How to Get Your Wedding Published - In Partnership with Two Bright Lights
Are you wondering how to get your wedding published? Of course you are! Whether you are a couple, parent, or creative, seeing your wedding published online and in print is one of the most thrilling things that can happen!
Before starting my wedding planning business, I spent literally years looking at real weddings both online and in print. The couples looked gorgeously in love. The weddings themselves were filled with inspiring details. The wedding planners, photographers, and designers featured were my version of rock stars and teen idols! As a planner, I studied the real wedding features, hoping to learn the secrets of how to create work worthy of showcasing.
When I became engaged, I immediately looked to blogs and magazines. Isn't that funny? After all these years in the industry, I still wanted to see what was happening, an dreamt of having my own wedding shared by a publication that I loved.
But getting published isn't easy! Every blog and editorial has it's own set of requirements and a preferred submission method. Submitting one wedding could take hours, if not days. Then I discovered Two Bright Lights, a professional platform that allows a wedding submission to be crafted one time, in one place, and then submitted to various publications, all from one dashboard. Initially only offered to photographers (BOOOO!) I stalked them and broke their will. The moment that the platform was available to planners I signed up, and am thrilled to say that ever since I have had a 100% published rate! In fact, a number of my weddings have been shared on multiple blogs, which is always thrilling to me! Plus, it makes my couples Internet Famous...And who doesn't want to be the envy of brides and grooms across the world!?!
In celebration of my upcoming Instagram Take Over with Two Bright Lights, I am giving you the best tips I have on how to get your own wedding published!
HOW TO GET YOUR WEDDING PUBLISHED
Top 10 Tips on Getting Your Real Wedding Featured Online & In Print
1. Hire an established Wedding Planner. If getting published is important to you, then you want to work with a wedding planner who has relationships not only with spectacular creatives, but with editors. Your wedding planner will talk to you about your personal style, design the day, and then identify which publications are a match for your wedding. Furthermore, your wedding planner should have the tools and know how to craft a well thought out submission, and to then present that work to the best of the best in the editorial world (with the help of TBLs, of course)!
2. Photographer, Photographer, Photographer. The art and eye of your photographer is the gateway to having your wedding published. How your photographer sees the world is important. Are they bright and sunny? Artistic with a flare for drama? Are their images highly manipulated and edited, or are they gorgeous and show-worthy right from the start? Once you identify the style that you like, look for a photographer that has been published by top sites and in respected magazines already. Not only will editors remember their work and want to feature them again, but they know what editors want in terms of details, formatting, and framing. These photographers often shoot things two ways - once for the couple, and once for the submission.
3. Details are everything. Don't skimp on the little things. These personal touches and extras are what make your wedding unique and feature worthy. Love lemons? Use them as your escort card holders, but also explain WHY they are important. Make a list of 15 - 20 special elements that you are including in your wedding, and write a quick sentence or two about why this element was important for you to have, and how having it impacted your guest experience.
4. Be Better Than A Knock Off. We have all seen the same images on blogs, Instagram, and in magazines. After a while, a trend of beloved element blurs and gets lost in the shuffle. Therefore, if you want to catch the eye of an editor (and readers!) you need to be better than a knock off of the last 5 posts you liked. This goes back to my own personal style motto, "Be timely, and timeless." It's fine to have macaroons, or balloons, or any other element that you love as long as you interpret it and make it your own. Don't be afraid to use things you love from your own home. These items are sure to be personal, well loved, and unique.
5. Create a Fashion Story. How many times have you been to a gorgeous wedding but the fashion falls flat? People and publications love seeing the pretty, so work to create a couture look and feel. There are phenomenally talented stylists that are available to you. A wedding stylist will not only help you select wedding dresses and tuxedos, but they will also help with the selection of veils, accessories, and shoes. Don't forget your bridal party! Bridesmaids and groomsmen are equally important to the look and feel of the whole wedding. Make sure that their attire compliments your couple's look, so that the group photos are stunnings and stylish!
6. Hair and Make Up For All! Brides. Grooms. Bridal Party. Parents. Everyone that is going to be photographed at your wedding could benefit from having a professional touch up their look. Avoid shiny faces and random fly away hairs but keeping you beauty team on hand for touch up before portraits and major moments.
7. Write and Epic Love Story. I'll tell you a secret...I typically write my submissions stories before the wedding happens! After all, I know what it is going to look and feel like, I know the order of the day's events, and I know all the players. As a part of my timeline creation process, I write the couple's love story and give a little information about who they are, how they fell in love, and what brought them to this moment. Then, I write about the wedding as if it has already happened. This helps me walk through the day with a bird's eye view. It's helpful as a planner, because it allows me to see any holes or potential problems and fix them in advance. But it also is a little bit of The Secret and visualization - I see the day as I want it to unfold. I know it will be perfect; I've seen it happen. Then, when I am at the wedding, I look for authentic moments that will enhance the story. I use my phone to jot down quotes and anything that I want to include in the text. This makes the submission process so much easier!
8. Get Organized! Your photographer will take thousands (literally, thousands!) of images throughout your day. Some of you will get only the highlights; say the top 300! Others will give you access to all of them. To submit your work properly, you want to get organized! I create a folder for each wedding, and then subfolders for photos that include:
Once I have my images organized, I copy my favorites from the Top 6 Folders and add them to Highlights. From here, I likely have over 150 images still in play. To avoid being redundant or overwhelming to editors, I now cull the images down to the top 100 images. These are then renamed in sequential order and uploaded to Two Bright Lights.
9. Credit Your Creatives. It's the right (and nice) thing to do! You want to make it easy for editors to say YES to your feature. By crediting as many creatives as you can, you allow the publication to see just how many wonderful people worked on your wedding, and you save them the trouble of having to track them down. Be sure to include the name of the official name of the business, the individual you worked, and all contact information including the website, email address, and social media handles!
10. Be Patient! While not all publications require exclusivity, editors appreciate being able to break a story, so to speak. Therefore, let everyone in your pro circle know that you would like to have the wedding featured, and ask that they keep your images off social media until it's been officially shared by the blog that you have come to terms with. Trust me, I KNOW how hard this is!!! I have a stunner of a wedding that took place in December of last year, and I can't show a drop of it! I am dying....
But I know that the pay off will be worth the wait! The moment that the wedding hits my bride and groom will be internationally internet famous! And the beyond talented teams that I worked with will earn the accolades and praise that they so deserve!
A big "Thank You" to my friends at Two Bright Lights for working with me so closely and for making sure that my work is always seen.
If you are a wedding pro that has found this helpful please leave a note below! And if you are a couple interested in wedding planning reach out to me NOW so that we can start designing and working towards getting your beautiful faces featured someplace fab!