A Thought Or Two On ‘Bloggable Weddings’…

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Ten days ago, I was quoted in a weekend BBC News article that assessed 'The rise of the bloggable wedding'.  The feature was written by my lovely friend and colleague Caroline Briggs, one half of the rather talented photography and design duo otherwise known as The Twins. Caroline's article suggested that brides are under more and more pressure to make their wedding 'bloggable'.

I suppose I was quite taken a back when I read the article – and I hope Caroline won't mind me saying so.  The feature suggested that thanks to the rise of wedding blogs like Love My Dress, brides are 'now consumed by competitiveness' to make their wedding 'bloggable'.  The feature went on to state that for me (as in me, Annabel), 'a bloggable wedding is big on detail, but is more than just simply about the styling'.  It went on to quote me as saying "A wedding has to make some kind of connection with me and I have to know it will inspire our readers.  Detail is important. Brides-to-be want to see that wrist
corsage close up, they want to see how those shoes looked with that
dress, they want to see that hair style from all angles, they want to
see the table decor, stationery, the groom's outfit – they want to be
inspired so they can plan their own weddings."


The above wedding featured on Love My Dress in January 2011. The couple eloped, so there was no wedding reception full of fancy detail. Their guests were their wedding photographers who also acted as witness

Image credit:  Dominique Bader

It's funny, when Caroline first approached me for an interview, I was quite caught off guard by her line of questioning; What makes a wedding bloggable?  It's a question that will yield a sense of discomfort in many, no doubt.  I mean, why should it even matter that a wedding is bloggable, right? And who has the right to say what is bloggable or not? Surely a wedding is ultimately all about people, and love?!  But it is a question that forced me to consider how I assess the weddings that are submitted to Love My Dress and to think about why I might choose one wedding to feature over another. And I have to say, having this opportunity to reflect on why we do what we do and to reconnect with the whole ethos of Love My Dress left me somewhat niggled with the BBC feature.

I'll be completely and utterly honest with you.  When I first starting featuring real weddings on Love My Dress back in 2009, detail led the way. No doubt about it.  But you could say the wedding blog equivalent of a bit of a seismic shift in attitude has occurred since then. 

Having immersed myself entirely in a world of weddings for five and a half years now (coming on four years of those as a blogger, and two years as a full time, professional blogger), I have a completely different approach to my role as editor of a popular online wedding/bridal resource now.   Yes of course, I love being able to share fabulous styling ideas and inspiration boards full of detail and I squeal with delight when I receive a wedding that *is* full of gorgeous decorative suggestions.  But I feel just as thrilled when I receive a wedding that lacks much, if any, detail at all – but where the photographer might have captured the most utterly exquisite portrait shots of a couple completely in love on one of the most important days of their lives.   This is precisely what I meant when I said 'the wedding has to make some kind of connection with me'.  I was talking about in emotional terms.  The role of 'good photography' when it comes to a wedding submission is critical for me – good photography has the ability to evoke emotions within complete strangers.  A great set of wedding photographs will move me even when I have never met the couple before – and that has a whole lot more to do with whether we decide to publish a wedding or not, than pretty detail does.


There was lots of lovely detail in this 1950s retro Americana style wedding.

Image Credit: Natalie J Watts

Here's what I said to Caroline…

"For a wedding to be 'bloggable' on Love My Dress,  it has,  from
the very first instance, to make some kind of connection or leave some
kind of impact on  me as the blogger.  In most cases,  this is all about
the photography. 

Of course the wedding matters too!  It has to make some kind of
connection with me, probably best described by saying the overall
aesthetic has to speak to me somehow.  Every now and then, I can be sold
on a wedding feature based on one amazing image alone. But more often
than not, I am scanning wedding submissions that include anything
between 30-50 images and making a decision within seconds if the images
will make a good story for my readers.  I don't exclusively home in on
'detail' but detail is important. Try to think of it from the brides
point of view (70% of my readers are brides planning a wedding) – they
want to see that wrist corsage close up, they want to see how those
shoes looked with that dress, they want to see that hair style from all
angles, they want to see the table decor, stationery, the way the groom
was dressed – they want to be inspired as much as possible so that they
can go on to plan and style their own weddings. The images we choose to
work with therefore are of huge importance for the purposes of fulfilling
the reason brides come to visit Love My Dress."

Of course the overall aesthetic has to make a connection with me – after all, people come to visit Love My Dress because they appreciate the content we feature.  Franky and I only ever feature content that resonates with us and that appeals to our personal tastes and preferences – it's really important that we maintain authenticity and integrity this way. We just happen to be lucky that lots of other brides out there share our particular personal tastes and preferences.

But I had more to say to Caroline, and it went like this…

I will say that over the past year or so, my focus has shifted a little
to not quite so heavily focus on the detail.  These days, I will
include shots in a feature that I wouldn't' have done as little as a
year ago, shots of family members etc that before now I might have
considered had no relevance in the feature. I do this because I think
it's important not to lose sight of what weddings are all about – a day
full of love and those special moments with loved ones.  I try to look
out for those special moment photographs now too – they  may have no
detail in them at all, but they might illustrate a beautiful tender
moment between two relatives who haven't seen each other in a while, or
the Father of the bride watching his daughter proudly from afar, as she
dances with her new husband….a fond gaze
in the direction of the bride – those moments captured whilst the
subject is unaware the photographer is doing their job can hold lots of
emotional value and really help to contextualise what was happening at
the time.

