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Style Me Pretty was one of the first wedding blogs I ever read. Its closure comes as a big surprise – and I’m truly sorry for founder Abby Larson, who was as shocked as anyone to find out her beautiful blog was to close.

People have been asking me why it happened and what the closure of Style Me Pretty means for the wedding world, particularly for wedding blogs. Are we all struggling? Has instagram killed blogs? Am I worried for the rest of us? Do I have any inside gossip?

The answer to all of these is no (and a chuckle to the last one). It’s a shame for every bride and wedding vendor whose work was featured on SMP over the years that their features will be lost. It’s so sad for everyone who worked at Style Me Pretty whose jobs have been taken away from them at a moment’s notice, and my heart goes out to them all.

But Style Me Pretty closing its doors is not the end of wedding blogs – far from it.

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Some wedding photographers are brilliant. Some bowl me over with their gorgeous images, their empathy, their signature styles. And (shhh) I have favourites. Sounds a little unfair, unprofessional even, doesn’t it?

Winters Barns Kent wedding blog Parkershots Photography (12)

Bear with me. 😉

Why do wedding photographers submit to blogs?

An easy question. For free promotion of their work to a huge readership. Top reason.

Also – for their brides and grooms. If you’d like to have your wedding featured on a blog, mention it to your photographer! They’re lovely people, and if you’ve found your photographer on a wedding blog it’s more than likely they’ll be happy to submit your wedding!

There’s another reason, and this is the one I like best of all: to build business friendships.

Photographers and wedding bloggers – a match made in…

Fair to say there’s a bit of a love / hate relationship between wedding bloggers and photographers, right? We know each other well. Photographers have a lot of contact with wedding bloggers via submissions, sponsorship and so on.

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Hi everyone! I hope you’re having an amazing day. I wanted to share a little advice with you this morning – from an email enquiry I had recently about advertising on the English Wedding Blog.

Manchester city centre wedding Paul Joseph Photography (37)

Image credit Paul Joseph Photography | Dress from Hannah Lois in Prestwich | Groom wears Ted Baker

I don’t like to push suppliers to become sponsors of my blog – only when I know their business has the potential to do really well from advertising will I suggest sponsorship. But I can explain where I see that potential, and this is what I explained to Peter a few days ago…

Giving your wedding business the potential for blog advertising success

“Thanks for getting in touch. I’d love to help you grow your wedding business – but rather than signing you up as a sponsor straight away I’d like to offer some advice about blog advertising.

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Hey everyone! Would you like to help me with a discussion coming up on the English Wedding Blog soon? I’m asking for your thoughts on exclusivity… brides, suppliers, other wedding bloggers I would love to hear from you all!

Neoclassical wedding styled shoot by Petra Opperman with Matthew Bishop Photography (4)

My question: should wedding blogs ask for exclusivity for styled shoots and real weddings? How long for?

Exclusivity for wedding blogs

Every wedding blogger wants their blog to stand out from the crowd, and being able to publish gorgeous shoots before anyone else is key to that. If two blogs published the same shoot within a week it wouldn’t look so good…

Neoclassical wedding styled shoot by Petra Opperman with Matthew Bishop Photography (3)

Features across more blogs for wedding suppliers

I’m a calligrapher as well as a wedding blogger, and I’m often asked to write place names and bespoke stationery for styled wedding shoots. I love seeing those shoots featured as widely as they possibly can be… the more blogs feature a shoot, the better the publicity for every supplier involved.

Neoclassical wedding styled shoot by Petra Opperman with Matthew Bishop Photography (1)

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Ever wonder what wedding blogs wedding bloggers read? (Sorry if the answer’s no and I’ve twisted your brain with that bizarrely phrased question.) I read a lot of wedding blogs and love reading about unique weddings, discovering new ideas and enjoying great wedding photography.

woburn sculpture gallery wedding

Lucy and James’s wedding at the wonderful Woburn Sculpture Gallery is just gorgeous – image credit Aaron Collett www.aaroncollettphotography.co.uk

Guessing that you like all the same things as I do* I try and share my favourite wedding blogs in a weekly or fortnightly round up… although it’s been a while! Here are my favourite real weddings, creative ideas and things to buy, advice articles and Pinterest boards for you from the last few weeks’ reading. Enjoy!
claire gould calligrapher signature

*except possibly riding motorbikes and climbing mountains… I mean the wedding side of things really!…

The best real wedding blogs

Isle of Skye wedding photography

Emma and Tom’s wedding on the Isle of Skye – incredibly beautiful and what a venue! By Love Skye Photography

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Whatever you’re doing this weekend I hope you’re having a lovely relaxing time. For those of you who’ve just got engaged, I hope you’re loving every second of the exciting wedding planning journey! For those of you marrying in 2014, big hugs from me. I bet you can’t WAIT!!!

