Wedding vows for a second marriage *

Wedding vows for a second marriage *

Photos by Dean Maber

Lauren and Chris got married South Africa at The Barn Owl coffee house in Curry’s Post in the Midlands, KwaZulu Natal.

This was Lauren’s second wedding, and she explained: “A few years ago, I went through a horrible divorce. Cheating idiot husband and all that horrible stuff. Anyway, I left, I felt liberated, and I found myself. Then I found Chris on Tinder and we pretty much fell in love within our first few words to each other. It was almost like every path in both of our lives lead us to each other and to this exact moment. I consider Chris and our love to be a beautiful little reward at the end of a complicated journey.”

The couple asked Lauren’s dad to officiate the ceremony of their small wedding. The couple served drinks during the ceremony so that their 50 guests could get tipsy while Lauren and Chris said “I do”

We love the couple’s wedding vows… we think these are the perfect vows for a second marriage.

Bride’s Vows:

I give you my promise that from this day forward, you will never walk alone.
Whatever door we come to, we open it together. Hand in hand.
I vow to help us develop as individuals and as a team.
To grow along with you.

To simply love you.
When our love is simple, and when it is an effort.
To see all of your magic, and to remind you of it when you have forgotten.
I vow to always give you:
the patience that love demands.
my time to watch the movies you choose.
the energy to keep this love alive.
the willingness to compromise.
a shelf for your collectables.

To be forever faithful.
To love your family as my own.
To show up for you every day and to never stop trying.
To remember that true love is when two people make each other love themselves more.
You make me more and it is because of you that I wake up braver each day.
You are my best decision.
My greatest friend.
My proudest moment.
My good old days, my right now and my always will be.
My reward.

All my life, I’ve been making my way to you.
I’m staying.

Groom’s Vows:

I give you my promise that from this day forward, you will never walk alone.
Whatever door we come to, we open it together. Hand in hand.
I vow to help us develop as individuals and as a team.
To grow along with you.

To simply love you.
When our love is simple, and when it is an effort.
To see all of your magic, and to remind you of it when you have forgotten.
I vow to always give you:
the patience that love demands.
memories that we can fill our home with.
the energy to keep this love alive.
the willingness to compromise.
my time with your people to fill up your “extrovert jar”.

To be forever faithful.
To love your family as my own.
To show up for you every day and to never stop trying.
To remember that true love is when two people make each other love themselves more.
You make me more and it is because of you that I wake up happier each day.
You are my best decision.
My greatest friend.
My proudest moment.
My good old days, my right now and my always will be.
My finally.

All my life, I’ve been waiting for you.
I’m never letting you go.


Hopelessly Romantic National Park Elopement *

Hopelessly Romantic National Park Elopement *

If eloping is the trend, then let’s make it a grand one. Opting for an adventurous elopement, BriAnna and Katlynn headed to Yosemite National Park to elope in the most hopelessly romantic way possible. With laced, chiffon bridal gowns, matching white boots, and their daughter as their witness, this couple planned a beautiful day with mountain views and a park all to themselves. 

They ended their sunset excursion with champagne popping cliffside as the sky turned purple—perfection. Whether you’re looking for yet another excuse to whisk away and elope with your partner or not, grab your boots and let’s go hiking with Junebug member Kylie Farmer Photography to Yosemite National Park. These photos are too good to pass up.

The Couple:

BriAnna and Katlynn

The Wedding:

Yosemite National Park, CA

Planning Sunrise To Sunset

The most important part of this day was planning how we were going to do our first look. Since we were doing it at sunrise, we had to really think about what time to get up and where to get ready. We stayed in a camper at AutoCamp, which we highly recommend. Kylie helped with all of that, and it went smoothly for the most part! I got ready in the camper with our daughter, and Bri walked up in the dark to the lobby bathroom to get ready. 

Our Eternal Vow

The most memorable part of the day for the two of us was definitely when we exchanged our vows on the top of the mountain with the sunrise peeking through. It was such a magical moment and feeling. 

Elopement Wedding Advice

My biggest piece of advice would be to not get too stressed out about your planning. Remember that this is simply a celebration of the love you have for each other. Stay in the present and enjoy the planning. The day comes and goes so fast! Choose what is most important to you and do just that.