 We assess each submission on a completely
individual basis but bottom line is, good photography and ideally, a
collection of images that reflect a certain aesthetic (in our case,
elegant, vintage inspired, glamorous) and the love between the
couple/those special moments and that we know will inspire our readers. 
Wedding blogs are an inspirational resource after all."

You can see now why she didn't include my entire, rather lengthy quote!


This wedding was simple and elegant and the couple chose not to go 'detail heavy'. I featured it because I adored the shots of the couple taken after the ceremony. And I loved her dress! Such an elegant, chic design by Jesús Peiró.

Image Credit: Rik Pennington

We have a smart and intelligent community of readers who we have a great deal of respect for, and work hard to keep inspired.  I have no doubt at all that they are capable of taking what they want to from these wedding blog pages – and that includes as much or as little inspiration as they wish from our extensive collection of real wedding features, life & love and discussion posts, DIY articles and films.  But our most popular posts are without any shadow of doubt always those that focus on the emotional aspect of the day – the real weddings where the bride and groom take time to share their love story, their vows and readings.  That says a lot for our readers, I think.

I'm not dissing the detail. Have as detail a heavy wedding as you want! As Abby Larson in her inspirational new book Style Me Pretty Weddings puts it, 'Someone once told me that the weddings published on Style Me Pretty need to focus more on the love and less on the details of the day. To that I say…cheers.  The ceremony, the words, the love, the romance, the passion, the first kiss…these are what make the foundation for a memorable wedding.  The details – from the glitter adorned vases to the handmade cake toppers and ombre napkins – are part of the greater story…the journey to building a day that is personal and wildly unique, a celebration of two individuals and all of their quirks in one beautiful moment'.

But don't let the detail aspect become all consuming to the point you simply have to have the same wedding you saw on that wedding blog last week. I think the following extract from this Huffington Post feature by wedding photographer Laura Babb sums up pretty neatly what I'm trying to say 


"In the end, though, those details fade into the background and it's the
shots of the people, especially those who are no longer with us, that
become important."

Laura Babb, via the Huffington Post

Indeed, and I've said it before, like, right here.

Your wedding day ought be an occasion that fills you with excitement and
joy from the moment you start planning it to the second you close your eyes
in a dreamy state of newlywed bliss on the day of your nuptials.   Do whatever you want! Plan the day you have dreamed about! Detail or no detail, there will undoubtedly be
stressful moments in between, but absolutely none of them ought be
related to how bloggable your wedding could or should be – and I say that as someone who makes their living from blogging all things wedding!


featured lots of gorgeous detail but was also a day that the
couple carefully crafted to reflect their love for one another and their
personalities.  Bride Lucy says "My advice would be to make the most of
the inspiration out there, from blogs, Pinterest and magazines, but then
use that inspiration to make your day as personal as possible.  Make your day a representation of you, not anyone else!"

Image Credit: Mark Tattersall

What are your thoughts on the BBC article and subsequent Huffington post feature?  Do you subscribe to the idea that wedding blogs put brides under too much pressure?  What do you use wedding blogs for and how have they helped you in planning your wedding? I'd love to read through the thoughts of some of our bride to be readers and industry colleagues. 

You might also wish to read this feature by our very own Franky too; How to use a blog to plan your wedding.

I'd like to thank Caroline Briggs for featuring my quote in her article and for encouraging me to reassess what's important for Love My Dress.  You can view some of Caroline's own wedding photography on Love My Dress here.

Have a lovely afternoon all,




Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.

55 thoughts on “A Thought Or Two On ‘Bloggable Weddings’…

  1. Personally, I couldn’t have planned any decor or known who to collaborate with if it hadn’t been for wedding blogs helping me to discover what we can actually do with our day. One of our biggest revelations from reading blogs was that we didn’t need to have old-fashioned photography on our day, with everyone standing posed with unnatural facial expressions. I know it sounds obvious, but with no experience as a bridesmaid, or knowing what can happen at weddings these days, it was a massive realisation for us! We can do what we like! Who knew?! I don’t feel under any pressure from blogs at all, I feel inspired seeing that there are couples all over the world styling their weddings (not just with detail but even through things like their menu) to make it personal and relaxed. Until I had discovered these blogs I had no idea how to do this, if I was the only bride who felt this way and had no idea where to start. Thanks to blogs such as Love My Dress we’ve found that we can really make the day ours and that is a truly wonderful thing.

  2. I think the artical about wedding blogging the BBC did is really sad. Its articales like this that make people competitive and forget the reason they are getting married.
    Im getting married and read the love my dress blog daily ( its what gets me through the mrning at work!) and by no means do i feel pressured to make my wedding ‘bloggable’ the way Annabelle writes about the weddings reiterates its all about the fact that you are marrying your partner and joing into another family.
    Dont get me wrong I love all the details and looking at the dresses and all the sparkly bits! I see wedding blogs as a place where you can get excited with other brides ( so you dont bore all your non-engaged family and friends with constant wedding talk!)
    I think you do a lovely job picking different and unique weddings, thanks for all the hardwork you put in Annabelle, brides to be like me appreciate it!!

