Tag Archives: top tips

Post It Notes – 12th August 2011 – Finding Your Venue & Putting People Off

Photography Credit: Depict Photography (full wedding on the blog next week)

I think that finding the venue for your wedding is one of the most stressful bits of wedding planning! It’s usually the first thing you have to organise…and when you’re right at the beginning of your planning it can be quite a daunting experience. After all they do say that the venue will pretty much shape the whole of your day. Eeeep! No pressure then…

My top tip when it comes to finding a wedding venue would be to think outside the box. If you’re on a budget or you are are not a stately home/hotel/castle kinda bride then avoid the ‘wedding venue guides’ and start looking at pubs, bars, restaurants, community halls, nightclubs, warehouses..whatever! Maybe somewhere that you and your fiancé have spent a lot of time together? Or somewhere you’ve always loved but never really thought about enquiring about hiring? These places will often be cheaper (because they don’t have ‘wedding packages’) and are usually more flexible with what they’ll allow you to do too. Our venue was amazing but looking back I know we could have got somewhere a lot ‘cooler’ for a lot less moolah!

I turned to twitter and facebook to see if any of my followers had some tips to make the whole thing less ickky…

@JackiBruniquel – Make sure there is lots of pretty ambient light for your reception photographs ie fairy lights or up-lighting. Find out if these are included.

@FernhillHotel – Ask if you can have a meal with the venue before booking (if they are doing the catering) so you know if the dishes are to your taste and standard.

@BohoEvents – Always ask if the venue holds more than one wedding at a time, some hold two a day, some even three! Although they will be held at staggered times do you really want to be greeted by another bride on your wedding day?

@pocketfuldreams – Do your research and check out what other people are saying about your desired venues, try specialist sites like tripadvisor or ask on wedding forums, blogs, etc what kind of experience other people have had who got married there.

@foodwisetweet – Stop and think firstly about what you really want your wedding to be rather than pleasing others. Then think of your venue.

Appeal to less people.

Yes that’s right! There is much to be said about trying to put people off your business. I’m not talking about offending people or being controversial just for the sake of it here, but I urge you take a long hard look at your brand and at what kind of clients you want to be working with. Consider specifically targeting your business to a small group of people and guess what? You’ll get to work with the types of people you really want too!

At the end of the day you can never appeal (or be liked by) everyone, so why try to be? Being vanilla or, you know, nice, can in some ways be totally detrimental to a business. These days brides want to really connect with their wedding suppliers or the blogs that they read so don’t be afraid to be yourself – warts and all! If a bride looks at say, two photographer at the same price and she likes both of their photographs equally, how is she going to choose between them? That’s right – it’ll probably be the one she prefers as a person or feels she gets on with better.

For example, Rock n Roll Bride is quite a niche. The types of weddings I feature certainly don’t appeal to the mass wedding market and because of this my blog will never be a ‘popular’ as some of the more traditional or mainstream ones. However this is brilliant for me becuase a) I get to feature the stuff I like (which makes my job much more satisfying), b) the people I work with are ‘my kind of people’ which is awesome and c) although my readership may be small compared with a lot of the big boy blogs, my advertisers know exactly what kind of brides read my blog…and if those are the kinds of weddings that they want to be working on then it’s a big fat bonus all round!

Be different, be authentic and be you.

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Post It Notes – 5th August 2011 – Competitions & Getting Personal

Photography Credit: McKinley-Rodgers Photography (full wedding on the blog next week)

Wedding magazines and blogs are full of competitions so enter as many as you can while you’re engaged! Seriously, I don’t think you’ll ever be exposed to so much potential free stuff again! Remember someone always has to win.

Oh what a great opportunity to remind you about the two contests I’m hosting right now (!)

♥ Name & Win a Lipstick from Angelberry Cosmetics

♥ An Engagement & Video Shoot with Assassynation Photography, Sassy n Frank & Elbie Van Eeden!

You don’t have to be a fantastic photographer to put personal photographs on your blog or social media outlets (twitter/facebook etc.) A second-hand DSLR and one decent lens (I have the canon 500D and a 50mm 1.4) is really all you need to start snapping the good stuff. And yes even the odd camera phone photo is acceptable.

Sharing personal photos is a fantastic way to connect with your readers/followers and let them know a lot about you better. Don’t be afraid of taking and sharing personal photos, it’s what we all want to see!

I’m always amazed when I meet my readers and they tell me they feel like they know me. I actually don’t share that much really personal stuff online, but the photos I share do give away a great deal.  I appear to be quite an open book with a lot of the things I do put out there but I bet you couldn’t tell me much about my day to day life (hint: it’s not always as exciting as it appears!)

