Bride and groom share first look at Villa Astor, a perfect example of a photo to help your wedding get published

How to Get Your Wedding Published: 7 Easy Tips to Get Accepted

So, you want to grow your destination wedding photography brand, but does it actually help to get your work published in some of the best wedding blogs? Yes! And we’ll tell you exactly how to get your wedding published.

Lilly Red Photography has featured in 40+ publications, multiple times. We’re not saying that to showboat. We’re saying it because it truly does make a difference in getting your brand name out there and building your brand’s image. 

When you get your wedding published, you can use the publication’s badge on your website to let visitors know where you’ve been seen. That goes a long way in building trust and credibility with the couples you want to shoot. 

You’ll find that the more you’re featured in relevant publications, the more your ideal clients will reach out to work with you.

A bride and groom stand together in a destination wedding photograph that was featured in Brides.

How to Get Your Wedding Published: Use Our Top 7 Tips 

Getting your wedding published might feel like a massive goal that only other photographers reach. But that may be because you need to refine your submission process! 

Use these 7 tips to raise your chances of getting accepted into the publications you know your ideal destination wedding clients look at.

1. Don’t Submit Your Wedding Photos to Every Publication

It might sound counterintuitive, but you shouldn’t submit your wedding photos to every publication you can get your hands on – just to have your work featured. 

You may get accepted by certain ones, but your ideal clients might not be looking at those publications. Sure, that might not sound like the end of the world BUT it can have more repercussions than you think. 

Wasted Efforts

For one thing, it could have been effort better spent on submitting a higher quality proposal to a publication that your ideal clients do look at. 

Sending the Wrong Message

If your wedding photography is featured in a publication that your ideal client doesn’t look at (or doesn’t feel represents them as a couple) and you post that publication’s badge on your website, you could send the wrong message to your ideal client. 

Do this Instead!

Make a master list of where to submit wedding photos for publication. Then, go through each one and make sure they match your style of photography.

Make sure they feature work that will resonate with your ideal client. For example, if your ideal client loves adventurous destination elopements, then they won’t be looking at “Chic Vintage Brides.”

Curious about what a master list of different publications looks like? We share one in our Ultimate Styled Shoot Guide!

2. Focus On What the Publication Wants to See

To get your wedding published, you’ll have to focus on what the publication wants. The great news is that these blogs and magazines will tell you what they want to see. 

Most of the best wedding blogs and magazines have submission guidelines, editorial styles, and even editorial calendars, so you can ensure you maximize your chances of getting accepted. 

All you have to do is search for the name of the publication and add “submission” to your search. For example, if you want to get published with “Martha Stewart Weddings,” search for “Martha Stewart Weddings submission.”

You can search for these, too:

  • Harper’s Bazaar wedding submission
  • Style Me Pretty wedding submission
  • Vogue wedding submission

Once you know the editorial styles, follow them to a T!

Bride and groom during first look is a perfect example of photo for Vogue wedding submission

3. Collect All of Your Vendor Tags and Notes Before the Wedding

When you submit your wedding photos to publications, you’ll have to give the editors notes so they can create a blog post about it.

But it’s extremely difficult to get notes from all the different vendors and get their vendor tags so you can give them credit for their hard work once the wedding is over. At that point, vendors are already focused on other weddings and even the couple has to go back to “real life.” 

The best way to get all the notes and tags you need is to contact vendors before the wedding. Their whole focus is on that wedding, so it’s the best time to collect them.

4. Focus on Submitting the Right Wedding Photos

Don’t take up any room by submitting the wrong types of images. You won’t get to submit an entire destination wedding gallery, even if the location is absolutely epic! That means you have to be incredibly intentional about the photos you submit. 

The main purpose of the best wedding blogs is to get their readers to imagine what their wedding will be like – not to fall in love with the couple in the photos. 

So, for the most part, you can forgo adding photographs of family and friends at the wedding. Use those valuable spots in your submission to showcase plenty of details and decor. Readers can envision what their weddings will be like when they see those – and that’s what the editors want. 