  3. I think it is hard not get swept away by it all especially when your own plans are becoming overwhelming. I feel like at the start of this year I’d had a bit of blog over load and didn’t know if I could make our wedding good enough (whatever that meant) and had to take a step back and re-group.
    We’ve added plenty detail, I’m a crafter it had to happen but every detail we’ve added means something to us. Also with every detail we’ve included i’ve considered how my guests might feel about it. I made some great kites to hang on the back of chairs instead of bows and then I thought really they are just going to get trashed and are not worth the hassle, once everyone is sat down they wont see it anyway. Hey it might have made a great photo and even got featured on a blog but it was far to much hassle to make 70 pointless kites. Now I have time to make more of a fuss of things that matter.
    Keep doing what your doing. Your blog is very inspiring and feels like a chilled place to run to when all other wedding stuff is getting to much!

    I’m quite vocal on how its not “all about the pretty” and we’ve planned our day to reflect us – traditional, timeless and (she says hopefully) classic. We don’t have a house filled with typewriters and a wardrobe filled of vintage clothing (although I love Georgian architcture and lace) so our wedding reflects that.
    Whilst we have sourced some of our suppliers via blogs, we picked them because we liked what they did (classic, understated, timeless) and we because we liked THEM. My florist has been an absolute GODSEND who I would now consider a friend and our photographer is just the most relaxing people to be around ever as well as being one of the most talented people to ever wield a camera. Our hairdresser and my Mum really hit it off and she actually giggles in his presence (really, its quite embarassing).
    The things I’m really looking forward to are the night before with friends and family, seeing our guests arrive when I’m hidden in the drawing room, spending the morning with our bridesmaids, hearing the secret reading my fiancee has written for our ceremony which I think *might* be about the Universe or Maths, saying our vows we’ve written together, listening to my Dad’s speech and having our first dance. None of those things involve decor, doilys or bunting. None.

  5. That’s really amazing feedback Lindsey, thank you so much!!
    So happy you don’t feel under pressure from the blogs and can enjoy them. Especially this one 🙂

  6. I did a wedding very recently which I know would never be accepted by any wedding blogs because it wasn’t really visually stunning, but it is one of the most memorable, sweetest weddings I have ever shot, and so full of love, laughter and joy, and that is what weddings are all about. We all love to look at pretty things, and i’m sure everyone would love a ‘dream’ wedding with gazillions of details worthy of a magazine, but those people that can’t afford such a celebration shouldn’t feel like their wedding is worthless because it’s not interesting to other people.
    As photographers we can so easily get swept away with photographing hundreds of different angles of the details in a vain attempt to get the wedding blogged, but in reality that’s time that should be spent capturing photographs of the bride with her arms around her frail old grandmother, or the mother of the groom wiping away a tear as he tells her he wouldn’t be the man he is today without her influence.
    We love details, and we love to see a true reflection of brides & grooms personalities in their wedding, but it’s not the be all and end all. 🙂

  7. I am a bride to be, and I’ve been reading Love My Dress and occasionally other wedding blogs, for the past few months. Of course I want a perfect wedding day, and of course I’d be pleased if my wedding was beautiful enough to be used to inspire other readers. However, I don’t feel under pressure to impress anyone. I feel that this is a time in my life where I am free to indulge myself and express myself, and I love planning my wedding. I’m a self confessed perfectionist but I’m only taking on what I feel I can manage, and until I read this article it hadn’t occurred to me that there was a negativity connected with using wedding blogs for inspiration. For me, the real weddings are the best part of Love My Dress. The photographs, the details and the dress are interesting, but the highlight is the story told from the point of view of the bride (and sometimes groom!) they make me even more excited for my own big day, I’m definitely a magpie so I love all the beautiful things featured here, but it doesn’t make me feel inadequate or pressured.

  8. I could not possibly agree with you more. Wedding Blogs and Pinterest are such great visual aids when it comes to designing and creating your prefect wedding.
    I am very lucky in that every single wedding I have photographed has been so different – But this is more so because every single couple is completely different. Their likes, dislikes, personalities and taste.
    People should not become over influenced by others but should create a wedding that is personal and unique to them! We much drift too far from the true meaning of a wedding.

  9. I found the BBC article quite interesting. I could see where it was trying to go…and yet the sweeping generalisations did rile me a little.
    There is no doubt that the rise of the wedding blogs (and Pinterest!) have given the wedding industry a whole new lease of life. And if a girl (or guy) is inspired and wants, too, to have a wedding that is individual and/or creative and/or super stylish, then that is entirely their prerogative. To then be labelled as some sort of approval-seeking ‘wannabe’ is not very cool or accurate, IMHO. I’m sure some people have sought approval that way, but it is by no means a way to describe ‘the modern bride’.
    I became addicted to wedding blogs well before I got engaged. Once betrothed I started my own blog diarising my ‘journey’ (as naff as that sounds). Now a married myself (as of two weeks) I will continue to read wedding blogs- to me, they are more than a resource; they are a hobby, an interest. Some people like to read Vogue or The Spectator. I like to read wedding blogs.
    I’m not ashamed to admit that my wedding was massively inspired by the blogs- both from here and the US. There was festoon lighting, streamers in the trees, hand-made signs,a cake bake-off, a firepit and a pizza van- I may not have had the conviction to choose any of these without the gorgeous images I saw strewn across t’internet. But there was also a gorgeous morning getting ready with my bridesmaids, a ceremony full of love and laughter, group photographs, hand squeezes with my husband, emotional speeches and hours and hours of dancing- none of which were blog-related.
    My wedding planning consumed 17 months of my life, so I’d be honoured if it were to ever get featured anywhere… but that wasn’t my intention, nor my goal when I made all the choices I did. I wanted to marry the boy I fell in love with eight years ago. I just wanted to do it in style 🙂

