Blogworthy

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It’s a funny old world we live in. One where nothing is private, where photos are uploaded to Facebook and Instagram with frightening ease, and where the inner musing of our minds are shared, 140 characters at a time, without a second thought. The likelihood is that you’ll still be at your own wedding while photos are uploaded and the comments from Facebook well-wishers have started to come in.

When you really think about it, this is utterly bizarre. We live in a world where we feel awkward if we have to ask someone to take down an unflattering photograph, or we want to keep certain things private and offline. The pressure that this curious need to overshare has added to couples planning their weddings is immense. Adding fuel to the fire is the wedding industry’s incessant need to talk about the latest ‘trends’ or what the ‘next big thing’ is going to be at every given opportunity.

How on Earth are you supposed to keep up? How the hell did this even happen? And why do we suddenly care so much?

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I don’t think I’m reaching too far when I say that I’m certain there are people who read my blog and think “Well that’s very lovely, but my wedding is never going to be cool enough to get featured.” Similarly, over the past few years, the wedding media has put an increased emphasis on showcasing styled wedding photo shoots and unattainable wedding ‘inspiration’.  While, like many blog editors, I’ve enjoyed seeing and featuring them (they are a great way to show exciting new ideas that might not yet has filtered down into real weddings) I am acutely aware of how much pressure all this gorgeous eye candy can put on those actually planning their weddings.

Recently I wrote about how I was getting bored of seeing the same old same old in said photo shoots (NOT actual weddings – there was confusion by some) but on the flipside of the coin, with wedding suppliers always wanting so showcase something that has never been done before, just how attainable and realistic are these ideas for real couples planning their very real weddings? However beautiful, what pressure do these images really put on brides and grooms-to-be?

I’ve also been hearing from many of my friends who work in the wedding industry, that some of their clients are now putting so much emphasis on wanting to get their wedding featured somewhere, that they’re adding a whole extra dollop of pre-wedding stress on themselves and their suppliers. This is complete madness. Since when was ‘getting featured on a blog’ something to add to the bottom of your ever-expanding wedding ‘to do’ list. Enjoy this time in your life. Enjoy planning for your wedding and your future. Don’t for the love of God, think that without a blog or magazine feature the wedding was a bust.

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But the rumours are true. I’m just as guilty as any other wedding blogger. While the proportion of styled shoots to real weddings that I feature is minimal, I often worry about the pressure that even the real weddings might put on my readers. While I could easily just say, “Hey, if you don’t like it, don’t read it!”, I know all too well what it feels like to be on the other side, and how it is to weirdly feel the need to compete. I’ve been there, remember.

While I may not be as ‘polished’ as some of the other big blogs or magazines (more and more these days I really just want to share beautiful but attainable wedding inspiration) I do, of course, have my own personal criteria for the ones I select for publication. The photography has to be to of a certain standard and the wedding has to have cute, imitable or unique styling ideas. I wish to inspire, yes, but not at the expense of my readers’ sanity.

Honestly, this is a topic I could rage about for days. It’s a fine line between wanting to tell you, “Hey it’s OK to plan your wedding your way!” and spending 5000 words defending the fact that I really just want to feature the coolest and most alternative weddings and photo shoots. It’s honestly something I’ve battled with for a long time. I mean let’s be frank here, if the weddings I shared weren’t visually appealing or alternative in any way, what would make this blog stand out from all the others and why would anybody want to read it? To me, the key is to share a selection of weddings that tread that fine line between attainable and aspirational.

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I understand the pressures that many of you might feel to compete. But you know what? Your wedding is not a competition. At the end of the day, you’re planning one day which will be the starting block for your marriage. Your wedding will not define that marriage. A few years down the line, the kind of wedding that you had won’t matter at all. You won’t care if you were featured on a blog or in a magazine and you’ll soon forget why you were so worried about having the coolest reception decorations, the most beautiful flowers or the quirkiest photo booth props going. You’ll seriously wonder what it was you were so damn stressed out about.