Here’s some of the personal photos I’ve shared and what they’ve told you…

I’m a silly poser and I love large floral headgear


I’m obsessed with my cats and Henry likes to steal my desk when I leave it (and erm…my office is quite messy)

My husband is all kinds of hotness

I really really love Emma Case

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Post It Notes – 29th July 2011: Style Ideas & Crediting Correctly

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Photography Credit: Yuna Leonard Photography (Full shoot coming up next week…)

As usual, you guys are a lot better at the weddingy tips that me! I turned to twitter and my facebook page to ask for some of your top wedding planning tips for this week…

@Simply__Elegant Don’t try to do EVERYTHING do the important bits REALLY WELL

@RhianHJ Choose your max budget,then deduct 15%. Always work to the 85% figure then have a little buffer for the things you forgot!

@mrsmandydingle To find your colour scheme, take a colour photo that you love and pick out complimenting shades like this

@cupcakes_london Plan your make-up trial for same day as engagement shoot – pix will look fab & MUA can see how the makeup looks in photos.

@makebelieven Stick to your gut on design. If you have seen it on the blogs it might not be authentically you. Get ideas, don’t copy.

Bekki Cooke – Follow your favourite vendors on Twitter. I have great contact with my venue on there, and have found both my awesome photographers via tweeting as well!

 

Hey Kat

I’m finding it really hard to find out the etiquette and laws around blogging. Specifically around re-posting others content. I wondered if you’d be interested in posting some guidelines on what is and is not acceptable to re-post or how you should go about it to your business note section? Surely I’m not the only one totally lost and not wanting to offend/misuse someone elses content!

Thanks!
xxx, Cathie

I got this email from Cathie, a photographer from New Zealand last week so I thought I’d quickly address is in this week’s Post It Notes as it’s actually quite a straight forward answer (but as she said, something that many people are still confused by.)

First up, I’m giving my opinions based on the wedding blogging industry. These ‘rules’ may be slightly different if you’re coming from another area of journalism/blogging.

As a general rule, if you wish you share an image that you don’t own the rights to you need to ask permission (from the photographer.) Usually photographers will be more than likely to say yes as long as they receive a credit and a link back to their website in return. The difficult area comes when you find an image you’d like to use on sites like Tumblr (the bane of my life!), Pinterest or weheartit etc as many of these sites (or the users of these sites should I say) don’t include credits when they post images (naughty!) However Google have just launched a new service for image searching, which is really great in helping you find the original sources of images. Simply upload the image and it gives you the results of where else is it posted.

Its a bit of a hazy area, but if you find an image you’d like to use on another wedding blog, with a credit to the original source usually it’s safe to assume the photographer in question is happy for their photos to be out and used online, with credit. Often I’ll use an image of a wedding that I’ve seen on another wedding blog, however if I do I always add the credit to read:

Photography Credit: Photographer Name (link) via XYZ Wedding Blog (link)

Its also preferable to make the wording of the linkable text the website or photographer’s name and not just ‘source’ or ‘via’. This helps the website owner’s SEO and google rank.

It’s important to give some kudos to the source that you found the image on (it helps the blog love go round) as well as the photographer. Often, wedding blogs will have exclusivity policies whereby they will only feature weddings that have not been published on rival wedding blogs. Therefore if you are one of these ‘rival blogs’ and you also use the image its just nice to give them some love. It’s not a hard and fast law or anything, but it going to make you some friends.

When it comes to using images from big companies or shopping websites such as Topshop, Asos or Etsy for example, you’re alright to use these images…but again as long as you credit the source.

If in doubt always ask permission and use this great graphic I found by By Pia Jane Bijkerk via {Frolic} & Peonies & Polaroids (For sale by Mammoth Collection)

I’ve also mentioned the subject in this article, How to Blog – Originality and Connections. I hope this helps!

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Post It Notes – 22nd July 2011: Keeping it Real & Blog Schedules

Emma_and_Matts_Wedding1875bwPhotography Credit: David McNeil Photography (full wedding coming up soon…)

As with last week’s post, I turned to twitter for their wedding tips… This week a lot of you spoke about making the day about you and taking it all in.

@_tarynblake Don’t be afraid of color. White (or off white) wedding dresses aren’t required. Pick what you feel gorgeous in!

@hill_place Schedule in time for just the bride & groom: the day goes so fast & you can end up not spending time together to enjoy it.

@DreamOccasions advice to brides ‘remember it is your day, don’t be swayed by opinions of others, have faith in your decisions.

@MmeGuilotine Hide for a couple of minutes to watch your best beloveds having a good time. It made me feel it was all worth it.

@leephotos for one day in your life be selfish plan in your mind what your perfect wedding day will be like, then follow your plan.

