How Did I Find Weddingbee?
No idea. Seriously none. Zip. Zero memory of how I found the site!
During my early wedding planning months, I did lots of Googling. I hadn’t thought much about weddings before Mr. CA proposed and therefore had no idea what I was doing. I excessively trawled the internet, searching such inane things as “wedding coordinator vs wedding planner” “Seattle barn locations,” and “what exactly does a junior bridesmaid do?” Of course, many of my searches brought me to blog posts or board threads or vendor reviews on Weddingbee. I didn’t understand what the site really was (was it about bees? people who liked bees? people who were planning weddings and liked bees?), but I appreciated the abundance of answers to my questions and the positive energy that emanated from the Hive. I took the information I needed and didn’t give the site itself much thought. Selfish Mrs. Candy Apple!
In January 2011, another arcane search brought me to a board in the hive (no memory of which thread it was) but for some reason I spent some time just poking around the site. My interest piqued. I trawled through the boards a bit (and learned that I should never confuse the terms “trawling” and “trolling” on the boards ever, ever again). Hey, this community looks really open, friendly, and engaging! People have the same issues/ questions/ lack of wedding knowledge as I do! I am not alone! Then I found the blog. Oh, the blog! I fell in love with the idea of the bees and the concept of monikers and the darling icons, although it took me a while to catch onto the general idea of bee generations.
My Application Story
I had been blogging on and off beginning in 2004. I started writing short emo posts on lame college things I was doing, what I was reading, how poetic the street-lamp’s reflection off the newly-paved road in the rain was. Fluff. While I was studying abroad, my posts allowed my family and friends to keep up with my adventures. Since then, blogging was mainly just an outlet for me—an amalgamation of random stories, pictures of food, and snippets of my life.
After I found the blog on Weddingbee, I tentatively started blogging about my wedding plans. I had about 3 readers on my personal blog at that time and once I started writing about weddings, that dropped to 2 readers – my dad has informed me that he has not read a single post since I started in on the wedding stuff. Sorry, dad!
When the Carnival Bees were introduced, I finally plucked up the courage to start a draft of my application. The final document was around 11 pages and had lots of pictures. With pounding heart, I double-checked everything one last time, and clicked ’send’ on my email to the application team.
Promptly after that fateful click, I panicked about not having enough time to blog for Weddingbee, and about how no one would like my posts or care what I had to say, and decided that I would be the worst blogger on the history of Weddingbee. I spent the rest of the night wide awake and starting at the ceiling in a panic-induced insomnia. But I consoled myself with the fact that I would never get accepted. Phew. Crisis averted.
A few weeks later, I received my acceptance email from Pengy. Um, excuse me? That wasn’t supposed to happen.
After the initial elation and shock of the acceptance, I had a long, serious, hard think. Although I still felt self-conscious about blogging for the ’Bee (how am I worthy to be on the main page?!), I decided that I would just need to suck it up and go for it. And here I am!
Why Miss Candy Apple?
I like sugar and I like eating healthy. Pretty simple, really. A Candy Apple seemed like the perfect blending of the two. Also, the bow is super cute.
Advice to Potential Bees
I know it has been said before, but blog, blog, blog! Seriously, blog at least 3-4 times a week for about a month, if not more. Not only does the application team want to see your commitment, but it will also help you get in the rhythm of blogging regularly. And the more you write, the more comfortable you will feel writing and the more your ’voice’ will come through.
Okay, Candy Apple, it’s easy enough to tell me to write lots of blog posts. What else?
When you write your posts, think carefully about your content. Does your post have focus? Do you actually know what you are trying to say in a specific post? When blogging for a larger community, it is easy to lose a reader if your post jumps all over the place with no specific direction. That’s not to say that all of your posts should be super-serious and straightforward and that you can never be unsure of things. On the contrary, non-serious posts can be the most fun! I just mean that posts should have a clear direction and should be easy enough for a general reader to follow.
Oh, and that goes hand-in-hand with engaging readers. You know those little questions we put at the end of our posts? I actually really liked that addition to my blogging, because it helped me focus the content of the post (did I really need to add that extra paragraph? or was it just fluff? what am I really trying to say in this post??) and it also allowed me to specifically ask for help and advice from readers.
Most importantly, find your ’voice.’ I hated reading that in the Bee’s Life posts that I read obsessively before applying because it felt so general and ambiguous, but it’s so true. What the hell does that even mean?? Honestly, I don’t know exactly what it means, but here are some of my thoughts on it:
Oh, and it never hurts to add pictures. (Just remember to source them appropriately!)
Being a Blogger Bee
Not going to lie—blogging has been tough. Much tougher than I thought it would be. There were weeks during the time leading up to our wedding where I didn’t feel like I had enough time to eat, let alone blog. I had slight panic attacks that I wasn’t blogging frequently enough and I felt like I was letting readers down. It wasn’t that I didn’t have things to talk about—I think I felt like I had so much to say, I just didn’t know where to start a lot of the time. And then I would stress-eat to cope.
Overall, though, this experience has been absolutely incredible. I have loved getting to know all of the blogger Bees, and have so appreciated all of the readers’ supportive comments and helpful advice. I am so grateful for and humbled by this opportunity.
Now that I’ve gone on and on about focusing your posts, I’ll stop my incoherent babbling now. Whoopsie. Oh, but I certainly can’t leave you without a picture!
Oh yeah, I never did talk about my dress prior to the wedding, did I? Well, there ya go.
And that’s the end of this episode of A Bee’s Life! What do you think—would you apply to be a blogging Bee?