In Response to Recent Formspring Questions... | The Budget Savvy Bride
The Budget Savvy Bride

Hello everyone! I’m back from a little break from blogland. I am still working with some friends on the domain situation so do not be alarmed if things still get wonky this week. As you know we were working on things last week so I didn’t blog much because I didn’t know if the site would be up or down or if the posts would get lost in cyberspace. In all honesty, it was a welcome break– my personal and work life has been a bit crazy as of late and it was nice to remove a few items off the to-do list. But now I’m back and I have to address a few things that make me a little uncomfortable quite honestly but it has to be done.

Last week started out with a little slap in the face that came in the form of a couple of formspring questions. For the sake of transparency, I’ll share them with you here.

If you don’t care to read my response feel free to skip this post. If you do then read on, but beware, it’s pretty long-winded…

I’m assuming that these comments both came from the same person since they came within minutes of each other, but I don’t know for sure. I have to admit that waking up to these in my inbox on Monday morning made me all the more glad that I didn’t plan to blog last week. I am a little sad that they were anonymous because I would like to know who this person is. I would like to thank them for spreading the word to their friends about BSB– that seriously means the world to me when my readers tell their friends. I’d also thank them for their honesty– for while these questions were hard for me to face, they are truthful and it took me most of last week to process how I really felt about them.

….

I’m not going to lie, I cried when I read these questions. Not because they were mean but because they were true. I cried because it made me realize the connection that people have come to find with me through reading my blog. It’s kind of overwhelming and amazing. It almost made me feel like a friend who has moved on and ditched her dear old friends to make room for other things in a new life. It made me feel guilty and sad for letting people down.

….

Earlier this year when I held the reader surveys they were very eye opening and helpful. I felt like I had two camps of people- the new brides who needed helpful info and ideas to plan their own budget savvy weddings and the dear readers who’d become personally invested in me since the beginning. I felt like I needed to accommodate both sets of readers, because I am a people pleaser. I enjoy writing the blog so much and thought if I could do both then it could be perfect- so I created the Life section of the blog- a section that has since been incredibly neglected. I’m lucky if I get a post up here once a week. I thought I could handle both, but it’s turned out to be far too much on my already heaping full plate.

….

As far as sharing my personal life… it feels kind of weird to do that now. When I started this blog as a bride planning my wedding, I had no idea that I would grow to attract tens of thousands of readers every month. Back then it felt safe to share bits and pieces of my personal life but now it seems a little dangerous. (And my father likes to reprimand me for sharing personal things on my twitter and blog so that doesn’t make it any easier, haha) And honestly, my personal life and experiences now don’t really have much to do with wedding planning since I have been married for over a year now. I’m not going through the same thing that brides are going through on their way to their big day so my wedding related posts have been lacking. I felt like I’d found a format that worked for the wedding side of this blog in sharing giveaways, diy projects, real weddings, etc because I don’t have anything personal to bring to the subject anymore.

….

As you probably know or could imagine, it’s not easy coming up with fresh, new content 5 days a week. But it’s only ME here at BSB. Just Jessica. I don’t have a team (although I refer to BSB as US or WE sometimes because it sounds more legit- haha!) I don’t have guest bloggers. I don’t have ad salesman. I don’t have tech support. I do any and everything that happens on this blog from design, to code, to posting, to ads, to answering reader emails, etc. Just me. If I calculated how much money I’ve made from this blog based on how many hours I’ve put into it this year, I would guarrantee you it would be pennies per hour. So, I’m sorry if you don’t like sponsored posts. The company mentioned in the formspring question is a good choice for lots of brides on a budget and it is valid, useful content for the readers of this blog. Although I’m not in this for the money, I will gladly accept compensation for blog appropriate ads and sponsored posts, because I spend so much time and energy on this blog that it’s silly for me to do it all for nothing.

….

Truth is, I’m struggling to keep all the balls in the air right now. In addition to this blog(s), I also have my freelance business doing design work and a few steady contract jobs including assisting my friend Evin and working on 2 magazines. And of course I’m also doing Stella & Dot (which I am loving more each day and find myself wanting to devote more time to it than other projects.) So basically, I’ve got alot going on- alot on my plate- alot of balls to keep in the air. Even with all of these different things that I am doing, I am not bringing in even half of what I made when I was working full time! So you can imagine my frustration. I feel like I’m not contributing enough financially to our household– our lives would be so much easier if we had a 2nd full time income. So I’ve been applying for jobs and have had a few interviews. One job I am really excited about is still up in the air, but I am hoping to hear something this week. This isn’t even half of what is flying through my head on a daily basis.

