Dear Wedding Bloggers, You Suck

I know I’m doing my best work and reaching a higher calling when I am scared to death to publish something. What if I upset or anger someone? What if commentators flay me? What if I lose the support of my community? It’s scary. But I also find it deeply satisfying to stay true to myself. I am a wedding blogger who knows the wedding industry isn’t perfect. And I know I am part of the problem as well as part of the solution. It’s a prickly place to be, but one worth exploring. So it’s with a deep sense of fear and with profound satisfaction that I publish this letter that landed in my inbox this weekend.

Written by a photographer, it explores the landscape of both mainstream and new media publishing and asks what makes a wedding worthy of publication. Some of you may agree while others disagree. This is good. It’s an important conversation to have. Here goes…

An Open Letter From A Real Wedding Photographer

wedding photographer behind a large lensImage from naixn

**taptap** Hello? Is this thing on? Oh, hey, wedding bloggers! I’m glad I have your attention. It’s your friendly neighborhood photographer here, sharing with you a little bit of insight from within the tiny walls of my office. You see, there’s a lot of blogging trends going on that I find particularly un-swoon-worthy. Of course, this is just my own humble opinion, but I am here to represent the other photographers and brides of the world who don’t feel heard or seen.

Why aren’t we being heard or seen?

Why are our weddings being repeatedly rejected from wedding blogs? It is certainly not because of the quality of photography. I have repeatedly seen photography on blogs like Cockles and Pretties that would make a 3-year-old look like a pro. At the same time, I’ve seen gorgeous wedding photography shot by colleagues turned down for publication. Why? Because not all of our weddings include brides sporting bird nests in their hair, or pretty, young Anthropologie-swathed bridesmaids, or meticulously stenciled miniature burlap dinosaurs holding up place cards made from the recycled issues of Rolling Stone, or weddings held in obscure meadows that can only be reached via bush pilot or a team of sled dogs. Sound over the top? It is, but you publish this stuff daily! So what is the reality behind many weddings?

Sometimes our clients get married in churches, country clubs, or even a VFWs (oh yes… it’s true!).
Sometimes
they wear a simple silk wedding dresses, or employ florists instead of roaming the hillsides of Sweden picking wildflowers the morning of their weddings. Sometimes they are doctors, lawyers, or police officers who are too busy to make custom bird cake-toppers and who don’t have access to a baby-blue vintage bicycles. Sometimes their weddings are simple/normal/average.

Now, don’t get me wrong; we all love the rustic, the unique and the detailed. I do too, but it isn’t realistic for every couple. And in turn, it’s not realistic to publish that type of wedding in every blog post! In fact, the state of the wedding blog-o-sphere is downright distressing for some couples.They’re visually overloaded by wedding blogs that showcase only the most unique and the most elaborate weddings, implying showcased weddings are the norm.

The Height of Dysfunction

I’ve even had brides apologize to me! They say,

“I’m sorry, our wedding is very plain. We didn’t have the time to make a lot of decorations.”

“This is probably a really boring wedding for you to photograph, I’m sorry.”

Where are they getting this negative self-image of their wedding? Glad you asked, because I’ll tell you. They get it from the same place that gave women a negative self-image of their bodies: the Media. It used to be that the Media consisted largely of magazines and newspapers. But now you bloggers are a part of the Media, albeit the so-called “new media.”

Wedding Photographers Suck Too

Wedding blogs aren’t the only ones to blame. I’ve had a lot of photographers tell me that they only blog about weddings that are highly detailed or where the bride is pretty and skinny. They leave out the VFW weddings and the heavier couples so that perspective clients who aren’t Cockles and Pretties-worthy don’t think to contact them. They don’t want “weddings like that” in “places like that” with “people like that.” Why?

  • Because they won’t get published.
  • They won’t have their photography acknowledged.
  • They won’t end up in the 7th-grade popularity contest we call the Wedding Industry.

End This + Consider the Average Bride

As a publisher, you have a chance and the power to change things. So my plea to you is this: consider the average bride.

Consider the bride who looks at wedding blogs for inspiration, but only finds ideas she either can’t afford or doesn’t have time to make.
Consider
the bride who thinks less is more.
Consider
the bride who doesn’t wear feathers.
Consider
the bride whose wedding and engagement session isn’t meticulously styled with an eye toward publication.

In other words:
Consider
the bride who is typical and realistic.

I’m not saying you should stop publishing unique and detailed weddings, but reach out to real couples and publish their less elaborate weddings, too. Your job as publishers should be to document this wonderful event for all couples. So show us different types of brides and their weddings, both extraordinary and simple.

You’re All Starting to Look the Same!

Do something outside of the norm and you’d probably get even more visitors. And I’m not talking about finding the next fad. Focus on good photography and substance.  All your blogs are starting to look alike anyway.There are very few blogs I feel the need to follow any longer. I know what I’ll find when I visit most wedding blogs because so many posts are filled with the same:

  • mason jars
  • burlap
  • wild flowers
  • vintage suitcases
  • stuffed initials
  • feathers
  • distant mountains
  • tea-length dresses
  • hand-made signs
  • and fields

I’d love to visit your site and see all sorts of weddings; the unique mixed in with the average and everything in between. This would make different posts stand out, and brides wouldn’t be apologizing to me about how “boring” their wedding is. Readers would see that every bride and wedding is different — not because of feathers and burlap, but because of the unique nature of human relationships; because of time and money constraints; and because the most important part of the day isn’t in the details. You know what I mean. Deep down I know you do.

By the Way, That’s “So 2011″

And, while you are considering what to accept, please consider the photography!

The truth is this: Fad Photoshop filters and actions are often used to cover-up bad or boring photography.

It doesn’t matter how many different shoe colors the bridesmaids wore if I can barely see the difference because the hideous yellow and pink of a Photoshop filter. Sometimes I can’t even tell if they’re wearing shoes because the tilt shift effect is used to cover up and blur anything that would reveal it for what it is: a boring photograph. How am I supposed to appreciate the little adorable dogs in tuxedos if the picture is so underexposed that I can’t see the detail in their rhinestone collars.

Learn to identify the difference between great photography and mere photographic fads. And for the love of Pete don’t keep promoting those fads! By way of example, let me remind you of selective color. Remember in 2006 and 2007 when you’d see that red rose sitting in a black and white room? Yeah – that’s what’s going to happen to the washed-out vintage fad in about 2 years. Then everyone is going to look at those weddings and think, “That was so 2011.” Eek. Stop being wooed by fads!

Stop Publishing Crappy Photography!

Let me tell you, those 1970s, flower-child, hippy-happy weddings are not helping you find your unique style for your blog. It’s also nauseating to scroll through all those bile-yellow filtered photographs of fields with the bride and groom all but obscured by fake, Photoshopped “sun-flares.”

We get it. It’s the trend. But let’s face it, it’s not a very attractive one. Perhaps it’s time to move on. Perhaps it’s time to consider accepting clear, clean photographs with accurate color. Photographs of the type of weddings that we all actually attend: regular ones. I guarantee these well-documented, professionally-shot weddings that honor true color will be the classics in 25 years. They are honest.

Want to know how to find better photographers?

Stop picking photographers exclusively from your preferred vendor list. You know who and what I’m talking about. I’m referring to those photographers who pay you to be listed. Maybe, just maybe, there is someone out there whose work you really like, but who isn’t advertising with you. And maybe, if you find a wedding from that person, you can publish it without saying something like: “Oh this is good. We’d love to publish it, but you’ll have a better chance of getting published if you advertise with us.” Really? Seriously? That’s what you’re going with? That’s your bottom line?

OK, fine. Then select advertisers whose work you can stand behind. This is important. Readers turn to you for solid recommendations. When selecting vendors, consider skill level, not just sales revenue. Then, when someone advertises with you, you can in good conscious publish one of their weddings or even ask for an expert interview. It’s upsetting when we photographers pay hundreds of dollars to advertise with you and our weddings are turned down, but you’ll publish some hack who not only isn’t advertising with you, but they also take horrible photographs. Oh, but I forgot, the bridal party is sporting twigs in their hair. Come on! I know you’re smarter than that. Aren’t you?

Does this sound like the rant of a photographer who rarely gets published? It sure does. But honestly, I’m published quite frequently. I am most thankful to the little, upcoming blogs that may soon rise up and take over with their good photography and their variety of wedding types. Of course unique weddings that I’ve shot invariably get accepted much faster and in much larger publications. But it breaks my heart when some of my “regular” weddings, which are often gorgeous in their own right, don’t get accepted at all, with the reply that there “aren’t enough details,” even when there are what I consider a decent number of details. Look, I’m a detail-oriented photographer; I always make sure I get a variety of shots. But at the end of the day, those in-between weddings that I shoot, that are unique and held in gorgeous locations, don’t get accepted because they aren’t as wildly eccentric as the weddings that are in the spotlight now.

I love to photograph detailed weddings as much as the next photographer, but all weddings need to be loved! And all brides and grooms need to beloved.

How did this turn into high-fashion? Why are we daily hosting a who-can-have-the-weirdest-decorations-and-wedding-dress contest?

I know this is a lot to ask. And I know the problem doesn’t lie just with wedding bloggers. I also know why you exclusively accept highly-styled shoots and weddings; I understand that you have to make a living, too. You need to attract new readers and new advertisers. You feel the only way to do that is to be unique, to carve out your niche, to offer something new and novel every day. But this fantasy wedding world is not the reality of most weddings.  As you continue to gain respect and power as a legitimate media source, your responsibility toward your readers grows. Don’t screw up their heads with a constant barrage of the unattainable. Give them something they can relate to.

Just Get Real

So, it’s time to start including the bride who doesn’t have the time or money for a mid-century-modern, ironic vanity fair.  Let’s celebrate the bride who doesn’t have a craft studio that would make Martha jealous. It’s high time we honor the experiences and pictures of the average wedding that may have simple details, but always has lots of laughter and family and friends. These weddings *can* teach us something about the true meaning of weddings and of marriage. In fact, they do every weekend during wedding season. I think these pictures should be readily available. Don’t be afraid to celebrate the average wedding. It will be okay–more than okay. It will be honest and heartfelt and full of life and substance. It will be real. Really real. I promise. 

About the Author: Meg Surly (not her real name) is an accomplished wedding photographer who has seen her work published in both big blogs and small, as well as in print. When not photographing weddings, she seriously considers starting a non-profit to support couples who need an antidote to the Bridal Koolaid, and to help bloggers in desperate need of a reality check.

About Cockles and Pretties: Cockles and Pretties is not a real blog. It’s a combination of everything wrong with many popular wedding blogs.

 

Christie Osborne
Christie Osborne has lived in or visited every mountain range in the US. Once a mountain bride herself, she's dedicated to helping mountain brides plan their weddings and find the perfect vendors. She's known in the blogging world for her no-nonsense attitude, and she loves to ski. Follow Mountainside Bride on Twitter Facebook and Pinterest.
Christie Osborne
Which is YOUR favorite? http://t.co/fVFP7SHT18 By: Kat Deco - 20 hours ago
Christie Osborne

Comments

  1. sarah b says

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!! As i’m getting ready for my upcoming wedding (oct 22!) it’s refreshing to hear someone speak out about the plethora of vintage, mason jars, homemade etc or on the other hand, super-skinny brides with ridiculous venues and flower budgets. I tried staying out of the traditional “wedding industry” to maintain perspective and instead got bombarded with burlap. I’ve done a lot of simple, classic crafts with my fiance to save money – no they’re not perfect, but it’s from the heart. All these blogs make me feel inadequate because I don’t have an army lined up with twine and wildflowers. Where are the stories about the challenges couples have gone through to be together? Let’s celebrate love and committment. Thank you for the reality check!

    • says

      I specifically put a section on my wedding blog for love stories because I think all of the things leading up to the wedding are so important! I agree with you that the world of burlap and mason jars is great for some, but just really not for me.

  2. says

    This was very satisfying to read.

    Christie, I’ve noticed the more scared you are to say it, the more I enjoy it. Here’s hoping for something you’re terrified of next :)

  3. says

    Wonderfully written. With all of the uber-stylized weddings in the blogosphere and in print magazines it’s so hard to remember as a couple that weddings aren’t about being print-perfect. They’re about you, your friends, and your family and whatever makes you happy. All of the little details really don’t matter in the end.

  4. says

    Flipping brilliant…I think so many photographers want to be with the “in” crowd that they lost focus on who they actualy work for…Not the bloggers but their clients…SHOCK…
    Love it
    Linking too….x

  5. says

    This was well said and I do know quite a few blogs that focus on these so called “trends” each and every day and many do feature the same photographers over and over again. But, I don’t do that and for reasons stated in this letter, that’s exactly why. I want to attract all kinds of brides so they can see the many ideas that exist out there and yes, many are budget friendly and not over the top and can be attainable and *gasp* even possible to re-create.

  6. says

    Wow some of this seems like it was stolen right out of my own head…!

  7. says

    Meg Surly, I love you. It is high time we see more REAL in “real weddings”.

  8. says

    What a fantastic letter. I have well over 400 wedding blogs in my reader and I can tell you that obscure/ offbeat/ alternative eye candy gets the hits and the simple, not so much.
    *Sometimes* for wedding bloggers it’s less about genuinely helping the bride to be reader and more about pleasing the advertisers with the amount of views/hits the blog gets.
    Thanks for posting this!

  9. says

    Awesome…plain and simple. Thank you!! I’ve shot tons of amazing weddings for “normal” couples with nary a mason jar, paper mache bird, or scrap of burlap in sight. I want Every.Single.One. of my brides to feel like her wedding was the most beautiful it possibly could have been, not like a competition she has to win. In lieu of stressing myself out attempting to have work published I focus on delivering the best of photos of the best day to the best clients I could imagine. Good for you for saying what we are ALL thinking.

  10. Shelli says

    Very well said – and about time someone said it!!

  11. says

    I hope that in my Blog I strike a balance. I love all types of wedding and yes I love a detail packed affair as much as the next person but also just love seeing people in love in what every fashion their day is. Each wedding is unique as its personal to that couple.

    The problem I have is different but the same, I constantly get told by photographers that the weddings are going to the BIG BLOGGERS even if you have asked first.

    I get told this is a business decision but the more popular and successful bloggers didn’t get to the position they are in without starting somewhere.

    I can see it is completely demoralising to have your work rejected or not thought of as special enough because it doesn’t fit into some genre or is thought of as too cookkie cutter or fluff.

    Every wedding or event is special and amazing because a bond is being created between 2 people and however cool or not your images are, that same love is there.

    So yes I agree wedding bloggers can such k but not all of us and to the same respect, wedding photographers can too.

    Please think of us little Bloggers because hopefully one day we will make it big too and will have been proud to have you along for the ride !

    http://www.plansandpresents.blogspot.com

  12. Lou {www} says

    Such a great article here. It’s really important to me to have a variety of different wedding tastes and styles on {www} so to appeal every bride and also to provide different options for their wedding style. For me amazing photography is paramount to amazing details… And a simple yet incredibly shot wedding would most definitely get accepted by me. Also if one of my advertisers submitted a wedding that didn’t fit the style of the blog it would be turned down. I have to stay true to my tastes and that of my readers :-) I guess the sticking point is blogs are to provide inspiration, perhaps the fear of a simple wedding wouldn’t feel ‘inspirational’ to brides, when actually you are right… It can be. Couples can say we want it to be simple just look at that wedding it was gorgeous….. xoxo

  13. George Bailey says

    The thing I’m most tired of? Going to a wedding blog and seeing a wedding post…but the pictures are of nothing but ‘things’ : cakes, shoes, flowers, a bride, and groom. You would have no indication a wedding actually happened. That is HORSE SH&T. Equally tired of the wedding photographers that jump up and down excitedly while bragging about said horse sh&t being published.

  14. Tia says

    When I first started looking at wedding blogs all of these super indie-looking home made detailed weddings were great. I fell for them, they had a charm. I am, however, incredibly sick of them. They are over-done. Plus, the amount of crafty things I wanted to do became overwhelming. Some of their ideas are still nice but I basically said “screw it, we’re going to the Caribbean” Problem solved, no crafts for me.

  15. says

    I love it. It is SO very true. You nailed it. I was recently turned away from rock and roll bride and green wedding shoes with a perfectly gorgeous small budget wedding and realized quickly that it was not because of my photography but politics. Screw em. I prefer the oddball small budget wedding where the focus is on the people and relationships themselves and not impressing guests. I certainly relate more to the regular down to earth bride and honestly I find the people in attendance way more interesting than the details any day.

    hats off to you fellow photographer for speaking your mind.

    • says

      Photographers and bloggers often forget that the most important detail is the guest list. None of the rest of it matters the day AFTER the wedding. Besides, the details are inanimate objects, so not difficult to photograph… Though I’m a really good Photographer, my work continually gets rejected because my weddings don’t have enough vendors. Most of the time, they pick locations that take care of everything. Gorgeous weddings with tons of details, yet not enough different vendors. LAME.

  16. says

    Wow! That really rings true! As a potential bride I was in love with the wedding blogs until I realized I couldn’t afford everything that was “trendy.” As a wedding blogger I strive to picture real brides and weddings–but, I have a Jewish wedding niche; so, it’s easy for me to do. I think as bloggers if we hone in on our specific audience we can please both readers and advertisers. But, it is a good reminder to focus on the pictures of smiles and love, not just the detail shots. To all the photographers, it also takes work on your part–you have to submit to the wedding blogs which fit your style and the current client and also recommend certain blogs to your clients–so, they don’t get overwhelmed and feel “boring.” To the Hindsight Bride, I am your newest follower on twitter, your newest fan and newest regular reader. Kudos to you for being afraid and publishing it anyway. I hope I can grow to be just like you. Mazel Tov!

  17. says

    There’s a pretty reasonable explanation. :)

    1. What if commentators flay me? There are two types of commentators – “real people” and bloggers. Real people don’t comment as much anymore. Apparently, Facebook and Twitter are more interesting. And let’s face it, it’s no big deal anymore to post a comment. And bloggers are a completely different breed of commentators. How shall I put it… I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours. Sound familiar? (Little do they know that Google values only relevant comments. “Cute”, “great post”, “love your blog”… I delete such comments.)

    2. What if I upset or anger someone & What if I lose the support of my community? These questions are interlinked as is their answer. Saying the truth and getting someone angry is a great strategy to reach new readers. Angry people shout and scream, so many ‘real people’ and bloggers will want to see what the fuss is about. And most importantly, you will feel good about yourself.

    So, go ahead and start making all those nasty remarks about Kate Middleton. Or, you can say: “Oh, she’s stunning! Love her gown! Bla, bla bla…” Okay, she’s not ugly, she’s… cute. But definitely not drop dead gorgeous. On the other hand, everyone (popular magazines, famous stylists and even small bloggers…) say she is. And that’s just a strategy that brings them money (popular magazines), respect (famous stylists), or stupid “look at me” attention (small bloggers).

    3. “…hippy-happy weddings are not helping you find your unique style…” Keep in mind, some of those posts are paid posts (even if the blog states that the author’s opinion is of her own). Being the best in your business is just not enough.

    p.s. Pragmatism makes the world go round and not idealism. :)

    p.s. p.s. Have you read Thus Spoke Zarathustra?

  18. says

    I can’t thank you enough! I’m sharing and linking. This should be delivered to everyone in the wedding industry with a cute little satin bow on it. Oh, I forgot, timeless satin and grosgrain were replaced with twine and jute. Sad.

  19. says

    I got told as a Blogger by one photographer you can have this wedding if RNRB doesn’t want it. I publish weddings/engagement/trash the dress that I love but do not stick myself in a genre as as a wedding planner I don’t want to limit myself to the work that I do. Each couples big day is original in the very essence that they are unique as a couple so why put yourself in a box and I publish work form all levels of photographer from new to very experienced and of all different kinds of days as all weddings ARE SPECIAL. Brides find that wedding blogs can be so overwhelming anyway and the pressure put on them when ONLY detailed filled big days are shown is just wrong as one of the other posters said some couples are thinking theirs is too plain. NO NO NO.

  20. says

    Thank you. I rarely do “vintage” weddings, I like modern weddings that reflect the couple not trends.

    I have seen that shotty photography (I’m a wedding planner and I can spot it). When my photos look better than the ones shot by the “professional” there’s an issue.

    As for photos of the cake and feet that was said above. I like those shots, it is an artistic shot that allows the imagination to take over, I love those photos. I love detail shots. I need detail shots. I am, however, sick of the yellowing of photos, why does everyone have jaundice?

  21. Charlotte says

    And to further the point of Meg Surly, I’ve been published several times. And every single one of those has been my stylized shoots.

    Every REAL wedding I’ve submitted has been turned down or rejected. It makes me very, very sad.

  22. says

    I both agree and disagree with this post. I know couples often feel like their wedding has to be a competition due to all the gorgeousness circulating on wedding blogs. I absolutely know that many times those weddings cost a TON of money and are not realistic for everyone which can leave people feeling frustrated. However there are ALL sorts of blogs out there, some for budget brides, some for modern brides, off beat brides, gay couples, mountain brides, plus sized brides etc. The whole point of a wedding blog is to feature inspiration that other planning couples could get ideas from. The goal is not to have couples create exact replicas but maybe to see books used instead of flowers or a short dress instead of a long one, that might actually save them money in the end. If I posted plain and simple weddings day after day, people would lose interest. They don’t care about the couple, they don’t know them. They want to see details. All weddings are perfect and beautiful but they are not all a fit for wedding blogs. Not because they are boring, but because let’s face it, who wants to look at a stranger’s wedding photos? Bloggers don’t know couples like photographers do, we don’t know their stories, how fun they were or how great their families are. We only have photos. I’ve seen everything from $2,000 weddings to elopements, to court house weddings, to adorably simple e-sessions, featured on blogs. For those of us in the industry who look at blogs day after day, it is easy to want to puke every time you see burlap or mason jars. However these are REAL weddings on blogs with REAL couples. To mock their choices, call them over done or too trendy, is no better than telling the simple weddings that they are boring. Couples have one chance to get married, they generally don’t look at blogs day in and day out like we do. If they want mason jars, burlap, and quilts so be it. Clearly it is appreciated by couples or blogs would quit posting it. A magazine is not likely to post a super simple wedding either, because again published weddings are those that are unique in some way or yes, trendy, or something that readers can gain inspiration from. Sure, not everyone can DIY all the details, or spend thousands of dollars on flowers, but that doesn’t mean that those who do should be ridiculed as unrealistic or suggested that they are just trying to impress guests or get their weddings published. Regardless of whether you have a simple wedding or a crazy fancy wedding, couples should stay true to themselves and what it is all about and not worry about any one else’s wedding whether that be their sister’s or something they saw on a blog.

  23. says

    Just a few points from my point of view as a wedding planner / stylist and wedding blogger.

    I don’t disagree with her points, but there are a some I am not quite on the same page about. I think as a wedding vendor, if you want to have a wedding published, it is so so important that you are seeking out the right form of publication that fits with the wedding you are wanting featured (this goes for print or online). If you have an overly modern wedding, don’t share it with the vintage blog. Understand who your target is, and who the target of the blog or magazine is. They need to fit.

    As a bride, I think what everyone needs to understand is that many of the weddings we feature are meant for inspiration. Obviously, we cannot all afford to have an elaborate tablescape, so instead, use an image or wedding as inspiration by pulling pieces and elements that would work with your soiree. In my wedding planning role, I make it an effort to educate my brides about how to do this, so they DON’T get discouraged by the weddings that are all over the place.

    And, when it comes to me featuring weddings on my blog, I make every effort to understand the couple’s story. While the details are beautiful, I want to hear about their day. Their love. Their families. That bit is ever just as important as the photos, if not more, in my opinion. I oftentimes turn away weddings because of a lack of information or details, and give the photographer (or other vendor) the chance to resubmit. Or, if that is not the case, I explain why – I may have just featured a wedding with similar details. Or, I’m changing formats to fit another season, etc.

    I think what is important is that we work together to educate each other and better understand each other’s needs. There are plenty of wonderful blogs out there who all have their niches – from “A Practical Wedding” to “Every Last Detail.” Each of us aim to target a certain type of bride.

    I think it’s great that another vendor is encouraging this conversation. We cannot all grow if we aren’t talking about it.

  24. says

    I have mixed feelings about it though. At first I was almost defensive toward the wedding bloggers simply because it is their right to publish who and what kind of weddings speak to them. Are brides really going to want to continue visiting a wedding blog that shows a boring or ugly wedding at the VFW? NO! They want to see things that inspire them and then they want to try to DIY their way to a wedding just as fabulous!

    On the other hand though… I totally agree that blogs should be willing to look at more than those paying photographers who pay to be listed on their site. I think it is sad that I would have to pay someone to publish one of my weddings.

    I will say, though that I blog every single one of my weddings. The good, the bad, and the ugly! I challenge myself to make the VFW look like a cathedral when I shoot so that it looks beautiful and I don’t mind showing it on my blog. I have never had a bride tell me, “I’m sorry this wedding is so plain or boring.” I’ve never had a bride say, “I’m sorry my wedding isn’t that fancy or pretty.” I’ve never had a bride say these things to me because I make it my goal to make her feel like she has the most beautiful wedding in the world. I never stop telling her how amazed I am with the details and how beautiful she is.

    Bottom line? YES! There needs to be more wedding blogs out there that are willing to publish more than just weddings with blue mason jars. I would love to see more unique wedding blogs because they are all beginning to look the same. But they have the right to publish whatever they want to. Just like we do. (Yes I am a photographer)

    And bloggers cannot be blamed for a bride feeling like her wedding is inadequate. It is my job to make my brides feel amazing! My FIRST goal as a wedding photographer is to give them a wedding day experience that they will never forget. My SECOND job is to shoot their wedding.

  25. says

    AMEN AMEN AMEN!! As a now-full time wedding blog and former industry pro, I totally understand ALL of this! I myself focus on featuring weddings of all different styles, locations, shapes and sizes- my only requirements are that there are at least 3 details that can be focused on and great photography.

    I think that every wedding blog has their own “niche” market, and brides know that they can go to that blog to find something in particular. Of course it’s always nice to see new and unique things, but there are only *so many* ideas that can be used, repurposed, and recycled. I think that’s why vintage was so popular.

    But when it comes down to it, it’s about styles. All brides have different styles. Some brides are incredibly modern, and they should be the ones having modern weddings, not feeling pushed to have a vintage shabby chic wedding. Unfortunately, I think they are often times pushed into a style of wedding that isn’t their own because vendors feel like that’s the only way they’ll be published. But that’s where it’s vendors’ jobs to educate themselves on what wedding blogs are out there and know that there is always a place for a wedding to be featured.

