WHY BRIDES BLOG
The first time I created a blog for myself was back in 2004. I had just stepped into my twenties and it was exactly what I needed; the perfect nook to hold all the issues, concerns, post-teen angst and quarter-life crisis I could throw into it. Wrapped in a security blanket of anonymity, I found it easy to find others that I could relate to and make a place for myself within the blogging community without even meaning to.
I returned to the blogsphere, half a decade later. Having survived my own multitier wedding extravaganza, I felt the need to share the tales of my trials and triumphs with the world at large, or alternately one or two other people at the very least. And what better place for that than my very own wedding blog called Inspirational Laddu. While planning (or rather procrastinating planning) for my wedding, I spent many an hour lost in the beautiful pages of blogs like Style Me Pretty and 100 Layer Cake and it bothered me to no end that there were no South Asian equivalents.
My aesthetic cravings, however did not get in the way of my practical planning. Being in Karachi at the time, meant that everything I required was accessible to me. This was not the case for Preeti Moberg. Preeti was living in Sweden while planning her wedding, which was going to be held in India in February of 2011. Her blog, The Big Fat Indian Wedding, came about from the lack of resources for someone in her circumstances. “I was looking for inspiration on planning my wedding long distance. Since my family and my husband's family are all mixed up; Hindu, Jain, Lutheran, (like a smoothie!), it was difficult to figure out what to buy and what to plan for. What bridal clothes do I need? What color do they have to be? What jewelry? The list went on and there were few places on the Internet explaining traditions and shopping guides for brides-to-be.”
The way brides approach wedding planning has profoundly changed. From excel sheets and wedding planning apps for managing expenses and guest lists, to blogs, tumblrs and pinterest for inspiration, most modern brides are turning to social media and modern technology to help them plan their weddings. These tools have also made brides more rational shoppers with their computer/touch screens acting as a buffer between them and ostentatious and needless spending. According to editor and founder of Dreamers Events and wedding planner turned wedding blogger, Thadshiga “Blogs play a pivotal role in providing tips, hints and resources to newly engaged couples. Real weddings help couples to visually see how their dream wedding can be brought to reality. Bridal blogging will continue to grow and inspire. Bridal magazines are very helpful but they come out quarterly or seasonally, whereas blogs are updated daily. Blogs have inspiration boards to help inspire brides with themes and colors. Brides can also see the latest in fashion and more.”
Many brides choose to skip the cookie cutter wedding planning sites and magazines that only advertise ‘paid-for’ vendors and instead look to blogs and wedding forums to find better deals and honest reviews from real brides and couples. For many brides reaching out to facebook friends and twitter followers for suggestions on wedding vendors are also perfectly viable options. It’s amazing the connections one can make just with a few posts and tweets. “The degree to which you rely on strangers in another time zone or down the street for advice or word-of-mouth referrals is entirely up to you, but it's good to know it's there,” says Aasiya, author of the bridal beauty blog, Aaina Bridal.
Ruby found herself “frustrated with the lack of wedding inspiration and advice for "different" South Asian women.” She started her blog Rubies and Ribbon, while planning her summer 2011 wedding. “None of my vendors knew what to do with me, so I pretty much designed my whole wedding from scratch. I knew I couldn't be the only one, so I started a blog for women who respect their south asian culture but dont follow all of society's expectations. There are lots of us alternative south asian brides out there!” What she likes about the South Asian blogsphere is that “We all have specific niches. Some focus on beauty, others on opulent weddings, others on alternative weddings, others still on specific regions (UK) and cultures (Bengali, South Indian, Pakistani etc). It seems like there is something for everyone now.”
“Brides-to-be have the best hands-on experience with various vendors and learn through trial and error what works and what doesn't. They come up with creative ways to save money, and have very specific ideas about what they want and show determination in getting it,” says Aasiya. “Their ability to share that process with other brides-to-be makes for an amazing resource. Some bloggers, like Ruby at Rubies and Ribbon and Farah at A Shahzadi Affair got their start that way, and kept it up even after they got married because they fell in love with the industry. Others, like Poorna at Asian Wedding Editor's Guide, decided to stop after marriage, but left their blogs up as valuable resources to brides who may come across them.”
UK based wedding blogger, Rabbia who writes her blog Asian Wedding Ideas for the ‘modern and forward thinking Asian bride’ says “For me blogging has always been about fun and enjoying what I do, but as with most things as they get more popular they start to become more commercialized and I feel like that might start to happen with blogs. In fact I see it already, people starting blogs with the sole purpose of making money. And of course we need money to survive but I just hope in the quest for that we don’t lose the heart and soul of blogging.”
Published in Suhaag Magazine, Toronto Star 2013