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Post-It Notes – 18th November 2011: Just How Much is This Wedding Going to Cost Us?

Photography Credit: Andy Gaines Creative (full wedding on the blog soon)

I’ve been wanting to put this post together for some time to give you an idea of what you might expect to pay for certain areas of your wedding.

Now before I get you all hating on me, saying “But we can’t afford to spend XYZ on my dress/our photos/the food” I want to make it clear that I’m certainly not writing this to show you what you should be spending. No no no, I want this post to give you a basic idea of what you might get initially quoted to save you from the mini-heart attack I had when I first realised how much wedding dresses were.

You are then of course at full liberty to completely ignore these prices and spend as much or as little as you wish on your wedding. However knowledge is what you need when stepping into the somewhat daunting wedding world, and I’m here to give you just that.

Anyway, I hope this little list helps to give you an idea of how much things are. I’m not going to go into too much detail here or try and justify the suppliers corner as to why their prices are what they are or why some people charge more/less than others (if you’re concerned, then hell, just ask, I’m sure they’ll explain). I just want to save my lovely readers form having early embolisms when they’re faced with THE BILL.

My research showed that in the UK, the average cost of the main areas of wedding expense were as follows:

♥ Photography £1200 – £2000

♥ Videographer £1000 – £2000

♥ Flowers £1000

♥ Stationery £1000

♥ Wedding Dress £1000 – £2000

♥ Engagement Ring £2500 (woah lucky ladies!)

♥ Wedding Ring £400 – £1000

♥ Band/Entertainment £600-£1500 (depending of numbers of band members)

♥ Catering £25-£50 per person

♥ Make Up £200 (bride only + pre-wedding trial) +£50 extra per bridesmaid/Mother of the bride

♥ Hair £150 (bride only + pre-wedding trial) +£50 extra per bridesmaid/Mother of the bride

♥ Cake £350

♥ Wedding Planner – Approx 10% of your budget (full coordination) £650 – £1000 (on the day styling/coordination)

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Post-It Notes – 11th November 2011: Getting Organised

Photography Credit: Debs Ivelja Photography (Full wedding on the blog soon!)

Getting reader questions and suggestions for these Post It Notes posts is amazing so thank you everyone that’s commented and emailed me. I’m going to try to get to as many of them as I can! After all these posts are to help you guys so I’m pretty chuffed that my rambles seem to be doing so. Last week, Nik commented asking…

Despite living in chaos and not having tidied the house for…oh approximately 6 weeks, I am actually a pretty organised when it comes to my work. I’ve already spoken about how I organise my email, but this week I though I’d tackle how I organise and structure my inspiration as well as how I keep my posting schedule in tip top shape.

Diary

Although I love everything the internet has to offer in terms of organisational tools, there really is nothing like handwriting lists to keep you organised. I use a mini week-to-view diary from Paperchase (although for 2012 I’m going to upgrade to an A5 size as I don’t half scribble a lot.) I have this in front of me all day every day and I use it to write down which blog posts I’m going to post on which day. I write next to them what time they’re going up (9am, 12pm or 3pm) and when they’re written and scheduled I simply tick them off.

Isn’t checking things off a list sooo satisfying?!

I also use this diary to write down any events I have to go to as well as any notes about my blog adverts – i.e. if one has to be put up or taken down on a certain day. Like with my email management, I use a colour coding system to keep my head straight – a green pen for events I have to go to/meetings I have (basically anything I have to do that involves me leaving the house!) and a pink pen for anything relating to the advertising on my blog.

Although I love the look of swanky Filofax’s, there ain’t no way I’m going to spend £60+ on an organiser that no one but me and my kitty cats see.

Notebook

I always, ALWAYS, carry a notebook and pen in my handbag when I got out. I’m currently using this cute one that I was gifted at The Photography Farm (Lisa’s photos inspire me!) I use this notebook to scribble down any ideas or inspiration for blog posts I might get as I go about my day. Again, there’s something so much nicer about physically writing ideas down then just typing them into a phone. Gareth thinks I’m mad but don’t you agree?

