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…
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.