This 372-page monthly publication is jam packed with advice, practical suggestions, step-by-step ‘how-to’ features and stacks of mouth-watering images. And while it certainly takes an aspirational approach, its feet are kept firmly on the ground when it comes to the finance and execution of planning the perfect wedding for today.
The magazine is the brainchild of Rachel Southwood, its founder and Editorial Director. Since its launch in January 2004, it has become a force to be reckoned with in bridal publishing, thanks to its blend of electronic technology, print and clever marketing campaigns. The secret of its success? Southwood explains: “We like to think that we are the most down-to-earth, fun, ideas-packed and budget-conscious of all the bridal titles. Our tone also sets us apart from everyone else – we like to take our readers by the hand and lead them to their dream day, regardless of their budget.”
This pragmatic approach begins with the magazine’s size – “We’re portable, easy to flick through and we can be hidden in a desk or bag to be read at any time, whenever the need for some wedding planning or dreaming arises. Our key component is the editorial team, headed up by bride-to-be Rachel Moschke, who has a close-knit team of
five working for her.”
The editorial ethos is overwhelmingly reader friendly, from the ‘real-life weddings’ features to the terrific Details section, which gives pages of comprehensive ideas on accessories – generous on pictures, clear on price and stockists. Of course, gowns – as ever – take pride of place but even here you see a new and different approach. Featured designers and manufacturers are given their own spreads so that collections are clearly themed and detailed.
“We pioneered this approach, and specialise in helping our advertising clients generate a response. Interestingly, although we are known for our comprehensive coverage of wedding related products, fashion is a crucial part of the mix. Readers trust that we are giving them sound advice without patronising them in the process. It’s the perfect blend of aspirational and inspirational – a very powerful combination,” Southwood says. Perhaps the strongest example of the magazine’s forward-looking philosophy is its use of the internet. “We can react quickly to consumer demands, many of which are online.
Because www.weddingideasmag.com– the forum – and www.weddingideaschat.com work closely with the printed version of the magazine, consumers never have to look elsewhere for information or to have their questions answered. We invest heavily in our online presence, making sure that the latest news and offers are on there, as well as a vast catalogue of information and suppliers who will be able to provide the best for their budget.”
Wedding Ideas is not just found on newsagents’ shelves. “We take the magazine to all the big wedding shows, and numerous local shows, where we distribute it free,” Southwood says. “It is also stocked in salons and health spas across the UK. This year, we have had our best-selling ever issues on newsstands and anticipate a huge rise in our ABC – currently 28,107 – in January 2010.” The Wedding Ideas team believe they have their finger on the pulse. “Our research shows that mid-week weddings and a move away from the traditional sit-down, wedding breakfast are latest trends,” Southwood reveals. “We
are also seeing a massive rise in marquee and village-hall-style weddings, and weddings abroad.
The average wedding budget of our readers is £15,000 and that figure certainly isn’t falling.” Within an age range of 25-35 and a median salary of around £25,000, the Wedding Ideas reader knows what she wants for her big day and, obviously, from her chosen magazine. After all, this is the one that does exactly what it says on the front cover.