Monday, October 25, 2010

A Bee’s Life: Cola Edition

How I found Weddingbee:

Well, I got engaged on March 5th, 2009, on vacation in Mexico. We got home from vacation on March 9th….and it wasn’t more than a week or two later that I discovered Weddingbee!
(Personal photo from our Mexico trip, little did I know, I’d be engaged 2 days after this photo was taken!)

I already knew about the other big wedding website out there, and had tentatively looked at the prices of a couple local venues (hey, I knew the ring had already been purchased, just wasn’t 100% sure when I would receive it!), but it was through a Google search while looking for wedding inspiration that I found Weddingbee. And I never looked back—it just felt like home!

I stalked the blog and boards for a good couple months before I worked up the courage to start commenting, and once I finally started contributing, I found it to be such a fun experience! Reading the wonderful advice on this site, being able to ask questions in a friendly environment; it was really a great discovery for this newly engaged bride. I was so inspired that in June of 2009, I decided that I was going to start blogging myself, with hopes of someday becoming a Bee!

Applying to Weddingbee:

I’ll admit it, I tried to be very strategic about my application to Weddingbee.

First of all, just because I decided I would start blogging in June, a full year before my wedding, didn’t mean that I started publishing blog posts right away. I had to see if I could even cut it first! I had written for my college newspaper, as well as contributed tons of vacation trip reports to various travel sites, but I’d never really written about myself before, and put it all out there with a distinct audience in mind. So I started slowly, by first looking at all the projects I had planned for our wedding, and making a list of about 90 ideas for blog posts. Not bad, I thought to myself, maybe I could do this!

Slowly, over last summer I started writing more and more draft blog posts, but still didn’t pull the trigger on publishing them. Until last August, when I finally started to feel more confident in my writing, and I was hitting an average of 3-4 posts a week. I then went back through my drafts, cleaned some up, trashed some others, and felt ready to unleash my wedding ideas on whoever managed to stumble upon them on the internet.

I began to build a small following on my blog, and continued to write with enthusiasm over a few more months, always keeping in the back of my mind the thought that I was ultimately blogging to apply for Weddingbee. Come last October, when I reached the required 8-months-from-your-wedding-day date, I finally got up the courage to apply.

I spent a good two weeks tweaking my application email and really trying to express who I was and why I wanted to write for this amazing site. I knew that the applications were usually reviewed on weekends, so I swallowed my fear of rejection and submitted my application on a Wednesday in late October. And then early the following week I strategically posted a really cool, set-me-apart, “wow, she’s so creative, we’ve got to accept her” DIY project. Hoping, of course, that my application would be reviewed that weekend, and the committee that reviews the blogs would see my super-cool DIY skills front and center when they visited my blog. I was a sneaky one! Whether or not this actually had any bearing on my acceptance, I really have no idea. But it was worth a shot, right?

Either way, exactly two weeks after I’d held my breath as I hit “send” on my application, I got THE EMAIL! The one that every Bee hopeful both can’t wait to receive, and dreads opening. But it was great news, I was officially a Bee! My 5 months of planning out my blog ideas, finding my voice, and editing and re-editing until I felt my posts were strong enough had paid off.

On Being a Bee:

Honestly? I feel like it’s been such an honor blogging for the hive! I know it sounds a little cheesy, but it’s so true.

The feeling that my contribution has made a difference in other bride’s lives is so rewarding. Be it advice I gave, an inspiring project I wrote about, or just sharing something that other brides have felt too—it’s a wonderful feeling. And I feel like what I’ve contributed has been repaid 20 fold, in the lovely comments, suggestions, ideas and “hey, I used your idea” PMs I’ve received over the past year. I love hearing from you guys! And that’s what makes this such a great community, the support we all have for each other.

But I won’t lie, it’s also quite a lot of work blogging for Weddingbee (but definitely fun work!). On average I’d say I probably spend at least 10 hours a week taking pictures, sorting and editing them, writing blog posts, uploading photos, editing, saving, editing some more, and then editing my posts again. And working on recaps have taken even longer! I always save my posts as drafts for a week or two, because I always seem to find something to improve upon, or something that needs to be worded differently. It’s quite a commitment, both in the time spent blogging, and also in putting yourself out there for the world to see/read about 3-4 times a week! But again, the reward is SO worth it!

So thank you for reading my blog posts the past year. I’ve still got some more in me, but I know sooner than later my time as an active Bee will be over (sniff, sniff!). And Mr. Cola also thanks you. Without the hive, he would have had to endure a whole lot more of my talking his ear off about our wedding!

The rest of the Bee's Life series can be found here.

1 comment:

  1. I think it's so great that you've been able to share your experience both here on your personal blog and on Weddingbee. I actually applied to Weddingbee myself after blogging for a while, but was turned down since they weren't accepting anyone who also blogged for sites like Get Married and Weddzilla. I was disappointed, since I really wanted to join the hive, but now I have no regrets. Blogging for the other websites has opened a lot of doors for me, including being featured in Get Married Magazine this month! :)