Here is the thing about couples- they really love their wedding. And who can blame them? They’re the ones who spend hours on Pinterest pinning their “dream” details and meeting with countless vendors to make sure their vision comes to life. They eat, breathe and sleep their wedding until the last of the grand exit sparklers has been extinguished.
The very same thing can be said for wedding pros. We can’t help but be close to each wedding with which we work. We get to know the couple, agonize over the same details and often are on the receiving end of big thank you bear hugs as the evening draws to a close.
This can make for difficult wedding PR after the fact because suddenly, we find ourselves biased about each and every event we help to execute. They all are deemed awe inspiring so why wouldn’t an editor snap it up at a moment’s notice? Unfortunately, that’s not only the case as effective wedding PR strategies rely on your ability to remain unbiased about the content you submit.
So how does one remove the proverbial rose tinted glasses and decide whether a wedding is submission worthy? Below are a handful of questions you should consider asking yourself before you take the press plunge:
Do I have everyone’s permission?
First, it’s important to start with logistics. It’s an easy step to forget to take but permission from the couple is imperative. If you haven’t done so already, consider working with a lawyer to make an addition to your contract that allows you to use images from their wedding for marketing purposes. Every now and again you’ll run into a couple with extenuating circumstances- a prominent family, celebrity status in their region, etc. In these instances, it doesn’t hurt to verbally ask the couple once again, even if you are protected contractually.
Are my fellow wedding pros on board?
Lucky for you, I’m not suggesting that you run the idea of a submission by every single wedding professional associated with the event. Instead, make sure that you simply have an enthusiastic thumbs up (with the agreement for their full collaboration if necessary) from the wedding photographer and the wedding planner. This submission can’t happen without either and this vital step also ensures that the wedding isn’t being submitted to more than one place at once.
Does this wedding wow me?
We can be wowed over a wedding for a number of reasons- because the details all came together beautifully, or perhaps the couple overcame unforeseen challenges. But this “wow” is directed towards the details themselves- from the first time you saw the ceremony set up and the reception tablescapes to the dress, flowers and lighting. Every wedding can be lovely but not every single one will take your breath away. For the ones that do, you have a potential submission worthy wedding on your hands.
Have I seen these wedding details before?
This, quite possibly, is the most difficult question to ask yourself. It may be easy to look at a wedding drenched in chevron and mason jars and know this is the first wedding you’ve come across with this combo. If you are set on submitting the wedding, however, you need to do your research on your targeted media outlets and see if they already have a slew of weddings filled to the brim with chevron everything and mason jars (spoiler alert: they do). If they do, then you may have to put on your practical pants and lower your expectations as to placement. If you find yourself reviewing a wedding that truly features fresh and inspiring details, then you may be in a position to aim higher.
Is there a story to tell?
I’ve often contended that a compelling story can be just as impactful as the images themselves. Over time, you have no doubt gotten to know the couple on a more personal level so now is the time to ask yourself whether a written pitch, one of the key components of a submission, is do-able with the information you have on hand.