"Dear Wedding Bloggers, You Suck"

Thank you to Jason Magbanua for sharing this link! :)

We just LOVE the honesty of this blog entry written by photographer Meg Surly, from Hindsight Bride.  In this blog write-up, wedding bloggers are put under scrutiny for only featuring editorial-worthy brides, who have creatively polished weddings. And that wedding bloggers are at fault for making ordinary brides feel insecure and that their "normal" weddings are not feature-worthy. The write-up even further drills this down to fad photography and that photogs are equally at fault in creating this wedding madness. It also goes to the bottom of "listed" wedding vendors--and that you shouldn't instantly get them because it is paid advertisement. 

On one hand, we share the same sentiments. In fact, one of the reasons Mica and I were compelled to make our own blog is because we were saddened by the fact that there are wedding blogs that won't feature you if you are not part of the "creme dela creme" or will feature you but will even go as far as change your wedding write-up just so it would fit their own interest. We also don't like paid listings that's why our Rebellious Bunch list is only strictly "by invite" only. 

On the other hand though, we do understand that some blogs/sites do some sort of filtering because they only want to cater to a certain niche, so as a bride, I guess the more important thing is for you not to be gullible and to know first what type of bride you are--then that's the time you choose which blog/site is for you. You don't have to read each and every wedding blog out there, anyway--and you shouldn't be dictated by these things too. They are just inspirations! Bottom line is, it should still be YOUR decision and your wedding should speak of YOUR OWN personalities. 

This write-up is a very interesting read, but note however that it doesn't necessarily apply to the local scene as well. First of all, in the local scene, you have Bridal Book, W@W, and even yours truly, that feature and embrace brides of all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. Second of all, in the local scene, the "fight" is not so much on being creative for the sake of creativity. The "fight" here in the Philippines, is more of inspiring brides to be independent and assertive from family and society who dictate decisions for the bride. And third of all, I truly believe that we have amazing photographers who are firm believers of naturally beautiful photographs---photos that are even more wicked in its raw form, photogs who are game-changers rather than "fad-ish"--that's why I think Filipino photographers are even flown to different countries around the globe because they are just in a whole other level! 

And with that being said, here's the blog article. Again, kudos to the honesty! Very refreshing indeed!

**taptap** Hello? Is this thing on? Oh, hey, wedding bloggers! I’m glad I have your attention. It’s your friendly neighborhood photographer here, sharing with you a little bit of insight from within the tiny walls of my office. You see, there’s a lot of blogging trends going on that I find particularly un-swoon-worthy. Of course, this is just my own humble opinion, but I am here to represent the other photographers and brides of the world who don’t feel heard or seen.

why aren’t we being heard or seen?

Why are our weddings being repeatedly rejected from wedding blogs? It is certainly not because of the quality of photography. I have repeatedly seen photography on blogs like Cockles and Pretties that would make a 3-year-old look like a pro. At the same time, I’ve seen gorgeous wedding photography shot by colleagues turned down for publication. Why? Because not all of our weddings include brides sporting bird nests in their hair, or pretty, young Anthropologie-swathed bridesmaids, or meticulously stenciled miniature burlap dinosaurs holding up place cards made from the recycled issues of Rolling Stone, or weddings held in obscure meadows that can only be reached via bush pilot or a team of sled dogs. Sound over the top? It is, but you publish this stuff daily! So what is the reality behind many weddings?

Sometimes our clients get married in churches, country clubs, or even a VFWs (oh yes… it’s true!).
Sometimes they wear a simple silk wedding dresses, or employ florists instead of roaming the hillsides of Sweden picking wildflowers the morning of their weddings. Sometimes they are doctors, lawyers, or police officers who are too busy to make custom bird cake-toppers and who don’t have access to a baby-blue vintage bicycles. Sometimes their weddings are simple/normal/average.

Now, don’t get me wrong; we all love the rustic, the unique and the detailed. I do too, but it isn’t realistic for every couple. And in turn, it’s not realistic to publish that type of wedding in every blog post! In fact, the state of the wedding blog-o-sphere is downright distressing for some couples.They’re visually overloaded by wedding blogs that showcase only the most unique and the most elaborate weddings, implying showcased weddings are the norm.

the height of dysfunction

I’ve even had brides apologize to me! They say,

“I’m sorry, our wedding is very plain. We didn’t have the time to make a lot of decorations.”