If you have a blog then it’s important to post regularly and at a schedule that suits you and your business. This should be determined by you (and not what everyone else is doing.)

Obviously as a professional blogger I have to blog daily. However my inbox is flooded with content so it’s almost a lot easier for me than say…a wedding planner, photographer or florist that might only have few weddings lined up that they wish to share. As long as your blog schedule is regular (daily, weekly, even monthly) then your readers will know what to expect.

If you’re struggling for content, how about keeping it simple. Think about the blogs you read (and you should be reading loads! Also read blogs out of your own specific niche  – knowledge of a range of styles of blogging is powerful) and what they wrote about. You may not be a fashion blogger, but can you take an idea and adapt it from their niche to your own?

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Post It Notes – 15th July 2011: Sticking to your Guns & Defying Conventions

Photography Credit: Amy Radcliffe Photography (full wedding coming next week!)

A few tips I gathered from my twitter followers this week…

@PeteSmyth “My tip would be to stick to your guns. Do it your way, not your parents way.”

@INHousewifey “The best wedding planning tip I learned (too late!) was if you can’t find something you like…make it yourself…don’t settle!”

@levansphoto “My tip is for all husbands-to-be … as much as we appreciate “whatever you want is fine by me” 99% of the time occasionally we appreciate your input!”

Today’s tip follows on quite nicely from last week’s actually. In talking to a friend over coffee this week, I had a bit of a light bulb moment. In business it’s really important that the path you take represents exactly what you want it to, and not what you (or others) think it should. Let me clarify…

I’m a wedding blogger and I love love love weddings. I love looking at them, swooning over the details and original ideas and getting to know the couples and suppliers behind the day. However I don’t have any desire to plan these weddings. This isn’t an area I want my business to cover.  However when I try and explain what I do to people who don’t inhabit this crazy land we call blog, they automatically assume I’m a wedding planner. Erm no… I’ll leave that to the professionals thanks!

The way I usually describe what I do to a wedding blog novice is that it is basically like a wedding magazine, but just online (they then always ask me how I make money but that’s another topic all together!)

I am essentially an after-the-event reporter. A showbiz magazine might report on a red carpet event or celebrity party, however the magazine doesn’t actually plan these parties do they? Nope, they’ve got in on the party action in the way they saw best for them – by reporting and sharing the photos to the masses afterwards.

I guess what im trying to articulate, in my own random and slightly roundabout way, is that ignoring what people expect you to do and instead focussing wholeheartedly on what you really want to do is bloomin’ brilliant. Break molds, defy conventions and turn the industry in its head.

What is your niche? How do you see the world/industry differently?

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Post It Notes – 8th July 2011: Getting Carried Away & Happiness

Photography Credit: Chennergy (Full wedding coming up soon!)

It’s very easy to get carried away when you first start planning your wedding. This is a fast track way to quickly spend lots of money on the ‘pretty things’ that you might not even end up using (I think I bought about 5 pairs of wedding shoes…)

Wedding planner Josie of Savoir Weddings agrees, “Get the major planning elements underway before you start thinking about styling and decoration. You can get excited and look for inspiration as soon as you want but the key parts of a wedding – the venue for instance, can have a huge impact on the way you style it so take your time before you start deciding how you want it all to look.”

Happiness is something that’s often overlooked in the general epic busyness that is running your own business. There’s so much to do and think about that often we fail to notice whether all the things we’re stressing ourselves over are actually beneficial to our working life.

Think logically and methodically about everything you expose yourself to within your business life that isn’t a necessity and think “Is this improving what I do/how I work/how I feel?” (note: I say things that aren’t a ‘necessity’ because although taxes and accounting is boring and stressful you kinda have to do it…)

Do you follow anyone on twitter that makes you feel bad about yourself?
Do you read any blogs that you come away from feeling depressed or stressed?
Do you meet up with a networking group that you feel is really just a big fat waste of time?
Are you chained to your desk for 12 hours a day and desperate for just a little outside time?
Do you wish you had time to do XYZ?

Quite simply think, “Does this make me happy?” and if you can’t say yes right away then bin it and make time for the things that do make you happy. And if you can make these things a part of your working life and you’re on a one way street to job satisfaction!

Me, I love shopping (duh!) While this might not necessarily strike you as something a wedding blogger could bring into her working life I’ve think I’ve made it work. I’ve started to post the odd wedding fashion advice related post…and you know what, it gives me an excuse to drop by Vivienne Westwood a few times a month…and even better, you guys seem to like the results!

Happiness is unfortunately underrated when it comes to running your own business and it really shouldn’t be. Why must we all be so miserable or stressed all the time? I’d imagine that a lot of people start their own business is to get away from the morbidly depressing 9-5 right? Well don’t let your dream career become just as depressing. Please?

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