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This is a rare blog post about me – Claire – the owner of the mind and typing fingers behind English Wedding Blog! Written in November 2011 with some edits November 2013. Hello!

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As the blog is growing so quickly at the moment I thought I’d introduce myself to new readers, and update all my old friends on how my life has been turned upside down and plonked firmly back on its feet over the last year.

The incredible photos telling my story are by my good friend and source of endless creative inspiration – Chris Hanley Photography. Before we start… both Chris and I believe wedding bloggers shouldn’t take themselves too seriously. Ahem…

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I’m a part-time wedding blogger, and part-time wedding calligrapher, as you may know. I started English Wedding Blog back in November 2009 at 6am on a quiet calligraphy day! The blog has grown massively (37,000 of you read it each month) with the support of the great friends I’ve made along the way – I’ve been privileged to meet with some inspiring and wonderful brides and grooms, as well as wedding suppliers and other bloggers, along the way.

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Oh my… if this isn’t the perfect English Wedding then I’ll eat my top hat… I spotted Vicky and Chris’s wedding at St Audries Park on facebook on Monday (check out Somerset wedding photographer Simon Biffen’s facebook page).

st audries park wedding by Simon Biffen Photography

Photo credit Simon Biffen Photography

 

 

 

I emailed Simon immediately to ask permission to share it with all of you… and then realised he’d already emailed me and offered. Lovely guy. And that’ll teach me to play on facebook before I’ve checked my emails, won’t it…

But do go and check out Simon’s St Audries Park weddings on his website. His work is beautiful – there’s everything from some of our very best wedding venues through to croquet and a lovely bulldog in the best man’s speech, a stunning bride, beautiful dress, delicious sunshine and an orangery wedding – quintessentially English. Beautiful, and recommended reading!

https://simonbiffenphotography.co.uk

 

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I’m so pleased to be able to introduce you to Benjamin Toms today – he’s a wedding photographer from Kent whose business has grown from a lifelong passion for photography – from his darkroom at home as a child to a decade spent travelling the world with his camera.

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Photo credit: Kent wedding photographer Benjamin Toms

 

Ben is a new sponsor of English Wedding Blog, and now has his own page on the Blog for you to find out all about him – he’s a wedding photojournalist and told me, “I cap­ture the peo­ple, the atmos­phere, the emo­tion, and the love. When seen col­lec­tively, they tell the entire story of the day. Your pho­tos should make you travel back to your spe­cial day every time you look at them.

I love that, don’t you?!

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Find Ben’s page on English Wedding Blog by clicking on Suppliers in the top menu bar or click through directly here: Kent wedding Photographer page.

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I don’t like to write too much about me on this wedding blog. But I’m making an exception today… Kirstie Allsopp has written about me, so why shouldn’t I, just for the day?! So this blog post is all about Kirstie and Me. (squeeeal!)

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I’m so excited. Too excited to type. Amazon delivered my copy of Kirstie’s Vintage Home
this morning: her new shiny hardback book which came out this morning. Did you see Kirstie on The One Show last night, by the way? I’m looking forward to seeing her on Graham Norton’s ‘very posh sofa’ soon!

kirstie's book (2)Part of Kirstie’s Vintage Home is the vintage wedding of Amy and Craig, for which Kirstie created, crafted and styled so many fantastic details. The page shown above has a pic of Amy’s place for the wedding reception. Gorgeous, isn’t it? But my favourite bit is the close ups of that lovely napkin…

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Welcoming new wedding photographers as sponsors of English Wedding Blog is always a pleasure. This is especially true for Somerset wedding photographer Simon Biffen – a first class photographer who clearly gives 100% to every bride and groom he works with.

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Photo credit Simon Biffen www.simonbiffenphotography.co.uk

I was impressed by Simon’s dedication straight away as he told me about his wedding photography.

A great wedding photography experience

He’s there for you from the beginning and wants your wedding photography experience to be flawless – for this he’ll meet you, get to know you, visit your wedding venue, chat about your plans and be available before your wedding day for advice if you need him to be.

Reassurance like this is a wonderful thing – so do have a look at Simon’s English Wedding Showcase Page to find out more. Simon is based in Somerset and will happily travel far and wide to photograph a wedding!

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Photo credit Simon Biffen www.simonbiffenphotography.co.uk

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Photo credit Simon Biffen www.simonbiffenphotography.co.uk

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I haven’t written a wedding business advice post for a little while – but over the last few weeks I’ve been helping friends with business advice here and there, and I thought I’d share with you today.

Every time I’m asked for advice about running a wedding business, I think, “I’ve been through that”, and it means I can help. I’m sure very many of us running our own businesses can identify with the same issues and dilemmas, so I’m going to try and use the blog to share my advice with everyone.

Wedding blogs – what’s that all about?

I was asked this question today, by a photographer I know via twitter. It’s funny: I live in a little bubble where blogs are the centre of everything I do, and it’s so easy to forget that the blogging phenomenon is still relatively new to the UK. Of course, this applies to brides and grooms as well as to wedding businesses. So it was a great question to be asked, and really got me thinking.

