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destination wedding South Africa by Anneli Marinovich (3)
England in May… where is our sunshine?!! But fear not my hearties because I can show you pictures of some instead! Whether you’re now scowling or sporting a wry smile I can guarantee this beautiful wedding blog will take your mind off the rain and wind for a minute or five (if you click through to see more!)

Lize and Adriaan’s gorgeous South African wedding

You thought I’d say this wedding would make you feel warm inside, didn’t you?! Well it might… have a peek at Lize and Adriaan’s gorgeous wedding in South Africa, with photos by Anneli Marinovich. This wedding first featured on the English Wedding Showcase and I’ve been saving it up for a rainy day to share with you here!

destination wedding South Africa by Anneli Marinovich (2)
destination wedding South Africa by Anneli Marinovich (4)I’m teasing you with snippets of this beautiful wedding day: a dash of lens flare here, some romance and a stunning black and white shot to finish. There are more – lots more – on the English Wedding Showcase: A Feast For The Eyes – wedding under the African sun

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Since early December I’ve been putting the finishing touches to my book: How to Blog your Wedding Business. It’s meant English Wedding Blog has been a little short on wedding supplier advice (most of my ideas went in the book!) – so today the launch of my book means you get a bumper edition of all the wedding business blogging advice you can handle, and then some!

How to Blog your Wedding Business

How to blog your wedding business

How to blog your wedding business - by me!

I’m on my third wedding business blog. I’m utterly convinced that my blogs have been a huge benefit to my wedding calligraphy business. And I love blogging: it’s quick and easy (when you get used to it), Google adores it and readers enjoy it. Safe to say I love blogging so much I consider myself a bit of an expert. I’m no Darren Rowse, but I know blogging in the wedding industry like the back of my hand. Or the front of my laptop, if I may update an outdated phrase!

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This is my very first video blog for English Wedding. I wanted to share something new, so instead of my typey fingers, today you get my face talking. The video itself explains what this is all about, and there’s a summary for you underneath. Scuse the face 😉

promote your wedding business with confidence from Claire Gould on Vimeo.

Speaking confidently about your wedding designs, whether you make invitations,jewellery or anything else, isn’t always easy. This video blog explains why it’s important to promote your wedding business with confidence. I also share tips to help you gain the confidence to take that pride in your products and share your enthusiasm with potential customers.

Your wedding business, confidence and self-promotion

It’s very important to promote your wedding business in a confident way, and there are three reasons to do this:

  1. Confidence inspires confidence: speaking with passion and enthusiasm about your designs will inspire your potential customers
  2. Competition: there are so many wedding businesses around, promoting yours with confidence will help you stand out from the crowd
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This guest blog post brought a wry smile to my face this morning – so for any men planning to propose in the near future, here’s some advice to help you propose without a hitch!

engagement ring by wedding photographer Alison Groves

Photo credit: Alison Groves (click to see featured wedding blog)

Of course the first step in any wedding is the proposal, and what is a proposal without the perfect engagement ring? Taking that first step can be a frightening prospect as there is always some amount of doubt in the back of the man’s mind as to whether or not his proposal will be accepted.

It’s almost like a toddler taking his or her first steps when learning to walk. You see the baby standing there precariously, wobbling back and forth a little awkwardly, until enough courage is amassed to take that giant first step. This is probably what most men are experiencing when trying to find the perfect moment to ‘pop the question’ and one which would be great parodied on classic comedy hours such as America’s Saturday Night Live or the UK’s fabulously famous show of the late 60’s and early 70’s Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

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I’ve stolen the idea for this blog post from lamarieeencolere.com. Nathalie had a look at the oddest queries Google was sending to her French wedding blog, with some funny results. I thought I’d do the same…

This is what some of you have been searching for, and landed on English Wedding Blog

  • wrapped in bedsheets romantic – I don’t imagine this searcher was looking for my blog. I suppose it can be, but it’s not something I’ve seen on a wedding submission recently – have you?
  • worst wedding photography images – Thanks. Charming. But you won’t find them here! I’ll be having words with Google.
  • will the ocean wreck my wedding dress? – Not unless you go in it. If you go in it wearing your wedding dress then yes, it will. Credit where credit’s due though: at least you checked first.
  • who uses wedding magazines? – I know! Soooooo old fashioned. Blogs are where it’s at, right?
  • when and where are welsh weddings celebrated? – Let. me. think. Wales?
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So pleased, and happy. I’ve discovered a real life French wedding blog in La Mariée en Colère (translated: The Angry Bride). So the plan for today is I’m blogging Nathalie’s gorgeous inspiration shoot for you, then I’m off to brush up on my français.

wedding blog inspiration France (1)French inspiration shoot from La Mariée en Colère

This shoot (“shooting d’inspiration”) is deliciously girly: with perfect pinks and delicate pastels, beautiful little flower arrangements for tables, a bright and summery bouquet plus wedding stationery (elegant as you’d expect!) – it’s just divine. The pictures speak for themselves, and I’ve credited all the suppliers involved below:
wedding blog inspiration France (2)
wedding blog inspiration France (3)
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Wedding supplier list and credits

French wedding photography : FairyDaily www.fairydaily.com

Décor and wedding invitations : 123nousirons http://123nousirons.blogspot.fr

Wedding dress : Confidentiel Création www.confidentiel-creation.fr

Cupcakes : Candy’s Cupcakes Bordeaux http://candyscupcakesbordeaux.blogspot.com

Hairdressing : Event Coiffure Bordeaux http://eventcoiffure.blogspot.com

Make up : Jenny Make Up https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003511126846

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I’m going to show you an email, and then I’m going to say just what I think about a) plastic surgery and b) the idiots who think brides are their ideal customers for procedures.

