Just had an amazing wedding and looking to show off how special it was? Well, you’re in luck! In this article we will provide step by step instructions on how to get your wedding published on the world’s leading wedding magazines and blogs.
While we have approached this guide from the point of view of an industry professional, the steps we suggest can also be followed by a bride or groom. Even better, if you’re feeling lazy, just ask your photographer to submit, they are probably already experienced in getting wedding published.
Benefits of getting your wedding published
How often do you get the opportunity of free exposure for your business? To be in front of thousands of ideal clients? And to build up trust in those potential couples to help secure bookings? Well, if you’re submitting your work to wedding blogs the answer is probably ALL THE TIME. If however, like many businesses, you’re not submitting your work you’re definitely missing a trick. But what’s the best way to do it? What are some of the tips and tricks of the trade to ensure you get your wedding published on the wedding blogs you love?
In this post we’ll answer those questions and many more. We have over 15 years in the industry as wedding photographers, planner and, of course wedding bloggers so we feel well placed to offer some advice from both sides of the coin.
What we’ll cover:
- Key things to consider before you even submit a wedding
- How to create the perfect submission
- Choosing the best photos for wedding blogs
- What if after following all this advice I still get rejected?
- Steps to take after submissions
By the time you’ve finished reading this guide you will be armed with a wealth of knowledge. Whether you’re a new wedding photographer wanting to get featured on The Knot, or a seasoned pro seeking publication in a leading bridal magazine, this read is perfect for you.
Important factors to consider before submission
Get the green light from your couple
Some people are private, others love to shout about their amazing wedding and are keen to share tips to help future couples.
You’ll probably be able to gauge the couples who are interested in being featured based on their interaction with your social media posts. If for example a couple has asked you not to share their photos on socials, it’s quite likely they’ll also be against getting published on a wedding blog. If they’re a little apprehensive don’t force them by any means but just explain why you want to share their wedding.
Hint hint, rave about how amazing their big day was!
Photographers are key
Skip this suggestion if you are a photographer but if not, build up relationships with photographers. Chances are they’ll have the best photos from the wedding.
Obviously if you’re a florist you’re entitled to take your own photos of your incredible displays. A photographer however is much more likely to have shots showing them in the context of the wedding ceremony. Blogs will be much more interested in these types of photos and featuring the wedding as a whole to showcase multiple suppliers. Furthermore, most blogs will only tend to accept submissions from photographers or the couples themselves as they’ll hold the copyright to the photos.
To avoid wasting your time you need to find your target audience when submitting. For example, you’re very unlikely to get your DIY budget friendly wedding featured on a high end wedding blog, no matter how good the photos are.
Every blog will be aiming to create content that inspires their readers as well as give them inspiration for suppliers to use at their own wedding. If the couple have had an outdoor boho style wedding for example it might be best suited to Rock My Wedding. Whereas if they’ve had an elegant ballroom wedding then Junebug Weddings may be a better fit.
You should familiarize yourself with the vision of various wedding blogs in order to avoid disappointment when submitting. Read the key phrases they use to describe their vision. Don’t just spray and pray!
Check which type of exclusivity requirement the blog has
Most blogs will want some form of exclusivity for the wedding they are posting. This keeps their engagement levels high and inspires their readers. Think about it. If Hitched.com shared a wedding on Friday and by Monday it was also being posted on Brides.com it weakens their brand identity.
The majority of wedding blogs tend to ask for either full exclusivity or a period of exclusivity. With most the period of exclusivity tends to be around the 6 weeks mark. However, if a blog knows that a wedding has already been featured elsewhere it’s less likely to take precedence over new content.
Here at Story Amour we are inundated with wedding submissions. For that reason the wedding would really need to be top tier inspirational that we simply couldn’t ignore. For the big blogs out there it’s nearly impossible to get recycled content featured.
Submission rules to follow
Don’t annoy the wedding blog/editor you’re submitting to
Chances are the wedding blog will have submission guidelines. These vary from blog to blog but say for example they ask for photos to be uploaded no larger than 800px on the longest side. If these guidelines aren’t followed your submission will likely be instantly dismissed.
Collating a real wedding for a blog post is an involved job. Here at Story Amour we have so many to choose from that we simply can’t waste time chasing people to upload when they have not followed our thorough guidelines.
