Hello my love
Well, WHAT a weekend it has been.
Here’s a little behind the scenes run down for you! I spent my Friday being pampered and beautified by Sophie Stoll who also did my wedding make-up and a fab boho braid by the talented Danielle at The Parlour London.
Time was on my side for the most part, but as usual – due to the poor decision to drive to central London on Friday evening, Mr Nu Bride and I were late and I was in a state of anxiety about missing the entire event. (Thank God we didn’t can you imagine? How embarrassing!
Well, we arrived (slightly windswept ) just in the nick of time! Grabbed a glass of champagne, a chance to visit the powder room where I spotted the incredibly gorgeous Elizabeth of Bridal Musings of course we had the obligatory catch up in the ladies. lol!
On the night, I was decked out in my 1920’s inspired outfit, (with a Nu Bride modern twist) by this gorgeous Rita dress from Susie Stone and lovely rose head-piece from Flo & Percy and some Choo Choos to finish it off.
As I entered into the Abraham Lincoln room, it was already buzzing and packed with excited wedding bloggers and the cream of the wedding industry.
The first thing I noticed was the beautiful elegant floral displays by Euphoric Flowers and a giant hashtag lol!.
With a hop, skip and a beat, we were introduced to the panel of judges and it was time for the awards to be announced.
My category: Best Big Day Inspiration was up first….
Palms started sweating, heart pounding, a dose of adrenaline pumping through and then charming and slightly unpredictable host Mark Vandelli announced highly commended blog as The Pretty Blog!
At that point I was sure I hadn’t won….
Then as I was just about to take the first sip of my drink, a video of Danielle, Associate Editor of Wedding Magazine came on a large screen and gave a little snippet into why they had chosen the winner – all I remember Danielle saying, was ‘it’s the message behind the blog that is so inspirational’….
Then when the handsome Mark Vandelli announced the winner of the award for Best Big Day Inspiration is…… Nu Bride…..
A loud applause and some whoops and cheers immediately followed.
I froze. Said oh my God. Kissed my husband (i think!?!). Then welled up. Then gathered myself. Then faffed around trying to get up onto the stage. Then faffed around trying to get to the podium, then I realised I had to say something…..At this point I realised I had cotton mouth and could really have done with that sip of my drink!
Thank you Karen of Smashing The Glass for taking these shots!
I was absolutely overwhelmed and was certain nothing I said was coherent. But apparently it was and a few tears were shed! The feedback I got afterwards was absolutely overwhelming and I am so touched that I was and am able to inspire so many incredible people.
I honestly wasn’t expecting to win – I was up against some incredible established bloggers, with 3 times the amount of followers that I have. So I hadn’t prepared what to say, so I just spoke about my journey to Nu Bride and my journey as an adolescent, a woman and as a black woman who grew up not feeling validated because of the lack of positive images, characters, personalities, represented in the mainstream and more recently wedding media.
Image via Secret Wedding Blog Instagram: Mr Nu Bride and Mr Secret Wedding Blog looking dapper!
Thank you firstly to YOU for supporting Nu Bride and voting, without you it is all pointless.
Thank you to Wedding Magazine and the judges; Bruce, Stewart, Poppy and Claire for giving Nu Bride such incredible recognition.
I’ve said it before, being a professional blogger is hard. Trying my best to champion and openly talk about the importance of ethnic diversity and to encourage inclusivity in a mainstream industry feels like I am continuously treading water and sometimes drowning. There is still much work to do, but this award means the world to me, the recognition it brings is amazing. It is not just an award, it is a wonderful message that people understand, value, enjoy and support Nu Bride.
I said in my acceptance speech (hark at me!) that Nu Bride is more than just a wedding blog and talked about the importance of women (and little girls – because ultimately our self-worth starts from when we are young and possibly obsessing over Disney Princesses) to be represented and most importantly validated in the industry.
I received this tweet and blog post from a reader and humanist celebrant Natasha today and it reduced me to tears.
I love this industry that I work in….Yet, when I was getting married (ten years ago in November, woo hoo!) and not in the wedding industry bubble, I did not have this amount of admiration that I have now. I did not feel inspired the way I feel now, nor proud, the way I am now.
