Tag Archives: Personal Rambles

Introducing: Love Letters & Feeling Better, A Free Weekly Email Subscription from Rock n Roll Bride!

What’s your inbox like? Is it a place you avoid because it’s piled up with spam, emails from your boss and brand newsletters trying to sell you stuff? What if each week you could get a message that was full of love, joy, positivity and fun!? Something you’d ACTUALLY look forward to opening?

I’ve been feeling the same, babe, so I’ve decided to do something about it! Each week I’m going to be sending out a free weekly email to each and every one of you, with the sole goal of MAKING US ALL FEEL GOOD (I know I’m going to love putting them together just as much as you’ll enjoy receiving them). Every week I’ll share the things I’ve been loving, the stuff I’ve been wearing, songs you’ll want to solo dance party to, my favourite weddings from our site which you may have missed because ALGORITHMS (groan!) a no bullshit pep talk from yours truly and lots of lovely little surprises!

The world can feel like such a dark, shitty place at times and I really just want to spread some love and joy and put a smile on your face. This is going to be a way for us to have a direct conversation so please do reply to them and let me know how you’re doing too!

This email subscription is completely and utterly FREE and all you need to do is to sign up here.

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Top 10 Non-Real Wedding Features of 2018

Although the majority of the content we publish on Rock n Roll Bride is real weddings (because, hello, perving over all the awesome weddings our readers have is literally the best!) some of our most viewed articles tend to be the more long-form advice/ inspo or just plain random stuff… Like my kitchen makeover reveal. That has shit-all to do with weddings but you guys LOVED seeing what we did with the room! Note to self: Do the DIY projects faster next year so I can show you more room makeovers!

So, for your viewing pleasure, and without further ado, here are our top ten most viewed non-real wedding articles of 2018. ENJOY!

1. Minimalist Pub Wedding Shoot Inspired By Neil Gaiman

2. A NSFW, Super Intimate Engagement Shoot

3. Transforming My Wedding Dress for Our 10 Year Anniversary

4. Revamp, Restyle, Reveal: Our Kitchen Reveal!

5. Rock n Roll Bride: THE BOOK!

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Being the Voice of a Revolution When the Revolution is Already Won

I started writing this article about a year ago. I found it in my drafts this morning, and although the context and reason for me starting to write it has moved on, actually a lot of the notes I’d made on the subject still made a lot of sense. So please forgive me if it feels a little muddled and disjointed, but I wanted to revisit the topic and finally publish it.

I started putting digital pen to digital paper when I received the below comment on an Instagram post:

“I’ve been following your blog for about 8 years now and it’s great to see a personal post from you again. I used to love your tips and perspective on things as much as the weddings you featured. Where that became less so I moved to following on Facebook and the group which have been equally as awesome but for very different reasons – such as community spirit and support. It’s become an entity in itself. I kind of miss the lead you took in your blog which led to this revolution in weddings. As much as I love the magazine, I don’t always have the kind of time I’d like to sit and read a physical product. Plus the last page is kinda final, whereas a blog is endless. Great for insomnia or staying up with kids who won’t sleep! I also understand that businesses are hard work and evolve and one person can only do so much. You’re doing an amazing job, and I’m proud to be an ‘official’ Rock n Roll bride after being featured in December.”

Her comment about being the lead in a revolution in weddings really made me smile and think back to 2008-2011 when I was just starting out, and how really, really UPSET and mad I was about everything I saw in the wedding industry! I was definitely a lot rantier back then (and it got me into trouble regularly – not that I really minded!) In a way I miss it, it was nice to have a mission, but also, it’s pretty amazing that something I’ve created has achieved what it set out to do.

There almost doesn’t NEED to be a revolution anymore because, for the most part, being an alternative bride is much more accepted. I’m regularly interviewed by newspapers about the ‘trend’ of alternative weddings (particularly so around the royal wedding because y’all Meagan is a woman of colour and did a speech don’t you know?) It makes me internally chuckle and feel happy that being a weirdo or an outsider no longer has such a stigma attached to it… but also eye roll really hard all at the same time!

