Category Archives: Personal Rambles

Instagram, Facebook & Blogging: The Future of Rock n Roll Bride

It feels like actual forever since I’ve sat down and had a proper chat with you guys on my blog. Of course I keep up to date with you all on Instagram and Facebook (particularly in our ever-growing private Facebook group, we now have nearly 13,000 members!) but this space has been a little neglected on the old personal content side.

I’ve read a few articles from some of my favourite bloggers recently on this same topic: Blogging vs social media, and their feelings towards how things are shifting. They all say that they really want to commit to blogging more, that they love their blogs so much, but that it’s now a much harder medium to keep on top of and get engagement on. I remember when I used to write a personal blog post and it would receive hundreds of comments. Now things are pretty good if they get like 5! Whereas on Instagram my posts still get a lot of traction because its quick and easy for people to hit “like” or leave a short comment.

I’ve always said that, in business, putting all your eggs in one social media basket is really risky. Yes, Instagram is where it’s at right now, but what if they screw with the algorithm so much that no-one sees your posts unless you pay (they are owned by Facebook now after all)? I still think it’s really important to have your own platform, like a website or blog, that you completely own, in case things all go tits up over on the IG.

I’m not gonna lie, it¬†can be a bit disheartening that it’s so damn difficult to get people to actually click over and read a blog post you’ve spent a long time on. People are all about staying on Facebook or liking things on Instagram, but ask them to click a link to read a longer article away from their favourite platform and it’s like tumbleweed. What is that about? Are we just getting so damn lazy online that unless the content is right there in our face we can’t be arsed to make the effort to click a link to read it? The answer is yes by the way, yes we are.

This morning I did a poll on my Instagram Stories to ask how many of my followers actually ever visited the blog, and I was genuinely chuffed to see that 65% of them did regularly click though (I’ve seen results from other bloggers that were much more depressingly low!) However, unsurprisingly only 24% of them said they regularly visited the blog off their own backs. They needed prompting (with a social media post) and they’d click through if the content sounded interesting to them. I remember a few years ago I literally used to bookmark my favourite blogs and visit them every single day to see their updates. Those days are long gone my friends!

I also asked people to DM me with their general thoughts on blogs, specifically if they ever read them or just prefer social media content and the results were actually really encouraging and interesting too.

A lot of people said that although they prefer social media (in this case Instagram) on a daily basis, if they are looking for specific advice, information or recommendations, they will turn to a blog. Others said they they don’t have the time or ability to keep up to date with blogs regularly (RIP Google Reader) but that when they see something that sounds interesting on social media they will click through.

Of course there were also lots of people saying they don’t ever read my blog, or that they prefer just seeing a few highlights on Instagram (these people are missing out IMHO!) and a few said they just follow me for my personal style (or cats!) because they’re not getting married at all! That is the really great thing about Instagram though, it can open you up to a while new audience who would never have found you otherwise. These kinds of people would literally never have been searching for wedding content online, because they’re not engaged, but if they ever do plan to get married, where are they gonna turn? Well, to their favourite blue haired cat-obsessive Instagrammer I suppose (haha!) This is one of the main reasons why I keep my Instagram a mix of personal photos and updates AND blog post links/ wedding images. I know not everyone is interested in both, but the personal content is appealing to a larger proportion of people, and it encourages people to (hopefully!) stick around after they get married too.

Continue reading

The Best of Rock n Roll Bride: 2017 in Review

Photo: Heart Full of Tea

One of my favourite things about this time of year is that day when I finally decide to switch off (literally switch off my computer for a week!) and allow myself to take a few days away to watch festive movies, eat too much cheese and basically chill the hell out. This is our first Christmas in our new house too so it’s definitely going to be a double celebration.

This time last year we’d been trying to get an offer accepted on the place for over a month and it already felt like we’d never actually get there…. Ahh if only 2016 Kat and Gareth knew what was coming! That journey sure was long and tumultuous. The fact that all the renovations are going quite slowwwwly at the moment pales in comparison to the stress of that time!

And no, the photos of me in this post were not taken in our house – I wish! Our place is still very much a building site, believe me. We are, however, hosting our first festive event (EVER) here on Christmas Eve. At the grand old age of 33 I’m finally brave enough to play hostess. There will be seven of us over for dinner (I’m cooking!) and our decor inspiration is Ross and Emily’s wedding from Friends (ha).

Usually at this time of year I will post multiple round up articles between Christmas and New Year linking back to all my favourite weddings… shoots… advice posts… personal milestones etc. But I’m going to be totally real with you right now: I DON’T THINK I HAVE THE ENERGY! This last few months have been insane and I feel like I’ve been running on empty for most of it. So this year, I’m going share all my highlights in one monster post and allow myself a few extra days off.

Before we begin, I really couldn’t round the year off without giving a huge heartfelt thanks to every single one of you that reads the blog, buys the magazine and follows me on social media. It’s sometimes all too easy to focus on how busy/ stressed/ tired/ anxious I am and not take the time to stop and appreciate all the good things. For example, this comment that Jenny wrote on Instagram the other day almost made me well up.

“Thanks also to @rocknrollbride for the courage to be myself and go for a short dress, colourful petticoats and shoes that initially made my nearest and dearest cringe. Kat, you are a breath of fresh air in the wedding industry, and your mag/ blog was like a big hug every time I started to second guess myself and feel insecure about my choices.”

Photo: Heart Full of Tea

Comments like that make it all worthwhile. Not just because its such a bloody nice thing to say, but because at times this year has felt like an uphill struggle in many aspects. Reading something like that¬† REALLY does cement in my mind why I’m still so passionate about the work that I do and the message that I spread. It’s not really about weddings at all, it’s about self love, self expression and self acceptance and that’s something I hope you will all bring into your everyday lives long before and after your wedding day.

