3 Design Principles for a Winning Wedding Blog

Wedding blogs provide a unique blend of information and inspiration. Successful bloggers give practical advice on topics such as budgeting, event planning, choosing vendors, and finding the right wedding dress. At the same time, they capture all the joy, excitement, and whimsy of real couples celebrating their love with friends and family but still acknowledge the stress, anxiety, and conflicts that arise when planning such an important occasion.

If you’re looking to improve your content and increase your readership, it’s important to be aware of your target audience’s needs. It’s equally important to be aware of your competition and learn from more experienced bloggers. Here are three lessons you can take away from some of the wedding industry’s most popular blogs.

  1. Innovative search options

Your content is only useful if your audience can find it. Every blog should have a search bar, but not all visitors know what they’re looking for or what to call it. The best blogs provide a menu of broad subject categories, each with a drop-down menu of more specific topics. They also use internal links and other features within each blog post to encourage readers to browse further.

Style Me Pretty, for example, has a “Planning + Advice” tab, with topics such as “Vendors We Love,” “The Vault” (a photo archive), “Design + Decor,” and “Weddings 101.” The blog’s search bar has a pop-up menu of popular search terms. What sets this blog apart, however, is that each “Real Weddings” entry is tagged by region, style, location, and season, and searchable colored dots represent the wedding’s color palette.

With a few clicks, one could, for example, search for mid-Atlantic, classic summer weddings held in museums or weddings that combine blush with copper and navy but not plum. When designing your clickable search options, consider how you might accommodate the highly visual nature of wedding planning.

Another way to facilitate keyword searching is to optimize the descriptive power of your blog post titles. Love My Dress, for example, uses titles like “Autumnal Elegance: A Wtoo by Watters Gown for a Nature Inspired Vegan Wedding,” which includes keywords for the season, style, and cuisine as well as the designer. Bluehost recommends bloggers use CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer to develop titles that are SEO-friendly and contain the right combination of “power words.”

  1. Content-based advertising

Including a flashing ad for Azazie on your sidebar could be a source of revenue, but it will also distract readers from the rest of your blog. If, however, Azazie became the focus of one or more blog posts, your affiliate marketing and content marketing would no longer conflict. While some top wedding bloggers do use banner ads, they earn most of their money through their content. They know their audience is more likely to make a purchase from one of their affiliate links if they write an honest review, make a recommendation based on personal experience, or share a great find as they would with a friend.

DIY Weddings uses a variety of these approaches in a series of regular columns. The column “Products We Love” includes a broad range of reviews, including DIY tools like flower arranging kits, while “My Favorite Things” features recommendations for specific style needs, such as rustic lavender wreaths or vintage lace wraps. “Found on Etsy” gives a shoutout to vendors in the handmade community. “Inspiration Boards” are photo collages of dresses, shoes, flowers, and other elements organized around a color and style theme, such as “French Countryside Blue”; the creator of each board provides the brand names and vendors for the items.

  1. Multi-platform engagement opportunities

When visitors land on your blog, your goal is to keep them there long enough to convert them into subscribers. Every blog post, therefore, should include opportunities for readers to access recent content, refer to related content, and be informed of future content.

Love and Lavender showcases recent wedding shoots with an eye-catching slideshow gallery and lists recent posts in the sidebar. Each post includes a “Need More Inspiration?” button to direct readers to the main search page, and a photo grid of similar weddings appears at the bottom of the page. Readers can share content to social media platforms using conveniently placed buttons.

Modern Wedding has similar features, but the creators also use animated lead magnets to encourage readers to subscribe to their mailing list. Blog Tyrant emphasizes the importance of email marketing not only to notify subscribers when you post new content but also to reward their loyalty with exclusive offers. CodeinWP notes content upgrades are proven to increase engagement. Give readers the opportunity to download a blog post in .pdf format, access an ebook that goes into more detail on the topic, or take an online course.

What wedding blogs do you read and what design hacks have you learned from them? Share your thoughts in the comments.