As some of you may know, I am now a full-time wedding industry bod! One of the people who inspired me to make the leap… well you all know her! On Twitter she’s the highly witty and articulate Cloggins – to the wedding industry, she’s the Wedding Reporter. Some of you may have been keeping up with Emma’s amazing wedding reports, but others might be scratching their heads in bemusement wondering what a wedding reporter is! So for those who don’t know, but should, here’s an interview with the incredible woman herself!
How did you first become interested in wedding writing and where did the concept come from?
I spent a day with some other recently wed ladies that I had known through Twitter and our little planning blogs. In the process of discussing what to do with our blogs, I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to continue my blog as it was very much the tale of our personal journey up the altar. Nor did I want to write a blog about how everyone else plans their weddings. I literally just wanted to write about the actual weddings – but from a first-hand experience. All of a sudden the idea of The Wedding Reporter was born and much to my surprise, people loved it!
What exactly does a wedding reporter do? Why would people book you for their wedding?
The Wedding Reporter is essentially a professional wedding guest. I’ll turn up with my trusty notebook at the allotted time and soak up the ambience, the atmosphere and the details of the day in order to go away and transcribe it all into a literary creative non-fiction account of the day. I’ll mostly observe from the sidelines but also chat to your other guests and build up a picture of you as a couple through the context of your friends and family. A wedding report is basically an extra layer of texture to your memories of the day. You’ll find that in the hurricane of chaos that is your wedding day there is so much emotion and adrenaline (not to mention a little booze…!) involved that things you would expect to remember forever can pass you by in a flash. That’s where I come in to try and capture all of those moments and feelings in a literary legacy that you can revisit fondly and maybe pass on to future generations.
Once you have approved the draft revisions of your wedding report, the electronic copy is then your property. You can choose to have it published into a hard back booklet which my affiliate designer can create for you, even with a bespoke cover relating to the details of your wedding if you wish. Alternatively you could choose to self-publish it, incorporate it into your wedding photos, make wallpaper out of it…the choice is yours! For the bespoke booklets these are charged separately after the report is written, depending on length and specification, but they start from only £20 and I think make brilliant thank you presents for family and friends. I even had one bride sending it out to acquaintances in New Zealand and San Francisco who weren’t able to make it over for the wedding so that they could share in the day as well.
What made you first realise this might be a full-time calling?
The realisation came when I had to turn down a press trip to Las Vegas for a national wedding magazine because I couldn’t get the time off from my day job. I am extremely grateful for how fully and swiftly the wedding industry has embraced The Wedding Reporter and I’m thrilled but all the bookings from couples I’m getting in addition to professional copywriting work. I just couldn’t afford to be spending nine hours a day doing something else for someone else when my business was growing.
How do you stay focused? Do you have a routine?
The biggest curse of any writer is the disease of Procrastination. Actually starting writing is often the most mammoth of tasks, despite the fact that I know I’ll be much happier once I’m in my writing groove. As such, I don’t have social media clients open during ‘office hours’, so I can’t distract myself with that. I’ve also discovered that the hour after lunch is my least productive and creative, so I leave my emails until then and try to get all my new writing done first thing in the morning when I’m fresher.
What’s your favourite thing about being a wedding reporter?
Being able to witness the celebration of love. In this day and age, people DON’T have to get married. As such, I think it’s a monumental decision when couples decide that they will and it’s absolutely wonderful to see them honour their relationship and love in this very big gesture.
What’s your favourite thing about the wedding industry as a whole?
Undoubtedly it has to be the scope it gives the little, independent suppliers like me. The wedding industry generates millions of pounds each year, but at a grassroots level there are the little guys who are working by themselves, for themselves, so that they can hone their crafts into making something beautiful, unique and affordable for soon-to-be-weds.
What inspires you when you’re writing?
Literally everything! I can get lost in describing the weather over the motorway in my mind as I’m driving or I can pass a couple in the street who have looked at each other in a certain way that tells a thousand stories. My imagination definitely overfloweth and the issue for me is finding enough hours in the day to empty it all out!
What are your plans for the Wedding Reporter business in the future?
I’m hoping to become so prolific and sought after that I can be based from the home of the cheesiest, most badly-remembered weddings in the world: Las Vegas! From there, I shall coordinate a whole empire of franchised wedding reporters who scour the globe for the most beautiful weddings, whilst I edit all of their work and work on the several novels that I’ve accumulated in my brain…
All photos (c) Ali Lovegrove Photography