“This is probably a really boring wedding for you to photograph, I’m sorry.”

Where are they getting this negative self-image of their wedding? Glad you asked, because I’ll tell you. They get it from the same place that gave women a negative self-image of their bodies: the Media. It used to be that the Media consisted largely of magazines and newspapers. But now you bloggers are a part of the Media, albeit the so-called “new media.”

wedding photographers suck too

Wedding blogs aren’t the only ones to blame. I’ve had a lot of photographers tell me that they only blog about weddings that are highly detailed or where the bride is pretty and skinny. They leave out the VFW weddings and the heavier couples so that perspective clients who aren’t Cockles and Pretties-worthy don’t think to contact them. They don’t want “weddings like that” in “places like that” with “people like that.” Why?

Because they won’t get published.
They won’t have their photography acknowledged.
They won’t end up in the 7th-grade popularity contest we call the Wedding Industry.
end this + consider the average bride

As a publisher, you have a chance and the power to change things. So my plea to you is this: consider the average bride.

Consider the bride who looks at wedding blogs for inspiration, but only finds ideas she either can’t afford or doesn’t have time to make.
Consider the bride who thinks less is more.
Consider the bride who doesn’t wear feathers.
Consider the bride whose wedding and engagement session isn’t meticulously styled with an eye toward publication.

In other words:
Consider the bride who is typical and realistic.

I’m not saying you should stop publishing unique and detailed weddings, but reach out to real couples and publish their less elaborate weddings, too. Your job as publishers should be to document this wonderful event for all couples. So show us different types of brides and their weddings, both extraordinary and simple.

you’re all starting to look the same!

Do something outside of the norm and you’d probably get even more visitors. And I’m not talking about finding the next fad. Focus on good photography and substance. All your blogs are starting to look alike anyway.There are very few blogs I feel the need to follow any longer. I know what I’ll find when I visit most wedding blogs because so many posts are filled with the same:

mason jars
wild flowers
vintage suitcases
stuffed initials
distant mountains
tea-length dresses
hand-made signs
and fields

I’d love to visit your site and see all sorts of weddings; the unique mixed in with the average and everything in between. This would make different posts stand out, and brides wouldn’t be apologizing to me about how “boring” their wedding is. Readers would see that every bride and wedding is different — not because of feathers and burlap, but because of the unique nature of human relationships; because of time and money constraints; and because the most important part of the day isn’t in the details. You know what I mean. Deep down I know you do.

by the way, that’s “so 2011″

And, while you are considering what to accept, please consider the photography!

The truth is this: Fad Photoshop filters and actions are often used to cover-up bad or boring photography.

It doesn’t matter how many different shoe colors the bridesmaids wore if I can barely see the difference because the hideous yellow and pink of a Photoshop filter. Sometimes I can’t even tell if they’re wearing shoes because the tilt shift effect is used to cover up and blur anything that would reveal it for what it is: a boring photograph. How am I supposed to appreciate the little adorable dogs in tuxedos if the picture is so underexposed that I can’t see the detail in their rhinestone collars.

Learn to identify the difference between great photography and mere photographic fads. And for the love of Pete don’t keep promoting those fads! By way of example, let me remind you of selective color. Remember in 2006 and 2007 when you’d see that red rose sitting in a black and white room? Yeah – that’s what’s going to happen to the washed-out vintage fad in about 2 years. Then everyone is going to look at those weddings and think, “That was so 2011.” Eek. Stop being wooed by fads!

stop publishing crappy photography!

Let me tell you, those 1970s, flower-child, hippy-happy weddings are not helping you find your unique style for your blog. It’s also nauseating to scroll through all those bile-yellow filtered photographs of fields with the bride and groom all but obscured by fake, Photoshopped “sun-flares.”

We get it. It’s the trend. But let’s face it, it’s not a very attractive one. Perhaps it’s time to move on. Perhaps it’s time to consider accepting clear, clean photographs with accurate color. Photographs of the type of weddings that we all actually attend: regular ones. I guarantee these well-documented, professionally-shot weddings that honor true color will be the classics in 25 years. They are honest.

Want to know how to find better photographers?

