Love My Dress® turned 4 years old last month.  I've been so busy preparing content for the new year that I totally overlooked the fact that it had been 4 whole years since I posted my very first post on these pages, which had absolutely nothing to do with weddings by the way.  My oh my, how much has changed almost 3,000 blog posts later!

Life, in fact, has altered in ways I could never have dreamed about, over the last year especially – I can't wait to reflect on it all and share some of the highs (and inevitable lows) with you in my customary end of year post, but to mark 4 years of Love My Dress today, I'm going to go out at lunch time with my husband and youngest daughter and treat us to something delicious with lashings of Yorkshire tea and cake in our beautiful home town of Whitby.

What will you be up to today?

"Love My Dress was definitely my favourite (blog) and the one I read the most thoroughly. First of all the ‘Love My Dress Style’ is right up my street and the whole blog is a gorgeous, glamorous, lacey, sequined, luxurious land of a bygone era that I would love to live in forever…but, my favourite thing about Love My Dress is that its heart is in the right place.

Of course I understand that its main function is to advertise and sell services and products, but it never feels like that. It feels like it is all about spreading inspiration and camaraderie between real people. It opened my eyes to a world of possibilities and gave me the confidence to have the wedding I wanted. There is such a lovely spirit of positivity and artistry shared by all of the writers, readers, advertisers and contributors featured on Love My Dress and it is full of inspiration to dream big, create and support each other.

I think in this day and age, it also reminds us WHY we still believe in marriage and weddings, something I struggled with after my husband proposed. After reading so many couples varied stories I realised that marriage is still relevant, love and romance and whimsy are vital to our lives and that simply WANTING to be married and to pour all of your energy into planning a one off, joyous, beautiful day to celebrate with all of your friends and family is a good enough reason to do it."

Libby, a reader and bride who featured on Love My Dress

I really wanted to blog a brief 'touching base' feature on Love My Dress today, for the benefit of all of our readers. I figured it would be nice to link back to this feature in January, when we had an influx of newly engaged readers joining our little community, to welcome them and provide a flavour of who we all are, what we do and a bit about the weddings you are all planning.  And on that note ladies and gents, I need to ask a favour. We'd like you to share some words to tell us a little about yourself, be you a bride or industry member visiting Love My Dress today.

We're really keen to build on our community at Love My Dress – to encourage our readers to exchange ideas, inspiration, experiences with the idea of supporting one another.   We're well regarded for our thoughtful discussion posts that always generate great talk between our readers and whilst we've been holding off on posting these features of late (largely because we feel December is probably a time we all just want to be inspired by beautiful imagery), we're looking forward to sharing more discussion posts in January and beyond that will tackle all manner of topics.   We're not just about the pretty pictures, see.

Are there any topics that are important to you that you would like us to address?

"I just wanted to thank you for your amazing blog and book, which were a massive inspiration to my wedding. I read Love My Dress everyday (and still do!), and love how you feature such an array of the most gorgeous real weddings. A friend of mine introduced me to your blog (her wedding was featured last year) and I used the florist she recommended, who were just amazing!

Reading love my dress helped to plan out the wedding so much (my favourite bit of each feature is the words of wedded wisdom!) and also was a massive influence on the style of photographer we chose.  So, thanks again for helping make my wedding day totally perfect!"

Theo, a reader and bride who featured on Love My Dress

There are several ways you can connect with our community of readers outside of these blog pages too.  In recent weeks, we've seen an exponential growth in our social media follower numbers.   We now have over 115,000 Facebook page Likes, though the majority of our readers remain UK based.  Our Twitter followers are heading towards 30,000 and I love sharing sneak peaks and pretty things via the Love My Dress on Instagram too – as well as the odd sneak peek in to what I'm up to at home or out and about. Do you follow Love My Dress on Google+?  Are you following on Instagram?

Images taken from the Love My Dress Instagram feed

And talking of inspirational images – this year has seen our Pinterest account take off too and we have almost 16,000 image lovers now popping by our Pinterest pages on a regular basis to soak up all that gorgeous visual inspiration.

Do you have a particular favourite Love My Dress Pinterest board? It's so hard for me to choose and it changes all the time, but currently, I'm as obsessed as I ever was with our Flower Crown board…

Pinterest

Social media is an amazing way for us to help stay connected with you, to update you and to engage with you, our lovely readers, so we encourage you to follow wherever you can.

Finally, we do have a few excitables up our sleeve but we'd rather not tease you with cryptic hints – we'd prefer to encourage you to make sure you visit our blog in January to hear all about it instead.

"Dear Annabel, I am a bride to be and will be marrying my fiance Kieran next year on 16 August 2014 at the beautiful Fetcham Park.  Kieran and I met at university and will have been together for 10 years next year.

I have been an avid reader of Love my Dress since we got engaged at Christmas! I have even started making Kieran read it! The best part about that is: 1. He thinks it is "really good"; and 2. He has just found our photographer on here.

Love my Dress has definitely become an integral part of my day. I love reading about all real weddings, your view on things and seeing new suppliers. My favourite real wedding so far has to be Bridge and Matt's and also your associated piece on the emotion that is conveyed through a picture. It is so easy to get carried away about the want want want aspect of a wedding. But I have still always thought it is really all about the marriage and the people!