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Something new, inspiring and seriously exciting is happening in the UK wedding industry.

On Friday I had a call from Damian Bailey. Damian is a UK wedding photographer with a vision. He’s great. Damian is organising The 2012 Wedding Industry Awards. This is a huge undertaking, not least because this is the first fair, all-encompassing, wedding industry award event.

I’ve openly criticised other wedding awards which I thought were unfair. I scrutinised the rules and processes behind The 2012 Wedding Industry Awards and was very impressed. This is a whole new world for the UK wedding industry – an award which is fair, open to all and voted for by brides and grooms. Wow.

The 2012 Wedding Industry Awards

I jumped at the chance to be involved. This reflects everything I stand for: an honest wedding industry driven by creativity and integrity. I’m in. And I promised Damian I’d do everything I could to help promote The 2012 Wedding Industry Awards

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Here’s a fun challenge for the wedding suppliers out there: how many of the top 10 wedding advertising mistakes have you made?! I’ll admit mine right now: 6 out of 10 ain’t bad… is it? See how you compare!

This guest blog post is by Alison Wren, editor of Wedding Business Success.

The top 10 wedding advertising mistakes!

Despite the growth in on-line advertising and social media, print advertising can still be very effective. But only if it’s done well. To make the most of your advertising, here are the 10 most common mistakes to avoid:

1.    Not measuring results.

Spending money on advertising without finding out how many enquiries and sales you receive as a result is pointless. Always ask customers how they heard about you.

2.    Typos

Always proof read your advert and get someone else to do it too. Spelling mistakes make you look unprofessional. Errors in your contact details mean you have wasted your advert.

3.    Making your business name the main headline

UK wedding magazines advertising information and reviews
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The UK wedding magazine review so far has focused on brides, giving an idea of what’s inside each of the best UK wedding magazines. I hope it’s been helpful for some of you and will prove useful for future brides and grooms.

Now it’s the advertisers’ turn. I know a lot of wedding business owners read the blog and you have strong opinions about wedding magazine advertising, based on your own experiences. It’s been very interesting reading your tweets, facebook comments and emails so thank you!

UK wedding magazines: advertising

I’m going to provide you with “the science bit” in this blog post. I have my opinions; but this blog post is about the facts – add your own opinions on the English Wedding facebook page or in the comments below.

As a blogger in the industry I really wanted to write positively about wedding magazines. They provide a valuable service to brides – sales figures prove that. Advertisers are a crucial part of wedding magazines, love them or hate them!

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wedding blogs vs magazines in the uk rose veil credit cardI almost had a crisis of faith in wedding blogging recently. It was one of those scary moments that hit you sometimes – I picked up a wedding magazine (that wasn’t the scary bit) and it wasn’t what I expected.

Wedding magazines were all about big brands and vaguely old fashioned trends, I thought. The appeal of the big wedding blogs is always from being edgy and challenging, alternative and fresh – tearing away from the boring old wedding mags.

For a moment my quick flick through the wedding magazines made me wonder if the press had finally caught up: they were quirky, full of red shoes and wellies, bunting and ideas for making weddings a bit different.

Oh.

I sat down to think about what makes wedding blogs so special, and within minutes I fell in love with the UK wedding blogs all over again. Here’s what makes us so different from the traditional wedding press, and why UK wedding blogs will grow and grow but NEVER lose their appeal.

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A quick post simply to share my smile with you this morning.

I just had a call from a local free Wedding Magazine. The girl who called sounded a little bored, but read her script nicely, explained that the magazine was looking for people who do wedding stationery to advertise in the magazine and they’d “come to me first”… hee, really?

I explained that I don’t do wedding stationery, I only provide a calligraphy service.

Cue a little pause and more interest from the telesales girl: “Ooh, is that where you do the dancing, like the first dance and stuff?”

I’m afraid I said yes. But not to the advertising.

 

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Your Manchester Wedding magazineThis naughty wedding blogger has a confession to make: I broke my own rule and took out a press ad for my wedding calligraphy business today. So – does anyone need a second-hand soapbox? I’ll have to stop blogging about how I never advertise in the wedding press!

However… the guys from Your Manchester Wedding magazine persuaded me. In November I’d spoken to Natasha from their advertising team. I’d told her – and she’d taken some very detailed notes which Conan* read back to me today – their mag was “very advertising heavy” and I’d asked a bag of awkward questions about circulation and distribution of the mag. We had a long chat and I remember taking copious notes at the time but I didn’t want to advertise.

Your Manchester Wedding MagazineSince that call though, I’ve had the mag in my orders folder and flicked through it regularly. It’s had my attention for a lot longer than any of the national wedding magazines have ever grabbed me – and if even I’m still reading a wedding mag four months later, it can’t be bad!

Karapürçek Escort Bilecik Escort Bolu Escort

 

Modern blue styling ideas with calligraphy for an alternative beach wedding (18)

Image credit: Oobaloos Photography

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