It’s a question that I get a lot, from vendors and brides who know that they have something special in the wedding that they are submitting, but they also know that we get around 400 weddings per week in our inboxes. Yes, that’s 400…though the real number falls anywhere between 250-500 depending on the season).
So how do you ensure that your wedding is not only seen, it’s also accepted? Here are ten best practices that will REALLY improve your chances…
1. PACKAGE your submission according to our guidelines. We have taken a ton of time building a submissions tool that really allows us to streamline things. It gives you a space for your images, a place to upload videos, an area for a description and a vendor credit spot. FILL THEM ALL OUT. If we have to chase down information, we generally put it on the back burner until we have time to devote to it. Which could take months.The good news is that blogs are generally similar in their guidelines, so if you do the work once and you’re wedding doesn’t make the cut, it will already be packaged up and ready to go for other blogs. Here is an example of a PERFECT submission…
Things to note…103 images, carefully curated. Location in the title. Intro from the vendor. Description from the bride. Complete vendor list. All of these things together and we were able to approve this for publication in less than a minute.
2. SELECT good images that tell the story of the day. Include up to about 60-150 images that really highlight the best parts of the day. We need images that show the bride, her fashions, the maids, the groom, the flowers, centerpieces, decor elements, favors, invitations, etc. WE DO NOT WANT too many images of the guests dancing or smoking cigars, no matter how beautiful they are. Those types of images really don’t resonate well with our readers.
3. DESCRIBE the day. The description should be from the bride if possible. If not, from the florist, planner or designer. Within the description we want you to include the inspiration behind the day, the special touches that made this wedding extra lovely, the sources where some of the great details were found, any DIY projects that were done. The more info we have, the better.
4. SHARE THE LOCATION. Include a city + state in the title of your submission. This allows us to ensure that we are covering all areas of the US. If we get a wedding from the Midwest, we are more likely to look at it in greater depth because we are lacking in those areas. If we get a wedding that took place in an area where we have a Local Blog, it will improve your chances of publication.
5. CHOOSE images carefully. Although we publish far more images than a magazine spread, we also carefully curate the types of images that we put up.We love images that fall in the same photographic style rather than a mix of styles. We also like images that fall in the same color story. It makes far more of an impact online if the images flow beautifully together. Check out the submission above and you can see how the images really fall into the same color and style so that crafting a beautiful feature will be SUPER easy.
6. EDITED PHOTOGRAPHS are really, really, REALLY important. We like images that are clean, simple and don’t have any particular art effect to them. We do not publish many black and whites unless it’s a feature on the photography. We do not publish images that are too busy or have too much going on in them. Although we totally get that there are many different types of photography styles, we also are inclined to fall more in love with photographs that are shot in a magazine style approach. I am going to have a photographer come on backstage soon and go into greater depth with this one.
7. BE NICE. And this is off the record of course. But we really like it when people are nice, approachable and easy to work with. There have been so many instances where a vendor was particularly rude to us after being declined, or after it has taken us a while to give them an answer. And although there is by no means a “nice” rule on SMP, we always remember the ones that are mean and it is taken into consideration when we see another of their weddings come through the door. Same goes for the people that we love…we remember those that are gracious, kind and fun to work with and are more inclined to reach out to them for content calls.
8. READ our blog and select the weddings that you want to submit carefully. It’s so obvious to us when a submittor doesn’t read our blog and sends in a wedding that is so far off the quality of the weddings that we publish. Or when they just slap together a bunch of weddings from the previous season and hope that one of them sticks. We want to know that you have carefully selected a wedding for publication on SMP because you know that it’s one our brides will resonate with.
9. THINK UNIQUE. We are desperate (singing from the rooftops desperate) for the following types of weddings…gorgeous ballrooms without a ton of dripping crystals and a focus on total style, modern affairs with simple but stellar details, brides of all colors, sizes and shapes that reflect our true readership, new approaches to old styles (ie…show me an awesome new way to approach a barn wedding), indoor affairs and weddings that really represent a particular city in their style (not in a theme way). We see so many weddings every day they are starting to all look the same. If there is a unique angle, it will definitely catch our attention.
10. ASK. Don’t be afraid to ask why a submission was declined. We are MORE than happy to share so that you can better understand what we are looking for next time. Although there are plenty of cases where we’re simply oversaturated with one type of wedding, more often than not there is a specific reason why your submission was declined. Just make sure you have a bit of a tough skin and are willing to really hear us out.
So there you have it. There is so much more that goes in to curating a blog like SMP and I’ll make it a point to go into greater detail in future posts. But this is a good first look at our best practices. Remember that we WANT you to get published. We WANT you to send in weddings that get a ton of coverage and attention on SMP. So the more you stick to these general rules, the better for everyone involved!
Have questions? Ask away, I’m here all day!!