Why They Chose A Yosemite National Park Elopement 

California holds a special place in our hearts. We got engaged in March of 2019 on the coast of California in Mendocino. We knew we wanted to be surrounded by the beauty of trees and mountains, and Yosemite just felt right.

DIY Bouquets

We were looking on Pinterest and Etsy for artificial bouquets because we didn’t want to go through the hassle to find real ones out in California. Plus, we didn’t know how we’d preserve them before we went home. Since we paid for everything ourselves, we weren’t able to afford the Etsy bouquets we loved. Then, I had an idea to try and make our bouquets! So I masked up, went to the nearest craft store, and bought flowers, filling, twine and ribbon. They survived checking them on our plane, hiking with them all day, and shoving them in suitcases, and are now a keepsake.

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Kylie Farmer Photography
Venue – Yosemite National Park
Wedding Dresses – Willowby By Watters
Wedding Boots – Dr. Martens

Congratulations to BriAnna and Katlynn on your beautiful national park elopement. Shoutout and thank you to Junebug member Kylie Farmer Photography for sharing this day. If you’re ready to elope, check out our ultimate elopement planning checklist and 16 elopement ideas that will make your day extra special. 


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How Your Digital Marketing Strategy Build’s Your Brand *

How Your Digital Marketing Strategy Build’s Your Brand *

Use Landing Pages to Manage Your Reputation


Building your reputation, which is synonymous with your brand is how successful businesses establish themselves.  It’s how you build the brand that your customers trust and engage with.  You need to monitor your social media for mentions, checking reviews, and cultivating shares.  They’re the real gold of social media marketing.




Landing Pages Are Inexpensive and Effective


Landing pages are an inexpensive and effective way to manage your Reputation and build your Brand.  Landing pages allow you to control how your business is seen by the public.

You may feel that you have done your best to build your Reputation and your Brand.  Have you been happy with your results?  Have you considered building landing pages to expand on what you have accomplished?  


Landing Pages = Reputation Management


Landing pages promote reputation management because Google will rank each of them for your brand name and keywords.  Landing Pages also work to increase your traffic and lead generation.  If used correctly, landing pages effectively help visitors connect to your brand.  Landing Pages are also a great way to build your all important Email list.

Can anything else be as effective in connecting you to more customers?  Can Social Media pages?  Blog comments?  Video Responses?  Landing pages present the image and information you want customers to see and they quickly and inexpensively connect you to the customers you desire.  Connecting to qualified customers is what your business needs to succeed.


Use Landing Pages to Engage Visitors


Holding customer engagement campaigns is just one of the many ways that you can use to build your brand.  Others include using influencer marketing and using paid review posts on popular blogs.  

You expend these efforts to develop the company brand and through that the company reputation.


Your Reputation Management Landing Page


Reputation Management is the key to your landing pages serving a dual purpose.  You want your landing pages ranking high in Google for your brand keywords and phrases.  Secondly your landing pages guide customers to your most important content and selling point.


Google Ranking is Your #1 Priority


How you rank on Google is your #1 priority.  Having your landing pages ranking in the top 10 for your targeted search queries is your goal.  Multiple landing pages provide more opportunities to focus your keywords on brand specific search queries.  

It’s all about focusing on the search queries that help your new customers discover your business.  Content rich landing pages allow you to engage and educate visitorsand turn them into customers.


Build Your Brand With Landing Pages


Following are five examples of the types of landing pages you need to create.  These landing pages focus on your brand’s keywords, helping to build your email list, sales leads, credibility and reputation.  Landing Pages provide more keyword focused opportunities for your customers to connect with your business.




Your Start Here Landing Page


Your Start Here landing page is an introduction and doesn’t have to be long, although some long landing pages have been found to be more effective in converting visits into clicks.

Your Start Here landing page tells customers what you do, what your mission is, and what your business offers to your customers.


Don’t assume that your visitor knows what you do.


Your Start Here landing page allows you to control the narrative and your brand image.  Your Start Here landing page gives your brand a face and establishes the tone you carry through your promotional materials and content.

