Ask The Experts: The Surfer Girls

These local bloggers survey the digital wedding landscape for a living — and offer some seasoned insight into what works and what definitely doesn’t.

web surfing

Brittany Blando, left, and Abby Larson help brides navigate wedding info on the Web; Photograph by David Yellen

IT TAKES A CERTAIN KIND OF PERSON to devote 80 hours or more a week to poring over other people’s weddings. Local bloggers Abby Larson of Style Me Pretty and Brittany Blando of Beantown Bride live in a constant state of wedding consumption. The only people more committed to what they do are the brides who visit their sites daily — even hourly — to feed their hunger for ideas, design resources, real wedding inspiration, and more. Here, Blando and Larson give us the inside scoop on the latest bridal trends.

How has the wedding blog scene evolved over the past few years?
ABBY LARSON: When I launched Style Me Pretty about three years ago, I was writing it on my own. Since then, my husband quit his job and now works on the site full time, and we have five full-time employees. When I started, we were one of maybe three wedding blogs out there. Now the market is really oversaturated. There are even blogs that specialize in modern, rustic, or DIY events.

How are blogs changing the game when it comes to planning and even thinking about weddings?
BRITTANY BLANDO: These days, most wedding vendors have their own blogs, and brides are reading them. They want to know you’re a working vendor; they want to see last weekend’s wedding. Anybody can take 20 great pictures and post them on a website, but if you can’t show that you’re constantly evolving as a business, brides will pick up on that.
AL: Up until three or four years ago, brides relied on magazines alone. Because most are quarterly, they would fly through the issue and then have to wait. I update my blog with four to six posts a day and often feature three weddings a day. We also offer inspirational photo shoots, bridal fashion stories, and giveaways. We get so many submissions (50 to 100 a week) from newlyweds and vendors who want their weddings featured that we had to build our own online tool to capture all of them.

What’s hot in weddings right now?
BB: Modern, retro-cute hipster weddings: a tea-length bridal dress with a kitten heel, the birdcage veil. Everything’s funkier and more comfortable than it used to be. And if the bride does wear a formal gown, she’ll often change into something else for the reception.
AL: The vintage vibe is alive and well, though it’s not for everyone. I find that people are a lot less matchy-matchy these days, no longer sticking with a single color or theme for the whole event. Brides are also thinking about the wedding as they would their home design. Maybe they’ll use cool antique furniture from home, throw pillows, oriental rugs, and so on, to bring warmth to the event. And branding is huge. It started with the monogram, and people have really run with it. Whether it’s a graphic element or an icon or image, people are no longer branding just the invites or napkins. One couple we featured used an elephant, not only on their invites and menus, but also on their personal stationery and place cards.