The last day of 2017 is here, so it’s time to reflect on what’s been happening for Way Out Wedding over the last 12 months. I love doing this because you can see in one glance how many brilliant things have happened. Sometimes we worry about where we aren’t instead of celebrating how far we’ve come. Guilty! But writing these always makes me feel fuzzy and proud as punch. Not to mention fired up for the coming year!
I think the best thing that happened this year was that Ellie Kime of The Wedding Enthusiast joined the team as my wing woman. I’ve never been any good at delegating, especially when something is ‘my baby’ in the way this blog is, but with Ellie I had, for the first time ever, zero fear. In fact, I couldn’t wait to hand stuff over as she’s absolutely breathed new life into the feel and voice of the blog. Plus it’s meant that as I choose who’s featured, Ellie actually gets it up on the blog quickly, rather than like in the past where I’d never have time to do it so you’d never hear about them. Ellie is a blogging machine and writes magic in double-quick time, all of which means a ton more content for all you couples planning your weddings!
This post was going to be called ‘Way Out Wedding Expands’ or something equally lame. But that falls exceptionally short of what has actually happened behind the scenes here at the blog, so I changed it. Basically, a wedding industry firebrand by the name of Ellie Kime has saved Way Out Wedding from disappearing ‘down the dumper’ as Smash Hits might have had it. I said it’d be back after a break, but this is something else!!
Reading my blog, you will know Ellie as one of the team at A Most Curious Wedding Fair, the ‘biggest, coolest, indie style-focused wedding event in the UK’ that it’s fair (HA!) to say is my favourite. Remember last year’s ‘Pinktopia’? That was them. And this year is looking just as incredible.
Ellie is weddings-obsessed. In the GOOD way. She launched The Wedding Enthusiast this year (read more below) and is one of the nicest, friendliest, most hilarious and sunshiney people in the industry. And I am lucky enough to have secured her freelance services to help me with posts, newsletters, and The WOW Edit directory. And she is incredible. After only a few days, the schedule is getting full, the stats are rising and we are on track again. I am soooo happy!! Sorry, Ellie, if your ears have gone aflame and fallen off by this point, but you are AMAZING!!
I’ve interviewed her so you can see what I’m gushing about…
A little while ago, I posted about not being able to blog as much for a while and so moving over to Instagram, and I have to say thank you soooo much to everyone who sent me lovely messages of encouragement and virtual hugs – you are so cool!!
It did mean that I anticipated a fall in blog visits and so I called a halt to advertising. How could I accept money knowing readership would fall away?
Now what was really lovely was that people still wanted to work with me, getting in touch to suggest alternatives, such as Instagram campaigns (my Insta has grown loads since concentrating on it!!). This was a) a real confidence boost – I may be small, comparatively, but the brand is strong and was surviving this break, and b) incredibly heartening to know that so many in the wedding industry are supportive and want to have your back and help.
So after speaking to these lovely people and having a brainstorm as to how to still provide a bridge between my readers and suppliers while being more quiet, I’ve come up with a more niche range of ways to work with me and I’ve rethought my prices. I think you will like!!!
Some news! Way Out Wedding is moving mainly to Instagram for a bit. Long story short, I’m a parent carer and as such my time to work on the blog is dictated by the needs of my lovely children. Just lately it’s been increasingly impossible to work at all. With blogging, you wear all the department hats of any small business: commissioning; writing; marketing; advertising; finance; etc. And when it’s just you on your own with minimal outsourcing, well that there is a full-time job and then some. People think it’s a lovely hobby, but it is a job like any other! And one that’s really difficult to balance with children, let alone if they have extra needs.
So, brains have been well and truly wracked here as to what to do… I don’t want to fold the blog completely. It’s growing all the time, organically and steadily, and I’ve really settled into my style after four years of doing this. I’ve made so many friends with inspirational creatives in the industry, many of whom I count as close friends now. And I’ve been nominated and highly commended in a fair few industry awards – well proud of that! It’s been a blast. So yes, not up for folding it!! But I do need to go with the flow and that flow is a tidal wave just at the moment rather than surf waves.
Going over to social media mainly for the time being will allow me to keep delivering what I know you love best and that’s modern and style-led wedding inspiration. As you know from my blog posts, I’m more a visual person than a writer – although I seem to be waffling a fair bit at the moment ha! – and these platforms will let me quickly and regularly bring you gorgeous and inspirational images, plus share via Facebook posts from other blogs I know you’ll love.
I’ll be finishing off some already scheduled posts, and from time to time I may feature quicky posts, if time permits. But for now, I leave you with an increase of Instagram and Pinterest images to delight you! I shall return…
As Marty McFly says…
All right guys, this is a blues riff in ‘B’, watch me for the changes, and try and keep up, okay?
Things have been getting a little exciting around here. I’ve been developing my shop (yes, shop!!!) and uploading lots of lovely items you’ll soon be able to buy directly from the blog. It’s been a while in the making, but I am finally almost ready to launch.
