Simple, sweet, tattooed Nashville lovelies. I am crazy in love with the pink bike (erm…of course) the vintage records (another trend I’m not yet tired of) and the lake side setting. That water looks incredible and it goes without saying that Rennie & Joe are one hell of a cool couple. LOVE!
I am already looking forward to seeing the results of their Septemeber wedding after Rennie told me, “We have known each other for 19 years (we met at age 11 and were each other’s first kiss), we felt that our engagement photos should showcase the life we’ve built together. We opted to have a simple shoot at our home rather than a ‘location shoot’. Our wedding will be this September and we will feature a 1960’s theme – rock n’ roll, soul, dresses from 1960’s Vogue patterns and vintage motorcycles (Joe has restored a 1973 Norton Commando)”
Credit: Emma Case Photography
I like writing posts like this. They get my brain a-flexing and they’re always a little bit controversial…and that’s all good to me! I constantly receive emails from newbie (or sometimes even quite established) bloggers from all niches (not just wedding) asking for my help or opinion on how to go about taking on blog sponsors and how to make money from their blog. I try to reply to every single one, however of course how much detail I go into generally depends on my current busy-ness situation. So, I’ve been toying with the idea for a little while to put all my thoughts, musings and opinions (for that’s what these are) into one place so I can hopefully direct future question-askers right here. I’m sharing my own experience and the trials and tribulations I’ve had through this ‘making money from blogging thing’ and am in no way claiming to be an expert. However I hope in some way I can help some of your starting out in this journey we call blogging…oh and for those of you out there that berate me for making money as a blogger…well…I’d suggest not reading on.
When I started blogging nearly 3 years ago I didn’t really understand the potential of the medium or really what it was all about. I had no idea about SEO, I didn’t understand the ‘unwritten rules’ about how or what to blog and it certainly didn’t even cross my mind that any money could be made from it.
In the Beginning…
I made mistakes. We all do. I blogged things that I didn’t have permission to do so. I didn’t credit properly. I didn’t know that blogs had exclusivity policies…and yes I pissed some people off. When you first start blogging its scary, exciting and exhilarating. You really don’t know what you’re letting yourself in for and anyone who thinks running a successful blog is a walk in the park or an easy money maker needs to get their head examined. Egos, turf wars and a (more often than not) predominantly female group (certainly in the wedding blogging industry) can and does lead to fierce competition for the best features…and something which I’m seeing more now than I ever have before, a hell of a lot of bitchiness.
Nowadays blogging, particularly in the UK seems much more prominent. Most people now do seem to be aware of the magnitude of blogs, how important they are to suppliers, wedding vendors and brides and therefore have some kind idea of things like exclusivity and transparency. I wanted to be open and honest about my (sordid haha!) past so you can all be acutely aware that I ain’t some kind of guru. I’ve made the same mistakes a lot of newbie bloggers have and will continue to do. I was just a few years ahead of you is all. So firstly, don’t beat yourselves up about it. When I got my first ‘Oi, you’ve copieeeeed me’ email I died a little bit inside. But do I care now? Do I hell! Learn from it. Move on and become a better blogger.
OK, soul-bearing over, let’s get on with the real reason behind this post shall we?
As soon as I started blogging, I loved it. I’d found something I enjoyed and the inner geek inside me rejoiced that there seemed to be like-minded people like me out there. I worked extremely hard to make connections within the industry – both with other bloggers and with suppliers and vendors. I definitely learnt the hard way how to do this and it took at least a year before I actually met anyone in this country (everything and everyone was in The States at this point!) Even though, looking back at how much time and effort I put into establishing myself, it was a pretty hard slog, I’m happy to say that not only have I somehow come out the other side making a living from doing what I love, but I’ve made some pretty damn awesome friends along the way.
An excitable email from a newly married reader always brightens my day and LeeAnn’s may have been one of the most excitable I’ve received in a while! I just had to share the story behind her and husband David’s gorgeous 1950’s influenced wedding with you today.
“After gorging my eyes on a ga-jillion bridal mags and internet images, I felt I was living a white-out groundhog day” LeeAnn began. “I quickly became downhearted about organising my own BIG DAY, the no-fun casting my eye over “traditional” gowns (this one? no, that one? no, repeat), the vanilla-ness of invites, pink-and-white themes to the power of 42,000! Where did the love go?”
