A Bee’s Life: The Ladyfingers Edition

How did I find Weddingbee?

I said I would hold off on wedding planning for a few weeks after getting engaged. I lasted about two hours before I was looking at wedding blogs. Not counting the wedding blogs I’d started saving prior to the engagement, under “misc” in my Google Reader. You know, just in case Mr. Ladyfingers was peeping on my computer.

But honestly, I’m not clear on how I found WB. I had been frequenting my local boards at the Knot, but that was the extent of my participation in wedding-related discussion boards. Otherwise, I just started collecting wedding blogs in my reader, and along the way, ended up with the WB blog feed in there. I so loved reading how real chicks were planning their weddings, without all the super misty vintage photo styling of “real wedding” features on other blogs (though, don’t get me wrong, I still love some misty vintage-y wedding photos). I loved reading the vents and the rants. I loved all the planning pictures.

Then I ended up on the discussion boards, and I started to think… could I be a blogger bee?

My Application Story

I must be slow or something, because I totally didn’t grasp that there were monthly application calls. I just know that I had started posting random wedding posts on a long-ago-created-but-frequently-abandoned WordPress blog, and then one morning, I checked WB and there it was! The announcement of the Tea Party Generation. We had just under 6 months before our wedding, so I cranked out my application in about 5 minutes and sent it off. And then immediately started panicking.

See, I’d been reading other Bee’s Life posts, and saw how there were multiple application attempts and 12-page PowerPoint documents and photos galore. I think my application was a page at most. I also re-read it 15 times after sending it, randomly obsessing that I’d misspelled something, or sounded stupid, or whatever. Not that I could do anything about it. No – all I could do was start blogging my heart out and try to stop checking my email every 5 minutes.

I was honestly bracing for a rejection, and wondering if I’d have the moxie to try again. Somewhere around the 2-week mark, I stopped thinking so much about WB, though every time a new Tea Party Generation member was introduced, I was sure it meant I’d been declined.

Imagine my complete and total shock when I got the welcome email from Pengy! I squealed and jumped around and texted everybody I knew. I’d only told Mr. LF so far, and even though he’s a boyyyyyy, even he got how excited I was about all this. Truthfully, in the beginning, I didn’t really *get* the community aspect of WB. I thought it was just a great way to be an attention whore. But over the past five months, I have really grown to love all my fellow blogger bees and hive members. I have a feeling I’ll be dragging my recaps out for a looo-ooo-oo-ng time just to avoid leaving ya’ll!

What it’s like blogging for weddingbee/being a bee

Awesome and stressful. This might sound shallow, but I love it when I start seeing the comment notification emails on my BlackBerry, knowing that my post had just gone up. I love sharing things as frivolous as my hair inspiration and perfume selection, and as heady as mourning my mother through the wedding planning process and fretting over my fitness as a wife. And I’m so thrilled when I see others’ posts go up, and other bees introduced, and other members commenting. It’s more than just my blog — it’s a whole community of girls in the same boat, albeit with slightly different challenges and issues and hopes and dreams.

But with that community comes a huge responsibility. I relied so heavily on these blogs in the early parts of my planning, that I want to be what others were for me. I don’t want to waste the hive’s time with posts that nobody cares about. I don’t want to just use it as a platform to make myself look cool and tasteful and stroke my ego. I don’t just want to shout out into a vacuum, not caring whether I’ve touched anybody. With every post, I try to make at least one reader relate. Because if I’ve done that, then I’ve served a good purpose.

It’s also time-consuming, girls. Everything I do, I have to remember to take pictures. Every shopping trip I make is a potential topic. Every thought and feeling and emotion I have triggers another post draft. And I draft a lot of posts that go nowhere, or morph, or meld. Sometimes — yeah, I’ll admit it — I take on projects just so I can share them with the hive. To plan and write and post and respond to comments and comment elsewhere and be as active as I can on the boards… it’s like a part-time job on top of everything else.

It’s so worth it, though. I’m really honored to be a blogger bee! And another added benefit: It really helps motivate me, because the more I do and the more projects I start and finish, the more posts I have and the more I can share with you. It makes me accountable. That’s pretty cool.

Advice for aspiring bloggers

Post often! After you apply, if you aren’t already posting 3-4 times a week, start immediately. Sometimes I blogged five times a week, just because I didn’t want to get lost in the noise. I wanted the powers that be to know that I was serious about this!

Write from the heart and be who you are. If you’re not super crafty and all DIY, then don’t try to be. If you’re funny, be funny. If you’re not, don’t try to be. WB is a community of all types, and diversity is important! Who wants to read a blog where everybody’s posts sound identical?

Try to write process-oriented posts – why you chose something, why you like certain things – instead of post upon post of pretty things.

Try to appeal to an audience: I ask myself, “What I’m writing – how can it help somebody else?” When I write about our wedding theme, I talk about other types of themes and how to develop a theme. When I blog about our registry, I try to include tips for building your registry. This is kind of a voyeuristic hobby, blogging, but I like serving a purpose and helping others, too.

Don’t give up! I count myself among the lucky few who didn’t have to re-apply. I’m still stunned I got accepted. But if you don’t make the first round, and it’s something you really really want, keep blogging. You might even find yourself addicted to blogging itself, with or without WB – which is a nice surprise!

I hope to see ya’ll on the main page soon!

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