Your Start Here Landing Page can also be your  “About” page, however I prefer to have both.  One page is directly attached to the website while the other is a “hello” introduction that is less about informing and more about engaging and informing.


Your Coming Soon Landing Page


Several years ago SEO Smarty was launching a new content marketing service.  Their original plan was to use the website to generate leads via email subscriptions.  They quickly discovered that engaging visitors using content might not be effective for direct B2C engagement.  Their User Experience fell short, making it impossible to get the desired results using old methods.

Three months before site launch, SEO Smarty created a landing page using Launchrock, that created the desired engagement from visitors.  After the landing page was created, promoted, optimized, discussed in guest posts, and linked to on social media, the results improved the ranking for the page in particular, instead of the website.

Their landing page had a video introducing the coming service.  The landing page also displayed the launch date, and an email subscription form with an invitation to the initial opening.  It generated so many leads that it made SEO Smarty a big believer in using landing pages for lead generation.


Templates and Tools are Available


Many cool templates and ideas for your own coming soon landing page are available.  You can even find some cool Coming Soon templates here, giving you the opportunity to test several till you find the perfect template for you.


The Seasonal Landing Page


HubSpot created a Seasonal Landing Page for the holidays called HolidayHub.  They paired it with a hashtag campaign of the same name and promoted it widely.   Their Seasonal landing page was the same as their regular website but in a smaller form, with limited features and a holiday theme.  Their mini-site for the holidays was a landing page, with a bit more.


Seasonal Landing Pages Engage Visitors


Their Seasonal Landing Page engages visitors with it’s holiday theme. The top of the Seasonal landing page has a countdown to the next holiday or special event.  The middle of the page includes guides and tools to help and inform those visiting.   The  bottom of the page has a sign-up form for a free assessment through their service.


Effective and Popular


Their Seasonal landing page was not only effective, it also popularized minisite landing pages.  Mini site pages are the most suggested landing page styles by experts, because they provide the flavor of the website without overwhelming.  


Better Message Control


Seasonal landing pages allow better control of what visitors see and should be theme based to engage and inform visitors through the season.  A new domain for your Seasonal landing page is inexpensive, and a dedicated domain helps the landing page rank for your brand name or other terms.  

A great Seasonal landing page used by is Free Shipping Day, operated as a separate website which ranks for a variety of free shipping related queries.

When the season for that theme passes?  Simply make another one!



Your Social Digest Landing Page


Social media draws attention, however it is disconnected from landing pages and content marketing strategies.  It acts like a secondary platform, combining Social Media and your business website can be hit or miss.  


Connect Your Business and Social Media


That is why it’s a great idea of using a Social Digest landing page to display all of your Social Media.  The Social Digest landing page is my new favorite method of connecting your business and your Social Media.

A great resource, Miappi takes all of your social media and curates the best content that is gaining the most attention from your followers. Miappi brings it all together on your landing page in a digest format that visitors can check out and get updated with regularly.



One Page for all Your Social Media


What I love about this, it allows your followers to go one Social Digest Landing Page to view your posts from all of your Social Media platforms.   I don’t post the same thing to all my accounts since that is an ineffective strategy.  I’ve created a strategy using each platform for its own unique engagement.

A Social Digest Landing Page takes advantage of that, allowing visitors to access and view all of your Social Media posts at one source.


Your Offer Ended Landing Page


Special offers expire, and products become outdated.  However expired offers continue to haunt long after they have expired.  Expired offers still have a strong association with your brand that the Offer Ended landing page takes advantage of.  

Customers will ask about your expired offers long after the offer has expired.   Don’t delete those expired offer landing pages, those pages still can rank for your brand name!  Instead, remake them into something that will help to attract visitors and turn them into customers.


Re-purpose With New Offers


The Offer Ended landing page will direct people to posts, pages, products, updates, or anything else relevant at that time.  Imagine that you have a new promotion that gives 20 percent off a year’s subscription to your service.  

You can place a banner up on the landing page that announces and links to your cart with a promo code auto-filled.  Another option is a new end of year guide with all of the tips you provided over the past twelve months, placed prominently front and center.