  10. Annabel, I so agree with you. I was really surprised by the tone of the BBC piece. I can honestly say that my clients tell me they only read wedding blogs to gather inspiration.
    Wonderfully, they find some of their final suppliers on blogs featured in articles full of ‘details’ – a photographer who’s work they adore but hadn’t heard of or a previously unfamiliar boutique dress store where the bride finds ‘the one’.
    They find they and their bridesmaids etc enjoy creating DIY versions, copies or interpretations of ‘details’ they like, starting with important ones like invitations and food/drink. In this particular way I think blogs give brides and grooms the opportunity to make their wedding even more authentic, giving them an understanding of how to express themselves in ways they hadn’t realised they could before.
    These are just two crucial benefits that I think wedding blogs can provide.

  11. Blogs like Love My Dress were my place of refuge when my husband and I were planning our wedding.
    We are very creative people and our plans evolved naturally but at no point did we care what our wedding would look like on a blog.
    Coming from a very rigid background of how to plan a wedding I have to say that thanks to your blog and many like it I was inspired to follow my heart and plan the wedding how we wanted it instead of how it “should” be conducted.
    The result was a wedding that we both loved and although found challenging and was challenged we were able to stay true to ourselves and each other and personally that’s exactly where I want to be as we enter the next level

  12. Hi Annabel (and Franky)
    I was also featured in the article (Joanna Hunter) and I felt that the article missed the point somehow. I had a long chat with the lovely Caroline Briggs and the quoted featured in the article were a small part of what I said. I felt the overall tone of the article was a bit sad but that certainly wasn’t how I meant to come across. Our wedding was incredibly detail focused and I did read blogs for inspiration, but that was because I enjoy the detail and I enjoy crafting. Plus, I wanted the day to be special for our friends and family, with lots of touches I knew they would love. In no way, did I ever think ‘ooh this might be bloggable”! Any pressure I felt was entirely created by myself as I had a vision for my wedding, as most brides do! Our day was perfect, not because of detail (although I loved that all my hard work paid off and our friends and family appreciated the extra touches and gifts) but because I married the man I love and spent the day cocooned in a happy bubble with all the people I love.
    Although we were featured on a blog afterwards, it was a happy by product – I hoped that other brides would enjoy reading about our wedding as I had enjoyed reading other brides’ stories. Blogs are fantastic inspiration, brilliant communities and I feel they enhanced my wedding planning. But a wedding is always about love – detail or not.

  13. Dear Annabel,
    I work in international development, my daily working life is quite often about rather depressing things. My own wedding plans are rather messed up, and I thought looking at a wedding blog would make me sad. Actually, I found it was light relief from the sadder aspects of real life. That is not, I hasten to add, because I feel you are avoiding real life, weddings are very real, and marriages are even real-er. I think the reason I enjoy dropping by on a regular basis is because it is a combination of beautiful photography, lovely detail (I like the details too, because people are so creative), and mostly real stories. I like the fact that you have increased the content of story photos. Not all weddings are to my personal taste… but who cares, they are interesting because they are an expression of someone’s life story. And they cheer me up, because sometimes the quirky cake toppers, or the Mum walking up the aisle because Dad is no longer with us, are just a reminder that the weddings are not all about competitive white dresses, they are about people’s lives. At least it’s not just about the money like so many of the magazines are. And, no, you are not going to change the world with a wedding blog (sorry but probably not) but sometimes we all need to look at something that makes us smile and is just beautiful. By the way, I like the fact that the concept of beauty on this blog is a bit more embracing than the average magazine! So, I hope you don’t feel discouraged from blogging, because lots of us enjoy it!

  14. Far from it Amelia, I lurrrrrve my job 🙂
    Thank you so much for your kind thoughtful comment.
    I am sorry to hear your plans are a little ‘messed up’! Is there anything we can do for you?
    Take good care,
    Annabel xXx

  15. Hi Annabel,
    A really nicely written piece as always and sentiments that I would also echo as a fellow blogger.
    Really though, we all love to look at inspiring images and hear lovely stories (as much as we sometimes need a dose of reality too).
    Given the free and accessible nature of our product, it’s the readers choice to read – or not – and enjoy – or not – as they choose. We do this because we love weddings and want to inspire. Yes we make a living doing so, but there is no hidden or ulterior motive behind our work.
    As such I really believe that the place of wedding blogs doesn’t need to be overanalysed or their influence sensationalised. They just need to be enjoyed as intended.
    Love as always, and will post to my social media feeds.
    Julia @ Brides Up North

  16. “the place of wedding blogs doesn’t need to be overanalysed or their influence sensationalised. They just need to be enjoyed as intended.”
    Great soundbite Julia! Thank you for your comment X

  17. Hi Joanna,
    Oh it’s lovely to hear from you here, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment! And what a refreshing comment too!
    I love that you see wedding blogs for what they really are intended to me – great communities that bring together and inspire like-minded people and to put you at ease as you approach your wedding.
    I love that the wedding blogs helped to enhance your day, that’s just super feedback – thank you.