I hope you enjoy a wonderful weekend in the sun. I might just be in touch after our engagement shoot and wedding too and be lucky enough to grace your pages! :)

Vinita, a reader and bride who we look forward to featuring on Love My Dress

 

Isn't that lovely? Feedback like that fills our hearts and means the world to us.

So readers, in the spirit of it being Friday and almost Christmas holiday time, and in an effort to help build on our wonderful little community, please tell us a little about you, where you are from, when and how you got engaged, what kind of wedding you are planning and why you love to visit Love My Dress.  The feedback is super important to Franky and I as it steers how we develop this blog so that it is the very best resource that it can be for you all.  We very much look forward to hearing from you.

So much love to you all this beautiful December lunch time – I'm off now to get that 4th birthday celebratory cake.

Annabel

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17 thoughts on And Now We Are 4! A Little Blog Post For Our Lovely Community of Readers

  1. I love your site and check it every day. I am from guildford,surrey but have called Atlanta ,Georgia home for a while.I have a business renting fine china imported from England for weddings and events. I regularly pin images from your site to my Pinterest pages as the looks you show are different and always beautiful.keep up the good work.

  2. I’m obsessed with Lovemydress! I love the variety of weddings you feature, and how you share the weddings and couples stories. I love all the chatty blogs which have addressed some amazing topics. Im 29, got engaged last April and am so excited about our wedding in December 2014. I work in admin so the temptation to login to read LMD is too much at times but I love reading through your posts in the morning and evening.
    I’m planning a very glamorous winter wedding, I haven’t got my dress yet but am hoping I’ll be wearing Jenny Packham and very red lipstick! I’m addicted to the Jenny Packham bride pages!!
    Hayley xoxo

  3. Thank you so much Vanessa, it’s lovely to hear from you too. I’m pleased our pinterest images are inspiring you too! And I LOVE some of that fine pale green china on your website too!
    Annabel xXx

  4. Hehe! Thank you Hayley, it’s so lovely to hear from you, and a great time for you to be visiting us too with the lovely wintry and very glam weddings we’re featuring of late.
    Another red lipstick obsessive I see – bravo!! I think you’re going to have to send your photographs in once you are a loved-up newlywed!!
    Much love,
    Annabel xXx

  5. Happy Birthday to Love My Dress! I got married in August this year and Love My Dress was one of two (a select choice!) Wedding Blogs I read and has inspired me in lots of ways… So thank you and enjoy your tea and cake! x

  6. This is the first time I’ve ever left a comment but I just wanted to say how much I love visiting Love My Dress and am inspired every day by it. I am looking forward to seeing more in 2014 as my wedding isn’t unit September next year. Love My Dress has already helped me find my dress designer and our photographer. I’d love to see more chat type posts too as they are always so helpful and it’s reassuring hearing from other brides.

  7. Happy birthday Love My Dress! You’ve done a fantastic job with this blog – it truly is an inspiring place. I am the first of my friends to get married and so it’s really helpful to hear other bride’s advice in the “words of wedded wisdom” section. I get married in October 2014 and Love My Dress helped my fiancé and I to choose both our London wedding venues and a photographer (and to help me find my shoes!). I’m now hoping you can help me find a florist!
    Congratulations and keep up the hard work.

  8. Happy 4th Birthday!
    I live in Warwickshire with my lovely fiance Dan. We’re getting married next April (26th) in the Catholic Church in Warwick, then afterwards we’re having a relaxed and rustic tipi reception at Talton Lodge. I’ve got seven beautiful bridesmaids in different but complementary pastel dresses, which I’m hoping will look lovely with my gorgeous Charlotte Balbier dress!
    We got engaged early last year whilst on holiday in Rome, and I’ve been reading Love my Dress daily ever since (and to be truthful I’d also been reading it for quite a long time before that!). Love my Dress has really helped me believe that we can plan the day that we want that is true and personalised to us, and not need to conform to the way things ‘should be done’. And obviously it has also helped with plenty of ideas for gorgeous styling and beautiful details!

