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What Is “Blog-Worthy”, Anyway?

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“It is very very strange to me that people are styling their weddings into scenes solely for publishing.”
Marcy Blum via Twitter

“We didn’t have a theme.  We didn’t style our photos for a blog-worthy post.  We didn’t have bunting or wear fake moustaches.  It was simply a wedding celebration, surrounded by our nearest and dearest, in a beautiful space that was enhanced with gorgeous seasonal flowers and tasty food.”
Amy of ABCD Design

“It’s my hope that 2010 will mark a return to the classic and timeless… a shift from the right-now to the lasts-forever, a continued focus on the personal details that make weddings special, and a fascination with all things lovely and unique.”
Quote by me, from my post on top wedding trends for 2010

When speaking with brides or vendors, I’m often asked for my opinion on current wedding trends, qualities that make a wedding special, or what makes something “blog-worthy”.  Our industry is putting an increasing emphasis on showcasing styled photo shoots, amazing tablescapes, and unbelievable inspiration.  Gorgeous eye-candy to be sure (and heaven for a blog editor!), but how attainable and realistic are those results for those of you planning your weddings?  And what does “blog-worthy” mean, anyway?

I don’t believe that there is a magic formula for weddings and I am not a lover of all things trendy.  But I can tell you that when I review submissions, I am looking for weddings that have three things in common…

#1: Fabulous Photography

No matter what you bring to the table for your wedding, the end result should be captured by someone who will do it justice.  There are so many talented photographers in the wedding world these days (you can find a few thousand of them here) and their talent and skill are what brings a wedding to life for an editor – and the photos from your wedding are what you will cherish for a lifetime to come.

classic-southern-bridal-portraitwhite-pink-long-stemmed-bouquet
{Catherine and Payton’s wedding, photographed by A Bryan Photo}

fall-wedding-portraits
{Carly and Dan’s wedding, photographed by Marie Labbancz}

southern-wedding-ideas
{Holly and Matt’s wedding, photographed by Paul Johnson}

#2: Personal Touches

Your wedding is about you and your partner, and about your guests.  You are celebrating the love that you share with your partner, surrounded by the people you love the most in the world.  Your wedding should be authentically “you”.

classic-bride-mothers-wedding-dress
{Emily in her mother’s gown, photo by Tracy Turpen}

wimbish-house-wedding-ceremony
{our family at my 10th anniversary vow renewal, photo by Jessica Claire}

knit-shrug-bridal-accessories
{Rachel wore a shrug hand-knit by a friend, photo by Terra Tabbytosavit}

bride-and-groom-with-dogs-yellow-diy-weddinggroom-with-dogs-diy-ribbon-collars-wedding
{Lori and Jonathan with their pups, photo by Eclectic Images}

bride-in-cowboy-boots
{Jennifer in her cowboy boots, photo by Open Air Photography}

#3: Unique Elements

Eschew the trendy in favor of something thoughtful, imaginative, and unique.

paper-bag-wedding-programs-toss-petals
{paper bag wedding programs from Holly and Billy’s wedding, photo by Max Wanger}

clustered-wine-bottle-candle-centerpieces
{clustered wine bottle and candle centerpieces, photo by Tom Mannion for Elle Decoration December 2009 via This is Glamorous}

red-blue-multicolored-mexican-fiesta-wedding-table-centerpiece-papel-picado-bannersmaracas-to-shake-during-kiss-wedding
{Kristen and Matt’s Mexican Fiesta wedding, photo by Daisy Varley}

gray-and-brown-wedding-inspiration-board
{or maybe the wedding has a unique color palette, like this gray and brown one from the archives}

When I choose what to feature here on EAD, I try to bring content that is beautiful and unique, but also approachable and attainable.  Your budget can be big or small, but your imagination is boundless… just like your love for each other.  And funny, isn’t that what weddings are all about?

So tell me – what do you think we as blog editors should be bringing you more of?  What types of weddings or features give you the most inspiration for your event?

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41 comments on “What Is “Blog-Worthy”, Anyway?

  1. I think the photo shoots are fabulous and it’s great to have inspiration. I think it’s important for us to mix it up with attainable and simple images that show meaningful weddings. No one should feel pressured to do anything they don’t want to do. It’s absolutely strange to me that people are styling their real weddings for blogs and magazines. Keep in mind what’s meaningful. If you want a huge expensive wedding then go for it! If you want to get married in your backyard with bare feet and cake and punch and document it on disposable cameras, then do it! There are absolutely no rules and a wedding should never be aspirational.
    .-= chelsea’s most recent blog post: harvey faircloth spring/summer 2010 =-.

  2. Ami Elizabeth writes...

    @chelsea, thanks so much for adding your insight, that’s *exactly* where i was coming from!