5. Be Trendy… and Give Your Unique Spin! 

A big part of how to get your wedding published in some of the best wedding blogs is about standing out instead of blending in. 

Normally, in almost any other industry, the way to do that is to be on trend. But with so many trendy weddings out there, how do you stand out? 

Don’t get us wrong! We recommend staying up to date on trends and submitting weddings that are on the trendier side because that shows that you’re up-to-date and modern. Remember, publications cater to couples who are currently planning their weddings, so editors don’t want to showcase outdated events.

But! We also want you to provide your own unique spin instead of copying other photographers’ work or even getting too inspired by others. That only makes your work blend in. 

Create your unique style and incorporate it into your wedding photography work. You can practice your unique style by planning styled shoots (which you can submit to wedding publications too) and curating your portfolio to attract your ideal clients.

6. Show That You Truly Care About the Blog 

How can you show that you truly care about the publication?

So many publications, from Vogue to Style Me Pretty, receive hundreds of wedding photography submissions each week. But these top wedding blogs want to narrow down who they accept submissions from. 

Many of them are turning to wedding professionals and photographers who are members of their blogs. 

Use your list of publications that match your style and what your ideal client loves to look at, and become a vendor member. This will increase your chances of having your wedding photography work accepted.

7. Grab the Editor’s Attention Right Away – This One Doesn’t Come from Your Photos! 

When we hosted a workshop with Green Wedding Shoes, they told us they receive around 400 submissions per week. And as more photographers and wedding professionals join the industry, those submissions have likely increased! 

That means you have to grab the editor’s attention from the moment they open up your proposal. 

And surprisingly? That doesn’t come from your photos. It comes from your words! Although your work is fabulous, there are just as many amazing photographers who submit their impressive work too. 

So, you need to find other ways to stand out when working to get your wedding photography featured. And creating a stellar headline to hook your editor’s attention will go a long way.

Top Tip: Use words you found in their editorial style and try to use some of those (if they fit) in your title for the wedding you’re sharing. 

Featuring a high-profile couple in your wedding publication submission can certainly pique the interest of editors and elevate the overall allure of your work.

It’s All About VIPs

The presence of a celebrity or influential figure introduces an element of exclusivity and glamour, making your submission more enticing for top-tier publications. These renowned publications thrive on showcasing the latest fashion, trends, designs, and the captivating world of celebrities and VIPs.

However, it’s important to note that having a VIP or famous couple is often a prerequisite for these exclusive publications. Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and other high-end publications often intentionally omit submission forms from their websites.

This is because they typically work through industry connections, PR firms, or directly with couples. Therefore, it’s not just essential to have a high-profile couple; you also need the right industry contact to facilitate the submission process.

Remember, they’re also looking for stunning visuals, unique storytelling, innovative wedding concepts, and a clear demonstration of your distinctive photography style.

It’s worth acknowledging that the bar for these publications is set incredibly high, and their exclusivity can sometimes feel daunting or even unfair. However, these are trendsetting platforms with elevated standards, and their selectivity is part of what keeps them at the forefront of the industry.

Never Stop Dreaming

Don’t be disheartened if these ultra-exclusive publications seem out of reach. Numerous other fantastic publications might be a great fit for your work.

These platforms can offer significant exposure and the opportunity to showcase your unique style and storytelling to a wide audience. So, keep honing your craft, creating stunning imagery, and seeking out the right platforms to share your work.

Your passion and dedication will shine through, and the right opportunities will come! Learning how to get your wedding published in blogs – whether they’re large or small – is a major win for your brand.

You’ll never forget the feeling when your work is first accepted, especially when it’s accepted in a dream publication. 

Groom looks at bride during Lake Como boat ride, a photo submitted to wedding blogs to be featured

Bonus #2: Our Journey to Getting Featured in Vogue

Achieving a feature in iconic publications like Vogue is a dream for many wedding photographers, and at Lilly Red, we’ve navigated this exciting path. Here, we share our journey and the lessons learned along the way.

