The wedding industry was rocked in 2020. Events were postponed and wedding pros had to find new, creative ways to stay afloat. As we approach recovery and a resurgence of the industry, it’s clear that vendors aren’t the only ones who have been impacted by the events of last year: Wedding media has also been impacted significantly.
However, that’s not to say 2020 inspired bad changes. While nobody would call it a banner year, sometimes a bit of unsettling is a good thing. It can shake things up and inspire new, better ways to navigate life and business. Here are a few things industry editors are forecasting for the future of wedding media and how they are transforming the way they do business.
A Multi-Faceted Approach
Many wedding vendors were pushed to find new revenue streams to profit in 2020, and editors are no different. From podcasts to digital workshops, plenty of editors have branched out from their role and trying something new.
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Founder and editor-in-chief of Bride Club Me, Rhiannon Downie-Hurst, tells us as much: “Wedding media platforms can no longer simply rely on ads/sponsored posts. More and more editors and founders are multi-faceted entrepreneurs, offering additional services such as content creation for brands, social media management, marketing consultancy—some have even ventured into e-commerce, etc. Diversifying is key for our industry in my humble opinion.”
Expect these new ventures to serve as additional channels to develop media relationships and, in some cases, get some extra help from the experts.
A Focus on Diversity and Inclusion
With social upheavals rippling across the world, the fight for justice became louder than ever in 2020 and there’s no going back. As a result, the market is shining the light on business owners and editors alike to call for equity and inclusion.
Photo courtesy Rebecca Goddard Photography for the Wedding Trend Report.
Brittny Drye, editor-in-chief of Love Inc. Magazine, explains that being equality-minded is a must for all editors going forward: “The Black Lives Matter movement over the summer put a long overdue demand on wedding publications for diversity in the couples they featured, the vendors they promoted and the people they hire. Editors are being more intentional and proactive with their inclusivity/diversity efforts, and we’ll hopefully see this continue into 2021 and beyond.”
Wedding vendors would do well to be mindful of this as they approach their real wedding submissions with the understanding that diverse and inclusive content is desirable and being sought by industry publications.
A Platform of Personality
First, there was Facebook. Then, there was Instagram. Now, Instagram Reels and TikTok are ushering in a new era of wedding media with bite-sized infotainment material. Not only are these platforms effective at engaging clients, but they’re just plain fun!
“With the introduction of Reels and TikTok, there is never a better time to show a little of your personality,” shares Dorothy Polka, editor of Polka Dot Wedding. “2020 saw vendors and brands start to show a little behind the scenes and have a little more fun on these platforms. 2021 is going to see even bigger growth here, and plenty more viral songs and information presented in a fun way.”
If you haven’t yet experimented with Reels or TikTok, take some time to browse through your feed and brainstorm some ideas that can get you in the mix.
A Return to What Matters Most
COVID-19 had many of us rediscovering the beauty in the basics, as we spent more time staying home with our families, taking on new hobbies, and leaning into our creativity. This shared phenomenon is spilling over into editorial trends, as editors shift their priorities to the little things: unique love stories, special family moments, and the like.
“Wedding media is already reassessing what is important,” reveals Sanya Percic, founder and editor-in-chief of Ellwed Magazine. “There is more attention focused on the real love story, rather than the big, luxury décor. The size and the ‘bling’ of the event are not the priority at this point. True love stories and family matter more than anything else! This doesn’t mean mediocre work will be accepted. High-quality visuals, the creative storytelling and capturing of real emotions will always be preferred, desired, and even needed! Quality over quantity will be the winning recipe.”
Rebecca Goddard Photography for the Wedding Trend Report.
With this in mind—along with a yearlong gap in editorial content—some publications will be inclined to relax their submission guidelines and accept older weddings that capture the intimate and beautiful vibe they’re seeking.
The wedding industry has faced an upheaval and, in its wake, the media is transforming to adapt with the modern times by focusing on core market values: flexibility, inclusivity, personality, and intimacy.