New Endorsements for Wedding Industry

An article in the New York Times Magazine by Catherine Rampell gave this first hand description of the wedding marketplace: “…I thought the process of planning my own wedding would be fairly painless and practical.  That was before I entered the economically baffling world of the wedding industrial complex.”  

This frustration is almost universal across the wedding industry and highlights a chronic need to make comparison shopping easier for couples planning a wedding.  But while Rampell was largely referring to the complexities of package and pricing in her article, we believe the ability to compare service is far more critical.  Here’s why…

In other industries, the decision to purchase is generally made by comparing price and specifications.  This process is fairly straightforward when customers are familiar with the specifications available in that market.  But in the wedding industry, the number of variables in each sector of the market is enormous.

Compare the wedding industry with buying a new car for example.  Aside from the annoying absence of multi-million dollar advertising budgets, the other stark difference is the available choices across the wedding and car market.  In some sectors of the wedding market there are (conservatively) 2,000 more brands than in the automobile industry.  That’s 2,000 more wedding photographers to assess the particulars of, and 2,000 times the choice of venues. 

Aggregators

No two venues or photographers or celebrants provide the same product.  What can be achieved varies between wedding vendors and the manner in which every service is delivered is different.  The wedding industry is a veritable blur of brands & products & options. 

The sheer breadth of customisation offered by services within each segment of the market makes comparing vendors by price meaningless.  Not only is it logistically impossible to filter the wedding market by budget, but that effort becomes defunct as soon as customers consider what they really want.

When couples find a product or service they love, they’ll spend more or less to have it.  Our research found that most couples rarely stick to the budget allocated for each wedding service, putting more weight on factors other than price when finally booking a vendor.

The wedding industrial complex isn’t changing - and that’s a good thing.  While individuality reigns in the wedding market, there are fewer restrictions on creativity and innovation.  But there is a productivity cost that this ‘wedding industrial complex’ brings to the market and its impact is not only felt by frustrated couples.

With no easy way to browse the marketplace, couples regularly seek information directly from vendors.  But one of the key measures of productivity for vendors is the conversion rate of enquiries to bookings.   And enquiries that are seeking to inform their understanding of the market do not have a high conversation rate. 

The solution is not to make vendors more similar in what they offer, but to stand them further apart.  The areas in which vendors offer expertise should be visually obvious to anyone - not just industry professionals.  Providing vendors with greater recognition is a means to achieve this. 

Receive endorsements that stand your service apart by registering your business on Wedlockers.  More info coming soon…  
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Tasmania's Celebrant Industry

To understand what the celebrant industry in Tasmania looks like to couples planning their wedding, we took an in-depth look at the modern marketplace.  The data we collated reveals why it’s so difficult for clients to research wedding celebrants and identified some interesting growth opportunities for officiants in the Tasmanian market.

One of the first issues we encountered when starting this research, was identifying whether celebrants were currently active, or not, in the wedding industry.  Not all registered celebrants are trading businesses, not all seek wedding bookings and a large proportion do not actively promote themselves online.

We wanted to understand what the industry looks like from a customer’s perspective.  Celebrants that showed no evidence of self promotion in the past 3 months were considered inactive for our purposes.  In total, there are 80 wedding celebrants in Tasmania that;
- have an up to date business presence on social media and/or
- are actively engaging with clients online and/or
- had recently received online recommendations

Tassie celebrants

The latest data from the Bureau of Statistics shows a declining number of weddings in Tasmania - with 2,356 weddings conducted in 2015, down from an average in the preceding 4 years of 2,542.  As civil celebrants are now conducting close to 80% of weddings across the state, there is plenty of work available for celebrants, and plenty of competition in the market too.  Celebrants seeking ways to stand apart and increase their bookings in upcoming seasons may find the following data of interest…

Celebrant Websites

In contrast to other sectors of the wedding market, the celebrant industry are collectively less focused on the humble website as a critical element of their sales process.  In fact, 24% of celebrants in Tasmania don’t even have a website.  Even fewer have a modern website designed to attract today’s customers.

To get an industry-wide perspective on what celebrant websites look like, we provided each with a subjective grading that describes how modern the site is.  Those described as Modern were generally designed for visual impact and had fewer words, easier navigation and quick links to social media platforms.  ‘Reasonable’ websites were those that effectively share information but lack the large images and visual impact of the more modern sites:

Tassie celebrants copy

Facebook

Social media provides many benefits for business which is why most sectors of the wedding industry spend much of their marketing efforts on social platforms including Facebook.  Around 92% of Wedding Photographers maintain a Facebook page for their business.  Comparatively, only 65% of celebrants in Tasmania have a Facebook page and only 50% have posted in the last 3 months.

