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Mrs. Bee, New York Age and Occupation: 29, Weddingbee Publisher Fiance's Age and Occupation: 33, Internet Engagement Date: May 7, 2004 Wedding Date: March 5, 2005 Venue: Westside Loft, New York About Me: Yes, my name really is Bee! I love my blogging, wikis, and tabasco sauce!
About Mrs. Bee @ Weddingbee PRO

One of the most important things we edit in posts and look for in our bloggers, is the Weddingbee tone. Because of my experience with not-so-nice sites when I was planning my own wedding, it has always been my goal to create a friendly, snark-free wedding community.  Inflection doesn’t translate over the world wide web like it does in person, so I’m always hyper vigilant when it comes to tone on our sites. Basically whenever a statement is questionable, I ask myself, “Is this annoying in any way?”

With our Bee bloggers, the two biggest areas we try to be careful around are money and weight.  For instance, we would never publish the following statements:

  • I can barely purchase anything with this $30,000 flower budget!
  • A size 2 girl says, “I’ve put on 3 pounds and I’m so fat I’ll never fit in my wedding dress!”

Of course these are exaggerated, but we’re careful about these topics because they often elicit emotional responses from readers.

When it comes to our PRO bloggers, we try to avoid the expert tone that you typically see in magazines. While it tends to work well for magazines, blogs are interactive so I like to relate to our audience on a much more personal level.  I don’t like talking down to our super savvy readers in any way.

The point of this post is that running Weddingbee has permanently altered the way I perceive tone in everything.  For instance I was watching the reality tv program Top Design, and it bothered me how Isaac Mizrahi constantly referred to the designers as “kids” and “children” because it felt like he was talking down to them.  I recently started reading Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster after many rave recommendations, but put it down after a couple of pages.  The snarky tone, which is understandably very popular, just isn’t my cup of tea.  Of course this is all a personal preference for me and my vision for Weddingbee.  I probably just see the world through Weddingbee tinted glasses. :)

Do you pick up on things like this, or am I the only crazy one?

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36 Responses to “Blogging Has Made Me Obsessed with Tone”

1.
Bee Icon
Bee
Miss Bruschetta (message)  5,565 posts, Bee Keeper

I looooove Lynne Truss’s Eats, Shoots & Leaves, but would NEVER be able to write with such bite, unless I was intentionally spoofing that style. I’m too hyper-sensitive!

 
2.
Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions
Pro
Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions (message)  360 posts, Helper bee

Totally. I stumbled across a blog a colleague was featured on a few months ago - and the tone was just so uninviting and anti-wedding. She was a wedding pro, but also used the blog for writing about her own wedding plans, and all of her wedding planning posts were about how “anti-bride” and nontraditional she was, to the point of dissing anyone who would want anything traditional in their wedding - incredibly off putting, even for this slightly off beat vendor! I can’t imagine it would make many people want to hire her for their wedding :(

 
3.
Miss Star
Bee
Miss Star (message)  2,107 posts, Buzzing bee

That’s one of my favorite things about WB - how supportive and positive everyone is. Even when things go wrong, it’s all about the good things that came out of it or the positive advice bees have to give. It’s one of the things that makes me feel comfortable blogging about sensitive issues. Way to go, Mrs. Bee!

 
4.
doctorgirl
Hostess
doctorgirl (message)  27 posts, Newbee

You are definitely not the only one!

Snark and sarcasm is SO popular today that it is absolutely everywhere. I feel like something isn’t truly “hip” unless it is snark filled and dripping with sarcasm… and at least for me, that’s not a healthy state to perpetuate. So when I found Weddingbee, it was like I could finally exhale.

The tone here reminded me that it is just as hip (and way more pleasant for me) to be in a nice environment :)

Thanks for thinking about tone, Bee. It makes all the difference!

 
5.
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Guest
Amy

Great post. I love how everyone is so friendly here. One thing to note - Bitter is the New Black really is a great book. The whole plot arc actually centers around her losing that snarkiness, and that first scene is, I think, supposed to foreshadow how much she is going to change.

