Editor's Desk: Catherine Westwood, Wedding

Wedding magazine is celebrating its 25th. PRWeek asks the editor how the title is celebrating.

Wedding magazine's anniversary issue
Wedding magazine's anniversary issue
Who reads Wedding – who is your target audience?
Wedding magazine is the only inspirational glossy for the ABC1 bride-to-be. Our reader knows what she wants for her wedding day and expects her favourite magazine to offer her a myriad of ideas for the most glamorous event of her life. The Wedding reader wants our insider knowledge to make her wedding sensational yet achievable, with affordable glamour her ultimate aim.

What makes an ideal feature for the magazine?
The right mix is vital. Some of the features must appeal to the bride’s emotional side, while others need to offer information and practical advice. Fashion and reception shoots have to be wonderfully aspirational to look at, but with realistic price points. It is this balance of inspiration alongside useful content that makes readers buy every issue of Wedding.

How do you keep content fresh and interesting around a relatively limited subject matter?
There is always a new way to present content, whether it’s a celebrity reference, a first person column or even a quiz. I treat Wedding as a women’s magazine – it’s packed with fashion, beauty, news, lifestyle, entertaining emotional issues and travel – it’s just in our case it all relates to weddings.

How do you try and keep ahead of the competition?
Innovation and evolution. The team and I are constantly striving to improve Wedding, and the free supplements we offer with every issue, to deliver more to the readers, whether that is volume of ideas, discounts, events, prizes or sponsorships. We work with not only bridal brands but have embraced the high street, and have close working relationships with Coast, Next, Marks & Spencer, Bhs and John Lewis. These shops may not sell wedding dresses, but we recognise our readers head to these retailers for many other aspects of their wedding.
We assess the design, photography and shoots to make the title agenda-setting within its competitive set, and with a 2009 ABC result up 18.6 per cent year on year, we are clearly creating just what the readers want.  

What do you have lined up to celebrate your 25th anniversary?
The anniversary issue of Wedding has a silver foil header and 25 supporting marketing promotions, which are flagged on a bellyband. Advertisers in the issue include designers Jenny Packham and Ritva Westenius and luxury holiday company Kuoni. Additionally, Sandals is the sponsor of the free 36-page luxury honeymoons supplement. Many advertisers also created special bespoke copy with different creative just for Wedding.
Much of the editorial in the issue is in keeping with the anniversary, including shopping sections in silver and features incorporating the theme, such as Stylish Receptions - 25 ways to create an affordable, beautiful party.
In addition to the special issue, Wedding will be hosting an anniversary party for its advertisers at the bi-annual bridal trade event in Harrogate in September.

Describe your online offering and how it fits in with the magazine
Our website, www.weddingmagazine.co.uk, allows us to be current, with daily news updates and competitions. This enables us to feature many events, celebrity weddings and launches that miss the very long bi-monthly lead times of Wedding. The website fits with the magazine by offering the same mix of inspirational images and practical advice, so girls can browse our endless galleries from work or print out pages to read on the way home. However, we have been careful to create something that doesn’t replace the need to buy Wedding magazine!

What are your own media must-haves?
Vogue has been top of my required reading list since I was a fashion student, with US Harpers Bazaar a close second. I am also a big Grace Coddington fan, so US Vogue is also a must see. Esquire is without doubt one of the most entertaining magazines on the UK newsstand, and undoubtedly the best designed – David McKendrick is a genius.
I just about make time for The Guardian on Saturdays and The Mail on Sunday at weekends, as my 20-month-old daughter also now takes a huge interest in them too!

Contact: wedding@ipcmedia.com
Circulation figures: ABC 2009 – 46,602 up 18.6 year on year

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