  18. Such excellent feedback for any wedding blogger Lisa – many thanks indeed.
    We obviously try to make the blog work from a commercial aspect, so that our sponsors investments represent money well spent, but we are lucky that we can do this in a context that completely inspires and assists brides in finding brilliant suppliers who are great at what they do. It makes me really happy that I can connect our readers, the bride, with these suppliers. I love that this blog plays a small and hopefully very helpful (not intimidating) part in that wedding planning process.
    Thank you for your comment X

  19. Thank you for your comment Becca. I’m assuming you approve of this feature and I’m actually really excited about your upcoming wedding, knowing you’ve been a reader for some time now, I think it’s wonderful that things are so close now. You will have an amazing day, I know it. I hope we get to see sneaky little photograph or two at some point as well!
    Much love to you,
    Annabel x

  20. I found this very interesting. Does a bride (or groom) truly make the aim of their day to get on blogs? I can’t imagine thinking that way. However, you do of course plan to make the most beautiful day possible for you and I think places like Love My Dress facilitate that in a fabulous way.
    In life I tend to go my own way and do things the way I wish to, not the way everyone thinks I should. However, when it comes to the wedding, you can’t deny that everyone, with the best will in the world, judges. I don’t mean that guest fault find, but they come with their own expectations of what the day will be like. Blogs like this gave me the assurance that I could plan a wedding that reflected me and not necessarily tradition. When my parents and in-laws (and they’ve ALL done it at some point) have told me that I shouldn’t do this or that, I’ve have the confidence to thank them for their input but know that the way we’ve planned it will be beautiful. Beautiful for us. Perfect for us. I don’t care if it doesn’t suit anyone else; friends, family, bloggers -I HOPE they love it. But if they don’t, we still will.

  21. I also find the article’s quote regarding “going down in flames” incredibly small minded and insulting. REALLY???

  22. Why thank so so much Samantha, I love that you found these places somewhere lovely to visit when you were planning your day.
    “Coming from a very rigid background of how to plan a wedding I have to say that thanks to your blog and many like it I was inspired to follow my heart and plan the wedding how we wanted it instead of how it “should” be conducted.”
    I thin I might have to get that published in our next media pack! 😉
    Have a lovely day and thanks for taking the time to comment.

  23. Hi Annabel.
    Thanks for writing this piece – my fiance pointed out the BBC article to me and I was a little worried after reading it that our wedding would be perceived by guests who had also read the article as being a bit ‘try-hard’. I just can’t believe anyone actually plans the details of their wedding with the sole aim of appearing on a blog several months down the line – as if appearing on a blog will somehow make their wedding a ‘success’. Having felt quite disheartened about the priorities of wedding bloggers after ready the article, it’s really reassuring to know that even though you must see hundreds of wedding submissions each week you still see the beauty and emotion in wedding photos rather than just the dress and close ups of the hand-made table plans!
    Our wedding (in just over 2 weeks!) is first and foremost an expression of us as a couple and the things we love, and the number one priority for the day is that all of our favourite people are fed, watered and have a great time (and our marriage ceremony, of course!). We’ve taken huge inspiration from wedding blogs. I love seeing all the pictures of the details, especially where things have been hand made or lovingly sourced, but for me it’s the story accompanying the piece and the shots showing the emotions of the bride and groom and their loved ones that really make me imagine the tone of the wedding.

  24. Our wedding took place in May this year and throughout the engagement I used blogs, blogs and more blogs to get inspiration. And I loved it! Blogs helped me – and to a certain extent us – realise that we could do whatever we wanted, hurray! Most of our decor ideas were blog-inspired. This said, each idea was something meaningful and relevant to us. I did get carried away a few times, looking at a beautiful wedding online, and thought “we have to have X! We must!” My trick to decide whether it would make it in the actual wedding was to ask myself; what would I answer if I was asked the reason behind mini chutney jars as favours/1000 paper cranes/etc? If my answer was “because my grandma made the best chutney ever and this is her recipe” then the idea was a keeper, if however, it was “because it makes the wedding more blog-worthy” or “it would look good on a blog”; goodbye chutney!
    As it happens one of my bridesmaids made mini canelés, little cakes typical from my hometown Bordeaux in France.
    There we had it! Meaningful, relevant (and delicious) detail that made us happy and would give our guests a little bite of our life.
    I have found blogs inspiring and helpful and continue to look at a few, although less often. We found our photographer through Love My Dress and for this reason only I say “Vive les blogs!”

