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Monday, July 16, 2012

A Bee's Life: Hawk Edition!

How I Found Weddingbee

I don't remember exactly when it was that I found Weddingbee, but to save face let's just assume it was shortly after Mr. Hawk and I became engaged. ;) At that point I had already voraciously ingested what The Knot had to offer, and I was looking for fresh and unique inspiration: Weddingbee was just that. I loved how it wasn't just beautiful editor-selected photographs, but rather real brides sharing their journies. Being from Richmond, I gravitated to Mrs. Cloud's recaps about her Richmond wedding, and I was instantly hooked. From there I devoured another Virginia bride's, Mrs. Brooch, posts before becoming a daily follower of the site.
My Application Story

From the start I knew I wanted to be a Blogger Bee; however, the idea of blogging seemed a little abstract to me. I had always thoroughly enjoyed writing, but I had never blogged before. I wasn't really sure I'd have enough to write about or even have an interesting story to tell. I put off thinking about applying until late September when I my wedding was less than eight months away. The idea of missing my opportunity to apply kicked my butt into gear. I decided to quit being silly and just go for it. Telling only Momma Hawk and Mr. Hawk, I started blogging in secret. To my surprise finding topics to write about came easily, and before I knew it, I was blogging almost every day. I absolutely loved it.

Not wanting to waste another minute, I sent in my application right after I had written the requisite fifteen posts. Four weeks s-l-o-w-l-y passed by. Near the end I swear I was checking my email every fifteen minutes. It was the first thing I looked at in the morning and the last thing I checked before bed. I anxiously prayed no one would pick Hawk as their moniker. After waiting exactly a month, I coudn't wait any longer. I emailed Mrs. Penguin kindly asking about the status of my application. A few hours later she came back with a response saying that I was "kind of a mind reader" and that I should hear back shortly. The fact that she ended the email with a smiley face was all I needed. My heart was beating out of my chest for the next several minutes until I received my acceptance email. I immediately called Mr. Hawk. He could hear the excitement in my voice, and before I could even get it out he asked if I had been accepted. (Then he asked if we would be the Hawks. Of course we would!) I was elated.

On Blogging for Weddingbee

I can honestly say that blogging for Weddingbee has been one of the coolest experiences of my life. When I started as a Blogger Bee, I looked forward to sharing my story. I even hoped that I might provide some inspiration or support for fellow brides, but I never anticipated that I would get so much back in return. Having a community to share the highs and lows with has been such an amazing experience. There is nothing quite like receiving support and positive words of encouragement from fellow brides who are going through the same struggles. There is also nothing quite like having a space to freely ramble about bridesmaids dresses, shoes, or the chairs I dreamt about, and have a community of people who understand!

While it has been gratifying and rewarding, I also must admit that it can be time consuming. Regularly blogging while working and planning a wedding can at times be overwhelming. There were moments when I felt like I had taken on a part-time job, but feedback from the Hive made it worth every minute.
Advice for Applicants

This is nothing new, but considering it's the most important piece of advice I can give, it bears repeating: Bee yourself!

Write like you would speak to your best friend. When I first started blogging, I repeatedly made Mr. Hawk read my writing to make sure it sounded like me. I wanted to make sure that my personality came through and that he could actually hear me saying the things I wrote. Having a close friend or family member read your writing might be your biggest asset.

Don't feel the need to meet a certain formula. There is nowhere in the application process that says one post about the engagement, two posts about the shoe search,  and three about the dress search equals a winning combination. Heck, I never even shared any details about my dress shopping experience and I was accepted! If you write as you naturally progress through the planning process, you'll end up covering what's important to you.

Share your story. It's nice to see a post filled with lovely inspiration pictures, but the journey is more interesting. Knowing the reasoning behing your choices is what makes your writing relatable and interesting to readers.

Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. If you're thinking about applying, just go for it! I'm so glad that I did. :)

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