The Critical Nature of Timing and Selectivity in Top-Tier Publications

Our experience has taught us the importance of timing in this high-stakes arena. Renowned publications often request a fully curated gallery almost immediately after the wedding.

For instance, when we submitted to Vogue, the gallery was required within the same week of the wedding. Despite presenting a gallery that was the epitome of elegance – stunning, high-fashion, and with a considerable budget – it didn’t align with what Vogue wanted. Their selective process is often enigmatic but always purposeful.

In another scenario, a pitch to Brides made by the bride’s PR agency was initially turned down. However, through the determined efforts of the wedding planner, the submission was revisited and accepted. This exemplifies the often unpredictable and challenging nature of securing such features.

A Triumph with Vogue Italia

Our strategy shifted thanks to a wedding where the bride had connections in the fashion industry. Her link to an editor at Vogue Italia paved the way for a unique opportunity.

She initiated the conversation, offering a sneak peek of their wedding in Tuscany. We followed up with the full gallery within two weeks, leading to a successful publication in the Vogue.it publication.

Insights and Strategies from Our Experiences:

  1. Initiating Contact: More often than not, the push to get featured comes from those around us – the couple, their PR team, or their planners. This highlights the invaluable nature of having inside connections in these exclusive circles.
  2. Understanding Publication Preferences: Publications like Vogue want quick turnarounds and compelling, unique narratives. Cold pitches rarely make the cut.
  3. The Power of Preparation: Being ready with complete galleries, detailed vendor lists, and captivating stories was crucial in our journey. This level of readiness streamlined our processes and markedly enhanced our chances of being featured in such prestigious outlets.

Bonus #3: Insights on Paid Wedding Vendor Sites

In the evolving landscape of wedding photography promotion, the rise of paid wedding vendor sites like TheWed and Wed Vibes introduces a new business model.

These platforms, which operate on a pay-to-play basis, offer photographers a unique opportunity to elevate their brand’s visibility in exchange for a membership fee. While we don’t personally utilize these paid listings, we recognize their potential value in a photographer’s marketing mix.

An Integral Part of the Sales Funnel

Find out why these paid sites should be viewed as an integral part of a photographer’s sales funnel in our Sales Funnels for Photographers blog.

They are particularly effective in the “awareness” stage of the funnel, serving as a platform that introduces potential clients to your work and brand. However, it’s crucial to understand that their role is to boost brand visibility and awareness, rather than directly generating leads.

Incorporating these platforms into your marketing strategy does more than increase exposure. It also contributes to building your authority in the wedding photography industry. By being featured on reputable sites, your brand is seen as credible and trustworthy, which is invaluable in attracting and retaining clients.

Creating Multiple Touchpoints

To build a strong, recognizable brand, you must create multiple touchpoints and consistently showcase your work across various platforms.

In combination with the strategic use of the sales funnel, this multifaceted approach is key to establishing a strong presence in this competitive industry. Paid vendor sites can complement other marketing efforts, reinforcing your brand’s authority and enhancing your overall marketing strategy.

Therefore, while paid wedding vendor sites are just one piece of the marketing puzzle, their role in building brand authority and contributing to a well-rounded sales funnel strategy cannot be understated.

Want to Create More Content to Submit?

Use our 7 tips to help you get your work accepted! And if you’re looking for a way to create more content to submit, we highly suggest planning styled shoots.

To start, download our FREE Styled Shoot Planning Checklist. We’ve curated a list of 20 questions to ask yourself before jumping straight into a styled shoot. This checklist is guaranteed to set you up for success.

Want our extensive tried and tested methodology for executing the perfect styled shoots to attract your dream clients and get your work published?

Snag Your Ultimate Styled Shoot Guide!

Lilly Red Academy Styled Shoot Guide eBook for destination wedding photographers