A blogworthy wedding does not a good marriage make. Use and abuse the blogs and magazines as they were intended: for inspiration, for ideas, to find your wedding suppliers. Just don’t go overboard and lose sight of what’s really important.

Suppliers

44 comments

  1. Believe me, Kat, this is a worry for us photographers, too. I like to think that I don’t accept a wedding booking purely based on how ‘blog-worthy’ it may be, but I have to admit that it’s there in the back of my head, especially when two enquiries come in for the same date. But I’ve realised that sometimes the one that looked better on paper was actually less satisfying to shoot on the day. My favourite weddings have been the ones with fun couples, amusing guests etc, not the ones that had prettier table decorations.

  2. Josie

    Amen!! I couldn’t agree more with this post. It’s so easy to lose focus of what is most important about your wedding day! I’ll be honest, I was positively miserable when I began planning my wedding 12 months ago. The things I wanted seemed almost impossible, and then I regained some of my sense! The day is going to be amazing and perfectly ‘us’, and all the wedding inspo out there is now just a pretty distraction from work.

  3. Brilliant post Kat, this really needed to be said ‘out loud’. I myself remember having freak outs in the run up to my wedding because I wasn’t really sure what my colour scheme was, and was worried that I hadn’t done enough DIY details. I reminded myself why I was getting married in the first place and realised that everything else was just superfluous. Of course it’s brilliant to have a unique wedding packed full of details but I think if it doesn’t come that naturally to you, and you don’t spend you spare time doing crafty things anyway you don’t have to force it. Ultimately I love it when a couple’s day really reflects them, and the photos I love taking more than anything are of the couple, and the love between them. That’s what counts.

  4. I have seen brides on social media really getting stressed out about their weddings being ‘blogworthy’. You try and tell them it’s not important but they are surrounded by the pressure to be ‘unique and quirky’. The strain isn’t just emotional, it can be financial too. Pushing your budget to it’s limits just to impress some people you will never meet is just ridiculous, but people do it.

    You are being the voice of reason once again. Well done lady x

  5. Find Boy. Fall in Love. Get Married.

    Everything else is Gravy.

    A thought provoking and much needed post. The recent trend of needing validation by being featured on a wedding blog has marred more than a few wedding celebrations.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love styled shoots and pretty details and I look at the blogs for inspiration but I’m sure many a Bride (and Groom) will thank you for such an honest and open post.

    Kat, I think you just raised the bar for what an honest and helpful blog should be about.

  6. Jen

    If anything, weddings featured on blogs have spurred me on to think more outside the box – a lot of submissions to magazines and blogs are now starting to seem cliche and tired, what was once different is now the norm. Whilst the photography is gorgeous to look at, I think it’s easy to look at something and think “I want my wedding to look like *that*” and go with ideas that might look great but not represent you as a couple – they’re someone else’s ideas.
    However, I have been encouraged to do more DIYs in the sense of designing our invitations & paperwork which has saved money and been something we could work on together – for that, I thank wedding blogs!

  7. meryl

    words of wisdom indeed. im at peace with my own expectations for our wedding day. trying to deal with the blogworthy/photoshoot/spectacular ideas that my family have for our day is a different matter. i suppose you could look at it that our wedding will be the first in our family for a fair few years and seeing all these blogs means their eyes have been opened to the huge possibilities available for weddings nowadays. i’ll just have to keep reminding them to calm down!

  8. Nadine

    Great article! Loving all the comments, too. It’s definitely time to try and even up the balance . .

  9. This is oh so true. Like Kirsten said you can’t help but think when discussing a wedding with a bride “will this get me featured?” and I find myself doing a reality check! Rarely do my images get featured but time and time again I have happy clients who love there photographs and cherish them forever. So thats what its all about… articles like these just help us wedding folk to remember what is REALLY important when it comes to weddings.