    Ultimately, for me as a blogger, it’s about inspiring and educating other brides. I myself was a bride with a wedding in a big church and a reception at a country club. And it was incredibly difficult to find inspiration for that. Which is why I chose to focus on all different styles of weddings.

    So vendors, go for it! Submit your “normal” weddings! The majority of brides aren’t getting married outdoors in a mountain setting with cotton as their flowers, and they need inspiration. Send it to us! :)

    PS- Brit, thanks for the shout out ;)

  26. says

    I love a lot of what you say here, but I have to disagree with one of your points. My job as a publisher is NOT to “document this event for all couples.” My job is to provide inspiration & ideas. Brides shouldn’t be looking to blogs for validation and realism any more than they look to fashion magazines for the same. I agree that brides who double as models and weddings high on style and devoid of personality are not inspiring. But neither is the every day could be anyone, anywhere wedding.We publish a huge variety of weddings, all we ask is that the wedding tell a story that’s interesting to someone other than the bride and groom. We’re open to any submission of an interesting wedding.

  27. Nicole M. says

    This is a great post! I’m already married and I got married in an insurance office by the Justice of the Peace. However, I’m still a girl and I enjoy perusing wedding blogs (and magazines!) every now and then. However, it does sadden me that I never find anything “real”. I don’t imagine any of my best friends in any of these uber-stylized perfect weddings. I imagine some hoity-toity bitch that probably left her groom in the dust of her wedding decor tornado. There’s so many trendy weddings that I wonder if anyone actually even likes the stuff or if they’re just into it because they’ve been brainwashed. It definitely makes sense that bloggers are a form of media these days and I hope more blogs take note.

  28. says

    Kudos for this post! In a sea of child-like themed weddings, the “real” weddings should simple be those where the couples are radiating happiness. That’s the bottom line. We strive to feature our own real weddings and ideas and weddings and shoots that make us smile as they are romantic, fun, and show a happy couple, no matter how they look, simply being happy!

    Superb post!

  29. says

    A very interesting read, and some good points very well made. I agree that the core essence of a wedding should be the emotions and the people there and that the decorations and elaborations should take second place to these, absolutely. There are no better shots than simply those than show the emotions, no matter what the budget of the wedding or the people in them.

  30. says

    Thanks for posting. Timeless photos are better than trendy photos.

  31. says

    Yes, yes, YES!!! I always feel bad when brides apologize to me for their “boring” wedding. Isn’t a wedding supposed to be all about the celebration???

    YES!!!

  32. says

    Thank you for the common sense! I blog all my couples. They are all unique, gorgeous and fun in their own ways. Most have put a lot of effort into their big day & I like to showcase the uniqueness of each couple, no matter if they are wearing a handmade birdsnest hat or not!

  33. says

    Bravo! I’m over the yellow tint and heavy vignetting. Let’s get back to realism. Great post. Ms Surly ;>)

  34. says

    Great article, written from the heart but so very true and very brave to speak out, it shouldnt be about the image but the love and occassion, where ever it is, who ever they are, what ever they are wearing -capture the moment !

  35. says

    I just launched a wedding inspiration blog and mainly did it for the reasons the author stated above. I love and respect all the wedding blogs out there but I felt that too much of the same thing was being featured. Prior to starting my blog, I was pursuing photography professional (which I now do as a hobby). I thought my work was great but it constantly got shot down by other blogs. But that’s not the point. I applaud the author for posting this. Thank you for voicing your opinion! *clap clap* :))) <3

  36. says

    Just, yes. Exactly this. This is what’s happening, this is a problem, this needs to change.

    And you know how it changes? READ BETTER BLOGS. Stop reading and supporting the blogs that are promoting endless vintage filtered detail-y weddings that don’t make brides feel good about themselves, and don’t support awesome small businesses. Stop with your eyeballs, stop with your dollars, and things will change.

    Be the change ladies. Let’s do it.

  37. says

    What a great article / letter and one which I bet a lot of photographs wholeheartedly agree with, it will be interesting to see which if any blogs take these points into consideration!

  38. says

    Great article. Well and truly written. Thank you for sharing!

  39. says

    I LOVE this blog post; thank you to the photographer who wrote it and to Hindsight Bride for publishing it. While I am a lover of pretty, detailed, and over-the-top weddings, I agree that they are not very realistic and to not represent the average wedding. Most wedding blogs are starting to look the same and only feature the same type of weddings. It would be great to see more variety of weddings and photography featured for inspiration for the real bride. Thanks again!

  40. cartascartas says

    BRAVO!

  41. says

    YES YES YES! this blog post is so refreshing. I too have been published on big and small blogs as well as print, but I have had great weddinga turned down also. Many of my brides do visit these blogs for inspiration, and they tell me they picked me because i photograph real couples and weddings.

  42. says

    As a fellow wedding photographer, I have to say, I think this article kind of misses the point. Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE shooting weddings for clients in simple venues with few “unique” details when they are sweet people who are clearly in love, and when I shoot, I focus on the emotions and interactions. That said, I don’t think that means that wedding blogs need to cover all of these events. Contrary to the writer’s sentiment, wedding blogs are about the WEDDINGS, not about the photographers. Getting a wedding featured isn’t just about showing up and doing a great job with your camera, it’s about the couple, the planners, the vendors, the venues… everyone who makes the day what it is. Yes, some of the photography featured is sub-par, but if a couple and planner do an amazing job on an event, there’s no reason other brides can’t get great ideas from it as long as the photography at least captures the idea.

    My background is in fashion design, so let me pull an example from that. Are the models and clothing and details shown in Vogue or W or any similar fashion magazine realistic and achievable by the average woman? Of course not. Do they maybe make some women feel inadequate about their bodies and wardrobe? Yup. But do we keep reading them? We sure do. And if those magazines were full of “real” women in “attainable” clothing from H&M and Macy’s, would anyone buy them? Nope. We all say we would, but those magazines inevitably go under shortly after publication.

    Brides come to blogs for the same reason women read magazines: For inspiration on how to plan their wedding. Of course we can’t all have it all, but we come for the ideas and the fantasy and then translate them down to something that does fit into our own lifestyle. I don’t think brides come to the blogs to see other happy couples; They’re already part of a happy couple! They come to get ideas for their own weddings, and that’s what the far out super-styled weddings deliver. “Average weddings” can still make for photos that are fun to look at, but brides aren’t going to take away many ideas to put toward their own event.

    So keep it coming with the twigs and the vintage details! I may be a wedding photographer who loves all my clients, even the ones who get married at golf clubs, but I’m also a 27 year old girl who wants to get married someday myself, and I love the inspiration!

  43. says

    Well said, thank you! And let’s not forget the so-called “styled shoots” produced (usually poorly) solely to pad the participants’ blogs.

  44. says

    Fantastic read…. Thanks for sharing, A blog post that was long overdue… Many people have had more than enough of photographers ruining perfectly good photographs with vintage actions that will look dreadful in a few years time if not now already. It seems that weddings are turning into stylised shoots and portfolio filling sessions with very little emphasis on interactions and emotions. Bring on the real wedding days not the stock photography portfolios.

  45. says

    As a fellow wedding photographer, I have to say, I think this article kind of misses the point. Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE shooting weddings for clients in simple venues with few “unique” details when they are sweet people who are clearly in love, and when I shoot, I focus on the emotions and interactions. That said, I don’t think that means that wedding blogs need to cover all of these events. Contrary to the writer’s sentiment, wedding blogs are about the WEDDINGS, not about the photographers. Getting a wedding featured isn’t just about showing up and doing a great job with your camera, it’s about the couple, the planners, the vendors, the venues… everyone who makes the day what it is. Yes, some of the photography featured is sub-par, but if a couple and planner do an amazing job on an event, there’s no reason other brides can’t get great ideas from it as long as the photography at least captures the idea.

    My background is in fashion design, so let me pull an example from that. Are the models and clothing and details shown in Vogue or W or any similar fashion magazine realistic and achievable by the average woman? Of course not. Do they maybe make some women feel inadequate about their bodies and wardrobe? Sometimes. But do we keep reading them? We sure do. And if those magazines were full of “real” women in “attainable” clothing from H&M and Macy’s, would anyone buy them? Nope. We all say we would, but those magazines inevitably go under shortly after publication.

    Brides come to blogs for the same reason women read magazines: For inspiration on how to plan their wedding. Of course we can’t all have it all, but we come for the ideas and the fantasy and then translate them down to something that does fit into our own lifestyle. I don’t think brides come to the blogs to see other happy couples; They’re already part of a happy couple! They come to get ideas for their own weddings, and that’s what the far out super-styled weddings deliver. “Average weddings” can still make for photos that are fun to look at, but brides aren’t going to take away many ideas to put toward their own event.

    So keep it coming with the twigs and the vintage details! I may be a wedding photographer who loves all my clients, even the ones who get married at golf clubs, but I’m also a 27 year old girl who plans to get married someday myself, and I love the inspiration!

  46. says

    Very good! I’ve been thinking the same for some time! Vintage will come to the end very soon if it hasn’t started to already! Real weddings are what we all shoot every weekend! I had a wedding refused by a blog.it was 100% art deco with vintage cars and original clothing etc I shot it with studio lighting to create a Hollywood look and the couple were amazing! The blog turned it down as the couple were considered too old! Another wedding was too plain and the dress wasn’t an Ian Stuart!!!

  47. Kerry Morgan says

    At last someone said what we were all thinking. Great post.

  48. says

    This post is all sorts of win. Thanks for saying what a lot of us were thinking… having been planning a wedding and fallen into a sort of “trance” looking at these blogs- I wanted the mason jars (I’m using them) and the cute crafts- EVERYTHING CRAFTED. I started to realize how unrealistic it is if you have a budget and don’t live in northern california… and out of everything I wanted to craft, my programs and center pieces made the cut and even THEY took forever… thankfully- I am not involving birds- or bird cages… obviously people have pulled these weddings off and kudos to them- I see a lot of good stuff… but I do miss those hints of classic weddings and I long for them while peering through the endless wheat fields of all the bohemian chic weddings that make the blogging cut.

  49. Christina says

    Thank you thank you thank you! After feeling not “offbeat” enough for the past few weeks (I’m one of those average brides you talk about), finally a post that reaffirms exactly what a wedding is supposed to be: a celebration, not a contest.

  50. says

    THANK YOU! AMEN AMEN AMEN a million times. I’m getting married next August and it’s been disheartening to peruse the wedding blogosphere. Most of it’s not a reality. Browsing all this stuff was fun for a week until I snapped back into reality!

  51. Dori says

    Amen, amen, amen. If we’re banning burlap, can we also put a moratorium on mustache-on-a-stick and shots in fake picture frames (the kind people hold up and pose in)?

  52. says

    Thank you Meg Surly for writing this letter. And thank you Christie O. for posting the letter. Both of you were brave and thought out of the box to do so. I got married in June and know that my wedding was submitted to sites (by more than one person) and turned down. I was married at a country club in a traditional, formal setting. Sure there were do-it-yourself touches (I calligraphied all 160 escort cards, I hand-painted my own aisle runner, I made my own candle sticks to line the aisle, I designed and printed my programs and menus…). But there weren’t birdcages or burlap sacks, my escort cards were not in the form of fair admissions tickets, and didn’t use wild flowers. While I have many detail shots, I specifically told my photographer to focus on people and to capture the love present. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy looking at pictures showing weddings like those described above (they really are beautiful). But at the same time it can be a bummer that my wedding isn’t “good enough” for the wedding blogs because it doesn’t fit the current fad. I would imagine not not every bride wants the current fad for her wedding. Shouldn’t we get inspiration for those too?

  53. says

    This has really comforted me. And it’s not just the blogs: I *actually* worried that our photographer didn’t like us because our wedding wasn’t as cool/pretty/heartfelt (?) as her others. I apologized that the details I ached over and loved were ones she’d seen before. Like, it was something that caused me real stress. I loved the way my wedding looked, but I found it impossible to shake off the idea that if it wasn’t perfect and unique by blog/wedding photographer standards, then it wasn’t good enough.

    Every bride who gushes about how perfect their day was broke my heart a little. I loved my wedding day, but it wasn’t perfect. At all. And that was OK – this post details some of the reasons why that is so hard for some of us to accept. Thank you so much, Ms Surly!

  54. moe says

    From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU for writing this. I am planning my wedding and just can’t find a wedding blog that is at all relevant to my church wedding and country club reception. my flowers won’t be picked from a field that day – we won’t be riding bikes – and there won’t be a mason jar within a few miles of my wedding. So…based on what’s out there – I haven’t been able to find much to actually inspire me. Heartbreaking.

    Thank you for speaking up. “typical” people get married every day – and yet I never get to read about them…

  55. says

    Well said!! I took the decision a few years ago to keep my images and style simple, clean and timeless rather than over processing it with actions, I want my couples to look back at their images and think the only to age is their hair style and outfits, not their photography. I also agree that we should be celebrating every wedding and not making our brides feel guilty about what they can’t afford, don’t have time to make or just prefer not to do. A wedding is about the couple and their love for each other as they start their married life together not all the details and fashion. So I come back to the start, WELL SAID!!!

  56. says

    I met a bride this evening for a consult, and she was not interested in the detail of the day, and was almost apologetic about not being interested in all the shoes/flowers/seat backs. I told her (which I tell most couples) that the most memorable weddings are the ones where you get a personal insight into who the bride and groom are, and that may be through nickynackies, but it is mainly through how they are in the ceremony, the feel of the afternoon and the speeches, and the emotions that come across – if you are yourselves then that is what will come across, and make the day a success…..

    The most bored guests I have ever seen were at a wedding where money was simply no object…..

  57. says

    THANK YOU for posting this, because this has happened to me quick often, and not saying I’m the best but I’m good and felt most of my submissions should have gotten chosen but instead didn’t because I don’t think I met the criteria of you listed above. Thank you again!!!!!

  58. says

    Thank You. My style of photography is “just as it happens”… I shoot predominantly intimate weddings, maybe just the bride & groom and a couple of hastily gathered witnesses. I rarely post images,,, not because I don’t think the photos are good enough, but because I don’t heavily post process, using filters, actions etc – my style is considered “boring” yet I think they are timeless.. I really appreciate your words – very uplifting :)

  59. maren says

    love this! well said!

  60. says

    Thank you for this. As a real bride (May 2012) and a budget wedding blogger who’s target audience is more Target and VFW hall than Manolos and the NYC Public Library (seriously, for my brides, buying something at J Crew on a super clearance sale is splurging), I am SO HAPPY to read this. Not that I don’t love Mason jars and handmade touches but some people cannot do that!

    If you (or anyone you know) want to submit your VFW weddings to my blog – bring it. I’m tired of turning down super fancy, boring ones.

  61. says

    I swear I may have written this article in my sleep!! Well said “Meg”.
    While we all love a detailed wedding, I’d love to see the “fabulous” weddings blogged. The ones where the bride spent a killing! Honestly, it happens, and they’re worth showing off!! The DIY style is cute, but its not everyone’s style!! Give the other brides a reason to stick around your blog and read it.

  62. says

    Amen to that! I have to admit that I suffered from burlapmania the other day by way of an inspiration board, but many a time, I feel I need apologise for my ‘plain’ blog. My blog is very niche and I had an idea for another general blog for ‘normal’ brides but thought perhaps it wouldn’t be good enough.

    I even sometimes wish I could redo my own wedding, but on reflection, I only feel that way because of what I see around now on wedding blogs. I had a perfectly wonderful wedding with a reception in a school hall and fake flowers but it was fab.

    Thanks so much for this breath of fresh air!

  63. Tim H., Victoria BC says

    They learned this from the fashion/style sections of the newspaper. The model is wearing a $175 white T-shirt and $200 socks, with a $300 plain strip of leather on her wrist. $500 jeans, a $3000 watch and a $200 scarf.

    They learned it from the automotive section of the paper, where the base model of the car is never good enough, and 300hp just won’t do. Gotta have the 20-speaker stereo and the leather seats.

    Folks, these are NOT blogs or “news” – they are flat-out advertising sites.
    Once you accept that, you can stop wasting your time there.

  64. says

    What a great post and great comments. As a planner I always tell our clients that the best trend is to be yourself and stay true to your vision…just because something is trendy now doesn’t mean you have to follow the crowd. Our favorite weddings are those where the emotion is felt all day, the guests and the couple are clearly having a fabulous time, and we make a real personal connection with everyone involved.

  65. says

    As a wedding planner I know “classic weddings” do still exist. I also wish they were featured more on blogs and in magazines. My #1 goal as a wedding planner is to encourage my clients to make their wedding about them and their own personal style. So if it’s not “Style Me Pretty” worthy, so what, it’s about them and that’s what they will remember.

  66. says

    Maybe you guys are looking to publish in all the wrong places……we except all weddings on our blogs maybe you guys should try blogs that aren’t into the popularity contest or unique only weddings….Just sayin!

  67. says

    Spot on. Thank you for writing what I think about.

  68. says

    This is so funny that I almost pee’d in my pants… you know.. pee, as in the color of most blogs photographs, lol

  69. says

    Wow.

    You mean all “Cool” weddings do not take place in a field? Thanks for telling it like it is, how refreshing.

  70. says

    As a designer and an artist, I felt aesthetics to be very important to my wedding day. Husband and I are both particular people, it is a part of our personalities. We worked with what we had. No flower budget – those wildflowers you’re talking about? Yes, I picked them off the land, and my husband’s mom grew some, so they were FREE. Mason jars cost $0.29 at the thrift store. Try finding a vase for that cheap, let alone the 50+ we needed. We got married on my husband’s parent’s farm. I got a $50 dress off the Anthropologie sale rack. Put it all together with a vision, a whole pile of found materials, and a lot of help from crafty friends. But that’s where my talent is – if yours is say, policework, then what’s wrong with that? You might not have a bloggable wedding, but does that mean you care less about your marriage? Absolutely not.

    What’s forgotten here is that wedding blogs are like fashion magazines, they aren’t going to post the mediocre or plain but the extraordinary, right? Something to inspire you, to show what CAN be, not what usually is. It’s about showing an artistic event, something designed and carefully thought through. This takes skill and a certain type of it to boot. Wedding blogs also quite a bit about trend – let’s not forget that there is an entire wedding industry propping this up.

    A beautiful wedding is really about the couple and their love, decorations be damned. The only problem here is that the *blogs* do not serve the purpose of celebrating a couple – that’s what the WEDDING is for. The blogs care about one thing: wedding porn. Many, many folks don’t have what a ‘bloggable’ wedding, for whatever myriad and totally legit reasons. This is totally normal, but there’s no details really worth blogging about then, wouldn’t you agree?

    Photographers are conscripted to help document the event for the couple. I know our wedding day went by so fast that I am SO thankful for the photographs that will be in a photo album for generations. This means my photog did his job amazingly well. That’s where the satisfaction should come from as a photog, not in whether or not you’re getting on blogs.

  71. says

    Amen! Thank you for posting this (and thanks “Meg” for writing this) – you are both brave souls.

    I wrote a similar post a while back as well, as it was really starting to get to me (http://theinvitationblog.com/2011/04/05/the-invitation-blog-psa-what-you-need-to-know-about-wedding-blogs/).

    I do understand the wedding porn thing, that a wedding blog is basically a digital wedding magazine, and that they most likely aren’t going to showcase your plain old typical wedding. That’s something I don’t necessarily have an issue with, although I do love the niche blogs out there that are doing just that.

    What I don’t love is the blog politics, and the “sameness” of everything. FFS, have people not had enough burlap and mason jars, and brides in fields, and yellow-tinged photos to last a lifetime at this point?

    I think most brides just buy into it being THE thing that they MUST have, and don’t realize that it will simply make their wedding look dated almost immediately.

    It *is* important to show “aspirational weddings” on blogs, for inspiration and just for general eye candy, but can we please get a little variety?

  72. Jane Leonard says

    Awesome article, and oh so true! Job well done!

  73. says

    What an interesting read and I also enjoyed scrolling through the responses. It is very difficult not to be consumed and obsessed by this current trend of vintage, quirky and cupcake filled weddings. As a wedding photographer I find that the style in which I shoot a wedding is pretty much decided by the couple during the pre-wedding meet up and yes I do get requests for the washed out vintage look that you so regularly see on blogs but these are becoming less and less. Most of my recent bookings have been interested in beautiful colour and the compositional elements of a photograph.

    I have never submitted my images to be featured in a blog as I believe that is up to the couple to do. This is the part that confuses me! Why do I always see the same photographers featured on the more popular blogs? It is like a strange inner circle. What is worse is that the photographers are now doing workshops that teach other photographers the same style! It is like some sort of cloning.

    Anyway, I do enjoy gaining inspiration from wedding blogs but they are becoming so similar and predicable. I hope these comments are taken on board by the bloggers and I hope to see some variation soon.

  74. says

    Photographers, as a wedding blogger, I’m begging you to please-please-please submit different styles of weddings!

    We’re drowning in a sea of burlap+field+mason jar+lens flare weddings not because we only want to feature that style but because those are, by far, the vast majority of submitted weddings we’re receiving.

    From many conversations with other bloggers I know we’re not alone in our wish to feature diversity in all areas (style, theme, budget, race, faith/religion, body size, etc.) in the weddings we showcase.

    If you find a blog you like to be featured on, please don’t hesitate to contact the owner to find out what they’re looking for. You may be surprised that we’re looking for exactly what you’ve got.

    Thanks for opening up this conversation, Christie!

  75. Ordinary person in Calgary, Alberta says

    I must say as a person in the wedding industry it does get very tiring seeing the same kind of weddings on blogs. I have had some of my work published (I have a rental company and do decor design) and I have also had some of my work turned down. I always make sure my work is submitted to the proper blog that usually has and features those types of weddings. The majority of our weddings are “real” weddings, not the cutesy mason filled jars, vintage desk in the middle of an open field kind of events. I prefer to not do those kind of events that are “trendy” and work on events that are more unique and personalized to my couples. I create the couple in my work and not what I know will be published, I know this isn’t the case with all since I do know vendors that strictly create weddings based on what they think will sell and be published in blogs. Regardless if the couple wanted burlap and mason jars. This saddens me that some will take advantage of one of the most important days of a couples life, just because it sells.I really listen to my couples and create something that truly reflects them, whether I like it or not.This is why I am in business, to give them the wedding of their dreams.

    I would have to agree that it would be nice that all photographers blog every wedding/portrait session/engagement shoot regardless if it has lots of details or is just the run of the mill kind of wedding. I have had brides be disappointed when “they don’t make the blog” and as a person who recently experienced this, I do know how they feel and it sucks. My family (husband and kids) and I booked a family portrait session with a very well known wedding photographer in our city. It was a very costly expense, actually we spent more on our family session then we did on our wedding photographs!!! This was a luxury item that we surely couldn’t afford but as a new family wanted some beautiful pictures of ourselves together. When we reviewed our photos with the photographer, we loved them all and bought all of them. Another huge expense. But worth it to us since they were of all of us together. Family photos are priceless. Since we knew the photographer was an avid blogger we were waiting on the edge of our seats for the photos to be on the blog. Our family all lives in other cities/continents and they were checking the photographers blog to see our family photos daily. Everyone was excited to see them. I was disappointed that to this day (4 months later), our family photos never were published and never were on there website or blog. As you can imagine as a wedding industry peer I was sadden by this. I felt like one of those brides that “weren’t good enough” or “not pretty enough ” or better yet ” not enough details to showcase” to be on the blog. It really gave me a different perspective on this photographer because of this and I am in the wedding industry. I didn’t want one of my couples to feel the way I did. We paid full price for this family session and purchased all the photos from the photographer and to see other family sessions displayed on the blog that were done after us, was a real eye opener as well as a heartbreaker. My husband and I wondered many times why we didn’t get on the blog and our families have now stopped asking and checking the photographer’s blog for pictures of us. If anything because of it, our family doesn’t think highly of the photographer because they never got to see the pictures. Because of this experience I am allot more sympathetic when one of my clients/brides says to me…”I guess our wedding wasn’t that great, it’s not on the photographers blog” and she is upset. Even though she may have had a wonderful day and in her mind, her wedding is beautiful, every person still wants to feel special and still wants people to see their photos. Why wouldn’t they? It’s the day when they look the most beautiful. So for photographers that don’t want to blog all there weddings/family session/engagements because the couple wasn’t attractive enough, not enough details or the location wasn’t the best, remember in the end everyone has feelings and this is a very special day for that couple.

    “People may not remember what you said, but people remember how you made them feel”

  76. says

    Let me preface by saying that I too am tired of the poorly exposed, yellowed photography that litters “cockles and pretties”. I’m also tired of seeing Anthropologie inspired ANYTHING.

    However, I think that this is a somewhat pointless argument. As a wedding photographer, we’d all love to be featured in publication or a wedding blog. Advertising to thousands of potential brides…what a wonderful thing! We are photographers to make money so we can eat and have shelter and iPhones. These publications/blogs also need to make money. It makes perfect sense that they would feature (and give priority to) the photographers that pay them! I mean, c’mon people!
    And as far as featuring the “average bride”, Brides magazine(or even “cockles and pretties”)is not going to publish Jenny Smith’s church wedding with bad, florescent lighting,fake flowers and ugly town hall reception. It just ain’t gonna happen folks. Jenny Smith’s wedding might have been the most touching, beautiful, fun, and thoughtful wedding in all the land, but it is not going to grace the pages of a blog or magazine. That’s just realistic. It doesn’t stop you the photographer from blogging it though. I agree completely with the writer on that subject. Photographers owe it to their clients to show a well-rounded portfolio. I personally blog every client. I mainly just love their reaction :-)
    Advertisers hire models…because they’re pretty and they will sell more clothes than Jenny Smith would.
    Pretty weddings (and people) inspire. Yes, the average bride won’t have the time, money or even the inclination to hand-make a bunch of birdcages, table numbers, or photo booth props, but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t like to look at those pictures.
    These vintage inspired weddings will become old hat someday (soon I hope)and will follow in the footsteps of other wedding fads. Just don’t blame the advertisers for giving the bride what she wants to see right now. After all, these blogs are for the bride’s inspiration first, right? We photographers are inundated with this crap all the time so OF COURSE we’re sick of it! If Jenny Smith had the money, she would’ve thought moustaches on a stick and vintage suitcases would be SO COOL! And unique! I was just talking to a friend who attended a wedding with “…the coolest dessert bar with cupcakes instead of a cake! AND the decorations were all vintage birds and birdcages PLUS there was this awesome photo booth with funny props!” I’m totally serious. They had never heard or seen such a thing before at a wedding.
    Photographers benefit enormously from bloggers and of course we would LOVE for the bloggers to maybe put a little variety out there, but at the end of the day, that’s their decision.

    Once again, I hate the yellow, out of focus, boring, over-exposed photos too. You would think by now we wouldn’t have to see it day in and day out anymore.

