) and vinyls as table markers.

“I have been enchanted with Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens for many years,” the bride began, “so when we decided to go for a centre city wedding I jumped at the chance to have our ceremony there. It held it’s own beauty and whimsy. As a quirky couple into into art and fantasy as well as alternative punk scene, it was a deal. We exchanged vows in a fashion that is us and Bill even quoted Doug Stanhope ‘Baby I love you so much I want to get the government involved.’ Everyone had a chuckle from that! We walked out to a lovely instrumental version of Ho Hey From the Lumineers. We had a bubble send off and record shaped hand fan programs. It was a truly a magical experience.”

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