Submitting a real wedding – tips on getting featured

One of my favourite things about blogging (apart from being able to write in my PJs all day and talk to thousands of amazing people) is that feeling when I get a really amazing real wedding submission! Lately I’ve had a lot of brides, planners and photographers ask me what I look for in a wedding submission. I’ve tried to write this so that it applies quite generally to wedding blogs but bear in mind a lot of this is my personal preference! Some of the technicalities, however, are really worth looking at as they can prevent your wedding from being featured even if it’s the most detailed, interesting set of photos ever taken.

So for you brides, photographers, planners and anyone else out there looking to submit a real wedding, here are a few guidelines:

Make it legal

1. Do you hold the copyright to the photos? If not you must ask the copyright holder (almost always the photographer by default) for permission to have them published before you submit them. While most people would assume it will be OK, the copyright holder may have other plans and it can be very disappointing for both you and the blogger if you have to pull the plug at the last second. I can’t stress this enough, even if it’s just a product shot, the blogger always needs to know who to credit.

2. Have the photos been featured on another blog or in another publication? Check with the place they’ve been featured that there’s no exclusivity deal. It’s also worth, as a formality, letting the blogger you’re submitting to know where else the photos have been featured. Blogging can be a delicate, political world and some bloggers would prefer to avoid stepping on one another’s toes.

Credit where credit’s due

1. It’s always nice to have permission from the couple – even if you have rights to use the pictures, which most photographers do, depending on the terms and conditions of their contract. Some people are shy – and if you were particularly private you probably wouldn’t be thrilled to see your face on the most intimate day of your life on the Internet.

2. With permission from the couple it’s lovely (not necessary, but adds a real charm) to have a little write up of the day. My favourite submissions are from brides as they’re so happy to talk about their DIY projects, their decorations and their favourite moments.

3. A nice little list (if you hyperlink it even better) of credits is always welcome. That includes anything that’s in the pictures and (bearing in mind hyperlinks) should look something like this:

– Dress
– Shoes
– Jewellery
– Hair / Make up
– Bridesmaids’ dresses
– Groom’s suit

This isn’t 100% necessary but it’s really nice for future brides reading the post to know where they can find the items they fall in love with in the photos.

Provide a good spread

I may just be speaking for myself here, but I like to see a really good selection of  photos, from getting ready, to the ceremony through to the formals and detail (detail is really important for me).

I’d much rather see a barrage of detail than pictures of speeches and dancing. Having said that I also really love to see happy couples in love, so even if it isn’t a very detailed wedding it’s still worth sending over to me.

Personally I like submissions to have as many photos as possible – this makes it easier for me to narrow it down to the standard 30 – 50 photos I put up per submission.

Detail mixed with a sprinkling of love is perfect – Image © Catwalk Wedding 

Prepare the pictures

1. Size matters. Every blogger likes their photos sized differently. I personally like them (through trial and error) about 700 – 800 pixels wide as I can then scale down where I need to. It’s easier to scale down than it is to scale up and lose quality. However, many bloggers like a standard 600 pixel width, so it’s always worth asking.

2. Remove watermarks where possible. Especially if they’re slap bang in the middle of the picture. A professional blogger will credit you properly and link to your site and aesthetically, a set of pictures without watermarks looks much better.

3. As a blogger I prefer to receive professional photos. That’s not to say I won’t consider photos that aren’t, especially if it’s a really gorgeous, detailed wedding, but if you’re not using professional pictures try to select the highest quality shots.

Get sending savvy

When submitting a wedding there are many ways to do it but generally it’s easiest via:

- Zip file in an email – but this can sometimes prove too big to get through.
– Dropbox – a personal favourite of mine
– YouSendit

The most difficult way to receive a submission is via attachments in an email, especially if there are hundreds of photos as some end up getting lost or stuck.

What I love and what doesn’t float my boat

Please note this is a personal preference. I try not to limit myself too much as I think within the “vintage” theme there’s a huge amount of scope for creativity. So, I love:

♥ Vintage-inspired weddings with personal detail.
♥ Country cottage / rustic chic weddings
♥ Anything magical, whimsical or fairy/dream-like
♥ Festival-themed weddings
♥ Happy, loved-up couples.
♥ Anything a little bit different – try me!

Little detail shots can really bring a submission to life – Image © TDH Media

What doesn’t float my boat

♦ Anything traditional – I’m sure it was a wonderful day and probably suitable for another blog, but it just isn’t me.
♦ This includes chair covers, balloon arches, jarring carpet or curtains… I know they’re silly things but I love to see what brides can do with a blank canvas.
♦ People looking miserable. It’s a wedding! Smile!

I know this seems like an awful lot to take in and makes us bloggers sound awfully fussy! But it saves a lot of time and effort in the long run if you stick to the following reminders:

Permission - do you have the right permissions from the right people to use the photos?
- are the photos ready to be sent or do they need resizing / reformatting? 
- is the wedding you’re sending right for the publication?

Finally dealing with rejection

It can be really hard to say no to weddings – especially when they’re gorgeous but just not right for the tone of the blog. I imagine it must be even harder hearing the rejection, especially if it’s a blog you really like! However, don’t despair – there’s something out there for everyone and if it’s not right for the blogger you’ve submitted to, ask them for a list of suggestions of other blogs that may accept it. Bloggers can’t publish everything they’re sent, even if they’d love to so don’t take it to heart and keep on trying.

I hope this is helpful – if there’s anything I’ve missed out or you have any suggestions / experiences to share please leave some comments! 

And if all that hasn’t put you off, submit a real wedding to Under the Vintage Veil here!

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