Offer Ended Landing Pages Engage Visitors


An Offer Ended landing page helps your visitors find what they didn’t even know they needed.

Many great examples of “expired offer” pages can be found with conference landing pages.  If you don’t have the next event ready yet re-direct your traffic, utilize old landing pages to develop interest, as well as build your mailing list.


Landing Pages Engage Your Visitors 


There are many types of Landing Pages and they can all be designed to reach out and engage the specific visitors that you want.  They provide a unique and inexpensive way to spread your message.


Your Blog Posts Can Emulate Landing Pages


If it seems overwhelming to use landing pages, take a serious look at blogging to get your message out.  You can emulate what you would do with landing pages by tailoring your blog posts to different audiences.  Give it a try, you might be surprised by the results.


Building Your Brand Should Be Your Social Media Focus *

Building Your Brand Should Be Your Social Media Focus *

Build Your Brand Using Social Media


Branding is at the very core of everything you do to build your business.  You’re building your BRAND.  No matter how or where you spread the word about your business, your focus should be on creating a targeted brand image that your audience will easily identify.

3,000,000,000 people.  That’s how many people around the world use social media every month.   That’s an amazing number, that noone could have imagined when GeoCities went online in 1994.  Your target audience for most business owners is just a tiny fraction of those users.  Your problem is selecting the social media platform that works best for you and connects with the audience you need.

The graphic below, from Pew Research puts numbers to how people use the different social media platforms.  It shows that Facebook (68%) and YouTube (73%) dominate, especially with older users.  Younger users embrace a variety of platforms and use them frequently.  Instagram (35%), Pinterest (29%), Snapchat (27%), Linkedin (25%), Twitter (24%), and WhatsApp (22%) are also popular.


A Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults finds that the social media landscape in early 2018 is defined by a mix of long-standing trends and newly emerging narratives

The first thing you need to realize is that it’s not always just about the numbers.  It matters who your audience is and what you are trying to accomplish.  If you are involved in B2B sales or services and interested in business networking, Linkedin might be a better fit for you than Instagram, Pinterest, or SnapChat.

There’s a lot of competition for user interest on all the social media platforms.  You have to decide which platform will help your brand stand out from all the other companies seeking attention from the audience that you need to attract.  It’s a lot like jumping up and down in a crowd and shouting “look at me.”  

Your branding strategy is just part of the solution.  That’s why your social media strategy should build brand recognition, rather than just advertising your products or services.


Your Brand Needs to Be Familiar and Predictable


Using social media provides you with the opportunity you need to connect with your customers.  By making an emotional connection with your audience, they’re more likely to share your content with others and expanding your reach.  Playing on their emotions helps build their loyalty toward your brand.

When your users connect with your brand emotionally, they feel that they are developing a relationship with you.  Become predictable, post at consistent times and with the same voice and personality.  Being consistent applies to your posts across all the platforms you’re on.  You shouldn’t be humorous on Twitter and serious on Facebook.

Trying to consistently post on varied platforms is difficult.  You need to schedule your social media posts ahead using a robust social media planning tool.  This allows you to easily stay on top of promoting your posts across multiple social media channels.


You Should Market Across Multiple Channels


Think about how you market your brand in real life and online.  Online, using different social media platforms allows you to communicate your message effectively to the diverse audiences found on the different social platforms.

Offline, tell people about your social media presence.  Share specific hashtags in real life and invite users to snap an image and upload it with the hashtag.  Your goal should be to excite your online users about your offline presence, and vice versa.

Using Google’s social media analytics helps you determine how effective your social media efforts have been in attracting your audience.


Raise Your Voice Above the Noise


It’s not surprising that more than 88 percent of businesses market use social media.  We are all bombarded with ads everywhere we go.  Many respond by just tuning out those ads.  A strong brand voice allows you to highlight your business and grab the attention of overwhelmed users.

Self-promotion hardly ever works.  Imagine what your customers pain points are and how you might solve those.  Using educational, or entertaining videos helps you engage people using your social media.  You need to imagine what you’d want to know if you were the consumer, then deliver the answers on social media and elsewhere.


Wayfair highlights their products but makes the posts unique by tapping into the humorous side of life and entertaining guests.

