My name is Alison, and I am the founder/party director of Toronto-based A Hot Pink Petticoat, the life of every party.

I'm thrilled to have you visit! This blog is everything party. I talk about local (Toronto) vendors, and how to incorporate eco-friendly ideas into your event. I have occasional guest bloggers stop in to share their love of parties while providing advice, tips and more. Such guests include real-brides, photographers and cake designers.

I touch on etiquette, how to save money and my newest feature, Song Book, where I share my favourite, non-traditional songs that would be a great touch to any wedding. I also provide links to those crafty individual's who have provided the internet world with free downloads, and fabulous DIY projects perfect for your event.

Get comfy and take a look around. I’d love to hear from you so please drop me a line at events@ahotpinkpetticoat.com.

After the Vows: Kat and Gareth

Today's Wife

  • Kat Williams aka The Rock n Roll Bride
  • married in 2008
  • Kat is wedding writer/blogger/obsessive. She loves to share all things rock n roll in the wedding world (she also still has a full time job as a TV producer…it is hard work doing both sometimes!)

{image via David M McNeil}

1. At what point in your relationship did you know you wanted to get married?

I think I knew early on in the relationship that Gareth was the guy for me. But I probably didn’t actually start thinking seriously about it until I finished university after we’d been together 4 years. We went through some pretty tough times being apart and once I’d finished we knew immediately we wanted to move in together. We rented a flat for a while and then bought a house together…I guess marriage was the next logical step. Although I have to say I had no idea Gareth was going to propose – he was very sneaky!

2. Do you think you rushed into marriage?

Although in many people’s eyes I’m quite young to be married (we got married when I was 24 and he was 29) I don’t think that we rushed into it at all. We have been together ever since I was 18, Gareth proposed on our 5th anniversary and we got married on our 6th.

3. What was the biggest adjustment you had to make once you said "I do"?

As we lived together beforehand I don’t really feel like much has changed lifestyle-wise. When you’re married you do have to get rid of that ‘single mindset’ that you might still have when you are boyfriend/girlfriend. For example you can’t just drop everything and go out with the girls on a whim. However personally I love having to think in terms of ‘us’ rather than ‘just me’. You just always have to consider the other person in everything you do.

4. Is your husband still the man you married? What changed?

Well he had a shaved head when we got married and now he’s sporting long hair but that’s probably about it. As lovey dovey as it sounds, he is still the love of my life, my soul mate, my ‘elephant shoes’ - yes we are still very much the same silly pair we were before!

5. Are you still the woman your husband married? What changed?

Well it’s only been a year, so really only the amount of time I spend on rocknrollbride.com sharing the wedding love which of course I didn’t do before we got married.

6. What do you wish you knew about marriage before you said "I do"?

I thought about this question for ages and asked Gareth the same thing...and we actually both can’t think of anything. I guess that means we were totally right to get married!

7. How do you balance a career and your marriage? Is it working?

Gareth is self employed and works from home and I do shift work in my ‘proper job’ which actually works out well for us as he is always home when I’m not working. On my days off when he is working, I fill my days working on the site, but even doing all this we still manage to fit in a lot of time together. One of the most important things we do as a couple is our weekly ‘date night’. Having one evening a week set aside to just being together – no computers, no work, just us – whether that is going out for dinner, to the cinema, or just hanging out watching TV. I can’t recommend date nights enough, they give you the perfect excuse to turn off the computer and just spend time being with each other. Married life can easily become a mundane repetition of chores so it's crucial to embrace the excitement dating gives a relationship. Just because we are married does not mean we have stopped dating each other!

8. Did you take a pre-marital course? Did it prove beneficial? What was missing from it?

We wanted to get married in the church I grew up in and as we no longer attended, it was one of the requirements for us to be allowed to get married there. It was really helpful actually, even though in all honesty we both went in there thinking it was another job to tick off the ‘to do’ list.
It enabled us to start talking about things that may never have been brought up usually. It was sort of like a refresher course in relationships – generally all the things we discussed were things we already knew about each other, but we found it beneficial to re-learn and almost remind us of things such as how each person likes to feel loved or be treated when in a relationship.
It was really nice just to have that time set aside to talk about this stuff. Even mediocre things like who does what jobs around the house – I can imagine without this opportunity to bring it up, it would have never been discussed properly (and I wouldn’t have ended up doing every job!)

9. If you could write a list of 3 ways you wished your husband expressed his love, what would they be?

This is going to sound totally soppy but Gareth actually makes me feel loved everyday with all the little things he does and says to me. Whether that be randomly washing my car or making me a cup of tea or just coming up behind me while I’m writing and giving me a kiss on my shoulder. If I could ask him to do anything else it would probably be more of the boring jobs around the house but to be honest he does all the horrible jobs I wouldn’t want to do (i.e. bins, spider-removal, gardening etc) so we actually match very well, and to be honest I don’t think if he did the washing up it would have me feel more loved just less busy!

10. What books or websites do you frequent for relationship advice?
My mother! Does that count? She is always there to listen when I need to have a rant or just ask her advice on something.

11. What advice do you give for up and coming married couples?

Enjoy yourselves! Don’t get stressed over the little things (seriously they don’t matter) and remember to always make time to laugh and have fun together. You are planning a marriage, not just a wedding.

First photo courtesy of David McNeil

Thank you Kat sharing with us your experience "After the vows". For those of you who don't already have Kat's blog as one of your daily reads, what are you waiting for? Get over there now and prepare youself for inspiration overload.

Be sure to return next week for our next real wife and her story after the vows.

If you are a real wife/husband or in a long-term relationship and interested in sharing your tales of married life, please email me at info@ahotpinkpetticoat.com. I'd love to feature you :)