Red Pattern

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Bee's Life: Coach Edition!

We now interrupt these wedding recaps (there are more coming, I promise!) for a little Weddingbee post series action, and the one that just happens to be my favorite: A Bee's Life! There haven't been too many of these lately, (I think Sword and Funnel Cake were the most recent?) so I figured I would change things up a little and share my story. Not only did I find this series helpful in my pre-Blogger Bee days, but I have always thought they were just so interesting to read. Maybe I'm the only one who finds it exciting to hear just how long someone waited to get their response from Pengy or how they even got into blogging in the first place, but here's to hoping someone else out there enjoys it too ;)

How Did I Find Weddingbee?

I stumbled across Weddingbee during my Freshmen year of college while surfing wedding websites when I should've been studying. Mr. C and I were already pretty serious at this point, so even though we weren't engaged, I was certainly guilty of doing a little pre-engagement wedding planning. Pinterest wasn't really a "thing" yet (can you even imagine!?) so I was still looking for wedding inspiration the old fashioned way, and hopping around from one website to the next. At that time, FroYo had just started blogging, and I immediately started following her story because I loved that she was in Dallas and mentioned a lot of places I was familiar with. (I actually went on to use the same florist and videographer she did, so I certainly have her to thank for introducing me to them way back when. Just another thing I love about the 'Bee!) Once I started following along with some of the Bee bloggers' stories, I was hooked, and Weddingbee became the one website I would consistently visit and read, while secretly bookmarking all of the ideas I loved!

How Long Have I Been Blogging?/My Application Story

I grouped these two together because they are somewhat intertwined. I didn't start blogging for the sole purpose of creating a Weddingbee application, but it was certainly always in the back of my mind. Because I found the 'Bee long before I was engaged, the majority of the time I was a reader the idea of becoming one of the bloggers wasn't even an option. I was more than content just following along and keeping up with everyone else's wedding. However, once I actually was engaged, blogging about my own wedding was suddenly a possibility. But even then, I didn't rush to start blogging for my application. I actually started my blog for two reasons: It allowed my mom and grandmother to keep up with my planning process even though we were long distance, and I really wanted to document all of my planning in a blog so that I could print it all out in a book when the wedding was over (possibly with a company like this). For this reason, a lot of my original posts were not meant for a large audience, they were more of a "diary style" and simply for me to read.

When I finally did decide I wanted to blog for a larger audience, that was one of the first things I had to change. Thankfully, this post series existed, and I stalked all of the blog posts that had tips for applicants. The one thing that kept popping up was to find your own voice, but to also stay away from the diary-type writing. So, I went back to my very first posts and edited the heck out of those suckers. I did my best to re-write them in a way that wasn't just about me and my wedding planning, but more about my wedding planning and how it could related to other brides' planning to. I think this really helped when it came to my application.

I finally got my blog where I wanted and had a significant amount of posts at that point, so I typed up my application (which was a bit wordy, but nothing fancy), and sent it all off. And then I waited. And waited. And had just about reached the point where I was going to e-mail Pengy to be sure I wasn't one of the few applications that had gotten lost, when I finally received my acceptance e-mail and literally teared up with excitement.

(I just went back and checked my e-mail archives, and it was exactly a month between my application and my acceptance, so I guess it wasn't quite as long as it felt, but I certainly wasn't one of the lucky ones who heard back within a week or two!)

And because I didn't cover it way back when in my intro post, I'll answer the "Why Miss Coach?" question: because Fairy and Archer were already taken! Just kidding. But really, those were the first Weddingbee icons that I ever really wanted to be (and I think the extra push I needed to apply) mainly because I loved their long, brunette hair and thought they were just all-around precious. But let's be honest here, those icons are a perfect fit for the bloggers who have them, and with all of that long, flowing hair out of my way and no longer distracting me, I discovered the shiny little Coach I was meant to be. All is right in the world!

What's It Like Blogging for Weddingbee?

Time consuming and difficult at times, but also super rewarding. Blogging frequently takes a good bit of work, which is why many of us have at least one lapse in our posting due to the fact that we're first and foremost trying to plan a wedding, and sometimes documenting it in detail is not the top priority. We all start out with so many posts and ideas, yet after a certain point, it does seem to become a little more difficult. However, being a blogger for Weddingbee is also very rewarding in many ways. Not only because of the great atmosphere around here which many people mention in this section of the post, but also because it encourages you to plan and do more. There were multiple times when I considered not trying a certain project or writing about a particular subject, but when I thought about the fact that it could beneficial to both me and (hopefully) you guys, it was many times the extra push I needed and I never regretted it.

My Advice to Potential Bloggers:

  • Have a friend (or two, or three) read the posts you've written and ask them for their honest feedback. If you think they won't feel comfortable giving their opinion, asking for help on the Weddingbee boards is a great way to get other opinions. The great thing about that option is that the people who will be giving their advice are the ones who already read Weddingbee and are interested in weddings. They can tell you what they think would go over well with other brides, and what they didn't connect with as well. In addition to readers, a lot of the current Blogger Bees are happy to read what you've written and give their advice, which makes posting on the boards another plus. It's not always easy to hear advice and critiques of your writing, but when you're considering writing for an audience much larger than just you, it can be extremely beneficial. 
  • Write, write, write. Blogging consistently and having a large number of entries can make a difference when it comes to your application. It's important to not only show that you have great ideas for your blog, but that you've taken the time to type up a posts about them. I know how tempting it is to submit your application as soon as you hit that eight month mark, but taking the extra time to get a few more posts up and find your writing voice (I know, everyone says it, but it really is important) can pay off in the long run.
  • Don't just write to write (despite what you may have taken from my last point.) Yes, quantity is important, but so it quality and some good "meat" in your posts. Rather than listing off a bunch of details in one post, try focusing on one particular point and really elaborating. And while you're at it, don't just elaborate on details you think we want to hear, but focus on what was unique about your personal experience. So for example: instead of writing a post about everything you did this weekend that was wedding related such as looking at centerpieces online, talking to your caterer, and trying on dresses at one of your bridal appointments, write a post that focuses just on your dress appointment. And rather than just listing off a timeline of the appointment, tell us about a specific detail, like your struggle with finding a non-strapless dress, or the crazy shop attendant who just didn't get on board with your dress inspiration and kept putting you in mermaid silhouettes when you strictly wanted ball gowns. 
Of course, all of that is just my unsolicited advice so take it for what it's worth. At the end of the day, it's your blog and your wedding so try not to lose sight of that! If you become a Bee Blogger that's great! And if you don't, that doesn't make your wedding any less special or exciting. I would encourage anyone who applies, accepted or not, to keep blogging and enjoy the special keepsake you have of your planning journey!

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