Social Media

Staying Top of Mind in the Wedding Industry

Especially if you’ve been here a minute.

Photo by    Cameron Clark

Photo by Cameron Clark

“Engagement season” refers to the period of time each year when the most wedding proposals happen. In the United States, it runs from Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday of November) until Valentine’s Day. For many other locations, it starts just a few weeks later, going from around Christmas to Valentine’s Day.

The most popular days for engagements are currently Christmas day, Valentine’s day, New Year’s Eve, Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s day – in that order.

Just like most good publicists will start prepping and pitching their clients’ Christmas campaigns in early Summer, wedding pros’ prep for engagement/proposal season should ideally already be underway. However, if you, like almost every wedding business owner, have been juggling a zillion things, the next best time to start is now.

For the month of October, I’m going to be mostly discussing the things you can do get your business ready so that yours can be the company they most love once the ring is on their finger.


Your business is your baby. It is not everyone else’s baby.

This means that not everyone loves it the way you do. It does not consume their mind the way it consumes yours.

We get so wrapped up in our own business bubble that we assume everyone else saw our work or heard us say something the first time. We assume that the people who follow us looked at every post we put on Instagram, Stories, or Facebook. We assume they opened every newsletter or read every blog post. We assume they clicked on every link we excitedly shared when we were published in a magazine or made an appearance on morning TV.

Although we intellectually know this isn't true because of algorithms and email open rates, we behave as though it is.

We get annoyed if someone asks a question we’ve already answered. We feel hurt if someone doesn’t know we landed the destination wedding of our dreams. We feel snubbed if we aren’t included in a feature on a wedding trend we invented.

Sure, maybe they are just bad at paying attention. The reality, though, is that even your biggest fan has likely missed an update from you at some point. They’re busy, you’re busy, we’re all busy. We all tend to our own babies first.

When it comes to sharing your work and expertise, it's okay to repeat yourself.

That photo from one of your fave weddings that you already posted two years ago? You can post it again.

The blog post from five years ago that really resonated with people? It will probably still resonate, both with new readers and people who will benefit from the reminder.

The advice you dished out on the top 10 things to look for when choosing a wedding venue? That is helpful information that each year's "new class" of engaged brides and grooms needs to know.

As we get ready for Engagement Season, it's okay to bump up your best work to the top of your feed.

Don't let anyone make you feel guilty or like you have an ego if you choose to do so. We all have movies or TV shows that we'll stop and watch every time they're on. We buy books we love to read over and over. We have favorite vacation spots and restaurants that we know like the back of our hand yet find something new-to-us every time we visit.

Keep flexing your creative muscle and sharing new work, but don't forget that you have a deep archive that shows you've been here a minute and are good at what you do.

Tell people. Again.

Why Getting Published Doesn't Help Your SEO

And the few times it does.

Mandala Weddings    magazine cover photo by    Iman Khan

Mandala Weddings magazine cover photo by Iman Khan

“Engagement season” refers to the period of time each year when the most wedding proposals happen. In the United States, it runs from Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday of November) until Valentine’s Day. For many other locations, it starts just a few weeks later, going from around Christmas to Valentine’s Day.

The most popular days for engagements are currently Christmas day, Valentine’s day, New Year’s Eve, Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s day – in that order.

Just like most good publicists will start prepping and pitching their clients’ Christmas campaigns in early Summer, wedding pros’ prep for engagement/proposal season should ideally already be underway. However, if you, like almost every wedding business owner, have been juggling a zillion things, the next best time to start is now.

For the month of October, I’m going to be mostly discussing the things you can do get your business ready so that yours can be the company they most love once the ring is on their finger.


Last week I talked about simple edits you can make to your website’s photos to help your SEO to increase your chances of being one of the first search results in Google.

Today, I want to chat about another aspect of SEO, and one that is often misunderstood, even by otherwise savvy marketers.