  25. Dear Annabel,
    for months and months now (even before I got engaged in August 2012!) I have been a “silent reader” of your blog, checking it almost every day although not leaving lots of comments. Now, just over three weeks before my 6th July wedding, I have to say I AM feeling some pressure. Let me explain.
    I do not mean to say I see blogs as “the source of all evil”. In fact, the contrary! I love blogs so much and I check Love my Dress and Style Me Pretty daily. The weddings featured have helped me not only to design my invites, find a little detail I loved and I have reproduced myself, decide whether I would dare to ware my hair in a bit of more daring style, and even pick blue shoes. I have crafted many details that, like other brides have already mentioned, feel our guests will appreciate and that reflect our personalities. I looked into some of your suppliers as possible vendors for my day and eventually booked other people, but I had a starting point by clicking in some of the ads you display here.
    However, there IS so much pressure on brides. Not only from yourself (you want a beautiful day that everybody will enjoy, everybody does, whatever “beautiful” means to you, whether it’s detail, simple, elegant, whimsical…) but also from your loved ones. I’ve had the “You are not wearing these shoes, are you?” as well as other questions that could potentially unsettle even the most decisive person. But now it seems that there is also the pressure of not looking like you are trying too hard?! There also seems to be a trend of people who “can’t be bothered” and will laugh at you because you spent three ours personalising escort cards for your guests, because you think they will love that touch. This has actually happened to me and made me feel rubbish that day, to be honest.
    Can we do right, then? If we put time an effort into crafting detail that we love, some will say we try too hard. If we don’t, some will say there’s not enough detail.
    This brings me to what I want to keep at the forefront of my mind, the learning at the top of my list from all those I’m taking from the blogs: at the end of the day, our wedding will be ours. He’ll be there, I’ll be there, and we’ll be married, on a day that we will love. And as we see in all blogs… every bride and groom have eyes just for each other, love their day and think it’s the best ever.
    Thank you Annabel for all your beautiful inspiration in the blog and the book, and the reassurance that has come from those images to sometimes say “yes, I will dare, because it’s us, and we’ll love that”. 🙂

  26. To be honest.. isn’t this issue everywhere?? We’ve moved in to an age of viewing everyone else’s ‘perfect’ lives on the internet.. whether it be inspirational features of weddings, parenting, interior design, your body.. or it’s simply people only putting out there what they want seen on fb, instagram, Twitter etc. This is why we buy beautiful interior magazines.. watch perfect celebrities.. we’re surrounded by it and obsessed by it at the same time. There is always going to be a certain pressure to have the ‘perfect’ house.. to be the ‘perfect’ parent, have the ‘perfect’ body and have the ‘perfect’ wedding.. but actually at the same time I think now more than ever we are also being told that it’s ok to be you.. it’s ok to do things your way.. and actually there are a million types of ‘perfect’ so go with what YOU want.. your ‘perfect’… 🙂

  27. I guess the most ‘perfect’ looking wedding in the world won’t resonate with you unless you have some sort of heart-response to it. Be that feeling joyful at a detail, or just moved by a story or some meaningful images. That is at the heart of what we do as wedding suppliers – get to see something wonderful that we usually wouldn’t, that might move us in some way. My wedding cost £741, to be honest I looked a bit of a state, and no blog in the world would feature it (not least because we couldn’t afford a wedding photographer – my biggest regret and obviously years before I became one myself), but Elvis gave me away, and sung to me on a crappy sound system whilst I danced with my desert-burned husband. It was pretty darn perfect to me. LMD does so well at balancing the aesthetic with the personal, which is why I keep coming back to it, even though the current Mr Ward Brown & I are still going strong :). Nothing but Benedict Cumberbatch & a vintage car full of cake could change that.

  28. I completely agree with many of the comments above, I have been reading lots of the blogs on Love My Dress and The Natural Wedding Company and have thoroughly enjoyed reading them. When I first got engaged, I wasn’t particulary looking forward to all aspects of wedding planning as I thought the main inspiration for weddings would be from magazines and main stream wedding fairs, which I had never particularly enjoyed. I find many of them a bit ‘plastic’ and ‘one approach suits all’ designed for huge budgets and little flair or imagination. Discovering the blogs has opened me up to such a different side of the wedding industry, where creativity, alternative ideas and budgeting are celebrated and encouraged. As a result of the wedding blogs I have found a village hall to have our celebration in, a gorgeous dress style that I didn’t even know existed, and have suprised myself at how crafty I can be! I say champion the wedding blogs as they encourage more diversity, and as a previous comments highlights, if the day can be featured as a blog I imagine most brides would see this is a happy by-product, not the focus of the day.

  29. Interesting feature Annabel, and I haven’t had time to read all the comments so apologies if I’m repeating anyone.
    Speaking as an ex-wedding blogger(!) I think there are two issues here that a lot of image-heavy media (like fashion magazines) battle.
    The first is that as a wedding blogger it is your job to provide inspirational imagery for your readers. You shouldn’t have to apologise for looking for detail orientated weddings! Brides planning a wedding want to see that. Their dress, worn by someone and how it looked with various accessories, ideas for flowers in their colours, a unique idea like a statement necklace that they can run with and to set them apart. Nobody wants their big and special day to look like everyone else’s. I know as a blogger I looked for ‘interesting’ weddings, with ‘new’ ideas and details and the main problem was choosing weddings that weren’t simply repeating similar styles to what had been featured before, and that had also been photographed well. On reflection that may have been as much for me as the readers as perhaps they hadn’t seen that wedding I remembered from 6-12 months ago (although that’s unlikely as readers often scroll back…)
    The second issue is that there are different types of brides. Some see their wedding as an opportunity to express themselves, maybe create a dream day, and something that is representative of them as a couple. And ‘styling’ may be very important in that. In the same way a fashion enthusiast may look at magazines for inspiration or blogs, so a bride will do the same and wedding blogs or magazines are for me what personal style blogs are compared with Vogue – real life people (albeit still sometimes aspirational, maybe even more so,) compared with styled shoots and models. Other brides prefer to put the emphasis on the emotion and the meaning of the day – to which I would say, a styled or detail orientated wedding doesn’t have to be any less meaningful! To each their own. (I know a great deal of brides also enjoy the real-person insight that comes from wedding blogs. The advice and experiences of fellow brides whether that be in the form of a ‘wedding report’ or a personal reflective post, so it’s not all about the details either.)
    Having planned a wedding, blogged (and selected) lots of weddings and now helping to plan my best friends (with the added bonus/pressure of Pinterest!) I feel sad that some brides (like Maria) are made to feel bad for ‘trying too hard’, or that some feel over pressured to put on a show. But to come back to my original point, I think wedding blogs are there to provide style and inspiration and support. I think if women want their weddings to be ‘bloggable’ it’s a compliment to all the weddings they have seen and blogs they have read. If that is a brides priority (which I know it can be, but isn’t often,) then sadly, more fool them. Bloggers are not perpetuating that problem. I would want my wedding to be ‘bloggable’ now, if I did it again, but not because I wanted the fame or recognition, more looking at it as a way of saying it was a beautiful wedding and I know if I was doing it again, I would work hard towards creating the perfect day. It’s validation, and everybody looks to people around them and the media all the time for that.
    Whoah. Epic comment! x