  3. stefaniemiles writes...

    Really love this post, Ami.

    “Your budget can be big or small, but your imagination is boundless… just like your love for each other. And funny, isn’t that what weddings are all about?”

    Spot on. Thanks for doing what you do!

  4. Great post Amy! I hope that it does go back to timeless photography and the simple details that make a brides day special. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this subject. :)

  5. I really, really appreciate this article. The whole point of what I try to do is to make at least one part of someone’s wedding very personal. A wedding isn’t just another party on a Saturday night. It’s a celebration of two people beginning a LIFE together (which reaches far beyond that one day!), and should be a reflection of those two people, not necessarily what is hip and cool at the moment…

  6. Ami,

    Great post!

    I truly feel so bad for brides these days – with new ideas online everyday, it is overwhelming. It seems like we’re in a world where everyone seems to loose all perspective on what it is that they are actually doing – getting married. Committing to a life partner.

    I think that blogs are often setting brides up for unrealistic wedding day expectations. If brides worried half as much about the health of their relationship, about creating a happy home and sustanibile lifestyle with their groom, maybe our divorce rate in the U.S. wouldn’t be over 50%?

    It’s like worrying about what giving birth will be like and not contemplating the 18 years of childcare to follow.

    Working with brides, day in and day out I have seen many brides insecurity escalate to such levels. They want Circus theme, romantic, elegant, wood-grain, peonies, pine cones, vintage-rustic and modern with French flourishes all incorporated into only a few stationery pieces.

    It seems like blogs push Brides to throw the biggest, most perfect “theme” party of their lives. I really hope that there is a return back to normalcy soon. I’d love to see a return to balance from the over-styled, over-themed weddings that are geard to being published. I feel like a heartfelt celebration of life commitment is far more lovely.

    Thanks again for the post.
    ABCD

  7. Perfect post, thank you. Marcy Blum’s tweet last week began a very heated chat on Twitter. Here is what I said then:

    “Definitely think there is a creative shift looming to balance the over-styled, over-themed wedding with simply heartfelt events”

    I certainly do not mean that a bride cannot have an event that is both highly styled and heartfelt. Hhowever I do mean that couples need to maintain perspective, work with vendors who share their priorities and make decisions based on heart not keeping up with the latest…

    Thanks again!

  8. In addition to what we show we also like to chat to the couple and find out more about their thoughts and feelings for the day. I think it makes the post more personal and something people can connect with in addtion to the photos. I completely agree that it does not have to be the most high end wedding–it just has to have meaninful details and photography that captures the emotion.

  9. Polka Dot Bride writes...

    This is a brilliant post Ami- share many of the same criteria as you do. With one extra- the couple must actually look happy. Sometimes the details mean nothing if the brides beaming smile makes my heart soar.

    Meaningful details are really one of the most important parts too- I want to know the real story, not just the pictures.

  10. I think that, although imagination is limitless, budget can limit what you do with your dreams.

    I think that I’d like to see more brides tho have to make tough decisions on what to spend their budget on. It’s important (as we’ve seen in this economic crisis) to learn how to live within our means and go without. Can a bride have a beautiful, meaningful, personal wedding for under $8,000? absolutely. Can she have every little thing she ever wanted or saw on a wedding blog for that price? Nope.

    As I was planning, and in retrospect, I wish I had been able to read more about being economical, and learning to let go of the hope/expectation that your wedding becomes the next one featured on the blogosphere. Instead, brides should be focusing on what means the most to them, and letting go of what just isn’t that important.

  11. Yes, yes, yes! Excellent post!

    I love a well-designed wedding, let me tell you, but that design shouldn’t overshadow the deeper meaning of the day.

    I’ve noticed the anxiety levels of many of the couples that I have been working with explode. They are not necessarily getting caught-up in the details, but more about getting caught-up in what the answers should be instead of what their heart is telling them. And because of it, neither one is having fun, they’re stressed and exhausted. It makes me sad :(

    As a blog editor, I’d add to your list of things to look for while reviewing wedding submissions to include a beautiful story. It’s easy to capture details in photographs, but sometimes only words can tell a heartfelt love story.

  12. I crave realness. I want to see weddings that look like the ones I have attended, like the one I am planning. I love seeing old traditions spun in new ways. I love seeing brides and grooms of all shapes, sizes, and color combinations. I love seeing small budgets, middle budgets, and BIG budgets. I love weddings that are cohesive without being stylized to death. I love weddings that look attainable. I love when they tell you what they spent!

    And for the record, I love alllllll of those photos.

  13. Ami Elizabeth writes...

    thank you everyone for all of your AMAZING comments!

