Why do wedding blogs say no? 10 reasons why your submission might have been rejected
This article is for all of the wedding photographers out there who would love to be featured (more) on wedding blogs.
I had an email chat with a lovely photographer last week – she submitted a wedding which wasn’t quite right for publication at that time. I explained why (as I always try to do) and she thanked me, saying often she got no feedback from bloggers. I wanted to try and explain in more detail why submitted weddings and shoots might be declined by wedding bloggers.
Note: I can’t speak for all wedding bloggers – we’re all different and have different selection criteria. But do read on: some of these are common sense and will apply to every wedding blogger.
Every blog has its look and philosophy. If you don’t know the blog and understand what is usually featured, your submission could be a waste of time. Some blogs are very niche; for example Rock n Roll Bride and Love My Dress feature very different wedding styles. Know where your wedding will fit before submitting.
Be good at what you do. Bloggers see 100s of weddings and will spot the ones which are badly shot or lazily edited. I’ve been sent images with wheelie bins in the background of bridal portraits; grooms with their eyes closed (or worse, half closed!) and even out of focus shots.
Some wedding venues have no windows. It used to be castles; now it’s barns. Flash is not a solution; quality lenses and the knowledge of how to use them are essential. Details are important for wedding blogs, and dull lighting on our favourite venue decor images can ruin your entire submission. Getting beautiful ‘natural light’ images outside won’t make up for poorly lit details inside.
Blogs’ success depends on the ideas they showcase. So a wedding with styling touches which aren’t ‘new and different’ won’t make the cut. There’s often nothing wrong with the wedding or photography – we just need more ideas for readers to want to see the full feature. That’s flowers, stationery, display areas, cakes, place settings, backdrops, signage and DIY projects.
This often comes down to editing – I really notice things like skin tones and blue shadows. I’ve rejected wedding submissions where some images are vibrant, sharp and beautiful, others have a yellow filter and some have vignettes or odd blur effects. Whatever your style, be true and stick to it!
Every blog has a submissions process. Mine is a one-step simple procedure and I always use Dropbox. Emails with image attachments land in my spam folder. WeTransfer links expire. Google drive is just a nightmare! So by sending images as outlined in my submissions guidelines you’re putting your submission at the top of my queue 🙂
7. “Hi everyone!”
Mail your submission to all your favourite wedding blogs at once, and we’ll all step back and let someone else feature it. Often that means no one will. It’s like a job application – you have to tailor your submission to the blog you’re targeting. Mail us all at once and your generic submission won’t feel special to anyone!
8. Styling and content
The cliché of the ‘bloggable wedding‘ is a thing. Every wedding is a joyful, amazing, emotional and brilliant day. But blogs can’t feature them all – and we exist to inspire other couples. So while your photography might be incredible, it’s not the only thing we look at. Weddings on blogs need to be on trend and bursting with personality and style. High street stationery, eBay centrepieces and mass market dress styles make a big difference – and often these weddings are more suited to featuring in wedding magazines than blogs.
As far as I know, the English Wedding Blog is pretty unique for featuring summer weddings in summer, and winter weddings in winter. It’s my personal choice to have my screen full of sunshine in the warmer months, and I just love seasonal flowers and styling. So if you’re a lightning-fast image editor, don’t delay in submitting your summer weddings! And if you have a wedding from last July which you’d like to see published on a wedding blog, it’s not to late to send it to me!
If at first you don’t succeed… remember this is your business. Keep submitting! Features on wedding blogs are internet gold (especially now Facebook and Insta are changing their algorithms) – you want to be seen, so you absolutely need those blog features. And if one wedding is rejected for whatever reason, send another. And another. Get feedback. Try other blogs. Aim to have a wedding published every other month.
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I really hope this list will help you, especially if you’ve had submissions rejected with little explanation (or a generic reply) from blogs in the past. Good luck with your submissions!
Read the English-Wedding.com submissions guidelines