  30. The worst bit I think, Rebecca, is that the harshest comments have been from two girls who work in my office, one got married in Autumn last year and one is also getting married this summer. I am not a “wedding freak” just because I handmade my invites, in which I put lots of love and care and hope. Just because I like detail doesn’t mean our day will be any less meaningful, and I can’t wait to be his wife! 🙂
    Is this another case of just females being SO mean to other females for competition’s(and is it competition?) sake? xx

  31. Some really super points made in your comment Rebecca.
    I definitely don’t feel I or any of our readers should have to apologise for a detail heavy wedding, ever! As you say, each to their own. But you’re right, I can see how an image led blog like mine could indeed add pressure, I just don’t ever want to come over like that, or make it too unrealistically aspirational, if you know what I mean. I’m so very comforted and reassured by the comments here that we’re doing something right. Readers seem to be very happy with how we present that inspirational/aspirational/keep it real mix of content.
    Interesting to see that you would want your wedding to be bloggable – it’s so funny, because as a blogger, if I were to renew my vows, I’d probably want it to be very private – and even I think that’s a little strange, or may be it isn’t. Maybe it’s because so much of me and my time is spent online that if I were to ever do such a thing, I’d want to keep it sacred and private?
    Thanks for taking time to comment lovely – always value your opinion X

  32. “aving felt quite disheartened about the priorities of wedding bloggers after ready the article, it’s really reassuring to know that even though you must see hundreds of wedding submissions each week you still see the beauty and emotion in wedding photos rather than just the dress and close ups of the hand-made table plans!”
    Yes, yes, yes! Thank you for reassuring me that you just ‘get it’. I’m so glad you have gained lots of inspiration from the blogs xXx

  33. Hi Maria, did you know you can reply directly to Rebecca’s comment, and she will be alerted to this via email if you do 🙂 Just click on the ‘reply’ text beneath her comment.
    Thank you my friend xXx

  34. “LMD does so well at balancing the aesthetic with the personal, which is why I keep coming back to it.”
    If there is one thing this post has done, it’s reassure Franky and I that we’re doing something right!
    I am not and have never been one to judge by a wedding budget. If £741 is what it costs to legalise your love for one another in a way that makes you incredibly happy and joyous, what else matters?
    Thank you so much Angela,

  35. I’m not sure many couples feel pressure to have their wedding bloggable, although I have been asked a couple of times if I will be submitting it to a blog. I think it has a bigger impact on some photographers more than the couples. We know every wedding is special, we know it’s about the love between two people but that doesn’t stop some weddings in the eyes of photographers being more special than others because they know they stand a much better chance of getting it featured on a blog if there is a theme, lots of detail, something quirky etc…
    I believe that many photographers will therefore “care more” about a wedding that they consider blog material. Certainly I’ve had conversations where there has been disappointment expressed by the photographer that “It’s just a church and hotel” or “It’s not themed or anything” etc… etc…
    I cannot categorically say that this makes a difference in how they work or the quality of the work they produce, after all how would you evidence that, but in my opinion (and others will disagree) the valuation or ‘scoring’ that occurs in some photographers and other professionals has been an unwelcome consequence in the constant battle to get published.
    That shouldn’t be read as a criticism, the blogs serve a purpose and on the whole I think they are generally welcome and harmless.

  36. Hello lovely! Thanks so much for taking time to comment.
    I totally agree with your point that actually, this pressure is all around us today – but I also love the thought that with this increased pressure is a greater sense of acceptance that anything goes, especially whatever the hell makes you happy.

  37. Thank you so much Clare for letting us know how much you appreciate what we’re trying to achieve her – it’s really really appreciated.
    I hope you have the perfect wedding day ever – and it will be, even if things go wrong or it tips it down with rain – it absolutely will be perfect and wonderful because you’ll be together celebrating your love for one another 🙂

  38. Hi Toni,
    Yes I guess sometimes, some folk can drift a little and go all Bridezilla on us, but I do hope that the content we offer via this blog, it being a carefully curated balance of visual inspiration and discussion posts, helps to remind our readers at least to keep on track and not lose perspective.
    Thanks for your comment!