So, what will be for sale? Here are the categories!
No Debutante – Ready To Rock Preloved Bridal
When I started doing styled shoots, I loved sourcing loads of dresses and accessories from vintage shops and eBay. In fact, addicted might be a good word!! I ended up with a wardrobe of wedding pretty that was awesome but had no party to go to… So I thought I might sell it all on the blog! The great thing is that they’ll have been styled in shoots, so you’ll have a great idea of how they can look, i.e. they’re not only displayed on a mannequin or a coat hanger. You can see them in context, and shot by some amazing photographers. In fact, here are some they’ve been in recently – Nu Bride featured our ‘Art School’ styled shoot, and Rock ‘n’ Roll Bride showed the brilliant ‘This is England ’86’ styled shoot, as organised by Lauren at French Made.
The dresses I have span lots of decades – we have lots of 1980s numbers – and styles, from alternative and edgy to some more classic designs. I even have a Zandra Rhodes dress! They’ll have been cleaned and also repaired where needed, and you’ll receive them boxed up fit for a queen.
The name ‘No Debutante’ comes from a song called Dreaming by (my favourite) Blondie. I loved the line,
When I met you in a restaurant
You could tell I was no debutante…
I thought it was perfect for a preloved range!
And the branding was done by the fabulous Sharon over at Satin and Tat Stationery. I sent her the content of my mind in the form of some garbled words (because for someone who has an English degree, I seem inept at articulation at times). I said that the feel of the brand is a little bit punk, new-wave, Blondie and also some dandy highwayman – please can you design me something that is awesome. And yes she could, because VIDDY:
Way Out Wedding Magazine
This is in the works for launch later this year. It’s going to be a small publication to begin with because apart from the layout design (thank you Coalescent!), it’s just me putting it all together. It’s going to be 80 pages of weddings, inspirational styled shoots, and some honeymoon features. I like image-heavy publications myself (LOVE, AnOther, etc.), so this will have the same look and feel. It’ll be like a coffee-table book of beautiful pictures, rather than a traditional magazine, which means you’ll hopefully want to keep it as a memento of your wedding planning time. Maybe that’s the magazine addict in me who never throws any of them away talking!
The first product I want to sell is sew-on embroidery patches. Whether these are for your veils, your dresses, or even hen-do outfits, there’s going to be some fun designs to add a bit of alternative gorgeousness to your day!! I’m in talks with manufacturers at the moment and will keep you updated!! Get ready for cutesy patches of red lips, ice-creams, diamond rings, sugar skulls, and so on, to decorate your already killer outfit with!!
Satin and Tat Wedding Stationery
As well as being lucky enough to have had my No Debutante branding designed by the inimitable Satin and Tat, as mentioned above, I’m extra excited to be selling packs of write-your-own wedding invitations!! Sharon’s the queen of alternative wedding stationery, and I think you’ll love being able to buy some ‘only available from the Way Out Wedding shop‘ designs.
I’ll have a few gorgeous bits in my gift section for those of you who like to stray from the gift list. Embroidery hoops will be available from the brilliant Crafty Little Sew and Sew. But these ones are not filled with twee sayings, but rather edgier offerings! Check out Tracey’s David Bowie hoop:
And we will also be selling custom Satin and Tat A4 prints and canvases. These can have the couple’s names and wedding date added, and could be good as a gift, or as signage on your guest book table, or could even say ‘pick a seat not a side, etc.’, ‘prosecco station’, ‘photobooth’, and so on…
Here’s one of my favourites from Satin and Tat…
On a rainy afternoon week before last, I got an exciting Tweet mention letting me know that I’m in the running for an award at the Wedding Magazine Blog Awards 2015. Oh, yes!!!
I went last year, too, where I was in the running for the best alternative wedding blog award. I didn’t get it, but I had a really great time meeting lots of people from the industry who I’d only ever spoken to online before. We had champagne and endless canapés, and a gossip over the £5,000 cocktail that was on sale in the bar. I couldn’t get my head around that!! A bit obscene, really, but a conversation point nonetheless.
This year, the blog is up for the best real-life weddings award. I like to feature real weddings where there’s a lot of love in the room, as well as being inspirational in terms of style. I’ve not featured that many, going instead for the editorial artistry of the styled shoot, but the ones I have shown have one thing in common: they made me smile and smile as I looked through the pictures when they were submitted. They caused an emotional reaction, rather than being solely about the decorations and style. They were all weddings that were so obviously true to the couple in their everyday life. They reflect a couple as they are, but on their best day.
How to vote
If you would like to vote for me, please follow this link. Or click any of the pics in this post. Or follow the very first link at the top. Basically, I’m being very helpful and selfless in helping you all I can to vote. Ahaha! And know that I thank you very, very much!! xxx
PS the closing date is tomorrow – I have left this very late, but I’m hoping this won’t affect things… Ever the optimist.