» Wedding PR: How to Shine a Spotlight on Your Business

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast. She recently launched the OFD Collective, a wedding PR membership site that offers continuing education, press opportunities and real wedding submissions.

So, you’re doing amazing work and want people to know about it, right? Whole new audiences deserve to know your brand is ready to take over the world, but you need a way to reach them. Perhaps you want to establish yourself as an industry leader, and well, frankly, increasing your sales wouldn’t hurt either. A strategic and well-implemented public relations (PR) campaign is exactly what you need!

 

What Is Wedding PR?

Smart pros turn to wedding PR when they have a message they want to get out to a target audience and media is the main channel for communicating that message. It is distinct from two other popular forms of promotion: advertising and marketing, both of which have their merits, too. 

The big difference between PR and advertising is that the latter takes place in a controlled setting. Typically, you pay to control the content, placement and space used. With PR, you are at the mercy of the editor, so what you promote must be positioned to grab attention in a noisy world.

Marketing focuses on specific details such as product, prices and packaging. PR, in contrast, is all about the newsworthy story.

 

 

What You Must Consider in Advanceblog PR wedding

  • When pursuing a PR campaign, there are some important advance considerations. You’ll need to ensure that:
  • Your brand is exactly what you want it to be. When your PR campaign sends people to your site, you want them to find the right messaging and are far more likely to convert to sales.
  • You have evaluated your goals and are campaigning for the right reasons.
  • You know how to assess your analytics. Make sure you’re able to track how prospects find you through web analytics and contact forms that ask how they heard about you and your business.

Great PR takes effort and planning, so don’t neglect these considerations. Give them due consideration, check them off your list then follow up by choosing the right outlet for your message.

 

Pitch Wisely

To determine the right fit, you have to make sure that the media you pursue will actually connect you with your target audience, otherwise your efforts may gain you attention, but not the attention you need to achieve your goals.

 

Where to Begin: Real Weddings

A good place to start is with real wedding submissions, considered the low-hanging fruit of PR as they are heavily and regularly in demand. Real weddings promote your product and services to couples, but are also great for helping develop professional relationships and sources of referrals. Be prepared with permission to publish, complete background stories from the couple and vendor lists, and a list of important deadlines and publisher specifications. And always choose real weddings that promote the kind of work you want to attract. RealWeds.com, WeddingWire’s submission website, is a great place to start.

If you’re a great writer (or have one on staff), you might consider pursuing guest blogging opportunities as well. Editors love an outside perspective and access to great content that their readers will love. Don’t hesitate to reach out when you have something to offer to an audience you want to meet.

 

HARO

When you are ready to expand beyond real weddings, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with Help A Reporter Out (better known as HARO, or the PR guru’s Secret Sauce!). Every day, multiple times each day, HARO sends out a completely free digest of requests from legitimate reporters seeking sources for digital, print and television news features. Topics are high interest and enormously varied, and wedding-related pieces come up frequently. Monitor HARO regularly, and when you see an opportunity that you know is a great fit that will further your goals, follow the directions for contacting the reporter and share your expert commentary or advice as requested. Some truly amazing opportunities originate on HARO, and you’re certainly a perfect fit for one (or more) of them.

 

Ready to Begin?

Once you’ve honed your goals and message, chosen your target media, and prepared your pitches, the only to-do left is to put yourself out there! Don’t wait to take your business to the next level. Start today!

» Editors Picks: Favorite Real Weddings from 2016

Throughout 2016, our WeddingWire editors have published more than 600 real weddings showcasing couples and the work of talented wedding professionals from across the country and beyond. Narrowing down the favorite weddings of the year was a tough task, but we were up to the challenge. Today, we’re sharing our editorial team’s top 10 picks with you. We hope you enjoy them and get some inspiration and ideas for your future couples!

nadira-laura-willow-noavi-photography
Photo by Willow Noavi Photography

Nadira & Laura

Our very first real wedding of 2016 was a complete showstopper, with two stunning brides who said “I do” in a scenic lakefront ceremony. Both brides donned elegant lace wedding gowns, which were complemented by lush fall florals and bright pops of teal.

annette-jamie-hannamonika-wedding-photography
Photo by HannaMonika Wedding Photography

Annette & Jamie

From the minute we saw Annette and Jamie’s destination wedding, we were itching to plan a trip to Greece. The sunny Cretan wedding took place just steps from the sea—so romantic! To top it all off, the day ended with a performance by traditional Greek dancers.

charisma-rohit-black-hue-photography
Photo by Black & Hue Photography

Charisma & Rohit

This Indian-American fusion wedding was filled with vibrant colors, sparkly accents and unique details, including a paper peacock escort card display made by the bride. We love how Charisma decided to break Indian tradition by wearing a white wedding gown for the reception.

magali-jonathan-arte-de-vie
Photo by Arte De Vie

Magali & Jonathan

From the bride’s Jimmy Choo high heels to the candle-lined aisle, everything about this New Orleans wedding exudes elegance. Staying true to The Big Easy, the newlyweds, their guests and a brass band paraded through the French Quarter during a “second line” at the end of the night.