Wayfair highlights their products but makes the posts unique by tapping into the humorous side of life and entertaining guests.  They mention you might burn the waffles, but your guests won’t care when they see your beautiful patio set.  

Their image grabs your attention, and Wayfair keeps their branding strategy intact by using the same lighthearted communication they use on Instagram.  


Create Special Offers for Unique Audiences


Marketing on social media provides the unique opportunity for you to create special offers for different and unique audiences that you are trying to reach.  Offering a discount or free trial encourages people to try your brand.  After taking your product or service for a “test drive,” they’re more likely to become fans than if they never experience your brand at all.

A big part of branding is finding ambassadors who love what you do and want to tell everyone they know. Identifying your “brand fans” is easier than ever.  Thanks to influencers on social media, who often try and share their feelings about products or services it is much easier to spread your message.


Ipsy uses inspirational sayings and events and offers discounts which appeal to their core audience.

In their social media posts, Ipsy uses inspirational sayings and events and offers discounts which appeal to their core audience.  In the example above they use a witty marketing ploy tied into an inspirational meme likely to get shared with others.


Relevant Giveaways Engage Your Audience


Social media platforms are the perfect location for contests and giveaways. However, if you want to attract targeted leads, you must make the prize something relevant to your target audience. Think about your company’s mission, as well as what types of things your customers purchase already.

You should give away part of your product or service or something related to the mission of your brand. Brand every giveaway with your company philosophy and appearance.


Loot Crate sells fandom subscription boxes, so their customers are most interested in certain types of events.

Loot Crate sells fandom subscription boxes.  Their customers are interested in specific types of events.  Loot Crate often offers event tickets as part of their giveaways and as a way of attracting new followers.  The offer of Wrestlemania tickets in the screenshot above, provides a strong incentive to participate.


Plan Your Year’s Posts


It’s easy to get into a rut, finding yourself repeating information over and over on social media?  You can keep your posts fresh and engaging by planning your annual marketing calendar.  

Examine each month and think about the content you’ll be sharing.  Develop a theme for your posts to write your posts to answer questions your audience has about your chosen theme.


Planning your posts allows you to get on a regular schedule, but also shows what tasks you need to complete and when

Planning your posts allows you to establish a regular schedule.  It also establishes what tasks have been completed and which you need to complete.  For example, if you plan an educational series, the articles or webinar must be ready to go well before you start promoting to your networks.

You can always shift your calendar to accommodate changes, but without a schedule, your efforts will not have the necessary focus and may mostly go to waste.


The best times to post online courtesy of Blog2Social

Blog2Social is the social media management tool I have chosen.  It integrates seamlessly with the DIVI theme for WordPress.  It also has features which ensure that my posts go live at the best time and day for each of the social media platforms that I use.  The above graphic shows when posts on each of the different platforms will reach their optimal audience.


Your Brand Is Everything


Your brand is your businesses introduction to the world.  Every action you take impacts your vision and how others see your company.  You need to spend your time thinking about the best ways to get your message across on social media.  

Study what your competitors are doing, and offer something different for your followers.  Planning your marketing campaigns is the key to winning new customers and creating lifelong fans.


Why Your Posts Need to be Better Than a Message in a Bottle *

Why Your Posts Need to be Better Than a Message in a Bottle *

5 Elements You Need in Every Successful Blog Post


The growth of blogs has democratized the spreading of information.  It doesn’t matter what our stature is in the blogosphere or whether we are blogging for business or pleasure.  Our published writings are there for the world to see.  That’s a game-changer…

With that said, one question we all have is, “How can we make our blog successful?”  After following several bloggers for years, I began to analyze many of the blogs I was reading.  Doing this helped me understand why some bloggers were more successful than others.  Their content mattered, however it wasn’t the only reason for their success.

A few factors employed by successful bloggers began to emerge.  It soon became apparent that for a blog post to succeed it had to do three things.  To be successful every post has to effectively convey it’s message, it has to engage it’s readers, and it has to fulfill it’s blogger’s mission.  To achieve it’s goals, every post has to have these five critical elements.

Are your posts missing any of these critical elements?