    I guess I’ll just concentrate on giving my brides the best photos they can get and leave it at that.

  77. Marion Adele Marshall says

    Well said! Well said!

  78. says

    As a blogger myself, there are some parts that I fully agree with, while others I’m unsure about. I quite agree with what Alicia from The Charity Wedding and Brit from Landlocked Bride. There are so many types of blogs, some for every type of bride and wedding. Photographers need to do their research before submitting to find the perfect fit for the wedding they are submitting. If you do that, trust me, the rejections will go down like crazy. Also, as a blogger who is also friends with many bloggers, I don’t know of anyone who rejects submissions just because they aren’t an advertiser. If this is what the top blogs are doing, why do you keep submitting to them? There are plenty of us that appreciate all types of weddings and would be overjoyed to feature some gorgeous photography.

    We all appreciate unique details, because we are in the business of inspiring. Let’s face it, that is what every magazine and blog is for. No one picks up a home decoration mag to look at a beige walled, lazyboy couched living room. Wedding blogs and mags are for inspiration pure and simple. We are not wanting brides to recreate everything we post, we want them to find details and ideas they love and make them their own. If they love mason jars, go for it, but I don’t think brides are putting burlap in their weddings just so they can be blogged. And the vintage details are a personal style, not a trend. Is a modern sleek wedding a trend? No, it is a style. You can say burlap and lace are a trend, but having a vintage aesthetic is a style that is usually reflected in wardrobe, home, etc. It makes total sense then that brides would have a vintage styled wedding, because it is their wedding.

    And as for the yellowed photographs, I honestly reject submissions that are overly photoshopped and processed. Gorgeous photography always wins in my book and often makes up for a lack in details.

    So if you photographers just took a second to look outside of the top few blogs, you’d find some awesome bloggers that love great photography and beautiful weddings, and maybe have a better chance at getting published.

  79. says

    Christie (& Meg) this letter completely hit close to home for me. As a blogger who definitely is a part of the problem, I thank you for putting this very TRUE sentiment out there. I readily admit that I am a burlap & lace, mason jar, chandelier in a barn wedding blogger… by design! But that doesn’t mean that I don’t love & appreciate ALL kinds of weddings, and love to see them on other blogs. (& agree I would like to see more of them!)

    My blog originated as a personal bridal blog when I started my wedding planning in 2009. It was a means of communication to my wedding vendors, friends, & family the inspirations behind my big day, which was a “rustic chic” inspired wedding… & then one day I suddenly had followers! Because of these origins I do still cater to this design aesthetic, & yes, while it is now all over the place, I do still love it & find that many brides do too!

    But, no matter what I’m publishing, it is never my intent to make any bride feel inadequate or bad about her big day. In fact, many of (my favorite) featured weddings are those which were submitted by real brides! Brides who’s emails just radiate with excitement about their recent wedding, those who have taken the ideas they have seen online and brought them to life in absolutely beautiful *real* weddings. Brides who so enjoyed the wedding planning process & want to “share my wedding inspirations with future brides”. While I’ll admit that I do love a show-stopping Hollywood-esque rustic chic wedding submission, it is these Real Bride emails & submissions that warm my heart & continue to make blogging worthwhile for me.

  80. A Recent NY Bride says

    I am soo soo sooooo happy to read this letter and even more heartened to read the responses! I love weddings, and wedding blogs were my first go-to, since I could stalk them on the sly before I got engaged! I am the consummate planner, so naturally I felt the need to be “prepared” to move on the wedding planning once I had received the official ask! Needless to say, my head was filled with an ungodly number of ideas, and it was sooo overwhelming to figure out which way to go. I fell in love with vintage because it is predominantly what’s out there. But on top of that, I felt that the blog world seemed to care most about uniqueness. So of course, I couldn’t do a vintage wedding seen anywhere else before! And I couldn’t do anything else that friends or family who got married before us had done, because that be even more unoriginal. Once we were engaged and the wedding planning started, it became evident that it would be both difficult (both in terms of time consumption and complexity of finding resources) and expensive to do, especially doing it on my own. What I came to realize is that for the majority of brides out there:
    – they don’t hire wedding planners or event stylists
    – they do everything themselves, sometimes with the help of family and friends, which makes EVERY wedding DIY and leaves not so much time for handcrafting tens or twenties of different little details
    – lots of brides wear David’s Bridal dresses and shoes from Payless
    – couples by off-the-shelf invitations, favors, programs, etc. because it’s easier

    And that’s all okay! My now-husband and I are quite lucky that both our families were super generous with us and we could do whatever we wanted without worrying so much about costs. Which isn’t to say that we went out and spent freely on rented vintage furniture and n elaborate candy buffet with its own lighting. But as I began to reflect on the idea of “real weddings” I was seeing all over the web, I was saddened to see that the kind of wedding most of my female friends had has never appeared on a blog, and they were some of the best weddings I’ve ever experienced. Weddings that are overtly religious, of minority or interracial/cultural couples, plus-sized brides/couples, or just plain old I can only afford to do a $500 wedding at my old elementary school weddings are certainly not in the majority of features I see on a day-to-day basis. Yes, I see previous commenter’s points about aspiration vs. reality, but everyday people in all kinds of circumstances get married everyday, yet what we see, even in print, is not representative of that. And it does inspire feelings of inadequacy among those who simply can’t pull off whatever they see. As a plus-sized African-American bride who married a white dude, I can’t say that I’ve ever seen myself (or anything even close) in print or online. Did we make the most of our wedding regardless? Absolutely. Was the kind of wedding we had inspired by the visual overstimulation I encountered on the wedding blog circuit? Sure. Do I think our wedding may have been different or better had I encountered blogs or magazines that were less focused on trendy details and about celebrating ourselves? I’m gonna have to go with yes.

    I’m not bashing wedding blogs either – they are great places for inspiration, and I can’t stop reading and following and tweeting about them, even three months after my wedding. The digital world we live in has an added bonus of being able to make nice things look amazingly beautiful. My heart still flutters when I see an arrangement of pink garden roses and baby’s breath in a vintage blue mason jar or a flowing, beaded and detailed gown from Claire Pettibone. And I have noticed a new undercurrent of emphasizing the “Real” part of weddings – family issues, getting pregnant while engaged, marrying someone from another country, being hospitalized the week of the wedding, etc. I applaud those blogs that are starting to tackle these issues right alongside their recaps of Bridal Fashion Week. I think as much as we all love to be inspired, I think that inspiration, which is often clearly out of reach of the average bride, needs to be tempered with a healthy dose of “this is ultimately about your MARRIAGE, not your WEDDING.” There is an important difference.

  81. Chris Lin says

    FYI, averageweddings.com is available for registration. Set up WordPress, open up an email account, get submissions, and you’re in business! It would have to be free until you build up traffic though…

  82. R.G. says

    dear meg surly,

    as someone that had the kind of wedding that you are stereotyping, i’m actually pretty offended by this post. in my own personal style i am very vintage-inclined. half my wardrobe consists of vintage dresses and my entire apartment is decorated with antiques, both inherited and discovered at flea markets. when it came time to plan a wedding, i was naturally drawn to and inspired by the blogs that you scorn.

    prior to my own wedding, i had been increasingly disgusted by the wedding market in general. most weddings i have ever been to have been laughably generic. anyone could be in these weddings… just switch the bride and groom out and it’s all the same. and paying thousands of dollars for a dress that can be worn only once (especially with the wretched trash the dress trend) is downright appalling.

    for me, an expensive wedding was not an option. i never even tried on a real wedding dress. i happened to be looking online at vintage dresses (not searching for a wedding dress) and stumbled across an exquisite vintage cocktail dress. i told my mother how beautiful i thought it was and how i would even get married in it. she asked if i’d like to and i just decided on the spot that would be my wedding dress. heaven forbid, it was a tea length (pink) dress. but guess what? i paid only $300 for mine and i can wear it to any special event i want from here on out.

    yes, i spent hours (and loads of blood sweat and tears) making DIY decorations, and making personal details that would make my wedding special. yes, it was in the backyard of my family home which is especially gorgeous (what you would consider unattainable for other brides). i, with a few friends and family, spent hours hanging lights in the sweltering heat. we arranged our own flowers. i did a watercolor that was used for the invitations that i made myself. i did my own hair and makeup. why, after reading this post, do i feel like i am a bad person for putting time into my wedding? why do i feel like i need to apologize for not being a doctor or lawyer, and actually having the time to make a custom cake topper?

    we couldn’t have been more thrilled with how SPECIAL and UNIQUE our wedding turned out to be. i have never seen another like it, even though it was a vintage-ish wedding. EVEN though it was inspired by the very weddings you are bashing. if these vintage weddings are so prevalent, how come i have not attended one single one in my life? in reading those blogs, i merely gleaned ideas from them and then took that inspiration and made it something that was my own.

    after reading this post, i feel just as belittled as the brides you say are apologizing for their boring weddings. apparently my unique wedding was “cliche.”

    oh, and by the way, i am also a photographer. i haven’t missed the point of this post. i was just so irritated by the non-photography part of it that i had to speak up.

    • says

      Honestly, I think you missed the point on the complaints about the vintage weddings. The blog isn’t about how those aren’t beautiful and appropriate for certain brides, but that the wedding blogs seem to post only those. They make yours seem less unique because according to wedding blogs, that’s the only kind of weddings people are (or should be) planning these days.

      I agree, they are not anywhere near the majority of the weddings that take place, so why are they the only weddings we see on the blogs? Where is the inspiration for the brides who want a more traditional wedding? What about the brides like me who didn’t give a flip about the flowers or place settings and just wanted to have a good time and marry her best friend.

      I got married at the beginning of this trend, and I’m a wedding photographer so I just planned my wedding using what I had learned photographing weddings for 5 years (at the time). We designed our own invitation as a postcard to save money on postage. We put zebra grass in pots of sand for centerpieces because it was fast and we thought it looked nice. I made my own bouquet out of white daisy’s I bought at the store. We even did all of our own food prep. It was an exhausting but fun week leading up to our big day, and we were only able to do it because my husband and I are self-employed, and we were able to set that time aside to prepare. I have had friends and family who fretted about their decor to the point that it detracted from their enjoyment all because they were afraid they were not doing it right if every bow wasn’t just so. They weren’t able to take the time out to do every detail like they saw online.

      While your wedding isn’t cliche, the wedding blogs are making beautiful vintage and unique weddings like yours into a cliche. This letter is a call not to brides to plan weddings that aren’t vintage if that’s what they love but to wedding bloggers to post blogs about all of the different kinds of weddings, not just the vintage ones. And especially not the poorly photographed ones with the over-used filters trying to mask bad exposure and boring composition.

  83. says

    Great blog. I have sent this to every single blogger I am aware of with a letter if advice for those in the north east of England to really set a trend to not keep copy and pasting California style weddings to their regional blogs as it sets impossible expectations to perfectly nice couples

  84. Jen says

    wow – has this ever fueled some much-needed debate! i agree with many of your points, but i also see a few points differently and those differences prompted me to respond.

    the thing is, as people (and certainly as brides), we all aspire. it’s human nature. i spent almost ten years working in advertising and believe me, it’s selling 101. (and make no bones about it, blogs are businesses that are selling their vision/perspective/ideas/inspiration to gain readership.) little girls want to play in their mother’s makeup because they aspire to be like them. 11-year old girls don’t want to read a kiddie mag, (puh-lease!) they read seventeen. even some plus-sized clothing sites often show the very clothes they are selling on thinner models. shameful, you bet. does it stop it from happening? no. why? because we aspire, whether it is attainable or not, for better or for worse.

    i wholeheartedly agree that certain trends have had their fifteen minutes and we’ve all seen those details a gazillion times. i am a designer and custom stationer and often work with my clients for six months to a year in advance of their big days. through those client relationships, i’m privy to many of the other planning details. i recently had a bride that had the whole mustache-on-a-stick thing and you know what? who am i to tell her that it’s too faddish, it’s been overdone on the blogs for a year (or more!) now and she shouldn’t have it? it made her happy and she (and her guests) loved it. the wedding industry and the blogging phenomenon that has grown from it is a very niche thing and i think we need to remember that often times, we as an industry are talking to ourselves. yes, we industry insiders have seen that burlap runner hundreds of times, but for the bride planning a country chic wedding in a barn, it’s just the ticket. in fact, my own 2008 wedding was filled with bluegrass, BBQ, vintage mason jars and a gazillion DIY touches. i wore a tea length dress, a birdcage veil and a vintage necklace because those things expressed my personal style, not because it was or wasn’t trendy. i reveled in all of the fun, crafty personal touches and my guests did, too. so let’s not send the super crafty DIY gals, the mason jars and the hand-crafted cake toppers to the discard pile just yet. every bride wants their wedding design and decor to be an expression of their personal style, and if their bag is burlap and lace, so be it.

    i think it’s also worth mentioning that so many of the “indie” anthro details are in response to weddings being “a certain way” for so long, and if your wedding was outside of that realm, emily post would roll in her grave. i have had conversations with so many brides who timidly ask, “is it OK if we don’t do an inner envelope?” and “is it OK to have so much color on our invitation?” to which i reply, YES and LORD YES. the wedding world has opened up and reinvented itself and these days, anything goes. i’ll take that notion any day over a sea of sameness. yes, the “sameness” these days seems to be a few key details that keep popping up, but the spirit of doing things in a different, offbeat way is good in intention.

    of course, i know your real issue isn’t with mason jars, but rather the issue of blogs posting the same formulaic content and not publishing a more diverse range of weddings of all budgets, sizes, shapes and venues. i do agree that skillful, photojournalistic, beautiful photography will always beat out photoshop filters. i have been published on big blogs and little blogs, and i appreciate every single post because the bottom line is that it brings business to my door and showcases my talents to prospective clients. editorial (that isn’t paid for…that’s a whole ‘nother ball of wax) is priceless for a small business owner.

    back to the original point: like it or not, brides like to see eye candy. and wedding blogs are in the business of delivering the sweet stuff. the upside? it’s fun to ooh and ahh, it’s inspirational and can spark ideas that brides can make their own. so what if suzy q is getting married at the VFW?…maybe she can make that venue NOT feel like the VFW with some great decor. the downside? it can be overwhelming and a little depressing for a bride to sort through so many images of “perfection”, knowing they don’t have the time, skill set or money to achieve it. but let’s not overlook the elephant in the room. we work in an industry that often puts more emphasis on the wedding day details over the reason for the wedding. no one would argue that a BHLDN dress is more important than the love you share with your partner. we all want our wedding to be special, unique and memorable. otherwise, we’d dress in our old navy duds, take a cab to the justice of the peace and call it a day. (and if this is your ideal wedding day? more power to ya, toots. you do it your way!)

    trends come and go. thoughtful details matter. good design matters. vendors that take pride in their craft matter. happy brides and grooms matter. your frustration with the lack of wedding diversity and faddish photography/details is warranted, but let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that brides want to see beige tablecloths and invitations from michaels. they want to gush over creative details that will inspire and excite them, attainable or not.

    hats off to you for your post; it’s sparked some great conversation.

  85. Aly says

    Thanks for publishing this. I planned our wedding myself and hit the Internet for inspiration. It’s a depressingly perfect and rich works out there in the land of weddings. I made lists of everything we had to have, everything I had to make and eventually threw the list away, had an awesome wedding not a styled photo shoot and told my photographer not to tint all my pictures yellow as I didn’t want to look back in 20 yes and forget which decade I got married in. Oh, and I didn’t spend a gazillion pounds on hundreds of props I’ll never use again. And no, my wedding isn’t featured on a blog, probably for all the reasons above but I don’t care. We had a wedding to remember with plenty of style and personal touches and there wasn’t a hand made sign or mason jar in sight.

  86. says

    I’m French, living in France and preparing my Wedding in France.
    And I totaly agree with this letter because since I started the wedding organisation, I just hate the “vintage effect” of the wedding pictures.
    But now, 6 months before my wedding, I’m about to get mad because I do not have escort cards, I do not have rubbish for my bouquet, do not have enough details. But most of all, we do not have in France all that you can have in US, or if we can have it, it’s far to expensive.
    Because we are directly influenced by your blog (and other like yours) in France, et the big french wedding blogs are doing the same as you do : they publish only those detailed-skinny bride with designer’s dress wedding.

    Sometimes, I believe that some Bride do choose that photographer, that video-man, that wedding dress designer (etc etc) ONLY because they want to be published on that “so super inspiring bloooog !!!”…
    I’m just wondering, sometimes, where is the love, and if the Bride want to marry because she loves her men, or because she wants a so romantic designer’s dress and have a wedding in a field ?

    Wish you a great day overseas, and I apologies for my bad english and all the mistakes I made.

  87. says

    THANK YOU!! I wholeheartedly agree, whilst the quirky, unusual wedding are fab, I’m so sad that the conventional, yet beautiful photography and weddings are getting over looked.

    I also feel so sorry for my brides who i too have had them apologise for their wedding not being ‘trendy’ or ‘vintage’ or all of the things that are featured heavily on many blogs. Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing blogs and some amazing photographs being displayed, but it would be great to see more of the ‘real’ or ‘conventional weddings get a chance.

  88. says

    This is a fantasticly written letter, taking all the things I experience when talking weddings to brides, and how I cringe when asked to edit images with a colour selection process or do a vintage style.

    Strange thing is I do have a wedding booked next year where the bride sells vintage clothes, and loves anything and everyting vintage, so for her this request is not the fad, this is teh real her, and it will be fantastic to shoot as the style of weeding is her real style, and that will make the photographes that little bit extra special.

  89. says

    I could kiss you-I have been ranting privately about ALL of these issues for ages-absolutely spot on on every count.

  90. says

    Um, are we not remembering that these are points of INSPIRATION, not expected to be copied exactly? What’s wrong with that?

    I object to styled shoots. They aren’t real couples, and they aren’t real weddings and they are usually super over the top. They are fake. I don’t like that. Odd that she didn’t even mention styled shoots with models.

    What’s she’s complaining about are real weddings with real couples. That’s real. That’s honest. What’s she’s saying is disrespectful of their love, time and effort. That’s not kind.

    As an industry professional, sure, it may be repetitive to see burlap, mason jars and brightly colored shoes on brides. To a new bride, these things are NEW and FRESH. Each wedding I shoot I am continually surprised and delighted to hear guests exclaim,”OMG! She’s wearing blue shoes! How darling!” or “Mason jars! How clever! I never would have thought of that!”

    Industry professionals are not wedding guests and wedding blogs are not written for us, they are written for brides. A bride may look at a totally over the top wedding and see ONE SIMPLE THING she can pull out and apply to her own event- a color, a flower. A colored shoe! One of my brides spoke to me about her love of succulents and I directed her to a post on Ruffled about succulent favors made from lightbulbs. She took that crazy idea translated into something doable for herself- succulent centerpieces under glass- what are they called…. terrariums? They were lovely, simply, and affordable. Crazy idea=> doable. The blog posts provide inspiration.

    I think any and every wedding is publishable, no matter how many details- it all depends in how you shoot it. YOu can FIND details to shoot even if the bride wasn’t crazy detail-oriented. Jasmine Starr wrote a whole post about this while back about shooting to tell a story. The bride wanted the wedding to have a vintage theme, but where the wedding took place didn’t quite reflect that. Jasmine dragged a sewing machine around the shot the jewelry, shoes and other *STANDARD* wedding attire on this household item to reflect the theme of the day. She talked about shooting architecture and details that belonged to the venue, local foliage, etc. The couple doesn’t have to spent six months folding 10,000 oragami cranes in order for you to have details to shoot.

  91. Adele says

    Awesome!x

  92. says

    Excellent written and I whole heartily agree that there is no where to send your simple weddings, the weddings for size 16+ brides and the rest.
    Having said that I don’t want to see my simple weddings used as fillers in the wedding blogs where my weddings clearly wouldn’t fit with the brand. What is missing is more niche wedding blogs covering the simple, the average, the well photographed and the plus size bride.
    All it needs now is someone to start them!

  93. says

    Reading some of the comments above about clients being upset or complaining about their wedding or portrait shoot not appearing on their photographer’s blog.

    Speaking from the other side of the fence, if a shoot or wedding doesn’t appear on my blog, it’s likely because I just didn’t have time, or haven’t gotten around to it yet. The primary purpose of my blog is for clients to get a preview of their pictures. I usually blog each session, or an image right away. If the images are turned over quickly, this isn’t necessary and there is no urgency to blog the session. The session may then be blogged 6 months or maybe even a year later, randomly if I have a slow period and I think, “Oh! I have that X session that didn’t get blogged!”

    It’s not intentional. Almost all of my sessions are always blogged right away. I can think of a couple that never made it, but it’s not because they weren’t good enough, you weren’t pretty enough or ANYTHING like that. Please don’t EVER think something like that. Please don’t EVER take that personally! Think of a more practical explanation because truly that’s probably what it is. I know with me, it’s just a time thing. Also, if a wedding or shoot is being published, I am more likely to hold back all of the images, which means it may never be blogged because I have to follow my agreement with the magazine and make sure the images don’t get leaked.

    I think it is absolutely OK to ask your photographer when the images will be blogged. Please don’t sit and stew, or feel sad. Don’t ever assume. Just ask! “I am sooo looking forward to our blog post! Our family is standing by to see the images so we can share with them and have been checking the blog every day. Do you have a scheduled date as to when they will post?” This communicates your enthusiasm and excitement, let’s them know you would LIKE to be blogged (some people don’t like it!) and opens up the line of communication! That’s a good thing!

  94. Bob says

    I guess if you take wedding blogs seriously, or any blog, really, this could seem important.

  95. says

    Great topic!
    Good photography is good photography regardless of what kind of wedding it is. I’m a former photo editor (from one of those big, high glossy mags) and believe me there’s only a select few that really get it right. I’m also a photographer and blog about weddings.
    Blogs have replaced mags, so showing the best to inspire readers is where it’s at. Would you be complaining if an editor from a bridal mag rejected your submission? Probably but life goes on…try, try and try again. One can always improve. It’s all about engaging an inspiring, regardless if the wedding is held at VFW or Taj Mahal. Work with what you’ve got, have passion and make it shine. You don’t need to follow trends to be a great photographer. Plus trends fade with time.
    There are many blogs out there, fitted for various brides styles and needs, some for modern brides, some for practical brides, modern brides, destination couples, budget brides, gay couples etc. A bride or vendor should seek out those that fit their needs and style. It’s sort of a no brainer, no? The whole point of a wedding blog is to feature inspiration for couples planning and to give them ideas. And for those brides that feel “overwhelmed” by the plethora of highly stylized blogs, 1. you can simply stop reading and obsessing over them 2. remember that it’s about you and your significant other and not about the DIY table settings and bird cage veil (which are so out by the way)

    As for ghost writer, Meg Surly, really? you’re not gonna reveal your true self? shame shame shame. I would love to see your work.

  96. says

    THIS! EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS!

    I’ve been so frustrated for so long, wondering what I was doing wrong and why no one wanted to publish my stuff (I don’t think I’m THAT hideous a photographer) and it’s all because of everything listed above.

    I HATE that brides are degrading their own VERY beautiful wedding days because they don’t think it meets media criteria, and it’s infuriating that they feel their day doesn’t meet standards unless following a trend they may have not given two monkey nuts about previously.

    I’m standing my ground and refusing to “yellow wash” everything in photoshop. Smack me in the face with full-on colour any day.

    BRAVO.

  97. says

    Very interesting read, I would be horrified if a client said “This is probably a really boring wedding for you to photograph, I’m sorry.” to me.

  98. says

    Amen !! This letter has been a treat to read ..
    I shoot weddings that all about the people, the relationships between family and friends. Real, Emotional Weddings..
    This is what weddings are about, in 25 years time when couples are looking at their album they’ll want to see their family and friends …

    Sometimes I’ll be looking at a one of these Cockles and Pretties blogs and seriously it’s about 20 images down the page when you finally get to see a human being … Yes I know !! A real Human ..

  99. Chris - Giggling to Himself says

    Interesting read – especially as I came here via a tweet from a photog who arguably is ‘guilty’ of most of the above, hence me ‘giggling’ at the irony… but then, are they ‘guilty’ – if the bride with all the fancy fripperies’ is your core market (and, arguably paying more for someone to record the lavish expense…) then fine… leave the ‘normal’ bride to the rest of us – i’m happy with that :)

  100. says

    Great post – totally agree, although I do use some actions (to enhance rather than to cover up hopefully!).

    Interesting to see that the ad on the right hand side of this posting is from a photographer who has photographed the bride and groom kissing underwater…how cool :)

  101. says

    Such a fantastic post and a massive reason why we are launching our wedding blog. We want your weddings! So many photographers out there deserve to have their work published for all to see, but this trend has maybe made them to scared to even approach a wedding blog. This has to change. Please email me, BB, with your real weddings. Our blog launches on November 1st 2011 and we want to start with a bang and promote as many fabulous photographers and suppliers as we can get our little critter mitts on! Please don’t be scared, we don’t bite…just the ocassional nibble ;) BB xx

  102. Ele says

    This is brilliant. I’m currently trying to get into the wedding photography industry and have often wondered if people just don’t have ‘normal’ weddings anymore.

  103. Alix says

    i am going to write to Cosmopolitan and try to have them publish a couple of pictures of me in my pajamas for their new glamorous issue… well wait, I am not sure it will make people dream…

    well at least with this post you are sure to attract attention! Way to go, hope you’ll get tons of new gigs… because it’s all about that at the end of the day!

  104. SJ says

    This forgot to mention the ‘hold hands and stand apart pose’ whilst I photograph you in front of a dilapidated wall/metal sheet/forest and exclude your heads from the image.

  105. says

    Bloggers show what they get. Most of the photographers in the “wedding” industry are shooting the same images they see on the very blogs they want to be in. It’s a cycle that keeps feeding itself. The blogs want to generate income, and they know that brides like details. So, the photographer must stage or seek out images of details. I have yet to see a full post where it’s only about the story of the couple and the wedding. Okay – SMP posted one of mine like that back in 2009, but for the most part, they do not do that because they KNOW what their readers want – pretty flowers, DIY details..every bride wants to imagine and fantasize about her wedding..and images like that help her do that.

    I get it.You’re upset. Move on..don’t create drama, just shoot FOR yourself, and FOR the client and let them sell you to their friends. Forget the blogs…work for your clients first and foremost.

  106. says

    Hi there! Im a wedding blogger (shock horror!) and I have to say, I couldn’t agree more. But not all wedding blogs subscribe to this mentality!

