Getting back to basics: Our values & why I do what I do on Southern Bride

Warning – I swear a bit in today’s post. Soooo… don’t read it if you’re not into that.

I’ve regularly said to friends and family that I’d make a shit employee now. I’m too used to doing things when I want, changing something if it doesn’t work. There’s no patience here for bureaucratic nonsense. Get shit done, don’t make excuses. If it takes 15 minutes, sweet I’ve got more time up my sleeve to work on another project. Takes 15 hours? Guess I’m going to bed late then. Last night I had a nightmare that I was in a job interview. I legitimately woke in a cold sweat at the idea of giving this up. Noone wants that (I hope). So I show up.

But guys, man it’s a slog sometimes. The Practical Wedding Planning Evening spoiled me. I got a taste of the energy. Connection. Synergy. Other corporate buzzwords that I usually take the piss out of. I want that back! I’ve been feeling down about it since.

Don’t get me wrong – I smashed it. Actually, we smashed it – the Southern Bride Verified guys, the randoms I bribed to help (thanks babes), Robyn who made me look put together and not the hot mess who crashed her car the week before because she was too busy stressing about how the event would go (true story).

I’ve followed my New Year’s Resolution [which is actually a motto]  – “Show up every day”. So I post content.  I share, knowing that the more people I talk to about it, the closer a solution will be. A solution to a problem I’m not quite sure how to define?

See – I have it on my office wall

This (funk? feeling? state?) has happened before, and the result was Southern Bride.  The method is messy but works, so I’m trying to trust the process; How to Cure a Funk in 5 easy steps: 1. life ticks along 2. things stop feeling ‘right’ 3. I tell as many people about it as possible 4. eventually someone says something 5. everything fits into place. (Or lots of people tell me the same thing and eventually it gets through my thick skull?)

Regardless, I wonder if blogging about it will work in a similar way, but faster. Like, a problem shared is a problem halved, but there’s 20,000 of you reading this blog a month, so that makes this a problem 20,000thed? (Try saying that out loud, I dare you).

Anyway. This is a long winded way of introducing you to something I would’ve mouthed ‘fuck off’ about while rolling my eyes to several months ago, and yet here we are:

Southern Bride’s Values

What are values? Well I Googled it and the definition made my brain hurt, so let’s just say my values are what’s important to me. Some of you might be thinking “what the hell is this shit doing on a wedding blog” but I’m the editor and it’s my expensive hobby so shut the hell up. Ok actually that last sentence probably goes against half of what I’m about to say, sorry.

What I should’ve said was: I’d prefer to run things according to my values and as a result you might notice that we do things differently round here. I try to avoid looking at what other bridal blogs are doing too much, because I’d much rather do what works for my readers, and most of all ME. Sounds a bit arrogant but since I’m keeping the lights on and giving up my free time for it, then I might as well get to enjoy it. Plus I don’t like to make decisions on ego (seriously, ask yourself how much you do that’s for no good reason other than your own ego)

…sorry for the sideline. So. Southern Bride’s values.

These three values kept coming up, and I love how they’re so fundamental to what we do here already, even though I wrote them down formally barely a month ago. Already what they’ve given me is some confidence in certain decisions I’m making (like sharing this blog post and another couple of personal ones that I’ve written but been too scared to share).

Connection

At the heart of Southern Bride is the community, and a feeling of support and care. Authentic advice that doesn’t pander to someone’s ego, but (gently) tells it like it is. Southern Bride is based online (because we’re busy and wedding planning’s done on top of everything else!). But our first in-person event in July 2018 sold out (with a waiting list) so we will continue to prioritise quality live events going into 2019.

HOW WE CONNECT >>

Knowledge

The open and free exchange of knowledge and advice is where Southern Bride began. Getting quality information to brides, right when they’re looking for it, builds trust, credibility and forms a relationship (also known as connection… they’re all linked people!). This might seem a no-brainer but there are wedding vendors out there who prefer to keep any snippet of knowledge close to their chest, just in case a bride decides to gasp DIY (honey, if someone’s going to try DIY their wedding photos, they’re not the client for you)

HOW WE EDUCATE >>

Excellence

We all know that a wedding day is a one-time thing. If someone stuffs up, they can’t offer to redo it, get it there the next day or offer a credit. So we share best practices, excellent advice (also known as knowledge… ooweeeooo), offer support, amazing vendors (both of those are… connection!) and curate a range of wedding planning diaries, templates and worksheets to support our engaged couples with their wedding planning journey.

HOW WE SUPPORT EXCELLENCE >>

If we dive further into this for a sec – The Southern Bride Verified Vendors are a community of wedding vendors who believe in and embody the above values of connection / knowledge / excellence.

With their support we are able to continue creating content and reaching more brides, by putting on events and covering the cost of ‘free’ resources. Our brides and grooms can enjoy a supportive community and a wealth of useful, high quality free advice as a result.

By being ‘SBV’, you’re giving couples a mark of assurance that you’re trustworthy, credible and professional. It’s a form of professional development too, with networking opportunities (and fingers crossed in the long term, training – watch this space).

If you’re interest to know more about joining the Southern Bride Verified Vendor community, then please pop your details in here. It’ll automatically email you the latest website stats, package details and sign up info. You’ll also be on the list to hear from me (super-occasionally) with opportunities to join us for networking and collaborations.

So what’s next?

Where to for Southern Bride?

The practice of formally laying out Southern Bride’s values has been a great step in figuring out what doesn’t quite feel right… and if I had to define the problem, it is: I want more. More connections – with brides and with wedding vendors.  More education – if there’s a wedding question, I want the answer to be right here on Southern Bride. More excellence – building up the wedding industry, making people’s best days even better.

How can you help?

If you’re nearly – or newly – married and have gotten value from Southern Bride, it means so much to me to hear from you. I’m just a girl, sitting behind a keyboard, talking to a computer screen. Hearing from my readers is amazing! But a step further than saying hi, for me, would be if you’d share Southern Bride with your engaged friends.  Getting the word out is half the battle. ‘Like’ our Facebook posts. Share them if you think they’ll be handy to someone. Tag a friend in our Insta posts if you think they’ll appreciate us too.

If you’re a wedding vendor and you’re still reading – What are you doing? wedding season is about to start! – but seriously, the very best way you can help is by becoming a sponsor. The next most awesome thing you could do? Share the word on social media for us. There’s no higher praise than a wedding professional sharing our content, it gives me such a thrill.

Thanks for listening guys xx

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