Stop picking photographers exclusively from your preferred vendor list. You know who and what I’m talking about. I’m referring to those photographers who pay you to be listed. Maybe, just maybe, there is someone out there whose work you really like, but who isn’t advertising with you. And maybe, if you find a wedding from that person, you can publish it without saying something like: “Oh this is good. We’d love to publish it, but you’ll have a better chance of getting published if you advertise with us.” Really? Seriously? That’s what you’re going with? That’s your bottom line?

OK, fine. Then select advertisers whose work you can stand behind. This is important. Readers turn to you for solid recommendations. When selecting vendors, consider skill level, not just sales revenue. Then, when someone advertises with you, you can in good conscious publish one of their weddings or even ask for an expert interview. It’s upsetting when we photographers pay hundreds of dollars to advertise with you and our weddings are turned down, but you’ll publish some hack who not only isn’t advertising with you, but they also take horrible photographs. Oh, but I forgot, the bridal party is sporting twigs in their hair. Come on! I know you’re smarter than that. Aren’t you?

Does this sound like the rant of a photographer who rarely gets published? It sure does. But honestly, I’m published quite frequently. I am most thankful to the little, upcoming blogs that may soon rise up and take over with their good photography and their variety of wedding types. Of course unique weddings that I’ve shot invariably get accepted much faster and in much larger publications. But it breaks my heart when some of my “regular” weddings, which are often gorgeous in their own right, don’t get accepted at all, with the reply that there “aren’t enough details,” even when there are what I consider a decent number of details. Look, I’m a detail-oriented photographer; I always make sure I get a variety of shots. But at the end of the day, those in-between weddings that I shoot, that are unique and held in gorgeous locations, don’t get accepted because they aren’t as wildly eccentric as the weddings that are in the spotlight now.

I love to photograph detailed weddings as much as the next photographer, but all weddings need to be loved! And all brides and grooms need to beloved.

How did this turn into high-fashion? Why are we daily hosting a who-can-have-the-weirdest-decorations-and-wedding-dress contest?

I know this is a lot to ask. And I know the problem doesn’t lie just with wedding bloggers. I also know why you exclusively accept highly-styled shoots and weddings; I understand that you have to make a living, too. You need to attract new readers and new advertisers. You feel the only way to do that is to be unique, to carve out your niche, to offer something new and novel every day. But this fantasy wedding world is not the reality of most weddings. As you continue to gain respect and power as a legitimate media source, your responsibility toward your readers grows. Don’t screw up their heads with a constant barrage of the unattainable. Give them something they can relate to.

just get real

So, it’s time to start including the bride who doesn’t have the time or money for a mid-century-modern, ironic vanity fair. Let’s celebrate the bride who doesn’t have a craft studio that would make Martha jealous. It’s high time we honor the experiences and pictures of the average wedding that may have simple details, but always has lots of laughter and family and friends. These weddings *can* teach us something about the true meaning of weddings and of marriage. In fact, they do every weekend during wedding season. I think these pictures should be readily available. Don’t be afraid to celebrate the average wedding. It will be okay–more than okay. It will be honest and heartfelt and full of life and substance. It will be real. Really real. I promise.

About the Author: Meg Surly (not her real name) is an accomplished wedding photographer who has seen her work published in both big blogs and small, as well as in print. When not photographing weddings, she seriously considers starting a non-profit to support couples who need an antidote to the Bridal Koolaid, and to help bloggers in desperate need of a reality check.

Read more: http://hindsightbride.com/2011/10/10/open-letter-wedding-bloggers/#ixzz1fR27l9Oj 

I end this feature by saying that SIMPLICITY IS KEY. I totally agree with the article that not everyone has the time in the world to make intricate wedding decors. Our wedding was described by Jason Magbanua as "perhaps the most unique Boracay wedding in history"--and yet we didn't have any wedding styling at all--we simply hopped from one restaurant to another and we let the island become our organic backdrop.  We'd love to hear your thoughts on this! We know that 90% of our readers are silent readers who don't comment that much--but feel free to comment away! Don't be shy :)

*follow us on twitter! @RebelliousBride


Mica and I are one in this special cause.
And we dedicate this to you, our dear Rebellious Bride. 


  1. I agree with you when you said it all depends on the personality of the bride. Like for example, I like to use mason jars as substitute to elegant glasswares. I love to be classy at times, but that's not who I am. My husband and I don't even drink wine. We'd prefer to make a toast by having a glass of kool aid strawberry.

