Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Official Results

I am grateful, humbled, and so d*mn excited all at once because this little personal wedding blog won the Wedding Channel Blog Contest. A Los Angeles Love is the official 2010 Best Overall Wedding Blog. I am officially over the moon. And I am officially shocked and amazed at this outcome. 

While Jason, myself, and our now slightly-less-constrained wedding budget profusely thank you all, I've also been trying to figure out how on earth this little site managed to beat all of its professional, high-traffic competition. By the end of the contest, I was neck and neck with the Wedding Chicks, which receives about 8,000 unique visitors each day. I get significantly fewer hits per day. Significantly. This little site shouldn't even register on the Wedding Chicks radar. This little site couldn't offer its readers all sorts of incentives like store discounts if I won the contest, since, well, I don't have a store. Or sponsors. Or business venture-level traffic numbers.  

But what I apparently have is a small-but-powerful army of readers and friends who really really care. You cared enough to vote multiple times on multiple days and to ask your friends to do the same. All week, I've felt a groundswell of goodwill from this outpouring of support and effort. Yes, a groundswell. Because that's all I can think to call it. A from-the-ground-up push for something different in our wedding-related reading. A push for something beyond beautiful photos. A push for something beyond visual inspiration. A push for heartfelt content, ugly moments of honesty, and the triumph of silliness and joy. I think maybe this was our push to reclaim our weddings for ourselves, even just a little bit, from the business of weddings. It was our stand against the expectations of the WIC for what the Best Wedding Blog (or, by extension, the best wedding) should look like. Most of my twitter retweet "please vote" efforts came from readers (and from a few amazing photographers I now consider friends.) Most of the other contestants' twitter retweet "please vote" requests came from vendors.   

This isn't to disparage what the Wedding Chicks (and other planning and resource-heavy blogs) have created. I love gorgeous photos. I like the occasional inspiration shoot because heck, they inspire me to think more creatively about our wedding (so long as I step away from my web browser before I dissolve into a can't-afford-and-can't-craft-it-and-can't-lose-enough-weight panic of tears.) I really appreciate having a curated site of vendor options that meet a specific and defined aesthetic or ethic. These sites help me plan my wedding more effectively. These sites are generally created and run by amazing women who tend to know a ton about weddings and are genuinely excited to share it. Seriously. I've emailed or met a quite a few of them. Dana at the Broke-Ass Bride is so much fun and so giving in person. Jessica at Budget Savvy Bride was so helpful when I started this blogging thing (and the budget panic thing.) Kat at Rock N' Roll Bride was so sweet when I inadvertently stirred up some boudoir shoot controversy and the internet got angry. And as for Amy at the Wedding Chicks... I bought my first dress from her, and she was the most kick-*ss awesome fun lady ever. She used to be a photographer and insisted on an impromptu photo shoot with me in the dress. I'm a huge fan. 

But their blogs are a lot different than this one. I don't really do photo-heavy posts. I use gorgeous design and striking images to feed my soul, but it's not what drives this blog. I don't really do sponsored posts. I loveloveLOVE the few vendors we've selected to help with our wedding, but vendor love posts don't really drive my content (except for a few overly gushy and excited posts about how much we lovelovelove them.) Instead, this site is just about me and us and our little wedding journey. It's raw and unpolished and looks at wedding planning in the context of my life instead of defining that life as wedding planning (though sometimes it truly feels like the wedding is gobbling up all other contexts).  

This isn't my business. This is my life. And I think, maybe, that's why you voted for me so continuously and that's why I won. Because this wedding planning journey I write about is a bit like your life too, and you're looking for wedding talk that's more than visually inspiring. You're looking for other people who understand that life and weddings are messy, compromised, highly imperfect, and worthwhile all the same. And maybe that's what you get here, and on each of your own personal sites (which I visit and love. Because, if you leave a comment, I'm clicking through to your site to see who you are.) And maybe your votes for me were really a vote for us: the people getting married and struggling with the complexities of this journey.  

Whatever your voting motivations, thank you. And whatever route your own wedding planning journey takes, I hope that you find as much complexity and joy as I've found along mine.

33 comments:

  1. Awww Becca, you're so sweet for mentioning me! Congrats on the big win- I can only imagine how much the prize money will help you in your planning endeavors!! It's great to see how far your little blog has come in such a short time! :) xoxo

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  2. Yay! Congrats on winning! I think it is fabulous and I have been enjoying following your journey as you share on the blog. :)

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  3. Oh my gosh! Congrats! I'm a longtime reader (um, well... lurker), and I'm so freakin' excited that you won! - Mari

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  4. Congratulations. And it's about friggin' time. You could not be more right when you say that it was our "push to reclaim our weddings for ourselves, even just a little bit, from the business of weddings". Because you're right, these are our lives. Not a business, not a magazine, not a bridal expo. Just us. And it's so refreshing to know that you got the recognition you deserve because in a small way, the recognition you've received is something that we've all received. I think we're all one step closer to having our voices heard in mainstream society much louder than they have been in the past thanks to awesome ladies like you.

