Wedding days make everyone feel like a model: the perfect look, makeup, venue, and details. That’s why we’re talking with Andrea McHugh of Andrea McHugh Media today to learn the inside scoop about how to get your wedding published! With many years in the PR world, Andrea brings first hand knowledge that will help you share your picture perfect wedding day with the world.
I’ve been in the PR game for 20 years, which makes me a dinosaur, but honestly talking about myself is the least comfortable thing I’ll be doing today! But, to make a long story short, I’m a storyteller. I help companies and brands navigate today’s complex media landscape by telling their story in a mindful and meaningful way. I’m a long-time marketing strategist, digital copywriter, and communications manager so I really focus on what’s being put out in the world and convert readers into buyers. Everything I’ve done has really fallen under that media umbrella but I’ve worked on magazine staffs, launched wedding industry websites, and done other writing. I love writing about weddings because it’s just such a special time for couples!
How do magazine choose which weddings get featured in its pages?
It’s a really really interesting process but there’s no perfect science. A wedding magazine is really unlike any other publication because most published works have a steady audience. They want to grow with you through stages of life. But wedding publications don’t. Instead, the publication stays the same and the audience rotates – weddings only have you for a specific amount of time. You plan your wedding, you have your wedding, and maybe a little post-wedding euphoria… but then it’s over. So when you’re looking at weddings to feature, you have to think about what’s popular right now.
Is there a different in wedding editorial coverage vs. other subject editorial material?
Wedding coverage is typically different from other magazine articles. For wedding features, most of the information is coming from what’s submitted to us. A reporter isn’t going to be attending your wedding! Instead, you or your couple will fill out a worksheet with information, vendor lists, and stylistic notes. Most of what’s needed to tell that couple’s story will be in that information – and maybe a simple phone call. So really it’s a lot less intense than traditional editorial material.
What grabs an editor’s attention when looking for editorial to feature a wedding?
Wedding magazines want to show a variety of aspects of weddings and everything leading up to the big day. New trends are always going to be a higher priority. Things like new color palettes, dessert displays (donut walls!), the current style like intimate vs. elaborate will snag attention faster. Another way to set your wedding apart is by incorporating cultural traditions in your ceremony or reception. Really anything that makes your wedding unique will help grab an editor’s attention!
So for our couples, if they want to feature their wedding in a magazine what are some tips you suggestion for their to get one step closure to possibly having their wedding featured?
If you want to get your wedding featured, remember a few key things… The first is that magazines typically don’t feature the same venue more than once – or at least not back to back. When it comes to “real weddings”, publications like to spread the wealth. So just be aware if you’re at a super popular venue, the odds of being published are less likely. Also, make sure you let your photographer know you’d really like your wedding to be submitted for publication! This may help them when it comes to grabbing unique images that will help your wedding stand out. The last thing is to share your love story! Sometimes a really unique love story comes along and magazines will want to feature that.
What are some reasons why couples weddings are not selected?
Publications are such a tricky thing! It’s important to remember that not getting into a magazine has very little to do with the actual couple. Usually it’s just what else is going on with that issue. If they already have a similar wedding, they won’t use the space on one with the same look and feel. Additionally, if you’re using properties that aren’t really publicly accessible, a magazine won’t want to really promote that space. And finally, depending on the publication and their working relationships, other locations may take precedence.
Wrap Up Question
What are some key points that couples should be thinking about when inquiring with a magazine to have their wedding picked up as a editorial feature?
First, check to see if there is an application on the website for the publication you’re interested in. Follow all the submission guidelines including the questionnaires and image specs. An editor may LOVE your wedding but if you make it hard to get everything they need, they’ll pass!
Second, carefully submit your photos following all the guidelines (see a theme here?). The photos you select should tell your wedding day story and highlight the most memorable parts of the day. These images should serve to inspire other couples. Also, if you’re working with your photographer on this, make sure you have all permissions from them, or clarify if they will be submitting them. Remember: your photographer is looking at your wedding images with a professional eye and not a sentimental one – they typically have a good grasp on editorial style photos.
Finally, let your vendors know this is a goal of yours. Venues, photographers and videographers, and wedding planners, most notably, may have an existing business relationship with publications that feature weddings, and they are often first places editors will go to when looking for a specific wedding. It may also slightly alter how your photographer and videographer approaches their shooting style. You may also see them spending a little more time take detail shots and close ups, which could help in the long run.
Links Mentioned in the Episode
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