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» Editors’ Favorite Multicultural Real Weddings

Kim Forrest is one of WeddingWire’s editors. She manages content creation on both WeddingWire and EventWire. Kim has been writing about weddings for nearly a decade, and has been quoted as a weddings expert in the New York Times, Washington Post, Slate, and more. 

One of the best parts of the WeddingWire Editorial Team’s job is reviewing all of the real wedding submissions we receive. We particularly are inspired by weddings with strong cultural elements, as we want to share a diverse group of weddings and wedding inspiration with our readers. We also to want to educate our users about all kinds of wedding customs and traditions, which are so rich, varied, and exciting.

Below are some of our favorite recent multicultural real weddings to inspire your next event! And if you’re interested in submitting a real wedding, engagement shoot, or styled shoot for the opportunity to be published, please visit RealWeds.com for more information.

Jubilant Vietnamese Wedding in Florida with photos by Diana Lupu Photography

– Jubilant Vietnamese Wedding in Florida with photos by Diana Lupu Photography

Bright Indian Wedding, combining Hindu and Sikh traditions, in Texas with photos by Jennifer Weems Photography

– Bright Indian Wedding, combining Hindu and Sikh traditions, in Texas with photos by Jennifer Weems Photography

Nature-Inspired Vietnamese Wedding in New Hampshire with photos by Mon Petit Studio

– Nature-Inspired Vietnamese Wedding in New Hampshire with photos by Mon Petit Studio

Korean and Filipino Wedding in Torono, Canada with photos by Hennygraphy

– Korean and Filipino Wedding in Torono, Canada with photos by Hennygraphy

Sparkling Indian Wedding in New York with photos by Origin Photos

– Sparkling Indian Wedding in New York with photos by Origin Photos

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» Gay Wedding Trends: A 2015 Year-in-Review Snapshot

This post was written by WeddingWire Education Expert Kathryn Hamm, Publisher of GayWeddings.com, the leading online resource dedicated to serving same-sex couples since 1999. Kathryn is also co-author of the groundbreaking book, The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian and Gay Wedding Photography. Follow her on Twitter @madebykathryn.

Though the spiritual implementation of wedding rituals for same-sex couples has remained steady since GayWeddings.com was founded in 1999, the practical implementation and legal opportunities have changed dramatically.

Gay Wedding Trends: A 2015 Year-in-Review Snapshot

Besides the most dramatic change–same-sex couples having legal access to marriage rights in all 50 states–gay and lesbian wedding trends now look overwhelmingly different than they did 20, or even 10, years ago.

Where once we were having small, private ceremonies that might or might not have included our family members, we are now celebrating our unions with many more guests in attendance (100 on average according to a recent WeddingWire survey), with more family members than ever celebrating with us and, it’s worth noting, often pressuring us to hurry up and get engaged already.

I’ll be speaking at WeddingWire World in greater depth on the latest LGBTQ wedding trends, data insights, and how same-sex couples continue to impact the larger modern market, but I hope you’ll enjoy this brief sneak preview of the themes ahead.

LGBTQ wedding trends look an awful lot like those for non-LGBTQ couples

Yes, wedding ritual assimilation is well underway. Thankfully, that street goes both ways, which means that straight couples are gaining a few fun twists just as LGBTQ couples are lining up behind wedding trends shared by all couples in the mainstream market.

If you are looking for a crystal ball into 2016, GayWeddings.com’s lead writer, Whitney Teal, offered couples a fabulous summary of the 2016 style trends that are important for couples to keep in mind. Her summary includes 7 trends from mixed-gender wedding parties to drones (the camera carrying kind, not the dull guests!) to hashtags and retro menswear. It’s a great read so check it out to learn more about what’s ahead.

Pro Tip: Share the GayWeddings.com 2016 Style Trends post with your LGBTQ couples or prospective couples as a conversation starter.

