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uk wedding magazine review

UK Wedding Magazines: The Review: 1

I’ve been poring over wedding magazines for you recently – up to my elbows in wedding dress ads and waking up in the mornings with the handbag-sized mags stuck to my face… terrible habit of reading last thing at night!

Why? Because I have too many preconceptions about wedding magazines and I really wanted to rediscover and reevaluate the wedding mags for myself. Are they really all the same? Are they all old fashioned? Well… no. I’m glad to say I was wrong on those counts.

So this is my very honest, practical, useful wedding magazine review.

uk wedding magazine review

I’ve compared UK wedding magazines so you – brides, grooms and wedding suppliers – can see how they stand against each other: which have most useful content, most ads, the best advice and the most interesting features.

Having spent a good few days on my little spreadsheet, I’m going to break this wedding magazine review into manageable chunks. This is roughly how it’ll pan out – feel free to bookmark this page and come back for the best bits as I post them and link back over the next few days.

UK wedding magazine review: contents

Part one (below) – overview and introduction to the UK wedding magazine review

Part two – the best UK wedding magazines compared in detail and pulling no punches

Part three – the top UK wedding magazines, one by one – what’s inside and how do your favourites compare? (I’ll add these as the summaries are published)

Part four – which is the best UK wedding magazine for you? Match your personality to find a wedding mag you’ll like in Discover your Wedding Mag Style and consider why you’re buying a wedding magazine in Which is the Best Wedding Magazine for You

Part five – about advertising: a suppliers’ perspective on wedding magazine advertising

Part six – more for wedding suppliers – creating the perfect wedding magazine advert

Part seven – guest blog post by Alison Wren on wedding magazine advertising: the ten top mistakes suppliers make!

Wedding magazine review: overview

I read and reviewed eight UK wedding magazines. Six were national wedding magazines, the best sellers and top brands. Two were local magazines, from Manchester and Cheshire.

Wedding magazines reviewed

  • You & Your Wedding (May / June 2011 issue)
  • Perfect Wedding (March 2011)
  • Brides (March / April 2011)
  • Cosmopolitan Bride (April / May 2011)
  • Wedding Ideas (June 2011)
  • Wedding (June / July 2011)
  • Your Manchester Wedding (Feb / March 2011)
  • Cheshire Bride (2011 edition – this is a bit different, being an annual publication)

The average page count across all of these wedding magazines is 264 pages. With an average price of £4.04 that’s pretty good value for money!

Most magazines feature lots of real weddings for inspiration. The most in one mag? 77 whole pages of real wedding features. (A whopping 26% of the whole magazine!) You’ll have to come back and read the rest of the wedding magazine review to find out which mag has the most real weddings for your money though…

Wedding magazines are well known for having high levels of advertising content. But do you know just how much of these mags are devoted to selling you stuff? On average, it’s 77% of pages. When you consider that’s just over three-quarters, it’s quite a lot of advertising for you, the reader, to wade through.

Interestingly wedding magazines have a lot of pages devoted to ideas for your wedding day: table decorations, dresses, accessories, stationery, wedding themes and more. Where pages are dedicated to showing products (with supplier info and prices alongside) I’ve counted these as selling pages for the purpose of this review. On average, UK wedding magazines have 65 of these ideas pages – a quarter of the total content.

Some of the wedding magazines have great articles, others promise exciting features and don’t quite deliver. Some are just as you’d expect; others go above and beyond. Find out which ones – come back tomorrow for the full UK wedding magazine review on English Wedding.

Can you spot the difference?

can you spot the odd one outIn the meantime, why not play my little game?

The English Wedding facebook page has nine photos of ideas for your wedding. Each is a page spread – one from a sales leaflet that came through my door, eight from wedding magazines. The wedding magazines are selling as hard as the company that posted out their sales leaflet. Can you even tell which is which? Spot the difference…

 

 

 

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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10 COMMENTS
  • Alison Wren
    8 years ago

    Great stuff, Claire – looking foward to Part 2. PS: I tried Spot the Difference and failed miserably…..

    • Claire
      8 years ago

      Thanks for your comment Alison! I’ll add the answer to spot the difference when I’ve done all the blog posts later – next week maybe 🙂 feel free to add your guess against one of the photos! C x

  • wedding jewellery
    8 years ago

    Fab idea for a blog post-looking forward to reading the advertising section particularly!

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      I’m doing that one last… it’s not quite finished yet – the difficulty being, it works beautifully for some people, and not at all for others. Getting to the bottom of that is really tricky, but hopefully I can shed some light – and as with all of the uk wedding magazine review posts, it will give you all the facts to consider in a positive light 🙂

  • Peter Lawson
    8 years ago

    Interesting, if only 23% of the magazine is actual content then they only have to write 60 pages of actual content – that really doesn’t seem good value for your £4! No wonder wedding blogs are so popular!

    Spot the difference – I’m going for 2 due to the different gutter, though I’m probably wrong 🙂

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Thanks for your comment Peter – it’s one reason I looked at the actual content of the articles and features themselves, and there are some very good features to consider.

      I think if you’re looking to buy things for your wedding, then the magazines have it all in one place.

      So the question is, how much of the whole wedding experience is about shopping?

      And spot the difference… interesting answer. No comment 🙂

  • Tiffany
    8 years ago

    What a great idea. I do like it when magazines cover real weddings best. It’s a better way to see if the ideas really worked and there is some feeling in the piece.

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Thanks for your comment Tiffany. One of the magazines had almost double the number of real weddings compared with the others… more on that in part two 🙂

  • Rachel Sillick
    8 years ago

    You’re brave! Much as I don’t want to put you off posting it, I hope you have adequate liability insurance – one of those magazine publishers successfully sued a blogger for defamation fairly recently. If I were you, I would tread very carefully! 🙂

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Thanks for the comment Rachel, but I’ve very consciously not said anything bad about any individual magazine: this is just what I saw when I read them. Page counts and best bits, no negative stuff. 🙂

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