 
6.
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Member
joyce (message)  210 posts, Helper bee

Nope, you’re not crazy. I cringe everytime I run across something snarky and it bothers me. The thing I love about WB is the community it provides brides - a loving, supportive and uplifting experience during a typically hectic time in their lives. Keep up the good work!

 
7.
KellyV
Member
KellyV (message)  2,520 posts, Sugar bee

I agree with all of the above readers - Weddingbee is so inviting and accepting of EVERYONE on its boards. Its nice to get such a colelctive group of women together who, although strangers, support and help eachother during the busiest times of their lives (for the most part.) The best aprt is, when someone DOES post something that can be debatable, the ladies on this site discuss it like adults and give perspectives to both sides. I stumble across many other blogs now and cannot stand to read them or comment, because I cant stand the tone or snarkiness (let alone what some other posters might comment!) I love Weddingee :)

 
8.
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Guest
alison

I really appreciate your efforts to pay attention to the tone of your bloggers. That is what makes WB so welcoming! Now when I watch Top Design I’m especially going to notice when Isaac refers to the contestants as kid! :)

 
9.
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Guest
Mo

Tone is so important, and the happy, friendly tone is what makes WB so readable to me!
I am bothered by tone in emails. It’s amazing what a complete sentence, a greeting, and a kind “best wishes” or “best” can do to make the email more friendly, especially to a stranger.

Interesting post, Bee!

 
10.
Bee Icon
Bee
Mrs. Flamingo (message)  1,365 posts, Bumble bee

Great insight Bee… but thats always something I loved about Weddingbee… the non snarkiness comments / posts. This is a great community and its hard sometimes not to fall in the wrong tone… so edit away, I say ;)

 
11.
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Member
KimberlyBee (message)  45 posts, Newbee

Great topic for discussion and I agree with you whole-heartedly, thanks for paying attention to the tone. Even though I am approaching our 2 year anniversary….I still can’t stay away from weddingbee for too long. The WB blogging community is so generous with information with cheerful and positive vibes.

 
12.
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Member
infamia (message)  169 posts, Blushing bee

Great post! And you are definitely not alone (I think all these comments above proof that, too :) ) I have put a book down because I didn’t like the tone before, but never stopped reading on weddingbee once - I love it!

 
13.
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Guest
Jessica

I absolutely agree, Bee! I’m so happy that you keep the tone at weddingbee positive. Snark and mockery (without substance) is overrated and in the end it gets us as a society pretty much nowhere. Thanks!!!

 
14.
FlipFlopBride
Member
FlipFlopBride (message)  1,437 posts, Bumble bee

I agree that the tone of Weddingbee is really what drew me to the site. While I generally drip with sarcasm in everyday life, I’m very aware of how it could set a negative tone on the web. I enjoy the friendliness on this site and always feel welcome and positive.

 
15.
Muffet
Member
Muffet (message)  106 posts, Blushing bee

I like that I can come to WB and I don’t feel alienated, spoken down to or barked at. There is such a feeling of community here and that’s redeeming. Enough with the sarcasm already! Why can’t everyone just be honest, up front and nice - like all the lovely ladies here! Isn’t it so much easier to be nice than intentionally rude and mean?

 
16.
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Guest
azwinelover

Weddingbee definitely has a friendly, positive tone. Kudos for creating and maintaining a warm and welcoming wedding site!

Concerning “Bitter is the New Black,” I loved that book and have found myself laughing out loud while reading all four of her books. I met Jen Lancaster last year on her book tour. She is very sweet and gracious lady, she just happens to write with a potty mouth and says things that I only wish I had the guts to say at times! :)

 
17.
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Guest
BlushingBride530

I agree that the tone of Weddingbee is what sets this blog apart from other wedding blogs and community boards. During the first year of my engagement, I regularly visited my local boards on a popular wedding site. I was shocked by the negativity from the brides. I wanted so badly to participate and ask questions and offer advice, but I was afraid that I’d be eaten alive! I discovered Weddingbee halfway through my engagement, and I wish I had known about it earlier! Here, it feels like a real family where brides are open and honest yet supportive. No one is in competition - each Bee wants the best for each other, realizing that each bride’s budgets, backgrounds and tastes are uniquely different. I think the diversity of the Bees brings a positive, interesting tone to Weddingbee.