All this to say, I am feeling overwhelmed. Is that enough open honesty for you? :)

In all seriousness, I love hearing from my readers and I appreciate the anonymous formspringer who started this whole dialog. I’ve had alot on my mind and my heart that I just spewed all over the keyboard so I hope I didn’t scare anyone off. Fear not, the open, honest, over-analytical, girl behind BSB is still here… I’ve just been kind of shut down due to feeling completely in-over-my-head. This post was kind of all over the place but I just felt the need to respond to these questions and open up the floor for any suggestions that you might have or ideas you might offer. Thanks for reading in the meantime.

Jessica is the creator of The Budget Savvy Bride; she launched the site in May of 2008, shortly after becoming engaged. Jessica has been recognized as a budget wedding expert by various media outlets and continues to share realistic inspiration and actionable tips to help brides save money on their weddings. Google

TwitterFacebookPinterestStumble
  1. I think you are doing an incredible job. Keep up the great work and don't worry about mean spirited people. Everybody has to earn a living…you have found a way to do what you love and make some money at it. It is very commendable! go girl…

    • Gillian
    • August 23rd, 2010

    Honestly, I've been feeling the same as the formspring commenter(s). I adored reading your blog while you were planning and recapping your wedding, and since then I feel the blog has turned a little…. impersonal. Obviously you can't open up your entire life for us to read about… you're no longer in the same place as other brides planning their weddings!

    My suggestion would be to come up with more features for guest posts – in addition to the BSWOW every week. It is so interesting and helpful to hear how other people are pulling off their weddings on a budget. Maybe if there were guest posts featuring DIY projects or how-to posts from people who tackled aspects of their weddings that other people are scared to (catering your wedding, making your own cake, designing their own invitations, etc.) it would take some of the pressure off of you to come up with new daily posts, and help transition the blog into kind of a forum of awesome ladies on a budget and how they pulled off their weddings.

    • jamie
    • August 23rd, 2010

    I'm sorry that you came across such criticism. I wonder if you could find a guest bride to walk through her wedding planning with and after she's married, find a new guest bride to blog. It might be a great way to get extra content to relieve some of the pressure off of you and also stay focused on the original theme of the blog.

    Whenever I get engaged, I will definitely be planning on a budget so I volunteer to be one of your guest brides.. but who knows when it will be :)

    • Emily Bishop
    • August 23rd, 2010

    I think that this blog is absolutely fantastic! I got engaged last year and we are now starting to plan our Fall 2011 wedding. I found your blog randomly and fell in love. You have already given me tons of ideas and you actually helped me to realize that even though our wedding will be on a tight budget, it doesn't mean that it has to look cheap. I think you are doing a wonderful job and I am so happy that I found BSB!

    • jamaallison
    • August 23rd, 2010

    Oh sadness! I'm sorry to hear people feel this way about your blog :( Yours is one of the few that made it through the "google reader wedding blog purge of 2010" because yours is one of the few wedding blogs I read that has a personality. Sure, maybe your blog has changed a bit since your wedding, but I don't think we've ever lost your "voice" or a sense of who's blogging here. I admire you for sticking with it at all, as soon as I'm married (in about 6 weeks) I'm bailing on my wedding blog! It takes a lot of time and energy to keep a blog like BSB going, it takes a lot more to keep it interesting and exciting – which you have done consistently. You're doing a fantastic job! Hang in there!!

    • Margo
    • August 23rd, 2010

    I am going to echo the other comments in response to your response. Blogging is a business. So few bloggers make it, and I think it is wonderful that you are–even if the process to date has been a challenge and you are still figuring things out. I would love to see more real weddings, or I like the idea of "how to" and "good idea" guest posts. Also, I am in California and it would be wonderful to see more widespread international coverage. But, I read the blog daily. And, I would hate for you to be overwhelmed by one disappointed reader–or two when you offer a real resource here.

    • Katelyn Moore
    • August 23rd, 2010

    Jess, Ignore the crap comments. Its prolly another site trying to put you down and psych you out! JEALOUS!!!!
    The first time I emailed you I had an immediate response the next day. :) Thanks.

    My only suggestion … Have a way I can view your blog purely the planning posts from oldest to newest So I can walk through those big shoes I have to fill. … One day…..
    Fav feature: weekly wedding.

    Anyway, Thanks BSB. Love Love LOVE the blog! All the best!