Structurally speaking, we’re more alike than different…

Many of you are now familiar with the tradition and trend statistics the WeddingWire team released summarizing the behavior of same-sex couples in 2014. You might not be surprised to know that we continue to find a similar pattern for all couples in 2015, including:

  • LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ couples who use WeddingWire report similar levels of use of planning apps, announcing an engagement on social media and using a wedding hashtag.
  • LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ couples who use WeddingWire report a similar number of months for their engagement period.
  • LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ couples who use WeddingWire report a similar number of dollars spent in wedding costs.

…But some differences are essential to remember and integrate into your toolbox

In 2014, we found that LGBTQ couples broke from “tradition” and expressed themselves a bit differently when it came to wedding rituals. For individual LGBTQ couples, this was largely determined by fit with or rejection of heteronormative gender roles (eg. what a bride “does” and what a groom “does”). But, that was yesterday.

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» Don’t Miss the 2016 WeddingWire WinterBook!

2016 WeddingWire WinterBook coverIt’s that time of year once again – our 2016 WeddingWire WinterBook is here and we can’t wait for our pros to see it!

Our seasonal e-magazines feature the latest wedding advice and inspiration for your clients, showcasing the work and experienced opinions of our community of talented event professionals. The new WinterBook is full of the hottest ideas to keep your warm during the cold winter months!

Top stories in this issue include:

  • Expert tips in response to the most-asked budget questions
  • New wedding trends straight from industry experts
  • Creative (and not to mention stunning!) winter real weddings
  • The latest beauty and fashion ideas for couples in 2016
  • Top wedding ideas currently trending on WeddingWire
  • …and more!

Plus, throughout our WinterBook, we’ve highlighted our 2016 Couples’ Choice Award-winning wedding professionals by placing a blue star next to their names! Be sure to check it out and share it with your clients on Facebook and Twitter to help them achieve their dream wedding vision.

Cover photo by Milton Photography

» This Just In: The 2015 WeddingWire FallBook is Here!

Check out the 2015 WeddingWire FallBook for seasonal wedding inspiration!We’re thrilled to present our newest digital wedding magazine…the 2015 WeddingWire FallBook!

We’re particularly proud of this issue, as it includes helpful advice and inspiration not just for engaged couples and wedding professionals, but for wedding guests as well! You’ll find the work of many wedding and event professionals from around the country in the book, too.

Here is a sampling of the top stories from this issue:

  • A fall-themed styled shoot, produced by the WeddingWire team, and featuring the work of talented wedding professionals.
  • Four unique fall real weddings – including a fun destination event in Costa Rica!
  • The “Guest Guide” – a section for engaged couples to share with their guests. It includes a wedding guest timeline, gift and attire ideas, and much more.
  • Bridal fashion ideas for pre- and post-wedding events
  • Registry advice, engagement ring tips, and much more!

Enjoy our 2015 FallBook! Interested in being featured? Visit RealWeds.com for more information on submitting real weddings to our editorial team.

» Submit to be in the WeddingWire FallBook!

Showcase your best fall real weddings, inspire engaged couples, and build your brand as part of the WeddingWire FallBook!

WeddingWire FallBook 2015

Simply submit photos and videos of your favorite past fall real weddings (late September through late December) and fall-themed styled shoots to be featured in our upcoming e-magazine. If your submission is selected, we’ll link to your Storefront and share your work with thousands of couples across WeddingWire, social media, email, and more.

Easily upload your photos and videos at RealWeds.com by Monday, July 20th to be considered. Get started »

Want to get inspired? Check out our latest SummerBook to see examples of real wedding features!

You can also submit to RealWeds.com any time to be featured on WeddingWire, Project Wedding, and GayWeddings.com.

» The 2015 WeddingWire SummerBook is Here!

The highlight of our summer is finally here: the 2015 WeddingWire SummerBook!

Read the SummerBookWe’re excited to share this season’s digital wedding magazine with you to spur your summer wedding inspiration! From stunning real weddings to our list of out-of-the-box venues, our 2015 issue features the work of brilliant wedding and event professionals from across the country. Check out a sample of the top stories and advice below:

  • Top fruit-inspired wedding décor to help you incorporate the season’s tangy citruses and juicy melons into your next wedding palette
  • Six wide-ranging real weddings featuring top Pros from around the country to provide inspiration for all your clients
  • A new section on summer wedding cake trends and the top flavors, fillings, and frostings real WeddingWire cake bakers are loving this season
  • Six curated looks for every kind of couple in our Styles for Every Aisle feature, inspired by the latest trends from Bridal Fashion Week
  • Inventive escort card ideas, popular reception seating styles, top groom FYIs, and much more!

We hope you enjoy reading the 2015 WeddingWire SummerBook just as much as we loved putting it together!  And if you’re interested in getting featured in an upcoming magazine or on our site, check out RealWeds.com for more information on submitting real weddings to our editorial team.