    @meagan completely agree on “realness” and cohesiveness. weddings come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and they are all shades of beautiful. :)

    @brooke thank you for your feedback on including the couple’s story!

    @amy @kristy thank you so much for weighing in, couldn’t have said it better myself.

    @polka you are so right. everyone is gorgeous on their wedding day, as long as they are in love!

    @kate @danielle @sarah @stefanie @imthiaz personal + meaningful + touching = perfection.

  14. Great post and so, so true! Couples can and should be inspired, but not be overwhelmed, pressured, and competitive with their pictures (obviously easier said than done).
    There is a point when couples must stop looking for design inspiration and continue thinking about themselves, their friends and family, and what truly makes them happy.
    .-= Chic ‘n Cheap Living’s most recent blog post: Celebrating Love Every Day: Prints and a free Walgreen’s Collage print 2/12 =-.

  15. Love this post! Everything you said was so true but this right here hit home to me, “Your budget can be big or small, but your imagination is boundless… just like your love for each other. And funny, isn’t that what weddings are all about?”

  16. Loved this post! I’m not alone! I think it’s so silly some of these weddings just seem so staged and it looks like all they want is a feature in a magazine or on a blog. So silly. I just want to say to these brides, “Let’s go back to why you were planning a wedding in the first place.” :) Now, I have no issue with photographers or coordinators submitting someones wedding because it truly was unique and special, but for someone just to buy certain things or make their wedding look a certain way JUST to be featured is very silly to me.

  17. I love it best when you write!

    I wish your blog was around when I got married (that makes me seem so old). I also know that if I had been reading all the wedding blogs that I probably would have stressed myself out, and forgotten what it was all about. ;)

    xoxox

  18. LE writes...

    In agreement with all of the above. In fact, I would dearly love if one of the participants in the wedding blogosphere did an ettiquette post on whether or not it is gauche to submit your wedding to a blog. Now, I can see photographers, event designers, florists, etc. submitting your photos to a blog or using them on their website to promote their work, but submitting YOUR OWN wedding to me is, well, tacky. I didn’t even know people did this until recently when I noticed that the same wedding was posted on two blogs within a couple months and I mentioned that it had already been posted. The blog’s editor replied that it was probably because the bride was not aware of the exclusivity rules that many blogs adhere to, unlike submissions offered by professionals. So basically, this girl submitted her wedding to AT LEAST two blogs.

    Maybe I am in the minority here, but I think that accepting submissions from brides drives the very problem being discussed here. Those photos are never going to mean as much to someone else as they do to you, why would you self-promote (or, as I am sure happens in some cases, use your vendors as PR employees) in such a way?

    Sorry for the long comment, I just wondered if I am alone in this. (P.S.–If you are chronicling your wedding blog-style as is done by the fab contributors here, I feel that is different.) I’m talking about brides submitting their wedding photos to a million blogs with the hope they will be published–a new caveat to brides:

    Not only is your wedding NOT a photoshoot, it is NOT a novel that you are shopping around to a variety of publishers!

  19. I remember a distinct point after our wedding when I realized that continuing to read wedding blogs was making me feel absolutely terrible about our wedding. I’d toss and turn about missing a certain photo, or about how certain things could’ve been injected with more personality, or even bigger things like how I should’ve chosen a different type of dress. All the new details and perfectly styled images and storybook weddings set me off. When I looked at my pictures, I’d see the metal bones of the tent that we left bare because those tent liners were so outrageously expensive, or the weird staging of the dancefloor and how the dj was in all our pictures, or kick myself for not hiring a second photographer. And then I unsubscribed, and breathed, and started to remember how AMAZING our wedding was, and how it made me feel, and I saw that huge grin on my face in our photos. I reclaimed what was important for me, and I had to get there by leaving that endless supply of wedding stuff behind. And then I wrote my wedding recap for you, which remains my favorite thing I’ve done with those photos, and then it was okay again.

    This is a really, really long way of saying: YES!!!
    .-= Maggie’s most recent blog post: The failed minimalist cooks =-.

  20. LE writes...

    PS to Maggie…I heart your wedding in a big way. I am so glad you shared the process, and it has been a great inspiration to me as a potential idea for an engagement party (for me and the boy who are DC residents but SC natives). I have it bookmarked six ways to Sunday for all the great ideas!

  21. I completely love this post and the much-needed reality check it gives to brides. The reason these highly styled weddings became popular in the first place was because they were personally meaningful to the people who originally had the ideas. Now I see brides emulating those trendsetters, when they should be looking at their own relationship for inspiration.
    I have the opportunity to photograph so many beautiful events every year and I love the originality that people who are genuinely happy and in love come up with. Be original, be happy and the beauty will be there.
    .-= Sara Gray’s most recent blog post: My Inspiration Series, Part One: Shoes =-.