    That’s exactly why I recently wrote this on my blog…

    As a wedding blogger, I think its my job to inform my readers about as many types of wedding as possible. Just as not everyone wants to go down the DIY, funky shoes, retro hair and bright underskirts route, equally others can’t imagine anything worse than a traditional “Princess” wedding. {Side note: I think both rock!}

    The most important thing to consider when starting your wedding planning is who you are as a couple and what the day should mean to you. Not your mum, friends, dog, Auntie Hilda and certainly not the online community – but the two of you. That’s what its all about!

    Variety is the spice of life – and that’s why you wont find any entry requirements at the door of this wedding blog. You don’t need to act cool, spend your parent’s retirement fund, have everyone (including your cat) in perfectly matching duck egg blue outfits, drape yourself in bunting, source your favours from the moon or wear your grandma’s nightgown hand sewn with vintage lace by a thousand tiny elves up the aisle (although, on second thoughts, I would love to blog that wedding!). All you need to do is celebrate love, our differences… oh, and being proud to be Northern helps a bit (although we are kind to our Southern sisters too)!

    Thanks for addressing this issue.

    Julia
    Brides Up North

  107. says

    I love this – and couldn’t agree more. I’m a wedding blogger (shock horror!) but I subscribe to the view that every wedding is beautiful.

    I recently wrote this on my blog: As a wedding blogger, I think its my job to inform my readers about as many types of wedding as possible. Just as not everyone wants to go down the DIY, funky shoes, retro hair and bright underskirts route, equally others can’t imagine anything worse than a traditional “Princess” wedding. {Side note: I think both rock!}

    The most important thing to consider when starting your wedding planning is who you are as a couple and what the day should mean to you. Not your mum, friends, dog, Auntie Hilda and certainly not the online community – but the two of you. That’s what its all about!

    Variety is the spice of life – and that’s why you wont find any entry requirements at the door of this wedding blog. You don’t need to act cool, spend your parent’s retirement fund, have everyone (including your cat) in perfectly matching duck egg blue outfits, drape yourself in bunting, source your favours from the moon or wear your grandma’s nightgown hand sewn with vintage lace by a thousand tiny elves up the aisle (although, on second thoughts, I would love to blog that wedding!). All you need to do is celebrate love, our differences… oh, and being proud to be Northern helps a bit (although we are kind to our Southern sisters too)!

    Thanks for addressing this issue.

    Julia
    Brides Up North

  108. yep says

    All the reasons listed here made me realize that IF I’m getting married one day I would get married because I’m in lover with and wanna share the rest of my life with this one person. Meaning I wouldn’t even have a fancy wedding reception and/or party with thousands of people I see once in four years.

  109. Simon Peagreen Photography says

    Excellent article, I agree with much of what is said, certainly the majority of my cliets are down to earth “normal” types, for whom their weddig day is the biggest day of their lives (ok i’m talking about the bride. I think the blogs style of photography that the writer refers to are great, inspiring and all that but yes they are the extreme of the wedding industry like another post said they are there to inspire in much the same way the milan Fashion show ends up inspiring the high street – in short there is room for us all, but i do wish there were more “normal” weddings and couples publicised blogged etc

  110. says

    I love the comment just above this one, by ‘yep’.
    Spot on.
    You get married because you’re in love.
    If you want to read magazines, blogs, fine. If you want to read Q or BikeTrader instead, fine!
    The blogs are there because people want to see them.

    As a footnote, how about this one: my blog sponsors write their own posts.

  111. alicis @ formoverfunction.com.au says

    Just think. It could be worse. You could all be in Australia where the whole couples with balloons in fields/lolly pops held at goofy angles in shots/vintage type writers beside a picnic blanket/bunting on zll/cupackes or apples held in a hand are beyond ubiquitous and have no cultural relevance whatsoever…and don’t get me started on the number of inquiries for barns…not quite part of our landscape….I could go on by won’t..but these sort of images have completely invaded the blogosphere (and esty), our magazines, and therefore our couples, and their visions of what they want their day to be. Now not for one moment as an event design abnd management company do we ever begrudge any couples’ desire to style their day or their wedding or engagement shots any way they wish. But what I do find bizarre is that over in this part of the world so many expect us to replicate Maine or Connceticut for their style (despite having zip connection with the place) and appear not interested to explore developing their own style. I realise I sound so very old when I write that the net itself is part of the problem…so many images…so many versions of the same thing copied over and over. It’s killing creativity. And that is the saddest thing of al: that so few couples have a celebration that reflects them, as opposed to having a celebration that copies what is out there. Over and over and over again. Let alone the angst of thinking you won’t measure up because there is not enough hessian(burlap in US speak), recycled jam jars (mason jars?) full of flowers that don’t actually work together, or an antiuque store worth of furniture and collectables, artfullly arranged under a cluster of trees, each sporting a chandelier…we all aim for the magical… the opportunity to create magic gets us out of bed every morning…but this does not mean it has to be this elaborate to be magical. Interestingly, the number of last minute rescues we have to undertake these days for couples who were misled to believe DIY, how hard can it be, had risen dramtically, compared to when we started 12 years ago. On average they call a week or two out, at a point of almost emotional and physical collapse realising they can’t pull off what they thought they could without Martha’s team of talent behind them. There is something very wrong with this picture. Only today I spoke with a client who had planned to do it all herself and at three days notice has called us in to make it happen. As for photography, I crave shots that show the flowers in true colours, not manipulated to colours to that simply don’t exist in nature, the all too common yellowed tint of photoshopped “vintage” shots where as another writer here so rioghtky pointed out everyone looks like they have jaundice. But what really kills me is knowing this fight is akin to to fashion magazines running shots of models in a range of sizes. So won’t happen in my lifeime except as a novelty. And sadly, couples will continue to enthuse that they want a shoot with lollipops and apples and cute vintage shoes and type writers and timber letters in their hands…and this was so inspired, and whimsical and special and fabulous about the first 100 times….but really…how do we break it to you…it’s been done. Please, please be brave and fun enough to trust your creatives to oome up with a whole range of possibilities to help you celebrate and style a wedding that is just you. You never know. You may be pleasantly surprised. On the plus side we are blessed with Polka Dot Bride in Australia which covers all types of weddings. Evne the ones without twigs in their hair.

  112. says

    Brilliant bit of reading!!! I couldn’t have put it better myself.

  113. Nikki Ward says

    I have to say I’ve read through all of this and the responses with interest and to be honest the whole thing has made me feel quite angry! I’m a stationery designer and also blogger. I find the whole them and us attitude of the letter quite annoying! You fail to realise that these so called ‘trend followers’ who are ‘obsessed with burlap and the style of their wedding’ are also REAL PEOPLE, who have had real weddings. Why should their weddings be devalued in this way just because they’ve had the guts to go and do something out of the ordinary from the ‘normal’ weddings you describe.
    The point of these blogs more than anything else is to give couples the inspiration and the bravery to go ahead and do something a little bit different for their wedding.
    I do agree that the quality of the photography does still need to be paramount and occasionally a beautifully shot modern simple wedding would look stunning on a blog. But as long as we embrace the variety in the wedding industry surely that is the main thing.
    What I find upsetting that we are trying to segregate couple’s weddings into ‘Trendy’ and ‘Normal’ and not just accept everyone together for having a beautiful wedding personal to them. Lets not let this debate divide the Wedding Industry even further!

  114. Bride On Time says

    Hallelujah! Thank f*ck someone has wrote this. I kind of skipped around the subject in my blog which I wrote over a year ago and only returned to writing on yesterday.

    And why did I stop posting on my blog? Because I didnt think I was good enough. I had what I call “post marital blues.”. But to be honest with you I was embarrassed of my wedding because I thought peeps would scoff at it.
    Writing this comment on here today after only just hearing about it is so ironic after what I posted yesterday. No, I’m not trying to increase my readership I’m trying to convey how I have been feeling the same about my own modern wedding because I knew it would not be received well in the wedding industry blogosphere.
    I made the decision back in 2009 to be different I didn’t want to follow the vintage vibe and all the obligatory props which go with it. I didn’t want to be on trend, I wanted to be me and him getting married!
    I would love to appear on the popular wedding blogs but knew I would never be good enough. I thought if I even show my wedding on my own blog I would look even more of a saddo. So I’ve kept it all a secret to myself, friends and family for fear of criticism.

    Bravo Meg Surly, bravo!!

    Teresa x

  115. says

    STANDING OVATION FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHER WHO WROTE THIS AND THE BLOGGER WHO PUBLISHED IT!!!!!

    Bravo & thank you!!!!!! NJ

  116. says

    thanks for writing this :) partially because of all the wedding blogs and their ideals, i have brides who come up to me first thing on their wedding day (!) and ask to which blog i plan to submit their wedding. on the flip-side, i have what you mentioned as well … the bride who apologizes or feels embarrassed about how simple their wedding is. i recently had someone almost not hire me because they saw i got a really fancy/detailed wedding published and they felt inadequate. THAT is messed up. i convinced her (truthfully) that the best weddings are about the couple and nothing else. do i like gorgeous weddings? OF COURSE; I’m a visual person, after all. But my faves are when the people love me and love each other. thanks again for the article here :)

  117. says

    This is one of the best wedding articles I’ve read. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from couples “I hope my wedding is pretty enough to put on your blog!” or “I am really not as crafty as the brides who I read about online. My wedding will be simple. I hope that’s ok!” I hate having to reassure these brides that their day will also be beautiful because their view of what a wedding “should be” is distorted by the internet.

    Yes, I love shooting details, but the thing I love to shoot the most is my awesome couple full of love and happiness on their wedding day, making the most of their location, whether it’s a cool beachfront hotel or a VFW! Who cares where the wedding was?

    Love is what’s inspiring and that’s what we should be encouraging and publishing. Good photography can be seen from a mile away and doesn’t rely on vintage props to enhance its quality.

    Props to the awesome photographer who wrote this and to Hindsight Bride for publishing it!

  118. says

    Thank you for this article!
    You nailed it!
    I’m an officiant who performs dozens of wedding a month and you know what? The real bride and groom doesn’t look remotely like those ‘precious’ little photo shoots you see on blogs. The wedding is a footprint of the marriage. Keeping it real will make it real. KUDOS to you! I’m RTing and spreading this one!

  119. says

    This article is really interesting to me, because the number one reason we turn down weddings at SW is because of poor photography — either overly processed, overly filtered, full of crazy angles, or just not crisp and clean and well shot. This goes for both simple weddings and extremely detailed weddings. I really don’t think that the forward-thinking blogs, big or small, are indulging in these trends anymore for the most part.

    Also, I have to say the photographer isn’t looking too hard if they can’t find a blog to publish a classic, elegant, beautifully-shot and full of love wedding. Snippet & Ink publishes them every single day, and, if you add in some Southern details or traditions, so does Southern Weddings :)

  120. says

    I really enjoyed your post. As a wedding blogger myself, I try very hard to incorporate all aspects of the wedding and not just the high fashion/trendy stuff. Honestly, I think the simple engagement or wedding sessions are refreshing to see plugged in there between the more extravagant events. It gives the blog a well rounded feel that everyone can find some inspiration from, in my opinion :-)

  121. Abigail says

    I´m sick of people saying that a wedding that cost a lot of money has less love than a wedding that has a “poor” look. Not only poor people love each other. ALL weddings are REAL!
    Every time I see people against “trends” I ask my mom and she says it was the same 36 years ago.
    Real? My best friend wedding was very real and it was published many times! We worked for months, we DIY, we didn´t, we did a perfect wedding full of love! Blogs are for INSPIRATION!! Who wants to see couples they don´t know! Please, don´t even the family seat to watch the entire wedding video afterwards!!
    I agree with reader Tracy Morter. If you see burlap is because people want burlap!!! I love burlap!!

  122. says

    I have been waiting for an article like this to appear for some time. Kudos for writing and publishing it. There will be a vast number of brides, wedding photographers, bloggers, and other suppliers who will have been jumping out of their chairs shouting “Yes! Yes!” at their screens when reading this, and rightly so.

    Maybe I don’t agree completely with everything you said, but I absolutely applaud you being brave enough to start the conversation.

    Personally I think it’s the duty of the wedding photographer to tell the story of the couple and the day. People love and need stories. A beautiful story well told will always attract readers now and lasts forever.

    Could we also start a debate about the overuse/misuse of words like “awesome”, “epic” and “stunning” as well please? ;-)

  123. says

    Thank you! Merci! Danke! dêkuji! efharisto! takk! toda! kamsa hamnida! THE EMPEROR ISN’T WEARING ANY CLOTHES!! And how many couples will look at their wedding photos in 10 or 15 years and wonder what was up with the old typewriter and chalkboards?

  124. says

    hee hee. I love it. yes, please let there be some average! and some variety. I thought it was just me…another shot of her shoes on the chair? the groom’s sock? this is love today? even Anthropologie isn’t as Anthropologie as some of these shoots. And yea…zzzzzz. it’s getting old.

    Our focus is to provide an affordable alternative for the DIY bride who wants to have an outdoor catered wedding and a homemade feel without spending $20,000, or more–which is a really irresponsible way to start a marriage, btw. But sometimes I feel like the brides are suspect…is it possible? Um, yes. It’s not a movie. It’s a celebration of your budding partnership and life together. Couples shouldn’t feel shamed into fabulosity, or apologizing for their lack of photogenic nature…plus that’s the photographer’s job, to capture the couple in their best light. Not posed to look natural. Sheesh.

    well written and funny and bravo to Hindsight (again!) for publishing…

  125. Susanne says

    As the mother-of-the-groom who has worked very closely with the bride… I have to say you read my mind! If I want to see great photography, I’ll pick up Vogue or National Geographic. Great photography in a wedding should show me pictures that capture the simplicity of love between two people who are being united at a celebration, no matter what the style is that they chose to surround themselves in! Enough with the pictures that emphisize the materialistic… the layers of the dress match the layers of the wedding cake, the roses have diamond pins that look like dew drops, and look what you can do with ten miles of satin, some glitter & a glue gun. Show me their eyes when they look at each other, their families; and for heavens sake, capture some emotions! Also, to the vendors – how about sharing some simple down-to-earth yet tasteful ideas for weddings to the brides who would rather spend their life savings on a down payment for a house than on an 8 hour runway blitz! The market is out there!

  126. stressed says

    Thank you!

    Reading wedding blogs is nothing but stressful! I recently went to a lovely wedding which was done on a budget of under £3000, and it was perfect.

  127. says

    Brava! We have been seeing the same thing in our wedding invitation boutiques ~ people not being able to live up to the hype on what should be one of the most special days of their lives. We’ve started to collect images from our brides’ weddings and reach out to the photographers to start featuring “real weddings” in a “Look of Love wall” and on our blog.
    P.S.: I hail from the Sierras and now live in North Carolina!

  128. says

    So well said. I’m neither a bride nor in the wedding industry, but I do really like weddings and spend a lot of time reading wedding blogs, and it’s starting to get a little obnoxious.

  129. says

    A- FREAKIN- MEN!!! Thanks for having the cohones to say what we all feel! I just hope EVERY publisher of all things wedding out there reads this!! ;)

  130. says

    Great write-up. Encourages me me stay true to who I am as a photographer! Thank you!

  131. Cupid's Florist/ Lisa says

    BRAVO times 10!!!!!! Many of my brideas are just lovely and so “real wedding.” Yes, sadly to say, these lovely ladies never make it to blogs or print. I so agree with you Hindsight Bride. Why are these REAL brides passed over? The same reason as stated above, not enough detail, not a birdcage, field, wildflower, burlap, mason jar event with a ton of DYI detail. Reason two: Not a million dollar wedding at the Hotel Del etc. Let’s get real! Not all brides have the time or money to make their wedding a” blog worthy wedding.” Many brides just want a lovely wedding, surrounded by people they love, with beauty and a simple enjoyment of the day. I think these blogs put undue pressure on the B&G. In order to make their wedding Blog Worthy, they have to spend a ton of money, craft their hearts out and put on a wedding to impress. This is unreal in the world world. This had made me thing that maybe I should start a wedding blog called REAL BRIDES! Maybe I can showcase the reality of the average American Bride! Bravo the this bride! She should be seen and heard!

  132. says

    Well. This is interesting, to say the least.

    Christie – you started a swarm here! Glad you posted it ..we are all worked up! Controversy takes us out of our comfort zones and gets us talking and communicating. Great job.

    As a blogger I take offense to a few of the comments made by our fictitious photographer (Anonymous = Lame. Man up and own your opinions!). First, in the 2+ years I’ve been blogging, I have never been paid to post a wedding. In fact, I pay to be a part of Two Bright Lights (wedding marketing), so that I can get weddings submitted to me. So, if you know any of these photographers who want to PAY ME to post their wedding? Dude, send them my way.

    Second: Like a lot of folks have already mentioned, it’s all about inspiration on blogs like SMP and GWS and the like. I think most brides are smart enough to know the difference between those blogs and blogs like Hindsight, mine (I hope), Rogue Birde, Broke-Ass Bride and APW (though I’m kinda over APW because honestly, it’s just too much “I’m NOT a typical wedding blogger!” Um, yeah. Ya kinda are.) Anyway, there’s inspiration, and then there’s TALKING about inspiration and making the most of what you have to work with. Those are the blogs I love and still read.

    Third: I am not a photographer. I choose weddings based on two factors: the lengthy questionnaire the bride has to fill out in order to be featured on my blog and if I actually have ANY kind of emotional response to the pictures. I see the pictures first and then request that the questionnaire be filled out. And the questions are NOT about where the bride got engaged or her theme or color scheme. They are practical questions about budgets, DIY and how the bride managed to survive the process of planning a wedding. I want pictures that tell the story of the wedding day because I want there to be a connection in the feature. That story telling process should include photos that are pre-wedding, ceremony and reception. Oh yeah…and DETAILS.

    Fourth: Let’s talk about those details. You’re sick of them? Yeah, me too. But we see them EVERY DAY. For brides and particularly for their guests, it’s all new and fun. I’m also sick of macaroons, bite-sized everything and grey/orange inspiration boards, but I get over it. It’s my job. Um, kinda like photography is yours.

    Fifth: Trends come in all shapes and sizes from those nasty tasting macaroons to blurry filter stuff that I know nothing about. If you are a good photographer, your work should speak for itself. Period. Filters or no. You sound really angry about the fact that you’re not getting published because your style doesn’t fit what’s happening on the bigger blogs. Are you mad that your style isn’t being accepted? As someone who designs wedding stuff, I know it’s tough to own your own style versus creating what you see everywhere just to get sales or to be featured. Be true to your artist self and if you’re good, then people will follow. Instead of getting mad, get creative!

    I really do think that your rant has merit, but it’s a sweeping generalization directed at pretty specific folks, me thinks. To anonymously say that we all suck is kinda lame.

  133. Randolph says

    Don’t forget, the majority of those “Cockles and Pretties” weddings are paid for with credit cards, credit cards that the “happy couple” will be paying 25% interest on long after their divorce.

  134. ha says

    I agree with your comments on photography but I have to say I’m in the camp with the insulted brides. I had mason jars and etsy-made burlap runners at my wedding, not because they are trendy, but because they were CHEAP and they matched the decor of the tiny rustic restaurant we happened to get married in. It’s weird how you’re criticizing expensive weddings and mason jars (less than a buck a pop, which is way cheaper than vases or candlesticks at the dollar store–I checked!) in the same paragraph. I got those things because they were affordable. The rustic venue was also inexpensive and had the limitations that go along with that. My photographer, as talented as he is, seemed a bit lost in that setting. Like he didn’t know what to do without the standard gorgeous venue with lots of room and amazing lighting and the huge fluffy princess dress. Sorry–couldn’t afford it. Also,the tea-length dresses? I chose one too, not only because it reflected my style, but also because i’m in my mid-30s and dressing like a Disney princess is a bit ridiculous at that age. It’s hardly a cliche.

    I was mostly irritated while planning my wedding by people in the industry who made assumptions and looked at me funny when I didn’t live up to them. No one asked whether i had a wedding planner, it was “who is planning your wedding?” Really? Me. Because I know how to use Google. And because I’m a “normal” bride who can’t afford the bells and whistles. Anyway, you made some salient points, but don’t alienate the very people for whom you are trying to advocate.

  135. says

    I disagree with the sentiment of the letter completely.

    High-end wedding blogs should continue to show the best and the brightest. People visit them for inspiration, meaning to be inspired to do wonderful things.

    There is a rally cry in this letter to celebrate mediocrity. Since some people won’t make the time to do amazing things, we all should lower the bar and celebrate that. I only mention time, because it trumps money in this situation. Time can be used to earn extra money if you want some of the posh things or it can be used to create wonderful things after gaining inspiration. Show me a wedding couple that didn’t watch at least 4 hours of tv between the time they got engaged and their wedding day and I will tell them that I am sorry and I am wrong. Anyone else could have dedicated 4 hours to making something special for their day. It does not take crazy amounts of time or money to make an event special. The people that go the extra mile to provide those visual details deserve the attention that they get.

    In stark contrast to that argument, though, none of that is what really matters in a wedding. Weddings are wonderful days of celebrating love. You could all sit in a circle around a campfire and share stories about how you enjoy each other’s company and have a truly meaningful event. It won’t translate to photographs, but who cares? If you want the connection with people that attend and wonderful moments, just be there in the moment on your day.

    To anyone that wants to have a visually rich wedding day, it will take a LOT of work and sacrifice leading up to the day. That sacrifice can be time and money. If you don’t have much money, you’ll need time. If you have a tv, leave it off until you’re married. Then be sure to have a great photographer and share your day with the blogs.

  136. Anna says

    Thank you for writing this. I had gotten married four years ago and it had become overwhelming trying to figure out what the include and exclude from the event. If I had gone based on what wedding blogs/magazines had shown me we would be paying off the wedding until we were 50. While I get that blogs want to show case the pretty, I think they’re missing the potential market of average brides who might want to see someone like themselves who might not have thousands upon thousands of dollars to throw at a one day event. Unique is fun, but informative is even better. After a while I stopped listening and just did what I felt was right.

    And you know, in doing that, I didn’t end up getting showcased on my wedding photographer’s website like all of the other pretty and super thin brides. I didn’t hire someone to do my make up and hair and I was sporting 10 extra pounds. Guess I didn’t measure up? Lol. But, more importantly, I had a nice day and relatives still nicely tell me that the wedding was beautiful. I would have loved to have seen something more like that in all of the useless wedding blogs and magazines.

  137. says

    I am trying to be thrifty and my wedding will be unique to me, but it will not be a glamazon over the top glitzy event. In fact my wedding won’t be an event at all, its just going to be a wedding :).

    The REAL brides often have our own blogs because we won’t be the ones to get featured. But let me tell you, other real brides. I have been published as a guest blogger on some of the bigger blogs because I reached out to them. But, I stand by what I feel which is that if you want to read blogs about real brides, head to blogspot and search.

  138. says

    As a wedding blogger, I wanted to quickly chime in. I’m not going to take a stance on the article itself, but rather share what I personally look for when featuring a wedding and why.

    1) Fabulous photography. Clean, crisp, vivid, color images. As Emily from Southern Weddings says, this is one of the top reasons I turn down submissions.

    2) Personal touches. A wedding is not a wedding without a marriage, and the event celebrating your marriage should celebrate what is personal to the two of you.

    3) Unique elements. This does not mean incorporating as many current trends as you can, but rather bringing in elements that are thoughtful, imaginative, and unique.

    As many commenters have said very eloquently, wedding blogs and magazines are vehicles of inspiration. If we published “the same” wedding each and every day, we would bore, rather than inspire. I feature weddings of all shapes and sizes, as long as they stay true to the vision of EAD – classic, timeless, personal and inspirational!

    And regarding advertising and publication: Editorial criteria is hugely important, it is a blogger’s livelihood. I personally sell ad space and vendor guide space only to those vendors I am proud to promote. I won’t jeopardize the integrity of my site just to gain a few sponsorship dollars. Conversely, advertising space does not guarantee editorial coverage – weddings from all vendors are treated equally and held to the same high standard.

    I hope that having another blogger’s perspective helps!

  139. says

    Wonderfully written.. i’m not engaged yet, but this has for sure shaken some sense into me. thank you for that. truly

  140. says

    applauses, GREAT points I might add is what the heck is this new trend that one must have at least 20 different detail types of things, or else a blog won’t publish you, okay vented, great points and you are right many blogs are looking the same.

  141. says

    Please know that a lot of us wedding photographers agree with you and bang our head with frustration also. Some of us are trying to let the ‘average bride’ know that she is extraordinary and that capturing her day is what we are about, not trying to get published or capture the detail extravaganza. Our job and hopefully our passion as wedding photographers is people. Details are great but people loving and laughing are even better.
    Great post!

  142. says

    Wow! Very very interesting article! I could not agree more . I will share it in my blog

  143. Mr X says

    I disagree with this.

    Should Hollywood start making movies that more closely relate to your life? In this line of thinking there will be no robot movies, no ghost movies, no whatever – just you going to the dry cleaners and paying your taxes.

    Your message is one of ‘Let’s all stop being creative and just wear plain white dresses and eat plain toast’

    To the people putting twigs in model’s hair and using 20 different actions on one shot, knock yourself out if that’s what YOU want to do. Beware though, the author will not let you sit at her table at lunch.

  144. says

    I’m a wedding blogger and former traditional bride and I completely agree. I had to stay away from all the beautiful photos on various wedding inspiration blogs because I didn’t want to get my hopes up for nothing. I didn’t have a big budget and to pull some of those ideas off, I’d need to rent stuff. It’s not like I had an old suitcase or two lying around so I can use as props. While those wedding trends are so beautiful, a wedding must be a reflection of the couple, not something you just copied out of a magazine or blog. Do you think my thoughtful personal touches and unique wedding activities got me featured? Nope! They turned me down and to me, the meaningful things must be considered too… not just the pretty things.

  145. says

    Yes! THANK YOU! I am so grossed out by the “trendy” bile colored photographs! I refuse to take my editing that far. That’s why it took me so long to go digital. There is no true skill left in the industry. I do love to use B&W and vintagey colors but people take editing WAY too far. Textures, jacked up clarity, and blue skies that NEVER happen are NOT natural!!

    Thank you for getting on your soapbox!!

  146. Jillian Christison says

    Awesome article. Thanks for sharing a little bit of reality. Good for you!

  147. says

    To the people who said there is no place to send your weddings with clients have “real figures”… Have you never heard of the blog Plumage? It’s a wedding blog geared for plus sized brides… Hello? There is something for everyone. If you’re looking for a simpler wedding… A Practical Wedding… There is something for everyone. Just look for it. I hate the generalizations and finger pointing.

  148. says

    Wow , pretty torn on this one. I’ve been published on several UK wedding blogs but I have also had weddings turned down. The standard of photography has been the same but the weddings have been as you would say ‘typical english wedding’ and it I do have a lot of sympathy for the couples who feel pressured into trying to make their wedding into something that just might not be for them. I have had a couple ask me what theme they should go for, I was lost for words – they were neither vintagey, rocky or diy motivated. In the end I suggested ‘wedding themed’.

