In the last few weeks I've seen a few real weddings appear on your blog. It looks like they took place 6 - 9 months ago...
Why does it take so long for you to blog them? Why wouldn't you post them immediately?
How long should a real couple expect to have to wait to see their wedding show up on the blog of their wedding planner or photographer?
Good eye! And thank you for asking the question. There is a huge difference in blogging as a wedding planner and actually submitting to major wedding blogs for publication. What I showcase from behind the scenes and what a blog will feature are two very different things.
Let me start with this: Blogs are the new magazine. They are the new coffee table book, as relevant today as the NY Times announcement page was not long ago. Appearing on a local or, better yet, national blog is the goal of many couples and wedding dream teams alike!
To keep their edge in this crazy online world, blogs will not publish content that has already been shown on another website, which means that while I can share a few sneak peeks from behind the scenes, I have to be really patient and hold back the professional photos until a blog has had a chance to showcase it on their own site.
And it is for that reason that you are just now seeing some of the weddings I planned 6 and 9 months ago be featured both on my website and on internationally followed blogs such as Style Me Pretty, Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, Junebug, etc.
So...what takes so long?
Let's start at the beginning - I've drafted a timeline of sorts that should explain the process pretty clearly, and let you know what to expect if you are waiting to see one of your favorite weddings on a blog - or if you plan to submit to one yourself!
1. DAY OF SHOT LIST - Beyond designing a wedding that is gorgeous, personal, and full of detail, the process of submitting to a blog begins with a shot list. You want to work with your photographer to ensure all of the stunning and amazing things you have taken the time to plan and set up are well documented. This should include all attire, accessories, personal touches, flowers, decor, wide shots of the ceremony and reception, and tight shots of every last detail. Mixed in with these photos, your photographer will be snapping candid, touching moments as they happen, which is really what brings the blog submission to life.
Duration of Time: 1 Day to a Weekend
2. EDITING - Once your photographer returns to the studio office, they need to download all of the images, and the edition process begins. Don't let Instagram, iPhoto, and all of your own, personal software fool you...This is NOT a quick and easy process. In fact, I have found that the editing can be just as important - if not more important - than the actual shots. It's about light correction, color correction, balance, adjustment, taking out imperfections, adding elements, and then organizing and curating these images in such a way that they tell a story and take you through not only the events of the day, but also the emotions.
Duration of Time: 6 - 12 Weeks
3. REVIEW - Once the photography team has finished the editing, the photos are submitted to the couple for review, and eventually to the planner. Going through the images, pulling out the most loved pictures, tossing those that the team does not connect to, and negotiating on the ones that are a toss up isn't as easy as you think. Each person coming to the table has a different goal, and narrowing the field from upwards of 3,000 or 4,000 photos down to the 50 - 100 images that a blog wants submitted takes time, sensitivity, and patience.
Duration of Time: 2 - 3 Weeks.
4. CRAFTING THE SUBMISSION - Submitting to a blog is about more than just the images, it's about telling a love story in such a way that it makes you care about the people in the photos. The tale has to move you, and engage you in a way that you become attached and invested in not only the couple, but the elements of the day. That great shot of the bride in her veil tells you about the girl and her emotion, but it also sells the veil and the craftsmanship. So, from a written perspective, as a wedding planner I am tasked with two things: Telling the story and selling the elements through proper crediting of the photos, video, music, florist, beauty team, dress designer, and so on. Once this is all brought together it is my responsibility to circle back to all parties involved and get the proper permission to use their works, or to let them know that I will be crediting the.
Duration of Time: 2 - 3 Weeks.
5. TICK TOCK TICK TOCK - Waiting for an answer. Some of the most popular wedding blogs on the net get upwards of 4,000 submissions per week. 4,000!!!! That's over 100,000 weddings a year that the editors need to open, review, respond to, update, curate, publish, and manage! It's literally a full time job! Smaller wedding blogs, local wedding blogs, and blogs with a very specific, niche audience get less submissions and therefore respond faster, but for the most part, you can expect to have to wait.
Duration of Time: 3 - 6 Weeks.
6. SCHEDULING THE BLOG POST - Congratulations!!! After all of this, your wedding has been accepted for publication. One final set of written permissions need to be submitted to the blog manager, and then the wedding will be scheduled for publication.
Duration of Time: 4-8 Weeks
When you add it all up, you can tell that the average wait time is about 6 - 9 months before a wedding appears on a big name blog. Then, as the wedding planner, I like to give that publication at least 2 - 3 weeks of exclusive use of the photos and story before I feature it on my own website. Who knew it took all this time, all these steps, and all these people just to generate one little blog post! And when you think of how many weddings are blogged each day, it gives you a whole new appreciation for the process!
For years I have been an avid blog-troller. I read wedding blogs, celebrity blogs, fashion blogs, and hospitality blogs daily, and consider them to be my "news". I love seeing weddings from around the world, but none more so than the ones I plan! My couples are all so extraordinary, and even though it takes a while for the blogs to appear, they are all so worth it!
Thank you, again, for asking the question, following my work, and falling in love with my couples!
PS - If you think that wedding planners and industry insiders get special treatment...Take a look at the screenshot below! It took nearly 9 months for my own wedding to go through the process before being published on the Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Blog!