    • michelle
    • August 23rd, 2010

    I think this blog has gone down hill. I used to love reading it for tips on savings and ideas but now everything is just eh. I think it has no voice and is just like all of the generic weddings blogs out there now. If your moving on to better things then give up the blog. Don't keep putting out mediocrity

    • Michelle
    • August 23rd, 2010

    I just want you to know that I am extremely grateful for your blog and for your writing. I think that while there is something special about the intimate nature of being so personal, I still see that spark on your website and in each new entry. I dont think people truly understand the work that you put into something like this for us and I feel like you deserve to be appreciated. While knowing that so many people read this blog can certainly make you grateful for your success, I feel like actually hearing "You're doing a great job" means a lot too. So here it is. :) I'm getting married in less than two months and I dont think I could have survived without your ideas. Thank you for that.

  2. Really rude Michelle. I'd love to have a chance to judge your blog.

    • Emily
    • August 23rd, 2010

    Agreed – like you said, you're ONE PERSON behind this blog. You don't have a team to help you, it's just you. Not to mention you've been married for over a year and you're not in the same place in life that you were when you were planning your wedding. I agree with some of the previous comments; Maybe you should include some guest bloggers (brides who are currently planning their budget-savvy weddings) which would take some of the pressure off of you, but still hold true to the theme of the blog.

    My personal opinion – I am currently planning my Oct '09 wedding and I still find this blog extremely helpful! My favorite posts are always the BSWOWs..it's always great seeing ideas of what other brides are doing for their wedding. Honestly, I feel like if readers have a problem with the blog…then they should move on. Constructive criticism is one thing, but you don't have to be a jerk about it.

    • Gillian
    • August 23rd, 2010

    I did want to add to my previous post – that I do love your blog, I check it every day and totally look forward to new posts. I also think that for a blog run by one overworked person – it's fantastic. There are so many terrible personal blogs out there – from design to content – and yours totally stands out. I also empathize that this is a completely free read for us, so I understand your need to do sponsored posts and sell space to advertisers. Overall, I am completely in awe over how much work you put into this blog and definitely feel it is a valuable resource!

    • Tiffany In Houston
    • August 23rd, 2010

    It's unfortunate that people feel the need to bash or criticize your hard work, and say things they wouldn't dare say to your face. But alas, the world needs their share of bitches too. Unfortunately for the silly commenters and formspring submitters, you have a life and husband now. People who have common sense understand that. If they don't, then perhaps you shouldn't read BSB anymore.

    I enjoy your blog and my favorite part of it is the Budget Wedding of the Week. Even though my planning is wrapping up very soon (9/26!)I enjoy seeing how real brides manage to stretch their dollars and have a great wedding.

    Don't worry about haters, Jess. That just means you are doing something right.

  3. First of all, Michelle, whoever you are, I think you need an ice cream cone or something to make you sweeter. Are you always that rude? You clearly have no idea what it's like to run your own business or put yourself out there the way that Jessica has. She started this blog for herself and other brides like her, but it has grown and bloomed into something more – a wonderful resource for brides of all budgets as well as newlyweds, I mean, hello! FFF and all the bargains she posts! I've never once written her and not gotten a response. She has BRAND recognition at this point. It isn't mediocre. It's fabulous and one of the first blogs I began reading. When I first met Jessica, I felt like I was meeting a celebrity and that was over a year ago. I'm so proud to live in a city that hosts so many talented, genuine and wonderful people. Jessica is one of them. I hope that she can use these comments to make her blog whatever she wants it to be because it's hers. Keep up the good work, Jessica. You're an inspiration to us other aspiring entrepreneurs and you have a blog to be proud of!

  4. To be completely honest, I think that everyone has forgotten what a blog is truly meant for…and that is for YOU to express yourself HOWEVER YOU FEEL APPROPRIATE AND VALID FOR YOU. It is great to have readers, I mean why else to really have a blog. I face that right now, I keep a blog about me & my hubby's life and i think the only people that read it are my mom and best friend. :) But nonetheless, I write FOR ME. If you just aren't feeling it anymore take a little hiatus. I love your blog and have been a loyal reader since your wedding planning journey, but I do not think that you should feel like it is something you HAVE to do and to get criticized for what you do put on here. I would love for you to keep blogging, but it's all about doing it because you like to. It sounds like you really have a lot going on right now and maybe this blog just needs to drop down on your priority list for a little while until you get yourself in a more stable place. Like I said, I love your blog & all the posts you do whether it is about weddings (even though I just got married on June 5th so i'm no longer a bride) or your life (its always nice to hear about other things that other newlyweds are doing/going through). Just do it for YOU, nobody else! :) :) :)

    • Lily
    • August 24th, 2010

    Wow. I like this blog a lot and I have been reading since the beginning and I have seen some changes. It is a more generic and impersonal now. Some of the things being posted aren't my style but I think time will tell about the changes.

