TieTheThali.com is a South Asian Wedding Blog. You have probably seen us on Instagram posting wedding inspiration, highlights from real weddings, and interviews with your favourite wedding vendors. But who are we, and why do we do this? We are two sisters from Canada who came up with the idea of creating a space for all things related to South Asian Weddings!
When we first started our Instagram page, the purpose was to share our favourite finds. This was just a personal endeavor for the two of us, so of course we were pretty biased. As we started to share wedding related details on the page, we eventually decided to start a blog and change the name to something more suitable. We were always interested in blogging, but weren't too sure about how to get started. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to start our little hobby. One element that we wanted to achieve was to focus on the Tamil community. We know that there are many wedding blogs out there, but not a lot are relatable to the elaborate Tamil communities we have in the world today. When we first changed our name and opened our website, we weren't really sure how we were going to execute and engage our audience. This is why it took us a while to get things going on the website.
Something that we were sure about is that we wanted to make our Instagram and website a fun place for readers to explore. We decided to start the trend of the daily weekday hashtag on our Instagram (#MakeupMonday, #TempleTuesday, #WardrobeWednesday, #ThirumanamThursday, #FloralFriday) and tried to maintain a blog post once a week. This kept the process fun because we started to become less bias about what we were posting. The posts weren't just something we personally found interesting, but it became something that the average reader enjoyed. This helped us branch out our posts that had, up until this point, been focusing on the Tamil Communities in the Western world. It wasn't just one person, one vendor, and one country - instead, we incorporated amazing talents, from around the world.
We had a hard time keeping up with the requests for reposts, so we requested that those who wanted a chance to be reposted to use our hashtag #TieTheThali. The lesson here is to plan out how you want to manage your communication and streamline your way of communicating with others efficiently. Your venture shouldn’t be about how many followers you have- it should be about your content and creativity. What are you doing that people enjoy?
As with all ventures, there is a tricky side when managing something like this. We maintain Tie The Thali daily along with our full time jobs, but the amount of work it takes to run a blog and inspiration page was not something we were prepared for. Apart from having to curate and schedule posts for the Instagram and Blogs, we also have to deal with numerous correspondences. We have people contacting us for suggestions, those who seek advice and those who have general feedback. This is something we really enjoy engaging in because all of these correspondences have been learning opportunities for us. We even had a bride approach us with a question regarding what type of Thali to wear in her mixed Hindu/Catholic ceremony and we were able to put out an anonymous post seeking advice from our readers/followers.
However, not all communication is pleasant and we have had our share of negative moments that have been tough to overcome. An example would be the moments where we've received unpleasant direct messages due to our blog being focused on the Tamil Community. We have had people argue with us because a tag was accidentally missed. There have been times when people have been unpleasant with us for not reposting their images right away. We’ve even got backlash for our official logo that doesn’t incorporate other religions. Through it all, we have learned to stay true to ourselves and have come to understand that you can’t please everyone. The aim should be to relate to the general public. In terms of our logo (because this is one question we receive frequently), we chose to use a traditional Hindu thali to incorporate a part of ourselves into our logo. We had the option to leave the design as a Kodi with the two coins, but we asked ourselves “what is a Thali Kodi without a Thali?” This is why we chose to go with the design we have currently. It was not meant to exclude anyone or give more significance to others.
We have had the opportunity to collaborate with individuals all around the world who are apart of the wedding industry, whether it be couples, saree vendors, jewelry vendors, photographers - you name it - we have a platform for it all. With couples, we like to share wedding/engagement shoot/engagement party/reception. We find that couples who have gone through an event always have the best advice in terms of what to look out for when planning your own event. Believe it or not - we actually learn a lot through what our couples tell us, because we get to relive their wedding days through them.
One thing we like to focus on and enforce is the inclusion of the different types of South Asian, specifically Tamil weddings from around the world, regardless of religion, language, or sexual orientation. We want to make this blog and Instagram relatable to anyone and everyone. We truly enjoy being the team that own and run Tie The Thali, and are grateful for the opportunities that have arisen from it. Whether it be meeting someone, collaborating, or learning more about a certain industry.
One advice we wish that someone gave us when we first started pertains to how to execute content on our blog that will make it stand out from other wedding blogs. How do we allow our creativity to show on our platform? We also want others who are interested in the process of running a blog to know that it takes a lot of networking and communication with others to make things happen. Not everything is as pretty as they seem on social media. There are times when personalities get in the way, there are times filled with disagreements, and there will be times when people will really appreciate what you do. Try to remember that at the end of the day, social media is entertainment. Yes, some people use it as a tool promote their business, but others use it for the purpose of entertainment. Taking things too seriously or personally will cut your venture short online. Despite this, we realize that as Tie The Thali grows and gains an audience, we have built an ideal platform to bring more unconventional subjects and social issues to light.
Feature Image by @360fotostudio