Well, now that I am wrapping up my time here on the hive, I figured it was appropriate to take a look back at the journey to getting to this point. This series was immensely helpful to me when I was applying, and I remember spending hours pouring over these posts, and so I feel like I should contribute my little section, with the hope that it will help someone else in the future.
How did I find Weddingbee?
I found Weddingbee when I first started searching about engagement rings and weddings. PBear and I had just started talking about getting married and I, being a good scientist, wanted to do my research. I remember stumbling across a website where ocean animals were posting about wedding related things, and honestly, I just did not get it, at all. It took me way longer than I will admit to realize that there were multiple people posting. However, Weddingbee has such a wealth of knowledge and such nice, helpful people that I somehow always ended back in the hive.
My Application Story
After I figured out who the bees were, I knew I wanted to be one. It was a combination of wanting to document the wedding-planning process, wanting a super-cute icon, and an itching to satisfy my creativity and constant need for projects.
I thought about applying for a while, and after kicking some blog posts around in my head, I finally sat down and just started writing whatever posts came naturally to me at the time. I started writing about four to five months before the eight-month mark, and I wrote a lot. Most of the posts initially weren’t very good, but I went through posts of bloggers that I really admired and tried to set my posts up similarly to theirs; and with many, many edits, I eventually found my voice and my story.
I remember very vividly that as I was writing all of these posts, there was a lull where the fairy-tale generation was taken up and yet the next generation hadn’t been announced, and I was super anxious about it. About nine months out from my wedding, the endangered species generation was announced, and I just knew, I had to be Miss Panda. I submitted my application that very afternoon.
I didn’t get an auto response, and so after some back and forth to Pengy and Mouse, I eventually got my application submitted and waited. A few days later, I got my acceptance email.
Bears have always been really important in our relationship, and I didn’t think I’d get an opportunity to be a bear icon since Bear Cub had already been taken years ago. When I first started reading the blog, I wanted to be Unicycle, because of the bear on top. When Panda popped up, well, I guess it was fate.
I put this picture of cake truffles I made into my application as proof I should be Miss Panda.
What’s it like blogging for Weddingbee?
I have to admit, it’s nothing like what I originally imagined it would be. When I applied to be a bee, it was because I thought blogging would be a way for me to give back some ideas to the hive, especially since everyone had been so helpful. What I didn’t expect was how amazing this experience has been for me and how supportive everyone has been. I have gained so much more than I feel like I have contributed, and for that, I am so eternally grateful. I can honestly say that blogging for Weddingbee has helped me generate lifelong friends, and that is pretty awesome.
That being said, blogging is hard work. There is a lot that goes into telling a story, finding the pictures, and writing/editing posts, and being able to keep that going for months and months on end. I had written a ton of posts before I was accepted, and thus, by the time I was writing for the hive, many of the things I really wanted to say had already been said. I definitely can say there is a benefit to getting accepted a little closer to your wedding date!
I also didn’t realize how hard it would be for me to put myself out there on the internet. While I made decisions that were the best for us, I often had this paralyzing fear of being judged for those decisions. I can’t tell you how many drafts I have sitting in my queue that I never got the guts to push publish on. Developing a thick skin is important, and I’m still not very good at that.
Blogging for Weddingbee definitely has shaped my wedding experience for the better. I would absolutely do it again, and I highly recommend to anyone who thinks they might want to blog to just do it.
Advice for potential bloggers:
- Develop your voice. You have a beautiful and unique story, so tell us about it! You made choices for a reason, and there will be some people who you will really resonate with.
- Know your audience. Blogging for WB is way different than your own personal blog. You’re blogging not so much as a journal or diary but rather to describe your decisions and hopefully to inspire another bride. I personally think posts that work best are ones that can, for the most part, stand on their own two feet. Because there are so many different bloggers writing at the same time, it can be hard to keep everyone’s weddings separate. You don’t want to lose your readers.
- Blog regularly. A person much smarter than I once said that 80% of success is showing up. Even when I don’t really feel like writing, I always found that if I sat down and tried, it would help me keep my creative juices flowing and it would ultimately make writing future posts easier. Do I always follow my advice? No, but I think I probably would have been a better blogger if I did.
- Pictures, pictures, pictures. Know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? More and bigger pictures. You really can’t go wrong with more pictures.
- Get other people’s perspectives. It’s hard putting yourself out there, but it’s good to get feedback on your writing and I think it just makes your writing stronger. Ask your family and friends to read your blog, or heck, ask a bee. I love reading people’s wedding blogs, and I know a lot of other bees who are always willing to help a potential bee out.
Ultimately, write about what you love, and that will show through. Best of luck!