It's always thrilling to see "You've Been Published!" in your inbox, but aside from the gratification that your work has been recognized, why exactly is it so important to be a published wedding vendor and how do you get there? Yesterday I attended a “Getting Published Bootcamp” hosted by Two Bright Lights at the Knot headquarters in Manhattan and got some inside tips. On the panel of experts were the senior editors from Munaluchi Bride, the Budget Savvy Bride, the Frosted Petticoat, and the Knot. They each shared their insights into what they’re looking for and how to deliver a standout blog submission.
First, why get published?
Being a published vendor establishes awareness of your brand. Does this mean you’ll get a booking directly from the blog post? Most likely not. But more and more couples are wanting to see their own wedding in a blog or magazine, so they want to know that their vendors can make that happen. Clients also love to brag about their vendors so having that badge brings a little bit more credibility to your brand. Lastly, everyone (meaning the other vendors) loves to share when they are featured, so tag each other and expand the pool of eyes (meaning potential clients) that see your work.
Show AND tell.
All the editors were clear about this. They want to know the story. A set of beautiful images means little to them if they don’t know the background. Personalize the images with the couple’s love story. And it’s not just about how they met, but why is how they met important? Did they tie in the design elements to the city where they fell in love? Don’t just say, “They met in Brooklyn at a donut shop.” Say, “They opted for a donut tower from Dough instead of a traditional cake because that’s where they had their first date.”
Curate the images.
Editors want to see the full wedding day, but curate the images to show the highlights. So even if you’ve got a gorgeous garden ceremony but a dark ballroom reception, include the best details of the reception. Be selective with your images. 100-150 photos is ideal, including varying orientations for some shots. Keep in mind, these blogs are for inspiration, so show things that viewers can pull for their own wedding. That basically means details and people in love. PEOPLE LOVE LOVE, and they love to see other people in love. And don’t forget the venue. All the editors said they want to see the venue set up before the guests arrive.
Couples want to see real weddings.
Let’s be real. Styled shoots are a great way to show what you can do or explore with new ideas. But aren’t they all starting to look a little bit the same? Editors see this. And they know their readers want to see more real weddings. If you are going to submit a styled shoot, make it unique and fresh. Remember when train tracks were cliché (not to mention dangerous)? Now it’s flower crowns in a field with a table and vintage couch.
Use Two Bright Lights.
If you aren’t using Two Bright Lights to submit weddings, get on there now. TBL streamlines the entire process and connects you straight to the editors of numerous publications all in one spot. Be mindful when submitting. The editors you submit to can see all the other spots you sent that same wedding to, and if they see you went on a mass spree and clicked every single publication, it’s going to turn them off.
Make it a team effort.
TBL has just released a feature that allows all vendors to upload and submit images on the photographer’s behalf. If you aren’t already sharing your galleries with the other vendors after a wedding, make this a habit. They also worked hard to make a beautiful scene to be photographed, and it lets them be advocates and cheerleaders for your brand. And now that any vendors can submit on TBL with your permission, that’s just less work for you. Don’t worry, you can revoke permissions at any time. Even if you don’t want other vendors submitting your photos, always include a full list of them in your submission.