So, what’s next? Do I just need to resign my post now? Have we done everything that needs to be to change the wedding industry? WELL, ACTUALLY NO.

Although so much of the industry has changed in the past decade, particularly stylistically (the huge variety of dress styles, lots more budget-friendly options, bride rocking tattoos being seen as less of an unusual thing) there is still a LOT that needs to change. And while I don’t really have the time, or inclination, to sit down and write blog post after blog post about all the things I see wrong in the wedding industry as much as I did in 2011, there are still issues I’m fighting against every day with the work that I do, particularly with the magazine.

For example, did you know that no mainstream wedding magazine in the UK has ever put a black model on their cover? Do you know that a lot of them still don’t feature same sex weddings? I’m sure you all see the bombardment of weight loss stuff surrounding weddings that still happens too. Even with the uprising of body positivity, the wedding industry is still light years behind, relentlessly pushing the fantasy of the fairytale wedding complete with the princess bride.

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Tattoo Regrets, Laser Removal and Learning to Love my Ink Again

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I was just going to share this on Instagram, but then I realised not only did I have quite a lot to say, but that I hadn’t sat down and written a proper article about anything other that weddings for a while so this felt like the perfect opportunity. I’ve been getting tattooed since I was – I think – 16 (yeah, not my finest hour) so I’ve had my fair share of good and bad experiences! Tattoos and Rock n Roll Bride tend to go hand in hand, in fact publishing photos of beautiful tattooed brides was really how I started this blog, so I thought you might be interested to hear about my personal journey.

While I have quite a few tattoos, I’m going to focus on my sleeve in this post, mainly because it’s the one I get asked about the most, it’s the most recognisable and it’s the one I’ve been working on the longest!

I started it in 2010, when I was 26 (OMG these photos – haha!) Initially I was pretty happy with it (although after 18 hours of tattooing I was probably mostly just happy it was over!) but after a few months a lot of it really started to bother me. The red areas were too red (I really wanted them to be more pink) the girl’s face had no ink in it, so her skin was just my skin which made her look like a weird naked ghost, and the small cupcakes looked really amateur. I also wished it had more colours in it. I think it was a classic case of being a bit of a tattoo novice, being too nervous to speak up about what I really wanted (and didn’t want) and, in retrospect, not researching artists well enough. I don’t think the tattoo at this stage was in any way ‘bad’ but it didn’t turn out how I originally envisioned it.

London Tattoos

Eliza Claire Photography

In 2013 I decided I wanted to have it reworked. After doing a lot of internet research, and being met with many brick walls from tattooists who said they couldn’t  – or wouldn’t – help, I found Leah Moule. I visited her in Birmingham and we added some more colours and gems. She shaded in the girl’s face, changed the little hat from blue to teal and added my favourite part – the rainbow on my shoulder! I was so much happier!

Shell de Mar Photography

Made You Look Studio

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The Man I Married

How exactly do you condense ten years of marriage into a few simple sentences? The ups, the downs, the soul-crushing hard times and the heart-elevating incredible ones?

It’s almost impossible not to just reel off clichés about how he’s my rock, my reason for living, my soulmate and my best friend. But I’ve come to learn over the years that clichés are clichés because they’re true. All of them. And Gareth is all those things and so much more.

So, I’ll keep this short and sweet (for once!)

The man I married is strong, humble, smart, hard-working, generous, kind, intelligent beyond belief and so fucking handsome I can’t quite believe my luck.

The man I married looks at me most days with a combination of bemusement about my latest crazy idea, a subtle eye-roll at my desperation to get it off the ground RIGHT THIS SECOND and a glint in those baby blues that says “It’s a good job I think you’re pretty…”

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Nine Years of Rock n Roll Bride!

