Real Weddings: Getting Client Information that you Need (and Quickly!)

Back in my reception planning days, there were two things I could always count on: the bridesmaids would never wear their dresses again and that any email responses from the couple here on out would take at least a week, if not longer.

During the planning process, you’re the wedding hub. The disseminator of information. The peacekeeper. Emails often come in at a frantic pace from your client. But once the I Do’s have been said and the guests depart, priorities change.

You kindly remind the happy newlyweds to come by and pick up the top tier of their cake, but your emails go unreturned. There are honeymoons to take and duplicate gifts to return after all.

In most instances, parting ways electronically with the newlyweds wouldn’t pose much of a problem (save for the uneaten cake of course!), but if you’re planning to submit the wedding to a blog or publication, you’re suddenly facing an uphill battle.

While detail-heavy photos from the wedding day tend to be the most impactful portion of a real wedding submission, other key components rely on cooperation from the couple.

First Thing’s First: Get Permission

First and foremost, you want to have their permission to submit. An easier solution to this is to ask your lawyer to add a clause in the contract allowing you to use wedding day images for marketing and public relations purposes.

Additionally, the majority of media outlets will request a comprehensive list of wedding professionals associated with the event. If you don’t do so already, now is the time to start streamlining your business by requesting this information well in advance of the wedding itself. Not only will you find it to be a handy tool to simply have, but it will also check one more thing off of your real wedding submission checklist. Furthermore, should the wedding get picked up, you’ll now have a list of colleagues to contact to help spread the good news.

Telling the Wedding Day Story (Quickly!)

Finally, telling the couple’s story is a welcomed addition to any submission. People love to hear the anecdotes behind the scenes- how they got engaged, why they selected certain colors, how the favors were jars of a favorite family recipe. While ideally, you’d like to interview the couple after the wedding while the day is fresh in their minds, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask the couple to complete a questionnaire in advance requesting wedding-related details. Not only will this give you better insight into the day itself, but the answers can be incorporated into the pitch to the editor.  Some editors will always want to interview the couple themselves should the wedding get picked up so if you have a couple that historically doesn’t respond in a timely manner, you may want to aim for a publication that doesn’t interview the newlyweds directly.

Staying organized is absolutely essential when it comes to wedding PR and marketing, especially while in the midst of the busy season. Incorporating the above strategies into your process will ensure you stay on track, whether or not the couple picks up that wedding cake.

Meghan Ely

Regarded as one of the leading wedding publicists in the US, Meghan Ely combines in-the-trenches event experience with a love of wedding PR. She has earned coverage for her clients with the New York Times, People, Brides, Bridal Guide, The Knot, Martha Stewart Weddings, CNN Money, and more. She is a WeddingPro Expert and long-time contributor to Catersource.com and SpecialEvents.com.