I just can’t quit you, hive. While I wait for my professional pictures to come in, I figured I might as well take a stab at one of the ongoing series posts. You know, just to keep in touch.
SIT DOWN AND READ THIS POST, OR ELSE.
(All images courtesy of Boardwalk Photo Booth Rentals, because I had to give you guys a teaser of coming attractions.)
How did I find Weddingbee?
The short story: by wasting time on the Internet.
The long story: before getting engaged, I hadn’t spent much (if any) time on wedding websites. So when we did get engaged, it opened up a whole new world of ways to procrastinate doing other, more important things! Basically, whenever I had a question about anything wedding-related (which was often, since I didn’t know squat about how to plan a wedding), I Googled it, and eventually, I stumbled across Weddingbee. I do remember finding the boards first; there, I was the lurkiest lurker who ever lurked.
And then I found the blog, and I LOVED it. I distinctly remember following Mrs. Otter’s, Mrs. Panda’s, Mrs. Blue Whale’s, Mrs. Wallaby’s, and Mrs. Gloves’ stories. All of the bloggers had such distinct voices and unique styles. Their weddings were all over the country (all over the world, even), covered every budget point, and they had encountered any dilemma I could possibly face myself. Basically, between all the bloggers, they offered something for everybody to relate to. The blog became one of my favorite diversions. I loved reading my favorite bloggers’ back stories, checking for new posts, and following their wedding planning journeys.
My Application Story
Pretty early on, I thought about applying to be a blogger. I familiarized myself with the application process and decided that I would apply right at the eight-month cutoff, just to see what happened. I didn’t tell ANYONE what I was doing, not even Stallion – just in case I was rejected, I didn’t want it to seem like a big deal. But just between you and me, I had my fingers crossed that things would work out.
Getting into the swing of blogging was really fun for me! I started “blogging” (if you can even call my childhood ramblings that) on and off in middle school – you know, Xanga, Live Journal, Dead Journal, all that good stuff – but I stopped sometime during college. Writing about school and soccer and crushes for you and your friends to read isn’t quite the same as writing about wedding planning for the general public, especially when the most you’ve written in the past three years are memos and audit reports, so I was a little rusty at first. Knowing that Weddingbee bloggers are expected to blog 3-4 times per week (my bad, you guys), I held my application blog to the same standard. It made me realize that maybe I could do this blogging thing after all. It was challenging, but enjoyable at the same time.
I filled out my application and sent it off to the powers that be. Truth be told, I only spent about five minutes on my application. I figured my sample blog posts were the most important part, so while I made sure they were in tip-top shape, I wasn’t too worried about the rest of my application. About a week later, I noticed a HUGE jump in my WordPress stats, so I figured my blog was being reviewed. The next day, I received an email from Mouse inviting me to join the Weddingbee community. Success!
My face when I was accepted. Stallion doesn’t understand Weddingbee.
Being a Bee
I love it. I love being able to share my wedding planning with the Weddingbee community, I love engaging with commenters and getting your feedback, I love my fellow bloggers. It’s a lot of work, but it’s so much fun, and I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute.
Coming up with 3-4 posts per week about my wedding has definitely been the biggest challenge, which explains why I definitely was not keeping up with that as my wedding drew closer. I just ran out of things to talk about! Some weeks, I was able to crank out a ton of blog posts in one sitting; some weeks, I struggled to come up with one substantiative post. If I could do it all over again, I would have attempted to stay better organized and plan ahead for those slow weeks, or I would have applied closer to my wedding date instead of right at the eight-month cutoff mark. But overall, I think I did all right at sticking around!
Advice for Potential Applicants
If you’re even thinking about it, APPLY. What do you have to lose?
Keep blogging, no matter what. Keep blogging once your application has been submitted; keep blogging if you’ve been rejected and think you’ll reapply (or even if you don’t want to reapply – at the very least, you’ll have a written record of all the exciting things you did leading up to your wedding!). It demonstrates your commitment to maintaining an updated blog, and bonus? The exercise will make you a better writer.
Related: use the time you spend on your sample blog posts to think about if you can really sustain this blogging pace for the duration of your engagement. 3-4 posts per week talking solely about wedding planning is a lot, and it’s not easy.
Find your voice. Easier said than done, I know. I write my posts like I’m writing an email to my friends, then I go back and edit for clarity and flow. I think the best thing you can do to find your blogging voice is to not think about it too much – just write what comes naturally. Be yourself!
Plan your posts thoughtfully. For instance, I only dedicated one post to our invitations, because I put very little effort into them, so there wasn’t much to say. Pyramid and Clover did A LOT more work with their invites, so they have multiple posts (Pyramid’s are here [1,2,3,4] and Clover’s are here [1,2,3]), but each post is still completely different and covers a new subject within the overall topic. If you’re devoting multiple posts to a topic, do it that way and make sure each post is distinct enough that it can stand on its own so your readers stay interested.
Make your posts relatable. Sharing what you did is fine for a personal diary, but in order to engage a wider audience, write about the process behind your decision. Don’t just talk about what you did or chose; talk about the things you didn’t choose (and why!). Include pictures. Ask your readers questions. Think about how past Weddingbee bloggers got you invested in their stories. More often than not, the why behind a decision is more interesting than the decision itself.
And last but not least: have fun!
MARRIAGE IS FUN.
Next up: recap time!