Pinterest

I’m sure most of you have heard of Pinterest by now, but just in case you haven’t, it’s a great way to gather all your online inspirations in one place. The important thing to remember though is that when you ‘pin’ something, be sure to link it to the original source (to prevent people re-pinning and re-pinning and the originally creator of the image getting forgotten in the ether.)

Pinterest is also great to search through if I need to find an image for a blog post on a particular theme. The results that Pinterest gives are usually much more creative images than a Google search can give due to the nature of the types of images that are pinned.

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Post-It Notes – 11th November 2011: Non-Tacky Hen Do Ideas

Photography Credit: Joanna Millington (full shoot can be seen here) Event organised by A Most Curious Party

Oh the wonders of the great British hen do (bachelorette party for my American friends). A time to let yourself go…your last night of freedom…an excuse to get horreniously drunk and snog a stripper.

Erm…Or maybe not.

I’ve been asked by a number of you for some non-tacky, non-sucky hen do ideas including Cynaide Kiss in the comments last week,

So I’ve called upon vintage hen do expert Abbie (AKA Tattybojangles) of The Vintage Hen House. Her hen do planning website is the place to go for amazing and unique hen do ideas, without a willy straw or L-plate in sight.

Over to you Mrs ‘Bojangles…

There are a lot of alternatives people can choose from that don’t involve the usual L-plates, pink fluffy head bands etc you’re only really limited by your imagination. I would always take the bride-to- be as the starting point as use her likes, dislikes, dreams, wants, desires to think about activities, places to go and where to stay. If the bride to be is planning on having a DIY heavy wedding I may suggest that she looks at crafty options, you can find classes in jewellery and fascinator making, millinery, cupcake making and decorating, flower arranging and pretty much anything else you can use a glue gun for.

Have a look at Fabulous Tiaras who do jewellery making parties, Handmade by You and Silver Sixpence in her Shoe for handmade craft parties and Sharper Millinery for millinery parties.

Photography Credit: Hannah Dornford May Making party with Silver Sixpence in her Shoe. Full event can be seen here

Lots of girls will wear their creations on the day which I think is lovely.

If the bride is a bit of an extrovert I would recommend a photo shoot. There are lots of stylist, hair and make-up artists who do hen parties and lots of photographers who can offer a range of styles from pin-up for girls who love the vintage look to more fashion styled shoots.These are an amazing way to capture this milestone in a really positive way. I love looking at my hen party pictures they are a great keepsake. Dont forget to ask your wedding photographer if they do hen party photography, it would be a nice change from an engagement shoot if your other half is camera shy.

For companies that specialise in pin up and hen do photography check out Ruby Demuir, Rockabetty Studios and Julia Boggio Studios (Kat even did one of these!)

Photography Credit: Lee Allen (full shoot can be seen here)

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Why I Don’t Feature Many Engagement Shoots…

Photography Credit: Blue Lily Photography (Full shoot coming up soon!)

I’m often asked by wedding photographers what I look for in engagement shoots. You see, unlike many wedding blogs I actually feature very few pre-wedding shoots – in fact since January this year I’ve actually only featured 30 (out of approximately 780 blog posts in total!)

So why do I feature so few? Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE engagement shoots and I am a strong advocate for every single one of you having one before your wedding. They not only help you to get to know your wedding photographer before the wedding, but they give you a practice run for what it will be like to be photographed on your big day. For most of you, your wedding will be the first time you’ve been professionally photographed so you’re likely to be nervous. A pre-wedding shoot will help you to a) see that it’s actually not that scary and b) relax you about the whole thing before the wedding.

Now, don’t kill me, but the thing with engagement shoots is that often they are a lot more interesting to the actual couple and their close friends and family than to anyone else – i.e having a simple shoot of you and your beau is amazing for you guys and will give you some fabulous photos to put on your wall (or display at your wedding – I love this idea!) However to people that don’t know you, or anything about your relationship, seeing yet another anonymous couple frolicking in a field or enjoying a vintage picnic is, forgive me, a little dull.

…OK maybe ‘dull’ is the wrong word actually…overdone would be better. On Rock n Roll Bride I want to inspire my readers with new ideas, and let’s be honest, we’ve all seen these kinds of photo shoots before haven’t we?