“I think it was a Wednesday and my heart stood still….stopped, popped, blew up and nearly burst with love at the teeniest tiniest little picture of a 50’s style wedding dress! The simplicity, the classic lines, the Frou-Frou…No other designer, strapless, flowing, ruched, lace, beaded, train or no train gown was going to be the winner! This was IT for me! Even better than this, the prospect of “ankle-age” (showing off one’s ankles) and the Shoes! The Shoes! (Oh! Heart! Don’t fail me now!) Enter, stage left, Lisa of Dragonfly Dress Design in Glasgow, who put my ponderings to paper and really really listened to all my wishin’ and hopin’ that I could pull off such a beautifully timeless gown, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps? And so began my love affair with tulle…the gown she handmade for me, words just cant explain how awesome I felt wearing it, and I just adored the teeny little birdcage veil she also worked her magic on. What a woman!”
“Soon came the realisation that a bridal gown like this went hand-in-hand with songs of yesteryear that I love, Dion’s ‘Runaround Sue’ and Little Anthony’s ‘Tears on my Pillow’ being two of my all time Top 10. They may not be specifically linked with the 50’s, but the images they evoke in my mind when I hear them and singalong, I think I had a major Light-bulb moment when I pictured myself in my dress. The Jigsaw came together relatively easy after that. David was cool with all I suggested and put forward (I did give him some input, honest), the look of horror on parents and grandparents faces when I explained I was doing something “a wee bit different” to the norm. It actually became a delight to seek out the alternative.”
Credit: English Rose Weddings – My Dad & I on the morning of my wedding
I’ve been struggling to think how I could possibly top last week’s Sunday Kind of Love – Jasmine Star & Being Free to Succeed post. After wrestling with trying to ‘go one better’ this week I forgot what this Sunday is all about. Daddy’s.
So Happy Father’s Day Dad. I sent a card…I hope you get it on time! Sorry I don’t get to see you as much as we’d like. Life always gets in the way.
This Sunday is dedicated to the Dad’s all over the world. Make sure you tell yours that you love him.
Credit: English Rose Weddings – My Dad’s speech. Emotional indeed.
This quirky, laid back British wedding with a cool festival vibe was sent over to be last week and you guessed it, I couldn’t wait to feature it. Rachel & Dan really did it their own way and I love the idea of a chilled out party in a tent to celebrate a wedding.
The couple were officially married at a registry office but has an ‘unoffical’ church blessing at St Peter’s Church, Weston, Suffolk. They didn’t make a big deal about the registry office part as they didn’t want this to feel like their actual wedding – in fact Rachel was still at work half an hour before their appointment! The reception was held at Marsh Farm which was just a holiday property when they found it. However since the couple got married there and Rachel published an article in The Guardian newspaper about the wedding, the owner decided to change it to a wedding venue.
The couple were pretty much given free reign at the venue and were able to organise however they wanted. They hired two kata tents and they supplied the furniture and tables. They also diy’ed everything from the flowers (which they bought at 5am on the morning of the wedding from New Covent Garden Flower Market) to the centrepieces and the cake. “We got up at 5am to get decent blooms and we chose flowers that were in season, luckily for me these were peonies and sweet peas which are my FAVOURITES!” Rachel told me. “We went back home on the bus with these massive brown boxes of flowers and got funny looks from all the early morning commuters in London! We collected mismatched vases from charity shops and interesting glass bottles to put them in. My mum made the cake – the lace cases were made out of doilies. She spent a long time with scissors and a Pritt Stick doing those. Catering was courtesy of a friend of a friend of a friend called Sylvain Jamois. He used to work as sous chef at a restaurant called Moro in London and he came highly recommended. He did a great job – the poor man had to contend with cooking a 60 kilo pig on a stick over an open fire in strong wind and occasional showers. He did it from 5am to 7pm. It must have been a nightmare yet he delivered what the bride and groom had requested: crispy crackling.”
David & Camden’s wedding portraits made my day. You’ve got the love the combination and contrast between the uber modern setting of the ‘first look’ portraits and the indoor setting with that dramatic lighting, followed swiftly by the fun, retro and cool outdoor portraits with that awesome car! The pictures pretty much tell the whole story here…and I posted loads. It was actually hard to cut it down to just this many! Enjoy…
ps I love love love her vintage gloves!