And why? Well, simply and honestly put, it’s because I never saw myself in any of the stunning brides (models) who graced the pages of the wedding magazines. I never saw what I could do with my hair or what make up colours might suit my skin. I never saw me or anyone that looked vaguely like me. I was invisible
It was the “I was invisible’ comment that reduced me to tears, ‘The silence’ can be deafening.
It’s a comment I hear so many times from readers and also how I at times felt as a bride-to-be. Invisible is NOT how any woman should feel and especially during the euphoria of wedding planning. It is the reason I started Nu Bride.
Natasha goes on…..
When you constantly see people who don’t look anything like you, being represented in the beautiful way that brides always are, there is a part of you that begins to feel that your value as a human being, let alone a woman, isn’t the same. As a young girl, before you have the legions of admirers tell you that you are beautiful, you need to be able to tell yourself first that you are beautiful and that is pretty damned hard to do when the positive images around you don’t help you to see your beauty either.
YES!!!! Natasha goes on….
I did not want to buy what was classed as a ‘specialist’ magazine (American black bridal magazines). I did not want to be the freak who had to make a monthly trip to the newsagents’ to pick up my ‘special’ magazine. All I wanted was to pick up a copy of what was already on the shelf, to run home with it (of course, buying it first!!), put the kettle on, put my feet up and dive into wedding heaven with a magazine that also catered for me, even just a teeny weeny bit for me.
This is why I write for you.
Nu Bride’s win for Best Big Day Inspiration blog, at this week’s Wedding Blog Awards, not only bought a tear to my eye but made me feel even more confident that the only way is up for coloured representation within the wedding industry
what I love about Nu Bride is that in my eyes is totally mainstream. You can enjoy her blog if you are black, white or Asian, or whatever your race or ethnicity. It is a blog designed for brides, whoever you are and this is shown throughout the positive imagery of black, coloured and white models and real life couples, too. This is so important, I can’t stress this enough. As any teenage girl of colour will tell you, we don’t want to be made to feel like we are ‘special,’ for the wrong reasons. We don’t want to have our little section on the news agent’s shelf for ‘people like us’, we want to be in the mainstream with everyone else, because we are part of the mainstream like everyone else.
I was SO touched by this article. Please hop on over to Natasha’s blog and read the post in full. Natasha writes so beautifully and I found my self (in-between tears), nodding at every paragraph.
You are the reason I created Nu Bride.
Award by Intricate Creations
I met author, playwright and politician Bonnie Greer earlier this year and she was asking me about Nu Bride. I was feeling a little dejected by Nu Bride at the time and having one of my shall I shut it down moments. The late nights, the rejection, the constant battle to find gorgeous quality content for you of real weddings showcasing ethnic diversity.
So I asked Bonnie: ‘how do you keep going, how do you keep inspired and fighting for what you believe in when you meet so much resistance?
Bonnie said ‘I keep fighting, so you have to fight less.’
I hope that in a few years time we’ll have a much more inclusive industry that you won’t even bat an eye lid when you go to a wedding show and watch an inclusive catwalk, or pick up a copy of a national wedding magazine. If I am lucky enough to have a daughter, then when she finds her soul mate and gets married she sees lots of versions of beauty. Lots of positive images of gorgeous brides and grooms of all gorgeous colours, shapes and sizes in magazines and media. We are all beautiful, we all matter.
Here I am with the gorgeous Elizabeth Bridal Musings, Rebecca Urban Flip Flops and photographer Kylee of Kytography.
Thank you for following, reading sharing, liking, commenting and believing in Nu Bride. You keep me going. You are incredible and you are beautiful just the way you are.
What an absolute honour. I am walking on air.
You can read a full list of fabulous winners and shortlisted blogs and full coverage over on Wedding Magazine here. I was so swept off my feet, PLUS Mr Nu Bride was so excited for me he indulged on too much champagne and we both failed spectacularly to take any proper pictures! lol!
Much Love xxx
Professional images:Paul Cahill