    I may have seen it in other wedding blogs but I'd still would want to push it through not because we want to be a copycat, but there's a part of "us" that's similar to other couples, no matter how we want to be deviant.

    I don't care if other brides won't give much time to showcase intricate details, that's who they are, but then again, that's not who I am. If other girls would have their own most priced and valuable possession, well my wedding is its counterpart. My parents raised me up by telling God made us unique in every little way so I've been carrying that value until now. They're proud of me no matter how weird I get.

    I'm a kind of girl who takes scrapbooking seriously so even I don't have budget to hire a wedding stylist, I'd try my very best to style my own wedding, not based on what can be googled, but with just my childhood imagination.

    Again, it's the fight of who we are. There's this saying that we need to love ourselves before we can love anyone else. That before marriage began, it's only myself whom I've been making compromises with. It's like making myself whole for my husband.

  2. It's funny because my mom and I were just talking about this the other day. I was telling my mom about a rock and roll wedding a friend of mine attended. I said that while I think it's highly original, it might be regrettable a couple of years down the road. Weddings, unlike birthdays, are not celebrated every year. Most of us only get to marry once, and while you're a rocker at 25, you might have a different taste 20 years down the road.

    See, the wedding business is so intricate that people get caught up with the details. We want to be cool and out do one another, forgetting that the most important part of a wedding is that you're standing beside the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.

    In my humble opinion, the best weddings are not the most detailed or original. The best weddings are the ones where you can tell the couple is really in love.

  3. I don't usually post a comment but I do read blogs. I am not a blogger. I hate writing but my mind is full of ideas I want to broadcast.

    The post was very straight-forward about having the idea of not just to blog about detailed wedding but also the average one too. Sorry, but to be honest, I dont think a wedding blogger will not write about an average wedding if that wedding made a difference about their wedding details.

    But let's first define an average wedding?

    A wedding which buys wedding dresses in Divisoria? Wedding which only use flowers as their bouquet? Wedding where entourage use barongs which their tshirts are seen by the crowd? Wedding shoes that are just bought in malls? Make-up artist from a parlor near their place? No stylist? Wedding reception in restaurants? Photographers that are not that known? Or just using their own camera or whoever has one?What else?

    The main point of blogging is showcasing what is new to the eye and what is UNIQUE. You can't blame those wedding bloggers which features intricate details of a certain wedding because readers will be amazed how those couples thought of that idea which is UNIQUE in their opinion while reading.

    I pity for the bride who told you " Sorry because this might be a boring wedding you will cover". Hey, why are you putting yourself down? It's your wedding. Its not about the details. Its about you and the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Maybe that's the reason why they don't feature your wedding. Because you dont make a difference even how simple your wedding is and you don't have that "fighting spirit".

    How can you consider featuring a wedding which doesn't find time to go with the details of their wedding. Then bloggers dont have time too for them. About the money issue, I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU. Because they are not from "creme de la creme". But an average lady having a simple wedding can improvise and even borrow stuff from friends or whoever.

    Sorry, I might seem to be negative with my comment but I am a bride-to-be on December 2012 and I am an average person as well. As of this moment, I am already finished with some of my details which means Im spending time because wedding is just once in a lifetime and it's every dream of every lady. I have the aim to be featured because I know I am one of those rebeliious brides too. But I dont have the popular videographer. Neither the make up artist or a grand church and even reception area. I look for promotion package. I dont have my stylist too. It will be all my idea and the help of my soon-to-be husband. BUT I AM READING BLOGS. I GET INSPIRATIONS FROM THEM THAT IF ONE CAN MAKE THEIR WEDDING AWESOME, I CAN MAKE MINE IN MY OWN WAY. If one can spend and rent and buy the most expensive supplier, reception and clothes and rings and other stuff for their wedding, I can let people say too that I may not have spend or rent or buy that much but my wedding was FABULOUS and one of the BEST EVER.

    I don't think I'll be happy to read wedding blogs which features typical weddings. What's new with that? What inspirations you can get from their wedding? To have a simple wedding too which neither of the bride nor the groom has not been seen? COME ON! WAKE-UP! Face the fact, we are in a different generation now. Be thankful that wedding bloggers are not just featuring wedding of CELEBRITIES which is SOOO OVERATED before.