  22. Great post, Ami. I agree with Maggie, recently I have stopped reading certain wedding blogs (not this one :) ) because they make me feel bad the way fashion magazines make me feel bad about not looking like the people in them. I felt like I was not hip enough to have a wedding that was fun for my guests or pretty enough for the web. So I just stopped reading them religiously.

    You’re right, there is no magic formula to the blog-worthy wedding, and sometimes it’s just good to step back and think about how special it is going to be to have this great party to celebrate our love with our family and friends. Our wedding is not a competition, it’s an important event that is going to be just as important with or without the dozen peonies on each table, the Vera Wang, or the trendy photography with filters that make it seem like a Wes Anderson film.

    Thanks for this beautiful post and for being a great editor in chief Ami.
    .-= Mo’s most recent blog post: Will We Regret Going to Japan in September? =-.

  23. So well said, Ami! I definitely agree. Even in the last 9 months since I got married I’ve seen increasing amounts of over-styled weddings. It sets up unrealistic expectations and only leads brides to over-think and possibly regret many of their decisions. Thanks for bringing this up!!

  24. I really cannot tell you how much I appreciate your post. When I began my business I knew that I wanted to create weddings and events that were timeless. Events that when a couple looks back on, in their golden years, are not wondering”What was that prop for again?” I know I may not be competition for the already established but I’d like brides to know that there are still planners in the industry that want to create weddings that are classic, personal, and will have meaning that will last long after it has been posted on the hottest blog. Thank you for this post. It really was spot on.

  25. Excuse the belated comment, but nice post! I am all for brides doing whatever they want; I think the vintage style is so cute and a lot of young women are perhaps intrinsically drawn to that a bit, which I think is just fine! I also love how many brides are taking a DIY approach to their day and really infusing it with things they have crafted themselves.

    What I don’t like is how much pressure there is to have all of these incredible details. I think there is often something so lovely about a wedding that really is all about you as a couple, infused with a few charming details, but not something you need to slave away for months on end to achieve. I love seeing the great detail inspiration that brides and stylists dream up, but I think it would also just be so inspiring to see a couple with a wonderful story who maybe didn’t have the perfect place cards or photobooth but just had a charming, heartfelt wedding (some of my clients’ who had the most memorable weddings fell into this category). I think it would be so inspiring to me as a bride to just see someone else who did it low-key but still elegant and still had a joyous day.
    .-= Olivia Leigh’s most recent blog post: Recent press =-.

  26. This is exactly what I needed to read! Thank you for the insight–it helps to take a step back sometimes and see that it’s not always about the trends, but it’s about your personality and your love of each other that matters at your wedding!
    .-= Mandy’s most recent blog post: What’s the Dealio? =-.

  27. At first I thought the paper bags were the guest gift bags, but when I saw the caption that they were the wedding programs, I was surprised. I think it’s a really smart idea, however, did guests crinkle the bags too much and make too much noise during the wedding?

  28. LOVE IT! I think that a lot of staged/mock shoots contribute to this issue more than we would like to admit. As much as it is nice as a wedding planner/designer to be able to do a mock shoot and show couples that you can push the envelope without restraints showcasing your talents… I think that the shoots get carried away when the chance to be featured on a high-profile blog is at the forefront of their minds. AND then couples want to emulate what they are reading to have the chance to be featured as having a variation of these ideas as well. I mean what couple can actually bring with them an antique curio cabinet, garden carts and a millions different kinds of chairs to accomplish the mish-mash look? None of mine can…nor do I think they want to spend their time and money doing so just for the perfect shot that intrigues the blog-masters! My couples would rather treat their guests to a guided trolley tour around our beautiful city that will show their guests why they picked to marry in Savannah. Although it isn’t construed or will show interesting in an blog, their guests will remember it forever and makes the wedding all that more meaningful in general! My advice to couples….focus on the two of you and why you are hosting this event in the first place. Then focus on the guests that traveled so far and spent the time and money to share it with you. You will have the wedding of your dreams when you aren’t trying to create the wedding of everyone else’s dreams.

  29. Me – I’m attracted to anything bright and colourful and that fits well with my personality. It is definitely about uniqueness because after all, we’re all unique so this is a good base for anyone’s wedding day. Be yourself and don’t try to follow the trends and everything will fall into place. At our wedding we had a photo board of our travels as we had lived overseas for the 4 years just prior to our wedding. It was a great talking point and guests we hadn’t seen in a long time were able to see what we’d been up to over the years.
    .-= Your Wedding Bomboniere’s most recent blog post: Welcome to Your Wedding Bomboniere =-.

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