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If someone had told me in October 2007 that the blog I had just started to share my ideas for my wedding would not only one day become the full time career of both me and (soon-to-be) husband, but would also be one of the most widely read wedding blogs in the world and would spawn a print magazine sold in stores up and down the country… well I would have told you to stop making up such nonsense! Even writing all that now, it feels totally crazy, like a dream.

I can’t believe I’ve been sharing on this space for nine years, how is that even possible?! Other than my relationship with Gareth I don’t think I’ve ever stuck at anything for so long!!

While the blogging industry has certainly changed a lot in that time, and many people might now lament that ‘blogging is dead!’ (I beg to differ) I don’t have plans to quit anytime soon. I can hand-on-my-heart say that every single exciting opportunity or friendship I’ve formed over the past almost-decade is because of this blog.  I still love updating it every day and probably will until someone pries it from my cold dead hands!

The internet is changing fast (nothing new there) but I still feel there is a big place for blogs. Although I don’t read as many as I used to, and YouTube and Instagram are where all the ‘cool kids’ are these days, I still believe it’s really important to own your own content. After all, how can you make something your business when any moment YouTube or Instagram could change their policies and whip it out from under you!? No thank you!

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I’m Happy

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“Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that is is” – Mandy Hale

I still haven’t unpacked from my recent trip, the house is full of boxes of magazines, the bathroom needs a clean, my inbox is bursting, I’m feeling overwhelmed with everything I have to do… but right now I am happy.

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Life Update, Our First Employee, and A Call for National Wedding Show Exhibitors!

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Things have been pretty full-on of late. Not only have I been travelling a lot (I’ve been away more than I’ve been home over month – Vienna, Paris AND Vegas all within three weeks!) but I’ve been working on issue 10, multiple new collaborations and preparing for the National Wedding Shows which are taking place in September/ October – wah!

In fact things have been so busy that we’ve decided to bring on our first employee! My sister Rachel (yes, the one that got married!) is coming on board part time to help us with social media (to begin with, then probably a lot more stuff once she finds her feet). It’s very exciting yet scary to think about employing someone for the first time. Up until now we’ve always worked with freelancers when we’ve needed things done that we can’t do ourselves. It feels like a very big responsibility even though she’ll only be doing a few hours work a week!

Most other wedding bloggers have large teams these days, but I’ve always liked not having the responsibility of anyone else, and having complete control. However its just got to that stage now where Gareth and I physically can not keep up with everything we need and want to do, so it finally feels like the right time.

The Rock n Roll Bride Collection is BACK

Aaaanyway, in other news, I wanted to remind those wedding suppliers reading this that the Rock n Roll Bride Collection is coming back to the National Wedding Show and WE NEED YOU to make it as awesome as possible! Things have changed a bit this season too.

As well as the usual shell scheme for exhibitors, I had the idea to create the Rock n Roll Bride Gallery, which will be an area that will feature some of the very best alternative wedding suppliers. The difference between this and the rest of the show is that each supplier will get a plinth to display just a couple of their products, rather than a full stand. I almost want it to be like a little Rock n Roll Bride boutique and its going to be rad!

The Gallery is for those suppliers that maybe aren’t quite at the stage in their business where they’re able to afford a ‘proper’ stand just yet. The section is also by application only (aka not everyone who applies will be accepted) and I’ll be personally vetting each and every one. I want to make sure the Gallery is a killer selection of suppliers that I would genuinely recommend to my followers.

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Two Wonderful Days in Paris

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I am very, very bad at keeping secrets, especially exciting ones! So when Sophie and I planned months ago, to take Ronnie to Paris for her birthday, I was sure I would accidentally blab. BUT I DIDN’T AND I’M SO PROUD.

We had the most wonderful two days in the City of Light (as you will have seen if you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat), and I decided to make a little video to bring you along with us. We meandered around the beautiful cobbled streets (Monmartre is my favourite!) marvelling at the architecture, eating croissants, crepes and macarons, and spilling Prosecco nearly everytime we ordered some!

