Tag Archives: top tips

Post It Notes – 2nd December 2011: How to Save Money on Your Wedding Dress

For this week’s wedding note I thought I’d blog some money saving ideas relating to the wedding dress. Although, yes, your wedding dress may well be the most expensive dress you’ll ever own, I’m well aware that the average price of somewhere between £1000 – £2000, is going to be out of a lot of bride’s budgets.


Photography Credit: Annamarie Stepney Photography (full wedding here)

Vintage wedding dresses are hugely popular right now but this does mean that a lot of vintage shops have hiked up their prices. But if you do your research, you can still get vintage gowns for a song. Try non-wedding specific shops like Beyond Retro where prices are likely to be lower. Vintage wedding-specific dress shops like For Coat No Knickers in London will even alter your own dress if you find a bargain elsewhere.

Vintage Reproduction

Photography Credit: Martyn & Clare Wheatley (Sinister Pictures) (full wedding here)

Vintage reproduction dresses are also a great way to get the vintage ‘look’ without the price tag. A frustrating thing about searching for genuine vintage dresses is that often the sizes are very small. Places like Vivien of Holloway, Honeypie BoutiqueDolly Couture and Peppermint Pretty, make gorgeous vintage-inspired gowns that are both affordable and can be made in any size.

Charity Shops

Photography Credit: Emma Case Photography (full wedding here)

Why not check out your local charity shop? Barnardos and Oxfam even have specialty wedding dress branches where you may well pick up an utter bargain!

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Post-It Notes – 25th November 2011: What to do When it all Goes Wrong…

Credit: Whale & Pine via Luke’s Beard

Last week I had this question on the Rock n Roll Bride facebook page from Angel. Luckily for her I happen to have some experience in this area!

Did you know that after blogging for just over a year I somehow managed to delete my whole blog? Yeah seriously…Poof! and it was gone.

To cut a long story short, I had been secretly blogging using the free Blogger platform since just before our wedding. I used the blog to post my own wedding ideas and after the wedding to share other alternative wedding ideas and real weddings that I’d found and liked around the internet. The reason for the blog certainly wasn’t to make it into a business, I’d simply fallen in love with wedding blogs during my wedding planning and started my own for fun.

Sometime around December 2008 I learnt about Google Analytics and thought “Oh cool, I can see how many people are actually reading this thing” (seriously, when I say I knew nothing about blogging I ain’t exaggerating!) Well somehow in my total-incompetence-to-do-anything-remotely-technical, by attempting to install it myself I deleted my whole freaking website…and no, we still don’t know how I managed to do it!

I went crying to Gareth (who by the way had no idea I was a secret blogger, what a nerd I must have looked like) and I asked him to bring it back. Which, despite being a IT genius, he said was impossible (and nope even he still doesn’t know how I managed to delete it either, I think maybe it’s a secret skill I have that no one else possesses…)

ANYWAY I was at a crossroads.

After I finally stopped crying, Gareth told me he was able to recover some of my past posts from Google’s cache of the site, but we’d have to set up a whole new blog and re-upload everything. He also suggested I moved from Blogger to WordPress for it’s superior functionality and general better-ness, and also that I purchased the .com (beforehand I was just using a free .blogspot URL).

And so the laborious task of relaunching a blog began.

Now I use the term ‘relaunch’ in a very loose way. There was no grand unveiling of the new site or street parade in my honour. I had no readers. I had a .com but no one knew it existed! It sounds kinda fancy in interviews when I say the blog was ‘relaunched in January 2009’ but in reality, I just bought a .com and started all over again.

I was totally gutted about (what seemed like) the mountainous task in front of me and yes, of course I wondered whether I should even bother. However after some soul searching and realising that this obsession for alternative weddings wasn’t going anywhere, I used my colossal balls-up as an opportunity to make the blog a million percent better.

So, what changes did I make?

♥ I moved the blog to a better platform.

♥ I paid for the .com (best £20 I ever spent. As a side note, if you’re able to get the .com as opposed to the .co.uk/.net/.org of your chosen website name DO IT. It’s only pennies more expensive and many people are of the opinion that it gives a more professional first impression).

♥ I finally told Gareth what I was up to. Gareth is a computer/internet genius so having him know that I had a blog was obviously a good thing. He helped me make my blog so much better with his technical wizardry.

♥ I spent time thinking about how I really wanted to blog to look. I stopped just using free and default layouts and spent some time actually thinking about branding… which of course was initially terrible. Look at my first attempts at blog headers if you don’t believe me. Yes, I made them all myself…Aren’t I brilliant? What do you mean you can’t tell?! Ha ha…

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Post It Notes – 25th November 2011: Money Saving Ideas for Wedding Flowers

Photography Credit: Sugar and Fluff (full shoot can be seen here)

After the success of last week’s ‘average spend’ post it note, a number of you messaged me to say you’d love to here some ideas of how to save the pennies on certain areas. So, over the next few weeks I plan to do just that. Starting this week with wedding flowers.

As ever, please let me know in the comments below (or email me directly if you prefer) if there are any areas of your wedding planning you’d like particular help with. I’m here to serve!

Flowers are one areas of your wedding where it’s really easy to make your budget go further, as Emma from The Green Parlour in Pangbourne told me,

“If people are willing to listen to a florists ideas on how to make the most out of your budget, you can actually achieve something really beautiful for a relatively low price. My top tip is always go for seasonal flowers and to get the most out of your budget try to use as much as you can in your various venues (like moving your ceremony displays to your reception).”

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Post-It Notes – 18th November 2011: Walk, Don’t Run

Credit: The Art of Hand Lettering

It’s quite a simple business note this week because a) I’ve been poorly (oh woe is me, seriously Gareth is so annoyed with my ‘milking it’ as he lovingly puts it!) and b) I’ve been working on my notes for my first blogging workshop* (which I’ve dubbed School of Rock (n Roll Bride) haha I know I’m just that cool) which is taking place in London NEXT WEEK so I’m a little bit exhausted of thinking about business type stuff if I’m honest!

Nevertheless, this is still a very worthwhile lesson for us all. Write it on a post it note and stick it above your computer, go on!

Don’t run before you can walk.

When you’re new to an industry it’s easy to want to want to try and ‘catch up’ to your competition as quickly as possible. One way many people try (and often fail) to do this is by doing too much too quickly. For example I’ve seen new wedding blogs pop up left right and centre over the past few months and already quitting their full time jobs (like seriously, you girls need to tell me how you’re doing this, it took me 3 years to be able to make enough money to support myself, am I missing some massive trick over here?), taking on advertisers, organising parties and meets, taking part in photo shoots, writing for magazines…hold it there sista!

While it’s great to have goals and to want to explore other avenues as part of your business, the most important thing you need to do as a new business is to get really good at being YOU. You need to hone your basic skills and get to know your industry back to friggin’ front.

It’s so tempting to run full steam ahead with every idea you have to take every opportunity that comes your way (read my blog post on saying no for advice on this one!) but you know what you’re really doing? You’re spreading yourself too thin and diluting your brand. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ right?

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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.


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.


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?


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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