Media: Wedding Magazines - Bride guide sector changes on demand - All eyes are on the web as bridal magazines compete to live up to the expectations of the modern bride-to-be

Here comes the bride - but she’s not blushing and, when it comes to her wedding, she definitely knows what she wants.

Here comes the bride - but she’s not blushing and, when it comes to

her wedding, she definitely knows what she wants.



As far as her choice of bridal magazines is concerned she will still be

looking for features on the latest in wedding dress fashions, but

editors are making sure she has a broad range of subjects - and there

are even a few things thrown in for the groom-to-be.



But, with 70 per cent of brides co-habiting with their intended before

tying the knot, when it comes to wedding list features, the bride-to-be

is probably hoping for a couple of Philippe Starck luxuries, rather than

a house full of own-brand department store basics.



She is as likely to be trekking in Malaysia as lounging in a Caribbean

resort, when it comes to her honeymoon - which she has probably had a

big part to play in organising, rather than slipping into the

traditional role and leaving it to the groom.



The response from the bridal magazine industry to the changes in brides,

their weddings and etiquette has been accommodating, if not radical -

after all, there’s still a picture of a woman in white on every

cover.



Advice on areas such as sex, relationships and second marriages is

given, along with guidance on how the bride, or the groom for that

matter, goes about changing their name.



Readers in this category are not here for the long run - 18 months

maximum.



’Brides-to-be may buy every wedding title at first, but then will hone

it down to one or two favourites,’ says Claire Irvin editor of Bliss for

Brides.



The bridal magazine sector has not seen a huge amount of change

recently, with the exception of Parkhill Publishing’s Wedding Day soap

opera - Eve Pollard’s wedding title which was recently rescued from

almost-certain demise by Crimson Publishing.



Now, Conde Nast has announced a pounds 12 million alliance with US-based

WeddingChannel.com - despite having its own UK and US web sites relating

to its Brides title (which used to be known as Brides And Setting Up

Home).



Wedding web sites, such as Weddingguide.co.uk, are actually laid out in

the format of a bridal magazine, but with the added advantage that the

products featured can be purchased at the click of a mouse button.



Confetti.co.uk is laid out more like other on-line shopping sites,

selling items from tiaras to picnic baskets.



A traditional industry it may well be, but the real action in bridal

publications is taking place in cyberspace - not on newsagents’

shelves.





BLISS FOR BRIDES



CLAIRE IRVIN



Position: Editor



Frequency: bi-monthly



Circulation: circa 45,000



Publisher: Inline Publishing



’We’re essentially a fashion magazine for brides. From the wedding list

right through to the honeymoon, there’s a focus on style and advice on

organisation. The modern image of the bride has very much become that of

a decision-maker, and not simply a passive bystander.



’Our reader is a 25- to 35-year-old AB1, with a strong interest in

fashion which she wants to carry over to her wedding.



’As well as the usual features on dresses, venues, suppliers and real

life weddings, we’re doing a lot more on independent travel as opposed

to honeymoon package deals. We also have a section for grooms, which

normally features six or seven pages of fashion and relationship issues

that are more pertinent to men.



’The homewares section of the magazine is also changing. We’re looking

to cover modern interiors rather than setting up home.



’I like the PROs we know well - those who target us or our sector. It’s

nice when a story has the bridal angle already.



’In the wedding industry, designers tend to be small- to medium-sized

businesses which often don’t have the time or facilities to get things

to us quickly.



’PROs play a big role in providing products and photography and they are

generally quite good.’





BRIDES



SANDRA BOLER



Position: Editor



Frequency: bi-monthly



Circulation: 61,578



Publisher: Conde Nast



’We cover issues such as sex, love, fidelity, ’why am I marrying?’,

mixed marriages and saving money. Budget features are always in demand

but there’s never enough space for all the ideas we have.



’Then there are the articles that people always want to read - dresses,

honeymoons and home. The magazine used to be called Brides And Setting

up Home, but we dropped the ’setting up home’ - our home section is now

more of a stylish guide to design and wedding gift list ideas.



’Our readers are brides-to-be, but Brides is one of those magazines

which stays around and could be read by the bride’s mother and

bridesmaids. We like to believe grooms read it - especially regarding

the honeymoons, if they are organising that. We nearly always have

something for grooms.



’PR people do give us information, but I’m rarely inspired to do a

feature purely based on one of their ideas. However, PROs can help

develop burgeoning ideas. It’s on the home side where PRs really work

for us, but it is frustrating is when you know a product that you want

to feature is available, but the PR people can’t get the sample for

you.



’I would love PROs to ring up with fantastic ideas, rather than drearily

flogging off press releases.’





YOU & YOUR WEDDING



CAROLE HAMILTON



Position: Editor



Frequency: bi-monthly



Circulation: 62,145



Publisher: Aim Publications



’You & Your Wedding is the market leader. It is read by brides-to-be

between the ages of 25 to 35. We also have a grooms’ section in every

magazine.



’A certain number of regular features have to be in each issue. We

always carry a wedding planner and run information about the legalities

of getting married.



’As for other features, dress fashions are always changing and there is,

for example, a big increase in the number of civil weddings, so we do

venue features regularly. Getting married abroad is also getting more

popular, so we’re publishing more travel features.



’We get a lot of information from PR people, but we’re really looking

for more information on the areas we already cover. People don’t tailor

their releases - for example, when we get information about beauty

products, there’s no mention of how it could be related to a bride.



’People send us photographs with the press releases, but we only use

about ten per cent of these, and the rest of the photography we

commission ourselves because theirs is not ’weddingy’ enough.



’There are some PROs who put in a bit more thought, and we’re more

likely to follow up a release if they’ve tried to make it relevant to

weddings.’



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