 
18.
tessabella76
Hostess
tessabella76 (message)  3,143 posts, Sugar bee

I do notice the tone much more these days, whether it’s on the WB boards or blogs, tv shows, or books I read. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I’m getting older. I think in our teens and twenties, it’s considered “cool” by some to be mean. But as I get older, I really to to watch what I say and how I say it.

I enjoy Weddingbee so much because of the positive tone it presents to it’s readers.

 
19.
MeredithN
Member
MeredithN (message)  110 posts, Blushing bee

the tone is exactly why WB is such a wonderful supportive community for brides of all backgrounds. thank you for your sensitivity!

 
20.
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Guest
jdlee

The main reason I’ve fallen head over heels for weddingbee.com is because of the friendly, happy and eager tone everyone uses. It’s something a person picks up on right away and tends to replicate in responses as a result. It keeps me excited about the wedding planning and results is such a supportive community. I always say that “I’m going to my happy place” when I launch this site, and surely that’s because of everyone’s pleasant and humorous demeanor in the blogs. Thanks for being my happy place!

 
21.
Ms. Guava-Tini
Member
Ms. Guava-Tini (message)  549 posts, Busy bee

Thank you for making weddingbee a friendly place. Honestly, we were just buzzing away about another blog that is making some brides feel like they arent good enough for that blog & the blog needs some major “tone” moderation in its postings. I have fallen in love with weddingbee & promote it all the way! Hope it stays this way, because it’s extremely helpful for everyday brides that dont have million dollar budgets and other unique features to our bees. Thanks!

 
22.
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Guest
Liene Stevens

It drives me up a wall when I see/hear vendors call their employees their “girls” or when they take a paternal role. Ex: “Taking my girls to get manis/pedis today because I am SO proud of them and they deserve a break!” They’re not kids, the company doesn’t own them, and while it is one thing to be proud of a job well done it is entirely another to act like they just got a gold star on their fourth grade classroom chart. Vendors should hire the best people because they are the best - doing a great job shouldn’t be a surprise. Acknowledge great work, but don’t patronize the people working. Okay, that is my mini-rantette. Great topic. : )

 
23.
UrbanLeo
Member
UrbanLeo (message)  100 posts, Blushing bee

I am often a reluctant bride…and that’s why I still adore reading WeddingBee every day! The posts by the Bees are always both upbeat and thought-provoking, not to mention come from many different viewpoints.

I’m working on my PhD in English, and part of my job is teaching college writing courses, especially for freshman. A major part of the class is the fundamentals of rhetoric, especially traits like “ethos.” The ethos of a writer is their perspective–I continually remind my students that if they want to convince their audience, they have to make their audience trust them first. That means writing from a confident standpoint–but without snarkiness, overuse of lingo that people won’t understand, or making assumptions.

The WeddingBee editorial staff has cultivated this exact type of environment. In an industry that often seems out of touch with all of us who are actually going through this “wedding thing,” I’ve been happy to find a home here. Thanks for helping us all watch our tone!

 
24.
Miss French Bulldog
Bee
Miss French Bulldog (message)  1,088 posts, Bumble bee

The tone of WeddingBee was definitely one of the things that drew me to the site and why I applied to be a Bee. I am NOT a very good writer but reading the other Bees blogs really helped me learn how to blog and how I wanted to sound on my blog. WAY back when I had a MySpace (and even before when I had a Xanga) I didn’t post a lot b/c I didn’t want to offend anyone with my sarcastic tone. Reading how others write really helped me find my voice :)
I too get really turned off by Isaac on Top Design and think he sounds really considsending toward the designer contestants.

 
25.
Bee Icon
Bee
Mrs. Peep Toe (message)  1,804 posts, Buzzing bee

I find myself thinking in Weddingbee tone. It’s so peppy, uplifting and supportive. Mr. Peep makes fun of me for it. I think the tone is what makes Weddingbee so awesome!!

 
26.
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Guest
Julianne Smith

i love this post - thank you so much for putting it out there! i’ve really enjoyed reading all the reaction. and it is great to hear that you are aware of it and don’t let nasty tones run through your blog. the written word can totally be misunderstood, so why even put potentially alienating things out there in the first place. thanks again!