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  5. Congratulations! :) It's great to see a blog other than the usual suspects gain recognition!

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  6. I'm so happy for you, you know I'm a huge fan of your blog and honest writing. Your win is so well deserved and awesome!

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  7. Yay Becca! I'm so happy you won, you totally deserve it. :) I like the idea of your win being a win for all of us, and I hope it really does mean there's a push for more actual discussion in the wedding world, and not just pretty pictures (though I do love the pics, I just think we need more substance). Congrats!

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  8. Yay! I am so glad you won. I would love it if this did send a message to the WIC that we're not just about fluff and they can't scare us.

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  9. omg congrats my darling! you TOTALLY deserve it! you are a REAL bride doing real bride things! PLANNING A WEDDING! yay! so happy for you sweet cheeks :)

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  10. Congratulations!!!! well deserved :)

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  11. Oh yea! That's amazing! So glad it worked out for you. Congrats.

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  12. CONGRATULATIONS!!! That is so, so wonderful. I can only imagine how amazing extra money would be at this stage of our wedding plans... And you deserve every penny.

    And you hit the nail on the head:
    This isn't my business. This is my life. And I think, maybe, that's why you voted for me so continuously and that's why I won. Because this wedding planning journey I write about is a bit like your life too, and you're looking for wedding talk that's more than visually inspiring. You're looking for other people who understand that life and weddings are messy, compromised, highly imperfect, and worthwhile all the same.

    Exactly. This isn't just about tablescapes and tulle and tulips, or bunting flags and barbecues and baby pictures. It's about a truly significant event in our lives, a beginning (and an end), and talking about all of it-- ALL of it-- really is amazing. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

    Thanks, Becca, and congrats. :D

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  13. Yay! I voted lots.

    And achem, perhaps there are some nice things about blogs that are not *just* personal. Other than nice writers? I think yes.

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  14. @Meg - (I really need to start writing posts before 9pm at night. boo lack of time.) I could have made it clearer that yes, there are many many wonderful blogs out there, even if they're professional or near-professional. I should have expanded upon this line "These sites are generally created and run by amazing women who tend to know a ton about weddings and are genuinely excited to share it" to talk about the amazing stuff these women share on their blogs and why I read them/reached out to them in the first place.

    And as for your site, well, it's heartfelt, honest, inspiring, joyful, beautiful and professional (one of your two professions, at the moment). And really darn personal too, even if it isn't usually your story at the forefront. And that's what so many of us are reaching for, really. "Personal blog" or not.

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  15. I have a tear in my eye for I am so happy for you!

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  16. Yay yay yay and all that made me crryyyyyy. <3

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  17. HUZZAH!!!! You definitely deserve it. I feel like it's a win for all of us, really. Our tiny blogging corner recognized for a very important voice (your voice) in the wedding world. You should feel really good about yourself and what you do!!! Go and celebrate!

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  18. love you B. you deserve this. so much. your blog is the tits. you are the tits. SO FUCKING PROUD OF YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  19. Go you!!!!!! I voted for you because you hewed your own line. If that's even English.

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  20. Oh man darling, your little site deserves this win. The way you write about your wedding with honesty and talk about imperfections is a major contribution to the wedding dialogue. I'm so glad I found you and your blog because it's motivated and inspired me so much. I'm so glad I had the chance to vote, vote, vote for you. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

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  21. I'm so happy you won (and I did vote for you a few times!) You deserve it!

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  22. Congratulations! And once again, thanks for writing such a great blog.

    [Also I am such a gossiphound that I'm like, "boudior shot controversy!?!?! Must search archives!']

    But yeah woo yay awesome!

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  23. congratulations!!!!!! i voted (a few times) because your posts kept me sane during crazy times and they always managed to be truthful and funny.

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  24. mmm... i OFTEN wonder what became of the boudoir shoot.

    oh, and yeah- congratulations!

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  25. Yay! Huge congratulations! It's so hard to say what makes readers connect, but I love your smart (and sometimes frustrated) words more than lots of pretty pictures.

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  26. congrats! so happy you won. you provide a lot of emotional support in a wedding blog world full of visual stimulation....

    Cheers!

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  27. I'm a bit late on this, but CONGRATS! So happy that your blog won. I was rooting for you all the way :)

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  28. Oh, I'm so glad you won!! I wanted you to win desperately when I clicked through to your main competition. The Wedding Chicks is a beautiful blog and I'm sure the people who run it are lovely. But you can get lots of glossy inspiration photos from The Knot or a bridal magazine too. A Los Angeles Love, to me, represents something entirely different, a space outside the wedding industry to talk about all of the aspects of wedding planning -- not just the fun stuff and the pretty stuff, but the hard stuff and the messy stuff and the just plain frustrating stuff too. So congrats, this is so well-deserved!!

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  29. I am so, so, so happy that you won. You deserve it, and I only wish I'd done even more voting for you.

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  30. Congrats! I stumbled upon this blog on twitter. Your blog's content is so refreshingly raw. You really deserved to win and I'm so glad that you did. :)

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