Lifestyle Magazine

On Independence

By Claire

Eng­lish Wed­ding — an inde­pen­dent blog

Inde­pen­dence is mas­sively impor­tant to me, and to my wed­ding busi­nesses as well — and you might think that’s not the wis­est busi­ness choice. It’s not the biggest earner for my blog. But is Eng­lish Wed­ding Blog a busi­ness? I’m not even sure I want it to be.

It’s a pas­sion — my blog exists because I love writ­ing it. I love meet­ing all of you and hear­ing what you have to say about all things wed­ding. It’s a respon­si­bil­ity as well — I’m dri­ven to get as much expo­sure as I can for my blog spon­sors. But it’s not my day job — I love being a cal­lig­ra­pher too much to ever con­sider giv­ing it up. The blog is some­thing that keeps my inner worka­holic very happy indeed!

I like to com­pare my inde­pen­dence to an inde­pen­dent record shop or label. I grew up on indie music when bands were bat­tling furi­ously against the likes of EMI; lis­ten­ing to my idols talk about not sell­ing out, keep­ing their prin­ci­ples. And that stuck with me: my ambi­tion isn’t to get rich or famous. For me suc­cess means cre­at­ing some­thing that I can feel proud of — and know­ing you’re read­ing what I write is pretty damn amaz­ing. Being able to share real wed­dings, inspire brides and help pro­mote good wed­ding sup­pli­ers really does make me proud.

But inside, I really don’t see my blog as a busi­ness. It’s not for money. My ambi­tion isn’t to com­pete with Love My Dress and Rock n Roll Bride. I’m here sim­ply to keep doing what I love. Maybe to watch that change and see where life and the blog takes me. But it’s so impor­tant to me to do that my own way. I could try to be a big blog — but I’d rather be an inde­pen­dent wed­ding blog. And that also means say­ing a bit more about what I really think. I want to be nice, but I want to be hon­est about bad things! Is that wrong?

I don’t like every­thing about weddings

For me, a big part (advan­tage? dis­ad­van­tage?) of my inde­pen­dence is hav­ing lit­tle to do with wed­ding mag­a­zines. I under­stand why other blog­gers are writ­ing for them, being fea­tured — but (as many of you know!) I have a few per­sonal ‘issues’ with wed­ding mags. And it’s a con­scious deci­sion to avoid any involve­ment with them. I’ve never tried to write columns or fea­tures for the mag­a­zines — it could dou­ble my read­er­ship and more… but it would feel wrong.

The same goes for wed­ding fairs. While most of the big blogs have a pres­ence at big shows — Rock My Wed­ding and Stag­gered went on a bus tour this year I believe — it’s not for me. Wed­ding fairs are big busi­ness. I’ve been bit­ten, as a wed­ding busi­ness: taken my cal­lig­ra­phy and paid hun­dreds for the priv­i­lege. Been promised the world and gone home with noth­ing but sore feet. So Eng­lish Wed­ding Blog isn’t going to wed­ding shows any more either. It’s just not me!

Am I shoot­ing myself in the foot?! Not really. If I wanted this blog to be read by mil­lions, I’d try and ingra­ti­ate myself with the right peo­ple. But Eng­lish Wed­ding has to feel right for me. I’m not into big busi­ness, net­work­ing, or the whole cycle where adver­tis­ers pay a for­tune and get noth­ing back for it. (Yes, I have spon­sors on my blog. They get a hell of a lot more than just an ad. Show­case link)

wedding campfire

Photo credit: Mark Carey

Inde­pen­dence, free­dom and say­ing no

My inde­pen­dence is really pre­cious to me. Leav­ing my old mar­ket­ing job (7 years ago now) and being self employed means the world. Free­dom is every­thing. Choos­ing who I work for, what I do on a day to day basis, say­ing no to the wed­ding tv com­pa­nies who try to get a free­bie plug on here for the lat­est hor­rific wed­ding pro­gramme — it’s more impor­tant than I can say.

Is there a con­clu­sion to this blog post? Not par­tic­u­larly — it’s just some­thing I feel defines Eng­lish Wed­ding. It’s some­thing I strive for; and I don’t always get it right — but it’s becom­ing a clearer focus in my mind.

Eng­lish Wed­ding won’t change. Inde­pen­dence dri­ves me, and I admire any­one who has that inde­pen­dent streak inside them too: whether it’s in plan­ning a wed­ding your way, or in run­ning a busi­ness and strik­ing out bravely on your own. Be proud of your­self, stick to your prin­ci­ples and love what you do.

I’ve met some very inspir­ing peo­ple over the past year. You have opin­ions and you’re not afraid to say what you really think. As a wed­ding blog­ger I think it’s about time I got mine out, don’t you? I have a mega blog post com­ing up about the wed­ding indus­try. Watch this space.

Claire x

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By Gary
posted on 18 April at 21:38
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Nice post. I have just started a blog for my invitations business and hence I am circling the internet (seemingly endlessly) looking at all the other wedding related blogs and stumbled across this post.

It really struck a chord with me, I left my job about 3/4 years ago to start the invitations business and the bit I love most about it is the freedom and independence it brings. The Blog will be an extension and promotional tool for the business but I am hoping it will also be a forum for my views on things wedding related. I'm not sure why I wrote this message really, its just this is the first post I have read that I actually enjoyed reading (and reread).

Thanks Gary