    On the flip side I do think the blogs also have a tough line to walk, they need to keep interest, inspire at the point of entry and keep the people reading. Perhaps the vintage / DIY thing may seem tired to many in the wedding industry but for couples just setting out on their planning journey and may only have personally experienced a typical English wedding where else do you look for something a little different. I’m not convinced London Fashion Week would get the same attention if everyone wore Trouser suits and little black dresses, Top Gear wouldn’t have the same ratings as it does if it mainly featured small hatchbacks and family saloons and the wedding blogs wouldn’t get the same level of readership if they mainly published what most people have seen already.

  149. says

    I’ve been a wedding blogger for the past year and a half now and while I’m still trying to find my “niche” / direction whatever you call it, for the moment, I publish a wedding if I like it. Some day this will become clearer and more focused, but at the moment if I love the photography, I publish it. If I love a detail, I publish it. If I love the bride’s shoes, I publish it. Actually my favourite part of most shoots is when the bride is getting ready which is before you even see the venue, dress, headpiece, or DIY extravaganza.

    I once published a wedding that had incredible details but the photography (to some) was not the most amazingly executed. It was still a great blog post for me because it shared some wonderful ideas that I found inspiring as a bride to be. Surely this is the point on a wedding blog? Similarly, I’ve featured the simplest of engagement shoots because I think they’re beautiful photos.

    In the end, a submission has to make me feel something, and if it’s there, I don’t care if it’s on trend or not, I want it on my blog because my blog is a collection of things I find inspiring.

    I understand the difficulty in having an “off trend” wedding published on a wedding blog, but photographers also have to understand the demand that brides have on blogs these days for new, different and interesting inspiration.

    Great post and even more amazing conversation.

  150. says

    AMEN I love this article and agree wholeheartedly with every point made. I gave up using photoshop / pro photo blog templates ages ago just because I looked the same as everyone else.
    Its a cold and lonely place to plough your own way against the tide of images we are told we must have or we are not successful photographers.

    I started to blog every wedding and every portrait session I do now just to illustrate that people are all the same. Everyone is beautiful.

    Now to tweet and share this message all over the place !

    Thank you for writing it.

    Mark Byrne

  151. says

    Honest, real and inspiring. Especially to a newbie like me who just wants to take photos that his clients will cherish because they are faithful to their experience ofthe day and which capture the real moments, not the made
    up ones!
    Well said!

  152. says

    Cross-processed yellow-tinged photos is a trend I’m very much ready to see go the way of selective coloring.

  153. says

    But – there is a blog that specifically exists to show the emotions of the day! Its own niche market, if you will. http://www.momentjunkie.com And, hey – it’s run by three photographers, and there’s no advertising. It’s just all moments, all of the time. So if that’s what you want to see more of, follow that blog and pimp it out to everyone you know.

    Seriously, Meg Surly – do you go to pizza hut and complain that you can’t get sushi?

  154. says

    Well said! This sums up everything wrong with our beloved wedding industry today.

  155. Fiona Forshaw says

    GUESS WHAT…YOU ARE AN IDIOT.

    The whole wedding industry has moved leaps and bounds in the last decade. Perhaps you don’t remember a time when the wedding phtographer was the “asshole” of the wedding industy – now they are often one of the highest paid vendor at the wedding. I myself am much happier to see mason jars, burlap, antique plates, home made lemon aid, DIY cupcake stands, and barns as back drops – than baloons, floating candles in martini glasses, and little sacks of mints with ribbon. We have come SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO FAR!!!!

    People now like to personalize their weddings. I happen to be a wedding planner AND a wedding photographer. I LOVE IT. I am involved from the beginning and get to see how excited people are to express themselves. Who are you to say what that should look like.

    I can tell you don’t know anything about planning weddings either because mason jars are much cheaper than vases…so how would this be frustrating for a bride on a budget. The reason these blogs are so amazing is because they are teaching people how to create a beautiful events on any budget. I have worked with decor budgets from 500 – 5000. It hasn’t mattered. For those weddings that don’t take the time to personalize their wedding…that is fine…but personally Iwould not look to them for inspiration.

    Also…it is society that has an issue with fat people…not just bloggers. If the Transformers movie hired a fat girl to play the gf would you enjoy the movie as much? Sorry its just the way it is.

    I would write so much more but I have a meeting in 20 mintues with clients…to plan the lovely little details of their lovely day.

    I think you are a sad little man who didn’t get published and it hurt your feelings. So get what YOU SUCK.

    The trend right now is not mason jars and burlap…the trend is that ANYTHING GOES. I love it.

  156. Ashley says

    I agree with you. I am trying to create my own little scoop of the wedding market by blogging my own wedding (still very new), but accomplishing exactly what you say. I find a lack of “real” as you say, I just wasn’t really sure how to describe it. I know I am not very big, but I don’t take sponsors and I am looking for real weddings, so if you ever want to submit you things to me feel free. I enjoy some of the so-called “fads” right now, so I am incorporating some, but would like to have a varied taste on my blog. I don’t want it to be all about my personal wedding, it was just a starting place. Thanks for the post. I love how blunt you are about the industry.
    colorandpearls.blogspot.com

  157. Ashley J says

    I see your point. I shoot weddings here and there but mostly families. I have become annoyed with photographers who only blog sessions of the most perfectly beautiful children wearing clothing and accessories that cost more than half of my wardrobe.

    On the other hand I love all things crafty, vintage, ect. I don’t have a problem with that trend at all. I think couples are trying to find ways to save money but still have a wedding that is uniquely them. I applaud that! I think that’s great. It’s the crappy photography and not showcasing a variety of weddings on the wedding blogs that I don’t like.

  158. Sarah says

    What I don’t understand is why any couple would give the tiniest toss about being blogworthy…and why on earth anyone would take seriously what they see in wedding magazines. It’sll a load of rubbish. Your wedding should be about expressing your love and commitment to the person you want to spend the rest of your live with, not keeping up with your friends or making the event publication-worthy. But, then, I might not be your target market. My husband and I buggered off to the Grand Canyon to get hitched and, amazingly, we didn’t have to worry about centrepieces or vases.

  159. says

    Wowza – I went to leave a comment and had scroll through hundreds to get to the little box! I think this is largely very true, I blog on the side of wedding planning and am always happy to post wedding days from those who got hitched in my area the Cotswold – on one condition – it’s “unique” to them. I fear that there are so many copycat weddings now doing the whole vintage thing, that’s it’s become boring again. As a wedding planner I always try and bring out the personalities and sense of style of those actually getting married. Far too often I see brides and grooms who are planning their own event on what other people think it should look like (be that a magazine, blog, or family members). Truly, the day is all about those people actually getting married – and so I believe each and every wedding day should reflect that in some way. That doesn’t have to mean big budgets however!! I’ve worked on incredible weddings that looked “blogworthy” for under £5k. However sometimes a bad photographer fails to pick up on all the little details that really made the day, and so sort of misses the point. I still think far too many people (because they think it too expensive, or because they have too little time) end up with an average wedding – and yes, are a little disappointed at the end of it. Ok, so the actual getting hitched bit will always be remembered, but they still feel like something was missing. I’m rambling, but my point is that you CAN have a unique wedding to you, you CAN keep to a realistic budget, it DOESN’T have to follow what the blogs & mags are telling you – heck if you want to wear black, wear black! – but it’s all made a little easier with a wedding planner and stylist helping you achieve all of that. And for goodness sake, if you’re spending lots of money on the perfect day – use a top notch photographer to record all of those precious moments to look back on years later. Someone who creates timeless images and makes everyone, of all sizes, look their most beautiful. Here’s to a wider range of fabulous weddings for 2012 – all different and all unique. :-)

  160. says

    excelente reflexión …I think right now the wedding industry requires a great reflection on where we started to clear the photographers including podmos not continue to sell the story ….. ALICIA

  161. says

    Thank you for getting the conversation going on this issue. Hopefully some bridal magazines and blogs will do exactly as you’ve suggested. We definitely need to see more variety as beauty indeed comes in different shades and sizes! Also, things don’t always have to be over the top to be memorable!

  162. says

    What a perfect an wonderfully written letter. I agree so much that many of the “real Weddings” sometimes seen online are not “reality” for most brides and put brides under pressure. On my blog (http://www.bespokenfor.co.uk/blog) I feature my real customers weddings. I remember one bride was so overwhelmed I asked her because to quote her “I am not the thin , young or pretty” and she couldn’t believe I wanted to feature her wedding! I explained that my brides are real brides, they all have wonderful stories and value to real brides to help them with their planning and that’s why I wanted her wedding! Well done to this lady for having courage, thank you for publishing – Lets stand up for Brides! It’s about them not Bloggers after all!

  163. says

    I loved this piece – very erudite and definitely something I will bear in mind as I continue to develop my blog.

  164. Bel ~ Editor at style and bride says

    Well said, sad its anonymous but I agree with most parts of the post. People want to be inspired , motivated and love imagination.. If i see one more strapless gowned white girl on a cover I will SCREAM…

    Feel free to submit your wedding to us.. we want different quirky styled weddings … I don’t want reception pictures, or the like.. just the details.. open to any and all.. so feel free to share with me your non-mason jarred photos.. at submission@styleandbride.com

    So theres my offer :)

  165. says

    I’ve been published on most of the well known blogs and I haven’t paid a penny to any of the bloggers. My style of wedding photography is quite masculine, so doesn’t fit the description of the the types of wedding you’re referring to. I don’t heavily process my images and the weddings aren’t overly stylised. Each time I’ve had a wedding or engagement shoot published the blogger has told me that it’s because of the photography, not the styling.

    Of course the bloggers are interested in the style and details of the weddings (that’s how most them got started) but I think you’re massively underestimating how much they’re passionate about the photography too.

  166. Jackie Harrington says

    Apologies, but I think Meg Surly’s post is absolute rubbish.

    I got engaged at the beginning of 2008 and got married in February 2011. When I initially got engaged, pretty much the only wedding resources open to me were wedding magazines such as YAYW, Cosmo Bride and Brides Magazine – all of which tended to feature identikit weddings – church ceremony, country house, strapless a-line dress, groom in morning suit – all of which made me run away screaming in horror! They were, in virtually every shape and form, absolutely NOT what I wanted (and don’t even get me started on the money-spinning RUBBISH that goes on in these magazines! – “oh no, you mustn’t just hook up an iPod to some speakers for your disco – you must spend £400 on a DJ because, you know, the iPod might break (in spite of the fact that you’ve been carrying it around in your handbag for two years and it hasn’t broken yet)” – AARRRRGGGHHHH!!) Then I discovered some of the American wedding blogs (Ruffled and Offbeat Bride, thank you!) and then, slowly, a few UK wedding blogs started up (RockMyWedding, Rock n’Roll Bride and the fabulous LoveMyDress). These were an absolute godsend to my husband and I – first and foremost, they were FREE! – they encouraged us to think outside the very narrow box that was the English wedding world in 2008 – and gave us the confidence to do whatever the hell it was that we wanted to do for our wedding – which was, in many ways, a vintage-style wedding, but if there was something that didn’t fit in with that “theme”, we just went with it anyway (hence walking in together to Death Cab for Cutie, having the theme from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for the signing of the register and having all the speeches before dinner so that my husband could enjoy the food and wine without worrying about his speech!). As for brides worrying that their wedding isn’t blog-worthy and/or boring – just do whatever the hell you want to do – every wedding is special and unique to the couple themselves and their friends and family and if nobody else thinks so, who cares? And what makes a “classic” “simple” wedding these days anyway? If by that, you mean a so-called traditional wedding where the parents aren’t a) divorced and at each other’s throats, b) widows or widowers, or c) live the other side of the world, the bride and groom are regular church-goers (as opposed to going to church for the year before the wedding so that they can “have nice pictures”) and have the financial wherewithal to have the nice Vera Wang frock, the traditional rose bouquet and the classic country house wedding, I have to say that you will find those few and far between (I have a wide circle of friends and only one of them has had a wedding that in any way, shape or form that resembles a “classic” “simple” wedding!).

    I also have to agree with Fiona Forshaw’s comment above regarding affordability. My sister has recently got engaged and she may very well go with bunting, mason jars (which I assume are similar to jam jars) and holding the reception in a barn – not because she’s into vintage style (she isn’t) but BECAUSE IT’S AFFORDABLE!!!!! She rides horses for a living, so it makes sense for her to use the barn that is in her field so she doesn’t have to pay venue hire fees. She may go with a tea-length dress because you can buy them for £100 as opposed to £500 upwards. She may stick flowers (whether they are roses or “just-picked wildflowers from the hills of Sweden” – I can tell you right now that the so-called wildflowers probably all came from a florist anyway!) in jam jars because everyone in my family can save the jam jars for her for the next 12 months and she won’t have to pay for them. Bunting is a cheap and easy way to decorate a space (particularly when, as in our case, the bride and groom are different nationalities – alternating NZ/Netherlands flags, anyone?) and a hog roast is considerably cheaper than a sit-down meal!

    Finally, I would like to point out that I’m 41, a size 14 and didn’t wear a tea-length dress. I didn’t handcraft one element of our wedding (unless you count designing the wedding stationery on good old Microsoft Word) and all our flowers came from a florist. Our wedding was blogged both by our photographer and by one of the UK wedding blogs. So the idea that wedding bloggers only blog “young, photogenic couples with twigs, burlap, bunting, etc.” is absolute codswallop!

  167. says

    I could not disagree more with this photographer. Nobody picks up a magazine to see the low end anything. 90% of people can do average without any help (inspiration) from a blog. Maybe all the weddings don’t need to have mason jars and burlap, but ultra posh weddings at top Hotels are also spectacular and worthy of being published. People want to read about the what they dream they could have. If this photographer thinks there is a market for publishing average weddings then they should start blogging about average weddings and see how it goes.
    As for only publishing the photographers that pay for advertising, welcome to capitalism. You scratch my back I will scratch yours. If the blogger is in the enviable position to turn down advertisers then they can be selective with who they let advertise, but very few have that luxury. There are bills to pay and those get paid by the advertisers, absolutely those who pay to advertise should be the ones who get published.
    I am sorry if you don’t have the time or money to throw one of these extravagant weddings, but take some inspirations and perhaps a couple things from your dream wedding you just read about and add those.
    Your wedding is one day in your life. It boggles my mind that people spend so much time and money on it but I am grateful that they do since I am in the industry myself. Don’t stress, just enjoy the day that you are getting married.
    Vendors never forget that no matter how inexpensive you think the wedding is that you are doing this week, your client is spending what to them is a lot of money on it so give them your best.

  168. Carley says

    As a recent bride myself (and a wedding photographer), I feel like the blogs that I frequent provided a good mix of modern/ballroom/vintage/outdoor/etc. weddings. I also remember seeing brides of all shapes and sizes. I received tons of inspiration for planning my own wedding through many, many wedding blogs. I don’t really mind that most of these posts by bloggers are detail heavy – brides really do want to see the details. As a whole, I feel like the wedding blog industry does a pretty good job of showing weddings of all styles, but part of being a bride is knowing which blog to go to. If I’m planning a vintage styled wedding (which I did – and I had mason jars out the wazoo. I don’t care if it’s ‘overdone’. It’s what we wanted & it saved a ton of money), then I’m going to look at those blogs.

    My only complaint with a lot of the most visited wedding blogs is that the photography they feature is absolutely horrendous. We have to keep in mind that the majority of these ‘editors’ have no experience in the wedding industry other than their own weddings. They were brides to be who turned into wedding blog editors/writers/wedding planners/photographer/anything to stay involved with weddings. Most of them wouldn’t recognize great photography if it smacked them in the face. Most of these ‘editors’ have a section on their blog dedicated to their own weddings and if you look at their photography, you can see that they have no business selecting ‘great photography’ to publish on their blogs. And while there are a handful of wonderful wedding blogs with editors who really know how to pick out some great photography, they are far & few between.

    As frustrating as it is to see all of this bad photography being so highly recommended, no good photographer will base their success on getting published on a wedding blog. Everyone knows it’s a game. People who pay money will be published first. I really don’t care if I’m in someone’s ‘Sweet Little List of Preferred Vendors’. They should just get real & call it ‘The List of Vendors who Kiss my Butt’. The only people I need to please are my clients. As long as they are happy, I’m happy.

  169. says

    Hi there!

    I’m a wedding blogger, relatively new to the scene and a bride who was published in a magazine. I’m not unattractive but definitely not a model either, a size 12/14. I believe my wedding was featured as it had a theme that’s currently fashionable and my photos were taken by incredibly talented photographers who along with my hairstylist, makeup artist, an amazing dress, including a stunning venue and a talented florist, made me and my wedding look fab!

    I would like to suggest that the majority of newly engaged ladies are unaware of this wedding world we inhabit. These blogs and magazines ARE fresh to them, they are full of ideas they haven’t seen before and therefore inspirational.

    I do however wish photographers would give us smaller blogs a chance by submitting their photography to us and not just the bigger blogs. As a blogger I am happy to blog all kinds of weddings, big small, modern, vintage, rustic, quirky or classic. Or maybe something I haven’t even thought about… I just have to love them that’s all..

    Please though do respect the bloggers right to say they don’t want to blog a particular wedding. It’s not a personal slight against your talents; the wedding may just not be to their taste, that’s all. Try another blog; you never know they may just accept 

  170. says

    As a wedding videography company, we love details, and I think the most important thing about all the wedding blogs is that hopefully they are encouraging people to be more individual about their weddings.

    We find that a lot of brides we talk to are so wrapped up in the “industry”, and so concerned about “entertaining” that they forget about what a wedding should be about. It’s not about chocolate fountains, casino’s and on and on and on. It’s about the two or you, who you are and what is important to you.

    If that means a reception in the village hall with a cake made by Aunty Edna, a conference center that’s convenient to those who mean the most to you both with pink roses from the local florist because you’ve dreamed about pink roses at your wedding since you were 6, or an all out handmade, bijou wedding at a to die for location – it doesn’t matter! So long as it means something to you.

    We find details in the strangest places, and as we get to know our brides (many of whom tell us to start that they have nothing special planned), we find that grandma’s ring is sewn into the dress, or that the place names on the tables are the places they dream of travelling to together, or that Aunty Edna made the cake… and those are the details that are important – that make it your wedding and nobody else’s.

    I love wedding Blogs, and while they may not be perfect, the weddings that feature are often the one’s that have had the most thought put into them, where the bride and groom have managed to reflect their personality – whatever that may be.

    Of course I may also just be full of ….

    Hot air!

  171. says

    As a blogger and Wedding/Event Planner, I have to say, “bravo!” I’d love to feature more real weddings that are REAL weddings. I totally agree that the blogs are starting to look alike and you have inspired me to make sure mine doesn’t look like a cookie cutter version of all the other blogs out there.

    I get the comments regarding affordability. However, you can make a wedding look unique and be affordable at the same time. Take for instance my wedding to take place next year. I have a $5,000 budget…for everything. The only major deal I got was from my photographer. Everything else, I have to pay for just as if I were getting it for a client. It requires strategic trips to the thrift store based on what color tags are 50% off (our ARC thrift stores publish what color tags are on sale- typically 50% off) and finding ways to incorporate what we already have in to our wedding such as my milk glass collection.

    To address the “fantasy” element: Yes, couples look to the fantasy weddings for inspiration. However, when every blog is posting over the top DIY and uber fantasy laden weddings, it can make for a disappointed couple wondering why they can’t have the same look with their $5,000 budget. What we bloggers need to do is maintain a balance in our coverage of weddings and inspiration shoots. Right now I am taking submissions for the first time on my blog and I have to say that despite my solicitation to the 8,000+ unique hits I have, not one photographer has submitted to me. So, for you photogs looking to show your talent, don’t forget those of us with up and coming blogs too. I know you want to get a showcase on one of the big kid blogs, but those of us on the rise need photog love too.

  172. says

    The beauty of blogs is anyone can start one, so those who feel the needs of couples aren’t being met by the existing blogs go start your own. If there’s such a gap then the readers will come.

    The blogs described clearly have gathered a readership because what they offer resonates with people enough that they return in substantial numbers. The formulas being complained about are clearly pleasing a lot of people. And remember they sprung up as alternative to the traditional press (newspapers and magazines) which has covered the less quirky for years and have developed to fill that void. Want to see an average wedding? pick up the wedding feature supplement in any local paper.

    Blogs are inspiration, and inspiration for the demographic that reads blogs (which isn’t every bride out there, and perhaps not the more traditional ones). What readers then do with that is up them – attempt to replicate or interpret in their own way. The blogs aren’t to blame for the results any more than Vogue is to blame for someone wearing clothes that don’t fit them.

  173. says

    I’m sure this will get buried, but I feel like I have to respond to those who are getting offended at the mention of those being over burlap and mason jars etc.

    I think perhaps you need to look at the big picture about what the post was talking about. It’s not that if you truly are a vintage girl at heart you can’t have a vintage wedding, or if you are outdoorsy you shouldn’t get married in the woods.

    The point is that SOME (and especially the bigger) wedding blogs out there just seem to post the same types of weddings and images over and over and over, with the same details, and it gets OLD very quickly. Yes, blogs are aspirational, so let’s find something new, shall we?

    I realize that blogs really started as a way to rally against the “big traditional wedding thing”, but now suddenly that blogs are mainstream, no one seems to want to publish the old “church wedding/banquet hall” weddings anymore, no matter how beautiful.

    I do think it is fantastic that weddings are so much more personal these days – in fact my own business depends on it. And to that end, I want to see ALL kinds of weddings, so that brides can be inspired by the differences rather than the similarities.

    To be clear – it’s not about the vintage/rustic details specifically, it’s about what that represents in the wedding industry these days.

    While there are many couples out there that truly are vintage fans, or always wanted to get married in a barn, there are also many who are doing those things because they feel it’s “in” – undeniable.

  174. says

    Thank you so much for this article! I DO publish the small weddings, brides of all sizes, and simple/informal weddings. I have lost work because of this, but I will continue to stay true to myself and capture the weddings of those who can appreciate my talent. I’m there to capture their special day, no matter what they look like, how big or where the venue is, etc. No matter who/where the wedding is, they will get my very best work, and I will be proud of it. If someone doesn’t appreciate that, maybe they aren’t the kind of person I want to offer my services to anyway.

  175. says

    LOVE IT!!.. I’m always trying to find interesting articles/blogs to send to my upcoming brides and am too finding a lot of the pictures/articles seem to be from the same cookie cutter! Most real brides are not cookie cutter and really want to plan their event with their own identity. It is hard to get ideas if all the ideas are the same…………..PS: It is true that not all brides are super skinny and it is frustrating not seeing a lot of real bride pictures.

  176. says

    Hey Christie! I am glad you posted this even if it was out of your comfort zone ;) Great post & great advice. The media is harsh & us bloggers/photographers need to be more aware of how we come off to the public & need to participate in a more responsible way. xo

  177. says

    Freakin’ fantastic. Thanks to the photographer for writing and Christie for posting. I’m so tired of the same old crap I’m seeing on wedding blogs lately; that’s why I tend to frequent Offbeat Bride and RocknRoll Bride the most. It’s sad that photographers actually TURN DOWN BUSINESS (whaaaa?!?) because the wedding doesn’t seem special enough. Mind = blown.

  178. says

    I really enjoyed reading this. Well done for having the courage to post it.

    Brides and Grooms do need more than just inspiration for the details of a wedding day. The day is about more than the ‘things’ that people see. It’s also about a celebration of two people committing themselves to one another, forever. The joining of two families, and the whole host of emotions that present themselves from every generation of those families.

    The Brides and Grooms also need inspiration on which photographer will best capture the unrepeatable moments of the most special day of their life, for them to remember forever. So great photography should be showcased as well as great ideas for the table.

  179. says

    Dr Mr or Mrs Anonymous. Post who you really are…

  180. says

    Well said. I’m so not into all the fad stuff. Keep it real all the way and not just with weddings, it seem that’d have crept in everywhere.

  181. says

    Well said. I’m so not into all the fad stuff. Keep it real all the way and not just with weddings, it seems that fads have crept in everywhere.

  182. Canucks_Chick says

    THANK YOU! We had a gorgeous wedding but got rejected from many blogs. I guess the problem was I, the bride, was in a wheelchair which I think it was a giant eyesore for them. We chose a 5 star hotel as a venue not a Swedish meadow .We used a florist and tall crystal vases rather than rustic crap. My husband loves me to pieces despite my disability and if doesn’t meet their “true love” theme then Im glad I didnt get qualified.

  183. Andrea says

    BAH ha ha ha. Classic read, and so so spot on. I am so sick of seeing cutesy, artistically blurred photographs of the bridesmaids feet. Or a slanted picture of the bride and groom’s backs. Why would ANYONE want to dig those pics out in 20 years time? You can’t even see who is in the photos!
    I’m unmarried but love good photography and used to like perusing the various blogs to check out the photos. Not anymore – they are all the same! Meanwhile, I am betting it is the same people who carefully photoshop their facebook profile picture that love such ‘artistic’ fakery of their big day. Why would anyone actually want to look like themselves, for gosh sakes?
    One blogger who is guilty of every blogging crime mentioned in the letter has blogged in response to this letter, saying that she felt hurt by it, and that every rustic fad she included in her own wedding was a true reflection of her, and that because she lives in the country it is ok to be a wanker. I nearly spewed – she lives in the freaking suburbs! Lies! Rustic lies. Trendy lies. We are all unique – in the same way. hahaha.

  184. Anon says

    At the start of the 1900s, it would still have been considered in poor taste to publish a photo of a wedding. Weddings were considered too sacred and private for public consumption.

    I’m not sure what to make of this new trend of not just publishing a photo in the newspaper, but publishing the whole wedding online and couples even anxiously seeking it out.

    Anyway as far as being trendy and predictable. Wedding styles used to be far more limited than now. I say this even though I’m tired of lots of today’s trends myself. But then everyone isn’t really naturally creative.

    I think the trick to trends is asking yourself if you really love it. If you do, then go for it.

  185. L says

    For what it’s worth, as someone who is an editor for a wedding magazine/website, here are my thoughts: I totally get what you’re saying. Seriously, if I had nickel for every time I interviewed a bride and she told me that all she was so proud of her wedding being “unique,” and yet the photos revealed mason jar upon mason jar, and all of the stereotypical Anthropologie ephemera…

    But, on the other side of the coin, I also get why these weddings blogs show them — they have the top the over-the-top details they’ve shown before. The only reason they exist is to show readers new, amazing, crazy-ass, aspirational ideas. If you’re showing “meticulously stenciled miniature burlap dinosaurs holding up place cards made from the recycled issues of Rolling Stone” and readers flip out (SWOON!!!) over it, can you really top yourself by showing a (perfectly lovely but simple) centerpiece of roses at a country club? And of course the irony is that these “unique” weddings become so incredibly homogenous.

