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The screens of these blogs glow with wedding ideas

Wedding bloggers

Summer Watkins of Grey Likes Weddings, left, and Abby Larson of Style Me Pretty.

(Bonnie Tsang (left), Eric Laurits (right))

Time was that eager brides-to-be hovered near newsstands to pick up hot-off-the-presses magazines to help steer their nuptial planning.

Periodicals such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Bridal Guide and Brides are still popular. But online wedding blogs — devoted to weddings large and small, dear and cheap, stylish and homespun — are offering plenty of competition.

Style Me Pretty, Grey Likes Weddings, 100 Layer Cake, Wedding Chicks, Green Wedding Shoes and others offer daily doses of photos that appear to have popped straight out of a fairy-tale compendium. Some sites emphasize luxury; others offer do-it-yourself tutorials for hairstyles, cake decorations and floral arrangements.

By exponentially upping the number of unions that can be featured at any given time, wedding blogs have caused a seismic shift in the marriage business and given vendors many more options for displaying their wares.

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“When blogs came on the scene, they provided daily inspiration,” said Amanda Dawbarn, who in 2009 co-founded 100 Layer Cake, headquartered in Venice, Calif., with friends Jillian Clark and Kristina Meltzer. “There are now more trends visible to the bride.

“We get millions of page views each month,” she added.

Grey Likes Weddings ran this tribute to a recent ceremony at Vibiana, the cathedral-turned-event space in downtown L.A.: “How gorgeous is this wedding?! It’s giving us a whole new appreciation for the color purple. Hues like lilac, eggplant and merlot were brought together in the details, like the gorge flowers by Unique Floral Designs, for a totally glam look. … Lucky for us, One Eleven Photography was on hand to capture the bride’s fabulous look and the rest of the stunning details.”

Grey’s founder, Summer Watkins of Orange County, fell in love with the wedding industry while creating flower arrangements for her friends’ weddings. She began reading Martha Stewart Weddings which she said “set the bar for everybody in terms of wedding style and design.”

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She created a character — Lady Grey — and built a world around her with the Grey Likes Weddings site, based in the city of Orange. Watkins and Bryan Ball, her husband, have expanded into Grey Likes Babies, a design site for stylish moms. In a delightful twist, Watkins’ and Ball’s 2012 wedding was featured in Martha Stewart Weddings.

Abby Larson, founder of Style Me Pretty in the Boston area, was one of those women who eagerly bought the latest wedding magazine, then was stuck waiting months for the next.

“I wanted a place where brides could connect with inspiration every day to help guide their decision-making,” she said of her blog. She and her team “pride ourselves in trying not to have a formula.”

Larson, who operates the blog with her husband, Tait Larson, said she loves print and hopes someday to have a Style Me Pretty magazine. But she likes the intimacy that blogging provides. “It can feel like you’re chatting with friends,” she said.

Bloggers have developed multiple revenue streams: display advertising; sponsored content; curated, paid listings of photographers, floral designers and cinematographers; and partnerships with retailers.

The Larsons don’t share financial information, but the blog’s success lured media giant AOL as an investor three years ago.

Blogs have changed things for wedding planners too. “Brides come to me with inspiration,” said Mindy Weiss, a Beverly Hills party consultant. “These brides and grooms are very organized. They take this info and photos off these blogs. It’s almost like they’ve done all the work for wedding planners.”

image@latimes.com

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