Category 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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Welcome to 2019: An Introduction for New Readers & Wedding Planning Tips from our Awesome Community!

Welcome to 2019!! At the start of a new year it’s customary around these parts for me to take a moment to introduce myself and the Rock n Roll Bride brand to our newly minted brides-to-be. If that’s you then WELCOME!

Hi, I’m Kat. I’m the editor of this here blog and our utterly lovely print magazine. I live in Reading (UK) with my husband, Gareth, and our two enormous Maine Coons, Henry and Rachel. I started this blog when we were engaged as a way to document our wedding plans. Fast forward nearly 12 years and we now both work full time on the business.

Before we get to anything else I’d like to congratulate you on your excellent blog finding skills (ha!) Rock n Roll Bride is the ONLY wedding blog and magazine in the world that is wholly dedicated to alternative weddings. If you’d like to find out more about me, this website and our magazine (which FYI you totes need to subscribe to – you can also pick it up in WhSmiths, Sainsburys or selected local newsagents) then check out the below posts:

About Rock n Roll Bride
A welcome to new readers
How to start planning your wedding 

Oh I also wrote a book which comes out NEXT WEEK. Holy shit, I might explode before then.

Photo by Lisa Jane Photography

As a newly engaged babe you’re probably feeling a lot of FEELINGS right now: Excitement, anticipation, overwhelm (is that a word?) panic… !? But fret not, Rock n Roll Bride will see you through.

First up you absolutely MUST join our private Facebook group. There are nearly 14,000 of us in there and, I swear to God, its THE friendliest most non-judgemental wedding space on the internet. I’m not even exaggerating. No-one will shame you, no-one will call your ideas weird or stupid and everyone goes above and beyond to help and advise each other. We’re all in this together! I can’t wait to chat with you in there.

Talking of the Facebook group, and to PROVE their awesomeness, I recently asked our members what would be their one piece of advice for someone who’s just got engaged. This advice is golden! But it’s also just for starters, you can see the entire thread 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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Goodbye 2018

2018 has been a year of tremendous ups and downs. On the one hand SO many incredible things have happened:

I wrote a book!
– Each issue of the magazine outsold the one before it!
– I hired more people for our team!
– We got so many boring yet important behind-the-scenes business things sorted that I’m finally starting to feel like I have some semblance of my shit together (it only took a decade right!?)

But at the same time, 2018 has been a toughie. I’ve struggled with my mental health and body image bullshit a lot more than I have in quite a long time. However, as the year drew on, I’ve been making a real conscious effort to figure out what’s going on in my brain and working out what the specific situations or triggers are that make me feel worse (and then making changes to protect myself from them). In actual fact, although it’s been hard at times, overall, I know I’m making better decisions to protect myself and continuing to push myself in the right direction… Most of the time. I’m still very much a work in progress!

I have also learnt a hell of a lot in the past year. In particular about time management (having to fit writing a book into an already packed schedule will do that to you!) about delegation and how incredible it can be to find people you trust enough to off-load the tasks you can’t do yourself anymore (I’m one of those people that always wants to control everything!)

I’ve also thought a lot more about the financial side of the business. I’ve always stuck my head in the sand a little bit when it came to talking or thinking about money. It made me feel uncomfortable and icky and whenever I looked at our accounts, I would judge myself, and our business, based on how much money was in them. It was a sucky place to be. This year I have absolutely put my big girl pants on when it comes to that stuff and have started to educate myself more about how things work, I feel incredibly proud of myself!

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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

Lisa Jane Photography

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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