My job as a wedding blogger is to share inspirational and aspirational wedding related images and not all engagement shoots fit that criteria. (Again, I am going to repeat myself on this one because the last thing I want to do is offend anyone that’s having a vintage picnic engagement shoot…seriously, at the end of the day, who cares what I think!?)

This is actually quite a hard post to write without making you think ‘Oh Kat’s an engagement shoot snob and if it’s not good enough for her shes not going post it.. that must mean that my engagement shoot is crap. My God she’s such a bitch…’ So I’m just going to reiterate one more time that this is the not the case at all and the only reason I’m actually putting this down on paper is because I’ve been asked the same question by wedding photographers so many times.

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Post-It Notes – 4th November 2011: Getting More Blog Comments

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Little sneaky sneak of Gareth & my shoot this week with Ashton Jean-Pierre. Full shoot on the blog on Monday.

Welcome to part two of this week’s Post It Notes – the businessy section…

Last week I spoke a little about comment etiquette, so I thought I’d continue the theme today with a few ideas on how you can get more comments on your own blog. We all like feedback and nice comments about a wedding I’ve shared always make me smile!

♥ Start a conversation and ask questions within your posts. People like to feel like they’re adding someone to a discussion or debate. I’m not saying try to start fiery arguments for no reason, but asking for people’s views and opinions should get the discussion flowing.  Ask questions within your blog posts so your readers feel involved in the conversation. Although it’s important to share your opinions and write in a way that is true to who you are, talking to yourself is no fun.

♥ Make it as easy as possible to leave a comment. There is nothing more frustrating that wanting to leave a comment but having to jump through a million hoops to do so. I’ll often just give up after a couple of attempts. Unfortunately Blogger is one of the worst for this (WordPress FTW!) Often you have to type in a verification code (annoying) or sign in with your Blogger account (I don’t have one.)

Also having to register to leave a comment is annoying and will turn people away – people don’t like giving away too much personal information online and there is always the worry when you have to sign up for something that your inbox is going to end up full of spam!

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Post-It Notes – 4th November 2011: Invitation Etiquette

Credit: Valerie & Craig’s wedding invitation – how cute? (full wedding on the blog soon!)

This week’s Post It Notes topics have turned into quite long answers so I’ve decided to split the post into two. Pop back at 12pm today for this week’s Business Note on how to get more blog comments.

Knowing how to word your wedding invitations can be tricky. Should it be from you or your parents? What if your parents are divorced? If they’re paying for the wedding does it make a difference?

Luckily these days wedding invitations can be a little less formal than times gone by, especially if you’re having an informal wedding – after all they do say that the invitations set the tone for the day.

Here are a few of my top tips for getting those invitations right…

♥ ‘Proper’ etiquette states that the invite should be sent by the parents of the bride (if they’re paying for the wedding). However these days it’s getting more and more common for the invite to read “bride name & groom name, along with their parents, would like to invite you to attend etc etc…”

“I never have set wording for my brides and grooms”, stationery guru Lucy Ledger advises. “I tell them that it is a great opportunity to let their personalities shine through. Having a carnival themed wedding? Why not start with ‘roll up roll up’! A theatrical theme? Why not have your parents names as ‘Jones and Smith company presents…’ You certainly don’t have to stick to the traditional approach and It will create a great buzz of excitement for your big day.”

♥ If you’re sending Save the Dates out I’d recommend posting them as soon as you’ve decided on your wedding date. Final invitations should be sent out around 3 months before the wedding day.

♥ Have a separate invitation (usually just a simpler version of the main invite) for any guests that you are just inviting to the evening reception. Be sure to make it clear that they are just invited to this part of the day – you don’t want extra gusts showing up for the sit down meal!

♥ Including some extra info with your invitation will make it easier for your guests and save you having to answer the same questions over and over. You can either simply include a word document print out or your stationery designer can work it into your invitation. Things to think about including are a map or directions to the venue, local accommodation recommendations, asking guests about any dietary requirements, gift list info and dress code.

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