  9. Dear Annabel,
    My name is Aurélie, I’m 28 and I’m French. I read your blog everyday even now during a business trip to China! I also follow you on FB and Pinterest.
    Here is more about me and my future wedding: Vincent and I got engaged on July 14th 2013 (which is France Nationale Day) and it meant a lot to us because our first kiss was in 2010 during the fireworks above the Eiffel Tower! So he proposed with a Cartier diamond, in a very fancy restaurant of avenue Montaigne which has a roof terrace with a view on the Eiffel tower. He popped the question just before the fire works (so he could hear me say YES!). Of course all this setting was a surprise and though I was kind of expecting it, it did not spoil any of it and I was thrilled!
    So since this date means so much to us and is going to be a day off for all French people until the end of time, we decided to get married on that special date : July 14th 2014! The thing is it’s not possible because, well every thing is closed! So we opted for saturday July 12th 2014 instead and it turns out to be an even better idea because this gives us a 3 day weekend to celebrate!
    We’re renting a fancy mansion in the Loire Valley that can host up to 35 people so our close family can sleep in the entire weekend. It’s in middle of fields with a swimming pool for the next day (a very important criteria for the groom!). We’re seeking a laid back atmosphere with natural colours and materials (linen, lace, wood, white flowers) and we opted for a outide celebration that we’ll build and organise ourselves. Then there will be a cocktail party in the garden followed by a diner in the old barn. The party is supposed to go on until 4am but knowing our friends, I bet none will be in bed before the next morning!
    On the sunday, we invite people over again for brunch and afternon games.
    Few words about my dress: I still havent’ find it but I’m seriously considering the “made to measure” option from a Parisian designer. Working in the fashion industry, gives me opportunity to meet very talented people but also make me very demanding and my eye is blurred by my professional habits so I’m not in the emotion when I go into stores for trials. So after trying main street brands, I prefer to rely on a designer who will transform my wishes and requirements into the dress of my dreams!!!
    I love following your blog, though of course I don’t use it to seek professionals (florists, hair dresser, photographer…). What I really like is the style and ton you use to describe weddings and your choice in terms of publication. There are various styles represented and if sometimes I don’t really connect to them, most of the time, I always find something that I can integrate in my own wedding fantasy. And of course I love words of wedded wisdom!
    So our traditions might be different, reception etiquette varies between our countries but the main goal remains the same: celebrating love and having good time! So keep writing and publishing!
    Best of luck,
    Aurélie

  10. Hi Anna and welcome! Thank you so much for leaving a comment. We don’t like to pressure our readers to leave comments usually as we know that many of them don’t have time or prefer not to for any number of reasons – our Facebook page tends to be where our community gets chatty (as you can imagine with over 115,000 followers!) but it’s so lovely to hear from our readers and their plans for getting married.
    Who is your dress designer and photographer? I’d love to hear from you! xxx

  11. Hi Chantelle! Thank you so much for your lovely message. Ahh, I do love our word of wedded wisdom section. I must collate them all together one day! I could make a book! (now there’s an idea!).
    I can recommend many good florists in London but would first like to recommend our sponsor Lily and May – I just *adore* Claire’s floral designs! Take a look here on Love My Dress:-
    http://www.lovemydress.net/blog/lily-may/
    …and here too:- http://www.lilyandmay.co.uk/
    Now tell me which photographer you booked, and all about your shoes please! (Ahem, shoes first!) :) xxxx

  12. I’m Jess, living in Bridgwater, Somerset, and we got engaged just before Christmas. My poor proto-husband got down on one knee in a wet, dark and freezing cold car park in Bristol, on Friday 13th. Our only witness was a stranger walking past, who probably thought we were both quite mad (and why hadn’t we done something more elaborate and romantic? ‘Where’s the flashmob?’, his face seemed to say). None of this mattered in the least to either of us, and I cried so much that I couldn’t say yes for a minute or two.
    I am divorced, so we are planning two ceremonies – a tiny civil ceremony (there will be eight of us!), and a church blessing the following day. We met through singing in our church choir, so it was important to us to have some kind of ceremony in our church (and lots of singing. So much singing), but divorced people have to apply for church weddings, and we both felt that was something we didn’t want to do. As to what kind of wedding we are planning, it can be summed up as follows: eccentric; colourful; homemade; and very ‘us’. We both want people to feel afterwards that it couldn’t have been anybody else getting married – only we would have chosen those particular things.
    Because we are having two ceremonies, I will, therefore, have two dresses, both of which I will be making myself (civil ceremony: 1940s inspired blue dress, with a blue jacket, red shoes and a custom-made red hat with a birdcage veil; church ceremony: mad 1950s confection of Japanese prints, with a bright pink petticoat and green shoes that my mother-in-law-to-be is decorating with beadwork). I’m also intending to make ties for all the men in the bridal party, bunting and garlands for the church, a traditional Easter simnel cake (because we are getting married in Holy Week. We are having a terribly Church of England ‘tea and cake’ afternoon tea after the ceremony), and my own bouquet, which I’m going to make out of fabric scraps and knitting needles. My proto-husband makes model trains, so there will be tiny homemade trains on the tables at the reception (going round and round, with carriages full of flowers!). His stag do will be a trip on his parents’ narrowboat; and he and our best man are both music graduates and trumpet players, so there will be lots of brass at the ceremony, and we’ve even incorporated some Christmas music as a nod to our engagement.
    I love to visit Love My Dress because all the weddings are so beautiful, and so different. As well as all the odd stuff I’ve listed above, I will also be given away by a friend, as neither of my parents can be bothered to turn up, and I’ve found it very comforting and normalising to read other people’s stories of how they have solved these kinds of issues. I think it really shows that your wedding day should be *your* day, and should include whomever and whatever is important to you. You don’t have to wear white; you don’t have to sing ‘Love Divine’; you don’t have to be given away by your father, or anyone else; you don’t have to exclude the groom; you don’t have to have anything at all that you don’t want. It’s made me feel secure in the eccentricity of our plans. Thankyou :-)

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