Real wedding features are crucial for your business, as they allow you to be seen by potential clients and can generate leads. However, there are quite a few steps to craft a great wedding submission and it’s imperative to be detail-oriented in order to have the best chances at getting featured in magazines and online.
Sound overwhelming? Have no fear. We asked some of our friends from the Aisle Society to share their tips for submitting real weddings in 2016:
“From my experience speaking with the national wedding vendor community, a common trend is pure lack of knowledge. Oftentimes, it is the wedding planners, caterers, and designers that have the potential to have the biggest impact on educating newly engaged couples regarding ways to plan a socially conscious and less-wasteful event, but most aren’t partnered with local organizations. When Black Sheep Bride receives submissions, the event professionals generally haven’t read the description of our niche/audience and send us traditional weddings, so we have to politely decline and educate them on ways future wedding couples can get featured.”
“When it comes to submitting to publications, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Each publication is unique with a unique audience, style, and tone. Each blog has a unique set of specifications and requirements for their features and, therefore, their submissions. Wedding professionals should familiarize themselves with the submission policies of the publications they are interested in being featured on. They should do the appropriate research to know if those publications are actually where their ideal clients are spending their time. It makes no sense to do all of the work to be published on a site that isn’t frequented by your ideal client or target customer. Don’t submit vintage-style weddings to a preppy wedding blog, or an opulent ballroom wedding to a budget wedding site. It might seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how often editors receive completely ill-fitting submissions.”
“One thing most event pros don’t realize is that most online editors work about two months out on their schedule (some even four to five months). That means, in July, we are starting to look for great autumn weddings and we love to see snow in October for holiday posts. If you have anything very seasonally or holiday-focused, keep that in mind when submitting. Unfortunately, if you send an amazing Christmastime wedding the week of Christmas, we won’t have any room as we will already be scheduling and looking into Valentine’s Day (yes, get those V-Day styled shoots done and sent by January!). You will have a much greater chance at a successful submission if you hold off on your seasonal wedding or shoot until the next year a season ahead when editors will all be clamoring for it.”
“When we’re writing about a wedding, it’s as much about the couple’s history as it is about their special day. We need details that tell the story of the couple, as well as their family and friends. For example, a bride’s bouquet may be gorgeous but it will make it that much more compelling if we know that she picked her grandmother’s favorite flowers to fill it. Each and every detail is a thread of the overall story. It doesn’t matter if it’s stunningly beautiful and luxurious or simply sweet and petite—those details help us round out the story as well as provide inspiration for readers. Even if you feel a wedding doesn’t have much décor, the details are there if you know where to look!”
“When submitting to niche blogs, be sure to get permission from the clients that they are OK with having their wedding featured. With Pretty Pear Bride, we’ve experienced couples who aren’t comfortable being featured on a blog that targets my clientele. It’s such a heartbreaking process to get such an amazing feature and not be able to [run it] because the couple hadn’t already given permission.”
When it comes down to it, it’s all about choosing the right publications that reach your target audience and understanding the submission guidelines. That means read, reread, and maybe even read once more just to be sure you know exactly what each editor wants.
Now, grab your galleries, put your stories together, and get to submitting!
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding PR firm OFD Consulting, which specializes in getting wedding professionals their brides. She is a highly sought after industry speaker and serves as a Public Relations adjunct professor for Virginia Commonwealth University.