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Vegas or Bust!

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If you’ve been following this blog for a while you probably won’t have failed to notice that I have a not-so-secret obsession with a particular city… Las Vegas! I’ve been three times before and next week I’m off for my forth adventure with Gala and Shauna. Its nice to have friends who are just as in love with a place as you are!

Not everybody ‘gets’ Vegas, but to me nothing beats being in a place where wearing false eyelashes and sequins at 9am is totally normal, you can lie by a pool all day, party all night and shop with a margarita in your hand.

It’s not all playtime though, we’re actually getting together to start work on a brand new project. So many of you have asked us if we have anything else in the pipeline since we’ve stopped doing the in-person Blogcademy classes, and the answer is YES! It’s nothing to do with blogging or business though – its completely new – and something I think a lot of you will be pretty darn excited about. I’m just busting to get started with it!

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To My Husband on Our Anniversary

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To my computer game playing, gym going, kitty obsessing, sleepy head husband:
You are my rock, my biggest supporter and all of my happiest moments. I’m so proud to call you my husband.

When I try to think about what to write to you on our eight year wedding anniversary, I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a bit stumped. How can you adequately put into words a love that completely engulfs you, that makes you a better person, and that truly makes life worth living?

12th April 2008 feels like eight lifetimes ago, not just eight years. So much has changed, yet nothing has. On the outside our lives could not be more different, but inside everything is completely the same. I’m still insanely in love with you. I still get excited to see you every morning. I still want to cover you with kisses every night. You still drive me nuts with all of your ways. I still can’t load the dishwasher properly.

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The Biggest Blogcademy Birthday Sale EVER!

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Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday dear Kathryn, happy birthday to me!

I don’t usually plan anything too extravagant to mark getting a year older any more. Although I love the idea of taking an exotic trip somewhere, or having a huge party, I always leave things until the last minute and end up doing something really low key – which actually suits me perfectly. Sweatpants and wine party for the win!

Today though, I’m going on an adventure. Gareth is away snowboarding right now, so my babe Sophie has planned a day of fun in London! I have no idea what she’s got store and I’m pretty excited I have to say. Love you Soph!

I wanted to celebrate my birthday with you guys too so my Blogcademy babes and I have decided that for today only, we’re giving you the gift of The Blogcademy Online for just $200! That’s nearly 60% off the usual price! This is the biggest discount deal we’ve EVER DONE on this course so if you’ve been aching to take your blogging up a gear, then listen up!

For those of you not in the know, The Blogcademy is a blogging and business workshop that I co-founded with Gala Darling and Shauna Haider in 2012. After teaching in-person classes for three years solid, in early 2015 we decided to take the course and create an online version. The idea was that if someone couldn’t travel to an in-person class, or just preferred to learn at their own pace, at home, then we could still help them. While we don’t have any plans for any more in-person classes right now, the online class is still going strong and we’d love for you to take part. You can read all about that topics that we cover on our dedicated website.

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Why I’m Quitting Rock n Roll Bride

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When I started this blog I had no idea just how far it could take me. From quitting a well paid full time job to all expenses paid trips to Australia! I co-founded a workshop that taught over 1000 people all over the planet and launched a print magazine!! It really has been a wild ride and I wouldn’t change anything that’s happened for the world.

Over the past 8+ years I’ve woken up excited to turn on my computer and crack on with work (and that’s something I thought I’d never have in my life)… that is until it started to get too difficult. It stopped being fun. It started feeling like more of a chore than a labour or love. And if you don’t love something any more, why would you torture yourself? Life is just too short.

So I’ve come to a big decision. Its been really hard to make but I hope you’ll understand. I’m quitting Rock n Roll Bride. I’m not sure what I’m going to do next but I know it won’t be anything to do with weddings.

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