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
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
’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
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
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’
BLISS FOR BRIDES
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.’
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
’I would love PROs to ring up with fantastic ideas, rather than drearily
flogging off press releases.’
YOU & YOUR WEDDING
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
’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