wedding photography UK

Image credit www.PixiesintheCellar.co.uk

Every week I like to share my favourite wedding blogs with you. I read a lot of wedding blogs and bookmark all the best ones so I can tell you all about them. I sort them into real weddings, creative ideas and advice / opinion so you have a nice little mix of everything to read. Perfect for a lazy Sunday, yes?

woodland wedding ideas

Whimsical woodland wedding inspiration | Image credit Karen Flower Photography

Today there’s a little extra to share with you: lots of my wedding photographer friends have been sharing their best bits from 2013 and it’s just the best ever time to see thousands of wedding ideas in glorious technicolour on your screen… see the ‘best wedding photographer blogs’ below for more. Enjoy! And have a lovely Sunday everyone!
claire gould calligrapher signature

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Hello there! Welcome once again to new wedding blog readers, congratulations and best of luck with your exciting wedding planning adventures! I know wedding blogs are all different, and sometimes it’s easy to miss features and ideas on your favourite blogs. I’ve done my best to make the English Wedding Blog really easy to use, and really relevant for you too – so you can search for weddings in your region, at the time of year you’re getting married, even at your own wedding venue or by your favourite photographer. Here’s how it works!

cornwall wedding

Betzy and James’s Eden Project wedding in Cornwall – image credit the very lovely Jason Mark Harris at www.JasonMarkHarris.com

Real weddings by English county or UK region

In the top menu bar of the English Wedding Blog you can find real weddings either by wedding style (vintage, contemporary etc.) and find real weddings by county (listed in alphabetical order). If you’re a bride-to-be in Cornwall, for example, you can click on the Cornwall Weddings link to see weddings I’ve featured near you! (Here’s one I made earlier)

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Hey everyone, happy Saturday! I hope you’ve had a nice week. Just before you dash out to the shops – because I think we’re all going this morning* – here are a few of the very best wedding blogs you mustn’t miss this week. Real weddings, creative ideas and advice I’ve read, bookmarked and saved for sharing with you today! Enjoy 🙂

*Congratulations to anyone who’s all finished and spending the day under the duvet! You lucky thing!
claire gould calligrapher signature

Clare and Ian are just incredible. Their wedding is breathtaking! The rustic styling is beautiful and colourful, with gorgeous DIY touches throughout. Via Pixies in the Cellar http://www.pixiesinthecellar.co.uk/

Real weddings

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Happy weekend everyone! What are you up to this weekend – weddingy bits and bobs, or a bit of time off? I’m taking my little Mini out for a road trip into the Lake District and hoping for a nice day. Fingers crossed! But first – I thought I’d share some of my favourite wedding blogs from the last week and a bit. Enjoy! Claire xxx

wedding blog Rob and Sarah Gillespie

One of my favourite images from weddings featured on the English Wedding Blog so far this month – photo credit Rob and Sarah Gillespie. Click the image to see more!

Real weddings

  • Kelly and Peter’s Derbyshire wedding blog – with the most adorable little pink rose and gyp bouquets!
  • Wedding in a treehouse! This is genius, magical, funny in the loveliest of ways – and genuinely in a treehouse. Zoe and Steve, you rock!
  • Timeless elegance, white details, a stunning lace wedding dress and a flying bridesmaid – Derbyshire wedding blog with Carina and Henry
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Hi everyone! Phew – the end of another week and it’s been a busy one. I’ve had some lovely calligraphy orders, climbed a couple of mountains, been playing out in my new Mini… time to look forward to another great weekend as I head for Manchester to see Soundgarden tonight. But before I go… here are some of the wedding blog features which I’ve loved over the last couple of weeks:

wedding blog Pixies in the Cellar

Photo credit Pixies in the Cellar

Real weddings

Henley wedding Rob and Sarah Gillespie

Photo credit Rob & Sarah Gillespie

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Hey again, Happy Friday everyone! I have to confess I’m not here this morning… it’s music festival time at English Wedding Blog towers this weekend! But what better opportunity to share the best UK wedding blogs of recent weeks, hey? In fact I’ve been saving these up for about three weeks, possibly more! Oops. But that means more wedding goodies to share with you today. Enjoy! And have an amazing weekend. Claire xxx

Midsomer Murders wedding blog

Country fete wedding blog – photo credit Lifeline Photography http://lifelinephotography.co.uk/

Real weddings – the best UK wedding blogs

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Hi everyone! Big hugs all round today because it’s party time at English Wedding Blog HQ.

wedding blog Christian Ward Photography

Photo credit Christian Ward Photography

We’re having a birthday… so forgive me for not actually being here right now as you read the blog! I’m either baking myself a Hungry Caterpillar birthday cake, skipping along the beach singing happy birthday to myself or pouring champagne on my coco pops right now (depending on the weather). Anyway, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share some of the best wedding blogs I’ve been reading over the last few weeks with you. Ready? Enjoy! Oh, and happy birthday everyone! Claire xxx

wedding ideas blog photo credit Rebecca Douglas

Photo credit Rebecca Douglas

Real weddings – the best real wedding blogs