  • A strong hook compels your visitors to continue reading. 
  • Descriptive subheadings make your content quickly scannable.
  • Thoughtful transitions guide your readers from point to point.
  • Outbound Links guiding your readers to more relevant content.
  • Your Conclusion Should Encourage Readers Further Action.




You Need a Strong Hook to Keep Your Readers Interested


I’ve never seen a successful blog post that didn’t have an engaging introduction.  I’ve read a lot of posts, that had introductions without a hook.  They didn’t have a compelling reason for the reader to keep going.

Let me give you an example of a good hook.  This is from a post I wrote in October, 20+ Ways Your Business Benefits From Using Social Media:

It begins by telling how more than 3 billion people are using social media platforms on a regular basis. Social media is where conversations begin and communities of like minded people meet to engage and exchange ideas.  

The benefits of using social media to grow your business are clearly stated.  There is also an implicit promise that this post will teach the reader how to “easily recreate these benefits for your blog”.

The first few sentences of your post, need to convince the reader that your post is worth their time.


Descriptive Subheadings Make Your Content Quickly Scannable


If your blog post is very short you probably don’t need to use subheadings.  However, anything longer than about 400 words would benefit from being broken into sections. Building an outline for longer posts makes it easier to organize your content ideas.  For your longer posts, using subheadings helps you compose a clear blog post outline.  

Subheadings act like signposts, guiding your reader through your story.  Subheadings also tell readers where they are and what’s coming next.  Without subheadings your points could begin to merge with each other.  You certainly don’t want people getting lost while reading your post.   If that happens, more than likely your visitor will simply stop reading.  


Thoughtful Transitions Guide Your Readers From Point to Point


A transition is a bridge taking your readers from one thought to the next.  Sometimes transitions are unnecessary, a subheading can be used instead.  However, if your post feels disjointed or choppy in it’s presentation of your content, you may need to add a quick transition.

Transitions may be helpful before a new post section.  Transitions also work well when you use them to introduce lists.


How to Use Links to Connect Readers to Additional Relevant Content


You don’t have to include links in your blog posts.  But the question I would ask you is, WHY NOT?  I believe it’s always a good idea to include at least one link, I usually include several.  I regularly include two types of links.  I include internal links which link to relevant information in my own blogs.  External links are also important.  External links provide relevant information from other websites:


 Search engines love both types of links and including them also helps build credibility with your readers.  Links on your blog posts help your readers dig in … and stick around.

  • Links to posts on other people’s blogs position you as someone helpful and knowledgeable.
  • Links to sites like Wikipedia show how you source your content.
  • Links to your products or services help you make more sales.
  • Links to books on Amazon can bring in affiliate income – and also make you look helpful and well informed.


I like to include links throughout my posts, these links give more information about a particular point I’m making. If you quote someone or give an example, that’s a great time to provide a link.

In some cases you might not want to distract your readers, a good example might be in certain how-to posts.  In those situations you should include some “further reading” or “where next?” suggestions at the end that blog section or at the end of the blog post.


Your Conclusion Should Encourage Further Readers Action


The conclusion is the element that bloggers neglect the most.  The message is clear, don’t end your post abruptly.  Your conclusion gives you a great opportunity to engage your readers one more time.  Your conclusion may be your final chance to positively influence their actions.

You might wonder what the best conclusion could be for your article.  Your conclusion should be a brief summation of your post’s content.  Finally, you need to give your “call to action”.

While you’re busy writing your blog post it may seem overwhelming to include everything you want.  We all work under time constraints, there never seems to be enough time in our days.  As we hurry to meet deadlines we might not include every idea that we wanted.  

That’s why my first step is to outline how my ideas will flow through my post.  After writing your first draft, if you’re like me, you then begin the hard part.  It’s also the important part.  Editing your ideas into a post that will engage your audience in a thoughtful and interesting way.  

However, as you edit you might want to use our five elements as a checklist.  Ensure that you have included each element, or have a good reason why you haven’t.

What are the important points that you include in every post?  Do you outline your post ideas before writing your post?  Do you miss using any of these 5 elements in tour posts?  Do you intend to include these elements in your next post?  Share your thoughts or tips with us in the comments.


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