Each blog will have its own method of upload, whether that’s email, dropbox or google drive. Story Amour for example requests a link to the your gallery. Just to keep thing’s super straight forward.
Don’t get blacklisted
We get it, you like to get things done quickly and in bulk. BUT under no circumstance submit the same content to multiple exclusive blogs at the same time.
Let’s say you submit a wedding to 10 blogs and it’s accepted by 7 of them. You’re unknowingly (until you’ve read this) going to be hated by at least 6 editors who will think twice or even worse, maybe never feature you again.
Think about it. If all those blogs spend time scheduling you in, planning their blog posts and then see the same content on a rival blog, they’re going to be furious.
If you’re targeting exclusive publications you should keep it simple and submit to one at a time.
Follow up if you hear nothing
To avoid the above problem it is always best to follow up on your submission if you haven’t heard anything. As we’ve already mentioned, here at Story Amour we get hundreds of real wedding submissions per week. Not only does this create a bit of a backlog but there’s also the chance that a mistake has been made at our end or from the person submitting the article. Lost emails, junk folder and too little coffee can all be to blame.
Most blogs such as ours will provide confirmation that they’ve received your work. If you haven’t received any information after this period of time has elapsed simply send them a friendly email asking the status of your submission.
If you’ve been unsuccessful don’t take offense and listen to the feedback received. This way you can proceed to submit your article to another wedding blog.
How to create the perfect wedding submission
We’ve been on both sides of the fence as photographers/planners, and now as the people receiving submissions. Here’s some advice from us on how to keep the editor happy and ensure you get featured.
Don’t submit your clients gallery
So you’re a wedding photographer? You’ve delivered 1300 photos to the couple? Your couple probably loves this right? To put it bluntly though, we don’t care! We want to see the best photos! More importantly than that, we want to see details throughout the day. Invites, flowers, full length dress shots, embroidered handkerchiefs, personalized hip flasks, shoes, jewelry and basically anything that will inspire our readers.
Here at Story Amour we only ask for 50-100 photos for your submission. We rely on our submitters to do a good job of culling their photos. Sending the gallery link that you sent to the couple is a sure fire way to NOT get your wedding featured. We simply don’t have the time to sift through thousands of photos, sorry not sorry.
Again it follows on from the above point but wedding blogs don’t want your 6000 pixel 300 dpi images. What they want is for you to have read their submission guidelines and done a good job at following them.
Everything comes down to time. With hundreds of submissions per week a wedding blog is very unlikely to be resizing your images for you. Here at Story Amour we ask for images to be resized to 1500px on the longest side and 72dpi. This ensures we can share them on our website and social media channels without pixelation. It also means that we avoid clogging up our hard drives and servers with excessively large file size and load times.
Name your files and folders for goodness sake
IMG_4608.jpg, yeh that’s going to be really easy for our editors to locate isn’t it?! NO! ‘Neil-Smith-Photography-Real-Wedding-1.jpg’ however is much better and puts a smile on our editors face (big thumbs up!).
The same principle applies for naming your folder. All these little things just make the whole job of collating your submission more seamless. A happy editor will want to work with you time and time again.
Collate a list of social media handles and websites
At Story Amour we want to help our couples find the best suppliers to meet their needs. If there’s some awesome flower arrangements we ideally want to link to both the suppliers instagram account and their website. However, as we receive submissions from all over the world this isn’t always the easiest job; especially as business names can be somewhat similar.
We want to ensure we’re providing the most accurate information we can to our readers. If you’re a wedding photographer then chances are you are meeting a lot of the suppliers on the day of the wedding. Make up artists, hair stylists and florists to name just a few. We’d recommend collating a list on the day to tag in your own posts but to also forward to us in your submission.
What type of images do wedding blogs want?
Best photos is subjective
Now here’s where it gets a little bit complex. What you may consider to be an epic shot or hero image might do very little to inspire our readers. So simply saying “send us your best photos” isn’t necessarily good advice.
We need you to think like a bride and groom to be, what will they want to see? What inspires them? We know that you’ve probably delivered over 1000 photos to your couple and that’s great and all. But we’re asking you to cull that to about 10%. Just show us a snapshot of the day.
Look at other wedding blog posts for inspiration
One way to see the types of photos that wedding blogs share is to look at their past posts. Simply navigate to their blog and look at the newest 10 real weddings. What you’ll find is consistency on the types of photos they choose. Whether that’s in focal length, editing style or facial expressions to name just a few.