Officiants in Tassie have a current average of 250 Likes per page.  The range of followers starts at 25 and the ‘most popular’ celebrant has a fairly modest high in wedding standards of 700+ Likes.  There are only 4 celebrants in Tasmania with a Facebook following that exceed an audience of 500.

For Celebrants who use the platform effectively, Facebook provides an excellent opportunity for potential customers to make a connection with you.  Customers do look on Facebook to assess celebrants and if you’re one of the few vendors providing regular up-to-date material on your page, they’ll stick around and read your material, investing their efforts in getting to know you.  

Reviews

32 Wedding Celebrants have received reviews on Facebook.  Reviews are a powerfully effective tool for enabling customers to make a connection with you.  If a Bride & Groom were reading Facebook reviews to find a celebrant in Tasmania, the number of vendors in contention drops to 40% of the industry.   Are you in that 40%?

If you haven't yet switched the review function on your Facebook page on, here’s what you’re missing out on:  98% of reviews received by Tassie Celebrants are rated 5 stars.  Four stars is the next most popular rating, accounting for slightly more than 1% of all reviews.  Less than 1% of reviews receive a 1 star rating.  84% of celebrants who receive Facebook reviews have an overall rating of 5 stars. 

Tasmania Facebook Reviews

There are 4 wedding celebrants in Tasmania who have received Google reviews.  The average rating of those reviews is 5 stars.  Tassie Brides and Grooms looking for celebrant reviews online will find the largest number on Facebook.  There were a total of 377 Facebook reviews at time of research, which is 6 times more than any other online platform.

For couples who are seeking a wedding celebrant in Tasmania, we have provided Facebook links to celebrants in Launceston and in Hobart on our Facebook page.

Instagram

Only 12.5% of Celebrants in Tasmania have a (business oriented) Instagram account.  At the time of research, followers ranged in number from 25 to 629 and not all accounts had been active in the past 3 months.

In conclusion, there are many opportunities available to Tasmanian celebrants seeking a competitive advantage in today’s wedding marketplace.  Modern websites and up to date social media pages are not the reliable norm in our southern-most state so vendors there that invest effort into their online presence will see great results.  And they’ll make life easier for customers to find and connect with celebrants online.

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National Wedding Magazines

Magazines offer a great opportunity for wedding vendors to increase their exposure to potential new clients.  But in a saturated and competitive industry, being published in print offers something that’s arguably of greater value than simply reach. 

Curating extraordinary content is crucial to the success of magazines today.  Only the most beautiful images, freshest ideas and most original services make it into print.  With very few other opportunities to receive qualified recognition within the industry, being published in a national wedding magazine is one of the highest accolades available to wedding vendors in Australia.

These are the wedding magazines with national distribution in Australia:

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1) Hello May - www.hellomay.com.au 

PUBLISHER: Editor Sophie Lord, based in NSW 
FREQUENCY: Quarterly publication
SPECIAL EDITIONS: Hello May Real Wedding Special (published annually)
CIRCULATION: Available from Hello May on request
PURCHASE: Online or from 3000+ newsagents 
SUBMISSIONS: Hello May publish real weddings with a point of difference, engagement sessions, styled shoots and feature articles.  Exclusivity is required.  www.hellomay.com.au/submissions

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2) Modern Wedding - www.modernweddingmagazines.com.au 

PUBLISHER: Wildfire Publishing - a private company specialising in wedding media publications.  Founded in 1989 with headquarters in NSW 
FREQUENCY: Quarterly with additional state based copies
CIRCULATION: Enquire directly
OTHER MAGAZINES BY THIS PUBLISHER:
- Modern Wedding - $15.50 (Quarterly mag distributed in Aus & NZ)
- Wedding Styling Handbook - $15.50
- Modern Wedding Flowers - $15.50
- Modern Wedding Cakes - $15.50
- Modern Wedding DIY - $15.50
- Modern Hair & Beauty - $15.50
- Modern Wedding Planner - $15.50
- Jewels - $9.95
- Luxury Weddings - $15.50
- Hunter Wedding Magazine - $14.50
- Sydney Wedding - $15.95
- Gowns - $12.95
- Weddings on a Budget - $14.95
SUBMISSIONS: Images of real weddings can be submitted for consideration via this form

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3) Vogue Bride - www.vogue.com.au/brides 

