A Bespoke Gift - The Occasional Reporter
We're always looking for the perfect wedding gift, something personalised, memorable and something the couple will treasure for years to come. That's why when The Occasional Reporter launched her new wedding gifts, we got a little bit excited about something different and best of all, totally focused on the happy, smiley newlyweds.
As it's 'March Meet The Maker', we hand you over to Lauren, the woman behind the business. She tells us more about how The Occasional Reporter came about and how her personalised wedding gifts can grace the walls of just married couples.
Why I Love Helping People Celebrate Life’s Big Moments
We live in a throwaway society. Printed photographs are slowly being replaced by the instant-but-often-deleted phone selfie; home camcorder-shot videos are increasingly switched for Instagram Stories, and traditional photo books have made way for ‘Facebook Albums’.
But I say we should hang onto our memories for much longer than we now do; what ever happened to taking your snaps to Max Spielman, excitedly waiting for them to be developed, before poring over them with friends and family?
It’s why I set up The Occasional Reporter – a personalised gifting website which brings people’s memories to life via a spoof newspaper page print which lasts forever. Once printed, it can grace the wall of customers’ homes for years to come, helping the recipient relive a special day – like a wedding, engagement, or anniversary – again and again.
Personalised newspaper pages from my website are so fun to create, too. Using my 13 years of experience in local and national journalism, I ‘interview’ the customer via a fun, tailored questionnaire. Gathering insight into their big or memorable occasion, I then weave together anecdotes and quotes from friends and family to create a one-of-a-kind ‘newspaper page’ which is 100% personalised to them.
More often than not, people buy a newspaper page for someone else – a bridesmaid, mother of the bride, or a friend who’s due to get married – but sometimes people like to order one for themselves. I can even attend people’s weddings via my live reporting service, which offers a more up-to-the-minute, ‘live action’ take on someone’s day.
My newspaper pages have been sent far and wide, with customers in the US and Australia. People seem to love the personalised element of their page – and it’s something they can look back on long after their big day or event.
Recently, I’ve written about a Texas-based couple who were caught up in Hurricane Harvey, just shy of their first anniversary. Theirs was a lovely story of how love conquered all; for months they had to stay at a family member’s home while their house – and their life – was rebuilt after the fallout from the disaster. They came out of it stronger than ever – and Andrew, who purchased the page for his wife, Christy, was thrilled with the result.
“When our first-year anniversary was approaching I was trying to think of a clever present to give to my wife.” he says, “We had been through a lot in our first year and I wanted to be able to capture it all into something that we could remember forever. I found The Occasional Reporter and was very happy I did. l emailed her a quick description of what I was looking for and she sent me a questionnaire to fill out. The questionnaire didn't take long, and I sent a couple pictures to include. She did a great job and my wife loved her gift! The paper was amusing and was able to capture everything I wanted it to.”
It really is a pleasure and a privilege to help people celebrate their big days in this way. Shortly before I wrote that page, I attended the wedding of a lovely local couple and received some beautiful quotes from the mother of the groom on the day. Rather heartbreakingly, the lady passed away within weeks of the wedding – but the couple were able to read her words via their newspaper page. They weren’t aware that she’d contributed to the newspaper – and it was lovely to hear that reading it brought them a little comfort after the day. I’m glad I can be part of that, in some way – it really is a lovely feeling.