    But still KUDOS to your sentiments. BUT I DARE YOU TO MAKE MORE DIFFERENCE from the others and you'll see. Uplift everything to your Creator and let all the PRAISES and GLORY to him and BOILA! Your works will be featured more often not needing to post this kind of sentiments again in the near future. BLESSINGS!

  4. CORRECTION: I don't think I'll be happy to read wedding blogs which features typical weddings. What's new with that? What inspirations you can get from their wedding? To have a simple wedding too which neither of the bride nor the groom WHICH EFFORTS has not been seen? COME ON! WAKE-UP! Face the fact, we are in a different generation now. Be thankful that wedding bloggers are not just featuring wedding of CELEBRITIES which is SOOO OVERATED before.

    Consider wedding like a competition. You join not because you have a goal to be the AVERAGE but because your goal is to WIN and be recognized so YOU NEED TO GIVE YOUR BEST SHOT how simple or grand your wedding could be.

    This is too much. Sorry rebelliousKAI for this comment full of emotions. GODBLESS!

    I hope I can meet you someday. Im just an e-mail away. sasa_solijon@yahoo.com

  5. This is an interesting read. Although I would have to disagree on some of the points made in the article and at the same time agree to some of the opinions that Kai raised. 1. I don't think there is anything wrong with filtering wedding blog posts, for example Rebellious Bride would probably lean towards the weddings that are "out-of-the-norm, quirky, daring and beautifully "rebellious". That in itself is already "choosing" a certain look. 2. Other websites such as Bridalbook and W@W are not considered blogs but more of a one-stop resource website on everything weddings. They have to accommodate everything. Because thats really what they are. Anything and everything weddings. 3. Bridal blogs, just like photographers and brides have their own personalities and styles. You are so right in saying that a bride or a photographer can scout for a blog that also reflects who they are. Wedding blogs are personally written so somehow it is a reflection of the preferences and personalities of the people behind it. I believe ALL weddings are beautiful and ALL Brides are the most beautiful women on their big day, but as a blogger, I do feel more inclined to the pretty and whimsical. The weddings submitted to me that are more on the funky side are just as unique and beautiful but sometimes they don't necessarily fit in to the personality of Bride and Breakfast. That is why I am very glad that Rebellious Bride actually can cater to this other beautiful side of style, dont you think? In the end, I don't believe in posting something because you are being paid to do so. The main reason I started Bride and Breakfast is to inspire, to help brides reach suppliers (whether creme dela creme or up and coming) that speak to their style, to celebrate beauty and love, to show a wide range of professionally styled as well as DIY low budget affairs. The support I have gotten from my readers are overwhelming and for that I am always humbled and thankful. More power to your blog and to your rebellious brides :)

  6. i say to each his own! weddings are not about outdoing one another. it's a celebration of love. it should be filled with joy and happiness that overflows from the couple.

    i had a unique, colorful and fun wedding and it was the perfect wedding for me and my husband. but i also think a simple solemn wedding is classy and it would be also perfect for another person.

    choosing the right wedding-theme/style is like choosing the right person to marry. just follow your heart and be happy.

  7. To Meg Surly (not her real name),

    I'm sorry if my fiance and I are flooding our wedding with burlaps, mason jars, and DIY'd projects because I think those things represent who we are as a couple. I'm sorry if my dress will be tea-length because I'm not the kind of person who wears a sweetheart necklined-tube dress with 10 meters of train. I'm sorry if my bridesmaids will be wearing 50s balloon dresses because I found Gloria Romero, Bella Flores and Amalia Fuentes fashionable in their 1950s movies. I'm sorry if we chose to make a theme for our wedding even if we had to explain ourselves to others instead of getting ourselves eaten up by the "realistic wedding traditions" that you're talking about. We're not doing our wedding because we want to get featured by any wedding blog--and it's not the blog owners' fault if they appreciate weddings like what we have in mind more than weddings that please people like you.

    People have seen too many conventional, realistic weddings over the past generations. Don't you think it's time that more people learn to appreciate the not-so-typical? Wedding bloggers don't suck. Maybe you just missed seeing weddings that look like what your mom or grandma had back in the day and you hate the fact they didn't have bloggers to feature their weddings back then.

  8. This post has interesting the topic is great about the rebellious bride this post give idea to the couple who wants to set their wedding that they have to be ready when they come to be a settle .Thanks for sharing this.

    Best Regards,
    Bernard Zherge
    nulled Blogs