  10. Great article Kat. I do love when Weddings have lots of personal touches that are unique to the couple and that’s obvious. I really think you an tell when a Wedding is styled just for show. I really enjoyed this post 🙂

  11. I hear many people complaining about blogs for this very reason. I have in mind the “dear wedding bloggers you suck” letter, which in some sense is right: wedding blogs do put some pressure on future bride & grooms, and I guess no wedding blog wants that. But it is controversial, because at the same time, their goal is to show something special, different unique, etc to inspire those persons.

    So what? Should we start featuring bad pictures of classic weddings? Of course not.

    In same way fashion magazine show the latests trends, wedding blogs try to show unique weddings. Maybe the problem also is that unlike fashion magazines, wedding blogs show real weddings, and the pressure may also come from the fact that everyone just wants to be one of those famous-for-a-day brides, regardless of the kind of wedding they plan.

    So yop, no solution, just as you said, trying to keep in mind that actual future brides & groom would want to reproduce what they see or even try to do better, and feature more weddings that people think can be achieved, or maybe that are cool for 1 particular reason and not 100.

  12. PhotoBride

    Great post Kat

    When i started planning my wedding I had 2 suppliers immediately start mentioning blog features.. i didn’t mind too much as i’m also in the wedding industry too and i understand that features are great for suppliers to get noticed. But it does add extra pressure.. and to then put so much effort in and for it not to be featured on our photographers blog was (i hate to say it) a tiny bit of a disappointment. I didn’t feel good enough.

    How ridiculous is that? Your right its not a competition and I shouldn’t have let this bother me at all because it was a wonderful personal day and nothing can change that.

  13. Post author

    Hey Photo Bride – aww sorry you were disappointed to not get featured, but glad you realised thats not really what matters!

  14. PhotoBride

    Thanks Kat, it was a completely silly thing that I let play on my mind. RIDICULOUS! I don’t think Brides should fret over things like that. I know that blogs showcase what reflects there brand and thats great – i shouldn’t have let industry pressure stress me out. Yipee for weddings that feel like us – not the latest trends x

  15. Post author

    PhotoBride – and i’m sure your wedding was gorgeous and fabulous and very ‘you’. Surely thats all that matters!?

  16. Matt Parry

    wow photobride to think that a photographer wouldnt feature a wedding they shot on their own blog makes me MAD!!!!! Its different for Kat, she has a responsibility to her readers and ultimately not to the photographers or Brides/Grooms who submit. BUT a photographer deciding your wedding is not good enough for their own websites blog is much more a reflection on the job they did than you or your wedding.

  17. PhotoBride

    no no no Matt, its fine! I was soo pleased with our beautiful wedding and whilst that post-wedding come down set in, i did think ‘o god was my wedding good enough’… once i framed the photos on the wall i knew it was! It was amazing and yes Kat that was all that mattered – it was soo ‘Us’ 🙂 i am really happy with it.. just wanted to put it out there that industry pressure on brides does exist – but its all very silly. We should take inspiration not worry from it xxx

  18. Bex

    So so true, I feel like I’ve ridden this ride of ‘will my wedding be good enough.’ Good enough for who? Although having already had my old home featured in a blog I do know how fun it was and how proud I was that I’d done that. All my hard work had an out come more than just showing it off to my friends and family. Although obviously the outcome of our wedding will be that we are married.
    Now I’ve stopped stressing and I’m so much more relaxed about everything. Although a little bit of stress doesn’t hurt otherwise I’ll get to relaxed about getting stuff done.

  19. Rob

    I do think some of the issues arise from the suppliers. I know from experience that a wedding featured on a blog like this will help a lot more than any advert ever will. I’m guilty of this myself and you do end up shooting for blogs, thinking about them whilst planning the wedding shots.

    What isn’t OK (and I hope I never do) it to pass that pressure onto the couple themselves. They shouldn’t be thinking about these things, they should just be about planning their day.