    • Bianca
    • August 24th, 2010

    I've been reading your blog for years… so first of all, thank you!! It has truly been a pleasure to read ! I love the BS Wow. My husband and I have been married since June 2009 and had a budget savvy wedding… and I wouldn't have done it any other way ! Don't worry about the haters girl… for every person who feels they need to be rude and tell you how bad they think it is (which I don't understand at all) , there are probably 1000 other people that are enjoying reading it & loving it every day like me!

    • nas
    • August 24th, 2010

    First off – i am amazed that you could keep a wedding blog going ALONE with all the other projects and stresses you have going on. As a recent wedding graduate i really have no desire to indulge in *too* much wedding talk – i have my new life to look forward to and i think that holds true for most newly-married womyn. That being said i do keep coming back to BSB (and only 2 other wedding blogs out of the multitude i started reading when planning) because i love the features, the DIY, the WOWs and the leads on BS stuff. i use them as inspiration for other events/celebrations/clothes. i do agree the blog seems less personal but i am totally cool with that. you are human and you've been kind enough to help thousands of brides plan their weddings on a budget for a while now, if you need time to recoup/replan/redirect we support you in whatever you choose…!
    the suggestions to allow guest posts seem like a great idea, but get to it whenever you feel comfortable doing..:)

    • Allie
    • August 24th, 2010

    Jessica, I think you are doing a great job! I’ve been reading from the beginning, and although I do see a change in the blog; I still enjoy it because you are doing something you love..helping people become a Budget Savvy Bride! Keep up the inspiring work..I still love the blog and read daily even though I’m now a newlywed!

    • liz2024
    • August 24th, 2010

    Jess, I am not planning a wedding, yet but I love hearing about the other budget savvy brides that are out there! I love reading the real weddings and don't listen to those blog downers. Sounds like they aren't writing their own blogs at all so who are they to judge and criticize! Don't lose sight of who you are! Do what you can and whatever you can't do just forget about it!

    • Sharise
    • August 26th, 2010

    Hey Jessica!!! As a fellow blogger, I too would have been crushed by those comments. However, you have grown and your blog has grown with you. Sometimes others cannot see or understand that. I think these comments also speak to a great accomplishment. It's time for you to get guest bloggers and expand your brand. You should also think about getting a few interns to help you with some posts to allow you to free up sometime work on other things. I completely understand being a jack of all trades when it comes to this new media called blogging. I am everything as well and it really gets overwhelming. Well just know you have a blogsphere friend here if you ever need an ear. Love your blog and I am an avid reader. Be Well.

    • Lindsey
    • August 26th, 2010

    Jessica,

    I have to admit that I read your blog less often because I'm actually married now but I love it still!!! I loved the Frugal Friday posts…how genious!!! Whether it's for weddings or not ;0) I look up to you in so many ways…I wish I could multi-task like you do! You're never going to please everyone-but people could be a bit nicer :0) I'll be praying about your new job possibility!!

    • Jillian
    • August 26th, 2010

    I've been reading your blog since probably a year before I got engaged in February. I really appreciate your great ideas and posts. I think this is such a great blog because it's perfect for someone like me who is aiming for a 10-15k wedding. There are other sites out there that will make you feel guilty for wanting a gorgeous wedding, but yours is great because it is focused on having a fabulous wedding on a realistic budget. I read a whole bunch of wedding blogs, and yours has probably been in the top two of most personal and genuine. Keep up the good work, and don't worry about the formspring comments! Hang in there and know that you are an amazing person and blogger and you'll succeed in whatever you do, whether or not that includes wedding blogging.

    • Catherine
    • September 4th, 2010

    Keep up the good work Jessica! I've been a dedicated reader since a few months before I got engaged, and I've read every post you've ever written! Obviously the content is different now, and even though I'm married, I still check back frequently! Don't let criticism get you down (even though I do it too… I even felt bad when I read those comments and I'm not the one who spends so much time writing it!). I've shared your blog with so many friends, and I admire your tenacity at making a career out of this and your solo work. So know that you've got lots of followers and supporters that admire you… and a couple who just aren't very thoughtful.

  1. No trackbacks yet.