    I think the solution lies in actually adding CONTENT to these wedding photos. When the focus isn’t on just “details, details, details!!!” and more about how these real-people couples actually pulled off these simple, creative, realistic weddings–that is when people will read. ASK couples what they spent: how did they reconcile their budget with their style? What did they compromise on, what didn’t they compromise on, and how did they realistically pull it off? I think this is what people really want to know when planning a wedding (not just to look at more pretty photos) — so what I hope (!) is that bloggers can finally make use of their access to all these real brides and local vendors and use them to provide their readers with actual useful information, and not just pretty pictures.

  186. C says

    Do you know why so many of the oft featured “styled” wedding shoots include balloons?

    Because after all of the fake, over-styled, emasculating, bizarre poses most MWC put the couple through, the groom-to-be has been neutered and the balloons are used to float away his testicles.

    It’s very sad.

  187. says

    I thank you for sharing this and I think your blog does a great job of showcasing different weddings. You shared my cousin’s wedding that I photographed and you showed the DIY details along with the emotion of the day. Which afterall is so important.

  188. a photographer says

    I say if you would be embarrassed to showcase a VFW wedding on your blog and don’t want “those” clients… Don’t allow them to hire you in the first place. Choosing your clients is just as important as them choosing you as their photographer. I’m not against the budget bride, but that’s not the client I want. Ask questions. It doesn’t hurt, get the location of the venue, check it out… Seems to me a better plan that just allowing a VFW bride to hire you, and then her feeling bad because you won’t blog her.

  189. francine says

    oh my gracious, this.

    yes. meg surly, i would love for you to shoot my wedding someday (hopefully next year!)… i hope you reveal your true identity!

  190. Dave says

    Fantastic post, and OOOooo the irony of bloggers using your post to advertise theirs – Brilliant!

  191. says

    AMEN!!!! I am a wedding photographer and not all my brides do the vintage creative designs that blogs love so most of the time my weddings are rejected. The Knot is the only one that seems to know about correct exposures and great photography. They also are the only ones that will blog a church wedding!!! I love the part about the out of focus, yellow and pink photos that cover up bad photography! Soooo true!!! Only a trained photographer can shoot a correctly exposed white balanced shot!

  192. Jenn says

    I am a lawyer. I just got married a month ago. I enjoyed looking at wedding blogs for inspiration, but knew I was personally both too busy and not crafty enough to actually put in place many of the ideas I saw. So what did I do? I outsourced! I used Etsy, family and friends who were willing and able to go things for the wedding we wanted. And I picked a photographer who matched my ideals for what we wanted memories of.
    And our wedding was real, and beautiful, and featured on our photographer’s blog.

  193. says

    Fantastic article and well written. Being a wedding photographer you do get the plain, simple weddings, that’s not to say that great wedding photography can’t be created from them. However, I don’t see any of my weddings to be more important than the other and I try to get them published where i can.

    Great perspective though and here’s to all the sub £30k weddings!!

  194. says

    This was written beautifully. I wish it had been written before I got married in May! My wedding included many items on the list above, but only because it’s my life – not some fad. My house is stuffed with mason jars – because we can. I had handmade soap favors – because I run a soap company. We had a tractor bucket with ice and beer – because we own a tractor and live amongst a beef cattle farming family. The vintage suitcase? That was my Great Nana’s – not from a thrift store and it was my way of including the relatives with whom I share so much but lost long ago. I think weddings should be about WHO people are, and blogs should reflect this no matter what style, and stop showing flouncy prettyfied “country rustic” weddings only. My wedding was kind of this way because WE are this way, we live every day of our lives this way. I wanted to see something more on these blogs though when I was looking around a little – the VFW wedding, the city wedding, the totally not country rustic hippy chic at all wedding. The ones that scream who the people actually are though, not a staged day.

  195. says

    I agree 100%, that’s why I started my own wedding blog. I’m an average American gal, with average looks and an average income. But you know what? that didn’t make me any less special on my wedding day last year. I spent probably an hour looking at wedding blogs until I realized they were all showcasing overpriced, unrealistic, overly trendy weddings. Your wedding is not Sorority Rush, it is the day you marry your life partner. So I stepped back from them and I did what I wanted, drawing my inspiration from old pictures of icons, family members, and fashion magazines. After my wedding, I decided that had I understood the process better, it could have been done more easily and cheaper, and that all these blogs and magazines are hype to get you to choose the vendors that sponsor their publications. So I started my own blog, and I don’t know if anyone really reads it or if it is helpful, but if I can reassure just ONE bride that she doesn’t have to spend DAYS pouring over place cards or do some ridiculous Bride Boot Camp, I feel like I’ve given back just a little. Just like this article.

  196. Amande says

    Thank you so much for this post… I didn’t realize I was so influenced by blogs for my wedding. That actually ruined what should have been one of the best day in my life. Instead, I can’t think back of that day without regrets and sadness. I was so focus on recreating a “blog worthy” wedding, that I actually completed missed the point of every wedding, spending time with people you love and celebrate. And I did apologize to my photographer because I thought it wasn’t good enough. If only I could turn back time !

  197. says

    Brilliant…everything I have been thinking about for ages now, I to have had Brides say

    “I’m sorry, our wedding is very plain.”

    “This is probably a really boring wedding for you to photograph, I’m sorry.”

    My heart sinks and I have to assure them that their wedding is fantastic and beautiful and I love or am looking forward to being there, and you have to mean it when you assure them from your heart or they wont be reassured! You have to explain that every wedding is unique and wonderful and that the photographer should be able to pick out the individual aspects that that the couple and family will cherish for the rest of their lives!

    I believe the future of media is to be far more local! Far more interest for readers if they know a venue or area. The balance has to be right, a sprinkling of the different mixed up with the majority of “normal” weddings. But when it comes to judging what a great photo is, well that is a tricky one for a blogger if they have no photographic training.

  198. says

    That is a great letter and I agree with so many things that have been said. Thanks for speaking it out loudly!

    I started writing a blog after my wedding. I am not a professional blogger though, my blog is tiny and I do not have any intention of making money with it. It’s just my little piece in the internet where I can share the wedding-related things I like and can identify with. I am more than happy if my blog helps only one single bride and I rather have real readers instead of thousands of random page views.
    Would I love to feature real weddings? Sure I would. But so far every photographer I contacted has turned me down ( and I certainly did not contact the 10k $ photographers).
    I understand that my blog is not interesting and it’s ok. I can live with being rejected and this is not about my blog.
    But I assume that the same thing happens to many other new bloggers who intend to turn their blog into something bigger. Why are they not given a chance? Why are they not interesting? Wouldn’t it make more sense to get published on a small blog on a regular base with a “normal” wedding? Wouldn’t several features on a regional blog attract more potential clients? Why hope for the one wedding that gets accepted by one of the large blogs that get updated so often that it is impossible to keep track and remember weddings that were published the other day?

    I am absolutely sure that all small bloggers would love to feature the kind of weddings that don’t look like a styled shoot; the majority of weddings.

    I am not judging anyone’s wedding that includes all those items mentioned by Meg. I like these things and I think it’s great if couples include their own personality but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have to. It’s totally ok not to have a fancy venue or an overload of details. I’m sure a lot of weddings we see on the blogs do actually reflect the couple’s style but sometimes i feel like weddings have turned into some kind of contest à la “what can we do to get featured on an awesome blog?”

    When I started planning my wedding I was impressed with what I saw! It was a completely new world, things I had never seen before. Colored shoes and dresses that are not A-line and all that stuff were new to me. But after a while I was just bored of certain blogs that funnily praise themselves for being so unique and anything but cookie-cutter, yet all their features look similar. I turned away from these blogs and started reading those that are written with love instead of profit in mind. My wedding was tiny and did not require much planning anyway. But still, i found so many awesome inspiration from sharing thoughts and ideas with the planning brides on the wedding board: impressively creative but “normal” people I could identify with. Seeing a feature on a blog or magazine simply cannot compete with that.
    I have seen hundreds of fantastic wedding recaps on that board. They are all beautiful because of the effort the couple put into planning their big day, and many of them are in fact blog-worthy. But they don’t get published because they do not scream “trend alert” or the photographer did not take the typical bride-holding-her-bouquet-straight-in-front-of-her-body-with-both-hands-photo.

    A previous commenter mentioned the fashion magazines and that nobody would read them if they showed clothing from Macy’s and H&M. Personally, I would absolutely read them. I am not interested in magazines like Vogue and their high-fashion designer shootings are nothing I can relate to. They don’t inspire me at all. Wedding blogs are the same. No offense to anyone, but how is a photo of a bride holding an apple or a pretty but random tree at the venue supposed to be an inspiration? At least to me it is not, I cannot identify with these things and yes, I am one the very few people who prefer seeing the couple and not the details. I love seeing photos of happy people who are utterly in love. I love seeing glowing brides, and grooms that cry when they see their beautiful future wife walking down the aisle. I love seeing them laugh while cutting their “standard” cake or simply having fun while dancing with each other. I love seeing “them” and their emotions, even though they are strangers to me.

    Not every couple can afford a great high-end photographer. Many couples simply have to live with a more affordable alternative, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that their wedding photos are bad. And yet their wedding will never be published.
    A technical perfect photo does not automatically make it a good one! A photo is supposed to capture special moments and emotions and evoke wonderful memories once the wedding is over. Even a dark or blurry photo can be incredibly inspiring. Some of my own favorite wedding photos show my now-husband’s reactions at our first look. I love the photos the way they are and I am grateful that my wonderful photographer caught my husband’s expressions! These pictures are precious as they will remind me of this amazing moment forever, and I could not care less about white balance or exposure or the angle they were taken from.
    Unfortunately blogs don’t seem to care about those kinds of photos in their features. I scroll through the pages and stop at random pictures that catch my eye. But i am rarely banned by a full wedding because it is often just a collection of irrelevant shots of details that might as well be part of any other wedding. There is nothing wrong with all those elements in a wedding or generally any kind of wedding: the budget ones or the lavish affairs, the off-beat brides or the classic elegant events. Everyone should have the kind of wedding they like and nobody should judge about them. But blogs often fail to show the most important photos: impressions of the people’s love and emotions, instead of their apples or mason jars or whatsoever.

    P.S: I apologize for leaving this ultra long comment, but somehow I felt the urge to get these thoughts out of my head and I feel so much better now ;)

  199. Kate says

    Nice letter. Especially the “so 2011″ bit. I stumbled across a blog about Super 8 videos and wanted to shoot the computer screen. Surely cameras advance for a reason. Super 8 footage is not SUPER COOL or SUPER PRETTY, it’s shoddy, shakey, ugly, dated, everything you don’t want from a camera… I’d be dumbfounded if there was a single bride who could geniunely turn around in 5 years and say “I’m still delighted with my Super 8 wedding video and definitely don’t regret buying a video shot with DSLRs in which I can actually make out what my dress looks like in that dimly lit church and that doesn’t give me motion sickness”. I haven’t spoken to any good quality photographers that aren’t despairing with the way wedding photography is – I think they’d all welcome blogs starting to pay homage to what is genuinely quality work and not saying Amaze. or Love. to any picture that features what’s fashionable at the moment

  200. says

    Wow! As a planner and a blogger I find this fascinating. At the end of the day every single wedding is beautiful and so special. A wedding should reflect who the couple is. If the couple doesn’t care for the infinite details, the wedding and the photography should reflect what they do care about….and yes this may not be “publish worthy.”

    To all of the brides out there, you are beautiful and your wedding will be brilliant whether you have a billion details or zero. You are celebrating your love for one another. If you find inspiration in wedding blogs, check them out; if they depress you, don’t bother even clicking on another blog site. These blogs are geared towards the bride seeking inspiration and ideas – this is certainly not going to be everyone.

    One of the commenters had great advice for photographers – if you love to shoot people and not details, your brides will hire you for exactly that. Displaying a bunch of images of a bride and groom’s relatives on a wedding blog will unfortunately not make that blog successful. Pics of Aunt Suzy mean nothing to another bride…unless she is doing something really cool like throwing a fire torch in the air. Blogs are successful because they offer ideas and inspiration. Wedding blogs are not trying to be timeless – they display today’s trends, not yesterdays and this is why they are successful.

    The purpose of a blog is not to make a couple or a photographer feel brilliant for being published, but instead to offer ideas and inspiration to future brides. A photographer’s own blog is the place to display their work and all of the images they feel sell their work.

    The fact of the matter is that radio stations will always play the top 40 tunes; magazines will always display the latest accessories and clothing trends on a stunningly beautiful model; and dental commercials will always feature insanely white teeth that most could not attain. This sells. If you don’t like it, don’t listen to ‘that’ station, don’t buy ‘that’ magazine, and don’t click on ‘that’ blog.

  201. says

    Hear hear.

    Every bride is gorgeous, every groom handsome and every wedding a wonderful affair that should be shot well and showcased to the best ability of the photographer and his/her blogging community.

  202. Alma says

    I do agree with a lot of what was said in the post. I certainly agree that a photographers work should be published because of the quality of the photographs, and not just because the couple are good looking, or because the bride is wearing a dress that most people can’t afford. I also agree that a lot of the photographs do not actually show the emotions of the day. I would rather see natural photos of families having fun together, or the bride and grooms first look, then something over posed that looks like it’s just come out of a celebrity magazine.

    I don’t however think that it’s fair to say that couples who decide to make the details for their wedding, such as a hand made sign, or actually like burlap and mason jars are just following the norm and are boring because they are just like everyone else. Sometimes couples use these details because they think they are tasteful and set the mood for the day.

    As a professional I think you have every right to challenge bloggers who only use photographers who pay them, or photoshop every picture to within an inch of it’s life because the quality of their work is poor. I don’t however think it’s fair to criticise the details of the day just because you’ve seen them all before. This is the couple’s personal taste and how they’ve decided to express themselves. Lets face it planning how your wedding will look is alien to most people and scary at first, and the guests usually won’t have a clue that a certain detail is so 2011.

  203. says

    Get realistic. Going back to “traditional” media, who would buy an average-looking wedding magazine with average brides, average venues etc etc. Not many, because they wouldn’t be inspiring would they? All brides want to be “inspired” by seeing fantasy but are (hopefully) able to draw elements from it to elevate their wedding to non-average/unique/different etc. Why would they want their wedding to be “average” by the confirmation that everyone elses weddings are also average? Regards Patrick Montgomery – wedding photographer.

  204. says

    Over-exposed photos are my biggest bugbear! Especially because if the bride is wearing white you cannot pick out any details on the dress, they’re just a blur of super-bright white.

    Great letter, and well done for publishing it. And brides to be, ban birds from your weddings!

  205. says

    Oh, and I forgot to say, those photos of brides and bridemaids holding bouquets where you can’t see anyone heads are also super-annoying. So photographers, take note. Bloggers aren’t the only ones who jump on stupid trends.

  206. Anina says

    This is amazing, and contains so much truth. Thanks for publishing.

  207. Jessica says

    I reckon the letter-writer should start a blog for “ordinary weddings”. Then he/she can publish all the weddings with no details taking place at average venues, and then we wouldn’t have this problem anymore. Those other blogs are just catering to their target market, so if there’s a gap in the market, fill it instead of complaining.

    It probably won’t get any sponsors, though.

  208. says

    I applaud you for this! It’s about time we get back to the reason for the season and take the PRESSURE off of these brides and their famililies – weddings are important, sure – but isn’t it the MARRAIGE that needs to be the focus? I appreciate beauty in all forms – being a makeup artist – and I have to say this is refreshing to hear/read! I cannot tell you how many emails I get for my services if I toss them in free of charge (!) to be included in their mega BLOG – for the express thrill of being mentioned in the blog. I’m not horribly opposed to being mentioned in any blog – but since when do brides blog incessantly about the details of their planning and day of – and why? can we get real? Well said!

  209. Robin says

    BRAVO from a professional wedding coordinator who doesn’t have a website or a blog and is soooooo sick-to-death and B-O-R-E-D of looking at what is being published online.

  210. says

    I step into the lives of Brides and Grooms for a brief period of time, when emotions run very deep. It is an honor for me to be a part of these life cycle events. I am always aware that every wedding that I help to create, however big or small, intimate or public, simple or extravagant, gets “published” in so many ways… most importantly, those lucky enough to witness it in person will have it published in their memory. Great photographers capture the moments of emotion, depth and meaning. It is those photographs that become the “published” story of a couples life. Until more of the wedding bloggers begin to listen to your advice, I hope that my definition of “published” helps us remember the worth of our work.

  211. says

    Wow. Love this post! As a wedding planner/designer we produce beautiful events in the midwest. I’m sorry that most of our weddings with 250 people we don’t showcase “escort cards pinned to real apples” … or other “shabby chic” styles.

    Our weddings are real and beautiful. I hope the wedding bloggers will take heed….

  212. says

    This is one of the best wedding blog post ever! Thanks for putting this truth out in open air and now maybe some of these wedding bloggers and photographers will take notice!

  213. says

    Obviously I’m a little late to this party/smack down, but I couldn’t help but throw in my two cents.

    I actually wrote a similar post, this one for brides planning their weddings, in March. I was tired of Confetti Systems and chandeliers in trees from brides I wasn’t sold were really committed to living a life with their light fixtures strung up in foliage. And I do think that your wedding should reflect you-your clothes, your home, your real life.

    I try to blog for a bride who picks pearls over crystals, writes letters to their grandmother and likes a stiff drink at the end of the week. That’s because that’s who I am, and I think there are people like me out there. There are also brides out there who go bat shit for typewriter guest books or dessert displays, and that’s cool, too. As bloggers we’re just trying to find our girl and provide her with visual inspiration for her next project-whether it’s her wedding, her sister’s baby shower or her best friend’s birthday party.

    Now, all that said, I don’t feature every wedding I’m sent. Sometimes there aren’t any photos of the couple GETTING MARRIED, which is the whole damn point. Sometimes the couple is so concerned about looking good they never look happy. Sometimes there aren’t enough details, and frankly, I do want to know what the cake looked like. And sometimes, it simply isn’t my style. But a friend of mine put it best when she wrote–”Your wedding doesn’t have to compete with Style Me Pretty”. I hope we can start convincing brides that’s true.

    Thank you for fostering such a fascinating discussion on the industry, and for being brave enough to share your thoughts.

  214. says

    Thank you for sharing these thoughts! These exact conclusions are part of what we’re trying to overcome with BridesView. Will you please e-mail me? I’d love to talk more about how we can help!!!

  215. says

    I would totally agree with everything you said.
    What a great post. I will keep these things in mind when I start to summit my wedding photography to different blogs.

    Is there any wedding blogs around that will take just “beautiful wedding photography” without all of the details being over the top?

  216. says

    You should check out the site http://wedimg.com/ if you want to see real weddings, with real brides. You also get to see some great photographers, and a lot of crappy ones.
    But it is pretty unfiltered.

  217. says

    I make sure to post all of my weddings, with all of my real people, on my blog..and that is what I refer to for brides to see my work…I want them to see how beautiful I can make each and every person look, and thats because I really do think they are beautiful! As for wedding blogs, I am sick, yes, of all the perfect perfect people, but also of all the same shooting…after a while scrolling down Style Me Pretty, it looks like the same photographer shot them all….I like to do something a little different with my peeps. CHEERS TO THIS POST THOUGH!!

  218. Jodie Wiggins says

    Wedding blogs are meant to inspire and I believe that is what they do. I don’t want to see run of the mill weddings when I go ‘wedding blogging’.

  219. Mikayla says

    I am so happy this was said…FINALLY. I do love all of the vintage trends, but I am tired of seeing only women who look like models on these sites. I wanna see all kinds of people represented. Thanks for the real talk!

  220. says

    Thank you for this post. I read so many blogs while planning my wedding and felt awful when certain decor details didn’t work out as planned on my wedding day. I was actually depressed and wanted to re-do my wedding just 3 weeks later. I thought that my photographer didn’t think my wedding was “good enough” compared to her other ones.

    You are right, there are not enough blogs out there catering to brides who are on a budget but don’t have a zillion hours to do DIY crafts. After my wedding, I started my own blog to vent and share ideas. I have never thought about featuring real weddings on my blog, but you’ve definitely inspired me to keep going and to keep it real! I’m linking to this article, ASAP.

    Brides, please submit your cultural weddings and love stories to me! No exclusivity clause here. <3

  221. Peggy says

    OK, I get it, the author is mad at weddding blogs/photographers…..but I think what the author needs to remember is that in weddings, just as in everything in life, everyone is different. *Newsflash* No one forces anyone to read a wedding blog. Wedding blogs are aimed at creative people, creative people will naturally have creative weddings- it’s what they do, and that’s ok. Just as it is also ok for other non-creative people to have non creative weddings.

    And as for things dating and looking “so 2011″……what is wrong with that?! I’m sorry but looking back in history at weddings/fashion/style/design/art nothing is ever timeless, everything has ‘an era’ it belongs to, that is the way the world works, aesthetics change and styles move on and again, *newsflash*, that’s ok!! There is nothing wrong with looking ‘of the moment’, it is a record of a moment in time and we can never predict how we will view things aesthetically in 20 years time. And for the record, there are still plenty of photographers using the selective colour of 2006/2007 today and plenty brides who still want that effect and like it- by you being derogatory about that effect you are perpetuating what you are supposed to be arguing against- design prejudice.

    This world is big enough for everyone and every style, if creative brides want to blog and be featured on blogs they should be allowed to without fear of a backlash from jaded wedding professionals……if these non-creative brides/normal brides are so worried they should be starting their own blog for normal brides for everyone to read. There is room for everyone but by attacking one group like you are you (and when you think about the number of weddings worldwide every year the group/number of weddings on blogs is miniscule) you are creating unnecessary bad feeling and perpetuating what you say you are against-prejudice.

    Wedding blogs have opened up a world which has let brides do their own thing and be individual- they no longer have to go down the set-in- stone/traditional/sugared almond route, they have a choice, and all I can say is- I’m glad I’m writing this from a country that I can make choices for myself, so many brides don’t have that luxury. Let’s stop making a mountain out of a molehill.

    Now go and remove that large chip from your shoulder and get a new job if you don’t like the industry you are in.

  222. says

    I too was inspired by this post to open up my blog to real weddings – and I mean REAL! Not “mediocre”, not “average,” but weddings seen through the eyes of talented photographers who know how to capture the heart of what is happening. I like weddings that are under the national average budget, that DON’T have Chiavari chairs, and that include real stories from real brides, with real prices.

    I wouldn’t change the established blogs – they do what they do and that’s fine. But let’s have some more diversity out there. Let’s celebrate all kinds of weddings. And let’s give mad props to brides who manage to have weddings they love without maxing out credit cards.

    It’s been so fun to read all these responses, especially from the bloggers I most admire. I love that this post has sparked such interesting conversation. It’s an idea whose time has come.

  223. Meredith says

    I completely agree! It is also difficult when you have a realistic wedding that is chosen, but the photographer refuses to let the photos be published because their name will be smaller than all the other paying vendors. Photographers, think, it is all the same to the bride who would ask YOU to think about the person in the photo as well.

    Sincerely,
    A frustrated bride

  224. Kristi says

    Thank you!! I just shared the link on my facebook page.

  225. says

    Spot on! Great read! Thank you for shedding some light on this matter.

    My wife (wedding invitations) + me (photography) have been in the business for a year and we are seeing the ugly side of wedding blogs and all. We share all of our customers’ wedding on our blog, unless they specifically ask us not to.

    And don’t get me started with one of the top wedding blogs’ latest fiasco that has us rethink our position with them. That’s another story.

    It’s time to get real!

  226. says

    I enjoyed reading this post, and have often felt the exact same way!

  227. Ellen says

    I agree that mason jars are overdone. However, do you categorize pickle, spaghetti, salsa and sauerkraut jars as the same? I’m a skinny girl and my wedding will probably be crafty and stylized because that’s who I am. My photographer will publish all the photos he takes at my wedding on his blog because that’s what he does for all of his weddings. I think your rants are founded but don’t blanket-judge all weddings.

  228. says

    Obviously this photographer has never seen our blog as we DO publish her so-called “ordinary” weddings and we focus on promoting wedding and portrait photographers and their photography. So I take offense that she’s classifying ALL bloggers in the same category. Sheesh, if you don’t like what certain blogs publish, don’t read them and especially don’t submit to them. There are a TON of blogs out there that are not ALL doing the same thing. Do your research!

  229. DL says

    While I love wedding blogs, I love the letter! I don’t think she’s really classifying ALL wedding bloggers, because that’s just simply unrealistic. I think she’s pointing out a very strong trend and business tactics being used in wedding blogs. I love using wedding blogs as inspiration for my brides, but I have been unsubscribing to many just because many look alike, have the same “feel”, and provide the same information-nothing new. Just the truth. That being said, there are many wedding blogs out there that are just awesome-so keep up the good work! I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

  230. says

    That was a very interesting and quite refreshing read. I think this is great to get the industry talking about these issues. Thanks for posting

  231. Meg says

    Oh Thank GOD! This was needed very badly. I’ve been a very devoted (okay slightly obsessed) SMP, Ritzy Bee, Snippet & Ink fan, (and after today, yours now that I’ve found it) but even I am starting to yawn. For the record I love throwing parties so it isn’t weddings that I’m obsessed with. My own wedding will be Me and He at City Hall and a celebratory cookout with the family the following weekend.

    These blogs all seem to be the same five weddings over and over and over again. 1. Glamorous City Wedding with movie set worthy lightening, Louis Ghost Chairs and 12 foot tall floral centerpieces 2. Rustic Chic with an abundance of lace, wildflowers and mason jars. 3. Preppy Nautical with lots of Navy, white and yellow and seashell accents 4. Sickly Sweet, where everything is gauzy, peaches and cream and all the photography is (as you say) grossly over exposed 5. Trying too hard Vintage. Why on earth would you want your wedding to look like it happened 90, 60 or even 40 years ago?

    Show us some average brides weighing 140lbs or more. Show us brides and grooms who aren’t Hollywood beautiful but beautiful in that we can see the joy in their faces on such a happy day. DO NOT show us any more mason jars, antique cameras, or another pair of $600+ shoes!!!

  232. Nikki says

    After reading this, I feel a strong pit in my stomach.

    I am not a blogger, photographer, or any other type of vendor, but I AM a Bride who is getting married in 4 months. I will admit I’ve been borderline obsessed with all the big shot wedding blogs, as well as a few smaller ones, for about 2 years now. Before I started reading wedding blogs, I thought all weddings had to fit your standard Church ceremony + country club reception format. I thought I would have to spend thousands of dollars on extravagent 6 ft. tall centerpieces, fine china, have a perfectly white standard wedding cake, and all of those other things that were common to weddings 5 years ago. Wedding blogs opened up my eyes to other possibilities beyond those things.