  20. Georgina

    Our photographer actually mentioned how many blogs they were going to show our wedding to before we had even sat down to our wedding breakfast. The last thought in my mind was being featured. They then went onto email me during our honeymoon about which blog would feature us. Then spent alot of energy pressuering for the features before we had even shown our parents the photos. The pressure to be blog worthy came from the supplier and really tainted our experience of post wedded fuzzies.

  21. Great artical. It’s so important to do just what will make you happy on your wedding day. Not to please other people or the industry. I’ve photographed some lovely weddings with great people. They’re not always unusual or wacky but seeing people happy is what I enjoy!!x

  22. Great post Kat – as a photographer I totally relate to this. I used to be really down on myself because I wasn’t getting featured as much as other photographers. I maybe thought that other people had a better handle on blogs and magazine submissions, but the truth is that I actually shoot things with more of an eye on the moment, rather than the moment after. I philosophically have struggled with styled shoots too. They just aren’t “real”.
    There’s a bit of a fear of rejection going on there, and that’s from a professional supplier. I’m over myself nowadays, but I can’t think of a more vacuous pressure for coupled to be under when planning their wedding.
    Re-group, come back to the basics, remember who you are and why you’re doing it.

  23. Hi Kat
    Can I just say what a brilliant blog, you have said what a lot of us have been think but dare not say. As a wedding planning and novice blogger you want to feature weddings especially photographers you admire but also what your audience to be interesting in what you feature. I never ask my coupes to feature on my blog unless they ask and it does out a lot of pressure on an all ready stressful time. Your right there is no answer but its bloggers like you that have made people like me interested in working in this industry you deserve a big pat on the back for all the success you’ve achieved! WELL DONE x

  24. Anon

    Well said and well timed. I’ve been very lucky to have weddings that I have photographed appear in blogs and magazines for a long time now but recently I have noticed a slight turn. It used to be a conversation that I started and now quite often the couple asks me first about submitting. It can be an exciting end to the whole thing for many and why not? The blogs and magazines are a big part of their planning process so a feature is the cherry on the wedding bun. However it can go slightly too far and once or twice I have worked on a wedding where I felt that if it didn’t get featured on their favourite blog it would have ruined the whole thing. I’ve stood in sideways British rain being forced to attempt recreating a Pinterest moment created in a Californian dusk and witnessed wedding planners getting screamed at to force guests huddling for shelter to go outside as they are supposed to be partaking of the outdoor vintage games despite the mild hurricane. Yes brides can take it too far but you know what, they are the same brides who would have issues on their day whatever. My favourite weddings are always all about the love, not the stuff.

  25. Alex

    My wedding planner has given me two pieces of advice that made me fall in love with her on the first day: “Your wedding should be a reflection of yourselves, not what your great aunt would like” and “the wedding industry is offensive to me, DON’T READ MAGAZINES!”

    To me, blogs are the way forward, there is absolutely nothing “attainable” about the weddings (real or otherwise) featured in magazines. I’m not about to drop $65,000 for gold forks or favours that nobody will even like. I’ve tried to consider having a budget a fun challenge rather than something to be upset about, if anything it’s made us think harder about our priorities and to come up with creative more solutions.

  26. Kat, fantastic post. What @Graham Nixon said, although I would add the caveat of falling in love with a boy OR girl 😉 While photographs are great–we all like looking at them, on some visceral level–the trend toward posts with lots of text (like this one!) are quite refreshing.

  27. @Anon – Haha! I loved the Pinterest reference- as a makeup artist Im often asked to recreate flawless – and I mean photoshop flawless – looks for brides, who have sourced stunning Pins for their wedding makeup scrapbook.

    @Kat – Fantastic post, as always. You effluently and concisely addressed an issue that causes needless stress for beautiful brides. Your wedding day should be nothing more than a reflection of yourself, your partner, your love for each other and the future you will build together. The reat of it will be a distant memory – a beautiful memory, provided the stress of featuring on a blog doesnt make you tear your own eyeballs out before the wedding photos!

