With the busy wedding season coming to a close, it can get overwhelming sifting through every collection to determine which, if any, are worth submitting for publication. The emotional connection to each couple hasn't worn off, and you're reflecting on fond memories of their love story as you package up the last digital files and photo albums.
While tempting, not every wedding will be a perfect fit for publication. We have put together a few helpful tips to distinguishing great candidates from your busy year to help you through the real wedding, engagement and styled shoot submission process. The key? Keep the reviewer and the reader at the forefront of your mind. Ultimately, the goal is to secure new wedding bookings - right?
Winter is a great time to read that stack of wedding magazines and bookmarked blogs that may have piled up over the last few months. It's also an opportunity to reflect on your collections and how they illustrate your unique skills and style. Invest the time in understanding the nuances of the magazines and blogs you admire most - you'll gain the knowledge needed to feel confident in every submission. As you review each outlet, ask yourself:
- Do your aesthetics match? Is the outlet publishing similar types of weddings?
- How often are they publishing Real Weddings? In some cases, this can indicate the competitiveness and rigor of the selection process
- Who is their reader? Are those the couples you'd like to work with in the future? Some outlets will have a media kit accessible on their website that can help answer these questions. If not, send them an email and request one
- How is the outlet perceived in the wedding market? Is it a long-standing authority, alternative, trendy, niche?
The fine print: Consider their unique submission requirements. Understand the photo file and collection size, types of images, and any additional content you may need for a wow-worthy submission. Most importantly, always respect their exclusivity policy. We recommend submitting only one wedding at a time (trust us, editors will appreciate that level of selectiveness). Fair warning: many submissions get tossed simply because the entry didn't fit the guidelines. Don't let that happen!
Deadlines: If you have your heart set on a print publication, understand that the collection, if accepted, won't likely run for 4-6 months from the time you submit. This is because the lead time for planned print editorial is far longer in advance than that of online publications. Anticipate how your wedding will complement their editorial calendar from a seasonality and trend perspective.
A great strategy for long-term success is to create your own Real Wedding Submission dashboard. Keep track of places you've submitted, the feedback you've gotten from editors, and notes about what makes that outlet unique (including the fine print, deadlines, etc...) to make the submission process easy, efficient and repeatable.
Offer Something Unique & Authentic
Spotlight a few beautiful candids full of emotion. Include a quote from the couple about their unique love story. Offer a short snippet explaining the significance behind small, heirloom details. This is your chance to show why this wedding was meant for that particular outlet, and why it will capture the attention of their readers.
Show Your Appreciation
Always be sure to show your thankfulness for any wedding, engagement or styled shoot feature once it goes live! Spread the good news with your social network, email subscribers and clients and encourage them to do the same. Editors will take note and remember the gesture the next time you reach out with a submission.