So, if you've got a vague interest in the wedding world (and I can't think why you wouldn't!), you'll know that last Friday saw The Savoy throw open its doors to Wedding magazine and The Wedding Blog Awards. You might well also know that I was there, along with the lovely Caoimhe, representing Team Love My Dress. I could write a long post about the champagne, the canapés, the decor and the terror, twice over, of having to hop up on stage to accept the awards for 'Best Real Life Weddings' and 'Best Bridal Style' that Love My Dress scooped on the night. But, as so many wonderful women have already penned and published posts about these things (see list at the end of this piece), I'm going to write about something else. Obvs.
I do love a little bit of people watching and so having a good look around at everyone who was sipping champagne and waiting for the awards proper to begin was really interesting. And then it hit me, these women, these terrific and talented women who made up the shortlists for the awards all had one thing in common. None of them were trying to be different.
Now, this is the moment when you might well be sitting there thinking I've lost the plot completely but hang in there while I explain myself.
The key word in my bold assertion isn't different, it's trying. The blogs on the shortlist are all different, they have found their niche and they're totally working it. But they're not trying to be different or trying to be something they're not. And this is exactly why they're great.
Nova, the gorgeously passionate powerhouse behind the (deservedly) award-winning Nu-Bride is, when you meet her, exactly as you would expect from reading her blog. She's kind, caring, gentle and strong. Another woman who I fell a bit for was Charlotte from Fizzy Bunting. She 'isn't a dress kind of a gal' so rocked the tux at the awards and was true to herself. Raj from Secret Wedding Blog wanted to write about multi-cultural couples and weddings so did. B.Loved's Louise and Emma from Coco Wedding Venues are just as stylish as you imagine and they're also as warm and as positive as their writing suggests. In short, no-one was trying to be different, they were just being themselves.
And that's really the key to it all. Don't work so hard to be different that you lose sight of who you really are. Don't strive to stand out when all you really need is to just be you. Just on a really good day. We all might have been dressed up fancy for a night out but everyone was still the same person. And it was great.
The wedding industry is a sociable place - people like to get together and you see a lot of each other. If you're putting on an act or if you're trying too hard, you'll get found out like the kid at school who pretends to be way cool when they're just not and ends up miserable, even when they're hanging with the crowd they want to be with. Because, now that we're not kids in the playground, we know that trying to be different never works out in the long run.
I got to be at The Savoy on Friday evening because a while ago, Annabel asked me to be part of Team Love My Dress. And it was revelatory. Annabel doesn't try to be different, she just tries to be good. And she, and the other fabulous, brilliant, spectacular and downright excellent women in the room on Friday evening, have totally nailed it.