How to blog real weddings stories? Let me tell you a little story about that…
My name is Shelby and I’m a freelance writer. Early on in my editorial career, I took a job in New York City at a large wedding publisher as a real weddings editor (working with Anja!). My day-to-day entailed producing a very high volume of compelling, quality real wedding stories, each equipped with a detailed story, photo curation of the top images from the photographer-submitted full wedding albums, vendor credits, tags and SEO-optimized copy on everything, including headlines and captions.
“In less than one year, I authored close to 1,000 real wedding stories-all of which were online, and many that made it into coveted glossy print magazines.”
Save yourself the math of how many real weddings that was each day! I’m telling all of this to you because I want you to know just how important real wedding posts are to the weddings industry. First of all, they are particularly important to growing traffic on your business blog and website for social media and from a SEO perspective.
“Real wedding blog posts are also the key to driving couples from inspiration to booking real pros for their wedding day.”
Think about it: today’s couples have to see it to believe it! Real wedding photos of your couples enjoying your work on their wedding day is the ultimate proof that you are who you say you are. Put another way, future couples who are in the planning process who find your work published in a real wedding blog are FAR more easily able to picture themselves as your client!
Needless to say, I learned a thing or two about what it takes to create a successful real weddings blog story, and I got crafting them down to a science. And here’s the thing about that: Writing a successful real wedding post is FAR more than just sharing a good story or being a clever writer. There is a real strategy to crafting your real weddings that can make or break how visible those weddings end up being on the Internet.
Here, a rundown of everything you need to keep in mind when you’re crafting a real wedding blog post for our industry!
1. Real Wedding Blogs Should Start With A Well-Optimized Headline
First and foremost, your real wedding blog stories should have a strong, SEO-optimized headline. It is the first thing readers will see, and the gateway to them deciding to view the rest of your hard work. So in other words, a headline that is “A Cute Summer Love Story!” is not going to cut it. It tells your readers nothing about what they might see if they take the time to keep scrolling.
Do This: A great real wedding headline should include some context clues that help guide other couples to your blog when planning their vision. A good formula to use is “[Details] at [Venue] in [Location].” Headline details to include can range from the primary wedding colors, the season, style adjectives, the theme or cultural details.
Here are a few examples:
“A Star Wars-Themed Summer Wedding at Soledad Club in San Diego, California”
“A Dog-Friendly Beach Wedding at The Red Bar in Grayton Beach, Florida”
“A Whimsical, Wildflower-Inspired Jewish Wedding at Terlingua Ranch Lodge in Big Bend National Park, Texas”
2. Start With A Personal Intro
Your audience wants to connect with you as the professional and the creator, and so what better way to begin your story by talking about what stands out to you about your couple?
Do This: Begin with an authentic connection point. Share some of the interesting back story behind the couple, something unexpected that happened that day, a sentimental moment or a detail that made this love story one-of-a-kind.
Examples: Did it stop raining moments before the bride was about to walk down the aisle? Did the groomsmen have superhero legos in their boutonnieres? What’s up with those quirky vintage dining table centerpieces? Did the couple’s Chinese heritage come into play in any wedding traditions? Talk about it!
“That way, you’re sharing why you do what you do while the images in your real weddings blog post showcase how you get it done.”
3. Choosing The Right Photos
To achieve this, first you need to understand what a real wedding story is NOT: It is not the full wedding album the featured couple might share with their friends and family. Nope. It is, however, a curated mix of images edited for your blog and social media.
“Remember who you’re blogging for–future clients! You want your blog post images to be found by newly engaged couples planning weddings who are looking for inspiration and pros for their own weddings.”
Do This: When curating which photos to showcase from an entire wedding album (that could be hundreds!), you’ll want to make your selections carefully. Some things to consider: Can you tell what’s going on in that photo in a thumbnail? Is there quality lighting, and is the image clear and focused? Do the people look natural and candid, or does it appear forced? Is something embarrassing happening in the backdrop? Your blog shouldn’t include every photo from the album—narrow it down to the top 10 to 20 details.
4. Lots of Details
Speaking of details… not all perform equally on blogs and social media! Your channel isn’t a gallery wall or a wedding album.
While your readers may love to see a photo or two of the couple, you’re really trying to show the people potentially shopping you what you can create when they’re the ones in the photographs.
Steer clear of these types of photos: Photos of food or people eating (with the exception of the cakes before they’re cut), blurry dance floor photos, unflattering raw emotion and any images that are too close up or too far away to see details.
And, if you do choose photos of people participating in the wedding, select moments that show organic emotion, such as a first look or a grand exit—not posed pictures.
Do This: In my experience, these are the details that do best: photos of the wedding gown and wedding rings, the bouquets, the boutonnieres, hairstyles, bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen attire, the wedding stationery, a wide shot of the ceremony and reception set-up, centerpieces, dinner and cocktail menus, escort cards, the dance floor and other reception details, the wedding cake and wedding favors.
“Your photo curation is a narrative, and another storytelling tool in your wheelhouse—use it accordingly to share the most standout details.”
Of course, every wedding might not have all of these, while some weddings might have even more over-the-top details, and that’s okay!
You’ll also want to check to make sure your photographs aren’t all filtered by poor stylistic or lighting choices. While one black and white wedding photo can be tasteful in an album, it may not perform as well on your blog.
5. Credits for Everyone Involved
This is such an important part of every real weddings story—no exceptions! You must give credit where credit is due to all the other pros who put the event together.
Not only could it help return the favor and bring clients to your business, but just as important: People planning a wedding want to put together a group of vendors that can work together seamlessly to create a beautiful celebration, and by sharing the love, you’re showing that you’re a team player.
Do This: Link to their websites on your blog, tag them on social media, call them out if they did something over-the-top amazing and you loved working with them!
“When you link all of the pros who helped bring the wedding together, you’re putting yourself in the position as the ultimate curator (and that gives you klout!).”
I may have closed the chapter of my time in the weddings industry after writing 1000s of real weddings. I learned a lot in my time surrounded by stories and photographs of thousands of couples. I developed a strong distaste for for purple uplighting (just can’t stand it!) and I can still identify the name of every flower that has ever been featured in an arrangement from my stories. Amongst my family and friends, I’m the person they call when they need to choose a photographer or are looking to book someone for their wedding.
But all of that aside, there’s really one very important truth to take away in all of this:
“Blogging and publishing your own work is important. It’s what your clients are looking for to validate the work you do. If you publish them in the right way, you’ll not only provide that but you’ll be setting yourself up to drive traffic to your site year in and year out.”
And if I can write dozens of them in a day (yep, you read that right), then with the right template and tools, you can do it too!
And although my time has come to an end writing real wedding blog posts, I would highly recommend that any pro in the events industry embrace the practice. It’s still the number one way to produce content that drives traffic to your site and allows future couples to picture themselves working with you.