» Get Featured in the WeddingWire SpringBook

Showcase your favorite spring inspired work, inspire couples, and grow your business reach by being a part of the WeddingWire SpringBook!

Submit photos of your past spring real weddings and spring-themed styled shoots to be featured in our upcoming e-magazine. If your work is selected, we’ll link to your Storefront and share your photos with thousands of couples across WeddingWire, social media, email and more.

We are actively looking for the following:

  • Weddings taken place in the springtime within the past two years.
  • Inspiring and creative details (bouquets, centerpieces, stationery, food, favors, and more!) – and lots of ‘em!
  • Submission must include at least 50 photos, mostly in color
  • High-quality images with no watermarks

We can’t wait to see what you share! Easily upload your photos at RealWeds.com by Wednesday, February 4th to be considered for inclusion.

What are you waiting for? Submit your photos »

Submit to the SpringBook

Also, be sure to check out our newly launched WinterBook to see examples of real weddings we love!

Photos by Sun & Sparrow Photography

» Best Practices for Real Wedding Submissions

One of the most crucial aspects of developing strong wedding PR for your business is getting published. Whether you’re a DJ, florist, venue, caterer, wedding planner or any other wedding Pro, getting published will expose your business to an even wider audience. WeddingWire’s real wedding features are a great place to display your work and share your amazing weddings with our network of engaged couples.

Check out our latest infographic for five best practices to get your business published through real wedding submissions from WeddingWire Education Expert Meghan Ely.

Best Practices for Real Wedding Submissions

» Getting Ready for Winter! Send Us Your Winter Real Weddings

Kim Forrest is one of WeddingWire’s editors. She manages content creation on both WeddingWire and EventWire. Kim has been writing about weddings for nearly a decade, and has been quoted as a weddings expert in the New York Times, Washington Post, Slate, and more. 

Even though our FallBook just launched, the WeddingWire Editorial and Design teams are already starting to work on our WinterBook (yes, we are aware that it’s still t-shirt weather in many parts of the country!). We are now accepting real wedding submissions for this e-magazine and would be delighted to consider your work.

Getting Ready for Winter! Send Us Your Winter Real WeddingsVisit RealWeds.com to share your real wedding photos with us, and remember – the WinterBook will only be featuring weddings that took place during the winter season (late November through early March). However, we are looking for both wintry weddings (think snowy backdrops and hot cocoa!) and destination weddings in warmer climates, as long as they took place during the winter season! You are welcome to consider weddings from other seasons to us, but we will only consider those for WeddingWire’s real weddings section or Project Wedding.

A few other tips for submitting winter real weddings:

  • Please share at least 75 photos from the wedding
  • Posed and candid couple photos
  • Lots of detail photos, the more creative and unique the better!
  • Mostly color images, some black & white is fine
  • Images should be at least 900 pixels wide

If your work is selected for our e-magazine, we’ll link to your Storefront as well as the Storefronts of the other participating vendors and share your photos with thousands of couples. The deadline for submissions is October 17th.

Be sure to check out RealWeds.com for more information and to upload your photos!

Cover photo by Lauren Fair Photography

» It’s Here! The 2014 WeddingWire FallBook

It may still feel like summer outside, but at WeddingWire we’re dreaming about fall foliage, pumpkin-flavored everything, apple-picking…and of course, fall weddings! That’s right, our 2014 WeddingWire FallBook is finally here, and we’re thrilled to share it with you! As always, our newest interactive magazine features fresh inspiration and advice from Wedding Pros like you – in fact, over 200 WeddingWire Pros are featured in this issue. Check out just a sampling of the features:
It’s Here! The 2014 WeddingWire FallBook

  • We interviewed over 30 caterers for our WeddingWire Catering Guide, where the Pros share their top advice for wedding-planning couples.
  • Our Groom’s Guide will help guys with the wedding planning process from start to finish (there’s even some tips from the grooms on the WeddingWire team!).
  • We received an incredible number of real wedding submissions on RealWeds.com, and had the hardest time narrowing it down to just four! Check out the amazing real weddings featured in our FallBook.
  • Plus, you’ll find beautiful vineyard wedding venues from around the country, reception styling ideas, unique bouquets, colorful accessories, and more!

Be sure to check out our full 2014 WeddingWire Fallbook and feel free to share your comments and questions with us. Interested in being featured in our upcoming e-magazines or WeddingWire in general? Check out RealWeds.com for more information on submitting real weddings. While we’re not officially on the hunt for winter real weddings just yet, watch this space for the big announcement!