Adjust the way you shoot weddings (slightly)
In a similar vein to the above recommendation about image choice you can actually shoot your weddings to tailor them to be more feature worthy. We’re not asking you to completely change your shooting style. Just to consider it more from the perspective of a wedding blog post. This will not only increase your chances of getting your submissions accepted but will also improve your storytelling capabilities.
Approach each location on a wedding day as a storyteller. For instance, capture multiple wide shots of the reception room all set up and decorated. Then photograph close up details within that scene.
Most weddings follow a similar pattern so make use of it. Try to think about the following key parts of the day, and how you can maximize your potential to get published on a wedding blog.
Shots to Consider
Location of the wedding
– Set the scene for the day ahead. Think how you can inspire a reader to book the same or similar venue. Capture the whole scene as well as little details that make that venue unique.
– things to photograph here are things like wedding shoes, jewelry, the wedding dress, invites, bridesmaids in their dresses, bridesmaids with their bouquets, bridesmaids in kimonos. You name it, you photograph it. These are the types of photos that wedding blogs love to feature.
– Close ups of tie, bow ties, handkerchiefs, hip flasks, shoes, funky socks. All these details help to build a picture of the personal touches that make up that particular wedding.
– what the whole day is all about. Here’s a chance to show off the couple and their details in the context of their wedding and also demonstrate your amazing photography skills. Capture heartfelt moments and include them in your submission. We love sharing these types of photos even if we do have to hold back the tears at times. Moments from the ceremony that we particularly enjoy are, walking down the aisle, ring exchanges, emotional vows, the first kiss.
Confetti and bouquet toss
– These are typically colorful and fun and are often used as feature images for these reasons. They’ll instantly grab the attention of an editor and they’ll be rubbing their hands together at the prospect of creating the blog post.
Bridal Party Photos
– Wedding blogs love these photos as they generally show everyone dressed in their finery looking glam. Capture a few different focal lengths and expressions so that each group photo isn’t exactly the same. This will give the wedding blog greater scope in putting together their post.
Photoshoot with the couple
– These are arguably the most important shots from the day from a wedding blog perspective. You’ll get the chance to pose your couple in your particular style. If there is a dress make sure to show it off with full length photos with the train fully extended.
Speeches and Party
– For a wedding blog post these photos aren’t really that important. By all means submit some if they are particularly emotive or show off the reception. Whilst these photos will likely hold personal meaning to the couple and they probably love them, a wedding blog’s readership will be less interested. The couple might laugh out loud seeing shots of their drunk friends hitting the dance floor but your editor will most likely ignore them.
In general, get into the mindset of photographing the thing as a whole and then a close up. Apply this principle for pretty much everything you shoot. Take the wedding dress for example, you’ll want to photograph a bride wearing it from the front, back and sides. Full length. Then you’ll want to go in for closeups of button details, sleeve design or any embroidery that deserves attention. This is a wedding blog editor’s dream.
The same principle can be applied to almost anything you photograph. Ultimately you’re giving the editor much more choice when they piece together your article to make it as visually interesting as possible.
What is TwoBrightLights?
If you are planning on submitting regularly then we can highly recommend using the online tool , Two Bright Lights. Simply put, it’s a submission/publication manager. It make’s it super easy to manage and process all your weddings and track their progess. It’s a free tool so highly worth checking out.
Waiting for submission feedback
We get it, we’ve been there as you anxiously wait to hear whether or not your submission has been accepted. Was it good enough? Did I choose the right photos?
The wedding blog will typically have a time scale for review listed on their site. This is a good place to start and avoid contacting them until this time has passed. For example our review period is 2 weeks. This ensures we avoid backlogs but other blogs may have a shorter or longer wait time.
If you haven’t heard anything once the time has elapsed drop them a friendly email to ask for an update. As we mentioned earlier in the article gremlins can be at play such as junk folders etc so don’t jump to the conclusion that they are simply ignoring you.
Follow up questions and further information
Sometimes it’s necessary to find out further information from your submission. Perhaps you’ve missed a detail that isn’t that important to you but one that we think our readers will be really interested to hear about. Say for example you’ve supplied the brand of dress but not where the bride went for her fitting and what particularly attracted her to that design.
