Join me in a quick ponder? I hear good and bad things about wedding blogs these days – people love the UK wedding bloggers or hate us, and there are some strong opinions out there! There’s no disputing the fact that wedding blogs have changed dramatically over the last two years – and I wonder where we’ll all be in another two.
Once upon a time for wedding blogs…
Following the rise of Style Me Pretty and Ruffled Blog in the US, the first UK wedding bloggers were lone voices with a small, devoted following. Kat, Charlotte and Annabel all used the internet to plan their weddings, and their blogs grew as their fans spread the word.
These dedicated bloggers were writing about weddings in their spare time at first, until quite recently their blogs became so popular they 1) didn’t need other jobs anymore and 2) didn’t have time to go out to work! It was a turning point for UK wedding blogs the day Kat left her job at a TV shopping channel, and shortly afterwards we saw Annabel commit to Love My Dress blog full-time. Others followed – Julia from Brides Up North went full time. Kelly from Boho Weddings still works as a planner and I still split my time (evenly now) between English Wedding blog and my calligraphy work. It seems those of us with wedding industry jobs love them too much to let go!
Wedding bloggers – a new adventure
2011 was the year wedding blogs in the UK became big business. The bloggers took on multiple sponsors (count ’em in the sidebars on the major blogs – at an average of about £200 each a month, the blogs are making serious money now) and embarked on exciting new projects. There were shoots and collaborations, many more daily blog posts, more weddings – and more money for the bloggers. (See the Big Fat UK Wedding Bloggers Photoshoot here – just for the record I hate the name!!! – and Kat’s Rock n Revolution Paris shoot – two of my favourites.)
The publicity grew and grew, with features in the national wedding press, bloggers co-writing inspiration features for the magazines, as well as columns in both wedding and photography magazines. There was public speaking and even Rock n Roll Bride TV – then Annabel’s Love My Dress Soiree made a big splash over the summer. Let’s not forget Rock My Wedding who partnered with the National Wedding Show in 2011 (and have done so again for 2012), and Staggered who went ‘on tour’ to chat to grooms-to-be all over the country.
The wedding bloggers are famous!
Not only have the UK wedding bloggers achieved great financial success, these girls are celebrities in the wedding industry. I don’t expect to see pink hair at a wedding show any more (well, not that pink hair) but I’m waiting to see Kat on the cover of a wedding magazine this year – or on mainstream TV telling us about her brand! We’ve already seen she’s collaborating with Ian Stuart on a wedding dress design – now that will be exciting.
I have huge admiration for the way Annabel, Charlotte and Kat have driven their brands to this level of success. And yet… the public face of wedding blogs has changed. The blogs now are what wedding magazines used to be: they outstrip all of the mags for readership figures, and many times over. They’re big business, incredibly popular and in a position to change the UK wedding industry if they so choose.
Can a big business feel the same as a blog?
I’ve heard a few people say wedding bloggers are losing their appeal. Personal contact with the blogger used to be a major part of these brands. Now it’s just not possible for the bloggers to communicate on a one-to-one basis with all of their readers, via email or comments or on other social media. However – their audience continues to grow.
The disillusioned readers are only a minority; those who have been around the wedding industry for the last few years. But brides- and grooms-to-be still adore the big wedding blogs and the bloggers themselves. The key? This is an industry where someone is a reader / fan / potential customer for 18 months at a time. People get married, and new people come along to follow in their footsteps. Wedding blogs are changing, but they’re changing with the times and to suit an ever-new audience.
Diversity from wedding blogs
The beauty of the UK wedding blog scene is the variety of blogs to enjoy: from the girls at the top of the tree – Rock My Wedding, Rock n Roll Bride, Love My Dress – to the established smaller blogs – English Wedding, Boho Weddings, London Bride, Adore, OMG, Whimsical Wonderland, Staggered, Brides Up North and Beyond Beyond – and the multiple newcomers.
We all have our individual styles and focus. We inspire each other and all provide our readers with something different to enjoy. The best thing about UK wedding blogs is diversity: there’s something for everyone.
The future for UK wedding blogs
There’s no stopping the UK wedding blog scene. The trailblazers will continue to grow and I’m sure in a couple of years’ time at least one will be publishing a regular print magazine, with others hosting polished and exciting events for brides and grooms, and for the industry.
And the big three wedding bloggers?
I expect Rock n Roll Bride will keep building on Kat’s celebrity status with more fantastical shoots and involvement with cutting edge brands. Her Marie Antoinette would fit right into an Ian Stuart advertising campaign… I’m sure there are top bridal designers planning feisty promotions with our pink-haired trailblazer already! (I wonder if she’ll ever tire of the pink and change the colour…?!)
I can see Rock My Wedding becoming even more of a professional blog – with a network of blogs and local sites, maybe worldwide – like Style Me Pretty has done. With a vendor network and Charlotte’s voice at the centre of Rock My Wedding, this is a business which will grow into something the wedding industry in this country has never seen before. Will there be a Rock My Wedding America on the cards?
And Love My Dress is, for me, the wedding blogger’s blog. Annabel has slipped into being the effortlessly cool wedding blogger – the fashionista, the entrepreneur of us all. I’d love to see Love My Dress carry on just the way it is, with carefully selected guest blog features and thoughtful discussions – LMD is the blog I read most of all, and while I wish Annabel every success, I don’t want her to change!
The future for English Wedding blog?
Shall I mention English Wedding blog? Oh go on then… I’d like English Wedding to wear the mantle of an ‘independent wedding blog’. I like not being afraid to say what I think, to provoke discussions when the wedding industry feels stale and to stick with what a wedding blog used to be.
I have a small, selective group of sponsors. I feature weddings with a story behind them or something inspirational about them. I also want to provide a platform for wedding businesses I admire to get the attention they deserve. For me, it’s personal – I’ll never be one of the big three, but I’d like to own this little space and keep things just as they are. I like it here!
- The Top 100 UK wedding blogs – Easy Wedding Search
- 9 ways to write a brilliant wedding blog – English Wedding
- 15 favourite wedding blogs – You & Your Wedding
- Great British Wedding Blogs website
Do you think wedding blogs have changed? Are my predictions for the big three wildly inaccurate? How do you see wedding blogs and the girls and guys behind them?