A beautiful, new and refreshed website for Love My Dress.
A labour of love – in the making for over a year now. Two years if I’m honest. Fraught with interruptions and setbacks, endless Zooms, Whatsapps, spreadsheets and more to do lists than I care to remember.
But she’s here.
And I love her.
Today is my thirteenth wedding anniversary. It is also the first day of Spring – a day we very intentionally chose to get married on, for its symbolism of newness. My wedding would go on to inspire the creation of this very site. I named Love My Dress after a forum username I’d given myself during my wedding planning (I had literally just put down a deposit on my wedding dress the day I signed up to the forum. I absolutely did love my dress!).
A lot happens in thirteen years. But the past two years have impacted me on a deeply profound level.
Forgive me for a moment of vulnerability here, but my relationship with my readers and followers is one based on honesty. I’ve always worn my heart on my sleeve. For a good portion of last year, after wedding restrictions were removed, I felt professionally lost and was starting to ask myself, why am I here? Doing this?
It’s OK, we’ve all been through our own unique, personal experiences with Covid, but this time, things got me. As I was trying to piece my business back together and make it feel and work the way it always had done, I realised how much this was jarring with me.
And then it dawned on me how, despite all the chaos, disruption and challenges since March 2020, there have been been some magical gifts too, the biggest of them being the opportunity to personally reconnect unconditionally and wholeheartedly to what really matters – to evolve out of what we’ve been through on a soulful, more intentional level.
And that’s when things all began to make sense.
Love My Dress needed to change, with me. To be reborn, if you will, as a true and authentic expression of who and where I am today, right now, in the world; a creative individual with a passion for weddings, this industry, for sharing beautiful stories and inspiring others, for supporting talent and showcasing craftsmanship and creativity.
Our site rebuild represents a hugely significant chapter in the story of Love My Dress. It reflects my deep and very personal desire to rise from the past two years with redefined purpose and vision, to level up and create an icon of an online resource that talent all over the world seeks to be published on, and that brides and couples feel drawn to for it’s truly heart-led and honest approach – a unique, slower, more considered resource, in a world of throwaway and disposable digital content.
These changes reflect my desire to take back control of what we do.
We are living through a period when third party social media apps monopolise and dictate control of our content and online behaviour and this does not sit well with me at all. I wish to move Love My Dress in a direction that sits unequivocally true to my values and vision of an authentic online space and community. For this reason, I will be deactivating our TikTok account soon to focus our efforts elsewhere, but especially on building our newsletter communication and directing traffic to where it matters. I could wax lyrical about this decision but ultimately, I know intuitively and instinctively that this is the best choice for Love My Dress.
These images, by the way, were taken last October, when my friends Zach and Grace came to stay. I hadn’t planned my wardrobe, or fixed my hair and makeup. And it was raining. But none of that mattered to me. All I new was that I wanted to head down to the river, just a half a mile down the road and stand in the water barefoot.
I wanted to capture a sense of washing all that no longer served me from the experience of the past two years, of stepping into a new future. The stepping stones and river were as symbolic to me on that day as the first day of spring and all the newness and sense of rebirth that it represents to me, is today. The synchronicity with my wedding anniversary too.
We almost didn’t make it – my website developer and I have had actual near life meltdowns this weekend, but that’s the thing, isn’t it? When you love what you do so much, you go all out – you take the risk, cross the river to get to the other side. You grow through trauma and grief, you evolve.
I have never felt so passionate about Love My Dress and all it represents on a soulful level. A reader referred to Love My Dress as an ‘institution’ last month – and I’m all good with that. We’re absolutely here for the long haul, but we’re transforming and doing things our way from here on. Not the way a Meta owned app tell us we should be doing it.
I hope you’ll join us on our journey.
Love Annabel x