When it comes to backlinks or inbound links – aka links from other websites that point to your site – there is a lot of well-intentioned, yet inaccurate, advice being doled out. What people tend to mistakenly believe is that getting published anywhere online will help your SEO, especially if the website linking to you is well established.

The idea that Google uses any and all backlinks to your site to improve your search ranking is an incorrect understanding of how SEO works.



How Backlinks/Inbound Links Work:

As a very simplified explanation, there are two kinds of links: “do-follow” and “no-follow."

  • Do-follow links tell Google to give your site SEO credit

  • No-follow links tell Google NOT to give SEO credit for that particular link

No-follow links exist to both cut down on spam and to reward organic, earned content by limiting the ability to purchase links on highly-ranked sites.

Among the links that Google wants counted as no-follow include:

  • links appearing in sponsored posts

  • links in ad graphics or banners

  • links in advertising directories (such as wedding vendor directories)

  • links for reviews or endorsements where products or services were received for free, etc.

You can read more here, but basically, if money or products/services changed hands, those links need to be coded as no-follow.

In addition, because the amount of outbound links a site has on it can sometimes “drain” the host site’s own SEO, many large companies tend to code ALL editorial links as no-follow, not just the links from ads or sponsored content.

These links aren’t being coded as no-follow because the website owner is greedy or wants to be mean to you. What’s usually more motivating to website owners when it comes to following these rules is that if links that Google determines should be no-follow are instead coded as do-follow, they will penalize the site that the link appears on. No publisher wants to risk that.



Websites Where A Backlink Itself Will NOT Help Your SEO:

  • Wikipedia

  • YouTube

  • Vimeo

  • Pinterest

  • Facebook

  • Instagram

  • Twitter

  • Links from lookbooks or magazines hosted on Issuu

  • The New York Times, The Guardian, Reuters or other mainstream news websites

  • Vogue or any other Condé Nast website

  • Harper’s Bazaar or any other Hearst website

  • Martha Stewart Weddings or any other Meredith Corporation website

  • Brides.com or any other Dotdash website

  • WeddingWire, The Knot, Bodas.net or any other The Knot Worldwide website

Being published or featured on these sites is still beneficial because they increase your brand’s chance of being discovered. They can drive direct traffic and one of those visitors may fill out your inquiry form. They also lend third-party credibility – the more people talking about you positively, the better. The old marketing adage, “A customer needs to hear about your brand seven times before they buy” is outdated. In today’s world of digital information overload, that number has tripled to 21.

While you should still have a marketing strategy that includes social media and a publishing strategy that shows off your work and level of expertise, the links from these sites do NOT help your SEO.



Websites Where A Backlink Itself May Help Your SEO:

  • Editorial features on most wedding blogs like Over the Moon, Love My Dress, and Style Me Pretty. (Because of the penalties I mentioned above, most of the vendor directories on these blogs follow Google’s rules and are coded as no-follow.)

  • Editorial features on most independently owned wedding magazine websites like Mandala Weddings, Munaluchi Bride, Destination I Do, etc. (Because of the penalties I mentioned above, most magazine online vendor directories follow Google’s rules and are coded as no-follow.)

  • Other wedding professionals’ websites and blogs

  • The show notes or links from an independently owned podcast you appear on (you’ll get SEO credit from links on their own site, not on any links from iTunes, Luminary, or other podcast syndication sites).



How To Check If A Link From Another Website Will Help Your SEO:

The easiest way for me to explain this is to show you, so here’s an example from a recent real wedding featured on MarthaStewartWeddings.com. The photographer for this wedding was the talented Beatrice from Luna de Mare. You can see that below the photo the editors credited her company with a link directly to her website, as they should:

To check whether or not the credit link is helping your SEO, here’s what to do:

  1. If using Chrome, right-click on the web page and select “View Page Source.” (If using Safari, follow these instructions for this step.)

  2. Hit Ctrl+F and type your search term into the Finder’s search bar. In this case I typed in the Luna de Mare photography website’s URL.