  39. Good God, it sounds wonderful, and I’ve JUST SEEN THE SNEAK PREVIEWS!!! I’m totally going to cyber-stalk you now until you let me blog your beautiful day 😉
    Seriously, thanks for your fab comment Sama, I love that you clearly just did what the heck you wanted to do and ended up with a day full of joy love and laughter. Brilliant, wonderful stuff 🙂

  40. Actually Maria, I think you have nailed it. It’s almost like you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Try hard and make it beautiful and people scoff, make no effort and be labeled bland or boring.
    You know what? People are funny about weddings. Why they just can’t be nice I don’t know. Ignore them!

  41. If I am honest there was probably a point at the very beginning of the planning process where I was very ‘detail driven’ and perhaps felt slightly under pressure for my wedding to be all singing all dancing and all things to all people. (We must have hay bales even though we live in Scotland and there is a 98% chance of rain!?) I’m sure every bride has felt that at some point. But as you settle into the planning, it’s easier to determine which details ARE important and what will represent you as a couple. I really do think that wedding blogs help you to find and collate what that is. Sometimes you know what you like but it can be hard to visualise or see it in context and I truly believe that LMD can help to make that process a little easier.

  42. Thanks for your response to my BBC piece, Annabel. From our off-line chats I know you understand I approached the piece from an impartial journalist’s point of view, and the article does not reflect an opinion. Just a small point – the words ‘consumed by competitiveness’ weren’t actually mine, but entered during the editing process (i submitted a whopping 1,200 words) and I also included a list of 10 other, smaller and niche UK wedding blogs that wasn’t used. It happens. I’m also sorry Jo feels misquoted – that certainly wasn’t my intention and I really enjoyed chatting to her on the phone.
    Personally speaking (which I can do now!), I love blogs: I read them as a bride-to-be, drew ideas from them and I’m proud to have had my own wedding featured on a blog! I wanted to approach wedding blogs from a light-hearted fresh angle, introduce them to the mainstream, and pose questions to get folk (both inside and outside the industry) talking. Judging by all the comments above I think I achieved that!
    Hope things are going well. I’m fresh back from a week in France and counting down the final few wedding before the baby arrives…. eek.
    Caroline x

  43. Caroline,
    THANKYOU for your article.
    I’ve been feeling a bit at sea about my wedding – as though I needed to mass order bunting, jam jars, vintage suitcases – but this discussion has helped me back to the straight and narrow.
    I think the wedding industry is a little deranged at heart. It obviously has many people in it who want lovely things for couples getting married, but to me its whole philosophy is a bit askew. The things you have on your wedding day won’t make you happy. What happens during and after it will.

  44. I am just reading this article and the response now, after it has been reported through the LMD Facebook page. I think it’s a really interesting article and actually quite reassuring that I’m not the only person who feels a big pressure to make my wedding day look like weddings that have been featured on the blog!
    I do really enjoy reading these blogs and getting inspiration from them & I do think that pressures are caused internally & it can come down to personality, but I know that I haven’t even chosen a venue yet because I am finding it hard to separate my own thoughts from those that have been lifted from a blog. I think most of that is down to me really and I don’t think LMD or any other blogs impose that, but for people who worry about what people think (even though they shouldn’t) having an objective voice from a blog classifying certain weddings as “beautiful” or “perfect” is difficult to get out of your head & from a reader perspective I start to wonder if my day will ever be thought of that way. I almost tried to convince my partner to have a wedding in Fife so we could recreate what I thought was a “perfect” day – even though the place means nothing to us! My close friend still chastises herself for the way her pom poms hung down on the day! I wonder whether Pinterest & blogs have created a culture where this is the case, but I think as with anything these days, too much choice is maybe where this comes from…
    The best bit of advice I recently got from a colleague of mine (after I had a bit of a stress meltdown about weddings!) was that nothing is ever perfect – perfection is unachievable – but if you can learn to cope with any imperfections that might occur then you will have a happy wedding day & that the perfect bits of the wedding will come from the people attending & your husband at the end of the aisle, than the styling.

  45. As a mother of the bride, my daughter Samantha got married in Florida on the 28th of December 2013 (just arrived back with jet lag, hence the time of my comment) I have loved reading all the wedding blogs and looking at the amazing pictures and will continue to do so, simply because of the stories behind them. My daughter and now son-in-law had a truly touching wedding, he and most of the men wore hawian shirts and shorts and my daughter wore a full beautiful wedding dress. Lots of people said to my daughter ‘you should make him conform and wear traditional wedding attire’ whatever that is! My daughter’s reply was ‘is in not about what we wear, but who we are and why we are getting married that matters’. People said to me ‘what about the photos they will look really odd?’ My reply was ‘all you will see are happy people, the bride and groom very much in love, and the guests very happy that Sam and Seth had found each other and were able to share their special day with them’. My girl friends were more concerned what I was going to wear than I was, not because the day was not special, it was the most special day in my life seeing my gorgeous daughter get married but because being there and seeing their love for each other meant more to me than my outfit. I will continue to read these blogs even though my initial reason was ‘our wedding’ simply because I love reading all the individual stories in the manner in which they are written and the amazing photography. PS, my dress was inspired by one of your blogs and the dresses worn by the bridesmaids featured in the wedding, which made me even more pleased I came across your page by accident on Facebook, keep up the good work.

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