    The reason I feel uneasy is that I have, since I was a small child, loved antiques. Ever since I can remember I have hit up flea markets with my mom, who is very much a DIY-er. I also grew up in Texas, so naturally, when I started seeing all of these vintage/rustic chic weddings, I was excited because it seemed like something I would not only love and fit my style, but would also be somewhat affordable. However, after this article has been brought into light, I almost feel guilty for planning to incorporate things such as, dare I say, burlap and mason jars. Heaven forbid I use something in my wedding for fear that it will be too trendy or look like I’m trying to hard to be on a wedding blog.

    I have to admit that there is a lot of pressure with all of these wedding blogs and now with Pinterest. It’s so hard to think of anything that can be used that hasn’t been published somewhere. It’s also intimidating to think about all that I see and want to do, but fear I won’t have the time/ability to do so. But mostly, I am sad because I feel like although I love, and always have loved, these apparently now blacklisted items that would be considered “rustic chic”, I am going to be judged for incorporating them into my wedding because it is too over done and trendy.

    So with that being said, I’m going to go throw up now. And then re-plan my whole wedding.

  233. jimmy says

    Since when have photographers had the right to tell a bride and groom what to do or not to do? they are just another employee of the wedding day… aren’t they?

    To all you photographers out their having a winge, get over it! Listen to the instructions from the bride, use your skills and shoot your best! When it comes to your own wedding, that’s when you can start making decisions.

    • says

      Indeed. We don’t have the right to tell bride and grooms what to do. But I think you’re misreading this letter. Meg wants bloggers to diversify their coverage of weddings and offer more modest celebrations in addition to detail oriented ones. The onus is on the photographers and the bloggers, NOT on the couple or their family.

  234. kate says

    Here is what I don’t understand, the photographer mentions that wedding blogs are selective in what photos they publish, correct? Well don’t you do the same thing in a way? You don’t show every photo that you take at a wedding. You go through and weed out the photos that have people blinking and of course you take out the photos that are taken at the wrong angle showing the bride with a double chin!!!! So you are being selective as to what you show the brides/grooms. As well as you are selective as to which photos get shown in your portfolio too, right? You show your favorite photos. My guess is the ones that are hightly stylized and detailed. Because why would you show a table arriagement that has just a bowl with a floating candle in it when you could show a table with a a bunch of different arrangements/looks? So why are you harping on wedding blogs when you are just as selective as to what you show?

    • says

      I wouldn’t classify myself as “harping on bloggers.” I am a blogger. This was written by a photographer. So a better question might be, why did I publish something that criticizes not just bloggers, but also me?
      Well, I wanted to start an open conversation. And I understand that sometimes the most unpopular ideas foster the most meaningful dialogue.
      If Meg had published this on her own blog, she would have been written off as a bitter photographer. By publishing a criticism of bloggers on a blog, I felt that the it would be easier to have an honest discussion. I don’t think I was wrong in this.

  235. June Hoffman says

    Thank you for sharing a wonderfully honest post about weddings. As a DJ/MC/Officiant, I enjoy looking at the photos from weddings that I’ve performed (and those from the Fort Wayne area). I’ve been wondering for a long time why with so many beautifully scenic areas in/around town that so many photographers take the Bride & Groom (and wedding parties) to fields filled with tall grass and weeds, back alleys, buildings with broken windows, and areas that include broken down cars/trucks/farm equipment.

    So many of our couples are your “average” weddings. So many of these couples spend a lot of time planning and creating their vision of their wedding. I just wonder how these photographic styles really portray the couples for who they are, their level of commitment to each other, and their love.

    One of my missions is to keep couples and their guests dancing throughout the evening. So many photographic packages “end” after the traditions are done. Don’t get me wrong, I get it, but there is so much fun and excitement and dancing that goes on and so much of that is only captured by the guests.

    Thank you again for a great post. I’ve already shared it with some friends.

  236. Jillian says

    Wow, what a coward. Won’t even own up to his/her own ideas, yet wants an entire community to get behind them. Plus, I don’t think I’ve read anything as rude and just plain mean in a very long time. This is not the way to get people conversing about new ideas, but a way to lash out without receiving any of the consequences. Again, what a coward.

  237. Stefanie says

    I’m not sure I get all the hate here. I was behind the writer at the beginning until it started sounding just plain butthurt and insulting.

    I absolutely agree that there might be a need of more diversity in the wedding blog/industry in order to reach out to more couples. I think many bloggers start realizing it too.
    But there ARE so many different blogs and magazines offering all types of inspiration to couples out there – one must just look for them and dig up a little sometimes.

    Most of blogs and magazines are not telling couples that their weddings should be this or that way.
    They showcase inspiration.
    They showcase ideas.
    They showcase what’s in trend.
    They showcase what’s different and offbeat.
    They showcase what’s possible to be done.
    They showcase crazy things.
    They showcase cute little touches dear to the couple.
    They showcase brides and grooms who did it their way.

    In the end, they are just weddings and blogs.
    In the end, it is also YOUR job as a wedding vendor to remind the couple what’s the day about.

    THEM. THEIR LOVE. WHAT THEY ARE. WHAT THEY LOVE.

    It’s so important that couples work with like-minded vendors who share their vision of the day.
    A modern wedding could lose its essence through vintage photography. Same goes for the other way around.
    It’s why there ARE so many different vendors, photographers, venues, dress designers & what not out there.

    You don’t like vintage-ish weddings with vintage-ish photography? This is your opinion obviously.
    But these people out there are real couples who put themselves into their special day, and your comments can be as hurtful, if not much more, as those blogs not wanting to publish this or that kind of weddings.

    Same goes for the photographers. Beauty is obviously in the eye of the beholder. It’s their art, and you not liking their work doesn’t mean you should downright insult them. Photographers, as you must know since you are one, put so much of themselves in their craft, that I simply cannot wrap my mind around why a fellow photographer would feel entitled to look at other with condescension and ridiculize them for doing something other than what you are doing.

    Bottom line is:
    – refreshing new ideas, photography & couples who don’t find themselves right now in the blog/magazine-sphere – yes;
    – insulting brides, grooms, vendors, photographers because they are doing it in a style that’s considered trendy right now – no.

    Stefanie @ Gasoline Photography

  238. Rian says

    Total agreement that wedding blogs should make more of an effort to feature more attainable and realistic weddings. I also agree there should be more emphasis on whats truly important i.e. the marriage itself specifically the ceremony. I see too few ceremony photos.

    However, attacking certain design elements or trends is completely unnecessary. You’ve seen thos things a million times before? So what? You’re a photographer. You’re job is to capture beautiful moments not pass judgements on the happy couple’s decisions on decor.

  239. says

    Awesome post. This is a simple and great wedding post. Thanks a lot.

  240. says

    This needed to be said a long time ago…I sure wish I knew the author to this article – I would love to have coffee with them.

  241. says

    Well, its how we handle anime i guess? Like smoking, anime can be really addictive and end up taking most of our lives if we allow it to. If you take it as just entertainment, to burn time when u’re free etc, then i guess it’s completely fine? but when you start getting obsessed with it, you become a Fan of a “name” anime, into a fanatic, which will lead to all the other stuff u mentioned above.

  242. says

    I haven’t read all 275 comments and probably won’t, but I know the letter from this photographer was upsetting to read. I could feel my pulse racing while reading it, but only because it sounded like a very bitter, negative rant. I can’t stomach listening to this tone and it is surely not the way to solve a perceived problem.

    My first thought to the author of this letter is be your own solution. Start your own blog and publish what you like, you obviously feel there is a niche for the type of work you would like to see published (and it may just become the most viewed and celebrated wedding blog).

    I am not saying there isn’t some truth at the root of this letter, but at the same time it is unfair to blame any one group.

    The wedding industry is not unlike the fashion industry, the home design industry…even cooking and entertaining has been elevated to a level that is hard for the average person to attain.

    Sure the world (and the wedding industry) is not perfect, but individuals needs to choose how they view the world. Do you choose to see art, beauty and inspiration, or just the negative? The glass half full or half empty?

    Keep doing what you do with the best of intentions. You have readership for a reason. I wouldn’t give any more thought to the author of this letter. To each his (or her) own.

  243. Molly says

    Why such a rant? People don’t head to the media for ‘normal’ and ‘average’. They can get enough of that at home, right in their back yard.
    I libe in France, where weddings are all similar, and therefore quite boring. The same type of dress, the same music, the same jokes, and the same photos.
    All those blogs that you were talking about were so refreshing to me. The vintage look is cute, and quite cheap to pull off. Those blogs are inspiring.
    If you don’t like them, create your own blog. It’s free, it’s easy, yet time consuming. Not many people in their right mind would spend all that time writing a blog that’s ‘blah’. Not worth it.
    So why not stop moaning, and turn your negative energy into something positive!!!

  244. says

    I have never seen such an explosion of bad photography and no amount of photoshop can save it. I truly feel bad for these clients as in 20-years, or perhaps even in six months time they will realize that those special photoshop effects were nothing more than s flash in the pan gimmick(fake flares, Pee Yellow filters?). And when these couples realize this they will not be too happy when they view these images.

    Wedding photography should be simple, elegant, beautiful, & honest images that not only tell the story of one’s wedding day, but one that truly captures the real moments of them.

    Kurt Vinion – an American Fine Art & Luxury Wedding Photographer in Prague, Czech Republic!

  245. says

    I hope you don’t mind if we repost your article. We are also wedding bloggers but our thrust is so much more than just creative weddings. Thank you for your honesty! It’s very refreshing! :)

    Cheers!

  246. Alex says

    Thank you for this. I recently got married and scoured all of these blogs. Sure, there are some cute ideas out there, but did I really want my wedding to be full of tsotchkes and knicknacks? I’m a 36 year old professional woman with a job, not some whimsical flower child who wants my wedding to look “just like all my guests got transported to Anthropologie” or some crafty explosion of lace covered mason jars, bunting, felted owls, rainbow colored shoes and paper moustaches. I say, enough with the tat already.

  247. Allyson says

    You left succulents out of the list. This couldn’t be more true/somewhat hysterical and refreshing from the perspective of someone that works in the industry.

  248. says

    Now, this is a nice article! Actively photographing various subjects in special events, in the San Francisco bay area, I will likely implement some of this in my work. Thank you so much!

  249. RitaSiminu says

    :)

  250. says

    Couldn’t agree more. I photographed a wedding recently in NYC, and it was a different type of wedding. Because it was way small, brief and the dinner was in a restaurant, there weren’t any “details” to speak of. Yet scores of great, iconic photos. “Iconic” being exactly why the couple decided on NYC for their wedding.

    Submitted it to blogs, and… no go.

    A perfect example of how, though there are brides and grooms who plan weddings just like the one I photographed, they’re entirely overlooked.

    Funny thing… Hollywood and paperback publishers have known for years that romance sells. Maybe the bloggers will discover that too someday.

  251. Kathryn says

    This is exactly what I’ve been thinking as I’ve been planning our wedding! Why is every wedding blog, site, etc. filled with antique, shabby-chic, vintage, anthropologie-ish fair, complete with model-esque brides and grooms?

    I understand “eye-catching.” I understand “what sells.” I defintitely understand “creative.” I am an artist. But when you constantly show the same thing, you’re suddenly not-so-creative anymore, are you?

    I am of the belief that what is real is WAY more fantastic and beautiful than anything that could ever be posed, fashioned, or cobbled-together in the right light.

    Now all we need is people with the platform to see this…

  252. says

    Wow, superb blog format! How lengthy have you ever been running a blog for? you make blogging glance easy. The whole look of your website is wonderful, as well as the content!

  253. says

    I must, even being a bride that is planning a wedding with a twist I loved this post!!!!!!! Everything you said in it is true.

    Its got to the point where all the blogs are so focused on featuring weddings that are so out of the box that like you say, they are all starting to look the same!!!!!!! I’m personal finding that because of this, some parts of the wedding/ wedding blogging industry are becoming very “clicky”.

    Our wedding has a rockabilly twist to it cause that is our style, NOT because its fashionable.

    Well done you for speaking up! Xxx

  254. Jennifer says

    I had an “ordinary” wedding… now I’m planning my sisters cute “fad” wedding. And although I would have loved to have all those vintage details, I’m actually kinda glad I had the “ordinary” photographer and the “ordinary” event…I bought the CD from my photographer and he did such a great job…and at least for now I can go to picnik or any other photo editing site to make my photos look vintage… for now. And if the FAD fades…well I will still have the crisp clean “ordinary” pictures ;-)

  255. says

    Amen. I keep wondering when people will start being realistic with weddings… I don’t know if that is every going to happen, but I’m hopeful. I guess I’ll just keep at it until then… :)

  256. b says

    I’m relieved and yet at the same time very upset by this post. I’m glad to know that there are simple weddings out there, and yet… that was the VERY reason I was using mason jars and burlap-because they’re cheap, and simple, and give off a southern aesthetic, which our families very much are. Now, however, I feel like I’m going to have to apologize to my photographer for photographing ‘yet another rustic wedding’. Well guess what? That’s who I am and what I love. :/

  257. Sarah says

    Dear “b” (comment from 2/9/12):

    I understand completely! When I came across this blog a few weeks before my December 2011 wedding, I was really hurt. I had been working for almost a year on my hand-crafted, vintage-inspired wedding. And yes, it was full of mason jars, lace, doilies, tea cups, old books, and all the other stuff that people are apparently sick of. Well, you know what? I LIKE that style. I did follow some vintage-themed wedding blogs while I was planning the wedding, but that was only because I was already attracted to that style and wanted craft ideas. And like you, I chose to have a vintage-themed, hand-crafted wedding because that helped save a lot of money. I used old books from my own shelves, I raided thrift and antique stores, a bridesmaid and I did all the bouquets and flower arrangements ourselves (I ordered bulk flowers), and I did a variety of simple crafts. So, maybe my wedding just ended up looking like every other indie wedding. Well, it still reflected me and my husband.

    Nevertheless, in defense of Hindsight Bride’s post, I will say that I WAS overwhelmed by the level of perfection that I saw even in supposedly hand-crafted weddings on blogs. I often felt like my own crafts could never measure up to what I saw on blogs. In the end, I just had to be OK with the way I did things for this wedding. It wasn’t perfect, but it was charming.

    I just submitted my wedding photos to Ruffled, a big-time vintage-themed, hand-crafted wedding blog. But I wonder if they’ll accept photos from a bride who had a $7000 budget (we paid for the wedding ourselves), no coordinator, no designer, no florist … Just a pair of crafty hands and some friends eager to help. We’ll see.

    Keep up the good work, “b”! I’m sure your wedding will be lovely and charming! Don’t let anybody make you second-guess your style for this wedding!

    Sarah

    • says

      Sarah, I’m sure I’d be over the moon with your wedding. I’m not sure how much you’ve clicked around on this blog, but I too love mason jars, lace, tea cups, and old books. It’s just who I am. I am also a DIY budget bride. Our wedding came in at around $5000 and was published on DIY Bride (A perfect fit for us.) Budget is less important than good photography and good fit for most blog editors. If you’re a good fit for Ruffled, I’m sure Amanda will publish your wedding. If she doesn’t, email me, I may be able to point you in the right direction. I believe there’s a wedding blog out there for every style, taste, and budget, and I know quite a few up-and-coming blogs that enjoy healthy traffic and a robust community.

      In terms of being hurt. I’m sorry. It was never my intention to make brides self-conscious by publishing “Meg’s” letter. I encourage all of your to create meaning for your wedding according to your individual values and styles. Don’t let anyone tell you your style isn’t good enough. It is!

      The post was mostly criticizing bloggers who are trend and detail hounds. While I believe it started a good conversation within the industry, and a agree with some points, I don’t agree with all of them. Nonetheless, I thought it was an important conversation to start. Still do.

      I just want to re-iterate: go with your own style no matter what. Hell, I still have a soft spot for pinwheels and burlap, and I’ll never apologize for that {wink!}

  258. Sarah says

    Thanks for the encouragement! Even though I was hurt by “Meg’s” letter, I knew that her message had a deeper point than just some attack on vintage or indie weddings. And I was so overwhelmed and stressed in the weeks before my wedding, that literally anything could hurt my feelings! So, no harm done. No apology needed. ;-)

    I do want to reiterate a point from my last comment, which I think fits with “Meg’s” letter. Those wedding blogs with perfect photos of perfect crafts and perfect receptions and perfect venues made me very self-conscious during my own wedding planning. I would look at those perfect photos, and then I would scroll down and see that those brides usually had a wedding coordinator, a design coordinator, and a host of other larger-budget helpers. My husband, our family and friends, and I did the whole wedding ourselves, except for the food and the cake. I would end up feeling so inadequate when I saw these perfect weddings on blogs and in magazines. I felt like any wedding I put together on my smaller budget, while I was also busy with school and work, would be so ugly compared to those picture-perfect weddings.

    Even worse, during the planning, I myself became a snoot about other people’s weddings. If a bride was doing something I thought was ugly or tacky, I would look down my nose at her and make fun of her wedding ideas. I am SO ashamed that I thought like that, but that is what this nasty competitive edge in the wedding industry does to brides. It turns us against each other. It makes us want to tear other brides down so we can make ourselves feel adequate.

    Like I told “b,” after much agonizing and stress and beating myself up for not having a picture-perfect wedding (some of which I even did for a few weeks AFTER the wedding), I just had to realize that I was PROUD of my wedding, proud that we worked so hard on it, proud that we made it so charming on a smaller budget, and proud that it reflected me and my husband, our love, and the love of our families and friends for us.

    Any wedding where the bride and groom are deeply in love is a PERFECT wedding.

    Sarah

    • says

      Lovely details Sarah! Love the ribbon-wrapped wreath! And the gown, wowee! It’s perfect for your body.

  259. says

    In my opinion you can’t do something you like and be afraid that the others won’t like it.People are different, and they like different things. What you can do is to write what you thing is right, and hope that the other will see it that way too. But you do need someone to criticize some of your work, as it will make your writing better.

  260. says

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  261. maddie says

    The reason why these blogs are so popular is because lots of people enjoy reading about the weddings they feature whether they are vintage, alternative, whatever. They are an inspiration for brides-to-be.0 If that particular style isn’t your thing then find a blog that is – there are plenty out there. Also in regards to styled shoots – I am a dress designer and I really enjoy doing over the top creative shoots – collaborations with other vendors to create visual inspiration for brides to be.

  262. Heather Gardner says

    PERFECTO! While I love the detailed photos, I am more interested in learning about the personal story behind the photos. A great photographer, in my opinion, is one that can capture the story with photos + writings. I equate it to looking through an old photo album from your grandparents. While the photos are great, each one has their own story. THAT is what I want to learn about.

    Bravo, thank you, muchas gracias, cheers!

    • says

      @Heather I’m with you all the way. I love the stories too. I also love the real nitty-gritty details of what to do, and what NOT to do. Hence my Hindsight Advice interviews. Thanks for the support!

  263. says

    Excellent blog post. I definitely love this Blog. Continue the good work!
    It’s nearly impossible to find well-informed people for this subject, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  264. Shayleah says

    Thank you so much! When I started looking for wedding ideas, i kept stumbling across vintage chic, rustic, burlap. Ick. I grew up in rural Canada, where these things are NOT fashionable. Why? Because to us, it looks like our grandmother planned it. “oh look, the bride pulled a few weeds out of the ditch on the way to the wedding. Gross.” Not to mention, standing in a field with bugs, and ticks, and grossness? not nearly as fun as people think. I’m a nerdy girl. I love comic books, video games. My living room looks like an ode to Harry Potter, with some Superman thrown in for fun. Neither my fiance or I have any desire to spend more time outside than we have to. So finding inspiration that didn’t look like it came from the seventies was hard. We’re getting married in a Fire Hall. Why? Because I’m a firefighter, as is my father. My parents built the building, spending hours painting, and laying down tile. It’s beautiful, and I’m extremely proud of my family’s contribution to our tiny farming community. My colours are plum and lime green. The idea of buying a new pair of cowboy boots for a wedding? Ridiculous. they look stupid. That leather has to be stretched, worn down, and covered in cow patties before I’ll consider it beautiful.

  265. says

    I totally agree. I’m tired of hearing “modern vintage” or “circus vintage” or “steam punk”. It’s becoming a creativity contest and not what it’s really suppose to be, which is a ceremony about the love of 2 people. I know so many “photographers” who have absolutely no skill, who shoot directly into the sun and feel by adding props they find at a garage sale it makes them more unique and creative. What ever happened to the study of light? Proper exposure. Filling the frame? All the principals of photography that classically trained photographers once adhered to? Oh wait… there are no more classically trained photographers anymore (me included). Now the trend is that every stay-at-home mommy blogger whose husband bought them a 5DMII a 50mm 1.4 to keep them busy during the day started a blog and photography business with a snap of the fingers. I’m not upset because my business is hurting. Actually I’m busier than ever and I cater to those average brides who just want a normal wedding documented beautifully. Not every wedding will be on a magazine cover. Not every bride is worth of a swimsuit calendar. Doesn’t matter, everyone deserves great photos. I don’t submit my photos to blogs because they do look alike after a while and it’s just a contest to see who can be more creative. I pride myself on knowing the bride & groom well enough to capture what is important to them, in a style that represents how they see their own day, not to take over-exposed photos and detail shots in hopes of making it into a wedding blog. Those P-Mode professionals will soon be out of work because of their inexperience with how to really operate a camera and be professional before and after the wedding.

    /rant

  266. says

    Love this article! I have had all too many beautifully emotioned filled and perfectly captured weddings turned down to “not enough details” and it made me consider starting my own blog to showcase just simply stunning wedding photography. And John B. Mueller, I’m hearing you! It drives me crazy to see the photography with no concept of the technique of our forefathers in the craft and how to use light. Oh and Gary Fong coined a great title for what you are talking about, the “momtographers.” What is really crazy is my portrait work gets copied by others and then published as they get the detailed weddings. But I agree, it surely has to be a matter of time until the fads fade and we get back to it being all about the couple joining themselves in marriage and quality photography. Details are great but what is really amazing is a simple photograph that captures the emotion in the bride and groom’s face that you can actually feel when looking at the image.

  267. JohnR says

    Oh, so true. Brilliant stuff, Meg.
    Oh, and look, you’re an Oly user, even better !

    • says

      Hi John, Thanks for the comment. Meg actually isn’t an Olympus user (not sure if that will disappoint you or if the comment was sarcastic). As the editor, I choose the the camera picture from Flickr. It’s licensed under creative commons. Thanks again for the comment.

  268. says

    This is so true and it makes me feel better to know there are others out there like me.

  269. Anita says

    You should probably understand that just because those of you in the wedding industry are sick of seeing the rustic/vintage look, the brides planning their OWN weddings definitely are not, as evidenced by the amount of brides planning these types of weddings. I am planning my own right now, and until I started this planning process I had never personally seen or been to this type of affair. You need to understand that each bride is hopefully planning her wedding just once and isn’t attuned to what the fads/trends are, as there is just one point in time that she is involved in this industry. If this makes those of you in the industry sick or ready to vomit over burlap, TOUGH! That’s your job! You should be treating each client who thinks that mason jars are the greatest thing since sliced bread, with excitement and enthusiasm, not acting like some bored snob looking down on the uneducated bride with pity for her poor taste. I don’t know you, or what your business is, but I would certainly not patronize you with your elitist attitude. Taste is subjective. Unless you are being hired to opine on a bride’s choices, you should probably keep your mouth shut on your personal opinions until you’re planning your own wedding, as that is the only wedding where your opinion will actually matter.

  270. says

    So many comments, but I just had to add mine too! Thank you for posting this! I think it’s ridiculous when blogs only post things from their paid vendors! It’s like paying for an email list of brides! I refuse to play that game. I love all the wonderful content you post and helpful information to couples. There’s so much more then just pretty pictures and I’m glad you’re trying to share that! Keep on rock’n it!
    -Rachael

  271. magdalene says

    excellent!!

  272. says

    I am so glad I am not alone in this thinking. I can’t believe what is done ……..I love photoshop but only to enhance the beauty that is before us.

  273. says

    3 cheers on your SWOON-WORTHY post ( just kidding!) But seriously – enough is enough, and maybe i’m bitter too, but they DO all look identical and NO ONE seems willing to publish anything INTERESTING. Kudos for writing this!

  274. says

    ps – i just linked this to my website–since its so amazing—

  275. says

    So true! I’ve had a few couples whose weddings were “average” but had awesome personalities, details shouldn’t matter as much as the people.

  276. says

    As a fellow wedding photographer this sounds sooooo familiar
    Totally agree with you on this one.. Hopefully more photogs do and things
    will change!

    Erwin

  277. says

    Just a heartfelt thank you from another photographer in this crazed industry. It seems like the weddings have gone the route of reality-tv mentality… I hope it will swing back to being more about the couple and their special people.

    I’m fine with the burlap and such if it fits the couple but it is wrong for the media to make it look like a mistake if you don’t have that kind of wedding. It would be a better deal for any bride trying to plan a wedding to see many different styles and ideas.

    My hat’s off to you for the brave blog.

  278. says

    Thanks for this article. It is so spot a year later. It’s on Facebook and it really resonates with me as I am so tired of all the sameness in the wedding industry. I have brides putting out mason jar candles hanging from a tree even because it had nothing to do with anything else in her wedding. She just threw up cockles and pretties every trend for her wedding.

  279. says

    How can I ever thank you for saying this OUT LOUD?! The most down-to-Earth, simple, yet full of advice piece of truth I’ve read in a long time about the fad state of the union our Wedding industry is going through…
    Consider yourself stalked from now on :)
    Signed,
    Another “forreal” photographer

  280. says

    I don’t want to get published. Getting clients is enough for me. As a photographer I’d rather concentrate on the people and their emotions rather than details. But that’s just me…

  281. Bridget says

    Meg Surly (not your real name) – what a great article – will you marry me?!

  282. says

    Great article! I thought I was the only one in the world who does weddings for couples with a low budget, ordinary houses, no styling on their tables, who don’t marry in fancy surroundings and guess what: I love this challenge and they love each other and enjoy their wedding day even more than the ones with expensive weddings :-)

  283. says

    I was just introduced to this article.. Truth be told I had no idea wedding blogs had people in such an uproar.. Sure I read them as I planning myself and a wedding photographer. I didn’t realize brides felt bad because their wedding was not blog worthy.. Brides DO NOT EVER feel bad because you think your wedding is not blog worthy.. Ive never had a bride say this to me and I hope none ever will..