  28. I couldn’t agree more Kat, great post! It’s such a shame, don’t get me wrong I do love pretty things and styled shoots mostly have a lot of pretty things 😉 but hey in the end of the day it’s the love you capture between the boy and the girl, the love they share with their family and friends…that is the most important thing!!!

  29. Good point, well presented (as my dad would say!!)

    When we started planning I stressed myself thinking I needed the blog approval but a few months in I had a light bulb ‘it’s about us’ moment and I just let go and got on with what I wanted which was much more fun…

    Turned out you featured us! haha! I guess that was because you could see the ‘us’ rather than the ‘blog worthyness’ and I was chuffed to see us on the pages that inspired me so much!

    I reckon this article with help a lot of brides to be : )

  30. well said! there is such a huge emphasis on “my wedding has to be the best” or “has to be featured”! instead brides should take inspiration and ideas and make them their own! If a blog features it, great! if not you have your photographs and memories to last a lifetime! focus on what really matters!

  31. Very thought-provoking Kat, thank you. We shoot “honestly” with an emphasis on emotion over, say, style. If we don’t get into all the blogs, so be it. Just as nice to get a note from our clients that says “our photos are exactly how we remember our day”.

  32. Great post Kat. Very true. I am doing my wedding for under £5k and have had to shatter a few illusions for both sets of our divorced parents and new partners. They think we are being unconventional, we are just trying to keep costs down. Our wedding has no reflection on our marriage, it is just the event that starts it.

  33. Thank you Kat for putting things back into perspective. We have less than 3 months to go and it is reassuring to read what you say. Shiny pigeon, I am in the same position, same budget,my divorced parents too were expecting a massive overblown church thing, we are getting wed in an outdoor amphitheatre made of recycled tyres and my dress isn’t a big one… X

  34. Terri Cheshire

    Wedding blogs such as yours are inspirational and feed real brides with the ideas that they never thought were possible. I have followed you for years (bride in waiting for 8 years) and I have so many posts tagged to remind me of little ideas and details that I would want to include for my own wedding. When making decisions I take the “What the rocknroll bride way” philosophy as I admire your choices of posts and style etc.

    For my wedding photography to be featured would be a real treat as I am taking pride in the day that we’re creating together. It’s like sharing a job well done or hopefully giving inspiration to others.

    Those brides who take this a little too seriously ultimately won’t enjoy their day. Something to boost about to friends and family, “my wedding was so good, it good featured on a blog”. This misses the point as far as I am concerned.

  35. Emma Ophelia

    Kat, a good point well made!!! I adore your blog and have got TONNES of inspiration!!!

  36. Think I might be a bit late to the game on this post, but still felt compelled to comment. So honest, so true, and the industry could do with a few more like you! Great post Kat 🙂

  37. lucie

    HI! I came here long time after the battle’ends and my english is veryyy far from perfect. But I spend all the time necessary to me to read your post and the comments. As a bride-to-be, I recently forbid myself to read some blogs, in a desperate way to stop stress growing. It was too difficult to resist to all those kind pictures, beautiful DIY and so on. We came to a argument with the groom about all that. So did I, stop reading, stop looking to focus on the most important things: having a great day with my groom and all the people we love! 🙂 Thank you so much for saying what we feel inside, being hesitant between the reason we do this and the way we do this in a way we hope blogworthy… And please keep going on with your inspiration: as a tattooed bride-to-be I appreciate 😀

  38. So very true Kat..
    As a makeup artist I deal with brides on a daily basis, it seems as though all that matters is how “on trend” their wedding will be. Endless chatter about the reception and not a peep about the actual ceremony.

    Keep it simple, unique and all about the unending love you share with the person of your dreams.

    Happy, beautiful weddings to all the lovers out there!!

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