Do what makes you happy.

I can hardly believe this blog has been running for over 4 years!


Albeit a long and winding path, Pasties & Petticoats has gone from caterpillar to beautiful butterfly, and with so much potential still to see, I’ve been taking some time to reflect on what’s been an incredible journey so far.


I’ve never shared personal posts on here before. I guess I figured a bride looking for wedding inspiration isn’t interested in my ramblings. But more recently I’ve opened my mind to what being a blogger is really about, and I realise I’m not only here to put pretty pictures in front of you. Each and every reader is precious to me, I want to get to know you – and for you to get to know me. I want to inspire you as you plan your wedding and embark on married life, and in return for you to join with me and share your journey with me.


So today’s blog post *is* about me. But it’s about you too. It’s about my journey as I am discovering my inner bliss, following my heart and taking the leap to turn dreams into reality. Life by design.  I very much hope that this will inspire you and make you feel that the impossible is rarely so.




It was 2011. I’d been working for the Council for 11 years, as well as running a part time photography business. I had big love for wedding blogs, and felt Cornwall really needed one of its own.  Being a pretty gung-ho kinda gal, I bought a domain, created a logo, set up a website and off I went. On the 8th January 2012 I hit the ‘go live’ button and published my first post. Pasties & Petticoats was born!


Over the next few years, Pasties & Petticoats was essentially a hobby – sharing beautiful real weddings, working with gorgeous photographs by talented local photographers, learning about the wedding industry and writing advice and inspiration articles. What’s not to love?! It fit in with my Council job and part time photography work.


But as time passed, I became increasingly dissatisfied with my local government life. Constant budget cuts, restructuring, bureaucracy…it was sucking the soul from me. I’ve always had a somewhat entrepreneurial spirit and longed to work for myself. To run my own business and be the master of my own destiny.


With a supportive husband cheering me on, last spring I took redundancy from the Council. After 14 years of working for the Council I was terrified and excited in equal measure. No more office drudgery, but likewise no more regular income! With a small photography studio still operational and Pasties & Petticoats ticking away, I threw myself into my two businesses.



Ahhh but the path of true love never does run smooth.



I was somewhat taken aback to find some months into my freedom of self-employment, that once again I felt dissatisfied. Was I being ungrateful, had I just slipped into my new normal, or was it something else? Perhaps I just hadn’t given it enough time? Having been so certain that I was living my dream, it was confusing to feel this way.


Being prone to over thinking things was on this occasion a blessing. I soon realised my discontent came from my feeling of ‘plate spinning’. With two businesses on the go I wasn’t doing either of them as well as I felt I could. I felt conflicted in relation to how I spent my time and had begun to really loathe photography work – and *that* was the moment I knew what I needed to do.

With photography studio closed and camera reinstated as something I use for fun not work, by autumn 2015 I had finally taken the real big leap. Pasties & Petticoats… I’m coming to get you! I’ve always loved writing, I felt so at home in the wedding industry, like I’d found my people, it all suddenly felt so obvious.


By Christmas I’d invested heavily in rebranding and a new website, and in January this year relaunched Pasties & Petticoats. The past three months have passed in a blur – wedding fairs, networking events, immersing myself in the wedding world and could NOT be happier.


Couples invest so much in their wedding day – not just financially, or in terms of the planning process itself, but emotionally too. It’s a huge step to publicly (and legally) declare your love and dedication to one another, and the wedding is such an important part of marking the occasion. So many times I find myself wiping away a tear as I write up a real wedding story, or with a huge grin on my face as I see the love and happiness in the images that capture a couple’s real wedding day.


Every love story is special, and unique, and I love nothing more than a good wedding!


So, a rambling this certainly was, and if you’ve made it this far – thank you, you’re a trooper!


I guess really the moral of my story is this:


It turns out, following your bliss really isn’t the easy option – who knew? It’ll involve big decisions, tough times, there will be ups and downs and the route won’t always be clear cut. But it’s so worth it.


What’s your bliss? Take some time to figure it out and consider how you can make it a reality. What are the hurdles and how can you overcome them? Can you make short term loss for long term gain? Consider the real impact of sacrifices you may need to make to live your dream. What’s the risk involved and are you prepared to take that on? If not, are there things you can do to put yourself in a better position so that you can take the risk?


What’s your bliss? Tell me in the comments below…



Thanks for reading 🙂






  1. Liz

    I love this article, Donna, there’s so much I can relate to here…still trying to figure out my bliss…

  2. Matt Hocking

    Really good reading Donna and good to put the journey down in words. Well done, you are a positive doer for sure.

  3. Beverly

    Although it’s a completely natural reaction to feel nervous before hitting that ‘send’ button… of course you needn’t have worried! Your ramblings are like sparkles on the tips of leaves on a frosty day – always welcome ?

    My bliss lies in the high Himalayas, which are my antidote to the life I live until I can live my dream. everything makes sense in the mountains. I leave my soul there for safe keeping – in the care of the humble monks and kind Sherpa people, and find myself again whenever I am able to return.

    I wish, for two reasons, I could get married all over again (1) because I still adore my amazing husband enough to want to pledge my love and life to him all over again and (2) so you could help make it sparkle and glisten.

    You are a beautiful and clever lady and I’m glad you followed your dream; the bumps along the way are important parts of your own personal journey and provide focal points and perspective to the vista.

    The view from the summit is all the more worthwhile when you’ve had to work hard for it! We could all take the chairlift and be back for afternoon tea but we’d miss the lessons learned from blisters and stubbed toes on the long slow climb up, not to mention the feeling of euphoria of self achievement.

    Your blog is a blissful inspiration – just like you.

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