    I dont shoot a weddings or pick clients because they are pretty or going to have a “blog worthy” wedding. My clients choose me because of my style and what I offer. They want Me out of the hundreds of photographers in my area and Im honored. I dont care if its at the VFW or not. I’ll do my best to capture the love, the moments, and the details.. big, small, cheap, expensive, DIY, or bought. I do my best to make their day and them look like a million bucks. Making them happy is all that matters to me.

    Another thing in my area.. as much as these trends are mainstream on the net.. are they really?? Ive never been to a wedding or photographed a wedding with mason jars, burlap, or anything “trendy”. As far as Im concerned so what if a bride follows a trend she saw on a blog, go for it if it makes her happy!! Ones that don’t like these blogs, STOP looking at them..

    Im personally ok with what ever these blogs do, they have the right to do so and there are blogs that fit all styles. Just like I have the right to not submit or read them.. Find one that fits you. I also feel if Im a paid advertiser on their site I would hope I have more priority over someone who does not pay. Its just business sense. This industry is a business bottom line and so are the blogs, its the bloggers business, their money maker. (I know some do it for fun/hobby) People who pay to put food on their table Should get more submissions posted.. its common sense.

    Running one of these blogs is a full time job, it is a full time job for some and its not just easy peasy or everyone would be doing it and successful at it. It takes work and persistence to grow a blog with a large readership and continually keeping readers coming back. All the power to them. They also have a job to do feeding the readers, if their audience wants burlap, they should give em’ burlap!

    On the note of “bad” photography.. sure there are some over process photos, some might say even mine are(according to some comments posted here) as I have a vintage flare and not because its trendy its a style Ive grown into and what I like. I like vivid but I really love softer muted tones. I am hired because of it. IMO I dont think the vintage trend will go away it was always there now its just more main stream now. Shabby chic/vintage/retro existed way before wedding blogs! Now a days tradition is out the window and they are incorporating these styles into their wedding, I Love it! I bet money most have something in their home or wardrobe that is that style.. I like that blogs and the like have opened doors to follow what you love not what grandma did.

    I sometimes wish I grew up back them where everyone dressed nice, wore fun hats, lived simpler, and people appreciated it. I know Im not the only one that feels this way. I completely understand when a couple loves retro or vintage shabby, they have an appreciation for the era and love it. Im also sure some do it because they think its a trend and so what.. if they are happy thats all that matters not what others think. :)

    There will also always be wedding photographers that cover up poorly taken images from the start. This is nothing new and will never go away, we all know that went on even in the film days… There are clients for every kind of photographer, vintage, mediocre, and extreme pros. For some the photos are not that important.. they’d rather have a fancy dress and an open bar instead, good for them doing what makes them happy.

    To some of the brides.. I also have not blogged every wedding or portrait session Ive ever done and it has nothing to do with looks, location, or the like. I just get busy.. crafting a blog post can be time consuming. Sometimes we just dont have the time.. I do however usually have a photo or two in my gallery or on facebook. I sincerely try to use at least one photo for display for every shoot or wedding. There is always at least one money shot I love and its going on my website no matter shape, size, age, or location. A great photograph is a great photograph no matter what the subject is. Please dont take offense and think you or your wedding was not good enough.. :D Sure some only blog what they like but its mostly because of time to do so..

    To the trend haters.. :D Guess what I will use mason jars, I love mason jars, always have. Has nothing to do with trends.. Just like I will DIY many details, Ive been a DIY geek my whole life, its part of who I am and always will be. I DIY stuff for photo shoots, for my home, and for gifts all the time! I also love vintage, always have. So does my mother, my family is filled with crafty artists in many mediums. I was a DIY geek waayyy before I became a photographer. :) I dont care if its all over the blogs and Pinterest.. and brides you shouldn’t either. Your guests are not stalking wedding trends/blogs! Most guests will have never seen jars used or a candy table..

    Bottom line..

    Brides NEVER feel bad you are not good enough or your details are not good enough either.. your day is about you, your love, and what you can afford. Dont go into debt to have a “blog worthy” wedding.

    Bloggers do what you gatta do! Ones that have a problem can start their own blog and fill it with content and run it the way they want. I just dont understand why its such an issue when we have way bigger problems in the world than trendy blogs and mason jars.. also plenty of blogs with all types of styles. Really why dont they just find a blog they like and fits their style?

    Thats my 25 cents.

    Good luck brides, bloggers, and fellow wedding photographers! :D

    Cheers,
    Kelly

  284. says

    Wow. This open letter is strewn with HATE – hate for real couples, fabulous bloggers, fellow photographers… No wonder the author wishes to stay anonymous…

    Can you imagine going back to the days of the cookie cutter weddings showcased in traditional bridal magazines… ick!

    I love when a couple makes their day truly theirs by infusing their personalities, their creativity, and their love into the details and the events of their wedding day. As a photographer, I value these couples because in my experience, these couples place a higher value on creativity.

    And so what if we’ve seen the burlap, mason jars, wild flowers before?? To their wedding guests, these details are clever and novel! A couple’s wedding day is for them and their guests. And honestly, I’ve never photographed two weddings that look alike or felt similar. As for vintage processing, many couples request this and I understand why – they want to make sure their photos evoke the same nostalgia as their grandparents photos do.

    Bashing on couples for following particular trends that resonate with their personal style, and likewise trashing the myriad of blogs all trying to cater to the many different niches of modern brides and offer them inspiration – seems downright insulting. Who honestly wants to look at a blog full of the same carbon copy weddings over and over again? I love my job but I honestly fear that I would die of boredom if I only photographed the “average” bride the author speaks of.

    Every couple is unique and it’s important to embrace and celebrate this fact!
    Why try to shove everyone back into the average box?? Why not celebrate the fact that this is not a particular trend, it’s a paradigm shift. Like no time before, couples feel that they have the freedom to be as creative as they wish with their wedding day.

    The couple’s day is absolutely about them and it’s our job to remind them that this is THEIR day, and we are all there to celebrate {and document} their love, their uniqueness. Don’t diss them for embracing a beautiful detail they found in a wedding blog, just because you’ve decided its tastelessly trendy.

    While Hindsight Bride admittedly posted this letter to generate discussion {and site traffic}, I find the hate in this letter leaving a sour taste in my mouth.

    If you want heartfelt, creative brides who will appreciate your work – post beautifully captured REAL moments, unique details, and creative portraits that reflect the couples’ personalities.

    If you so dearly love monotony, post your under-processed photos of painfully dull weddings… but don’t hate on the couples, the vendors, and the bloggers whose taste differs from your own average palate.

    Forget the HATE because we wouldn’t have a job without LOVE.

  285. says

    thanks, great post! I like to describe reality, it is so moving and profound if you are in harmony with the couple. I always say to a couple: choose the photographer who loves and respects you. that moves with you.

  286. Patricia miller says

    A-M-E-N
    AGREED
    DITTO
    OMG SO TRUE

  287. says

    I 100% agree. And thank you for sharing. I’ve talked to so many brides who think their wedding is ‘boring’ because it doesn’t live up to magazine spreads, shows like 4 weddings and blog hype… One of my favourite weddings shot this year was one I did in a tiny town community hall where afterwards we headed out to a nearby abandoned barn, complete with cow clap, and shot the bridal family in the fields. Real, natural and beautiful…

  288. says

    hmmmm. I found myself wondering how things went amuck when I realized even though I have been photographing weddings for 25 years, I no longer feel comfortable showing up solo. It is “expected” that there will be a second, sometimes third professional wedding photographer present to record each and every one of the adorable triplet’s rose petals as they waft from their baskets to the golden haze-filtered Photoshopped ground.
    Who started these wedding shenanigans anyway and why are we photographing this way? Was it the perfect storm of unlimited digital capture combined with misguided wedding spending? Was it the fascination of what photographers were capable of producing on computers? Was it the accessibility of blogging and the monetizing of said blogs?
    So often at a wedding I will be asked “Did you get a picture of that?” and I find myself dutifully fulfilling requests like photographing 180 plum and lime green, handmade, hand painted miniature Adirondack chairs, each one holding an amusing portrait of the 180 remarkably photogenic wedding guests. Whew. Well, yes, that WAS a project and it did in fact, deserve attention (albeit medical in this economy) but I really don’t know what to make of these things these days. As it was, I turned my creativity loose and responsibly captured the tiny chairs from 14 different angles and hopefully (?) creative depths of fields. For some time now this type of wedding photo is not only expected, but in many cases required and the more “stuff” they keep adding to the exchange of vows, the more people and equipment photographers will need to record it.
    Thank you for pondering what perpetuates this.
    The first time I photographed doves being released during the vows (wait, did I say that out loud), three professional vidographers filmed it just to be sure they captured it. It was clear to me that something had gone terribly kaflooey with brides, event planners and everyone else involved, including me.
    Thankfully I believe our down-turned economy has reintroduced real, unadulterated, honest stuff, like legitimate photography, wedding or otherwise. The ability to paint with light, connect with the subject and deliver non-digital images will outlive photo fads and the short shelf life of digital prints with their myriad of Photoshop enhancements. Our distant descendants will run back into a burning house and grab precious images of relatives and leave behind the edgy two toned images of the grooms fun socks.
    Maybe wedding photography can settle down a bit. Be more about great photographs of people and less focus on the details which seem to have taken on a life of their own with the explosion of wedding blogs. People getting married don’t really need trendy photo effects or color coordinated candy stations. As photographers maybe we can help shift things a bit by focusing more on the beauty of the people rather than the beauty of the things.

  289. says

    Great piece if writing and well done for putting it on the blog. I am constantly reminding my couples that the wedding is about them and that they do not need to live up to a lot of the idealised media they see every day. As the photographer wrote, lets find a space for the real. After all, real doesn’t need to mean boring.

    Matt

  290. says

    There is a bit of “feed them what they want to read as well”. The problem with trends is they date rather quickly and most never come back. A classy, tasteful wedding will look classy as well 50 years from now. A hip wedding from the ’70s will always look like that. Perhaps the problem is not a dated look , in the end a Renaissance painting will always look like a Renaissance painting, but rather if that particular trend/look/whatever fits the personality of the couple involved. It’s one way saying ” look at X and Y’s wedding… what were they thinking??!!!?!” and totally another saying ” look at them… they would not have done it any other way, it’s them allright!”…

  291. says

    I feel all weddings are special……….as long as the people are special. I have shot million dollar weddings, weddings with just the couple and the minister, everything in between, skinny brides, model brides and heavier brides and all of the above is beautiful in its own right.
    I myself got married 3 years ago, I am not a young girl and perfect anymore, I am a woman that wanted to be beautiful in my grooms eyes on the day of our wedding. Mission accomplished, he thought I was the prettiest bride in the world even though I wore a untraditional black dress……….Our wedding was small, 14 people including us, but it could not have been more perfect even without the decorations we did not have. I am VERY sensitive to my brides feelings having been there myself, please just remember it is YOUR special day…….however small or big your wedding is it is the most wonderful day in your life :)

  292. says

    I’m late to this party, but I totally agree that the wedding blogs are so mind-numbingly “same” they’re ridiculous. I went through my google reader recently and deleted 90% of the big-name wedding blogs, and I’m so much better off for it. Saves me the trouble of seeing more of the same every time I check my feeds.

  293. Kathryn says

    Amen, amen, amen.

  294. says

    That is the difficulty with basing your work on someone else’s. Everyone begins to look like a carbon copy and then you just become a commodity instead of a unique photographer with a sense of style.

  295. says

    Just like the name implies, girls are trying things out.

    If you take the time to create a lively social circle, you are destined to meet more girls than you ever dreamed.
    Even if you screw up and drop your consume, do NOT act dismayed and pissed off at
    oneself for becoming these kinds of a clutz.

  296. says

    As someone who is relatively new to the wedding photography scene (just under 2 years) I hate hate hate wedding blogs, scratch that, I hate the unrealistic perceptions they place on my clients. I have over and over again had to explain to clients why not every shot should be “modern vintage” and how not everything always needs to be half out of focus. It’s also difficult because I feel like I produce good solid work but when considered for these blogs they’re simply not to the one styled taste that all 50 of them seem to promote. And as a bride herself who is heavier I would never dream of not blogging or featuring a couple of mine because they were not the height of perfection. As far as I am concerned they’ve paid me, they deserve respect, and they deserve to share their joy with their friends and family and be proud of their wedding photographs just as any other couple would. Besides, if I on;y ever featured supermodels I would feature like 3 weddings a year, my clients are REAL people and I shoot REAL weddings. Weddings where the couple pays for everything their selves, and don’t like vintage stuff everywhere. I’m sick to death of wedding blogs perpetuating a false wedding expectation. And again, as a bride, I don’t swoon over these photographs, I just know that those fauxtogs just paid for a certain type of photoshop action.

  297. says

    Excellent piece! Seriously wonderfully written, I agree on SO many points–you hit the nail on the head! You have said everything we’ve been wanting to say–from the paid advertisement to seeing posts that look like an absolute UNprofessional shot the wedding. Thank you for being so real, and for expressing so fluidly what we have been wanting to say for so long! I hope this “reality” catches on :)

  298. Violet G says

    Thank you for writing this post. I recently got engaged and have been going through a lot of different blogs. At one point I got so overwhelmed with the options out there, that I had to take a break from looking at them. I get a little frustrated sometimes because I think that my ideas aren’t unique enough or detail oriented enough compared to some weddings that are posted. Whether the place cards are handcrafted or the florist puts together all the bouquets, at the end of the day what makes our wedding unique is the two of us.

  299. says

    Let me see your wedding photos. If it is really good I’ll publish it. If it’s not I won’t just that simple.

  300. says

    Wow! Loved your blog and very well said. I have a brand new eCommerce Bridal Boutique called “I Thee Bling” and I am very close to installing and posting my first blog. I’ve been wondering what to write about that would be meaningful and perfect and I would love to blog about a “real wedding” I’m actually thinking about calling it “Keeping up with the Bling” (a take on keeping up with the Jonses…). Anyone wanting to submit some “real” wedding photos for my blog is welcome to – I’d be happy to take a look. What a great idea! Perfect!

  301. Heather says

    Wow! Great letter and so true!

  302. says

    Amen. Amen. And amen again. I have always made it my policy to represent all my weddings on my social media sites. And I’ve come to the conclusion that the very best weddings to shoot are the ones dressed by love, decorated in happiness, and catered by genuine commitment. Hail to the “average” bride!! May she long be honored on her day, no matter the size of her budget or the amount of custom decorations she has used!!!!

  303. says

    I am a planner and blogger and I admit it- I love the details, I love the whimsy! I understand the frustration at the mainstream wedding blogs, BUT I also have to say that there are LOTS of blogs out there that feature the regular and the ordinary…they just aren’t as popular. Isn’t that an answer in itself, these blogs aren’t forcing people to go to them…brides, planners, photographers alike flock to them because we are looking to be inspired. If we wanted to see streamlined and simple then there are blogs out there to go and do that…problem is no one goes to those blogs.

  304. Courntey says

    I just got married, I sell wedding decorations, and I blog and though I agree with a lot of points you made I disagree with your main one. Why would anyone search for the norm? For the weddings we actually attend? They are after all, the normal ones we attend, we know what they look like. We don’t need a blogger to show us what a rose bouquet looks like, we’ve seen it a dozen time before. The purpose of every wedding blog is usually stated as “to help (target market) find inspiration for their wedding.” Have basic weddings won’t help them be inspired, showing interesting details will inspire them.

    Of course your right that this is starting fail & most blogs look the same. A sad circular motion of events, brides are inspired by blogs, those weddings go on blogs, which then inspire other brides to do similar looks. But showing normal weddings won’t change this, it will just broaden the details a bit, it won’t inspire new trends. What will is posting something other than Real Weddings & Sponsored posts.

  305. Monica says

    When I got engaged in 2011, I started looking around for ideas. I had wanted to make the decorations myself (I’ve always been crafty), but with a full-time job, planning everything else, and planning to move in with my new hubby, I just didn’t have time. Plus I know very little about floral arrangements..we told the florist what we wanted and let them take care of the rest. My fiance and I decided that our wedding should be as fun as possible, which meant we didn’t obsess over every single detail of the planning. Our wedding was last June. We got married in my church and had the reception at a nearby restaurant. It was simple and it was FUN. Our photographer was excellent…I think we paid more for the photography than for any other aspect, and we definitely got our money’s worth. Anyway, I think this obsession with having the “most unique” wedding is just another form of being a Bridezilla, which is definitely not what a wedding SHOULD be about.

  306. PleaseNoFilters says

    THANK YOU. I am SO SICK TO DEATH of poorly composed images with matte faux-film finishes, grain, green tinges and bored looking couples. GROSS.

  307. says

    Absolutely brilliant article and thank you for having the guts to share it.

  308. says

    I read this quite a while ago and came back to read it again. It was right then and its even more right now. Nice one Christie, you did us all a favour by speaking up :)

    • says

      Thanks Bob. I’m glad it still speaks to people. I have to admit that my own view of this has expanded. I now accept all sorts of weddings and photography. Sometimes that has lots of stylized details, others have more emotional details. All of them are mountain brides and photographers celebrating a day in the best way for them.

      In fact, I reject a lot of weddings because they are not in the regions I cover. I realize now, someone could come and criticize me for not being more representative of ALL brides. But that’s not my interest, and it’s not my niche. And at the end of the day, it’s not my market.

      I’ve also come to realize that the Cockles and Pretties of the world are responding to a market demand. This came up when I conducted my own market research and reader surveys and realized that most of my readers are looking for wedding inspiration and details as well as solid mountain wedding planning advice.

      The good news is, there are so many wedding bloggers out there now. Good ones with lots of traffic and a good google rank. In fact, as of this writing, this blog enjoys 125,000 pageviews a month!!! Most professional photographers should have no trouble publishing their work if they take the time to do their research and find the right fit.

      So I’ve learned to live and let live. And I’ve learned that there are blogs out there, like Heart Love Weddings and A Practical Wedding, that are most interested in couple shots and a wedding stories. There are blogs like Style Me Pretty and Every Last Detail that want pretty details. And there are the blogs like The Wedding Chics and Glamour and Grace who want to see lots of handmade details.

      There are dozens of bloggers out there of every interest, niche and size. I believe there are perfect blogs for every vendor and wedding. I often refer photographers to other bloggers if they are a better fit for them. Besides, getting published once on a huge national blog may or may not do anything for you. But getting published on dozens of different types of blogs over time can really affect your business and your bottom line! Go us!

  309. says

    Ha! I just came across this post as I was researching if it’s worth it to pay certain blogs for advertisements. I submitted my work but I guess it’s not good enough since I didn’t pay them a ridiculous amount of money to advertise. Glad to hear that I’m not the only one thinks the same thing.

    • says

      Hi Monika, Thanks for the comment!

      First it’s my own personal belief that if a blogger takes on an advertiser that they should believe in that vendor’s work enough to publish it. However, I have run into problems with that philosophy, namely, if I guarantee publication the vendor sends me the weddings they think won’t be publishable anywhere else. Then I see their best work published on Cockles and Pretties. Burn!

      I have come to the conclusion that the best way for photographers to get published and for bloggers to fetch weddings their readers will love, is through careful selection on both ends.

      For me that starts with my reader survey, which tells me what kinds of problems mountain brides have, and what types of posts they like the best. As a businesswoman, I have reworked my interview format and my submissions guidelines to cater to my readers.

      Why? Because if I know what they want, I can find the perfect answers, details and vendors for them. In other words, I can match them up with you!!! But only if you’re a great fit for my readership. Otherwise, it’s not really worth your time to be published on my blog.

      Because I now focus on fit (a year and a half after I published this blog post) my traffic has quadrupled and I send on average between 50-100 clicks to my vendors for their real weddings and advertisements. I work hard to promote each and every advertiser, because I know my brides will LOVE them.

      But that level of success for advertisers comes at a price. If you send a wedding in middle America in a gorgeous but flat field, you won’t get published here; if you send a local VFW wedding with out-dated details, you won’t get published here. 80% of my brides are destination brides, who have a premium budget and are looking to hire top quality mountain vendors. Their biggest concern is they’ll get ripped off by local vendors, so they do a lot of research and ask for recommendation on each on. I am part of that recommendation process.

      So if you don’t get published on the Mountainside Bride, understand that it’s because the wedding you submitted is not a good fit for my readers. And if I lose my readership, I won’t have any brides to send to top-flight vendors in mountain areas.

      I leave this post up because people like it and relate to it. After I ran it I experimented in posting any wedding that came across my desk, and my blog traffic suffered for it.

      I am a thoughtful business owner whose mission it is to connect mountain brides with top quality vendors. If your submission isn’t a good fit, than it isn;t a good fit.

      However, unlike some other bloggers, I typically give a precise reason why it’s rejected and make recommendations for where it may be published.

      So to make a long story short, if you;re trying to get on Cockles and Pretties with a wedding YOU KNOW doesn’t fit their style, it’s probably not because you’re not an advertisers. It’s probably because the wedding wasn’t a good fit. In fact, a large complaint I’ve heard is that Cockles and Pretties will take your advertising dollars and STILL not publish you!

      I hope this helps clear up the publication policy on MSB :-)

  310. says

    Absolutely brilliant. As a photographer I love photographing the everyday wedding for the everyday bride. I find it more personable and a more relaxed day when things are not choreographed down to the nth degree with bride more concerned with fashion than what the day actually SHOULD represent – an exhibition of love and the joining of two people in wholly matrimony!

  311. says

    Fantastic blog post and one which I wholeheartedly agree with. How refreshing to see a true and unvarnished opinion.

  312. says

    Woah. I just fell in love with you. What. She. Said.

    Or we would all live in Portlandia… “Put a bird on it!”

  313. says

    This is an interesting and very informative topic. Thanks for sharing you thoughts on this issue. Keep it up, looking forward to read another one in future.

  314. says

    Christie,
    You did a superb job (and I must say, without offending) on the truth about Weddings! Yes, there are some very splendid ideas to compile a wedding event but truth be told, not everyone is looking for that perfect “magazine publication” look!

    When I got married (which was quite a while ago), I had a church ceremony with family and friends, rented an event room from a local hotel, did not have fancy decorations (didn’t have the money), simply had a buffet of finger food, spent $400 on my wedding attire, rented tuxedos, some photography and you know what, we had sooooo much fun! Everyone mentioned how much fun it was! (And the wedding party decorated the wrong car in the parking lot! Oooops!)

    You know what? My husband and I have been married for 29 years and have enjoyed the journey! Our wedding, to us, was perfect but more importantly, our marriage has been wonderful! That’s what it is about!

    Barb

  315. says

    Thanks for sharing such a lovely post. I must say what a bright idea of tying knot with a lovely
    soul-mate! Your post evokes the memories of my D-day. Can’t wait for your next post; keep
    posting. For wedding pics and ideas; visit Koncept Bandhan.

  316. says

    All skirts must be of a profesesional length and typle of material (no blue jean skirts,
    for example). You won’t get hired with hooker nails or dirty nails, no matter how qualified.

    This was shortly before hospital beds, visiting nurses, and brain tumors.

  317. says

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now
    each time a comment is added I get three e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service?
    Bless you!

  318. says

    So true and inspiring. I am glad I am not the only one who feels this way.

  319. says

    Hilarious. Well written. Snarky. True. Well done. We have been denied to so many wedding websites – and often without any real explanation other than, ‘it’s not what we are looking for right now.”

  320. says

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this
    write-up and the rest of the website is extremely good.

  321. says

    I have just started wedding blogging after having my own wedding and I was beginning to wonder why all of these weddings being featured were so much more thought out and all looked very similar. Mine was so different from those, so it is nice to get an insight in to why now! Good post x

  322. says

    Interesting post, I think it is important that all types of couples are acknowledged in the wedding industry rather than just the ‘pretty’ and ‘skinny’ ones.

  323. says

    Hi, the first letter was sent to my billing address, not my shipping address. I do not know if it is just me or other people had this trouble but I just wished to let you guys know. It was definitely disappointing not getting the letter where I’m proper now!

  324. says

    Weddings are still acknowledged formal events and this sort of wedding photography has stood the test of time. With watchful lighting and master posturing conventional wedding photography makes a flawless record of your family assembling. An exceptional photographic artist will have the capacity to work rapidly and have the ability to comfort individuals to guarantee the posturing doesn’t look uncomfortable.

  325. says

    An Open Letter From A Real Wedding PhotographerNew is really very useful article. I got something useful to read about wedding planning after a lot of search. Great work!

  326. Dan says

    Thank you for posting, Mountainside Bride! This article rings so true. I’m the social media marketing specialist at LinenTablecloth, and we’re talking about starting to feature REAL wedding photographers that photograph weddings that represent a realistic budget. Are you a wedding photographer who wants to get on board? Send us an email at marketing@linentablecloth.com. Thank you so much for featuring this article, Mountainside Bride–it’s about time someone spoke up.

  327. says

    Yes!!!! Birdcages and frames, be gone! I almost felt like an outsider, not being totally focused on details and not getting published because of a lack of details. So happy to hear there’s a lot of people like us out there!

  328. says

    To whoever the Photographer Is Who Wrote This Letter,

    Please reach out to me (just google my name with “photography” at the end to find me. I would like to buy you a drink the next time we are in the same area.

    Sincerely,
    Ivan Apfel

  329. says

    Well done for this great article..

  330. says

    Boom! Couldn’t have phrased it better myself.

  331. says

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Trackbacks

  1. […] Here is an anonymous letter that Hindsight Bride posted last week. And here is a beautifully written piece by Jonas Peterson. One that definitely made me stop and think, as I too have been up all night the last few weeks trying to figure out if there is a disconnect between what blogs are doing and what our audience wants. More specifically, what the wedding community wants. […]

  2. […] link to our facebook page of this open letter from an anonymous photographer that was shared on the Hindsight Bride’s blog called “Dear Wedding Bloggers, You Suck.” While I was reading it I found myself […]

  3. […] **taptap** Hello? Is this thing on? Oh, hey, wedding bloggers! I’m glad I have your attention. It’s your friendly neighborhood photographer here, sharing with you a little bit of insight from within the tiny walls of my office. You see, there’s a lot of blogging trends going on that I find particularly un-swoon-worthy. Of course, this is just my own humble opinion, but I am here to represent the other photographers and brides of the world who don’t feel heard or seen…. To see what I considered such a refreshing and wonderful insight that I shared it on my blog click on the link.  The full letter can be found on Mountain Side Bride […]

  4. […] I came across an Open Letter to Wedding Bloggers on MountainSide Bride (a website that, at least from the posts I’ve seen, seems to fall into a […]

  5. […] rustic, mason-jar-having, whimsical wedding, plastered multiple times throughout the pages. Anything less than vintage is just a plain wedding, and might as well have taken place at the Moose Lodge. I’m not sure why this fad is still […]