As well as publishing (and continuing to grow!) the print magazine, launching a¬†wedding planner book and another veil collection with Crown and Glory (the 2018 collection drops on January 8th!) a real professional highlight of 2017 has had to have been permanently bringing people into the Rock n Roll Bride team. Not only do I now always work with the same team on all the magazine photo shoots (Erica, Alex, Lisa, Jo and Lou – I freakin’ love you all!) but we also have not one, but two members of editorial staff (hi Rachel, hi Erin!) I haven’t made a big song and dance about it, but you may have seen their names cropping up as the authors of most of our real wedding featured on the blog these days. Having these two megababes helping me out with website content has meant I’ve had more time for focusing on the magazine, and larger brand collaborations and advertising partnerships.

For YEARS I’ve resisted bringing anyone else on, but finally (FINALLY) I’ve realised just what a big difference having some extra pairs of hands can make to my workload (and sanity!) These women are all insanely talented and just as passionate about the brand ethos as I am and I couldn’t have got through 2017 without them.

I’ve learnt a lot in the past year about friendship, business, marriage, house buying (!)… everything really. Although its not been without its struggles, I think overall 2017 has been a pretty darn good year. All-in-all I’m happier than I’ve ever been but here’s to making 2018 even more amazing!

So now, without further ado, here is some of my favourite features from the past twelve months. ENJOY!

Advice

What getting divorced taught me about marriage

Your size has nothing to do with how happy you’ll be on your wedding day

Who’s wedding is it anyway? Managing meddling family members

Wonky bride seeks winning wedding: A disabled bride’s wedding journey

Continue reading

Congratulations Sophie and Gareth!

If you follow me on Instagram you will already know that my babe Sophie married her Gareth this weekend and I was one of her maids of honour (I shared the role with Ronnie). It was such a wonderful weekend – THE BEST in fact! We laughed, we cried, we did shots, we ate pizza and the spiciest hot dogs, we drunk danced (and some of us drunk fell over), we abused the photo booth, we stole the skull shaped candles from the centrepieces, we got covered in glitter…

It rained really heavily the night before and the whole morning while we were getting ready. We were all trying to think positively and hoping the clouds would clear for just long enough for their outdoor ceremony. Well not only did they clear in the nick of time (literally 10 minutes before we were all due to start walking out!) but the most spectacular rainbow appeared when they were doing their photos. Talk about the wedding gods shining down on them!

Continue reading

I Need to be Honest with You

I need to be honest with you. I’ve fallen out of love with my blog. Not completely, we’re not breaking up or anything, but we’re having a moment.

I’ve been posting here for ten years so I guess it’s enviable there will be rocky patches, but it’s such a bummer. I’ve given so much love and attention to this space but right now I don’t feel like I’m getting it back.

Let me clarify… rocknrollbride.com is the cornerstone of my business, it always has been, and for a long time it was my only focus. But now I have so much else going on (the magazine in particular is taking up a lot of my head space) that I feel like I’ve been neglecting the blog a little bit. Sure, I’m still sharing¬†weddings every day, but while other wedding blogs are publishing¬†multiple articles every day, I simply don’t have the time or mental capacity to keep up. I’ve never had a team of writers behind me, nor do I really want them, but this is probably where I’m falling short.

My¬†lead time for publishing real weddings that we’re submitted is creeping dangerously close to five months, which is a LONG time for people to wait. This means I’m basically just using the blog to churn out real wedding after real wedding without giving myself the space or time to write any longer form content (I’ve been saving it all for the magazine) or to explore and post anything personal (like this!)

And I do miss it.

Continue reading

The End of 2016 (Everything Will Be OK)

vegas-babes_made-u-look-photography-60

Is it the weather? Is it the time if year? Is it the fact that for a lot of people 2016 has been a bit shit and there’s way too much uncertainty about what’s to come in 2017?¬†In all honestly, I don’t really know what the reason is (probably all of the above!) but the impending end of 2016 has felt like no other year I can remember.

I am an annoyingly positive person so wanted to close the year out with a little reminder to you that EVERYTHING WILL BE OK… and if it’s not, you’ll figure it out. Whatever you’re feeling apprehensive about – where your business might be headed, how you’re going to get everything on your wedding planning to-do list done, your relationship, your family, your bank balance – whatever it is don’t forget that you are in control of your life and 2017¬†is¬†a brand new year and a fresh new start. Yes, its a massive clich√© but I am a firm¬†believer in always looking for the positive in every situation.

While I’m not one for new year’s resolutions (is any concept more likely to make you feel like a massive loser when you fail?) I do think the end of another 365 days is the perfect opportunity to take stock, look back and realise just how much you’ve achieved – I bet it’s more than you think!

Continue reading

We’re Off to Paradise!

seychelles-resorts

Gareth and I have never taken a beach holiday together – not once in 14 years! We’re much more likely to go on a ski holiday with my family (the exact opposite of a beach holiday it would seem) or on a city break. Which is why I am so excited that we’re off to actual paradise next week with Hilton Seychelles!

Oh my god, this is a DREAM COME TRUE. We will be staying in three resorts throughout out trip, Doubletree by Hilton Seychelles Allamanda, Hilton Seychelles Labriz¬†and Hilton Seychelles Northolme¬†(head explodes!)¬†Of course¬†I will be reporting back on each and every one afterwards. I’m pretty sure this is going to be the trip of a lifetime and somewhere I’m going to insist you consider for your honeymoon too.

Continue reading