We also like to hear from our couples and get quotes from them that we can use in our blog posts. So expect to be contacted if you’re the photographer rather than the couple. We like to ask about their experiences from the day and whether there’s anything they would have done differently.
What if after following all this advice I still get rejected?
First things first don’t take offense. There are many reasons why a wedding may not get accepted. It isn’t a dig at your photographic ability. 9 times out of 10 it isn’t down to the standard of photography but is more to do with what has been photographed.
Think back to a point we made earlier. If you’ve shot the perfect boho wedding in a barn, in the great outdoors, yes your photos are likely stunning. However, if you’re submitting that to a wedding blog that 99% posts grand indoor ballroom style weddings, well it’s obvious isn’t it. It just isn’t the right brand and not a good match. It isn’t about your photos but is about the style of wedding.
Your editing style might be inconsistent or you’ve submitted too many black and whites. Wedding blogs like to create a cohesive post so if your editing is all over the place it could be a reason for the rejection. Editors usually have an aesthetic eye so things like colored filters, sepia and selective coloring will instantly be in the bin (no offense)
Too similar to other weddings
So unlike the above reason this one isn’t really under your control. Trends happen in weddings like in all industries. A wedding blog might just be inundated with lots of weddings that have similar themes. This is just bad luck and timing. Chances are the editor will say they can schedule you in later in the year to avoid content fatigue. This obviously gives you a choice. Wait it out or submit elsewhere.
Tis’ the season
Blogs like to be relevant to the season they are in so that they can inspire their readers at that time of the year.
On our Story Amour blog for example we’ll post Christmassy Winter weddings throughout December to give those who are planning that type of wedding creative ideas.
If you’re submitting a summer outdoor wedding to us in December it’s unlikely to be scheduled until 6-8 months later. It’s just about timing.
The devil is in the detail
For wedding blogs it’s all about the details. They want to inspire their readers to go out and purchase those cute bridesmaids gifts or design their own seating plan. Whatever it may be, your submission might just lack these details. Whether that’s from a lack of them to start with or that you simply have not photographed or chosen enough of them for your submission. If your submission is littered with details you’ll give the editor a hard job in turning it down.
Submisson accepted or rejected? What to do next?
Rejected? We’ve all been there!
Like we’ve said, don’t take it personally. Try to take on board any feedback and think how you can apply that to your next submission. If you know you’ve got more detail shots but you simply didn’t choose them for whatever reason try another blog. There’s no need to be disheartened there will be plenty of blogs out there willing to feature your work.
Accepted on your dream wedding blog?
Pop a note on your calendar of the expected publication date. This ensures you’ll be prepared for the blog post going live.
It’s a good idea to have a featured page on your website. Again it’s all about building up confidence in your clients that you’re the right supplier for them and their special day. Seeing all the blog features you’ve had can only help when it comes to securing bookings.
Let the other suppliers know when the feature will be promoted. This can create a buzz around the post if lots of people are sharing it and ultimately gets eyes on your product as well as theirs. It’s a win win.
Once published, share your feature across your social media platforms. We’re talking instagram posts, stories, reels, facebook, twitter, all that good stuff. Seeing your feature might just be the icing on the cake that your prospective clients need to convince them to book. Having your work featured on a wedding blog elevates your trustworthiness as a business.
Time to submit your first wedding for publication
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to start submitting your work and getting featured on wedding blogs!
Additionally wedding blogs are just a gateway to other forms of free marketing. Blogs will likely utilize social media which means multiple posts, reels, stories, all things that enhance your profile as a supplier and get yourself seen by more potential clients.
Final thoughts from us
Being featured on a well established wedding blog can ultimately lead to a potential client trusting you over the competition.
They said “we put it down to buyer confidence. If potential couples see our work featured on one of the most popular wedding blogs and our competitors are nowhere to be seen, it gives them trust in our abilities to deliver at their wedding”.
They went on to say “equally, seeing them post about us on their social media channels is great as it also provides free content for us to share at our end.””
This is so true. Not too long ago wedding blogs relied heavily on couples finding their website and constantly checking in to see what matches their vision. Nowadays they can see a snapshot of that on Instagram and then choose to click through to the website if they want to find out more.
Hopefully this article has given you some insight into what it takes to get featured. We’ve experienced it from both sides and like anything you’ll learn what works by just doing it.
So take those first steps and submit that wedding!