Wedding magazines – Pros and cons

Published date: 10th January 2019 | Author: Hollie Bond

The first magazine totally devoted to all things bridal was – and what name would you have chosen had you had carte blanche? – Brides, which first appeared in the USA in 1934. In fact related matters appeared as early as 1693 in The Lady’s Mercury, though whether a one-page publication qualifies as a magazine is moot; likewise they would have been difficult to avoid in The Lady’s Magazine, a periodical that first saw the light of day in 1770.

It’s not entirely surprising that the man who came up with the idea for Brides was an advertising manager who spotted an elephant-sized gap in the market. His brainchild had few problems filling its pages with ads from existing wedding services and goods suppliers, but tellingly it soon drove the market, both in the style of weddings it promoted as traditional and to be aspired to, and by holding workshop events for those in or hoping to join the wedding industry.

You’ll no doubt have noticed Brides Magazine has quite a few rivals nowadays, both print magazines and online sites of varying descriptions – including this site of course. At a time when lots of print publications have gone to the wall, the bridal market seems to be strong. So we ask ourselves what do they do well, what do they do less well, and what other pros and cons are there associated with print publications.

The first negative factor to consider is cost – they are not cheap, and you can spend a small fortune in a few months if you develop a bridal mag habit. For those of us of a green persuasion their sometimes hard to recycle super-glossy paper is another worry – and how many trees were felled to produce the record-setting 1271-page Spring 2000 edition of Brides? Plus, if the supplies of pink in the world are limited, wedding mags could tip us into a resource crisis – have we already reached peak pink?

But plenty of positives can be cited in their favour. Looking for the dress? You can compare styles, prices and trends just by flicking through the pages of a good version. And there’s something very rewarding about cutting out articles and pictures to form a style-book that online alternatives miss out on – you can’t smell those inks, enjoy the haptics of crinkling paper…

And we’re back to the negatives again. Where are you in your relationship? If the question has not yet been popped and you start to pile up copies of wedding mags, he may get scared. It’s easier to hide your browsing history (and not for the reason he probably does) than a three foot tower of paper. If you’ve become addicted it can cause problems nearer the day too, should you spot something even more perfect than what you’ve spent months (years?) planning. When you’ve got the dress, a theme, a venue, and your style worked out, go cold turkey and stop buying them (and visiting your favourite 150 online outlets too).

To our minds the web possesses two massive advantages over printed mags. The first is the sheer number of sites, thus the variety of voices, styles, ideas… And the second is that you can search those sites so easily. Searching printed mags is laborious, with the ever present risks of wrist sprains and paper cuts, ugh.

So what’s the conclusion? Given we love wedding magazines we think it’s worth buying a chosen selection for a time, in particular because some of the writers are really good, and some of the pictures are fabulous. But the web is free, quick and diverse (and your habit easier to hide), so we’re guessing that like us you’ll spend more time pressing keys than turning pages.


Written by

Hollie Bond

Hollie is a lifestyle journalist with over ten years’ experience working in the wedding industry as Lifestyle Editor for You & Your Wedding magazine Also a Regional Editor for Muddy Stilettos, Hollie has written for Square Meal magazine, Family History Monthly, BBC History magazine and Homes & Antiques. In her spare time you can find Hollie in a dance studio practising ballet…

Learn more about Hollie Bond

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