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My diaries – What Glastonbury Festival taught me about being a wedding blogger

Did you watch Glastonbury this weekend? Or did you go? I’ve never been to Glasto, and while I’ve had some amazing festival experiences Glastonbury’s never been on my radar. It’s so big it scares me. And I think my blog, life and business have a lot in common with the little hippy festival of 1970!

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All images in this blog feature by Marshal Gray Photography at http://www.marshalgrayphotography.com/ – see Laura and James’s festival wedding on the English Wedding Blog

What the…?!

First of all, I’ve decided to start sharing some more personal and wedding blogging / business posts again. (Here are the ones I used to write.) A lot of wedding suppliers read the blog, and I know we share a lot in common and can help each other with little chats and thoughts like this post.

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Back to Glasto, and Wiki tells me there were 175,000 people there this weekend. Now I’m a girl who loves intimate gigs – I love Manchester Academy, and I love Beautiful Days festival. It’s limited to 15,000 tickets – still a lot of people but I like it. Small is beautiful, right?

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And The English Wedding Blog is the same. It’s dinky and independent. I write it – just me, on my own, with the help of all the brides and grooms, photographers and suppliers who share gorgeous things with me. Sometimes I look at the big blogs – Love My Dress, Rock n Roll Bride – and feel a little envious, but at the end of the day I love my wedding blog for its small, steady and fiercely independent niche.

The moral of my story?

Small is good! Your wedding business doesn’t have to conquer the world. You don’t have to make millions and retire before 40. So many of us are happy doing what we love, owning a small and independent business and working closely with our brides and grooms to provide a personal service.

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Sometimes there’s pressure to grow a business. There’s always more money to be made, but what if you’re happy with the way you are? Glastonbury taught me that’s fine.

Dolly Parton? Really?! Not the contemporary music I’d seek out at any festival. Glastonbury is too big. It’s a corporate monster courting controversy and fuelled by profit. Where are its roots?

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My blog and my calligraphy business are held close to my heart. I don’t want to chase every UK supplier for sponsorship; I don’t want to work for thousands of brides a year, but I want to live in a happy little wedding world.

The top wedding blogs are massive, with teams of writers and contributors, millions of readers and a worldwide reach. Hats off to lovely Annabel for the success of Love My Dress, which is a fabulous wedding blog.  Her relaunch in June was fantastic.

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The English Wedding Blog in comparison is still a traditional blog: it’s mine, it’s a diary, it tells my story and shares things I love. It supports independent businesses, craftspeople and smaller Etsy suppliers. I feature UK weddings, and promote local venues and photographers which you can search for by county.

Because small, to me, is beautiful.

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My calligraphy is the same: I write everything myself. I wrap my orders like presents so you love opening them. I fold the paper; I tie the ribbons. I email my customers personally. Every step of the way, you’re dealing with me.

Craftspeople have been working this way for centuries. Local makers have always had craft fairs and independent shops. I love discovering something really unique: and a small business can really provide that. Etsy is my favourite place to shop online, bar none. Amazon is fine… but it’s a bit too Glasto for me. Know what I mean?

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Is yours an independent craft business? Don’t feel pressure to grow. So long as you’re earning enough to be happy then you ARE a success. Online courses and advice sites tend to push us to get bigger, but I’d love to see more just celebrating the success we already have.

Here at English Wedding Towers this morning I’m raising a glass (of squash! It’s sunny and it’s 11 o’clock!) to every independent business owner. You’re amazing. You’ve done it! You love what you do – and you’re a success. So celebrate!

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Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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3 COMMENTS
  • Jessica Barker
    5 years ago

    This is such a wonderful post! I started up a wedding blog under a week ago after finally realising that my life-long obsession with weddings could actually be channeled into something creative and useful. I’ve been thinking about taking an online wedding planner course too but the industry seems so intimidating, commercial and impersonal. It’s so nice to see someone successful say that small and personal is not only good, but maybe even better.

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