  3. The link code will look something like this:

    “a href=YourUrl” rel=”blah” “blah”>Your Company Name</a

In this case, the ‘rel’ attribute in the code tells search engines what the relationship should be between the host website and the linked website.

If the text following the ‘rel’ attribute says “nofollow” it is telling Google that specific link should not be counted for SEO.

If it says “dofollow” or isn’t followed by specific instructive text or the ‘rel’ attribute isn’t included at all, it tells Google to give that link SEO credit.

This is a very simplified explanation, but that’s the gist of what you need to look for if you’re checking the potential SEO benefit for your own links.

Back to the example of Beatrice’s feature on Martha Stewart Weddings. You can see from the screenshot below that the link to her site is coded as “nofollow” which means that while being featured is valuable for her in many ways, she is not getting any SEO boost from that particular link:

(Splendid Pro Tip: ‘noopener’ and ‘noreferrer’ do not mean the same thing as ‘nofollow’)

(Splendid Pro Tip: ‘noopener’ and ‘noreferrer’ do not mean the same thing as ‘nofollow’)

Again, this is not a case of Martha Stewart Weddings, or its parent company Meredith Corporation, “being mean” to the wedding professionals who submit their work for publication. It’s a case of Meredith putting a priority on protecting their own business interests.

In addition, in most large companies these codes are set as the default by the tech department and individual editors may not even have any idea the links in the online articles they publish are set up this way.

There are a ton of benefits that come from getting published online and you should definitely still submit your work. If you’re doing it for the SEO benefit though, do some homework as you’re developing your publishing strategy so you can figure out which sites will best help you achieve those goals.

Getting Your Wedding Business Ready for Engagement Season

Preparing for Yes.

Photo by    Nancy Ray

Photo by Nancy Ray


“Engagement season” refers to the period of time each year when the most wedding proposals happen. In the United States, it runs from Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday of November) until Valentine’s Day. For many other locations, it starts just a few weeks later, going from around Christmas to Valentine’s Day.

The most popular days for engagements are currently Christmas day, Valentine’s day, New Year’s Eve, Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s day – in that order.

Just like most good publicists will start prepping and pitching their clients’ Christmas campaigns in early Summer, wedding pros’ prep for engagement/proposal season should ideally already be underway. However, if you, like almost every wedding business owner, have been juggling a zillion things, the next best time to start is now.

For the month of October, I’m going to be mostly discussing the things you can do get your wedding business ready so that yours can be the company they most love once the ring is on their finger.


Nearly three quarters (72%) of women (and some men!) who know that the proposal is coming are scrolling wedding hashtags on Instagram before they get engaged. Nearly half (49%) are reading wedding blogs and over a quarter of them (27%) have purchased wedding magazines before their partner has popped the question.

Since Instagram is the second place nearly-engaged couples turn to for wedding inspiration (Pinterest is still first), I want to mention a common mistake I see a lot of creative professionals make that can be immediately corrected with a tiny change in how you post.

If you #write like #this in your #Instagram #caption with #hashtags on every #keyword, it does #more than just #look #ugly: it literally tells the reader's brain that you and your brand are exhausting to work with.

Here's why: The visual clutter of the hashtags in your captions slows a person's eye down while reading, causing fatigue. The brain subconsciously associates that fatigue with you and your brand.

The potential client may l-o-v-e your work, but for some reason they can't quite pinpoint, they're not entirely comfortable hiring you.

Use your branded hashtags in your caption and save the keyword hashtags for the bottom or the first comment underneath. You'll still show up in search for those keywords, and you won't be actively branding your company as exhausting.

It really doesn’t matter if you think this is unfair since your photos show that you’re clearly the best at what you do. When it comes to how you think things should work in marketing versus how the brain actually works, you need to bet on the brain every time.


(Splendid ProTip: if you want to clean up your captions even more,
this site will automatically create line breaks for you in a way that Instagram won’t convert back to a wall of text.)


A version of this was originally published in March 2012