 
27.
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Guest
Canadianbride

I second [third, fourth, fifth!] this post! I had been frequenting another set of boards, because it was basically the first wedding site I found when I first got engaged, and didn’t think to Google for the longest time to see what else was out there! [I'm a creature of habit] I had a situation with my fiance back in February of this year, and while I had never posted on that particular forum, it was a really specific wedding related family-crisis type question, and I thought I could maybe get some much needed perspective. Well, when I went back to check my posting a few hours later, I was horrified - the things that people were posting about MY posting were just so mean! Now, I know it’s the internet, and blogger beware, but I was very taken aback by the vitriolic comments left, and it was very hurtful. Needless to say, I never posted there again, and from time to time I still check it, and am always amazed by how snarky, mean, and rude the majority of those postings are. And no one moderates it! When I stumbled on Weddingbee, I IMMEDIATLY noticed the difference on the boards, and really appreciate it! This has become my number one wedding site! So thanks for making it a community of support and encouragement…

 
28.
linzella
Member
linzella (message)  407 posts, Helper bee

I think a positive tone is such a vital part of WB! Weddings are such a sensitive subject. As brides (and grooms) we put so much thought into the tiniest decisions that sometimes, if we see somebody doing something differently than how we chose to do it, we’re tempted to label the other decision as tacky/boring/cheap/pretentious/etc. I love that those negative attitudes are rarely present on WB! When planning my own wedding, WB helped me remember that in most cases, I wasn’t deciding between a good and a bad decision…I was choosing between options that could all be good - just different!

 
29.
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Guest
jessica

Amen! I think being positive is so important. Some sites…and really lots of things in real life can be a exclusive and clubby not in a good way. Negative stuff is a total downer and does not help anyone! Thanks for writing about it!

 
30.
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Member
joylucero (message)  21 posts, Newbee

The tone is exactly what makes WeedingBee so addictive! The community is so supportive and nice. It makes me want to stay here all day long :) It’s so nice that you keep an eye on it

 
31.
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Member
jessb213 (message)  1 posts, Wannabee

Hooray for WB! That is why I love this site. We definitely pick up on tone and it keeps us coming back.

 
32.
shelliduke
Member
shelliduke (message)  412 posts, Helper bee

I agree 100%! This is one of the reasons why I LOVE weddingbee and why it is the only site I really check every day. (Okay, several times a day!) It is hard to get away from negativity - I am a positive person and at work, I have to constantly remind myself to stay upbeat when everyone is complaining about coworkers, working conditions, long hours, and pretty much everything else. I love having a positive environment to get wedding feedback!

 
33.
MrsSl82be
Member
MrsSl82be (message)  9,010 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper

My favorite thing about WeddingBee is how supportive and non critical everyone is. You can really put yourself out there and be assured that you’ll get well rounded feedback from all sides without judgment. Its the only wedding blog I follow :)

 
34.
Nautilus
Member
Nautilus (message)  14 posts, Newbee

Well, I love the tone of Weddingbee. I’m not even a bride yet, but feel so welcome here.

 
35.
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Guest
December

Overall, I think the tone of Weddingbee has been pretty darn amazing, supportive, and inclusive. I’ve been reading WB since 2006 and there was only one bee in all of that time whose tone was off-putting to me. She just had a somewhat patronizing attitude that I disliked. But other bees have been fantastic.. so many memorable and unique personalities!

 
36.
Bee Icon
Bee
Mrs. Avocado (message)  1,538 posts, Bumble bee

Writing for WB definitely helped me understand tone in my future WB endeavors. I”m so grateful to Bee for sending me all of those emails that said “Can you please edit this for tone?”

 

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Mrs. Bee @ Weddingbee PRO Mrs. Bee, New York Age and Occupation: 29, Weddingbee Publisher Fiance's Age and Occupation: 33, Internet Engagement Date: May 7, 2004 Wedding Date: March 5, 2005 Venue: Westside Loft, New York About Me: Yes, my name really is Bee! I love my blogging, wikis, and tabasco sauce!
 
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