This could get messy…

Here’s the email I found in my inbox this morning:
I can’t fault Bella’s polite approach, but it’s certainly a one-email-fits-all thing, so I don’t feel bad about my response. She’s only asking for a guest post about skincare… all perfectly harmless (I’ve nothing against moisturiser!)  – but the string attached would be a nice backlink to a blog about cosmetic surgery. Kerching?

My reply to the email (sadly it’s one of many)

I have strong feelings about anyone in the business of making money from people’s vulnerabilities… this is me explaining that quite nicely:

It’s a topic I find it difficult to be too nice about – that’s as polite as I wanted to be.

My opinions on surgery:

  1. I have no problem with surgery after an accident. Severe burns and scarring can be traumatic – if an operation or two will help, it’s a good thing.
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wedding photography by Louise Bjorling (17)
Tucked away in a luscious landscape, accessible only by boat or footbridge and on its own private island on the River Thames, Monkey Island is pretty unique as far as English wedding venues go.

It’s a secluded hideaway, elegant and (I love this:) ancestral home to monks rather than monkeys – Monkey Island was the perfect backdrop for Max and Marina’s wedding day.

We begin the day in the bridal suite with Marina getting ready for the ceremony – it’s a lovely outdoor wedding with peacocks roaming around the grounds! and the day unfolds with so many glorious moments between the bride, groom and their wedding guests.

My thanks to London wedding photographer Louise Bjorling for sharing this wedding with us today. I hope you enjoy the pictures!
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wedding photography by Louise Bjorling (40)
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Somerset wedding photography by Belinda McCarthy

Somerset wedding. Photography credit: Belinda McCarthy http://somerset-wedding-photographer.co.uk

I’ve found some brilliant bits of internet for you this week: real weddings, DIY projects, discussions and – a new bit of Wedding planning or work: wedding business stuff. I’m just going to jump in. Highlights today include Alex Beadon’s business blogging advice, and discussions on beauty from Anna (Far from the wedding crowd).

Enjoy. And have a wonderful weekend xx

Real weddings

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Pre-wedding season, I was peering through the tumbleweed at various wedding photography websites and genuinely surprised by a) the numbers of wedding photographers out there, and b) the lack of blogs!

A quick look at this as a little aside: I searched for ‘wedding photographers’ and got a map with chicken pox. There are so, so many photographers out there! (Even more if you zoom in). I knew that though…

wedding photographers map UK

wedding photographers - a rash across the UK?

I was on a bit of a mission to discover new wedding photographers – ones who hadn’t submitted to my blog before, so I could raise awareness of English Wedding blog. And I was looking for their real wedding features to get an idea of what they do.

Four out of five didn’t have blogs.

And I was surprised – in this day and age, surely a wedding business blog is as important for SEO and promotion as facebook, more important than twitter, on a par with having a presence at wedding shows and fairs?

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Wedding by Natasha Thompson Photography (29)
A long awaited proposal and a secret, intimate wedding are hiding in my little box of tricks for you today my lovely readers. Debbie and Matthew, and their little boy Noah, celebrated their surprise wedding in superb style – although they tell me the decor was “a bit of a mis-match”!

Their wedding photographer Natasha Thompson submitted this wedding for the blog many weeks ago, and Matthew and Debbie (I think mainly Matthew) sent their wedding report back to me this week, along with the sweetest note: “Sorry this has taken so long, we have just had a baby!” So first of all let me say a huge Congratulations to you both, and I’ll hand over to you and to Natasha with her beautiful photographs of your intimate wedding.

Wedding by Natasha Thompson Photography (28)
Wedding by Natasha Thompson Photography (27)

Who proposed, and how?

Matthew did, after a long time, many years, by hiding a ring in a new children’s toy for our son, Noah, who was three at the time. It was a ‘Happyland’ Church wedding set from the Early learning Centre.

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The Wedding Industry Awards photo by Adbycreativeimages (3)Last week saw the launch of The Wedding Industry Awards. These were a quiet revolution in the wedding industry in 2012: their integrity was a breath of fresh air. The voting was open to brides and grooms; not to twitter buddies and wedding industry pals. Feedback given by couples during the voting process was fabulous, in depth and heartfelt. The eventual winners in regional and national categories deserved their glory: they were truly admired by the customers they’d worked so hard for.

After the awards event early in 2012, there was a buzz of anticipation as wedding suppliers across the country looked forward to a bigger and better Wedding Industry Awards in 2013.

The launch of the 2013 Wedding Industry Awards

The biggest change to the awards for 2013 is the £50 entry fee. In 2012 the awards were free to enter, and the charge for entries came as a surprise to many wedding suppliers. Twitter’s dashboard lit up with the news, and there were lively discussions on facebook.

Instagram – @englishweddingblog

Instagram did not return a 200.
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Modern blue styling ideas with calligraphy for an alternative beach wedding (18)

Image credit: Oobaloos Photography

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