Five years ago when I pressed publish on the very first blog post for my brand new Engaged and Ready Wedding blog, there were two things that I had wanted to achieve.
The first was to be able to share the invaluable wedding knowledge that I had amassed during my seven years as a wedding celebrant, with couples other than those whose ceremonies I lead. My head felt like it was going to burst if I didn’t have an outlet for all of the amazing ideas and experiences that I’d had.
The second goal was to fill a huge hole in the wedding industry, which the importance of the wedding ceremony had seemed to have fallen down! When it came to wedding ceremonies, nearly all wedding blogs hardly dedicated any time to promoting the importance of them.
Now don’t get me wrong, some were better than others and some in fact were very good, but in general with the mainstream blogs, wedding ceremonies, when written about, were always treated very clinically. What types of ceremonies you can have and what the best wedding readings are, were the go-to types of standard wedding ceremony posts that bloggers touched on. Some ventured into the realms of vows too, but mostly in a very factual, non-inspiring way.
Wedding ceremony? What wedding ceremony?
And when it came to the treatment of real wedding features by mainstream wedding bloggers, we’re not too far past the point of where it used to be quite shocking. I’ve seen features that showcased and credited every single wedding supplier down to the groom’s belt, but never mentioned the celebrant, even when the celebrant was shown in a photo of the ceremony! And that’s not an isolated example. Celebrants and officiants were routinely uncredited in real wedding features and the ceremonial aspect of the wedding day was rarely touched on, even when a ceremony and an officiant had quite obviously been used. And even now, I am still seeing real wedding features being posted without celebrant credits given where it’s due.
It’s no-ones fault, as such. Ceremonies are very heart-led subjects and it’s quite difficult for some wedding bloggers to translate that onto a blog that largely deals with the aesthetic side of getting married.
Have no fear – Engaged and Ready is here
And so this is why I plowed on with Engaged and Ready. To give wedding ceremonies, wedding officiants and celebrants the cheerleading that it deserves. To have our own space on the internet that truly promotes the importance of wedding ceremony, that celebrants wedding officiants and celebrants and gives couples the space and the inspiration to make ceremony decisions which serve them well. And it’s the only mainstream wedding blog to actively do this.
And so in answer to my initial question, yes, the wedding industry has definitely began to understand the importance of officiants and celebrants in relation to the overall wedding day. It is definitely sitting up and taking notice, but much of that change has been driven by celebrants and officiants themselves.
More main stream wedding directories have a dedicated wedding celebrant-officiant category, more real wedding features show and credit the celebrants featured, and many industry awards have a dedicated awards category for celebrants and officiants now. So yes, things have got better, but there is still so much more educating and awareness to raise.
In 2016, Engaged and Ready won the UK Wedding Magazine’s prestigious Real Bridal Talk blog award. What a feat for a wedding blog that focuses on the importance of getting married and of ceremony AND what a feat for a blog that was up against some of the biggest wedding blogs in the industry!
Mission totally possible
At the Engaged and Ready HQ, we’re taking things to the next level. We want to get our message and our mission – that couples need to take ownership of their wedding ceremony, whatever it is that they do – even further, as well as encouraging couples and other wedding professionals to understand the importance of wedding ceremonies in the grand scheme of wedding things.
Last year, we had over 95,000 unique visitors to the blog, using it to help them with their ceremony planning and for ceremony inspiration, so we know it’s what couples want. And we’re already on course to exceed that number this year.
In the next couple of month’s we’re going to be expanding our platform, to bring together a community of wedding celebrants and officiants who share the Engaged and Ready values and mission, with a community of couples who want to connect with like-minded wedding professionals. We’ve already launched our brand new Engaged and Ready Wedding Podcast, listen here (and do share on your social media platforms. Couples love celebrants who share interesting, relevant and useful resources!) and we’ve got lots of other exciting projects coming up, too.
We hope you join us on this next leg of our wedding journey and help spread our mutual message wide and far.