PUBLISHER: Newscorp Australia - a publicly listed company
FREQUENCY: Annual 
PURCHASE: Online or at newsagents nationally
SUBMISSIONS: Not advertised

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4) Wedding & Bride - www.weddingandbride.com.au 

PUBLISHER: United Media Group - since 2005
FREQUENCY: Bi-annual editions in VIC, QLD & WA
DISTRIBUTION: Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.  
SUBMISSIONS: Not advertised

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5) Bride Magazine - www.bride.com.au 

PUBLISHER: Hardie Grant - a global media & publishing business
FREQUENCY: 3 times per year
CIRCULATION: 10,000 copies per issue
SUBMISSIONS: Submit content to editorial@bride.com.au  Review the publication’s content style before making submissions.

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6) EverAfter Magazine - www.everaftermagazine.com.au

PUBLISHER: Nicole Snow - Hunta Media, a private company based in Victoria.
FREQUENCY: Biannual
PURCHASE: Available at news agencies around Australia.  
SUBMISSIONS: Wedding and editorial submissions are welcomed. www.everaftermagazine.com.au/submissions 

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7) Hooray! Magazine - www.hooraymag.com ($14.95)

PUBLISHER: Independent publication founded by Renee Douros in 2013 
FREQUENCY: Biannual in Australia
DISTRIBUTION: International
PURCHASE: Available online & stocked in 3000+ news agencies across Australia and at Coles supermarkets.  
SUBMISSIONS: Submissions are preferred directly from photographers and exclusivity is essential.  Hooray also collaborate with established illustrators and welcome you to send a link to your portfolio.  www.hooraymag.com/contact-submissions 

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8) Cosmopolitan Bride - www.cosmopolitan.com.au/weddings 

PUBLISHER: Bauer Media, a subsidiary of Bauer Media Group based in Hamburg, Germany.  The company publishes more than 600 magazines, 400-plus digital products and owns 50 radio and TV stations.
READERSHIP: 47,000
FREQUENCY: Quarterly
PURCHASE: News agents nationally
SUBMISSIONS: Email a selection of 40 images to cosmobride@acpmagazines.com.au 

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9) The Brides Diary - www.bridesdiary.com.au ($19.95)

PUBLISHER: Anna Pedersen - Worsthorne Pedersen Publishing.  An independent and Australian owned private company. 
FREQUENCY: Annual
PURCHASE: Available at newsagents and online through isubscribe
OTHER MAGAZINES BY THIS PUBLISHER:
- The Groom’s Diary
- Wedding Toasts & Speeches
- Wedding Celebration
SUBMISSIONS: Couples are invited to submit their wedding images for consideration

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10) Vintage Bride Mag - www.vintagebridemag.com.au ($13.95)

PUBLISHER: Vintage Weddings Pty Ltd, based in QLD
FREQUENCY: Annual
PURCHASE: Available online
SUBMISSIONS: Vintage themed weddings, proposals and styled shoots are accepted for publication, as are tutorials and feature articles including DIY ideas with step by step instruction.  Non exclusive content will be considered but not prioritised.  http://vintagebridemag.com.au/submissions/

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11) The Wedding Playbook - www.theweddingplaybook.com/magazine ($0)

PUBLISHER: Danielle & Kathy
FREQUENCY: Biannual
PUBLICATION: Online
SUBMISSIONS: Real weddings and styled shoots are accepted from around Australia.  Exclusivity not required.  http://theweddingplaybook.com/submissions/

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12) Great Destination Weddings - www.greatdestinationweddings.com.au 

PUBLISHER: Graphic Publishing - Brisbane based family owned business
FREQUENCY: Annual
PURCHASE: Print ($9.90) & Digital ($2.19) copies available online.
SUBMISSIONS: Not advertised

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13) Brides Magazine - www.brides.com.au

PUBLISHER: US media company Conde Nast
SUBMISSIONS: Real weddings with beautiful photography, quirky ideas and gorgeous locations.  Exclusivity required.  http://www.brides.com/story/submit-your-real-wedding-photos

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14) Together Journal - www.togetherjournal.com

PUBLISHER: Published in New Zealand
FREQUENCY: Quarterly
PURCHASE: Available at Australian newsagents & WH Smith Stores
SUBMISSIONS: Together Journal accept real wedding submissions but generally feature their own styled shoots. www.togetherjournal.com/submissions

If you would like to suggest an edit to this list of national wedding magazines in Australia, please email us at info@wedlockers.com.au or contact us on Facebook.

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