Curious about how to pitch a wedding to a magazine? I won’t pretend to be a PR expert, but I did successfully pitch our wedding to Virginia Living for its January/February 2020 issue!
When it came to our wedding, the most important part was being with our closest family and friends, but, not surprisingly, I also wanted it to be a beautiful, well-designed event. And, of course, I wanted to share all of the inspiration and ideas with the world!
I pitched our wedding to several regional publications and was absolutely thrilled that Virginia Living chose our wedding for inclusion in their special, once-a-year wedding section. Virginia Living is a gorgeous, large-scale glossy magazine that covers the best of the Old Dominion and I couldn’t believe we were lucky enough to be included. Being published on a blog would have been wonderful — being published in print was a dream!
FIRST, A SMALL CAVEAT…
I’ll be 100% honest, I didn’t love the photos the magazine chose. I put so, so much hard work into creating the ambiance for the ceremony and the dinner and they chose perfectly nice, but anti-climatic, photos of the harpist, the cheese board from cocktail hour, and a few bottles of wine over any of the many, many gorgeous photos our photographer took. In my opinion, it didn’t come close to telling the story of our wedding day or the well-thought out details (the dinner party! the flowers! the thoughtful ceremony!).
If I were to do this again, I’d ask to see the photos chosen or ask that they only use those that were included in my submission (they requested to see the full gallery once it has been selected for the magazine). They may have said no, but you never know.
HOW TO PITCH A WEDDING TO A MAGAZINE
Now, if you’re hoping to get published and wondering how to pitch a wedding to magazine, here are a few tips. Of course, before we even get into these, one goes without say: hire a photographer that can capture your wedding in an editorial way — but, in the same vein, don’t plan a wedding solely for Insta. We didn’t skimp on our photographer, but, once we’d planned what we thought would be the most gorgeous and fun day, we stepped back and I trusted that, if it was meant to be published, Lauren would do an incredible job telling the story.
- Your photographer may have ideas about where they’d like to pitch your wedding. At the end of the day, getting your wedding published is most beneficial to your vendors (ugh, this is why it kills me that there wasn’t a single photo of our stunning flowers — not even my bouquet!), so you may want to run it by your photographer or planner, if you had one, first.
- Gather all your vendor information. This is great exposure from them and the magazine will ask for all names: venue, photographer, florist, rentals, caterer, etc.
- Know that most magazines want exclusivity rights. You can hedge your bets by trying multiple magazines, but know that, in the end, it can likely only be published once. For example, I don’t believe I can now pitch my wedding to Style Me Pretty because they require exclusivity.
- Think about what makes your wedding unique. Yes, a vineyard wedding is pretty but, what made ours unique was the size, the season, and the ambiance. It was an intimate and tiny winter dinner party wedding — that was our angle. Magazines want a story that feels fresh — why is that your wedding?
- Select the photos that tell the story of your day. You may love the 325 photos of friends on the dance floor, but that’s not the entire story. I selected 150 photos out of approximately 1,000 that I believed covered every moment and detail that made up our big day: photos of our venue in the morning light, getting ready shots, outfit and stationary details, individual portraits, first look, ketubah ceremony, ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner and table details, etc. I included photos of people because they help provide life, but I tried to focus on the interesting details that made our wedding unique: wintery, cozy, intimate, candlelit.
- Don’t skimp on your writing submission. I’m not sure exactly why Virginia Living picked our wedding, but I like to think it had something to do with our written submission. I put A LOT of effort into explaining the intentional reasons we made the decisions we did, where the inspiration came from for our decor, and why we decided on a super small wedding. This goes back to #3 — if your wedding was so unique it should be published, tell them why! The photos will help illustrate the story, but context goes a long way.
- Read the submission details! Every publication, digital and print alike, has specific particularities in their submission requirements. If you don’t meet those requirements, it’s doubtful you’ll ever get past the first person culling through possible weddings.
Okay, now that you’ve got these tips on how to pitch a wedding to a magazine down, it’s time to get going! Remember, most publications will only take weddings that have been within the past year or so, so resting on your laurels won’t get your anywhere. Make a list of your first-choice publications, second-choice, and GO!