Hey guys. I know, long time no speak. I’ve been a naughty blogger, but over the past couple of months or so I’ve been feeling a little spread thin, and for that I apologize. There have been a few reasons, not including the fact I still work full time. First, I was incredibly fortunate to be able to work with Brittany and Sara on the makeover of their lovely site, One Charming Party. I’ve been a huge fan of their work since I first discovered their site, and to be able to collaborate on something with those two darling ladies has been fantastic! The feedback on their site has been really flattering, but more than anything I’m just thrilled that they love it as much as they do.
Second, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Don’t worry, no doom upcoming in this paragraph, but it definitely spans a few subjects. When you’re a blogger, there’s not a whole lot of professional development in the same way that you would get in a 9 to 5 job, so you have to set your own goals based on where you want to grow. For me, I personally want to push myself in terms of photography – especially because of Somewhere Splendid. I used to be a pretty good film photographer (I did an unofficial minor in it), but for some reason, I didn’t feel like I was connecting with my DSLR in the same way I did with film. I picked up Helene Dujardin’s Plate to Pixel book about a month ago and have been spending a lot of time reconnecting with my camera. Helene does a great job of simply explaining a lot of concepts that I generally understand from my work as an art director (what a fill card is, how to diffuse light, et cetera) but wasn’t really coming together for me. I’ve also been more self-critical about my styling. I think I’ve really grown in leaps and bounds in a short period of time, and I’m quite pleased with that.
Beyond personal development, I’ve also been thinking a lot about the blog and the blogosphere as a whole. There’s been a lot of chatter about styled shoots lately – particularly about whether or not they’re still relevant for brides. I think they are, because otherwise Martha Stewart Weddings would be out of business. The editorial focus of these shoots also opens the door for newer, more innovative ideas. However, I think it’s on us, as bloggers, editors, and stylists, to remember that while some elements of the shoot may not be feasible with a 100+ person guest list, we need to offer a good portion of ideas that our readers can realistically replicate. That eclectic assortment of chairs, for example, looks lovely but really isn’t going to happen at your every day wedding. Your average bride doesn’t have an empty, open grassy field anywhere near her house, so she’s probably not going to set up her tables in one. I’m not saying we should immediately stop doing all these things in shoots, but for every editorial element we put in the shoot or feature on the blog, we should try to balance it with one to two ideas that can be pulled by our readers. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me on this, it’s just how I feel – and it had a big influence on me as I planned the Graphic and Glitz shoot, particularly in the simpler (but still gorgeous) floral arrangements, the star stir sticks (inexpensive and easy to make en masse) and the star sparklers (an affordable way to add a detail that ties back to the theme and a cute photo opportunity).
This, in turn, has also had a big influence on how I want to shape the Inspired Bride in the future – starting with a series of DIYs I kicked off today on the Knotty Bride today. The first thing I’ve decided to tackle is the over the top cake. My wedding cake was a bit of a disaster because our original baker backed out on us two days before the wedding. Awesome, right? Right. The wedding cake we had looked really cheesy but I learned something from that: the point is that it tastes good, not that it’s perfectly designed. If you have the budget to get that gorgeous cake, that’s great! But if you don’t want to put dollars towards a perfectly painted fondant peony, put the money towards a baker who can bake a super tasty cake and will cover it with fondant, then get crafty and decorate it with simple but attractive decorations that “plus up” the cake. I designed this do it yourself project for Alison while she’s away, and plan to make more “elaborate topper” projects in the coming weeks.
Anyway, that was a whole lot more than I typically write! Thanks for reading through. If you have any ideas for projects you’d like to see or details you’d like tackled, let me know in the comments section! I’ll take that into account while I’m planning.